Moving Forward, Figuratively and Literally…

Sharing My Journey:

Thought I might try something different here. I’m always mentally toying with various notions regarding my work, and art in general. After seeing first hand other collectors’ and artists’ enthusiasm for “shop talk,” I’m going to try a few blogs that include some very personal notes. These will be topics that are on my mind at the time of the blog entry, and will usually involve thoughts that pertain to my own artistic journey, including puzzles, struggles, moments of enlightenment, etc. Collectors sometimes think a professional artist has it “all worked out.” But I can tell you from experience, that the career of an artist is a constant journey of learning and discovery. We’re all at different stages, too, artist and collector alike. So, what I say here may be new to you, or it may be old news. But, anyway, for what it’s worth, we’ll give this a shot…

“Greater than the sum”

“Orange Appeel” – 8 x 10 Oil on Panel – $750.00

I recently did a small still life painting for Germanton Gallery at my booth space during the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD. While explaining various aspects of the painting – the subject being nothing more than a couple of oranges – I mentioned something to the crowd that actually gave me pause. I said “my goal is to make the painting about more than just simply oranges.” I suddenly became aware that, with every painting I do these days, the subject – although interesting in and of itself – is really a means to tackle some greater aesthetic and conceptual challenge.  It’s not that this hasn’t crossed my mind before, but I’d never expressed the notion so clearly, or understood this idea to such an extent as I did with this little piece.

Within the painting, I was making all sorts of adjustments to what was actually before me. Though I still wanted the piece to be highly realistic, I was also softening edges, altering the values and color contrasts, and changing textures here and there as I saw fit. In explaining this, I realized that the painting was less about the subjects and more about these personal interpretations. So when the work was finished, it was about the beauty of the orange and blue hues, about the textural contrasts between the wood surface and the orange peels, about the glow of light amidst darkened surroundings, about the brush strokes themselves. It was these elements, these personal interpretations, that really gave the painting (which I feel was successful) it’s “uummph.”

So, at this stage, I’m trying to take that awareness with me into the next pieces that I do.  It’s obvious to me now that I’m not simply trying to render well – although that’s certainly part of it – but, I’m trying to find something more, something personal, to say about whatever the subject is that I’m interpreting.  A while back, a friend of mine Greg Beecham said “you need to find the poetry.”  I now have a much better idea of what he meant.


Recent Events:

This fall was yet again a very busy (and fortunately, successful) time for me. I was once again invited to participate in the Carmel International Art Festival, held annually in the end of September in Carmel, IN. For the second year in a row, I was honored to have received the Mayor’s Choice award for my painting, “Quin – In Loving Memory.”


“Painti” – 18 x 24 Oil on Panel – Private Collection

A long-time collector and dear friend commissioned me for two new paintings. The first one (seen above) was completed a couple of months ago. I stayed very simple with the surrounding elements on this one to allow focus to remain on the Wild Dog, and it’s beautifully patterned coat. We were both very pleased with the final outcome of this piece; hopefully you’ll like it as well. I’m considering making canvas giclees of this image available soon. If you have any interest in purchasing one, please let me know.

This is probably the biggest tidbit of news, but it’s now official. Amhakia Studio has moved! My wife and I put our home up for sale late last spring, and despite the current downward trends in house sales, sold our home in the late summer. The new house includes a wonderful lower level for my studio, with a walk-out basement, fireplace, and wooded lot that I’m fortunate enough to enjoy each day.


New Release:


“The Steward of Malilangwe” – Limited Editon Paper Giclee – 16 x 20,
200 Signed and Numbered Prints: View Details


Newest Creations:

“The Prophet and the Planets” – 16 x 20 Oil on Panel
Available through the Evan Lurie Gallery

“New Kid in Town” – 18 x 24 Oil on Panel
Available through the Evan Lurie Gallery

“Fire and Ice” – Oil on Panel – $575.00

“Through the Leaf Litter” – 4 x 6 Oil on Panel – $575.00

Upcoming Events:

Germanton Gallery – 19th Annual Southwest Invitational Miniature ShowFriday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Decoys and Wildlife Gallery – 2012 Annual Open House
Sunday, February 26, 2012, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Wildlife Expo – Charleston, SC
February 17th, 18th, and 19th

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