the white panel to the far right has a series of oil pastel drawings done on commission
I had been doing paintings coming out of 10 year old sketch books for about two years and reached the end of my interest. In 1984 I saw a remarkable charactor playing bass in a country band in north GA. I sketched him on the spot, a common thing with me since high school. Back in the studio monday I was wondering, "What's next?" Since nothing was in the que I thought i'd use that head just to tide me over until the next "serious" series came along. Turned out it had... the head was so common & habitual for me that it evaded me as subject until then. It occupied me exclusively for 2 years & continued as a fairly regular subject in new paintngs after that. What more familiar "object" to homo sapian? And this is certainly the most populous category on my site.
The High museum show of 1985 stacked 30 heads, butted together
for an installation. Many were too wet to transport easily so I had to build "shelves" to keep them from touching each other. I went on to show variations of the heads in modular ways, in many different venues, looking sometimes like the Sunday Funnies. The
large head in the High show was vandalized... probably a child scratched into the irresistable red surface with their fingers. It
was still wet underneath so I was able to repair it quickly, in place.
Peter had written something for Art Papers on my work and so I
asked if he could do something for the brochure accompanyng the touring retrospective which started in 1984. He agreed. Cathy Fox came over for the opening and reviewed the show, doing a major feature in the sunday AJC which you can imagine did not damage
my aspirations. In the Fall Peter called & asked if I would be
interested in a High Museum show... I reckoned as I might.
A couple years earlier, as I approached galleries trying to get representation, and getting the brush-off... I was just getting the
usual treatment when I mentioned Peter was writing something for Art Papers.. "So," - change of course, - "why don't you leave that
painting, we'll see what happens." Ah, the world of commerce.
The High Museum show opened a few doors but not like I thought
it might. I expected to move on to Birmingham, New Orleans,
Charleston, Miami.... New York. Did get to SEECA in Winston-
Salem, Macon, GA. and invitations to group shows. I was in a good group show in New Orleans and went down, beat the gallery
streets, no luck. Tried Indianapolis, Cincinnatti, Chicago. Got in some international shows, Sweden, Italy, Argentina. Eventually Sandler-Hudson Gallery invited me over. after being with Fay Gold a
number of years. I showed three times in Louisville and made
a connection in Nashville that I neglected. Did some murals, a sculpture & various products & commissions. Made a "business"
trip to NYC, showed slides to a few galleries but had to stand
in line to do it and it went nowhere. I know good painters,
articulate and aggressive who have not cracked NYC.
Got a nibble at a name Soho gallery, Ronald Feldman, asking
me to re-visit in 6 months. Didn't follow up. I don't want to give the impression I was out there 24/7 but I gave it a fair shot. Since I always preferred making it to selling, it was not difficult to let that
go. I packed the resume so I will no longer pay to exhibit. I may
try to organize some small museum shows
but then again I may not.
We did have our child, a home birth, intense experience and
the subsequent presence over these years has been a joy.
Certainly affected my art.
In the late 80s I took the training at local cable access, People TV,
and soon was doing a monthly show, Garage Demo, original
songs with visuals. By 1990 I got a City of Atlanta grant to produce
my last 3 shows. I hired some musicians to help on those and they
were the best of the lot. I had learned to avoid the most glaring
problems but still, due to limited access to equipment &
editing time I always felt I was doing story boards rather than
finished videos. Used alot of my S-8 stuff & shot new for them,
some animation. It was fun but that was that. We went to
Milwaukee for a year 1991-2 while C. got her certification to teach
Montessori. Had to leave an adjunct position at ACA teaching
painting. In Milwaukee I wrote & drew for a weekly newspaper,
& did free-bees for a Peace & Justice publication, drove a
school bus & did ALL the child-care, cooking, laundry et al.!
Another significant event of 1990 was my Father's death, that anguish creating big C. I went up several days before he died. A black cloud followed me around for several months after. Like having a child, losing a parent is a big one. I wrote a song, pacing on the beach the following morning, of Lake Superior. A few years later Steve & Ronnog asked me to perform that song at their son's funeral.
Hawaii Heads: a commissioned trip to Hilo to house-sit and paint
13 Musicians 1989 Commission:
(all oil pastel)Portraits of