Monday, October 22, 2007

Cherries in a Pyrex dessert dish

Acrylic polymer emuslion on gessoed hardboard, 10 x 8"
Painted Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, 2002, #51.

On November 15, the Canadian Paraplegic Association (N.B.) Inc. will be holding it's 17th annual Art & Antique Auction at the Fredericton Inn. The event will begin with a reception, silent auction and dinner, followed by a live auction. The proceed from this event will go towards funding the Association's rehabilitation programs for persons with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairements.

This painting will be included as a lot during the live auction. In 2002, the cherry tree in our backyard produced a record crop. Usually by mid-August the cherry season is over. On this year we ate cherries until the very last week of September. Click on this link for more information - AUCTION INFO .

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Opening reception, A SMASHING SUCCESS !

Top photo- Gallery owner, Cliff Turner and me
Second top photo- Suzanne, Jean-Luc and me.

This solo exhibition comprised of 25 paintings, 22 of them were achieved since early January of 2007. After all the time spent in my studio focusing on all of energy on this single show, I could never have imagined in my wildest dream that it would turn out the way it did. A buzz had started during the week leading to the opening, as pieces started to sell. Yesterday, as I was unwrapping the paintings inside the gallery in preparation to set up the show, a lovely lady getting a first glance of the paintings and another lady on the phone from Tennessee each acquired a piece. Tonight was no exception. A steady flow of well wishers came to view the collection, and I had a chance to engage in some very lively conversations with so many of them during the full three hours. I had so much fun meeting all of you and was touched by the comments. When the evening was over, we did a tally of the red dots, and 19 out of the 25 had sold. I am still in shock, and it hasn't sinked in yet.

First I want to thank my wife Suzanne and son Jean-Luc. Sue you are my rock, the north on my compass when I lose my direction, the voice of reason, my muse, my soul mate, the reason I became a painter when you surprised me on the year of our wedding with a set of watercolors. I love you more today than ever. Jean-Luc, you have the kindness heart and most positive outlook on life. When I became your father, I thought that I would have to teach you so much stuff. As it turned out, it was you who thought me even more. Je t'adore. Thank you so much for being by my side this evening.

To Cliff Turner and Shannon Merrifield, the proud owner of Handworks Gallery, I cannot thank you enough for putting your thrust in me by hosting this first solo show with your gallery. Cliff is a hyperrealist/trompe oeil artist himself. I first became aware of is work in 1999 during a solo show held in Saint John. This was a few years before they took over Handworks Gallery. His art had an immediate impact on my own work. I seems a bit surreal still that I am showing my work in their galleries today. I am so lucky and grateful for this opportunity. To gallery employees, Joanna, Jeneca, Ray, and another young lady I met tonight which I cannot recall her name (I'm sorry), thank you for all your help.

To Dr. Jeff Sheppard, and the Chiropractic Centre of Saint John and Rothesay, who sponsored the exhibition. A chiropractor is a runner's best friend. Thank you so much for your support, and tonight he was also an painter's best friend.
To everybody who came tonight to help me celebrate. To all the patrons who purchased the art, you have made this evening a great success. I hope that my paintings will add a little ray of light in your homes. To Ron for your phone call during the reception to cheer me on. To everybody who e-mailed me to wish me well. To all those who will come see the show in the next two weeks, your encouragement and supports means everything.To all my fellow blog painters who have encourage me since I started to post my art. And to all those I may have forgotten, this would not have been possible without you.
This show is dedicated to my parents who would have been thrilled. My father often carried a small photo album of my paintings with him. He had great artistic abilities himself. My mother was the most endearing person I have even met. I was lucky to have them as parents. I am certain that tonight you were enjoying yourself on cloud no. 10. I miss you both.
Raymond (1924-2003) & Emma (1932-2006).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Marbles in mason jar lid, a tribute to Louis K. Meisel

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6x6"
Painted on September 30 - October 4, 2007, #136

The glass lid is from the same mason jar featured in Shooter Marble in the Light. And these marbles are the same that are depicted in previous postings for this show. Because of their transparent quality, they have acquired a make-over through the image on the book that is entitled Photorealism by Louis K. Meisel. Mr. Meisel is a New York City art dealer and the owner of two commercial art galleries depicting this form of art. He coined the term Photorealism, and has played a major role in the development of this art movement.

He has published three mega volumes on a select group of pioneer and emerging photorealist artists. I've been fortunate enough to visit the Louis K. Meisel Gallery twice, in 1994 and 2002. In November of 1994, he hosted a show of the late Charles Bell who painted dazzling marbles on large format canvases. In 2002, the show coincided with the release of the book Photorealism at the Millennium, co-written by Linda Chase.

The only photorealistic paintings depicted by the artists in these books that I recall seeing outside his gallery and the OK Harris Gallery also in New York City, were Kent by Chuck Close at the Art Gallery of Ontario and an Untitled piece depicting Volkswagen Beetles by Don Eddy at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield Mass. Both left a profound lasting WOW effect on me. Marble in a mason jar lid is my way to thank Mr. Meisel for publishing these books and in the process giving me the opportunity to explore this form of art which I tend to gravitate towards.

This is my final posting for my solo show that starts tomorrow. Today's two postings were completed 90 minutes before I had to drive to Saint John, NB to bring the paintings to the gallery.


Dynamite Pansy

Acrylic polymer emlsionon gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted September 30 - October 4, 2007, #135

While I was in my studio painting away on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early June, Suzanne came home from the nursery with a large variety of flowers to be transplanted in the flower garden and in a variety of planters. Here the foliage is in direct sunlight, producing all the possible hues of greens. I found that when I painting the bloom of this pansy, as in many flowers....they evoke a certain sensuality.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 18"
Painted October 26-Nov. 2, 2005, #93

In the spirit of fall, I have decided to add a painting that dates back to two years. During the fall of 2004, we took a family getaway weekend to Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay & Lunenburg, NS. These pumpkins were in a large wooden container outside a country store in Mahone Bay. Apart from the diffuse light on the pumpkins, a little point of interest for me was the rusty nail where a part of a wood plank is missing. One cannot help but associate pumpkins to Jack-o-lanterns and of my favorites.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Déjeuner sur l'herbe

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 23-30, 2007, #134

This jelly is made in England by Wilken & Sons Ltd. It states on the jar that it is by appointment to her majesty the Queen Jam and Marmalade manufacturers. The whole time I was painting it, all I could think of was the green lawn and flower garden in the background and watching "Breakfast at Wimbledon" on the telly. The plate is my beloved Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plate that I purchased during a boxing day sale at Winners in 2002. This is the fourth time it appears in a painting. I was not worried about the glass nor the stainless, but in order for this painting to work I needed to get the jelly on the teaspoon right. To be able to paint a blob that was semi-opaque, yet transparent, that reflected light from several directions and in different colors. I am happy with the result. For the title, I opted to go across the pond in France and borrow the title from paintings done by both Claude Monet and Edouard Manet. Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, which would translate to "The breakfast on the grass".

Monday, October 1, 2007

Behind no. 8

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 23-30, 2007, #133.

Cropping the subject matter really tight while playing with scale, I was able to create a painting that seems to have the same impact as the four-times larger "Child's Play". The shooter marbles are exaclty the same size in both paintings. The fact that the crayon box is being reflected on the right side of the little glass sphere, weighted heavily on my decision during the imagery selection.

I used digital photography in a painting for the first time in 2005. This spring, I purchased a new digital camera, an Olympus E-500 EVOLT 8.0 megapixel SLR. To be able to take a few photographs and see the images within minutes, compared to the whole hassle of film, where you needed to take a whole roll of 24 exposure, pay to have it process only to find out that they weren't good enough, is a gift unto itself. It has already played a large role in my art. I was still using film more than 50% of the time prior to getting the SLR camera.