LONG ISLAND SUNSETS
Southampton, NY 2021
Living and working in the dual-peninsulas of The Great State of Michigan, surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, with more inland lakes than a neighboring state that boasts “10,000 Lakes” on their license plates, I tend to take living near water for granted. I’m never more that an hour’s drive from our bountiful, salt and shark-free sandy coast. But, there is one thing I never take for granted. I always appreciate Sunsets.
I’m a new artist. They call it ‘emerging’ in the art world. Emergence is more like daybreak, but the sun cannot rise without first disappearing below the horizon. Since setting out to make art in 2017, I’ve had wonderful success working as a regional artist. I’ve loved every minute of it. For five years, I have been waiting for the product to catch up the impetus for creating it. I’ve been working toward communicating visually what I feel, inherently…and patiently waiting for someone to notice.
When Love’s Gallery offered me the opportunity to come to Southampton and show my work, I was over the moon, but I was thinking of the sun. I was thinking: “What do New Yorkers and Michiganders have in common? What could I show you that would pique your interest? What are the objective truths that connect us?” Just where, exactly, is the LOVE? I decided on sunset, both physical and philosophical. Sunset is merely a visual perspective. However, the admiring the magic of sunset provides a person with the personal perception that we refer to as “perspective”.
I’ve never felt more happy or relieved than looking west at dusk. The satisfaction of the setting sun is like an exclamation point drawn at the end of a perfect day. The pink and orange glow seems to radiate the loving warmth you feel for the one with whom you are watching. Monuments in time are important to meaningful living. Endings are a valuable monument because they simultaneously review the day passed and point toward the future. This is the closing door opening doors…the moment…the satisfaction of simply being…serenity…hope. JOY.
Conversely, have you ever had the worst shit day of all shit days and allowed yourself the time to take in the sunset falling? As the day recedes your worries burn away like dying embers of life’s cauldron. Every day the world turns over. The sun rises again. For some reason, the majesty of the setting sun makes your problems seem smaller and less important. And hopefully, they actually are. Relief.
As I write this, the completed Long Island Sunsets sits idly in my tiny studio in a small town called DeWitt, Michigan. The Series is waiting to be wrapped and packed for its journey. This moment is a sunset in itself. It is the moment between the completion of the preparation for an adventure and embarkation upon said adventure, itself. It is a beautiful pause: one moment of perspective, a pound of gratitude and a ton of hope.
The sun will rise tomorrow in Southampton, NY. I’ll be there for the sunset.
Top of the world, Ma!
50 Hill Street
Her Name is Serafina
Calming the Eyes, Warming the Touch
Natural Neon Skies over Long Island Sound
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
an anti-bio bio:
an attempt to explain the unexplainable; breaking my own well-founded instinct to keep my mouth shut to attain better results. I think I learned about this in a Dale Carnegie Book.
A word or several about process…
I never do this. I go out of my way to avoid discussing artistic process. I don’t usually discuss tools or vision or anything vaguely intellectual about the glorious avocation of creating art. My reasoning is three-fold. In my opinion, my reasoning is solid. I’m going to tell you why I keep from blathering about myself and my art, and then, I’m going to blather…
I am turned off listening to people over-intellectualize artwork. To me, it sounds like a word-soup full of buzzwords and art terms that never line up with the picture I am looking at. To my ear, this talk sounds like a lawyer writing a contract about art by using a thesaurus and an abacus after drinking too much white wine and discussing his feelings. Most times, these words dilute the work as they try to make it more shiny.
The second reason I don’t intellectualize is that I’m trying to reach you in a place where your brain is of no assistance; and nor is mine able to help. I’m trying to tell you something that I cannot vocalize, let alone actively identify in myself as a known quantity. I’m trying to shake hands with that part of you that is undefineable, unconcious and immaterial. Hell, I’ll just say it: I’m trying to love you with the desperate hope that it is the right thing to do AND that you will somehow recognize yourself in my love and, fingers crossed, love me back.
Finally, I don’t intellectualize because the endeavor is better suited to an objective party. I create artwork and make a decision: Put it on a wall or throw it in the garbage. That’s it! My job is done. If my work has some intellectual value or some unique viewpoint that touches people in a way different from the above stated, I believe it others’ prerogative to identify such a trait. And, if they do find some further meaning and can explain it to others, I am usually pleased. To add this flavor to my artwork, myself, is an unattainable pursuit because we rarely have a honest perspective about our lives. Our actions and thoughts are painted with bias, self-importance and self-flagellation, concurrently. Basically, anything I could say would be less than true, or worse, exagerated. It would be foolhardy to think that I could accurately do so, and presumptuous to think I should try. So I don’t try. I only do.
What am I thinking when I work?. “Why” I do anything is more important than what I actually produce. This is the fulcrum of every passion. I make art to love people in a manner that evades human hypocrisy and common cultural caricature. This my message: I love you. I made this art for you. I was once trapped in the rules that society lays out, but I am no longer trapped. I am free. I am often happy. I am sometimes fulfilled. I am looking for truth and the artwork you are observing because it is the truest part of my soul that I can express to you. I hope you like it, but if you don’t, I hope you love me for trying.
And to make these paintings for you, I’ll use just about anything. Quick-patch Concrete, Epoxy, housepaint, acrylic paints, baby oil, WD-40, cardboard, old newspapers, canvas, mdf, etc. I will avoid the directions on the packaging, I’ll turn my music up as loud as my neighborhood will allow, and I will work until something screams: “I love you”. If it hollers…it will go on a wall and I will begin anew.