Art Collecting

I am always up for looking at art. I love going to galleries, museums, shows and art fairs just to see what is new, get ideas, & marvel at the talent out there. Lately with the Covid quarantine, I started following a few artists on Instagram, enjoying Isolation Art School in particular. Although I love art, I don’t have an art collection really. My home is filled with my own art mostly, I have a few favorite paintings that I can’t seem to part with, a few older paintings for posterity to remind myself of my progression but haven’t really collected anything, until now.

Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City helps make art collecting easy with his podcast series Collect Wisely
Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC

I started listening to this amazing pod cast called Collect Wisely by Sean Kelly. His gallery is on the corner of 36th Street and 10th Avenue, just down the block from our apartment. Apparently it has been there for decades, but had not been one I frequented in Chelsea. Anyway, you can click this link to hear the first episode with collector J. Tomilson Hill. I have been making my way through the episodes and am fascinated that most collectors start when they are young with simple, affordable pieces. Although my youth is but a faded memory, I decided to start my collection just the same.

Logan Hicks is an artist I follow on IG. He does murals, paintings and photography that I always find beautiful. I also love the history and stories he recounts in his posts about the places that inspire him. Recently, he has been roaming the streets of New York City at night and taking some amazing photographs. I love New York and it was so hard to choose but I managed to pick two, one of the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the second of Coney Island, both taken at night. So these are the first pieces in my collection. Click the links and tell me what you think. They are limited edition photos. He has a marvelous shop, Work Horse Visuals, which I hope to replicate one day when I get my act together. Ha!

Shelter from the Storm

Through the Storm, oil on brushed aluminum panel, 51 x 63 $10,500

The series of events of late are surreal for me and there are a lot of heartfelt emotions to comprehend, process and absorb. When titling this painting, I wanted to capture the essence of the storm and relate it to my own feelings of unrest, vulnerability and injustice. Dylan has always been a favorite of mine and this song plays in my head as I think about all that is happening now.

Shelter from the Storm

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured
I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word
In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Now there’s a wall between us, somethin’ there’s been lost
I took too much for granted, I got my signals crossed
Just to think that it all began on an uneventful morn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I’ve heard newborn babies wailin’ like a mournin’ dove
And old men with broken teeth stranded without love
Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation and she gave me a lethal dose
I offered up my innocence I got repaid with scorn
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
Come in, she said
I’ll give ya shelter from the storm”

Song and lyrics by Bob Dylan

Street Art-Inspiration!

I am generally a very open person.  My family is always amazed at the intimate details complete strangers share with me about their lives. Some amazing opportunities have come my way just by happenstance, or fate as you will, from being open.

One summer afternoon in 2014, shortly after I had moved back to NYC, I found myself on an LIRR platform, trying to figure out which platform was for trains going into NYC and which were going out to the end of Long Island.  There was no one around to ask, the ticket window was closed.  An unusual looking man, dressed in cargo shorts, a tee shirt and a ball cap that said, “JERK” across the front walked onto the platform, (I later discovered the street artist, “Incarcerated Jerkface” hence the cap). He had a twinkle in his eye, a waxed handlebar mustache, tattoos everywhere and was carrying some canvas bags.   I decided to ask him if I was in the right place. He answered in an Irish brogue that indeed I was on the platform heading to NYC.  We started talking and he told me that he was heading to Bushwick, Brooklyn to work on a mural for The Bushwick Collective, and showed me all the cans of spray paint in his bags. Solus was my personal introduction to Street Art.  His visual social commentary is concise and on target and his playful sense of humor draws you into his world and makes you want to see what else he has to say. That chance meeting opened my eyes to all the street art around me and I was hooked.

Lauren's Rose, 38" x 48",Acrylic on recycled, distressed board, $6400,
Lauren’s Rose, 38″ x 48″,Acrylic on recycled, distressed board, $6000,

I wanted to work with spray paint and on a larger scale. The street is a gritty place so I  used that influence by spray painting on old construction board, then using markers and oil crayons for more definition. I worked in the stairwell in my building which was being renovated so there was lots of construction there at the time. Certainly not ideal but super exciting. I was kicked out of the stairwell by the construction dude and that was the end of spray painting until I moved to the Bay area near San Francisco. I converted the garage of that place into my outdoor studio. I started small and found I liked thinking about the directional light that I could create within each piece. More fun.On

 

Once I got the feel of it, I wanted to work bigger so found some steel at Home Depot and did a series of large flowers, experimenting with different techniques. I like layering the colors in a veil, masking the edges and experimenting with different nozzles to get different effects.

Big Red, acrylic on steel, 39" x 51", $6000
Big Red, acrylic on steel, 39″ x 51″, $6000

Finished and framed it brightens up an otherwise white apartment in my beloved NYC.

Big Red, $6000, Tidal Pools, $1700 in a NYC apartment.
Big Red, $6000, Tidal Pools, $1700 in a NYC apartment.

Summer Storm/Summer Storm Shadow $900 each, &Big Red, $7300, in a NYC apartment.
Summer Storm/Summer Storm Shadow $900 each, &Big Red, $6000, in a NYC apartment.

spectrum-art-show-1216-big-red

Big Red was juried into the Artbox Project’s gallery at Art Basel Miami. My friend went to check out my art and make sure everything was looking good for me. I was digitally represented in this show which is wonderfully vibrant on the screen.

Pink, vertical floral hangs in the bedroom.
Delphinium, in a room.

"Delphinium", 40"x 52", acrylic spray paint on steel, $7300
“Delphinium”, acrylic spray paint on steel, 51″x 39″, $6000

Delphinium, (above), can be hung vertically or horizontally.  A lot of time when I am working on a composition, I flip the panel around to make sure it is balance, especially in more abstract works. Carmen, (below), has layers of color to create luminosity and vibrance.

Large, red, heirloom rose, opening towards the sun. Painted with acrylic spray paints by Cynthia McLoughlin
Carmen, acrylic on steel, 39″ x 51″,$6000

Cynthia McLoughlin, artist along side of the digital image of her painting, Carmen, at the Stricoff Gallery in Chelsey, NYC in 2018.
Carmen and me at the Stricoff Gallery during Armory Show Week in 2018.

Violet Iris was sold to a collector who loves everything Iris.

Giant purple Iris with yellow background, spray painted by artist Cynthia McLoughlin
Violet Iris in the Miami Spectrum Art Show, 2016.

 

Photo of the Artbox Project's booth at the Spectrum Miami show in Florida, 2016. Violet Iris by artist,Cynthia McLoughlin is highlighted.
Violet Iris, acrylic spray paint on steel, 39″ x 51″, Sold

I really liked the vibrant brights but wanted something a bit softer in dessert colors to sell in the high desert of Park City, Utah. I made Metamorphosis and Spiraling Fauna as companion pieces. The former is a large orchid like flower and the latter a compilation of smaller shapes weaving through one another.

So now what? Well, since the weather has finally warmed up, I am back in my well ventilated semi-outdoor studio thinking about what to do next.  I used an underpainting that was spray painted for my most recent piece, “Pestilence” and am working on a few more sub-paintings for a few more city scapes.  I follow artist Douglas Schneider in social media as I really enjoy his perspective and works.  He is a master at abstracting parts of his paintings while still having nostalgic, figurative elements as well.

The ghostly siren Pestilence walks on to the island of Manhattan, surrounded by sky scrapers as she brings her spidery virus floating around her and seeping into the ground and buildings.
Pestilence arrives in NYC