I am having a solo show of recent paintings from my Earth Measure Blues series at David Richard Contemporary in Santa Fe this spring. The exhibit will run from May 4 to June 9, 2012, with the opening on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 130 Lincoln Ave., suite D, in downtown Santa Fe (north of the Plaza).

David Richard Contemporary is a wonderful gallery specializing in Post-War American abstract art, including both historic and contemporary geometric, hard edged, Op, Pop, color field, minimal and gestural abstraction. The other artists to be featured at the gallery from May 4–June 9 are Wall Batterton and Michael Wright.

The gallery also has some big news: On May 15, they are opening a second gallery, called David Richard Gallery, in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District near SITE Santa Fe. There will be a reception for the inaugural exhibitions–a show of Robert Swain’s work and a group show titled “Seeing Red”–on May 25. The address is 544 South Guadalupe St. (formerly occupied by Gebert Contemporary).




Earth Measure Blues series (2010-12), oil on linen, either 36×24 in. or 45×30 in. For more about these paintings: Artist Statements.

One of my Earth Measure Blues paintings (number 12 in the series) has been accepted into an exhibit at the Albuquerque contemporary artspace 516 ARTS, with the opening from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2012. The exhibit will be on display through April 28, 2012.

The highly selective show, called “New Mexico Showcase,” was juried by guest juror Peter Frank, an acclaimed curator and art critic based in Los Angeles. Peter is currently Associate Editor of Fabrik magazine and art critic for The Huffington Post.

If you don’t know 516 ARTS, it is a great venue: an independent nonprofit which is a hybrid between a gallery and a museum, with a beautiful two-story space in downtown Albuquerque. Info: 516 Central Ave. SW (between 5th and 6th Streets); www.516arts.org; 505-242-1445.

A roomful of my new Earth Measure Blues paintings will be shown at the Fisher Press in Santa Fe in an exhibit opening on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, from 5 to 8 p.m. The show will be up until Nov. 5 and runs concurrently at the Press with the “Don Roach Memorial Show.”

The Fisher Press is at 307 Camino Alire, Santa Fe, between Agua Fria and West Alameda and next to the Desert Academy. Gallery info: www.thefisherpress.com, 505.984.9919, email: fisherpress@comcast.net

I am showing at New Concept Gallery in a group show that opens Friday, May 6, 2011. The gallery is at 610 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, and the reception is from 5-7 p.m. This will be a great chance to see more of my new Earth Measure Blues series of oil paintings, as well as the fine work of the other members of Catalyst Arts Santa Fe.

“Catalyst: Ten Artists’ Work” showcases the work of a diverse group of mid-career Santa Fe women artists. We meet twice a month and see ourselves as part of a long tradition of New Mexico artists coming together to exhibit their art. (The Taos Society of Artists, in the early 20th century, was only the first of a number of influential artist groups–including Los Cinco Pintores, the New Mexico Painters, the Transcendental Painting Group, and the Taos Moderns–which have given New Mexico its place in American art history.)

Our group includes painters, sculptors, digital artists, a book artist, and a photographer. The other members of Catalyst Arts Santa Fe are Carol Sky, Clare Lighton, Joyce Dant, Leah Siegel, Marna McKenzie, Nancy Udel, Pamela Frankel Fiedler, Rosa Silbert, and Susan Herdman. (More information about the group is available at www.CatalystSantaFe.com. The gallery’s website is www.NewConceptGallery.com.)

A diptych from the Earth Measure Blues series is being shown for the first time, at Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA), in “18 Days,” an exhibit of contemporary art by New Mexico women artists. The Gala Opening is Friday, February 11, 2011, from 5:30-8 p.m. Cosponsored by CCA and the New Mexico Committee for Women in the Arts, “18 Days” also features films, performances, readings and more. The show runs through March 20; check CCA’s website for hours and other information: www.ccasantafe.org

"Eldorado Blues" collages, 6 of 100 total, each collage: 6 x 4 in.

In the last several months, I have created 100 small collages, using reject inkjet prints that were the byproduct of making a new portfolio last winter. I am such a maniac about accurate color that I ended up with a stack six inches high of prints whose color wasn’t quite right. I didn’t want to throw them out–too much money in ink and photo paper–so I just tucked them away, figuring I’d use them somehow.

Then came a weekend when I had a cold, which was the perfect time to sit around and make collages out of those rejected prints. Creating the collages turned out to be like eating popcorn–so addictive that I didn’t stop until I had 100. The collages related closely to my earlier multipanel paintings (they are literally made out of parts of those recent series), but they definitely have their own presence. In fact, the collages look like they ought to be much bigger than 4 x 6 inches.

So I am now creating a series of larger oil paintings (36×24 or 45×30 inches) based on the collages. I am really enjoying working on stretched portrait linen on an easel, after almost five years of working flat on a drawing table, on panels or paper. I’m starting my sixth canvas in this series, which I see as a companion to the multipanel works. I don’t feel like I’m done exploring the terrain of almost-the-same-but-not-quite, though. Some of the new paintings seem to be crying out for near-identical siblings, which they will get eventually.

I’m tentatively calling the series “Eldorado Blues,”because I live in a community called Eldorado, near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and because the collages explore the color blue more intensively than any of my other work. (I was really fascinated by Matisse’s blues when we went to Chicago last May to see a big Matisse show at the Art Institute.) When the new work is dry enough to take to the photographer, I’ll post photos. In the meantime, the collage images above will give you an idea of the energy currently filling my studio.

Black Chord, my most recent multipanel work, consists of seven horizontal panels measuring 16×20 in. The three previous Modular Rhythms series used 14×11 in. vertical panels; it’s amazing how even such a small change of scale creates different painting problems. It was interesting to give the color black such a large role. (Like my hero Matisse, I have always used black as a color…) Click on the photo to see more images.

Last week I had the interesting experience of seeing myself in the rough cut of a video documentary called Invitation to the Muse, by producer/director Karen Cantor. Karen’s challenge was to find visual ways to explore inspiration and the artist’s process, and she did it very creatively. About 10 other Santa Fe artists, including writers and musicians, also participated.

The screening was at the Santa Fe Art Institute, where Karen has been an artist in residence for the last three months. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Karen has produced and directed two other documentaries that have been shown on PBS stations: the award-winning video The Danish Solution: The Rescue of the Jews in Denmark, narrated by Garrison Keillor, and Last Rights: Facing End-of-Life Choices. 

Part of my color pile, which I use in my work (and teaching), is shown in the video

Back in April, when Karen and her videographer Matt came to my studio, I was afraid that I would be awkward and self-conscious in front of the camera. But I really enjoyed the videotaping process.

But participating in Karen’s project made me articulate my process in ways I don’t usually do, and made me realize that my muse is really color–for me, there’s no such thing as an ugly color. (Color combinations can be ugly, but that’s different.) The completed documentary should be shown in Santa Fe this autumn, and I’ll post information on screenings.