Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sense of Place


Enamel on gessoed paper, 63" x 72"
Click image to enlarge
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I've been busy remodeling a three car garage with eleven foot ceilings into a studio. There's still work to do, but it is turning into a space I really enjoy. I built a floor to ceiling plywood painting wall on one end and installed track lighting to wash the wall evenly. Just last week new aluminum and frosted glass garage doors were installed, letting in filtered natural light that really transforms the space:









The works in progress on the studio wall are on large sheets of heavy, gesso-primed paper. I'm calling the one on the right complete. It takes its place in the succession of stone paintings that have been in progress for several years. You can see other works in the series and read about their motivations here and here.

14 comments:

Libby Fife said...

Talk about a sense of place and space! I envy you your garage:)

Glad to see that you are back to posting after the move. I follow along but don't comment much.

I went back to read the two posts you recommended plus one other post about the genesis of your idea. You called the pieces portraits which made total sense to me. The term seems to invest those objects with a kind of living presence. I see trees and other types of foliage in the same way. Why not rocks as well?

The second thing was your back and forth on the two styles. I am late to this discussion but I have the same impulses. People that I have sold work to and who are getting to know my art expect one thing and that makes it hard to get all of my ideas out. I don't have an answer other than it looks like there is a dichotomy when really there isn't one. It's all part and parcel of being creative.

Marilyn Flanegan said...

Awesome space Don!
What a presence your paintings have, especially in this larger size. I believe flexing and broadening your creative self can't help but yield inspired works - as you have so insightfully documented. They do have an essence all their own, congratulations!

Don Gray said...

Hi Libby--thanks for your thoughtful note. Yes, that living presence in all things is what I sense and strive for with these works.

I love what you said about style: "...it looks like there is a dichotomy when really there isn't one." If we define style as being only a certain "look" or surface appearance, then we're selling the artist and the often unruly creative process short. One must look deeper than the surface to find continuity in an artist's work.

Don Gray said...

Hi Marilyn--thanks for those marvelous comments--so heartening to me!

Anonymous said...

The studio looks great--I feel a sense of excitement for your new space. How convenient to have it right there at home.
Anne Thrower

shirley fachilla said...

Beautiful new studio!
I really like seeing your work in situ. I get a much greater sense of the feel of these pieces. I think one of the other commentators used the word "commanding." Absolutely the right word to describe the piece.

Don Gray said...

How are you, Anne? Always glad to hear from you.

Don Gray said...

That's so appreciated, Shirley. I too enjoy seeing photos of artwork in an environment. It helps me gain a better sense of scale and presence.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Looks like you are building an inspiring place there Don. It was so heartening too to get yours and Libby's comments on "dichotomies of style" but with an underlying truth about the artist concerned. If it's coming off the end of a brush we are holding then it's "true" isn't it. Fantastic, deep hewn rocks, so Don Gray.

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. Your studio is really comming along nicely. I am sure this will help inspire your creativity.

Don Gray said...

Thanks for commenting, Sheila. I know we've touched on these issues of style before. I absolutely agree with what you're saying.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Lady Lilith. Yes, I'm finding my new space very inspiring.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Looks great, Don. Love the light. AND the large stone series and your trees are beautiful.... Wonderful to watch the unfolding!

Don Gray said...

Hi Suzanne--great to hear from you and thanks so much!