How We Know the World Is Round

My father had a friend who was heard to say that the way he knew the world is round was that every so-and-so who ever left Kentucky came back. And I’m about to prove that theory by returning to Louisville next month for an exhibition at Moremen Gallery.

I’ve written before about my fascination with low watery places. Bogs, bottomlands, and marshes are magical. I come by that fascination honestly through my Strode ancestors, Strode being a name that signifies a low watery place. So when I’ve returned to Kentucky in the past, I’ve explored the mysteries of bottomlands. This one in Shelby County, Kentucky, with its rusting cattle gate, shows evidence of recent historical use. The reflections, the colors of the earth along the creek margins, the overhang of the trees, each is also a record of seasonal changes.

Shelby County Bottomland, Oil on Linen, 22 x 36 Inches

Shelby County Bottomland, Oil on Linen, 22 x 36 Inches

Bottomlands, often flooded in the Spring, are naturally fertile grounds. The bottomland on my grandfather’s tobacco farm in Mason County, Kentucky, on the Ohio River, was such a place. This painting is of Strode’s Run, the small creek that flows through the farm on its way to the Licking River and then the muddy Ohio.

Bottomland, Oil on Linen, 16 x 20 Inches

Bottomland, Oil on Linen, 16 x 20 Inches

Pulling back for a longer view of the family farm, I remember my mother's nostalgia for the Ohio River. After she married and moved to Lexington, she continued to describe herself affectionately as a” river rat.” And so I am honored to have been invited to exhibit my work as part of AFLOAT: An Ohio River Way of Life.  a city-wide celebration of life along the Ohio. The exhibition, Landscapes, Vessels and Jars, takes place from June 7 - July 6, at Moremen Gallery in Louisville.

Farm, Oil on Linen, 20 x 48 Inches

Farm, Oil on Linen, 20 x 48 Inches

"Science as Art in Artists' Books" : Exhibition at Yale

I’m delighted that my book, Is There Something We Can Do, is included in the exhibition at Yale’s Haas Family Arts Library. Many thanks to Molly E. Dotson, the exhibition’s curator, who has chosen one of the images from the book to represent the show, and writes “These works from Arts Library Special Collections are scientific in subject, method, aesthetic, or some combination thereof. They range from atomic to planetary in scope and from data-driven to much more abstract meditations.”

In my book of drawings paired with my own notations and Buddhist texts, I documented the weather conditions as seen from my studio, as well as the materials I used to make thirty-one drawings, one for each day of December, 2013.

Drawing for Day Six, Watercolor and Ink over Erased Charcoal, 6 x 8 Inches, 2013.

Drawing for Day Six, Watercolor and Ink over Erased Charcoal, 6 x 8 Inches, 2013.

The accompanying text for Day Six reads “Erase a drawing and redraw the stones with blue ink using a steel nib pen. The weather is cloudy. We are what we think.”

Exhibition dates, February 1-May 10, 2019

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Upcoming:

Man-Made: A State of Nature, Greenhut Galleries, Portland, Maine, February 7 - March 2, 2019

Twenty-three artists and the Anthropocene. I’ll install a selection of the Walking in Time Geologics paintings, about which I wrote: The hidden geology beneath our feet is a reminder that what lies on the surface evolved without our intervention and will continue to evolve when we are gone.

 

 

Walking in Time, detail, oil on canvas

Walking in Time, detail, oil on canvas

Is There Something We Can Do at Steel House Projects, Rockland, Maine

What would an exhibition be without an expert photographer to document it? It was delightful to work with Dave Clough during my recent exhibition at Steel House. Dave beautifully captured the architecture of the gallery and of the book itself as displayed in the round on a pedestal. He also caught the original digital version that ran onscreen, the wonderful display case inside which Richard Reitz Smith documented his materials and timeline for the book’s production, and some of my earlier paintings that provided context for the book. Thanks also to Alexis Iammarino and Maeve O’Regan, co-curators, for their invitation to present the story behind my book, Is There Something We Can Do..

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Newsletter: Throwing Paint

My statement about the collaborative drawings that Susan Bogle Finnegan and I did in Louisville in 1993, and more about Side by Side, the exhibition of our work that she's curated for the Washington Art Association in Connecticut. We used charcoal, acrylic, brushes, and our hands to paint with, but the most fun was had with a broom. Photo credit: Richard Bram.

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Book Exhibitions

My recent artist's book, Is There Something We Can Do, is part of the exhibition On a Different Wavelength: A Celebration of Color in Books, at the Bowdoin College Library Special Collections and Archives Department. While there, I'm in the company of Isaac Newton and Vladimir Nabokov. The book is also in the collections of the Margaret I. King Library at the University of Kentucky, and the Robert B. Haas Arts Library at Yale University.

An earlier book, A Butterfly Careless, will be exhibited in The Printed Page III, as part of Moprint in Denver, through April 2018. I'm indebted to Alicia Baily at Abecedarian Books for this opportunity.

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