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Santa Monica Mountains 14 x 21 watercolor on paper Honored to be selected for this exhibit. National Watercolor Society:  Southern...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Curator Portfolio Review Notes

One of the regional art museums here in the Bay Area has a Curator who regularly conducts portfolio reviews for artists seeking exhibtions. I was scheduled for the fall, but for various reasons had to reschedule to this month. I am not at my best in the winter, having not much recent plein air painting to show. I usually have much more energy and excitement for the new stuff.

It didn't matter that my presentation was not very articulate. My listening skills were working overtime. I was actually there to learn, it was like a very gentle 45 minute graduate school critique. Here are the main thoughts I came away mulling over.

The work is generally strong with good design. I need to think about freshness vs overworking it. The movement I feel looking at the hills comes across, as does the tactile quality of velvet. I do vertical landscapes well and the ornateness of my hills works well with the atmospheric perspective where my horizons receed and the skies are simple. I may be getting too much dark in my work and not enough luminosity.

I am thinking about what the curator said about my concepts having potential as being good for LARGE field paintings where the viewer can surround themselves in my world. (4 feet by 6 feet) There are lots of challenges in painting something at that scale, but it's something to keep in mind. I like working in half sheets outside, and can do full sheets when the weather is good. I think I would need to do them in the studio from smaller paintings. My current works remind me of looking through windows. I wonder about a vertical format that is large enough to evoke a doorway.

Finally, in our conversation we discussed my use of high horizons. I think it would make a good title for my next exhibit "The High Horizon, paintings of the California Hills" has a nice ring.

Update: George Rivera, the Senior Curator of the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara was kind enough to give me permission to identify him as the professional who reviewed my work. He had given one of my paintings an award at a CWA landscape exhibit, which is how I found out about the monthly reviews and the courage to go. I need to do more of this.
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