Louise with Vibes
2022. Acrylic and collage on canvas. 14 x 18 in.
The Wonder Valley Friends show is now hung and waiting to open on Thursday at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, with reception on Saturday from 5-7. There were five of us there but the process went smoothly; too many cooks did not spoil the broth, I’m happy to say. The task was to integrate work from six different artists in one not overly large gallery, and we ended up mixing everything in together rather than creating sections for each artist. The room is idiosyncratic, as it is the old adobe section of the historic gallery and has a fireplace and several niche-like alcoves that must be worked around. But using group “spontaneous insight”, as organizer Joe Chaplain likes to put it, it all came together quite nicely.
It’s always a particularly arresting moment when your work comes out of the studio and is hung out in public for the first time. The new context can cause its lifeforce to suddenly expand or even contract. And I felt these small, brightly colored pieces gained dimension next to large abstracts by Adrian Field and Olive Toscani, gleaming photographs on metal by Perry Hoffman, a whimsical armchair by Doug Smith, and deeply subtle photographs by Joe Chaplain. Joe also created a bottle tree sculpture, a sophisticated and artful version of a typical desert yard decoration. The bottles were beautifully colored, and he decoupaged each with a “label” that was a modified photo of the various “friends” participating in the show.
Louise with Vibes is the largest of these collages that I’ve done so far. The base color is a transparent iron oxide yellow. I was not expecting to bring in primaries with the earth tones and neutrals, but that’s what the painting wanted. So that’s what it got. It’s one of seven collages that will be in the show.