After the sad decision made by officials in Washington D.C. to sell the United States national parks I am pouring love into every brushstoke. All the paintings I make for my upcoming show in Sedona will be pure love. Gobs of love from my palette to the canvas.
I hope this view will not be spoiled by greed. Condominiums or a hotel.
I will miss this painting when it goes to a happy client’s home. The illusion of distance is a window in my Parisian living room. It is my favorite so far for the Southwest series.
It leaves next week to go to Carré d’artistes Sedona gallery. I’ll be there June 17th and will do a live painting demonstration. All the way from Paris, France.
2016 was an excellent year for me. Despite the craziness on the planet I painted circa 350 paintings. Read and listened to 83 audio books. Sculpted and decorated my manga eyes. And painted those four mannequins that pinched a nerve in my back.
In April I had a show with Carré d’artistes in their Saint Germain gallery with excellent sales. Then in November my paintings were at the Luxembourg Art Fair.
In August I began painting landscapes of the American Southwest. These paintings sell faster than I can make them.
For some time I’d wanted to liberate my technique, to go abstract. Painting the red rock formations and big skies , was the ticket.
It’s true that to master your craft you need to produce a massive quantity of work and to stay concentrated.
The result is this final painting for 2016. Up close the details are abstract, the use of the palette knife apparent. Step back and it blends beautifully. It looks hyper-real.
Counting your blessings is good but sometimes it’s a good idea to look at your accomplishments.
This painting is one of my all time favorites. I first showed it in 2012 at the Grand Marché d’art Contemporain at the Bastille. It went to a gallery in Honfleur and sold quickly.
I painted 66 large format oils of NYC. One I took to BHV, the chic department store on rue de Rivoli. Searching for the framing department I walked around with it under my arm. Some lady asked me, “C’est où qu’on trouve les affiches comment-ça?” Where can you find posters like that?
“I don’t know? I painted this.”
At the time I was painting in a fabulous atelier in Ivry-sur-Seine at La Fabrique des artistes. No heating, no hot water. Industrial, totally bohemian. I had a boiler to make tea and a microwave that I never hooked up. The boiler was good because that way I could wash my paint brushes without freezing my hands.
Sunset on the Seine 36x36cm, oil on canvas private collection, USA
Papy, Mamie et Moi private collection, USA
This has been a good year. Here are some numbers.
From January to July I painted 168 paintings and sold 153.
I painted 4 mannequins. One sold.
Since August 15th I’ve painted another 102 small paintings. In November I’ll know how many of those have sold.
In August I began painting for Carré d’artistes Sedona gallery. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint desert landscapes. It didn’t seem to fit with the last nine years of urban landscapes. But painting the South West has been liberating, I am thrilled.
My technique has changed. Producing a massive amount of work, painting new scenes and the two months that I did not paint (from June to August when I painted the mannequins) are what boosted my technique.
If you haven’t seen my 15 second video tutorials yet, check out my instagram feed. See the links up on the right.
I began painting these on 8 August. Seeing them like this makes me feel as though it was not much work. It would be hard to calculate the number of individual brushstrokes. In October they will be available at the Carre d’artistes gallery in Sedona.
This is one of my favorites. That’s a road not a river.
This one was a bit of a puzzle. Tiny brushstrokes to create distance. Tiny brushstrokes everywhere.
Here are some of the larger sizes. Two of these are homages to other painters.
Because of the limited palette this little one is my favorite out of the forty.
Some of the smaller ones.
The audio books I listened to while painting are:
The Birth of Classical Europe by Simon Price read by Don Hagan
The Brexit results got me questioning the origins of Europe. The massacre in Nice on Bastille day (the equivalent of the USA 4th of July) made me wonder why the Islamic state wants to dominate the planet. I needed to know more about how and when cults came across the continent. Simon Price’s tome raises many questions about how history is studied. I liked that he presents theories and explains why they may contradict eachother. He explains contexts of events and how history was interpreted by our ancestors. Noteworthy to my question is the Assyrian empire — 2300 years before the birth of Christ and 2700 years before Mohammed supposedly lived. It was interesting to me to know that for nearly 5000 years there has been war around the Mediterrenean.
Ancient Egypt by Anthony Holmes read by Jonathan Keebe
A micro dose of basic history read in one hour
The Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
Moore is one of my favorite authors. I needed some tragic comedy.
Napolean in a Nutshell by Neil Wenborn
Another mini history. No doubt Nap was one kickass dude. More warring in the Mediterranean, Europe and the middle East.
The Mental Floss History of the World by Steve Wiegand and Erik Sass read by my favorite voice artist Johnny Heller
Highly recommended. It’s irreverent and informative. It includes silly but very intersting facts like the invention of the condom, firecrackers and more. It’s definitely one of my all time favorite books. A quote quoted from Democlytes, “Good times lead to complacency and weekness.”
No doubt the last few generations of western cultures have lived good times. We are complacent and weak. It’s time to wake up and take responsibility for the humanitarian crisis we have allowed our leaders to create.