Accessing the website, you can see a photo of one of the hundreds (probably thousands) of participating artists by zooming in to various sections of the whole photo-mosaic. Along with the artwork, you can read about the artist and their artwork, what motivated them to draw it, what it represents to them, and also about their own personal connection to Vancouver, Canada. All the artists' names are searchable, which takes you directly to their artwork's location within the photo-mosaic!
The photos in the online photo-mosaic will then be transformed into a physical printout creating a massive 6.5 foot by 72 foot long mosaic picture. As of early June 2018, there is still plenty of room for additional artists to participate. Once the project is completed, the organizer's goal is to exhibit the huge photo-mosaic print in art museums and galleries as well as publish books that feature many of the participating artists of this creative, collective art project. It's a very cool concept and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
For more information and to see The Big Picture yourself, visit: www.thebigpictureartproject.com.
Here's what I wrote regarding my drawing:
My original drawing, “Love Is All You Need” is graphite and lead on 9” x 9” paper. My artwork features hearts representing love, bold lines, and the illusion of mosaic tile as a visual language of fun, happiness and love. My artwork is about having fun and bringing a smile to people’s faces. I create an illusion of mosaic tile that provides cohesion to my body of work and serves to provide balance, repetition, movement, and other elements of strong artistic design. My drawing highlights the theme of Love for one another, for the arts community, and for humanity itself. I chose to participate in the Big Picture Art Project because of the unique parallels and close connection between the illusion of mosaic tile in my artwork and the beautiful photo-mosaic look of the completed picture. The mosaic in my drawing is reminiscent of an urban city map and speaks to my hope for the world to have more love and understanding for each and every unique person who makes up our diverse society.
My connection to Vancouver: I visited Vancouver in August 2015 and had a great time in Gastown, walking the Sea Walk, taking photos near the beautifully designed Olympic Cauldron, and exploring the beauty of the area walking over the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I love how the photo in the Big Picture Art Project features the natural beauty of that area. I hope to visit Vancouver again in the future!
This past weekend, I was a visiting artist exhibiting my artwork at Gorse Mill Open Studios. Gorse Mill Studios is located in a historic old mill building in Needham, MA, a suburb of Boston. The building houses dozens of artists who create all types of artwork; from paintings to pottery, stained glass to mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, photography, illustration, encaustic, glass, performing arts, graphic design, and more! Gorse Mill Studios hosts openings, gallery shows, and art education programs throughout the year. It was wonderful to be a part of their event.
I decided to post this blog article because one of my favorite paintings found a new home! The painting, shown here, "Woof Woof! Gotta Get My Bone" was sold and is now bringing smiles to a new family! The painting is acrylic paint on canvas and is 10" x 20". I love this painting because of it's unusual size, the movement portrayed by the vertical lines of varying width, and how I incorporated mini-dog bones within the mosaic illusion part of the painting. It always makes me laugh!
Before being sold, this painting was exhibited at the Wellesley Community Center for the Wellesley Society of Artists Fall Show from September 2016-April 2017. This is the painting that I used for the cover of my new 2018 Calendar that features the birthdays of dozens of famous artists. I also created a coffee mug of this painting too! I'm thrilled that this painting sold to someone who shared with me how much he loved it and I know he and his family will enjoy it for many years to come!
What I loved about painting the Marathon-Themed Box in Natick was that painting it on-site allowed me to interact with people walking by, take photos together, and share my artistic process with them.
As I began to think about the project, I created several sketches that included a lot of ideas related to the town of Natick, the Boston Marathon, as well as how best to integrate my artistic style to create something visually appealing. I wanted to make it uniquely “Natick” by incorporating things like the Gazebo, the church, Natick’s zip code, etc. I like to include the American flag because Natick, I feel, is really an all-American type of town. Diverse, patriotic, down-to-earth, democratic, and inclusive.
And as I began to think about the Marathon component, I wanted to include visuals like the beautiful Boston Marathon Medal, the Marathon Runner Number, the Trophy, and the amazing runners racing toward the finish line. I also wanted to demonstrate the inclusive nature of the Natick community and the marathon itself by including a competitor in a wheelchair. I also gave a lot of thought to how the colors of the Boston Marathon (Blue and Yellow) would integrate into my overall design. And while most people won't be able to see the top of the box, I’ve painted “Boston Strong” on the top of the box.
Many of my paintings all use a similar color palette of primary colors, white, black, and neutral greys.
All my work focuses on lines, shapes, vibrant colors, and the integration of an illusion of mosaic tile.
This illusion of mosaic tile provides cohesion to my body of work and serves to provide balance, repetition, movement, and other elements of strong artistic design and composition.
I often think about the mosaic element as confetti, to further my goal of conveying fun, exhilaration, and happiness; the mosaic patterns add life and positive energy into my work.
I’m excited about the actual process of creating public art and/or installing the artwork on location with observers and participants.
There were a few funny stories of things that happened while I was on-site painting. It was the first day on-site at the electrical box. One of the first things I needed to do was make sure the box was clean of dirt, bugs, cobwebs, etc. before I could start painting. So imagine people walking by seeing a guy on a stepstool washing by hand an electrical utility box!
As people walked by, I could tell people were a bit confused or thought I was out of my mind.
As you saw in the video, I began by painting a solid black color on the entire box, and then place lines of tape, to be uncovered later. When I started with the spray paint, painting it all black, again, some people were trying to figure out what was going on, if I was vandalizing the box, or why it was all black. Maybe they preferred it grey?
But as I continued with my painting, people began to stop, ask what I was doing, ask me what it was going to look like, etc. It was a great opportunity to share with people the great things the Natick Center Cultural District has done around town to enhance life for everyone in Natick.
I painted the box over 2 weeks, almost every day, so I got to see a few people on a number of occasions on their daily walk, and it was great to stop and chat with them and hear their reactions as they saw the progress over time.
In Boston, the box I painted is on Boylston Street, a very busy city street so most of my interactions were with pedestrians on their lunch break or people heading to a Red Sox game. But in Natick, I can’t tell you how many people honked their horns and smiled at me while I painted.
People even rolled down their windows and shouted things like “Great Job!, I love that! & That’s so cool!”
I’m so pleased that in all my interactions on site, people were really happy to see my artwork.
One woman said to me, “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in Natick. And that;s very cool.”
And it was great to see all the wonderful comments on all the Facebook and Instagram posts!
I love watching the first time a passerby sees my artwork on their evening jog, their walk home from work, or pushing a baby stroller on their way to Dunkin Donuts.
These are all inspiring reminders of the transformative impact a piece of public art can have on the overall look of physical space and the pleasure it gives people.
The Dedication on Sunday, October 22nd was a wonderful event. It was a beautiful, sunny and warm day. I'd like to thank everyone who came out to the Ribbon Cutting, especially my wife, kids, my in-laws, and cousins! It really meant to much to celebrate this special community event with family and friends. I've posted a video to YouTube, which you can watch here below of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank the Natick Center Cultural District and the Public Arts Committee for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful public art project.
I hope everyone in the area will join me to watch the Boston Marathon at the site of the electrical box on Patriots’ Day 2018.
Here are some photos from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:
Last month I visited Napa Valley and had the pleasure of visiting Yountville, St. Helena, and Napa. The region of Napa Valley is known for incredible wine, so it was no surprise that it had incredible art as well.
During my visit, I visited a few wineries and did a few wine-tastings all in two days. I learned that many of the vineyards in the area have art galleries associated with them. I'll write about the artistic things that I came across, however, my blog is by no means a comprehensive listing of all the artistic offerings of this incredible region in California.
I had an amazing time at Kelham Vineyards, where I was lucky to have an incredibly delicious, gourmet dinner. Kelham Vineyards also sells a number of prints by the French artist Gerard Purvis. The artsist is best known for creating original sculptures & prints made from wine bottle foils. To my knowledge, Gerard Purvis' work can only be found in the United States at Kelham Vineyards. For more information, please visit: KelhamVineyards.com and kelhamvineyards.com/Puvis.html.
The next day, the first stop was in St. Helena at the Alpha Omega Winery, which was one of my favorites: aowinery.com. At our next stop, I enjoyed a private luncheon in Yountville at Cliff Lede, which is where I came across some very cool art. For more information about Cliff Lede, please visit: cliffledevineyards.com. Outside of the private tasting room on a beautiful terrace were these two incredible sculptures. I only wish my photos were better to really capture these sculptures. I posted the photos here:
The private tasting room, called the White Room, named after the Beatles White album, also had some very cool art in it. The lunch for our private party was served directly in the Tank Room where we saw the innovative technology used in producing their delicious wine. Looking up toward the White Room, were some beautiful paintings, which I posted here below.
That evening, I dined in Napa and had the pleasure of strolling around the town and exploring a number of public art sculptures in town. Many of the sculptures were part of the Napa Art Walk. The Napa Art Walk is a bi-annual, rotating exhibition of juried sculpture created by artists from the Western United States. For more information, please visit: www.napaartwalk.org.
Based in Napa is the Art Association of Napa Valley, which is a private, nonprofit arts organization that enhances life for the Napa Valley by supporting arts and culture in the area. Their website includes an artist listing, newsletters and class and event listings. Located in Downtown Napa at 1307 First Street is an art gallery that features the work of members of the Art Association Napa Valley. For more information, please visit www.artnv.org.
The Yountville Art Walk was one of the highlights of my trip to Napa Valley. Known for the finest food and wine in the country, Yountville is also known for art. The Napa Valley Museum is located in Yountville. For more information, visit www.napavalleymuseum.org.
Beautiful sculptures lined the streets of Yountville. I learned that in 2010, Gordon Huether partnered with Yountville Arts to establish the Yountville Art Walk. More information about Gordon Huether can be found on his website, www.gordonhuether.com. The sculptures are for sale, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Yountville Arts Fund to support their arts-related activities, programs, and events. Based on my observation, the sculptures ranged in price from $6,000 to $60,000! Yountville was a terrific place to explore and experience some great public art. Below are some photos of just a few of the sculptures I had the pleasure of seeing during my time in Yountville.
For more information about Yountville Arts, please visit www.yountvillearts.com.
See this beautiful, bright yellow painted piano reminded me of the piano I painted as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston's Play Me I'm Yours StreetPianos Boston 2016 Public Art Installation. To learn more about the piano I painted, please click the link to visit: StreetPianos Boston City Hall Plaza 2016.
There is so much to see and do in the Napa Valley Region. I barely scratched the surface of the art offerings the region has to experience, but I hope that this blog article inspires you to visit the area and explore on your own! I know that I'm already excited about the possibility of returning to the Napa Valley and exploring more the art world has to offer!
Part 1: Barcelona Architecture
One cannot talk about Barcelona's architecture without mentioning Antoni Gaudi. Part of the Modernista movement of the late 19th Century, Antoni Gaudi is Barcelona's most famous architect. Almost anywhere you look in Barcelona, Gaudi had some part in its creation, from the houses, apartment buildings, churches, sidewalks, parks, and even the city benches lining the streets. In Modernism, nature was a huge element present in decorative motifs as well as present in the actual architectural structure of Gaudi's buildings. Below are some of Gaudi's masterpieces, but there are dozens of others throughout Barcelona to visit and experience.
I really enjoyed seeing Casa Batllo, which is situated on a main street in the heart of Barcelona. Mosaic is everywhere. The Chimneys of the building are works of art. The roof is representational of a dragon's back. The exterior facade demonstrates Gaudi's expert use of texture and color. Below are some photos of the exterior of the building as well as the interior. The sidewalk tiles as shown in the photos below line the streets and feature an underwater, marine-life motif.
Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is innovative and highly symbolic. The architect's objective was to explain the teachings of the Church through sculpture and architecture. Following Gaudi's death, work on the Sagrada Familia continues to be carried out by collaborating architects and artists. The project is expected to be complete by 2026, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.
The stained glass windows were perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of the Sagrada Familia. The colors were so vivid and bright.
Park Guell is another one of Gaudi's masterpieces. It was build between 1900 and 1914. It was opened as a public park where Gaudi let his imagination run wild with his incredible use of mosaics throughout the park. Below are some photos of Park Guell. The mosaic work is unbelievable and reminds me very much of the mosaic illusion that I paint in many of my own paintings.
La Pedrera is also known as Casa Mila. It was completed in 1912 as an apartment building. There are curved walls that seemingly defy the laws of gravity. The rooftop is amazing at night and includes all of Gaudi's architectural trademarks. Bricks in the attic create arched ceilings and are uniquely used using the log side of the brick, which also features the brick-maker's fingerprints. There are terrific wrought iron balconies and exquisite ceramic mosaics. I highly recommend visiting La Pedrera by booking a night tour, which includes a full tour of the building and a surreal visual light display on the rooftop under the stars, followed by a champagne toast and cookies!
Although my time in Barcelona didn't permit me to visit the Palau Guell, I should mention that it is an excellent example of one of Antonio Gaudi's early architectural masterpieces. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a magnificent example of domestic architecture in the context of Art Nouveau and one of the first important commissions Gaudi received at the start of his career. It is located just steps away from La Rambla, not far from La Boqueria.
Part 2: Barcelona's Art Museums and Fine Art
A Guide to Visiting Barcelona's Museums:
If you plan to visit Barcelona, I highly recommend purchasing the Barcelona Museum Pass, also known as an art passport from ArtTicket BCN, which will give you access to six Barcelona museums, including the ability to skip the lines. The Passport give you access to the Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso), the Joan Miro Museum (Fundacio Joan Miro), the National Museum of Art of Catalunya (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya), the Antoni Tapies Museum (Fundacio Antoni Tapies), the CCCB, and the MACBA. I purchased the passport online (for 30 Euros), and simply showed the ticket to the first museum I visited to receive the passport. The passport is stamped upon entry at each museum. To learn more about the ArtTicket BCN, check out their website: http://articketbcn.org/en/barcelona-museum-pass. I should also mention that it is very important to check the hours of each of the museums as they vary significantly. Most museums, with a few exceptions, are closed on Mondays. Also, all city museums are free at last one afternoon per month, so be sure to check the websites in advance for hours and special exhibition dates.
If you're interested in contemporary art, check out this website that provides a network devoted to contemporary art in Barcelona: http://www.artbarcelona.es/circuit/en/.
Picasso Museum in Barcelona
The Museu Picasso of Barcelona is a wonderful center documenting Pablo Picasso's early years of apprenticeship. With over 4,000 works of art in its permanent collection, you'll see why this museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona.
The Picasso Museum highlights the artist’s relationship with the city of Barcelona. I learned that Pablo Picasso's father was a teacher at the San Telmo Fine Art and Crafts School. and had an important influence on Picasso's future career as an artist, who demonstrated a strong interest in art from a very young age. There are some drawings and small panels in oil that give an idea of his efforts to give his own creativity free rein and explore new techniques by taking in his immediate environment.
In Barcelona, Pablo Picasso continued his art education at the La Llotja Fine Art School. The photos here show his artwork featuring Barceloneta Beach and two ports. After taking these photos, I learned that photos were not allowed, so unfortunately, I do not have photos showing the rest of the museum. This Picasso museum focused on his earlier works, and very few on display were "well-known Picasso masterpieces." The museum highlighted Picasso's creative process of some of his work of his Blue Period. Some of the highlights of the museum included Las Meninas Series. This was a series of paintings based on the Velazquez painting Las Meninas.
For more information, please visit www.museupicasso.bcn.cat.
Fundacio Joan Miro
The Joan Miro Museum (Fundacio Joan Miro) is located in the Montjuic area of Barcelona and houses the work of Joan Miro as well as temporary exhibitions of 20th and 21st Century art. The collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings displayed at the museum is one of the most comprehensive collections representing every stage of Miro's career as an artist. There are paintings related to Surrealism and works based on the Spanish Civil War. Miro's work on large canvases in the late 1970s onward demonstrate his use of large color fields and painting with free gesture.
For more information, please visit www.fmirobcn.org.
Museums Further Afield from Barcelona:
In the town of Girona, I visited the Museum of Jewish History. The goal of the Museum is to preserve the history of the Jewish communities of Catalunya. Art at this museum included various Jewish ritual objects. Be sure to visit if you are in Girona, which is not far from Figueres, where the Dali Museum is located.
On of my favorite pieces was this one below entitled, "Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at a distance of 20 meters is transformed into the portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko).” Gala was his wife and muse for many years.
The exterior of the museum is a work of art as well. Statues with loaves of bread on their heads. Inside the museum in the open air courtyard is a spectacular and wild work of art called, "Rainy Taxi". If you put a Euro in the slot located at the base of the artwork, it will rain inside the taxi, and an umbrella will open up on top of the artwork!
The museum includes paintings by Old Masters with works from the 13th Century to the 18th Century. The largest section of the museum is devoted to works from the 19th and 20th Centuries and includes a wonderful selection of Catalan painting and sculpture of the Modern period. I was very impressed with their collection of paintings by the great masters of French and international impressionism (Degas, Sisley, Monet, Pisarro, Sargent, etc.). Picasso and Dali, avant-garde artists are also well represented!
Part 3: Barcelona's Public Art
The streets of Barcelona are filled with art by world renowned artists. Below are just a few of these that I came across on my artistic journey.
Part of the Museum's focus is dedicated to the subject of the Jewish Journey, Jewish culture, and Jewish continuity. The main exhibition is about the Jewish experience as it has evolved from ancient times to the present day. The exhibit highlights the question of how Judaism has been able to thrive for thousands of years across the globe, even in challenging times, through Jewish texts and objects.
Jewish texts have been the central factor in the survival and evolution of Jewish continuity. The objects on exhibit such as Torah scrolls, other religious scrolls, and Jewish ritual objects, all reflect the different ways Jews have expressed their sense of what it means to be Jewish throughout history, in various countries, cultures, and religious contexts. The Culture and Continuity exhibit is located on two floors of the museum. There is so much to say about the exhibit, but most of what I will blog about will focus on the visual arts.
After the destruction of the Second Temple, and beginning in the 3rd Century CE, synagogues were often decorated with beautiful mosaic floors and wall frescoes. Jewish symbols included biblical figures, Hebrew writing, the menorah, and the shofar. Below are some photos of one of these mosaic floors, including a detailed/close-up photo. These mosaics reminded me of my signature style of my personal artwork, creating the illusion of mosaic tile using acrylic paint for my paintings.
I was particularly interested in the paintings at the museum, many of which I will highlight in this blog article. Max Weber, who lived from 1881 to 1961, is perhaps one of the most notable artists who portrayed Jewish life in his artwork. Max Weber was born in Russia and emigrated to the the US. Below on the left is a photo of Weber's famous oil on canvas painting, "The Talmudists," painted in New York in 1934. In his early years, he was a great admirer of the artist, Paul Cezanne, and studied art in Paris from 1905-1908. Cezanne's influence can be seen in his earlier works, including the painting, "Still Life with Challah" exhibited at the Jewish Museum. Most of his early works were still lifes and focused on Jewish ritual objects for Shabbat. By 1919, Weber abandoned formal experimentation and turned to Jewish subjects in pursuit of the spiritual.
Marc Chagall was another famous Jewish artist who had work displayed at the Jewish Museum. Chagall had a lifelong fascination with the Bible and much of his artwork expresses his passion for using his artistic expression to convey the imagery of the Bible. A lithograph on paper, "Moses Displays the Ten Commandments" from "The Story of the Exodus", 1966, is shown to the right.
Shown below, this 1986 large acrylic on canvas painting by David Reeb, an Israeli artist, titled "Map of Israel" is one of a series of paintings that incorporated the pre-1967 Israeli border, known as the "Green Line." Reeb was one of the most outspoken Israeli artists of his generation and was preoccupied with the political implications of the map of Israel. The ongoing conflict between Israel and her neighbors and the conflict around national borders is the major theme in his series of paintings. In this painting, Reeb portrays the outline of the realistic map as the main motif on an abstract patterned surface. In the photos below, I've included 3 photos showing some of the incredible detail of this fascinating painting.
Another fascinating exhibit called "You Don't Have to Be Jewish" featured a compilation of television commercials and clips from the museum's National Jewish Archive of Broadcasting, paired with print advertising campaigns, works of art, and more. The exhibit explores material produced for Jewish audiences or with Jewish content and the way religion, ethnicity, and identity play out on American television. The exhibition closed in early February.
Also on exhibit from November 4, 2016 to March 26, 2017 was "Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design." Pierre Chareau was a celebrated French furniture designer, architect, and art collector. The exhibit showcases rare furniture, lighting fixtures, and interiors, and even featured virtual reality glasses to immerse the viewer in the architectural renderings.
One of the most fascinating exhibits that I've seen this past year was "Take Me (I'm Yours)." The exhibit is based on a 1995 exhibit at the Serpentine Gallery in London, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and the artist Christian Boltanski.
In a conventional museum experience, it is the visitor that consumes art by looking at the paintings, sculptures, or photographs on exhibit. Typically, one is not allowed to touch the art, and certainly not allowed to take them home! Take Me (I'm Yours) defies this well-established standard by featuring works by more than 40 artists from different generations and from all over the globe: The goal of the exhibit is to encourage you to not only touch the artwork, but also to take them away with you and keep them for yourself. Some of the things I walked away with were a can of lemon-flavored sparking water, photographs of glamorous women from the 1950s, stencils, temporary tattoos, pins, hard candies, pill capsules, fabric patches, and more!
The exhibition ended in February. I've posted a few photos below. Photos of visitor experiences can be found online using the hashtag: #TakeMeImYoursNYC.
During my visit, I saw a drop-in art workshop underway, where families were creating works of art together inspired by exhibitions currently on view at the Museum. On Sundays, families can participate in studio art sessions, experience a simulated archaeological dig, or experience the museum's exhibitions with a printed Kids Gallery Guide. The Museum hosts family concerts, workshops and vacation week programming, and workshops for kids with disabilities. For more information, visit: TheJewishMuseum.org/Families.
The Art Connection
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