Friday, June 30, 2017

Houses I Have Known

Surreal landscapes
Houses I've known

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wake Up Call

Ollie Bouler has evolved from her initial fundraising efforts of saving birds after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico into speaking for the environment at large.  Here is a recent animation she created, encouraging people to take action today to save our planet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Canon Test Drive

 Nadine's Daily Bread
 Ollie's Sushi
Nadine's Tomato Salad
 Jackson's Buddha
 James' Cherry Tree

I recently attended a writers' workshop sponsored by Canon, a company whose headquarters are on Long Island. An inventive creative writing collaboration between teachers and students led by inspiring educator and colleague Suzanne Valenza, culminates in a published anthology using Canon's printing capability. To provide images for the text, students were able to test drive the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera, a great camera whose lens readily captures nuanced details. To my delight, there was an extra on hand for me to borrow. Above are some highlights of our family's time with the camera. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Paula Hayes: Her Hand in Nature

Nature's beauty has been central to many artists, including American artist and botanist Paula Hayes. Juxtaposing  microcosms of miniature environments and oversized morning glory blossoms, Hayes' work reveals a playful and thoughtful interpretation of nature's importance to the balance of our world. Mixing acrylic shapes with actual plants, the transparency, light, fluid forms and organic textures of her work serve to magnify the beauty of our natural environment, which often gets lost in the overwhelming whir of a world man has created.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Octopoda in Hudson Valley

I was very surprised and honored to receive the Director's Choice award for this year's annual members show at the Athens Cultural Center.  More than that, I was pleased to see people appreciating the humor of my painting Octopoda in Hudson Valley.  It was a painting that evolved over several years, starting as a snow scene and eventually moving to night skies and green grass.  But it was the addition of the trapped octopus which really gave the painting its legs, so to speak.  The octopus, an intelligent and mysterious creature, is well known for its ability to escape confinement, so in the longstanding battle between man and nature, it appears as if the octopus may have a fighting chance of victory. As for the frame, I have always wondered how to use this antique moulding I found in the basement, and since it seems to mimic the tentacles of the octopus, it was a perfect way to resolve the edges of this panel. Now I need to revisit other paintings to see which ones could stand to have an octopus added.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hudson River School Revisited

Hudson River Octopoda                    Oil on Paper

A Wing and Prayer Wallet         Upcycled Leather

As I completed the painting Hudson River Octopoda featuring the Thomas Cole House in Catskill and Olana across the Hudson River in Hudson, NY, I realized the importance of the conversation between two artists.  It was the collaboration between Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church that encouraged both men to pursue ideas about man's relationship to nature, thus establishing the Hudson River School of Art.  With this context in mind that I changed the name of this blog to Omgeving, a Dutch word for surroundings-- for when you surround yourself in an environment of creative people, an engaging conversation about art, architecture, and the environment is bound to emerge.

I've had such a 30+ year conversation with dear friend and fellow artist Adriane Errera, whose one-of-a-kind handbags have inspired me greatly. As a lifelong vegetarian, Errera faced an ethical quandary over using leather materials, so when making her handmade accessories, she decided to upcycle second-hand leather garments found at thrift stores, which not only keeps garments out of landfills, but curtails the use of new animal products.  The designs themselves incorporate nature-based motifs with tattoo-inspired illustration. I've long admired her sense of color and craft as she refashioned garments into artistic statements.

So perhaps this blog can serve as a conversation-starter for your own creative growth, either alone, or with friends!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Warm Modernism

 Eastport, Long Island project at night
Street view
 Waterfront elevation

 Master bath
Family room

This recent Bouler Pfluger Architects, PC project in Eastport, NY combines the sweeping elegance of modern, geometric massing with the traditional shingle style architecture of the area. The home's waterfront exposure is designed to capitalize on the crisp, clear light of the South Fork, for which the east end of Long Island is well known.