[Above] Marco Island Organic Series
To paint or not to paint…
I made a GREAT discovery! [It is way down at the end…so wait for it!]
As some of you know I, more often than not, paint in a series. There was the Luscious Series, the Futuristic Series, and the Marco Island Organic Series. Most were sold in the Futuristic and Luscious series. (No. 2 is still available.) And I sold quite a few of the MIO series.
“Lagoon at Night” Futuristic Series
“No. 2” in the Luscious Series
I have about six pieces in the MIO series left and my thinking was that when they are sold that would have been it..like the other two series. By the very nature of the MIo paintings, I was forever limited, as I no longer live on Marco Island and the way the canvas was prepped was a large part of the series.
Three Pieces in the Marco Island Organic Series in
Michelangelo’s on 112 State Stree in Madison, Wisconsin
How I prepared the MIO Series canvas…
I took large sheets of heavy canvas (#12 – similar to canvas on sailing boats) into the Gulf of Mexico and soaked them in seawater. I then dragged them onto the shore and, in the sand, using water-based, non-toxic acrylic paints, painted lavishly on them while rubbing organic matter, sand, and detritus, into the paint. Then drag them back into the surf and do it again and again…at least 4 more times.
I then rolled the canvas up (into 5 separate rolls as I recall), tied each into a loose roll and let them “simmer” in the sun (and overnight) on the deck of our condo, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The next day, with large swaths of color, I painted additionally on them and let them dry.
I then cut them into pieces. (Man, did my wife’s sewing scissors love cutting through sand! Wonder if she noticed? Shhhh.) Further, I would then cut the pieces again into fairly rectangular or square shapes and dry them flat in the sun.
I would jokingly tell people that when they bought an MIO piece that they literally now owned, not only an original abstract painting, but they also owned some Florida beachfront property!
What IS the essence of an abstract painting?
I probably produced 30 paintings in that series, and as the pieces keep drifting away (no pun) I lamented that one day they would be gone. (I even took a picture of the last five pieces prior to completing them – I was so sure there would be no more.)
What I thought were the last 5 pieces of the Marco Island Organic Series
So what if I sold them all? I cannot speak for other artists, but I do not sell pieces I myself do not admire. I have burned or painted over more paintings than I have sold, simply because I didn’t get the right “feel” from them. (Hard to explain – but abstract painting is visceral for me, more about gut feelings than technique.)
The proper question to ask someone viewing an abstract painting is, “How does it make you feel?” (Not “What do you see in this painting?” or “Do you like this painting.” or “What do you think this painting is about?”).
“It’s All Chaos” – an abstract by Anthony Dallmann-Jones (SOLD!)
(How does it make you feel?)
So, I had “feelings” about the Marco Island Organic Series as a whole, as well as about each piece. I have one I will never sell as I am SO overwhelmed by its emotional power that it would be like selling one’s child.
For example, I sold an abstract painting in the Rhinelander Art Show that I STILL regret selling to this day – 20 years later! I put it in the show at a ridiculous price, thinking it was safe to show, and it was purchased in 10 minutes after the show opened! Aaaargh! So, I learned my lesson.
I learned, for sure, that “NFS” is okay to put on a piece you are placing in a show! (I confess, I actually teared up when they toted it away! I have a picture of it somewhere but cannot seem to find it today.)
Wellllllllll, guess what happened!!??
A discovered leftover piece of Marco Island Organic Series (approx. 6′ x 3′)
I was cleaning out an area of my garage just yesterday and found a large piece of the Marco Island Organic Series canvas I had never cut down and used. I could not believe my eyes – It was like I had magically manifested it out of thin air! I cannot tell you how excited I am to discover this lost roll of canvas.
I am wondering if I should not just do 1 painting and use it all, like a grand finale. Or cut it into small pieces and make several not-so-large MIO Series paintings.
Or maybe I will never use it! Why? Well, it is similar in feeling to having a savings account you decide you will never spend any of. It just “feels good” to look at your account and reassure yourself that you are never out of money.
I just don’t know yet. I will keep you posted. [I have inserted several MIO pieces that are currently hanging in Michelangelo’s in Madison. Oops, I just remembered that the one below, “The Climb,” is in Sam’s (Sam Cheade is the owner of Michelangelo’s coffee house and gallery) storage waiting to be hung. The others are on display in the back gallery. If you want to see them up close. It is okay to feel them. Feel the beach, baby! lol
“The Climb” – Marco Island Organic Series
So, although most of my artistic work is centered around Light Sculptures and Light Ray Photographs, I am still madly in love with abstract painting. It draws me like a siren song and pulls me back in time to where it was just me, canvas and paint.
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