Inner Cartography

Hi Everybody,

Well, it seems that my recuperative period has gone on quite awhile this time around. I slept about 12 hours a day for a week after the opening. But the new work was completed on time and the show was hung... The reception was well attended, folks were VERY generous with their compliments and I sold one so far. Very pleased, I am.

I'm very grateful to all the folks who helped make this happen... My pal Kevin, for all his encouragement and counseling -always ready to hold my hand through the panics or kick my ass in the doldrums. :) Elizabeth deMare, for opening a gallery in LV in the first place and for all her hard work and dedication to making the show a success. I have to thank Victoria as well... ringing the phone early in the morning so I'd go to work sooner, lots of phone counseling, getting me out of my head and back to the studio -it all made a big difference. Thank you.

I spent several days this week going through ALL my digital slides, labeling them, and uploading them to organized galleries. 150 so far. You all are invited to peruse those at your convenience here:


And without further ado....

Inner Cartography

The title and theme for the show comes out my experience of finding a way to bridge from the representational, illustrative realm that I've haunted for most of my working life over to a purely abstract, intuitive place. In essence, the information is from the same source, the same subject; the mode of transmitting it is all that has shifted. But what a difference it makes.

*A note here... Several of the pieces in the show are ones that I introduced in earlier posts. Most of them went back to the bench before the opening for a little fine tuning, some accentuating, but they are in essence unchanged. Despite my misgivings about duplicating the images in the blog, I felt that the show as a presentation was important, so you'll have to forgive me if you're annoyed by seeing some paintings twice. :)

Mystery Map #1
36" x 50.5" encaustic on 4 panels

Mystery Map I is the cornerstone of the show. It was finished first, and was made using all sorts of never-before-seen techniques and ingredients. It informed all the work that followed. It's complicated and rich and hums with some sort of music of the spheres energy.

The experience of creating it -the inventing of new techniques and moving much more into a subtractive process was really unsettling, but ultimately more satisfying. It's my hope that it offers much more to the viewer as well.

The slide itself was made by a genuine professional photographer, John Vokoun at Dragon Fire Color in Santa Fe, and is the most perfect slide of my work I've ever seen. We liked it so much, we had posters made. Available at deMare Fine Art
(505.426.1011) for $35 .

'Mystery Map II'
21.5"x9.25" encaustic on board

This is the smallest piece in the show, but also one of the heaviest. First, it's a generous plank of wood -maybe and inch thick and DENSE. Then the image was built up in layers of marble dust, fused into encaustic, and then carved and inlaid to create the line work.It has a stony finish, a bit like marble actually, and has a presence like a treasure map, or a star chart from a lost civilization.

'Mystery Map III'
36" x 25" encaustic on two panels

This is the piece we used for the postcards. It's bold and delicate, luminous and moody, peaceful and tweaky... I really enjoy this one. It has a rather traditional encaustic finish -nice and glossy- but in the depths you encounter patterns of coral and watercolor and wire. It's one of those that seems to be a different painting when you look at it from different perspectives.

'Mystery Map III'
36" x 25" encaustic on two panels

Mystery Map III was supposedly going to be a simpler expression of Mystery Map I... But I couldn't resist developing the forms that reminded me of the images made from smashing atoms.
When I was a kid, I used to go to my father's lab at Indiana University
Physics Department. I'd go all over the building, exploring and probably driving his colleagues crazy with all my questions. One of my favorite places to go was a small, dark room where students would spend hours at workstations like microfiche readers. They would go through slides from the cyclotron of exploding atoms, tapping points of interest with electric pens. Then the data from all that tapping was input for my father's room-sized computer, which would look for patterns that might indicate new, undiscovered subatomic particles.
So as I worked on this one, I kept coming across forms that stimulated those memories, until I finally accepted that this is where the piece wanted to go.
It's a deceptive image -at first one notices the general layout of the grid. It's organic, with some sense of fractal geometries. But as you spend more time with it, you start seeing that there are completely different patterns underneath that suggest that first impression- they aren't really there. The whole thing is built up of many very thin layers of fine crosshatching.

'Mystery Map V'
24" x 24" encaustic on panel

'Mystery Map VI'
33.25" x 39.75" encaustic on panel

'Abstract Botanical II'
41.5" x 25.5" encaustic on panel

12" x 36" encaustic on panel

'Recipe for Al'
39.5" x 33.5" encaustic on panel

22.5" x 50.25" encaustic on board


3brainer said...

Al, wow! These are stunning even replicated here. Wish I could see them in person. My faves: Quantum and Recipe for Al.

Keep posting. Keep painting. Keep on...

rick said...

Congrats on the opening. The work is beautiful. I live in Montezuma. Virginia says we should conect. Birdie is a friend of mine, too.

I'll check out the work when I return to Vegas.