I will be showing the landscapel below at the Harvey Milk Photo Center January 8-February 7 with Art Saves Lives, curated by Thomasina DeMaio. The reception will be held January 18th, with live music featuring the incredible Tribal Baroque! It will be an amazing reception, hope to see you there.
What: Winter Exhibition
Where: Harvey Milk Photo Center, 50 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA
Impressionistic realism has been the foundation of my art for many years, but that’s starting to change as I explore mixing identifiable forms that are relatable to abstract forms that work on a different level. Abstract art has merit, but I hadn’t pursued it until now because I struggled with how to communicate with it.
For me, the human figure is the most relevant symbolic subject in art. People are complex: outwardly transparent, but inwardly hidden. We respond to the Mona Lisa because while her body is drawn to perfection, her veiled thoughts through her smile intrigues us and draws us to this painting. So how can a painting be both approachable and mysterious?
Fast forward 450 years from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to the 1950’s Bay Area Figurative movement (lead by David Park), when an intriguing fusion of figurative art combined with Abstract Expressionism. Painters in this school ( David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Wayne Thiebaud…) had different reasons for mixing figurative representation and abstraction, but many found a dead end in Abstract Expressionism’s ability to communicate. They resisted being constrained by a formal “school”, but instead believed in taking freely from both figurative and abstract traditions.
I’m working on a series now that uses the figure as an anchor, like this movement. In one of these paintings (“Green Shorts”, below), a solitary figure stares out at an abstracted plane, resembling the sea. (or, is it a clouded sky?).
The figure is used as an entrance into this world of sunshine and contemplation. He stands on the picture plane as if an observer himself to the alternating bands of blues, violets and grays. It’s designed in such a way that his surroundings are open to interpretation: he could be in a museum (barefoot—probably not allowed!) surrounded by a large painting himself.
I had a lot of fun with this one. While the reference photo I used is in fact of a man at the beach, the viewer can have fun with this and imagine other scenarios. For example, he could be standing on flat land, looking out at distant snow-capped hills, sky, and clouds above. If you were not told this was the sea, could you see alternative realities like this for his view?
This ambiguity is what interests me, because I believe strongly that the best art requires participation by the viewer. Just as decoding the Mona Lisa’s thoughts are the viewer’s creation, I seek to give the viewer the opportunity to find their own meaning. This makes the painting theirs through co-creation between viewer and artist.
So that’s what I’m working on. It is fun creating these worlds, but not easy—art never is!
Postscript: This series will probably be shown in San Francisco at Spark Arts, in April, but specifics TBD.
“For a few weeks in August, 1976, Hollywood magic flipped the coasts of the United States and transformed the coast south of Moñtana de Oro State Park into Passamaquoddy, Maine. A lighthouse was built near Point Buchon as part of Pete’s Dragon, the most expensive Walt Disney production to date.” So reported local papers as Disney built a lighthouse on the Buchon Trail, the subject of a new show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art October 5-8. I’m honored to be one of several invited artists invited to capture this landscape “en plein air” for a show of paintings fresh off the easel. The gallery above shows some of the paintings I plan to hang.
This incredible coastal area was only opened to the public a few years ago, and as far as I know, this is the first show dedicated to the unspoiled beauty of this land. Being there last week, driven with my painting equipment in a 4-wheel drive on seldom used private dirt roads, I had a chance to see how the earliest Native Americans and their Spanish invaders witnessed an unspoiled California coast.
If you’re an artist or collector, chances are you’ve seen countless paintings of Laguna Beach, Point Lobos or Morro Bay–but you’re unlikely to have seen this incredible landscape chosen by Disney studios to amaze movie goers.
And it is an amazing landscape. Of particular interest (which I’m not posting here–come to the show and see it!) are the large rock stacks just off shore that are considered the “Stonehenge of the Pacific.” They really are incredible, and I had a great time painting them to prepare for the show with fellow artists. Several of us painted these icons, and they’re each unique. Come see what each artist saw.
So, join us, by either viewing the show at the museum, and/or watching the artists (including me) paint the area live. As a bonus, the proceeds from the show will help fund this local icon of Central Coast arts, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Click here for more detail, if you come, say hello!
The August show is hung! I have 9 framed works and a bin of inexpensive unframed works availbale. Open for the new Castro art walk this Thurs night, and the opening reception next Friday night (8/11). You can view these works online from my website: http://www.edterpening.com/store/
After a great week of painting (although, lots of work and some tough, 100-degree weather), my paintings for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2012 show at the SLO Museum of Art are ready to go! I need to choose three of these five for the show. I’ve listed them in order of my favorites first. What do you think?
Avila Cove (Late Afternoon), Oil on Linen, 11×14
[Update 10/5]: you’ve all convinced me, the last painting below (sunset) is in the show! Thanks for your feedback. It’s really difficult to judge my own work.
I’m looking forward to painting next week on the central coast of California for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Exhibition at the Museum of Art there. It’s such a beautiful place to paint: coastal scenes, wineries, golden hills of oaks–they have it all. So if you you’re in the area, say hello! The show opens Friday, October 5th, and just runs through the weekend. If I have time, I’ll post work during the week and share my experience. It’s scheduled to be in the 90’s next week, so I’ll probably paint along the coast. 🙂
I will be participating again this year in the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, October 1-7. I usually choose one area to focus on…not sure what it will be. In year’s past, I’ve focused on Avila Beach (cove) and the Rocky Point area (see below). Any suggestions? Let me know!
Here are works from previous years in this show. The painting below “Glowing Bluffs” will be my featured painting in the museum the week leading up to the show.
Sunset Ragged Point. CA (October 4, 2011, Oil on Linen, 12×9
It has been an exhausting but inspiring and productive week preparing for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. The show opened today and runs throughout Sunday. Here are some of my works in the show. It was a week of dramatic weather, so I focused on that, particularly the clouds.
The San Luis Obispo Plein Air show is coming up! This is a great event. The artists have an wonderful variety of subjects to paint, from seascapes, cityscapes, vineyards and of course the town itself. I plan to paint all seascapes, but who knows, I’ve got to paint what inspires me! I’m staying most of the week at Ragged Point, at the very most northern boundary of San Luis Obispo county, just south to Big Sur. Here’s a list of events during the week:
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All Day: Festival artists paint throughout sanluis obispo County.
11 am – 5 pm: “50 x 50” exhibits the colorful, diverse painting styles of this year’s 50 festival artists.
5 pm: twilight in the vineyards: enjoy private tasting tour of two edna valley boutique wineries, watch talented painters and relax over an elegant dinner. $75 ticketed event.
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All Day: Festival artists paint throughout san luis obispo County.
All Day: Festival artists paint throughout san luis Obispo County.
7 pm: Movie night, documentary films on plein air painting, Museum of art.
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All Day: Festival artists paint throughout San Luis Obispo County.
7 pm: painters and poets, poets read poems created while shadowing painters on location, Museum of art.
6:30 – 8:30 pm: Farmers Market, one block from the Museum of art.
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1 – 3 pm: Collectors luncheon, the first opportunity to view and purchase exhibit paintings. enjoy anelegant Kevin Main Jewelry / novo sponsored affair followed by wine and dessert at the Museum of art. $100 ticket applies in full to artwork purchased at the Festival exhibit.
6 – 9 pm: art after dark, the public opening of the exhibit and sale, promises brisk sales, but no bare walls here! as paintings sell, replacements take their place.
7 pm: exhibit awards presentation by juror libby tolley.
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9 – 11:30 am: quick draw paint out, one block radiusof Museum includes Mission plaza and historic downtown.
12 – 2:30 pm: quick draw exhibit and live auction, Mission plaza amphitheater.
10am – 5 pm: Festival exhibit and sale continues to evolve throughout the weekend. stop by several times to see and purchase new artwork, Museum of art.
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10 am – 4 pm: exhibit and sale continues, free admission, Museum of art.
Last year, Christopher Forbes and Stephen Doherty invited a group of 10 artists to paint at the Forbes family estate in New Jersey. We had inspirational landscapes, interiors and models to work from. Those artists have been invited to share work done that week, or later work inspired by the trip. The artists attending included Camie Davis, John Patrick Campbell, Rob Clarke, Bryan Le Boeuf, George Towne, Wendy Walworth, Timothy Jahn, Ed Terpening, Patricia Watwood and John Dowd. Tonight was really special, my first group show in New York, and an opportunity to reconnect with this exceptional group!
To view my work on display in the show, click here.