Internally, my energy level was high. I didn't stop speaking all night. My voice gave out numerous times, and my throat was sore the following day. It's embarrassing to have to cough in front of people in order to get your voice back, but it's more embarrassing to attempt explaining your motivations for art in an articulate, engaging fashion when nothing more than a frog-like growl escapes when trying to speak.
That might be the only downside I find to these types of gatherings.
This show was packed.
People are always enthusiastic about my events. For those unfamiliar with my work, it's a bit shocking to see paintings glow and react intensely to light. Those that know my work get to see favorite pieces up close and personal, observing the complexity of each painting in a way that simply can't be appreciated online. I heard people discussing the dimensionality of the pieces all night.
The Happening Gallery kindly constructed a black box "dark room" with a black fabric curtain so that paintings could be taken in and shown under the blacklight. As usual, Colin and I spent much of our evening switching paintings around for people to see each one change colors and charged up under the light. It was a big success. I was personally gratified when I noticed anyone bring a friend back into the room, exclaiming "You have to see this!"
Many times when speaking with someone who's newly discovered my art, they can only manage an appreciative "Wow." Speechlessness has to be one of the highest forms of compliment.
I have my own difficulties explaining what my art means. Each show is a new opportunity to learn what it is I'm doing, what I'm trying to communicate through acrylic and phosphorescent pigments. I mention that I'm fascinated with light itself, that my grandfather and I were into astronomy together, that I find the simplicity and complexity of circles amazing, that the scientific universe is a gorgeous, spiritual place, that there are colors in the universe everywhere though we can't always see them with our limited vision. Circles, circles, everywhere.
I don't know if what I say resonates with anyone, but I get a sense of their appreciation when they're looking at glowing paintings in amazement, taking a blacklight to each piece hanging on the wall, and asking if they can see others in the dark room.
It was a successful show. I'm going to have to start a waiting list for commissions. I simply have too many to handle at once. A great problem to have.
(Mike & Nick)
(Greg & Kristen)
One of the best parts of having an event like this in the Los Angeles area is getting to see LA friends, and giving them a chance to see my art. I've known Mike since I was 16, and Kristen since I was 5, and for each of them this was the first time they, and their respective partner's-in-crime, were able to visit one of my shows. That's very special for me.
This is my happy-that-the-show's-over, happy-that-I-can-sit-down, happy-that-I'm-in-a-dark-restaurant-with-friends face:
If you couldn't make it to the show, but you'd like to see my art in person, it will remain on display at The Happening Gallery until July 27th. They're open at noon daily from Tuesday through Sunday. (Closing at 7 all days but Sunday when they close at 5.)
I'm already looking ahead to my next event. No time to waste!