With the new year comes a brand new series of paintings. I proudly present the “Etherscapes”. I debuted 7 of these paintings at the Roffi Salon on Newbury St. back in December during my 2nd solo show there.
The “Etherscapes” are truly vibrant and heavily detailed. Painted with enamel paint these paintings have a great contemporary look and feel. The Etherscapes are now available for sale on my website at DiehlArt.com
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This past month I’ve been working with Dimensions Design & Wellness Studio in Carver, MA installing an art exhibit of my paintings. First of all let me say the salon is beautiful to begin with and the amount of space they have is impressive. I now have a wide array of blurscapes hanging there as I’m currently the in-salon artist. If you’re in the area it’s a must see!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting one of my Blurscape oil paintings at the New England Artists Exhibition. Open to New England artists this show encompassed all forms of art such as painting, photography, mixed media, and even sculpture. It was a great evening of art and catching up with fellow artists from the area. Below is one of the scratch ticket paintings done by my friend Sean Brady:
This past Friday evening I had the pleasure of participating in my second museum exhibit of the year at the Warwick Museum of Art in Rhode Island. The exhibit “Pieces of Black and White” was an all black and white show where all in attendance were encouraged to wear black and white as well. “Clearing 100″ was chosen for this exhibit and ironically is the only black and white painting I had ever painted. For those of you who are in the area the show will be going on until September 2nd.
As some of you may or may not know you can now find my paintings on Boston’s Newbury Street. The Roffi Salon and Day Spa now carries my art and displays it for all to see and purchase. I was down there today and dropped off some exciting new works which people were already starting to enjoy. I’m also excited to say that after dropping those paintings off I went over to a new venue for my work which is Boston’s Artbar. The Artbar is a partnership of Alternate Currents and Boston’s Workbar to showcase the diversity of Boston’s dynamic arts scene. I was featured in an article about the Artbar which you can read here. Also be sure to check out my DiehlArt.com which has some great new paintings on it and while you’re there be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter!
I want to take a moment to thank the very generous writers over at the online art magazine EmptyEasel.com for featuring me on their website this week. Lisa Orgler wrote a review of my art and I couldn’t be happier. It’s funny how when I was just starting out in my painting career I found a lot of advice and techniques on EmptyEasel and now I’m the featured artist of the week, a full circle of sorts. So make sure you head on over to EmptyEasel.com and read the review of my art!
“Clearing 100″ 34″x34″ Oil on canvas, 2009
In just under a year I have completed my 100th Blurscape oil painting “Clearing 100″. To commerate this milestone I wanted to do something special and unique which I immediately knew what I wanted to do, a black and white blurscape. It’s the only black and white blurscape I’ve painted and makes for a great milestone which sets it apart from all the other blurscape oil paintings of mine. Once this painting is dried I will be framing it in a new way that will be completely 21st in nature.
With the painting of this blurscape I’ve taken some time to reflect on this series which suprising wasn’t all that planned but took on a life of it’s own. To begin with there were only 6 of them painted numbered Clearing 1 thru 6. I entered “Clearing 1″ into a juried show where it won a ribbon and was purchased by the Plymouth Rock Movie Studio for their collection. At the time I kept refering to the series as “blurred landscapes” which I wasn’t all too fond of. When I came up with “blurscape” no one really liked the term and believed it wasn’t catchy or easy to say. Months later at a dinner party at my home a guest was commenting on my work and I told him it was a blurscape and left it at that. An hour later while he was talking about my work he said “I really like those blurscapes of yours”. It was then I knew that it stuck and from then on they’ve always been blurscapes.
Some interesting facts on the first 100 Blurscapes:
- There are only 3 hilltop blurscapes which feature a hilltop and no trees. 2 of them are in my private collection.
- There are roughly 7 night blurscapes.
- There is only 1 winter blurscape that depicts snow.
- The largest blurscape is 7ft wide.
- There is only 1 blurscape that depicts a skyline of a city.
- Only 2 blurscapes have water in them.
So there’s a little recap of the past 100 blurscapes. Hope you enjoyed!
Last night I had the great opportunity to exhibit two of my Blurscape oil paintings at the Warwick Museum of Art in Rhode Island. It was the first nice day weather-wise in weeks and we had a great turnout. The exhibit entitled “The Living is Easy” is a summer themed show that will run until July 3rd. The two Blurscape paintings of mine on exhibit are “Clearing 69″ and “Clearing 31″:
For you collectors out there “Clearing 31″ (on the right) is the lowest number blurscape available and is sure to be a collectible due to its rare layout. So if you haven’t made your way down to the Warwick Museum of Art I suggest you do so, it’s an easy ride right off of Rt. 95. When you stop by let me know what you think!
I’ve always been a bit of purist when it comes to life and it’s no different with my paintings. The first painting class I took was in college and I remember the first day very well. Prior to the start of the semester we were given a materials list to bring with us the first day of class. We had the option to bring our own stretcher bars to build and stretch our own canvas. I thought this was a great way to partake in a tradition painters have experienced for hundreds of years. So the first day of class came and our professor instructed us to take out our materials and begin to work. I took my stretcher bars up to the front of the class where the provide canvas roll was located as well as the work table. No one followed. However a sound followed instead. Every student in that class ripped the plastic off of their store bought canvas and began painting before I even had a yard of canvas unrolled. That sound was replaced with me hammering nails into the bars that supported my stretched canvas. All the while I was smiling knowing I was doing the very thing that Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and other masters have done before me.
I believe building one’s own canvas is a part of the painting process itself. From time to time I’ve painted on store bought pre-stretched canvas and the painting always seemed to be missing something. I still build all my own canvas and go to great lengths to do so. I no longer even buy stretcher bars but build my own. I start with a 1″x6″ piece of wood and use a table saw to cut it into 1″ strips. Once I have the strips I glue quarter round onto the edge:
Once I have them dried I then glue and nail the corners:
These are then let to sit and dry:
Once they have sufficiently dried it’s time for the canvas to be stretched over the support:
You would think that everything is all set by this point but the canvas needs to be treated. I first scrub down the canvas and then apply gesso which is a painting primer. I then sand down that layer and apply another layer followed with another sanding. After all of that I have a canvas that is ready to be painted on.
After looking at that process it would be easy to say “Why not just buy a store bought canvas?” There are a couple of reasons why I insist on building my own. First is quality control, I can build any custom size I want to my specifications. Secondly the satisfaction of making it myself. There always seems to be more “riding” on a painting with a canvas that I personally stretched. I always take more time and care painting knowing that I’m responsible for the canvas. For going to such lengths you could call me crazy or maybe it’s just that I’m old fashioned.