When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

John Evans

"New Orleans Botanical Gardens Pool - 2"  48" x 60"

"Regal Ceremony"  60" x 72"

"Incantation"  12" x 12"

"Evening"  16" x 13"

"A Curious Ring of Boats"  oil on canvas  60" x 96"

Painting is nothing more than arrangements of colors and shapes on a flat surface. This fundamental fact is of course what led artists to finally explore abstraction in the early twentieth century and it has been a viable and dynamic from of expression ever since. But all painting relies on abstraction. Representation is merely the interpretation of three dimensional reality into 2-dimensional abstract shapes and colors. The blurred borderlands between abstraction and representation is the entire focus of many artist's work including John Evans. Real places in the world (a beach, a botanical garden) are ostensibly his subject, but they are mere excuses for exploring the power of composition. These are bright and cheerful works by an artist who wants to delight. And he manages to do so with a real gift for color and a rich array of marks and textures. There's plenty to look at on his website: www.evansartstudio.com
...and you can see his work in person of you happen to be in New York City at Gallery Henoch.
He's also represented by galleries in Nantucket MA, Greenwich CT, Laguna Beach CA, Palm Desert CA and San Francisco.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Simon Nicholas

Bankside,   Oil on Linen, 61" x 65"

Philharmonia IV,   Oil on Linen, 63" x 67"

Turbine Hall VI,  Acrylic on Linen, 79" x 55"

AMARC II,  Arylic on Linen, 34" x 62"

Crossing,   Oil on Linen, 65" x 61"

Simon Nicholas exhibits work in the same New York City Gallery as the previous artist I posted (Kim Cogan), and their work makes for an interesting contrast. While Cogan's work features the isolation that cities can often emphasize, Simon Nicholas' work focuses squarely on the central facts of city life; the crowds and the large buildings. Cogan's paintings which rarely features actual figures are clearly portraits of an individual experience of the urban environment. Nicholas' work on the other hand is swarming with figures and presents a relatively impersonal and sometimes nearly abstracted portrait of civic existence. The people become mere pattern and texture, creating a sense of movement within the formal and immobile geometrical confines of the city's buildings and streets. His interests in the regularities of  geometric forms and the chaotic textures of crowds also led the artist to become fascinated with places like AMARC (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center - now AMARG) near Tucson, Arizona where literally thousands of old disabled aircraft sprawl across the desert as if they dwelt in a city of their own.
The artist does not appear to have his own website but there are a few more examples of his work at

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kim Cogan

"Entrance"  42" x 32"  oil on canvas  2012

"Surf Motel"  48" x 60"  oil on canvas  2012

"Third Rail"  36" x 48"  oil on canvas   2011

"Bender"  20" x 20"  oil on canvas  2012

"Wave no. 18"  32" x 50"  oil on wood panel  2012
I've been a fan of Kim Cogan's work for a while now. His night scenes especially appeal to me. Well, all night scenes do, I suppose, but he has an unerring ability to capture the mood of the competing colors of various light sources. Anyone who has ever stood alone among the shadows at night observing the dramatic effect will feel drawn into these paintings as if they were somehow part of their own memories. But all of his work is compelling. The mix of careful realism delivered with loose expressive brushwork gives each piece an atmosphere more compelling (for me anyway) than any carefully executed hyper-realism. His series of wave paintings are from an artist who is deeply familiar with the way the ocean moves and breaks along the shore. I'm pretty sure I heard or saw somewhere that he is an avid surfer, which would certainly explain the intimacy of these pieces. Aside from the wave series, the vast majority of his work is about cities. Although he does include figures some of his paintings, they are more frequently about lonely streets devoid of people. Cities are of course are the most densely populated places on the planet. But there are always moments and small out of the way places where the crowds vanish and one is filled with a unique kind of loneliness that is not without it's own rewards. It is unique aspect of city life that Kim Cogan captures perfectly.
I encourage you to take the time looking through all of his work on his website:
If you happen to be in New York go see his work at Gallery Henoch,
and if you're in San Francisco head over to Hespe Gallery

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Valerie Hird

"Fourth Day"  96 x 72 inches  oil on linen  2011

"Third Day"  96 x 72 inches  oil on linen  2011

"Cycles Al-Andalus" 
48 X 72 inches  oil on linen  2004

A Last Supper
72 x 48 inches  oil on linen  2004

"the vermont book of hours - January"  watercolor, asphaltum on BFK paper 11 x 15 inches  2009

I first came across Valerie Hird's work when I started this blog in 2008. Her work has wandered from abstraction to narrative representation and back again, picking up numerous cues from and references to historical artworks along the way. A Vermont native with a deep connection to the region, she has also traveled extensively, especially through the middle east absorbing and processing other artistic traditions. Her love of myth and story has led her to explore themes as different (and yet strangely related) as religion and super-heroes. Throughout it all she maintains her own stylistic sensibilities; subtly simplified forms, a generally warm and inviting palette and an eye for complex geometric compositions.  There's a lot of work to look through at her website, and a tremendous variety as well but it's all worth it.
And if you happen to be in New York you could go see her work in person at: www.nohrahaimegallery.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Robert McCauley

"Meanwhile In Another Part of the Forest" 48" x 36"  oil on canvas on panel  2011

"When Worlds Collide"  48" x 32"  oil on canvas on panel  2011

"Edge of Town"  48" x 32"  oil on canvas on panel  2011

"The Discovery of Slowness"  56" x 38"  oil on canvas on panel  2008

"Don't Expect Me To Illustrate Your Fears"  30" x 48"  oil on canvas on canvas  2010

Robert McCauley's paintings are sometimes cryptic, sometimes comical, but always compelling portraits of wildlife. He often incorporates titles into the work itself, which are suggestive but never simply explanatory, allowing the work to breathe with meaning in the mind of the viewer. This is what art should do; draw you in and direct your attention without telling you precisely what to think. Rather it should prompt you to think. Like the presence of Sputnik in the piece "When Worlds Collide", it is the unexpected which often has the most powerful impact and can have the knack of interrupting our normal thought processes, forcing us to reevaluate our expectations from an image and impel us to think along new lines. These paintings will linger in my mind long after I stop looking at them. I sincerely hope they have the same effect on you.
You can see more at the artist's website: mccauleyart.artspan.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Leonid Tishkov

Private Moon series - "Moon and Hunter"

Private Moon series - "The Crane for the Moon" Xiaogang container yards - Photo Po-I Chen

Private moon series, Journey to Paris "More than simply dead"…Homage to Marie Laurencin

Private Moon series - "Who Washed Ashore?"  Sizihwan - Photo Po-I Chen

Private Moon series - "Two Moons" arctic 2010
Leonid Tishkov is a a former physician from Moscow, who is now a conceptual artist. In addition to a variety of installation work he has spent years lugging an electric moon around the world and photographing it a stunning variety of evocative settings. Often the artist is himself incorporated into the picture creating a narrative scene in which the moon, cast down from the heavens interacts with the lonely mortal. While it is unclear whether the photographer Po-I Chen is responsible for taking all of the actual photos, he (and any others that might have been involved) certainly deserve some of the credit for these images. There are loads of them to look through on his blog:
Click on the tag Private moon if you want to see just these or you can scroll back through all his work if you're curious.
 thanks to www.booooooom.com for posting these before me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Roll Hardy

"Reflections"  oil on canvas  62.5" x 70.5" 2013

"New Growth"   oil on canvas  18.5" x 24.5"   2012

"Abandoned Hydro Plant - White River Falls"  oil on canvas  66.5" x 66.5"  2013

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Roll Hardy will be showing some new work in April right here in Portland, Oregon. So for a rare treat I get to go and see some of the actual art that I post here. His paintings invariably focus on rundown industrial scenes, abandoned buildings and other little seen and less noticed sides of the urban/industrial landscape. There are plenty of artists out there documenting similar accounts of urban decay. But unlike most of them, Roll hardy seems less concerned with making direct environmental commentary or implications of society's slow collapse, than simply appreciating their visual allure. He seems to enjoy the bright hues of graffiti and the abstract expressionist quality of strewn trash. He occasionally adds brightly colored balloons or other touches of whimsy, as if to redirect our response to such scenes. In this way it is possible to re-imagine what we usually think of as eyesores, as places full of fascination. I myself have sometimes wondered if it wouldn't be rather interesting to take some debris littered derelict urban location and simply preserve it as is, with every weather beaten mattress and old tire in place, as a kind of park, allowing nature to slowly, methodically and inevitably reclaim what people once abandoned, for the enjoyment and edification of those very same people.
His show opens this Thursday (April 4) at Laura Russo Gallery.
You can see more of his work at rollhardy.com