The last time I moved my studio, I had gathered all the loose photos I'd taken at car shows (and printed), and in an uncharacteristically efficient step, put the stack in a box of reference materials. Later I drifted away from painting cars much except for commissions, or when I did paint them, I found new ideas in a box of vintage auto clippings and pamphlets someone gave me.
But I still liked the pictures I took myself at places I'd visited, these snapshots of vehicles-like portraits- instead of people, reminding me of where I'd been. In this case it requires physical traveling to find these objects, and usually accompanies a story- even if the story is only of interest to me. What remains is the beauty and uniqueness of the vehicle itself.
I started a series of paintings from my photos and using bright colors and hard-edge pattern to emphasize the pleasure these cars and trucks seem to give me, and the way that as they become older they get more iconic and sought after. So one, I like them, and two I am using them to explore a place where conceptual meets formal, something of a contradiction. I'm trying to figure out how it can work.
Tomorrow, Sat June 18, the blocks around Broadway and Liberty are home to the 2nd Newburgh Illuminated Festival, with music, art, performance, food and craft vendors. I will have an art booth in front of 87 Liberty, across from Washington Headquarters, with prints and paintings for sale 12-6pm or so, and will be doing some face painting.
A short feature including several of my ice cream wrapper paintings in the new summer 2016 issue of Valley Table magazine, 'Erica's Ice Dreams', in keeping with the issue's dairy theme.
Erica's Ice Dreams
By Jerry Novesky
For the past several years, artist and Beacon gallery owner Erica Hauser has been collecting antique ice cream product wrappers and related advertising items and documenting them as paintings and prints. The paintings on wood, paper and canvas highlight her interest in recording antique advertising, roadside signage and ephemera. To view more of her work, visit ericahauser.com.
In May I was invited by the Howland Library in Beacon to create a piece of art for the exhibition 'Envisioning Dutchess' at Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie. In honor of BAC's 80th year as the home of the Dutchess County Art Association, artists were asked to make work that would reflect the creative vitality of the county, its 'spirit, diverse landscape, architecture, history and communities.'
I based my piece on a black and white photograph from the 'Beacon Revisited' book on the city's history. This photo of my painting of the photo does not have the same effect as the actual painting, but it's all right. As captioned, it's a scene of the Nabisco float in the 1963 Jubilee Parade on Main St in Beacon, celebrating the city's 50th birthday. The Nabisco box printing factory was an important local industry and there was a great crowd around their float as employees distributed what looks like free cookies. Painting the essence of the crowds was a challenge, but this image so expressed to me the excitement and community feel of that event, I had to try. 24"x24" unstretched canvas panel for the 'story quilt' concept, but when returned to me I will affix it on a support or frame.
The show opened June 3 and runs through the month.
Both sides of my contribution to the 2016 Lightbulb Project in Newburgh. I participated in 2013 and 2014, and this year's lightbulb is the most straightforward I've done in terms of its concept- just taking vintage lightbulb ad art as my subject matter! Acrylic on wood, 4' tall. There is a silent auction and event for the project on Sun July 10, 12-7 pm at the Newburgh waterfront park. See www.thelightbulbprojectnewburgh.org for info.
Here is a link to my 2014 lightbulb post. My piece was inspired by the artist Ellsworth Kelly, who was born in Newburgh in 1923 (and died earlier this year). It happens to be still available- contact me.