Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Artfest Midwest

Coming up this weekend June 24 and 25 is the largest annual art exhibition in Iowa, Artfest Midwest, with more than 250 artists and crafters. The show takes place in the giant Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds here in Des Moines. Best of all, unlike many summer shows this one is indoors, in dry, air conditioned comfort. Not getting drenched or blown away by sudden thundershowers and no furnace-like midwestern heat.

This year I will again be showing my work. Come and visit. I'd love to see anyone who reads this blog.

The work will center on city streets and the people you see there. Included will be "Sarge's" posted not long ago, and a number of others, including "1903" (right), and "One Way" (below). I will also have a limited selection of silverpoint drawings and prints available.

"1903," oil on panel, 12x9, 2017
This is a cascade of rooftops, beginning with an old one, then a few more in the same style, giving way to a shining, abstract city in the distance. Running through my mind was the idea of how cities reflect the times and its changes, how the old is often neglected or abandoned in favor of the glittering and the new. I suppose if you live in a city where gentrification is a trend, an image like this might trigger a thought or two.

"One Way," oil on canvas, 20x24, 2017



People in the city are generally more interesting than their surroundings. Here an elderly couple tries to cross a one-way street. They're stooped and frail, seen only from behind, but they're looking the wrong way to avoid being hit by a car. Although the narrative is interesting, I was also drawn by the problems of shape, space, color and composition. Giving the figures personality without showing expression was another challenge.

"Paris After the Snow," oil on panel, 20x16, 2016
Many of my cityscapes are depictions of cities I've visited or lived in. Des Moines of course figures prominently, but paintings of New York, Paris, and elsewhere have also made their way into the work. This one is a street in Paris, after a snowfall. It's based in part in the work of Edouard Cortes whose work has a kind of inner light. "Paris After the Snow" is 20x16 on panel. 

In total I will be showing about thirty paintings of cities and people over the two days of Artfest.
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