Monday, February 11, 2008

The Opening of My Show "Peripheral Vision"

On Saturday afternoon my solo painting show opened at the Alfred Van Loen Gallery at South Huntington Library on Long Island. The weather was overcast and chilly, but not especially wintry. We had a great turnout, and the show was beautifully curated by Deborah Katz. Of course my paintings look a whole lot better on the large and well-lit walls of a beautiful gallery than they do crowded onto my walls at home. My thanks to all my visitors and to my blogger friends who sent their best wishes!

One of my favorite moments was actually on Friday, when Deborah and I were hanging the show for Saturday's Opening. Two adorable kids came through the gallery with their mother, and I heard them utter "Oooh, Mommy!" in excited voices, as they pointed at one or another of my paintings with huge smiles on their faces. It seems they loved my colors! Now there's my most enthusiastic audience, I thought! Maybe I haven't lost the child in me, after all!

I had to wonder how such a tiny tot as this little boy could respond to a totally abstract work like "The Garden in Spring," seen here, with such apparent delight.

Whatever the reason, I enjoyed his reaction and it made me feel good that for this child at least, my work was fun to look at. In this photo, the two tots are checking out my painting "Oceano."

And here is Deborah Katz, hanging "Cerebration." I can't tell you how many times she was up and down that ladder, and I was exhausted, just watching her. (I did help her hold up and align the paintings, but stood back to get this shot.)

This is the Alfred Van Loen Gallery, a beautiful space with curved walls and attractive lighting. The wall to the right, not visible in this image, holds many of my paintings. The larger paintings are hung with more space around them, because of their bold and bright colors and active forms.

Here are a few of my guests. I knew many of them, and since there were quite a few faces I couldn't identify, I'd say that 85-100 people appeared at my Opening between 2:00 and 4:00. I had wanted to take more photos, but when the room became crowded, I found myself running around like a chicken without a head, greeting people and talking to friends. And naturally, every time I pointed my camera, someone walked in front of it. (Those are the times when I become aware that I'm a short person, lol...)

Many people approached me to tell me which work or works they liked the best, and that was gratifying. And at least five or six of them asked questions like "Did you take a class on how to name your paintings?" Although they were kidding about taking a course in title-making, there seemed to be a consensus that my titles were apt and well-chosen. Many folks told me they were amazed at how well they fit. To me this meant that the mood, emotion, season or natural phenomenon that the painting evoked for me, was also perceivable to them. It's interesting that abstraction can convey certain impressions or ideas this way, since it lacks literal or objective meaning and has a high level of ambiguity that leaves the mind free to find its own interpretation.

It didn't snow on the day of my reception and the food, catered by a local supermarket, was very good. By the time 4:00 rolled around, I was desperate for some of those bakery cookies, but they were all gone! I didn't get even one of them!

A good friend of mine whom I know since the seventh grade came from New Jersey with her husband, to have dinner with us. For me it was a happy day and although it was fun, I'm glad the Opening is over! (I didn't make my change-over to a "fly on the wall" in time...)

Thank you for sharing a bit of my show with me. I hope you've had a good week!

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