Menu

36 posts categorized "National Exhibitions"

October 23, 2014

It's Still the Pig

Interiors  003

The secret to collecting art is simple.

You have to enjoy it. You don’t need an art degree, or a fundamental understanding of the influences Italian politics and financiers upon the artists of the Renaissance. You don’t need to understand color theory. You just have to fall in love with the art.

That’s what happened to Joe and Lisa. Their names aren’t really Joe and Lisa, I’m just not going to tell you who they really are because we care about client confidentiality. But their story needs telling, because it started with a painting of a pig. This one:

105515

Joe visited the gallery once by himself and saw James Johnson’s Free Range Pig. He liked it. We don’t like to talk about love at first sight, but … kinda.

“I went in three times,” says Joe. “There was this pig. I couldn’t believe the detail in it. I never talked to anyone about it. I felt like I was out of my element. But I kept going back to look at that piece. And then I brought Lisa to look at it, which was when we finally talked to Jack.

“As we were about to leave, he mentioned layaway, which I had no idea you could do.”

Joe and Lisa put money down on the pig. And then they began thinking about the pig in a different way. They were ready to start construction on a new office for their business. Joe imagined the pig hanging there, and couldn’t wait to get it out of layaway.

“We kept going back to visit it,” says Lisa. “And every time, Jack would get it out of the back so we could look at it.”

“I needed to pay it off so I could have it, you know?” says Joe.

Which he did. But the Pig created an itch to be scratched, so to speak.

“I was so pleased with the pig … I relate it to tattoos. People say once you get one, you want to get another one. I don’t have any tattoos, but I do buy art. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I want more and more. Once we had possession of it, well, it’s hard to tell someone it’s a piece of art without hanging it on the wall with other art around it.”

They started with an art budget for the office, but that changed as the construction process took longer than planned, giving them more time to choose even more art.

They began with the idea that it all had to match, but what they liked didn’t match.

“But Jack said, ‘I don’t know if you want it to match,’” says Lisa. With that in mind, they followed their instincts and interests, choosing pieces that spoke to them. Those choices colored the interior design for the rest of the office space.

Interiors  012

“The art influenced the type and quality of the furniture we bought,” says Joe. Instead of ordering from a catalogue, they had custom cubicles, made of recycled wood, burlap and steel, created locally. Almost all of the office doors are from old barns and slide open instead of swing. All of the wood is “recovered,” a fancy way of saying “reused.”

Interiors  010
Joe’s office, in particular, reflects the eclectic aesthetic of the office. His desk is tall and bean shaped, covered entirely in what appears to be airplane aluminum. There’s a lamp hanging from the ceiling by his great grandfather’s log chain. The lamp is from India. The chairs are leather and metal, pairing new and old. An enormous painting of a bullfighter by Timur Akhriev hangs perpendicular to a large flat screen HDTV. These are the motifs for the rest of the office.

The space has had a noticeable, positive effect on their employees.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to work in a building that looks this way,” says Joe. “People are happier. They are proud of their workspace. We have everything.”

Interiors  009

“It makes our employees happy,” says Lisa. “They’ll visit on the weekend, which is unusual. And if they have a relative in town, they want to bring them by to give them the tour.”

“We told our employees what we were doing along the way, but I don’t think they understood until they saw it,” says Joe. “I think everyone was shocked at how it all came together.”

“That’s where Jack and the guys at Gilley electric came in,” says Lisa. “They showed us how to make it all work."

As of now, there are more than 20 pieces of original art scattered about their offices. But do Joe and Lisa consider themselves art collectors?

“I don’t even know what that means,” says Joe. “I don’t know a lot about art. And you don’t have to. You just choose what you like.

“We try to keep it weird.”

As they’ve brought in new art, their favorites have vacillated. Lisa likes the three Brett Lethbridge pieces and their arrangement in the hall outside her office, but if pressed, she’ll tell you she likes Jeff Ham’s Woody Guthrie painting best.

“There was a lot of anticipation for that one for me,” she says.

For Joe, “It’s still the Pig.”

Interiors  001

In Other News

Though he missed the show, he's still coming to visit. Brett Lethbridge will be here next Thursday from 4-6pm hanging out. He'll be happy to chat with you about his work or life in general. How often to you just get to hang out with an Australian-by-way-of-South Africa lawyer-turned-artist? 

Oh, we'll be here, too.

Almost Showtime

Wildbunch3

The show is just two weeks away, gang. We are stoked (that's an industry technical term). We have images for (I think) all the pieces that'll be present. Paul sent us a lot to look at and I'm not sure how much of it is actually making the trip, but there are at least two installation-size pieces that'll get your attention.

K sent out her newsletter this week, and had this to say:

November, 1988, I married my Hubby in Muskogee, OK. Our honeymoon? We spent it at an art show in Tulsa, OK.

Fast forward to Nov. 2014. How are we spending our anniversary? We'll be at an art show in Tulsa, OK.

Join us at Lovetts Gallery , 6528 E. 51st ST, Tulsa, OK 74145, in the Farm Shopping Center on November 8, 2014, 10am - 5pm. 

The show, "The Wild Bunch,"  features me, Paul Rhymer  and Robert Caldwell. The three of us will be at the gallery creating our artwork.

I think she's got it covered, pretty much. 

We'll see you next week. 

October 10, 2014

About to Get Wild

We are almost exactly one-month from the opening of The Wild Bunch, which stars K. Henderson, Robert Caldwell and Paul Rhymer. I mentioned it last week at the end of the blog, but you know how it is. Maybe you didn’t see last week’s blog.

Wildbunch3web

Here is the showlowdown:

Wildlife. Wild paintings. Wild sculpture. Wild art.

On November 8, 2014, 10am to 5pm, that’s what you can expect from Paul Rhymer, K. Henderson and Robert Caldwell. We’re calling them … The Wild Bunch, and they are the next exhibition from Lovetts Gallery.

Paul Rhymer spent 25 years at the Smithsonian as a taxidermist and uses that experience to create bronze sculptures that capture the living essence of the animals.

“Twenty five years doing taxidermy and model making really prepared me well as a wildlife sculptor,” says Rhymer. “Being exposed to an incredible diversity of specimens and curatorial knowledge gave me a wealth of experiences. I still do some taxidermy to keep up with anatomy and reference for my sculpture.”

He’ll be pouring molten bronze the day of the show, probably in nothing more protective than jeans and hiking boots. The first will be at 11am, the second at 2pm.

You want wild? K Henderson lives off the grid in Weed, New Mexico (population: 86). She spends her time soaking up the wilderness and creating paintings of whatever she feels like, from biscuits to antique toys to Native American portraits.

Henderson is much lauded and collected. She has some renown in at least three completely different art circles. You’d compare her to a best-selling author who’s achieved success using three different pen names.

Henderson is from Tulsa, and always looks forward to her trips back to see her friends and family. (We think that includes us ... )

Robert Caldwell always loved the outdoors, exulting in his adventures as a Boy Scout. It was only natural he merged that passion with another – drawing.

Caldwell draws inspiration from North American and African wildlife. He’s made several trips to the Continent the past few years, and the artwork he’s produced as a result is among the best of his career.

In the past year, Robert published a book about drawing, Draw Realistic Animals: Wildlife, Pets and Morewhich is available from all the major online book retailers. He will have copies available during the show.

Quoth the Raven

We’ve got a raven theme going, for a lot of reasons. First, we like them. If you did a little bit of research on ravens, they would blow you mind. They use tools. They visit their parents. They remember things forever and they use language. Then there’s this: 

106944

I don’t know about you, but when I was in 8th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Smith, made us memorize The Raven in its entirety. And then we had to recite it aloud in front of the class. In spite of that, I still love that poem.

Guy Hobbs, one of our new artists, painted this particular piece. It is not a poster. It is not a photo of a raven with some words photoshopped onto it. Guy painted the bird and applied the calligraphy by hand. And it is stunning.

Guy is a … well, he lives in Canada, but he’s British. He had always had a love for both art and wildlife, and when his wife suggested he combine these things to make his personal superpower …  I’ll just let him say it:

It amazes me that it took so long for me to marry my love for wildlife with my passion for art. Obviously it takes far smarter people than me to make such profound connections (in this case my wife), but once made it changed my world.

I have had an interest in both drawing and painting my whole life and when the suggestion was made to focus on wildlife I decided to go 'back to the drawing board' quite literally.

Since then I have been developing a technique that combines layers of acrylic paint, coloured  (editor’s note: see, British!) pencil and transparent acrylic inks, a process that really allows me to capture the subtleties and intricacies of nature.

My highest priority when portraying a subject is to capture its consciousness. My subjects are engaged with their world, watching things beyond the confines of a frame - often regarding the viewer directly - or something out of frame. This is important to me, birds and animals are seldom random or vague, they are focused on their world with real intensity. It is this intensity I want to capture. When you encounter a wild thing in its own habitat there is a moment where you regard it and it regards you and the rest of the world just becomes background. That is a very real and special connection and one I want to share through my art.

Let that serve as your introduction to Guy, Lovetts fans. His work is on display in the gallery. You know what to do.

Behind the Screens

We have a lot of original art by a lot of amazing artists, but you know that.

Most of that art is on our walls, but there’s not room for all of it. We rotate it all the time, but the truth is there’s art that, at any given time, is not hanging in the gallery.

The solution to that conundrum has always been our giant monitor on the front counter. From there, we can access all of any given artist’s work in our database and display it. As with all computer screens, you can’t replicate the experience of seeing a piece of art in person, but it was better than nothing.

We’ve been using the monitor a lot, like to the point where we view it is vital to the Lovetts Gallery experience. Keeping that in mind, this happened this week:

Jack: “Do you think we need a bigger monitor on the front counter?”

Me: (something like…) “It couldn’t hurt.”

Jack: “I wonder if we could find one with our points.”

Me: (Holy crap, businesses rack up the credit card points) “That would be cool.”

He dug into the points, and we had enough. Then we found the monitor.

Now when you come in and want to peruse our digital image gallery, you’ll be doing it on a bright 42” high-def television.  Made me super TV jealous. I bought a 42” hdtv seven years ago. It weighs more than twice as much, the picture isn’t as good and it cost four times as much as this one.

Anyway, the new monitor is awesome.

If you haven’t been in in awhile, we’ve made a lot of gallery improvements: The walls received a new interior paint job; we installed LED lights in the front windows that look awesome at night (and can change colors to suit our mood); we created new front-window covers that look better from the parking lot with the added bonuses of blocking out more light inside (which makes it easier to present the art) and displaying some of our artist’s work in larger-than-life sizes. Present are: Jeff Ham, Timothy Nimmo, Brett Lethbridge, Timur Akhriev, K. Henderson, Claudia Patrick, Natalie Featherston, Ben Cobb, Ann Hanson, David Shingler, Scott French and Chad Awalt.

Two More Things

Brett Lethbridge missed the show last month (because sometimes, travel plans do not work out), but he'll be here the afternoon before Halloween. If you'd like to come visit Brett and talk with him about his work, he'll be entertaining guests from 4-6pm, Oct. 30, 2014.

In closing, I’ll just leave this here, and we’ll see you next week:

YoungGunsBlog

October 02, 2014

Art Gallery Madness!!!

There has been a lot going on around here. We’ve had a show. We’ve added a bunch of new artists. We’ve moved walls and added crazy LED lights to the front windows. It’s been art gallery madness!!!

I never use exclamation points. I don’t like them. I think they’re lazy writing. You should be able to tell if I’m excited about something by the words, not the punctuation.

But that’s getting off track.

We have added a lot of really amazing artists and artwork in the past couple of months. Pamela Wilson, Jane Radstrom, Kirsten Le, Guy Hobbs, Patrick & Patty Elliott, Josh George, Lindsey Kustusch. We’ve gotten fantastic new work from Timothy Nimmo, Julie Bender (an old acquaintance back in the gallery again), Anthony GonzalezAnthony Adcock, Terry Cooke Hall, and Timur Akhriev. That’s not even including the new work from Virtuosity, which featured Brett Lethbridge, Juan Medina, Terry Donahue and Ron Gerton.

When I write it out like that, it seems like a lot. And it is, which is good. There is a lot to see and talk about. We’re not going to cover all of it this week. Gotta dole it out slowly, so we’ll start with a couple of introductions …

Pamela Wilson

Pamela is one of Jack’s favorite painters. Ever. We’ve finally gotten the opportunity to bring some of her work into the gallery, and it all began with an invitation to participate in one of our shows next year, The Lollipop Guild (more details to come!).

When you view one of her works, you’ll most likely be struck by two thoughts: a) holy cow, that is amazing and b) holy cow, that is … odd.

Pamela endeavors to paint the world of dreams. They can be whimsical and foreboding at the same time. They can seem strange. They are provocative. They are a little sexy and a little scary. But your take on it is what you get. Don’t ask her to explain to you why the woman with the pink hair is wearing a scuba mask. Pamela thinks telling you is cheating. Art is up to interpretation. Interpret, already.

 Okay, sometimes she tells.

Her painting, From Stillborn Shadows, features a woman with a stuffed Canadian goose belted to her head. That one came out of two things. First, Pamela wanted to visually create a link to flying dreams. Second, the day of the reference photo shoot, the model walked around with the goose stuffed under her arm and seemed at any moment like she might fall on the uneven ground. Pamela suggested she belt the goose to her head.

Viola.

106922

We just this week received The Lyric of Chimerical Solace. It is an amazing piece of art. I’m not going to put the pic in here for you to see because, well, the pic is so tiny by comparison. The Lyric of Chimerical Solace is impressive in real life. And you can’t digitally replicate the experience of seeing it in person.

She’s working on a new series involving children, and then there’s this thing with cake.

Photo

Stay tuned.

Lindsey Kustusch

I have not been following Lindsey’s work for a long time, but it’s definitely a love at first sight kind of situation. I mean, look at this painting:

  Lindsey Kustusch_Momentary Stillness_20x28

I’ve always been drawn to ravens, for whatever reason. And this … this blows my mind. I love the texture, colors, subject, composition. Pretty much a perfect painting for me.

Lindsey paints a variety of subject matter – urban scenes, animals, and wide open spaces. Actually, painting might not be the right term for what she does. Yes, she uses paint. But she rarely uses brushes, opting for palette knives and implements of her own creation. She builds her works layer by layer, often beginning with an abstract composition before adding in elements of the real.

She’s, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, like nothing we have in the gallery.

Her work isn’t here yet, but it’s on the way. You’ll have to come in to see the other one, and then there’s more to follow.

No Mas

Annnnd okay, we’ll stop there. Need to save some for next week and there’s some housekeeping to do.

First, we have a show coming up in five weeks: 

Wildbunch

Paul, Robert and K are three of our most popular artists, and they have a lot of surprises in store for you. The day of the show, you’ll be able to see Robert draw, K paint, and Paul play with molten metal in the parking lot in his tennis shoes.

That goes down November 8, 2014. Make plans now and we’ll see you here.

Before we go, one last thing. We have several students (and instructors) from the Ani Art Academy Waichulis participating in The Lollipop Guild (June 20, 2015) and The Birds (Oct. 24, 2015). You should check out their site. There's a lot of spectacular art on display.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m planning on another Gallery-themed Halloween story this year. If you missed last year’s, here ‘tis.

See you next week.

April 18, 2014

Dear Diary

BriankIt has been a month (more or less), since we last spoke figuratively. It’s not that I’ve meant to neglect you, dear reader. It’s just that there have been things to do. A great many things.

But I’ve been keeping a diary with the intent of sharing it. Some of it is actually fit for public consumption. For instance …

Day 3:

The show was days ago, and we’ve still yet to recover. Jack is stumbling around with a glassy-eyed stare, mumbling about where to hang this or that. We had to move so many pieces of art because of the show, we’re now trying to mingle it all back in with what’s left of James, Brian, Ed and Erica’s work.

EdWe will find a place for all of it, even if the walls become a little more crowded than we like. You can’t sell the art if it’s not on the wall, after all.

[non-diary note: If you didn’t get to the show, you missed out. All four artists were very friendly and down-to-earth. Easy to talk to, fun to hang out with. And the work they did was amazing (both what they brought to the show and what they painted and sculpted while they were here). ]

It was funny listening to Erica talk about how much space we have here, and how little traffic. I know some Tulsans who have to commute to and from Broken Arrow would debate her on that, but it’s all about perspective. An Oklahoma traffic jam is farm-league compared to one in Cali.

Also, we likely couldn’t afford our same homes were they in California, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Day 12:

106617Knotts dropped by this week, in and out like a blustery storm. In his wake, he left stories about art shows and a Dixie Chick, and he dropped off some new jewelry. Two of the necklaces are made with mid-1700s crosses from the Ukraine. John found the supplier on the internet, ordered the crosses and hoped for the best.

“I asked the guy where he found them and he was cagey. Kind of like those old fishing guys who don’t want to let you know where their spot is. ‘Hey, where’d you hook those fish?’ ‘In the mouth.’

“He has some Viking stuff as well, but I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet.”

And like that, poof, he was gone.

Sometimes, I think he’s some sort of Native American spirit. The rabbit, Jistu, perhaps. One of the tricksters in any case. I haven’t been back to the Native American myths since I was a kid. Of course, when I was a kid, I couldn’t get enough of them.

John Knotts. Trickster. Perhaps. I’ll have to read up, see if that fits.

Day 17:

106583One of Geoffrey Gorman’s new pieces arrived today. It’s a sculpture of the head of a hippo called Vezari Meditates. I made the mistake of placing my hand on its steel-whiskered muzzle. The whiskers are made of headless nails, long staples, or maybe clipped wire, rusty and sharp. Sort of the bed-of-nails effect, only not safe. Nothing you’d want to be grabbing with your bare hands in any case (though I did, to my dismay).

A collector came in and saw it sitting on the counter. She said, “Ewww,” which made Jack and me laugh. Vezari was sold before he arrived, which just goes to illustrate the importance of having a variety of styles of art. You never know who is going to react to what. The guy in the cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt may have a great fondness for hyper-realistic paintings. The woman with the straw cowboy hat might like Chad Awalt’s finely sculpted wood nudes.

You JUST NEVER KNOW.

Vezari Meditates. Is that even possible? Can a hippo meditate? I can see making an illustrated children’s book out of that idea, this hippo wandering around the watering hole all day, trying to get its meditation on and being interrupted by lions and people and birds.

If you write it before I do, send me some money. Or thank me in the credits. Whichever.

Day 21:

That rabbit was looking at me again. You know the one, with its big, googly eye. It’s hiding something. I. Can. Tell.

106570

Day 25:

I am buried in a mountain of new work. We have five new pieces from Matthew Higginbotham. A dozen from Paul Rhymer. Six more from Timur Akhriev. I don’t know how many from Gene Pearson.  No time for typing. People need to see this.

[Edit: You can see all these new pieces on our website!]

Day 29:

I’m sitting at my desk, a freshly opened, but empty, coffee bean bag held up to my nose like a brown paper sack for someone hyperventilating. I’m breathing deeply. The earthy smell fills my head and lungs, and has an instant calming effect. For a good minute, I sit there. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Jack is fighting off a sinus headache. He is impervious to all forms of antihistamines, and therefore at the mercy of the elements.

Phil finally seems to be returning to normal after a week at sea. He no longer has the odd back-and-forth sway to his walk, and his eyes no longer seem to be turning inward, no doubt reliving maritime vistas and fruity rum drinks. I think he’s probably getting over the scurvy.

As for me, I’m typing. Again. Finally.

I don’t know that you know this about me, but I’m a bit of a wanna-be gadget nerd. Last month, I ditched my Windows Phone and got a Galaxy S4, and yesterday, I received a deeply discounted Samsung Gear (which is that “smart” watch that pairs with Samsung’s Galaxy phones). I think I’m glad I got it on the cheapish, but it does do some pretty cool things. It’ll let me read text messages without picking up my phone, answer phone calls by talking into my wrist like Dick Tracy and even check the weather.

But the fun part for “work” purposes is that it has a camera. Prepare yourself for behind-the-scenes zaniness at the Gallery! (Like this one of Jack doing … something boring at his computer!)

Newness

First, we’d like to welcome Carol Amos to the Lovetts family. Carol grew up in a family of artists, and has been painting almost her whole life. Her specialty is stunning, realistic oil paintings of plants and flowers (yes, I know flowers are plants, but what do you want? Are cacti technically flowers? I mean, how specific do I need to be people?).

Her work is as vibrant as her subject matter, and we’re excited for you to see it. She sent us two as appetizers and is working on more. I’ll leave you with one of them, and we’ll do a proper intro when we get the additional work.

Second, tomorrow, Friday, April 18, 2014, we expect the newest work from Joseph Crone to arrive. Jack and I love his work. He is a virtuoso with pencil, and it’s something you need to see in person to believe. It was going to be here last week, but UPS thought it needed a trip from Oklahoma City to Washington to help it cure or something. Thanks, UPS, for being so concerned about Joseph’s drawings.

And with that, I must leave you. Thanks for coming, and we’ll see you soon.

106597

March 20, 2014

Show Week!

Monday was festive. I wore a green polo shirt. Phil wore one of Jack’s ties with some green in it (over his t-shirt; no, he did not remember the holiday). Jack wore a green plastic leprechaun hat that had “Luck o’ the Irish” on a band.

Someone had some Bailey’s in their coffee, but it wasn’t one of the three of us. We might have enabled them. Perhaps. Libations are liberating. Whoever figured out that St. Paddy’s day should be a drinking holiday was a marketing genius.

Vernal_web

But we’re not here to talk green, we’re here to talk show. Erica, Brian, James and Ed are all going to be here this weekend, and they are excited to meet you. They are excited to show you their newest creations.

So in keeping with the get-you-guys-excited-for-the-show theme, I talked with the artists about how they went about preparing for Vernal Beauty. If you revisit an earlier blog post, you’ll find my interview with Erica (most of her works are here already, btw, and they are spectacular; What I mean by spectacular is that they make me really happy when I look at them. They make me want one).

This week, I received insight from James and Brian.

“I'm not a big believer in an artist translating his/her visual art into words,” says James. “It's kinda like (except worse) using plain language to explain a poem, which in itself is a perfect arrangement of words. But I'll give it a shot...

106463

“In general, my art is about making visual, emotive objects. Sometimes that is the only point and at other times, the paintings refer to my observations of and experiences in life. When I paint abstractions, such as my ‘Paint’ series, and some others, they are simply about the beauty of paint, color, and occasionally, forms. When recognizable elements and forms are introduced, I blend this esthetic with an observation of something I perceive in life. In most of this recent body of work, I am trying to blur the lines between ‘art for art's sake’ and presenting my own beliefs on what I find beautiful in life.

“The older I get, the more difficult it is for me to separate my life and my art. Making art is a way of life and I can only see life as a work of art. I have gotten to a point where it seems silly to try and separate the two.”

James has more than 15 works ready for the show, and unfortunately we’re only going to be able to hang nine of them. That said, all will be on the website, which we’ll have pulled up on the big monitor on the counter, so just ask if there’s something you want to see.

 Brian really likes the name of the show, seeing as how he grew up in Vernal, Utah.

“I thought it was an intriguing coincidence that the show was titled, Vernal Beauty,” says Brian.  “I knew it couldn't have been primarily for me, but it made me wonder, having grown up in a town called Vernal. Either way, I thought I would go with it. Much of the work I will be showing is strictly centered on my Vernal roots, and some specifically from my dear sweet sister's farm in Vernal. The majority of the framing on my work is taken from an old farmer's barn in Vernal. I solicited the wood working skill of a local artist friend to help me make the frames. Although the show is titled around the Vernal equinox, it has a deeper and double meaning for me.”

106552

I wish I could say that’s why I named the show Vernal Beauty, but … I was looking for a springtime connection. It’s just a fortunate coincidence. Then again, there are plenty who believe there are no coincidences.

And that is that, folks. Short and sweet. We’ll see you all on Saturday, right?

March 07, 2014

This is Key

So … It’s share day here at the gallery.

Almost 13 years ago, my wife and I decided we wanted a beach wedding, but we were basically too poor to leave the country. In lieu of a proper Caribbean beach, we went hunting. I say “we,” but it was really her. She scoured the 12-years-ago internet and landed on Key West.

The more we read about the place, the more we liked the idea. We liked comparisons to New Orleans. We liked the history. We liked that it was in the Keys. And it had another appeal to me: Hemingway is one of my favorite authors, and he was all over Key West.

So instead of Jamaica ... Key West.

We don’t regret it. We had a pretty fantastic time. The first night, we wandered up and down Duval St. We did sunset at Mallory Square. It got better from there.

We saw the sights, drank the drinks. We had beers at Sloppy Joes and visited The Hog’s Head. We visited the Hemingway house and the docent, since it was the last tour of the day, let me behind the big metal gate in Papa’s writing loft where I sat in “the chair” and got to touch the typewriter (yes, I’m sure they are not the originals, but the place is the same). I have a pic of it somewhere. We had breakfast at Blue Heaven, and rented bicycles and rode around like crazy kids with no responsibilities.

 Our friends showed up for the wedding, and we did it all again.

Then we got married on the beach at sunset, and that, too, was awesome. I can still see it all in my head. I would not change a moment of it. In fact, I’ve been kicking around the idea of seeing if the wife wants to go back sometime soon.

There’s a reason for all this Key West nostalgia.

Tuesday, Brian Slawson drove down from Kansas to deliver new work to us, and three of those paintings are of various spots in Key West (I "drove" around the island with Google Street Maps). There’s one of the Tropic, the island’s historic movie theatre. There’s a vignette from Duval Street. And then there’s an epic early evening scene of Sloppy Joe’s (which I’ve provided for your perusal).

106512

Here’s the thing. I’m not the only one who loves Key West. I know you’re out there. I know, like me, you’d see Duval Street and want to go book hotel reservations and plane tickets. Sigh. In any case, since we’re all here in Tulsa together, if you want to come in and check out the sunny Florida vistas with me, maybe we’ll make a margarita and hang out for a bit.

Also, Brian dropped off six paintings, not just the three from Key West. You can check those out, too.

But Wait!

Since you’re coming by anyway, there’s something else you should know. We are inundated with new art. There’s so much more than just Brian’s.

Last weekend was the annual NatureWorks show, and several of our artists (Paul Rhymer, Matthew Higginbotham and this new guy I’m about to introduce) participated. As a result, we received some new art from the fellows.

Paul dropped off another handful of his Arizona Alphabet bronzes, and Matthew delivered five new paintings. Here’s one of them:

106498

As for the new guy … Lovetts fans, please welcome Scot Storm. He’s a realistic wildlife painter and his attention to detail and ability to capture the … well, spirit of the animals he paints is impressive. Jack asked Scot about one of his paintings in particular, Doe.

“I’ve seen a lot of people paint whitetail deer before, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone capture one as well as you have. What do you do differently?”

“I spend a lot of time in the field observing them,” Scot said.

Scot spends enough time watching his subjects that he can take the photo reference and imbue it with the living characteristics of the animals. As a result, they appear as though they could jump right out of the painting. It's uncanny ... and spectacular.

106494

The Return of the Tim

When we first introduced Timothy Nimmo to you, there was the promise of larger works. He brought us maquettes of his Ibex Bust and Blackbuck Bust and said that after the first of the year, we’d be receiving their big brothers.

Last weekend, he delivered.

Ibex gallery

Ibex Bust stands 78 ½” tall and 23” wide.

The stone base is “Giallo Reale” travertine, but can be ordered in different colors if you’re inclined to wait. Tim also has the ability to produce mirrored image sculptures if you’d like a matched set.

I know I sound like a broken record, but you really, really need to come in and see these works of art. A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but it's no substitute for an experience.

I'll see you soon.

...

...

Oh yeah. Showtime! Two weeks!

Vernal Beauty.
March 22, 2014.
Erica Norelius, Brian Kock, James W. Johnson and Ed Natiya. 

We'll see you there.

February 27, 2014

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Hey, kids. What’s happenin’?

I wrote part of this last week when the weather was good. Didn't bother to check the forecast to see that, in fact, things were going back to frigid this week. I mean, sure, small talk about the weather is lame, but I was trying to make it funny. And I had this awesome spring pic to go with it.

You know what? Heck with it. I'm going to give you the pic anyway because it is awesome and will make you smile. We're all about the smiles around here. Yours, anyway. 

So, the pic:

Sprung

Moving on.

Since greenery and warmth are just around the corner (allegedly), perhaps it’s time to talk about our upcoming spring show, Vernal Beauty, which features Erica Norelius, Brian Koch, James W. Johnson and Ed Natiya. I’m thinking I should’ve called it Vernal Appetites or something more provocative. But Beauty is the more dignified, respectable moniker.

Rather than hit you with a blast of information about the show a couple weeks prior, I’m going to start sprinkling it in now. I reached out to Erica, Brian, James and Ed to see if they could provide some insight into the work they're prepping. Erica and James gave me a wealth of info, so they're up first.

I’ve already started rolling out teaser images. Erica’s Red Street makes up the background of the lovettsgallery.com front page, and James’ In the Woods is our cover image on Facebook. We’ve received a lot of positive comments about both of those pieces already. I’ll repeat what I said on the Book of Faces … they will be here in March. Make plans to watch them work.

The information spigot opens with commentary from Erica. She’s been working on an advanced degree in art, honing her craft and her mind.

I love Erica’s work. I’m drawn to her urban scenes; they seem like places I’d like to step into and soak up the sounds and smells and life. And I love her depiction of light. It’s always just … right. I would wallpaper my office with her paintings if I could afford them. As it stands, I’d be in hock to Jack for a decade or longer.

106456

I asked Erica what she had in store for Vernal Beauty. She said:

My artistic training taught me how to paint what I see, but every year I paint, I am looking for ways to re-create what I see – to make it mine, to heighten a certain effect, push the color etc. In other words, to not look like the photograph, but to still look real.  

This current body of work I have been particularly sensitive in regard to color. Each painting has become an exploration into a color palette, in order to heighten the overall effect of the colors. Each painting seems to have an overriding color − red, or green or gray etc.  

My inspiration seems to be coming from the movies − I've been becoming more and more sensitive to how scenes in movies are being lighted and the various colors they're using. One day when I don't have any homework or painting to do for a show, I want to just sit down and paint stills from movies. (To which I say, Why wait? If that’s what you want to paint, paint them. – ed.)

One of the new paintings (it still needs to be finished) is green painting. I'm using two complementary colors plus white to create an overall green painting. Why green − well, I was trying to capture the coolness of the day turning into night that happens in the city. Why two colors? Because it becomes more about the value gradations − or the drawing.  

One of the paintings, which is very gray, was inspired by an Anders Zorn exhibit that came to San Francisco. Zorn has been noted for using an extremely limited palette − white, black, yellow ochre and red. He added some colors from time to time, but that was his base. One watercolor in particular struck me, Impressions of London. When I came home, I felt my painting was too complicated, I was trying to be too realistic and putting in the colors as I saw them from the photograph. I started painting over what I had painting. I didn't look at the reference at all, just recreated the scene to enhance the atmosphere − to make it my Impressions of San Francisco. Still have some more work on it though …

Another theme that seems to be cropping up again and again are my night paintings.  In daylight, things are either being lit by the sun, or they aren't – there’s one major light source.  The night scenes are compelling because there are a number of different light sources from street lights, cars, store fronts, etc. The pattern of lights in the dark can become pretty abstract and I'm trying to loosen up my painting some, however, it's much easier to do this on a small painting than a large one!  

School has been inspiring. My skills are being refined and polished, but it's also a reminder that there is always room for improvement. Watching the other teachers paint, reminds me that painting is a slow and steady discipline − one careful brushstroke after another.

Now, obviously, I can’t show you all the paintings she discussed. We have to save some surprises for the show, right? But I have seen them (most of them), and they are awesome. Thanks to Erica for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions.

March 22, 10am-5pm. Vernal Beauty. Make a plan.

Sculpted

Following up on the teases from Facebook, we’ve new work in from Gene Pearson,  Paul Rhymer and Brent Cooke, and here are some pics (in that particular order). If you want to see more, you’ll have to either visit us at the Gallery, or wait until Monday when I unleash the month’s new releases. 

  106428

106444

106486

And there you have it. We'll see you next week. Probably.

December 19, 2013

Kaleido-snow-matic

Kaleidosnowmatic
It feels for all the world that we have done nothing but shows lately, which is kinda true.

We've had three in three months, including two in three weeks. The latest was Kaleidochromatic, which featured Jeff Ham, Erika Pochybova and Benjamin Cobb. It is a loud, colorful display of artistic excellence, and it's still here hanging (and sitting) in the gallery for you to see.

And a lot more of you would've gotten to if it weren't for that meddling weather!

So consider this another invitation to come see the "exhibition." All the art the three produced is still here, even the stuff that's sold. We beat this drum all the time, but a computer monitor is no place to experience fine art. Art, like food and adventures, must be experienced.

There's still time.

Last Thursday, when the weather hit, we were holding our breath that the artists would even be able to make it to Tulsa. We received road reports from Jeff via his wife Gwen. The weather caused them to make an unscheduled stay in Amarillo on Thursday night, and they weren't sure what time they'd arrive on Friday with the art. I don't know if you're aware of this, but it is a bit difficult to put on a show without the art. Erika and James arrived safely thursday evening, but their trip from Lubbock took a bit longer than it should've. We were half expecting Ben to call us from Salt Lake city and say he was stuck.

At one point on Thursday, we were watching the weather and Jack said, "It might just be us standing around talking and having some drinks."

It didn't turn out that way. People braved the elements for art. And when they arrived, Saturday looked a little like what you see below.

Kaleidoshow

Here's one of Erika working on her dragonfly:

Pochy2

And another from later in the day:

Erikadragon

Jeff started with this:

Jip1

... and then progressed to this:

Jwork

And another:

Jip2

In the middle of the day on Saturday, Ben headed down to the Tulsa Glassblowing School and put on a clinic. While he was there, he played with fire and created beautiful glass. While was there watching Ben play with fire and create beatiful glass, I chatted with Janet Duvall (the executive director of the school).

I asked her the obvious ... "How often do people get burned doing this?"

"Once every couple of months." She went on to explain that mostly when people do burn themselves, it's the veterans and not the tryos. Apparently, the vets get complacent and forget that all the metal they use to heat and control the glass stays hot. 

When I say they play with fire, I'm not kidding. For example, it goes from this (note the "hotpads"):

Ben1

... to the oven, and then back out to get torched:

Ben2

Then they get out the tools and start pulling on it like it's taffy.

Ben3

And then it ends up looking like one of these:

106336

We're here until six o'clock every day but Sunday. You are more than welcome to come in and see the work. Or us. Whichever. We're not picky. See you next week. 

August 23, 2013

The Bewilderness Blog

529338_10152027933644119_21708862_nI think this is the first week in three months we didn’t get any new art. Sure, we’re still basking in the afterglow of introducing Timothy Nimmo and Chad Awalt (check them out in New Works). But still. I’ve been writing about new stuff for so long.

“Jack, what are we writing about in the blog today? We didn’t get anything new in.”

Jack said, “I don’t know,” and then he didn't speak for about five minutes while putting the finishing touches on a shadowbox for an American flag. Then he looked up and said, “I’m thinking.”

Another couple of minutes go by, during which I sat and stared at the blank white Word document on the screen. Hey, this writing thing isn’t always easy.

At which point Jack said, “We should have a Halloween party.”

Then he walked over and checked the calendar, which is some brownish bank calendar with oil derricks all over it. “How about the 19th? And everyone has to come in costume to get in. We’ll call it, ‘The Dark Harvest.’”

So that’s probably happening. We’ll keep you posted, but the Summerses are big on All Hallow’s Eve, so you should beware the coming darkness. Plus, it’ll be fun. I’ve been to one of their Halloween parties, and it’s on my Top 3 Best Parties Ever list.

Then, improbably, the conversation steered toward marriage, as in the institution of. Jack asked Phil and I how long we’d been married (not to each other, duh). We told him.

“We have more than 61 years of combined marriage experience right here in this room.”

Apparently, we not only can offer you masterful framing and the best original artwork in the country, but if you ask really nicely, we can give you … marriage advice?

Yeah, right. My wife reads this blog. I’m offering advice to no one. (Hi, dear!)

I thought we could do “five questions,” and have each of the three of us answer five questions from the other two. That didn’t fly. For now. I think I’ll do it anyway, I’ll just be sneaky about it, and then in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to read their answers. Can’t interview myself, after all.

Now that I’ve prattled on for some 400 words in as Seinfeldian a manner as I could, I’ll get on with some realish content …

The Realish Content, Part 1: SWAIA Indian Market

Some of our artists (past and present) snagged awards at last week’s Santa Fe Indian Market. They are as follows:

IC: Category 302 - Bracelets and watchbands

First place, Fritz Casuse; second place, Christopher Pruitt; honorable mention, Julius Keyonnie

IC: Category 303 - Rings

First place, Fritz Casuse; second place, Robin Waynee; honorable mention, Earl Plummer

IC: Category 304 - Pins and pendants

First place, Liz Wallace; second place, Amelia Joe-Chandler

IIE: Category 901 - Slabwork

First place, Harold Littlebird; second place, Anita Fields; honorable mention, Harold Littlebird

IIE: Category 905 - Miscellaneous

First place, Jody Naranjo ; second place, Autumn Borts-Medlock, Diego Romero;

VB: Category 2007 - Clay

First place, Anita Fields; second place, Courtney Leonard; honorable mention, Santiago Romero, Courtney Leonard

IIIB: Category 1207 - Mixed Media 2D art

First place, Patrick Dean Hubbell; second place, Alex Peña; honorable mention, Alex Peña

VB: Category 2005 - Wood

First place, Nathan Hart

VIIB: Category 2803 – Miscellaneous

First place, Wanesia Misquadace; honorable mention, Mary White-Country

Best of Classification XI - Basketry

First place, Shan Goshorn

Best of Division B: Outside the Southwest Baskets

First place, Shan Goshorn

XIB: Category 3305 - Contemporary

First place, Shan Goshorn; second place, Jeremy Fry; honorable mention, Stonehorse Goeman, Diane Douglas-Willard

IXA: Category 3408 - Paintings

First place, Mosgaadacé Casuse; second place, Terion John; honorable mention, Cypress Anderson

Institute of American Indian Arts Alumni Award

Wanesia Misquadace

(Just don’t ask me what Category 905 – Miscellaneous means. There was no explanation on the website.)

Congratulations, winners! 

Anita is bringing us that First Place winning piece this weekend, and Jody is going to be here (along with Susan Folwell) for our Future Earth show and exhibition in November (more details coming soonish).

Textural_behavior_fb
Realish, Part II: Textural Behavior

We’re officially less than a month away from Textural Behavior. Here’s what I wrote for our press release:

Life is not two-dimensional, so it's no wonder so many artists toil to add depth, detail and texture to their work.

Textural Behavior, the next show from Lovetts Gallery, celebrates that endeavor. Friday, Sept. 21, from 10am-5pm on the gallery floor, texture will be given to newly created works of art.

Textural Behavior features Merlin Cohen, Sam Jones IV, David Shingler and Shelli Wood. Merlin works magic with stone, creating mind-bending Mobius strips that leave you wondering how he does it. Sam does spectacular figurative and landscape work with a process he created (it involves dental tools and blow torches). David has just been named to Southwest Art's "21 under 31" list of the best young artists in the country, and his landscapes are teleportational. Shelli creates contemporary jewelry that demands to be touched, not just worn.

We are aware Textural Behavior is going down on a Saturday during football season, however ... OSU, OU and TU are all off that week, so you have no excuses. This is a show you won't want to miss. Come get ... textural with us.

We are excited. All four artists have created some of their best work for us, and we can’t wait for you to see it. If you read between the lines of that statement, you can infer that yes, I have seen a lot of the new art and may even have images of it on my computer. I can be bribed. Probably.

Last_call1
Realish, Part III: Solving the Mystery

A couple weeks back on the blog, I teased a bunch of images, offering no explanation as to what they were or who they were by. There was good reason for that. We were still in talks with a couple of those artists and were sure, but not certain, they’d be joining the Lovetts family. One of those artists was Timothy Nimmo, and you can read about him here.

At the top of that blog was a noir-ish scene that looked straight out of Chinatown. It is called Last Call and it’s by Indiana artist Joseph Crone. It’s 12”x9”, colored pencil on film. Colored pencil.

Jack found Joseph’s work and we reached out to him. We’re proud to say he’s decided to join up and is sending us some drawings. You might have to be patient to see them. His current noir series is promised elsewhere (though there’s still the possibility it will come to Lovetts), but then he’s going to be creating some pieces especially for Lovetts, and we can’t wait to get them. In the meantime, Joseph is sending us two other drawings … and you’re going to have to come in to see them. C’mon, man, I can’t give up all the goods here on the internet. Joseph spends up to five weeks on each of these drawings and they need to be appreciated in person.

I’ll make you a deal. The second they come in and we get them unwrapped, I’ll put it on Facebook. I’m also planning to interview Joseph for the blog, so expect more about him in the near future.

Annnnnnd that’s all, folks. See you next week!

May 16, 2013

Triple Crown! Hat Trick! Trifecta!

Most of you are aware we represent artists from all over the country, and that a lot of our artists are a pretty big deal. They are in international collections. They’ve shown in the Louvre. They’ve won shows. They are seen.

But you know all that, right? After all, we wouldn’t represent them if they weren’t awesome.

So, speaking of awesome, one of our artists, Robert Caldwell, just pulled off a major hat trick. He entered and was accepted into three major exhibitions. We received an email from him late last week, went a little something like this ...

“I wanted to share with you all that I did it! Three major wildlife exhibitions entered and all three have chosen my work to be included!!! All of them graphite pieces!!!”

I did not add any of the exclamation points. I gather he’s pretty excited, even if he’s currently sick as a dog and convalescing at his home.

The first work, Margin (Lioness), was selected for the Art of the Animal Kingdom XVIII exhibition at the Bennington Center for the Arts (Bennington, VT), June 15-Aug. 25, 2013.

Margin_(Lion)
Personally, I always like to ask the artists if there’s a story behind the work. Sometimes, they have one, sometimes they don’t.

“These were the first lions that I had seen in the wild. We were driving on the outlying area, the margin, of Silale Swamp, which doesn't look like a swamp at all, when we saw one lion off to our left and another on our right. The one on the right was sitting up looking at the other lion, and you could sense that she wanted to cross the road and go to her mother or sister down in the tall grasses under an umbrella acacia tree.

“With my camera ready, I sat back and waited for her to cross the road. What an amazing sight; she strolled out across the dirt road and into the tall grasses, and with every step, I could see every muscle flex as she glided into the tall grass. I was amazed by how well she blended into the grass, the lightness of her fur blending into the stalks. This is what I wanted to capture in my drawing, how, moving ever so silently in the grass, the lion became part of her environment.”

The second piece, Kutokua Na Hatia (Colobus Monkey) was selected for Art and the Animal, the 53rd Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Arts, Bennington, VT, Aug. 31 – Oct. 31. Kutokua_Na_Hatia_(Colobus_Monkey)

“Arusha National Park lies on the side of Mount Meru, an active volcano. As we made our way up the edge of the crater wall, we could see Mount Kilimanjaro through the tree canopy. As we came around a bend on the path, we spotted a grouping of colobus monkeys. The dense trees made it tricky to capture reference material. It wasn’t until we were coming back down from the top of the road that I saw a glimpse of white. My guide, Jeremy, very excitedly turned to me and said something in Swahili and pointed up at the monkeys. Even though I had been in the country for more than a week at this point and I felt like I was getting a grasp on the language, I had no idea what he said but I looked up and saw this little innocent face looking down at us. Baby colobus monkeys, I learned, are born with pure white fur but don't stay that way for long so I was extremely fortunate to have seen this little guy.”

Last, but not least, Robert’s Custodian (Ruppell’s Vulture) won a spot in Birds in Art, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s 2013 exhibition in Wausau, WI, Sept. 7 – Nov. 10, 2013. Custodian_(Ruppell's_Vulture)

“We had been on a game drive in Tarangire National Park that day through two heavy rains and had just broken through the rain front coming down the backside of a hill near Silale Swamp when I saw a large bird perched in a dead acacia tree.

“At this point in the day, it’s quiet. There aren’t many animals out, and trees are sparse around the swamp. But there was this Ruppell's Vulture just perched elegantly in the upper branches of the barren tree. The backend of the rain clouds gave the sky a light even tone that stretched across the backdrop of the vulture and its throne. It just seemed like such a powerful setting for what can be perceived as such an unwanted position, king or custodian.”

Congratulations to Robert on his fantastic trifecta.

While these three works aren’t in the gallery yet, we do have several of Robert’s paintings for you to come ogle. And if that’s not enough, Robert will be here June 2014 to celebrate the release of his forthcoming book, Draw Realistic Animals Wildlife, Pets & More. It will also be the first showing of the paintings from his trip to Africa, so stay tuned. (Don’t worry. I’ll remind you when we’re closer to the date.)

I’ll see you at the Gallery. No, really. I’m here now, pretty much everyday.