Once again, I’m playing catch-up. My last post here was in October of last year, but that should not be taken to mean that nothing has happened since then. A lot has.
There have been several developments on the art front. I’ve taken multiple watercolor classes over the years from Bonny Lundy, one of the founding teachers at the Yellow Barn Studio. Last fall I took her class in Experimental Watercolor at the Artists and Makers Studio in Rockville, MD. We focused on the work of artists Helen Frankenthaler, Gerhard Richter, Sean Scully, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and Virginia Cobb. Currently I am in the midst of another Experimental Watercolor class with Bonny, again at Artists and Makers. This time we are focusing on the work of Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, John Marin, Arthur Dove, and a Chinese-French artist named Zao Wou-Ki. I had never heard of Zao Wou-Ki before the class, but I found his abstract expressionist work very impressive. It’s worth checking out on Google. Some of the watercolors I’ve done in both of these classes seem to merit preserving, and once I’ve sorted them out, I’ll post them on the website in the Prints & Paintings section.
Still on the art front, I’ll be participating next month in another abstract acrylic workshop with Carol Jason at the Yellow Barn Studio. I’ve done two workshops with Carol in the past, and several of the paintings from those workshops are on display in the Prints & Paintings section. In the upcoming workshop I hope to produce some paintings that reflect Zao Wou-Ki’s influence and can be added to the other works on the website.
As a result of the notes about Food for a Journey that appeared in Notre Dame Magazine last fall, a couple of my classmates were kind enough to purchase copies of the book. One of them, Terry O’Loughlin, inquired about the availability of prints of two of the paintings on the website, “DeKooning Colors” and “After Diebenkorn.” My answer was in the negative, for the simple reason that I had never looked into having prints made. Spurred by Terry’s question, I asked Jerry and Sandy Miller, the brother and sister team which manages the Minuteman Press office here in Bethesda, for their help. They agreed to give the project a try, and a few weeks later they provided me with attractive, reasonably-priced, 22″ by 28″ prints (the original paintings measure 24″ by 30″) of both paintings. I sent the prints along to Terry and his artist wife Mary Kay, and now, after suitable matting and framing, the prints grace the walls of the O’Loughlin home in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. If anyone else should be interested in having one or more prints of art work from the Prints & Paintings section of the website, just send me an e-mail at email@example.com, and we’ll see what we can work out.
On the book front, I recently sent review copies of Food for a Journey to the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, and to Commonweal and America magazines. Given the flood of books for review that inundate those publications on a regular basis, it is at best unlikely that they would bother to review a first book of poetry by an unknown author. Still, the multiple mailings seemed worth a try. Aside from the postage, I didn’t have much to lose.
One last item on the book front. I have another poetry reading coming up, this one at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD. The reading is part of a series of Third Thursday Poetry Readings sponsored by the Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Commission. I’ll be reading with two other poets, Nancy Arbuthnot and Nicole Bresner. The reading will be broadcast live on City TV (a local access network, I think) and can be viewed online at a later date. Should be fun. And that’s all for now.