Under the horizon
Under the horizon

137 Elmfield St., #138, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48”x36”, 2019. This will be up for auction at the Westport Library in October. Proceeds to benefit all of the wonderful programs available in their giant beautiful new building.

Off in the distance, the big ones wait for the show to start. The gig is on, it’s all good, hope we get paid… and it does smell like Lou dog in the van.

Vessel
Vessel

137 Elmfield St., #137, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 60” x 48”, 2019.

Some magic going on here, the vessel contains what? A genie? or apocalypse… Thalidomide angel listens to our thoughts, we anticipate the response.

Pentatonic Intention
Pentatonic Intention

137 Elmfield St., #136, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas, 48”x60”, 2019.

The blues, a simple chord progression topped with a solo. The pentatonic scale is the melodic environment for that musical idea. As an ideology, it has given us rock and roll, film noir, and good poetry. I believe, it embodies the great ironies of the human condition.

Corn Abstract - Another Secret Place
Corn Abstract - Another Secret Place

137 Elmfield St., #135, oil paint, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 2019.

Slipping from the conscious into the unconscious the cartoon plays on in my head. Come on in, it’s fun in here and no one will ever know, unless you tell them.

Pinball
Pinball

137 Elmfield St., #133, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, on canvas, 48”x 36”.

We used to hang around the Teen Center in East Hampton when we were kids, playing pinball and watching the older kids shoot pool. Sneaking beers and learning to smoke, we dropped our coins into the juke box, spinning the 45’s that would become anthems, we etched out a soundtrack for the greatest summer ever.

Bowl o rama
Bowl o rama

137 Elmfield St., #132, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil, on canvas, 48” x 36”, 2019.

Bowling, fast cars and cheap beer, the waitress at the diner is on roller skates and she’s a looker. It’s rock and roll, and the freedom to mix it all together. Epic summer anthems, staying up until dawn, hoping your brothers & fathers come back from Viet Nam standing up.

Westport 1
Westport 1

This is the first of at least eight destined for the Wesport Library reopening gala, in October, 2019. The show is rock n’ rolled themed, the opening to be an epic dance party.

When the liquor talks
When the liquor talks

137 Elmfield St., #130, 48” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

This is another movie poster, film yet to be produced. A tragic comedy full of attractive misery and tolerable demise. Our star, the artist and his motley group of bar buddies attempt to solve the worlds problems from inside the bottle. It’s a madcap journey through short and entertaining lives.

The poster
The poster

137 Elmfield St., #129, 48”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

I didn’t see the movie but I remember the poster, and the walls in soho. Stencil artists working at night, need to have a look out. They threw a kid with a spray can off a roof in queens, the people with him got mad and stayed that way. Renee made wooden toys back then so we asked him, who is the best artist now?

The road
The road

137 Elmfield St., #128, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019

Trying to escape from somewhere, most times, the road will take you where you need to go. Other times, it’s nettles be damned, short cuts the only way.

Teleoldvision
Teleoldvision

137 Elmfield St., #127, 10” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

It’s been a long winter, we watched a lot of TV. It’s more cinematic than it was when we were kids, and now we know, that there are no people inside. The pixels blink on and off to make the puppets move.

Backwards five – a romance
Backwards five – a romance

137 Elmfield St., #126, 10”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

Backwards five is probably a robot, or a one armed man in a cardboard costume, and not a young one either. Futurama teaches us that emotional robots, fueled by alcohol, can get lucky too.

Pyler Coming
Pyler Coming

137 Elmfield St., #125, 10” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

When my oldest daughter was maybe three, one of her first self-appointed jobs was to find all the spiders in the house and keep me posted as to their whereabouts and activity. When one of them seemed about ready to attack she would announce to me with great concern, pyler coming. That was my cue to find a magazine and dispatch the monster.

Dogtower
Dogtower

137 Elmfield St., #124, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

A temple of sorts, maybe. A secret society like the masons, but they are wrenches. The canine is a mystery, probably a good one.

Faith
Faith

137 Elmfield St., #123, 14” x 11”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

For the greater good we congregate,
leaving malice at the door
talk about our heroes,
heal the sick & feed the poor

Middle Haddam
Middle Haddam

137 Elmfield St., #122, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil no canvas, 2019.

This is my place, I carry it around with me.

Surprise
Surprise

137 Elmfield St., #121, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

Letting the unexpected happen is harder then it sounds. History tries to repeat itself and new ideas seem fragile against the tide of old ones. Listening to funk, trying out some new steps, keeping it fresh.

Mixed Message Landscape
Mixed Message Landscape

137 Elmfield St., #118, 24”x 30”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

There is graffiti from the seventies in the field. It escaped the A train, wafted through the tunnels, drifted up Bruckner Boulevard and made its way to New England. We hope they like it here, Samo and Fishbone Posse are long gone.

Light and Life
Light and Life

137 Elmfield St., #119, 14” x 11”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet on cradled board, 2019.

The Teacher
The Teacher

137 Elmfield St., #115, 8” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on board, 2018

Gas Pump
Gas Pump

137 Elmfield St., #116, 8.5” x 10.5”, oil, wax, pencil on board, 2018.

In the summertime I worked in gas stations as a kid in the mid seventies. Pumping gas, doing oil changes, fixing flats. My friends would hang around sometimes, and it was fantastic to be a teenager, with a motorcycle, working that job. Cars would role in, the bell would clang… can I clean your windshield today? In the afternoons, when it slowed down, we drank Welch’s grape soda and talked about girls.

Blackbirds over Redville
Blackbirds over Redville

137 Elmfield ST., #114, 8.5” x 17.5” x , oil, wax, oil pastel on pine board, 2018.


These blackbirds live in the pines behind our house. They make sounds like old rusty fence hinges, and are aggressive to other birds. Their tail feathers are shaped differently, they can maneuver in tight spaces, turning, stalling, and reversing abruptly. It makes them appear mechanical at first, robot birds from somewhere else. I like them, like bitters in a Manhattan, up, no fruit please.

Concerto in D
Concerto in D

137 Elmfield St., #113, 24” x 12”, oil, wax, oil pastel, steel rod on board, 2018.

Trying to avoid the obvious, there is bent metal attached to this. A torch and two pairs of pliers to make branding irons. Am sort of interested in the shadow behind the center one. The movement is all Josef Myslivecek.

Polio Hospital, Roosevelt Island, NYC
Polio Hospital, Roosevelt Island, NYC

137 Elmfield St., #112, 16” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.


When Elvia and I were in our twenties, we used to hang around this place. It was a genuine ruin, a couple of the stairways were still intact you could get up top and look back at Long Island City. A great spot for artists looking for inspiration. I don’t think we knew it was a polio hospital, we assumed it was an insane asylum… though both make good stories.

Point of view
Point of view

137 Elmfield St., #111, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.

All looking at part of the same thing, and seeing something different.

Raheem
Raheem

137 Elmfield St., #110, 10” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

My old friend Raheem is at it again, fishing past dusk… his favorite part of the day.

Blackbird over Cattails
Blackbird over Cattails

137 Elmfield St., #109, 10” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on cradled board, 2018

There is more to this insomnia gig than just sleep walking. It’s about being able to tell the difference between an idea, and a real thing… even though they both feel the same. About knowing if you are floating or falling… that’s a big one. If your just getting into this thing, work on that one first.

Corn Abstract #5, Mescaline Moonlight
Corn Abstract #5, Mescaline Moonlight

137 Elmfield St., #108, 12”x12”, oil & wax on cradled board, 2018

Just past Harvest Moon, its October, and nothing really looks like this. But a memory of a thing can take on a life of its’ own. Which poses the question, “Why not dream in color?”

Reunion
Reunion

137 Elmfield St., #107, 24” x 18”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.


Sometimes ideas don’t hold still long enough for me to get them down. That tip in, is a print of a big painting I did in the mid eighties. The character is the Apex Welder. He has spent his life in the tunnels under the NYC subway system welding and repairing infrastructure. The rate of rot is such that he will never finish his chore, or see the light of day again. He will stand in a shower of sparks, trying to make things better for eternity. He is bolted to this painting, in a permanent reunion with those that followed him.

Corn Abstract #3
Corn Abstract #3

137 Elmfield St., #106, 11” x 16”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.

Fly fishing at night, alone, has it’s challenges. It does not look like this, it is black and scary, which is wonderful. The sounds are amplified, a familiar place feels foreign. Time slows to a crawl, something flying bumps into you, but you cannot flee… because at the end of your line, out where you can’t see, there is a tug.

Change
Change

137 Elmfield St., #104, 18” x 24”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

This started out as a stream of consciousness painting. I received an email from a design client I’ve had since 1996. They decided to give the work I’ve been doing all these years to the new agency. Not unusual at all but it shook me, and this is the result.

Corn Abstract #2
Corn Abstract #2

137 Elmfield St., #103, 24” x 18”, oil & wax on cradled board, 2018.

Am inside the corn looking out here. I took the photo for the drawing along the Farmington river, a couple hundred yards downstream from the Kolp Gardens. Met some fish that day, and an old black lab with a gooey tennis ball.

Meditation
Meditation

137 Elmfield St., #102, 24” x 18”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018. $425

I watched this one spider all summer, took photos of her, thought about her a lot. Every morning, up around five thirty watching her clock out at work. She kept her legs tight to her body when hanging in the web hunting, all night. Just as the sun started to come up she’d stretch out her long legs and move to the soffit to nap away the day. It was a good feeling knowing she was tucked away there, protected from the birds while I painted.

Spider web
Spider web

Spider web

137 Elmfield St., #101, 48” x 36”, oil wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2018.

Riffing in fours
Riffing in fours

137 Elmfield St., #100, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36”x48”.

There are four lines that repeat here, I play them a little different each time with no particular destination in mind. Some of the frames are trying to warn us of something. There are no grace notes or passing tones here, and the music goes on behind this snapshot. Deaf and mute this piece writes itself.

Ritual
Ritual

137 Elmfield St., #99, 36” x 48”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 8/22/18.

A little haunty, some possession of a place. Technical things shoring up some kind of action, an inferred logic, bar coded to something. Things seem so much simpler at a distance.

The Heat
The Heat

137 Elmfield St., #98, 48”x48”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, August 2018.

Sort of reflective, but the reflection is not a mirror image, it’s been diluted by the things underneath it. The heat lurks over my easel, it blurs my thoughts, melting wax and time, it all runs together.

Ambient Hope
Ambient Hope

137 Elmfield St., #105, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

Not the kind of hope sold on TV, this one isn’t waiting for your contribution or your vote. It exists in code, four pieces of Myriad Pro condensed.

Connections
Connections

137 Elmfield St., #96, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 7/31/2018.

It’s not always obvious how and why things are connected. This might be a landscape, a densely populated two dimensional space. Maybe it will open if you push on it, like the door behind the closet.

Summer 2018
Summer 2018

137 Elmfield St., #97, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 7/31/2018.


Am working outdoors this summer and its hotter than it should be. Tropical in CT, might be time to move north… although it is easier just to think about it and acclimate.

On the Loom
On the Loom

137 Elmfield St., #94, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 7/18/18.

My mother brushed her giant dog and kept the hair in bags. She spun yarn from the wool, strung up a loom, threw the shuttle and wove tapestry from the lot. She was good on the potters wheel, made baskets from sticks, and never stopped knitting the whole time we were growing up.

Heat wave
Heat wave

137 Elmfield St., #93, oil wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 7/6/18.


Michael Loew taught an abstract painting class at SVA when I was there. He was a wonderful guy and a good painter near the end of his career. He wore an ascot and pulled it off flawlessly, standing there helping me make little copies of his work. I kept thinking about him all through this one, not sure why. My oldest daughter gave birth to our first grandchild yesterday and I think a lot of this is about the process of growing a human being.

Tick circus
Tick circus

A scene from a play or a really good commercial, we are looking out into the distance. The sugar maple in our backyard has been dumping its helicopter seeds like snow all around my easel. I think the shapes in the background reflect those seeds. The bugs are an old story. Twenty years ago, I was sitting at my favorite bar, and pulled eight ticks off me and set them on the bar next to my beer. As they started to wander away I redirected them to walk in a circle. Excited about my tick circus I called the bartender, my friend Stefanee Grano over to see them. She was not happy with my pets, or me and asked me to leave as quickly as possible. I collected my critters and moved on, learning a lesson in what is socially acceptable and what is not.

Across the field
Across the field

137 Elmfield St., #91, 48”x60”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas


I wrote this story about a little battle. Some people kill some other people and take all their stuff, “They are getting close. We can see them moving in the grass across the field, soon we will be gone. The story is stitched into the sky.”

Returning to the present
Returning to the present

137 Elmfield St., #90, 48” x 60”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 5/11/18.

Returning to the familiar, a visual comfort zone. Finding things where you left them and wondering why it’s all still here. A man loses his studio, job, money, and finally his mind in 2010. Eight years later he stumbles into this painting and finds his marbles mostly intact. Now what?

Four Things
Four Things

137 Elmfield St., #88, 12”x12”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4/26/18.

These sort of look like beer taps to me, which makes me think of how much I like barstools… and happy hour. 

Red
Red

137 Elmfield St., #85, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/20/18.

An inferno? Or just the machinations of some emotional struggle. A nice witch once told me you can read things in fire, like tea leaves. That is true if your watching your barn burn.

Everything Reverberates
Everything Reverberates

137 Elmfield St., #86, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board.

Talking to another artist about the important questions, “who is your audience, and why do you paint?” He said, “I paint for other painters, and I do it because I have to.”

Ice House
Ice House

137 Elmfield St., #82, 11”x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board

Have never enjoyed ice fishing. Especially the style where you lay on the ice and stare into a hole. The snow blows over you and anyone that sees you assumes you are dead. The other way happens in these wonderful little shacks that are drug out on the ice. These are heated, hold four people, who bring food, booze, smoke and tiny ice fishing rods. A nice way to spend a few hours outside, in the winter, without a damn shovel.

Moonlight
Moonlight

137 Elmfield St., #81, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/14/18.

Being outside, at night is wonderful. More so with fireflies than taxi cabs, but thats just me. 

The Eighties
The Eighties

137 Elmfield St., #87, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/24/18.

This is how it looked in the 1980’s, but big, seven feet tall. Emergent artists trying to get into the big juried museum shows. Picking up where our heroes left off, looking for the next step into oblivion.

Fences
Fences

137 Elmfield St., #79, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/12/18.

People who own land protect their stuff with fences. They tell the viewer, this is not yours, don’t try to stand here. There are signs to reiterate that. Some of the signs list the stuff you cannot do. You may not trespass, you may not hunt or fish… you are allowed to be shot if you ignore one of those signs. I hope this fence doesn’t say that. I hope this fence says, climb over here and experience this place. 

Grass Curtain
Grass Curtain

137 Elmfield St., #80, 11” x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/10/18.

Swallowed by obscurity, hidden behind the grass curtain, there are gauges in here. A bleeder valve  hisses in the back, a steamy humid night. Carnival dancers in the street, lurching toward dawn.

Backsplash
Backsplash

137 Elmfield St., #77, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board, 4/6/18.

This is a direct response to my old friend Tom Kinder and his post of a backsplash behind the paint shaking machine at some big store.

Static
Static

137 Elmfield St., #78, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board

Toledo One-foot
Toledo One-foot

137 Elmfield St., #76, 18”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4/4/18.

He was a ranch hand, a cowboy, preacher and a dad
Hand caught in the picker, made his family sad
Was a snake that bit the foot, too far to make the doc
Neighbor took the foot off to beat the reapers clock

Used parts
Used parts

137 Elmfield St., #75, 8” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Thats the Apex welder, smoking. He’s getting older, stuff starts to break down. A regular at the Egyptian organ market, he is shopping for a heart. If they’re all out here, he’ll try the butcher.

On the way to work
On the way to work

137 Elmfield St., #74, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 3/23/18.

Sometimes you have to make room for your own thoughts. That is harder then it seems, we are pumped full of other peoples ideas so aggresively its hard to know whats yours and whats not.

Morning Walk
Morning Walk

137 Elmfield St., #73, 8” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 3/20/18

When everything is fresh and clear, ideas feel new and the possibilities are endless. Not every morning but some, and just one of those will peel the bark off a bad day. 

The shed
The shed

137 Elmfield St., #72, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board

They always smelled good, like old leather, oil, sometimes rust. If you are a woodchuck, under the floor is a great place to live. I work in a shed alot, as a tinker. Bent over my workbench it is branded from countless welds, watching the slag until it burns out. Each one a little volcano in a kerosene soaked stick building, I am careful. It is full of hand tools, grinders, sanders, a drill press and saws. The vice bolted to the table is old and marred, the electricity is fine.

Pawnshop
Pawnshop

137 Elmfield St., #71, 18”x 24”, oil, wax, oil crayon on canvas, 3/11/18.

Smoking, drinking, making mistakes. The rent is always due so you pawn the little bit of stuff you have. A city full of people miscalculating the power of optimism. Everybody knows the value of everything now. There’s no dusty Gibson in the corner, no magic lamp, the genies have left the planet. But there used to be secrets in these places. Pennies on the buck for an instrument soaked in blood and tears that you could own… until the rent is due. 

Corn Mirage
Corn Mirage

137 Elmfield St., #70, 20”x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel on board, 2/28/18

If you stare at anything it starts to change. Hunting at dusk, a little stump turns into a woodchuck. A fur collar on a winter coat looks like a whitetail deer as it moves in the shadows. Corn turns into crow, then alien, then ghost, then back into corn. You chuckle at hair standing, a mosquito brings you back. That old truck is a beaut, rust, leaks and all. When I look at something and recognize it, I see it that way forever. If i don’t recognize it, I see it differently each time. 

Corn Abstract
Corn Abstract

137 Elmfield St., #69, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas, 2/21/18

This field of corn has very different personalities depending on the time of day or night. It holds a kind of tension in the dusk. A good bear waddles out of it, crosses the path and heads down to the river to fish. We share some of the same spots, am always pleased to see him first. He is a patient bear, waiting for me to get out of the river before he gets into it. Unusual as bears don’t often wait for things, they cut the line. 

blue corn
blue corn

137 Elmfield St., #67, 8”x10”, oil, wax, pencil, inkjet on paper, 2/4/18.

The sound of corn. When I paint the stuff I don’t think about light and dark, line and fill. I think about the way it feels walking through it. Endless trailing fingertips gently inquiring. If you could only pause for a moment to answer. We almost never do. You keep moving and it whispers to your shadow, we are here, we are waiting.

Red corn
Red corn

137 Elmfield St., #66, 8”x10”, oil, oil pastel, wax, inkjet, pencil on board, 1/30/18

Corn is a big deal around here, it marks the progress of summer. “Knee high by the fourth of July,” they say. I liked that movie where my father’s baseball heroes walked out of the corn to play on the the farmers diamond. He said, “build it and they will come.” So powerfully optimistic it’s fun to think about. And ghosts in a cornfield? Thats just butter on toast.

Out of water
Out of water

137 Emfield St., #65, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet, pencil on board, 1/26/18

An homage to a place that does not belong to me but when I am there, under the right circumstances it feels like mine. That happens a half dozen times a year. And since this is all really about enlightenment it occurs to me that the difficulty of that mission is tempered by a good sense of humor. Laughing out loud at your own troubles is a testament to walking in the right direction.

Beneath
Beneath

137 Elmfiled St., #64, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 1/24/18

The under story always feels aquatic to me. The questions might have to do with water, the answers definitely do. Looking behind or under something seems like a good place to find things. The question, “what is important?” never stops seeming relevant.

The Audience
The Audience

137 Elmfield St., #63, 8.5”x10”, Oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board, 1/16/18

As a musician, I have not always been kind to my audience. Badly written music sung off key, wrong notes during the solo. And not just a little bad, but big loud epic clinkers that are so dissonant stuff comes out of the bass players nose. But like most things, the best stories are rarely about success. markrichart.org

The Backyard
The Backyard

8” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet, pencil on masonite, 1/15/18.

For me it was the American Dream. A house with a backyard, one parent working, the other home with the kids. I can still hear them playing… lots of them. Dogs barking, prairie home companion on the radio, food cooking, my neighbors big voice yelling at his boys. He had one of those whistles you do with fingers in the mouth. So loud his kids could hear it anywhere in the neighborhood. We complained about our taxes and auto repair. Tools on the driveway, station wagon up on jacks. It was never too hot, and never too cold, and all the children were above average. www.markrichart.org. 

look again
look again

24” x 30”, oil, wax, pastel, pencil on canvas, 1/9/18

Closer you look the more you see, under the mask you’ll find me. Please old crow forgive me, no reason that you should. The maker told the reaper, to nail his hands to wood. 

Nirvana
Nirvana

137 Elmfield St. #60, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, ink jet, pencil on canvas. 12/20/17

It is about the fish, but also this place. The time spent there, the sounds of the water, birds of prey competing for food. If I had to throw myself out of the sky, face first into a river to eat i wouldn’t do it. I’d be a lazy bird, slothfully eating dead squirrel by the side of the road, then maybe over to Mcdonald’s for some fries. The better birds would trash my name and that would be fine. But to be human, with a fly rod, on a sunny day in June when the water is perfect, middle of the week and not another living soul on the river… is a life well spent.

Under it All
Under it All

137 Elmfield St., #59, 24”x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil, toner, vellum on canvas.

A simple interrogation. Behind a forced laugh and the taste of metal, a fist slams into your head in a cold room. You wonder why, but just for a second. Because why is not an adult question and the answer leads you deeper into a basement no one wants to be in.

Stories from the ground
Stories from the ground

137 Elmfield St., #58, 24”x 30”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas

Thinking about landscapes, fields and grass. Sometimes when things are just right you can look out over a field and be in the picture. Its a different way of experiencing a place, more than an observation. All the senses come together and the richness of it hits you like an epiphany. These are delicate moments, and everything in modern life tries to drown them out. There are stories to be heard, and if you are quiet they will come out of the ground.

Accusation
Accusation

137 Elmfield St., #57, 12”x12”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas

Wrench has stepped into the fray, confronting authority, exposing fraud and injustice, he gestures toward the man behind the curtain with an outstretched wing. www.markrichart.org.

Along the Farmington
Along the Farmington

137 Elmfield St., #55, 24” 24”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas, 11/27/17

If you pull into the Kolp Gardens and park on right, under the poison ivy tree you can see the path heading downstream. The cornfield will be on your right, animals will spook and run across your path as they bolt out of the stalks. It might be six hundred yards or a little more down that path theres an opening in the brush on your left, you can slide into the water there, under the canopy of a big maple. The ford is easy if the water isn’t too high, walk downstream below the island until the water is waist high, theres some wood to your right. This fish lives there, and he’ll take a size fourteen zug bug if your lucky.

Raheem is flyfishing
Raheem is flyfishing

137 Elmfield St., #54. 24”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Raheem is not from here, he has discovered fly fishing and digs it. He is thinking about jazz and that maybe this is not such a bad planet after all, you just have to avoid the schmucks. He is thinking after his tour he might move back here with his family. Maybe to Lebanon CT, or Prineville OR. The carp and black dace are wonderful and the natives don’t seem to care about them.

Carpville
Carpville

137 Elmfield St., #53. 24”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/31/17

Its halloween, I don’t think this painting has anything to do with that. It does have a carp in it, who i met on the Farmington river one afternoon after he bit my zug bug. A very pleasant meeting I set him free when we were done. He seemed pretty indignant about it and indicated that it would be the last. www.markrichart.org

On the Mend
On the Mend

137 Elmfield St., #52, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/18/17

I don’t know how wrench lost his leg. This was supposed to be about a sense of place. How many things do you need to create a place? Not just a landscape but something that looks like it is in motion, where things are happening. The sort of thing a memory or fantasy could stick to.

Birdie and the Hepcats
Birdie and the Hepcats

137 Elmfield St., #51. 20” x 20”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/8/17.

It was a schematic, a design for all those transistors and capacitors. Patch it all together and turn it up. The music makes its own electricity. We are listening to Junior Brown, and his rockabilly surfer slide guitar with vibrato. Twang Deluxe hides here cuz he’s wanted by the police, and my wife thinks he’s dead. 

Sitting on eggs
Sitting on eggs

137 Elmfield St., #50, 20” x 20”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 7/21/17.

It's fall, my favorite time of year. When I was a kid adults seemed to talk about the weather all the time and I thought that was weird. Now, it is very clear to me. A nice day with a little breeze is a gift, it is the kindest thing the universe can bestow on its creatures and I am grateful. A long time ago Elvia and I worked in a mannequin factory in Long Island City. Sometimes we painted life size toucans. At the end of the day you could look across the big studio, and see a dozen of these toucans, their beaks identical and pointed toward the sky. That was a pretty good job.

Celebration
Celebration

137 Elmfield Street, #48, 9/14/17. 12” x 12”, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas.

Music, champagne, people talking & laughing, glasses clinking, applause for a great toast. Late in the summer color is vivid, the taste and smell of changing seasons bright and clear. A perfect place for sweet corn and mosquitos.

Small Town Reverie
Small Town Reverie

137 Elmfield St., #47, 9/7/17. 20”x20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Little towns around train sets in the sixties, Middle Haddam in the winter, my father said he grew up in a Rockwell painting and didn’t know it. I never knew anyone with rosey cheeks, the holiday brings more booze and all of a sudden it’s The Last Picture Show. Sweeping, the push broom makes a sound like waves on the street in front of the deserted pool hall. You can’t hear for the wind, and the dust makes it hard to care. The boy was never right anyway. www.markrichart.org.

Last day of camp
Last day of camp

119 Colonial St., #46, 8/30/17. 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Moving out of the summer studio, feels like the last day of camp. Milk crates full of spiders, old rags, couple of trash bags. I can hear the roofers across the street, theres a bluejay out here hollering back at their nail guns. Garden in its last stages, still a few big yellows on there. Thought about croquet when i started this, and the sound of the mallet on the ball.

Harvest Eclipse
Harvest Eclipse

119 Colonial St., #45. 36” x 36”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 8/22/17

 

Summer is burning by fast. Gardens are giving up their fruits & vegetables, it’s still hot but there is a temporary quality to the heat. As a kid this is the time you start getting nervous about the upcoming school year. Days are getting shorter, you play harder, stay out longer. Summer romance heats to the boiling point, it’s days numbered. Grass is tan, ground is hard and under all that, the planet works furiously to feed its people. Yesterday there was an eclipse, it was not dramatic in CT, it got a little dark, just for a bit. 

Raheem at Harvest
Raheem at Harvest

12”x12”, oil & wax on canvas

 

This one is unusual for me in that it is singular in its narrative. It is harvest, Raheem is pleased, his work has payed off and even the crow is joyful. He may or may not be human.

Wrench & Pyramid
Wrench & Pyramid

12”x12”, oil & wax on canvas

 

 

A small painting, a foot square. Wrench looks like he is swimming or flying to me, those things look and feel similar. The other characters, symbols and complexities are familiar. There is more than one thing happening. 

Walker
Walker

119 Colonial St. #42, 8/4/17. 36”x36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

Walker has no eyes and no face. He is a wrench, he has wings and feet and he is thinking about everything that has ever happened on earth. He is concerned about the human condition but because he fixes things he is optimistic. Unaffected by chaos, immune to impatience, he is meditative and possibly enlightened. He is capable of flight but today chooses to walk.

This leads to that
This leads to that

119 Colonial St., #41, 7/26/17. 36”x36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

 

Theres a long list of names for this one. It has an aquatic feel to me, there is a net in there, lots of stuff caught in the net. I thought this was an environmental painting, scolding us all, but now i don’t see it that way. I think its more about the things we do, the stuff we have and how all that effects everything. We had a heat wave here in CT as this one developed. I thought it might be about that, it was around a 100° in the studio. Kept wishing there was water to jump into, maybe thats what this one is referring to. And maybe all that stuff is not a query, just an observation.

Short Story - Kerry's Garden
Short Story - Kerry's Garden

20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 119 Colonial St. #40, 7/15/17.

 

Kerry’s garden is exploding, it shoots up out of the ground like a fierce geyser. It is spitting food into the atmosphere, a volcano of sustenance. There are rabbits all over the yard and they won’t take a bite, not one. If they got close enough one of those tomato plants would snatch and strangle it in a second. At night all the plants come to life and run around the neighborhood frightening dogs and bats. None of them wear sneakers but that does not slow them down. Sometimes if i get there early, they are all still panting, soaked with sweat from the exertion, the earth freshly turned from the harried rerooting. It is not easy for a plant to do that. In colonial times, Kerry would be hung, shot or burned alive for opening the door to hell. Theres a pepper plant in there with a tiny human head… that one in particular deserves mention.

Short Stories
Short Stories

119 Colonial #39, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 7/17/17

Fireflies and Charlie Soule, summer of ’73
Fireflies and Charlie Soule, summer of ’73

119 Colonial St., #38, 7/8/17. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

I was a freshman, Charlie was a senior, he was a big deal to me. We played guitars together and a ton of other stuff the summer of 1973. RIP Chuck.

Distraction, 36”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/29/17.
Distraction, 36”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/29/17.

Trying to concentrate on a single thought is a good way to activate everything in your head. All kinds of stuff competes for attention. Ideas, like children, shouting pick me pick me, look what i can do, watch me again. And all the stuff comes up like a lava lamp, morphing from one shape to another. I don’t know what happens to the things that reach the surface, they seem to disappear, making room for new interpretations. What seemed so essential, so important at the time turns to vapor. Someday I will do that.

All the gods lied
All the gods lied

119 Colonial St, #36, 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/17/17.

An exodus or pilgrimidge, All the Gods lied is a snapshot about what was, what is, and the uncertainty of the future. All of these elements have a dialogue with each other and it’s my job to let that happen. Some things can be vague in the way they touch, others must be perfectly clear with emphasis on the tangency and the narrative. Adding in all your personal bullshit is fine as long as it stays in the context of the human condition.

 

Cliff Notes
Cliff Notes

119 Colonial St, #35, 6/7/17. Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36” x 36”

The mechanically aided, hand drawn pencil line is the grandpappy of everything and must be respected. As far as the rapture goes, we will play King Herod’s Blues until the end. The organizing of complete thoughts will be suspended due to the complexity of that chore, we will instead organize fragments of thoughts. The audience probably won’t notice until it is too late, so lets all try to hit the bridge at the same time. In F# please, uptempo, five six seven eight…

Always Pretending
Always Pretending

119 Colonial St., # 34, 5/30/17. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

Time is passing, things are happening, humanity is blurring itself into the DNA of all things. There are shadowy people in the background, they’ve always been there. Society looks and acts like a video game, which evolved from pinball and the flippers sling the ball back up top and we push the machine but it doesn’t make a difference, so spend another quarter. Thumbs up? Maybe no thumbs at all.

Religion
Religion

119 Colonial #33, 36” x 36”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 5/18/17.  

Lots of different points of view here, those three in the upper left are a mystery to me. Maybe other worldly, maybe from the future or the past. The three women in the lower right, wearing burkas, are dealing with their challenges, keeping the faith and moving away from trouble. A lot of this could be a flashback from Tangier, 1980. Darkened windows, hushed voices, it is Africa hot and I was sick.

Tornado
Tornado

119 Colonial Street #32. 5_10_17, 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 

Have spent a lot of time thinking about transparency while working on this one. And it occurs to me that nobody ever deleted a thought from their consciousness. When people don’t want to think about something we cover it up with other thoughts, louder thoughts, but none of them are opaque. Everything you’ve ever done is probably in your head somewhere, buried in a layer. And I guess at the bottom of all those layers would be guilt & fear because those two things smell bad and we cover them up like a cat covers its mess. So here we have Tornado… a funnel cloud of images & ideas.

Falling bones & the twins
Falling bones & the twins

Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36” x 36”, 5_3_17

 

There was a big article about conjoined twins in the paper… couple Sunday’s ago. Many of us are completed by someone else, and we spend our lives trying to find that person. To be connected. The falling shapes on the left are a tracing of a deer rib, eaten long ago, it is shiney and clean now I use it like a french curve.

Waiting for trouble
Waiting for trouble

137 Elmfield St., #30. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4_22_17.

Was going to call this one Seance, because I like the idea of making yourself open and available to things we don’t understand… to things that might conflict with our personal points of view, or belief systems. But something else happened, and this is my story after all. 

Red Saxophone
Red Saxophone

137 Elmfield Street #29, 30”x 30”, oil, wax & oil crayon on canvas.

Music is a difficult art form in that it involves capture. The work vanishes the second the sound is made and leaves me wondering, is the impulse to entertain, or is it a coping mechanism for the human condition?

Retreat
Retreat

30” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 3_11_17. 

Sprout, ideas about growth
Sprout, ideas about growth

137 Elmfield St., #26. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 3/4/17. 

Paradox
Paradox

137 Elmfield St., #25, 2/17/17. Oil, wax, crayon, pencil on canvas, 30" x 48"

I started this one then got distracted by a pile of graphic design, which is good because we like to eat every day. Probably too much NPR but we are into the Trump era now and everybody on our team is pissed. Maybe the title, Paradox has something to do with that. Alternate facts and evaporating evidence, and contrary truths. We never liked the government anyway.

Reject
Reject

137 Elmfield St., #24, 1/19/17. Oil, wax, crayon, pencil on canvas, 30” x 48”.

Wrench
Wrench

137 Elmfield St. #28. 30” x 30”, oil wax and oil pastel on canvas, 3_22_17.

Everyone has problems. Things break and if you don’t fix them they fall apart. The wrench can bring order to chaos, life to machines, and purpose to the person holding it. 

Cicada Moon over poison Ivy
Cicada Moon over poison Ivy

137 Elmfield Street #23. Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 30” x 48”, 12_30_16

 

This was going to be about fly fishing, but like so many true things it is not about that at all. It is about sound, a sense of place, and cicadas.

Crow & Cicada
Crow & Cicada

30” x 48”, oil, wax oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 12_18_16.

 

Radio playing, reading something pulpy… again. This one might be more about the blood trail. Elvia and I were staying at the La Quinta hotel in New Britain CT, maybe mid nineties. We stepped out to get a bite to eat, and there was a fight going on outside. One of the men was stabbed pretty good, and as he did that special walk stabbed people do, holding his wound and staggering, he bled onto the sidewalk, leaving a crazy curvy blood trail, right out of a Pollack. We followed that fresh trail like it was a game, laughing at his bad luck at being stabbed, and my good luck at not. I can’t remember what we ate that night. 

137 Elmfield St. #19, Under Boothill. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/15/16.
137 Elmfield St. #19, Under Boothill. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/15/16.
119 colonial #1, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #1, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The Crow
The Crow

30" x 48", oil  paint, wax, pencil, oil pastel, on canvas. 12_9_16.

May Insomnia. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
May Insomnia. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Remembering the beach, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Remembering the beach, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
137 Elmfield St., Things I can't recall. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/2/16.
137 Elmfield St., Things I can't recall. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/2/16.
Windowseat. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Windowseat. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Batman can't play piano. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Batman can't play piano. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #13, Falling yellow and orange crush 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas
119 colonial #13, Falling yellow and orange crush 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas
The reader. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The reader. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial, Sweatlodge peyote.
119 Colonial, Sweatlodge peyote.

30” x 48”, oil, wax & crayon on canvas. 10_5_16. This one is about cooking a vision. Searching all the dark corners and listening to the spiders.

119 colonial #14, Learning 9/14/16 Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"
119 colonial #14, Learning 9/14/16 Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"

It started by writing things. Scrawling "I will not disturb the others," about a hundred times. Like a kid being punished in school, standing in front of the black board. Listening to the crickets and birds through the open garage door, remembering the regret. The other kids gone, leaving me with my thoughts, a penitent state. Maybe, in a distant way like a memory, this painting is about... learning.

Standing Rock
Standing Rock

30” x 48”, oil paint, wax, pencil, and oil crayon on canvas. 11/29/16.

119 colonial #12, Totem. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #12, Totem. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Flutter. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Flutter. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Pick me. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Pick me. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Bits not pieces. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Bits not pieces. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The show. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The show. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial #17, Sacred River. 30” x 48”, Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 10/15/16.
119 Colonial #17, Sacred River. 30” x 48”, Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 10/15/16.
Language is foreign. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Language is foreign. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #15, Midnight in the garden 9/23/16. Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"
119 colonial #15, Midnight in the garden 9/23/16. Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"

The title is about the book, and thinking about Savanah. I think the painting is about dissimilar things coming together. Conflicting ideas and the areas they touch.

Under the horizon
Vessel
Pentatonic Intention
Corn Abstract - Another Secret Place
Pinball
Bowl o rama
Westport 1
When the liquor talks
The poster
The road
Teleoldvision
Backwards five – a romance
Pyler Coming
Dogtower
Faith
Middle Haddam
Surprise
Mixed Message Landscape
Light and Life
The Teacher
Gas Pump
Blackbirds over Redville
Concerto in D
Polio Hospital, Roosevelt Island, NYC
Point of view
Raheem
Blackbird over Cattails
Corn Abstract #5, Mescaline Moonlight
Reunion
Corn Abstract #3
Change
Corn Abstract #2
Meditation
Spider web
Riffing in fours
Ritual
The Heat
Ambient Hope
Connections
Summer 2018
On the Loom
Heat wave
Tick circus
Across the field
Returning to the present
Four Things
Red
Everything Reverberates
Ice House
Moonlight
The Eighties
Fences
Grass Curtain
Backsplash
Static
Toledo One-foot
Used parts
On the way to work
Morning Walk
The shed
Pawnshop
Corn Mirage
Corn Abstract
blue corn
Red corn
Out of water
Beneath
The Audience
The Backyard
look again
Nirvana
Under it All
Stories from the ground
Accusation
Along the Farmington
Raheem is flyfishing
Carpville
On the Mend
Birdie and the Hepcats
Sitting on eggs
Celebration
Small Town Reverie
Last day of camp
Harvest Eclipse
Raheem at Harvest
Wrench & Pyramid
Walker
This leads to that
Short Story - Kerry's Garden
Short Stories
Fireflies and Charlie Soule, summer of ’73
Distraction, 36”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/29/17.
All the gods lied
Cliff Notes
Always Pretending
Religion
Tornado
Falling bones & the twins
Waiting for trouble
Red Saxophone
Retreat
Sprout, ideas about growth
Paradox
Reject
Wrench
Cicada Moon over poison Ivy
Crow & Cicada
137 Elmfield St. #19, Under Boothill. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/15/16.
119 colonial #1, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The Crow
May Insomnia. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Remembering the beach, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
137 Elmfield St., Things I can't recall. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/2/16.
Windowseat. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Batman can't play piano. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #13, Falling yellow and orange crush 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas
The reader. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial, Sweatlodge peyote.
119 colonial #14, Learning 9/14/16 Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"
Standing Rock
119 colonial #12, Totem. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Flutter. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Pick me. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Bits not pieces. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The show. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial #17, Sacred River. 30” x 48”, Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 10/15/16.
Language is foreign. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #15, Midnight in the garden 9/23/16. Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"
Under the horizon

137 Elmfield St., #138, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48”x36”, 2019. This will be up for auction at the Westport Library in October. Proceeds to benefit all of the wonderful programs available in their giant beautiful new building.

Off in the distance, the big ones wait for the show to start. The gig is on, it’s all good, hope we get paid… and it does smell like Lou dog in the van.

Vessel

137 Elmfield St., #137, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 60” x 48”, 2019.

Some magic going on here, the vessel contains what? A genie? or apocalypse… Thalidomide angel listens to our thoughts, we anticipate the response.

Pentatonic Intention

137 Elmfield St., #136, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas, 48”x60”, 2019.

The blues, a simple chord progression topped with a solo. The pentatonic scale is the melodic environment for that musical idea. As an ideology, it has given us rock and roll, film noir, and good poetry. I believe, it embodies the great ironies of the human condition.

Corn Abstract - Another Secret Place

137 Elmfield St., #135, oil paint, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 2019.

Slipping from the conscious into the unconscious the cartoon plays on in my head. Come on in, it’s fun in here and no one will ever know, unless you tell them.

Pinball

137 Elmfield St., #133, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, on canvas, 48”x 36”.

We used to hang around the Teen Center in East Hampton when we were kids, playing pinball and watching the older kids shoot pool. Sneaking beers and learning to smoke, we dropped our coins into the juke box, spinning the 45’s that would become anthems, we etched out a soundtrack for the greatest summer ever.

Bowl o rama

137 Elmfield St., #132, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil, on canvas, 48” x 36”, 2019.

Bowling, fast cars and cheap beer, the waitress at the diner is on roller skates and she’s a looker. It’s rock and roll, and the freedom to mix it all together. Epic summer anthems, staying up until dawn, hoping your brothers & fathers come back from Viet Nam standing up.

Westport 1

This is the first of at least eight destined for the Wesport Library reopening gala, in October, 2019. The show is rock n’ rolled themed, the opening to be an epic dance party.

When the liquor talks

137 Elmfield St., #130, 48” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

This is another movie poster, film yet to be produced. A tragic comedy full of attractive misery and tolerable demise. Our star, the artist and his motley group of bar buddies attempt to solve the worlds problems from inside the bottle. It’s a madcap journey through short and entertaining lives.

The poster

137 Elmfield St., #129, 48”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

I didn’t see the movie but I remember the poster, and the walls in soho. Stencil artists working at night, need to have a look out. They threw a kid with a spray can off a roof in queens, the people with him got mad and stayed that way. Renee made wooden toys back then so we asked him, who is the best artist now?

The road

137 Elmfield St., #128, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019

Trying to escape from somewhere, most times, the road will take you where you need to go. Other times, it’s nettles be damned, short cuts the only way.

Teleoldvision

137 Elmfield St., #127, 10” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

It’s been a long winter, we watched a lot of TV. It’s more cinematic than it was when we were kids, and now we know, that there are no people inside. The pixels blink on and off to make the puppets move.

Backwards five – a romance

137 Elmfield St., #126, 10”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

Backwards five is probably a robot, or a one armed man in a cardboard costume, and not a young one either. Futurama teaches us that emotional robots, fueled by alcohol, can get lucky too.

Pyler Coming

137 Elmfield St., #125, 10” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

When my oldest daughter was maybe three, one of her first self-appointed jobs was to find all the spiders in the house and keep me posted as to their whereabouts and activity. When one of them seemed about ready to attack she would announce to me with great concern, pyler coming. That was my cue to find a magazine and dispatch the monster.

Dogtower

137 Elmfield St., #124, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

A temple of sorts, maybe. A secret society like the masons, but they are wrenches. The canine is a mystery, probably a good one.

Faith

137 Elmfield St., #123, 14” x 11”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2019.

For the greater good we congregate,
leaving malice at the door
talk about our heroes,
heal the sick & feed the poor

Middle Haddam

137 Elmfield St., #122, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil no canvas, 2019.

This is my place, I carry it around with me.

Surprise

137 Elmfield St., #121, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2019.

Letting the unexpected happen is harder then it sounds. History tries to repeat itself and new ideas seem fragile against the tide of old ones. Listening to funk, trying out some new steps, keeping it fresh.

Mixed Message Landscape

137 Elmfield St., #118, 24”x 30”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

There is graffiti from the seventies in the field. It escaped the A train, wafted through the tunnels, drifted up Bruckner Boulevard and made its way to New England. We hope they like it here, Samo and Fishbone Posse are long gone.

Light and Life

137 Elmfield St., #119, 14” x 11”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet on cradled board, 2019.

The Teacher

137 Elmfield St., #115, 8” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on board, 2018

Gas Pump

137 Elmfield St., #116, 8.5” x 10.5”, oil, wax, pencil on board, 2018.

In the summertime I worked in gas stations as a kid in the mid seventies. Pumping gas, doing oil changes, fixing flats. My friends would hang around sometimes, and it was fantastic to be a teenager, with a motorcycle, working that job. Cars would role in, the bell would clang… can I clean your windshield today? In the afternoons, when it slowed down, we drank Welch’s grape soda and talked about girls.

Blackbirds over Redville

137 Elmfield ST., #114, 8.5” x 17.5” x , oil, wax, oil pastel on pine board, 2018.


These blackbirds live in the pines behind our house. They make sounds like old rusty fence hinges, and are aggressive to other birds. Their tail feathers are shaped differently, they can maneuver in tight spaces, turning, stalling, and reversing abruptly. It makes them appear mechanical at first, robot birds from somewhere else. I like them, like bitters in a Manhattan, up, no fruit please.

Concerto in D

137 Elmfield St., #113, 24” x 12”, oil, wax, oil pastel, steel rod on board, 2018.

Trying to avoid the obvious, there is bent metal attached to this. A torch and two pairs of pliers to make branding irons. Am sort of interested in the shadow behind the center one. The movement is all Josef Myslivecek.

Polio Hospital, Roosevelt Island, NYC

137 Elmfield St., #112, 16” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.


When Elvia and I were in our twenties, we used to hang around this place. It was a genuine ruin, a couple of the stairways were still intact you could get up top and look back at Long Island City. A great spot for artists looking for inspiration. I don’t think we knew it was a polio hospital, we assumed it was an insane asylum… though both make good stories.

Point of view

137 Elmfield St., #111, 10” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.

All looking at part of the same thing, and seeing something different.

Raheem

137 Elmfield St., #110, 10” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

My old friend Raheem is at it again, fishing past dusk… his favorite part of the day.

Blackbird over Cattails

137 Elmfield St., #109, 10” x 8”, Oil, wax, pencil on cradled board, 2018

There is more to this insomnia gig than just sleep walking. It’s about being able to tell the difference between an idea, and a real thing… even though they both feel the same. About knowing if you are floating or falling… that’s a big one. If your just getting into this thing, work on that one first.

Corn Abstract #5, Mescaline Moonlight

137 Elmfield St., #108, 12”x12”, oil & wax on cradled board, 2018

Just past Harvest Moon, its October, and nothing really looks like this. But a memory of a thing can take on a life of its’ own. Which poses the question, “Why not dream in color?”

Reunion

137 Elmfield St., #107, 24” x 18”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.


Sometimes ideas don’t hold still long enough for me to get them down. That tip in, is a print of a big painting I did in the mid eighties. The character is the Apex Welder. He has spent his life in the tunnels under the NYC subway system welding and repairing infrastructure. The rate of rot is such that he will never finish his chore, or see the light of day again. He will stand in a shower of sparks, trying to make things better for eternity. He is bolted to this painting, in a permanent reunion with those that followed him.

Corn Abstract #3

137 Elmfield St., #106, 11” x 16”, oil, wax, oil pastel on cradled board, 2018.

Fly fishing at night, alone, has it’s challenges. It does not look like this, it is black and scary, which is wonderful. The sounds are amplified, a familiar place feels foreign. Time slows to a crawl, something flying bumps into you, but you cannot flee… because at the end of your line, out where you can’t see, there is a tug.

Change

137 Elmfield St., #104, 18” x 24”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

This started out as a stream of consciousness painting. I received an email from a design client I’ve had since 1996. They decided to give the work I’ve been doing all these years to the new agency. Not unusual at all but it shook me, and this is the result.

Corn Abstract #2

137 Elmfield St., #103, 24” x 18”, oil & wax on cradled board, 2018.

Am inside the corn looking out here. I took the photo for the drawing along the Farmington river, a couple hundred yards downstream from the Kolp Gardens. Met some fish that day, and an old black lab with a gooey tennis ball.

Meditation

137 Elmfield St., #102, 24” x 18”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018. $425

I watched this one spider all summer, took photos of her, thought about her a lot. Every morning, up around five thirty watching her clock out at work. She kept her legs tight to her body when hanging in the web hunting, all night. Just as the sun started to come up she’d stretch out her long legs and move to the soffit to nap away the day. It was a good feeling knowing she was tucked away there, protected from the birds while I painted.

Spider web

Spider web

137 Elmfield St., #101, 48” x 36”, oil wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 2018.

Riffing in fours

137 Elmfield St., #100, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36”x48”.

There are four lines that repeat here, I play them a little different each time with no particular destination in mind. Some of the frames are trying to warn us of something. There are no grace notes or passing tones here, and the music goes on behind this snapshot. Deaf and mute this piece writes itself.

Ritual

137 Elmfield St., #99, 36” x 48”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 8/22/18.

A little haunty, some possession of a place. Technical things shoring up some kind of action, an inferred logic, bar coded to something. Things seem so much simpler at a distance.

The Heat

137 Elmfield St., #98, 48”x48”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, August 2018.

Sort of reflective, but the reflection is not a mirror image, it’s been diluted by the things underneath it. The heat lurks over my easel, it blurs my thoughts, melting wax and time, it all runs together.

Ambient Hope

137 Elmfield St., #105, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 2018.

Not the kind of hope sold on TV, this one isn’t waiting for your contribution or your vote. It exists in code, four pieces of Myriad Pro condensed.

Connections

137 Elmfield St., #96, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 7/31/2018.

It’s not always obvious how and why things are connected. This might be a landscape, a densely populated two dimensional space. Maybe it will open if you push on it, like the door behind the closet.

Summer 2018

137 Elmfield St., #97, 20” x 20”, Oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on cradled board, 7/31/2018.


Am working outdoors this summer and its hotter than it should be. Tropical in CT, might be time to move north… although it is easier just to think about it and acclimate.

On the Loom

137 Elmfield St., #94, oil paint, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 7/18/18.

My mother brushed her giant dog and kept the hair in bags. She spun yarn from the wool, strung up a loom, threw the shuttle and wove tapestry from the lot. She was good on the potters wheel, made baskets from sticks, and never stopped knitting the whole time we were growing up.

Heat wave

137 Elmfield St., #93, oil wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 48” x 60”, 7/6/18.


Michael Loew taught an abstract painting class at SVA when I was there. He was a wonderful guy and a good painter near the end of his career. He wore an ascot and pulled it off flawlessly, standing there helping me make little copies of his work. I kept thinking about him all through this one, not sure why. My oldest daughter gave birth to our first grandchild yesterday and I think a lot of this is about the process of growing a human being.

Tick circus

A scene from a play or a really good commercial, we are looking out into the distance. The sugar maple in our backyard has been dumping its helicopter seeds like snow all around my easel. I think the shapes in the background reflect those seeds. The bugs are an old story. Twenty years ago, I was sitting at my favorite bar, and pulled eight ticks off me and set them on the bar next to my beer. As they started to wander away I redirected them to walk in a circle. Excited about my tick circus I called the bartender, my friend Stefanee Grano over to see them. She was not happy with my pets, or me and asked me to leave as quickly as possible. I collected my critters and moved on, learning a lesson in what is socially acceptable and what is not.

Across the field

137 Elmfield St., #91, 48”x60”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas


I wrote this story about a little battle. Some people kill some other people and take all their stuff, “They are getting close. We can see them moving in the grass across the field, soon we will be gone. The story is stitched into the sky.”

Returning to the present

137 Elmfield St., #90, 48” x 60”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 5/11/18.

Returning to the familiar, a visual comfort zone. Finding things where you left them and wondering why it’s all still here. A man loses his studio, job, money, and finally his mind in 2010. Eight years later he stumbles into this painting and finds his marbles mostly intact. Now what?

Four Things

137 Elmfield St., #88, 12”x12”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4/26/18.

These sort of look like beer taps to me, which makes me think of how much I like barstools… and happy hour. 

Red

137 Elmfield St., #85, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/20/18.

An inferno? Or just the machinations of some emotional struggle. A nice witch once told me you can read things in fire, like tea leaves. That is true if your watching your barn burn.

Everything Reverberates

137 Elmfield St., #86, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board.

Talking to another artist about the important questions, “who is your audience, and why do you paint?” He said, “I paint for other painters, and I do it because I have to.”

Ice House

137 Elmfield St., #82, 11”x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board

Have never enjoyed ice fishing. Especially the style where you lay on the ice and stare into a hole. The snow blows over you and anyone that sees you assumes you are dead. The other way happens in these wonderful little shacks that are drug out on the ice. These are heated, hold four people, who bring food, booze, smoke and tiny ice fishing rods. A nice way to spend a few hours outside, in the winter, without a damn shovel.

Moonlight

137 Elmfield St., #81, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/14/18.

Being outside, at night is wonderful. More so with fireflies than taxi cabs, but thats just me. 

The Eighties

137 Elmfield St., #87, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/24/18.

This is how it looked in the 1980’s, but big, seven feet tall. Emergent artists trying to get into the big juried museum shows. Picking up where our heroes left off, looking for the next step into oblivion.

Fences

137 Elmfield St., #79, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/12/18.

People who own land protect their stuff with fences. They tell the viewer, this is not yours, don’t try to stand here. There are signs to reiterate that. Some of the signs list the stuff you cannot do. You may not trespass, you may not hunt or fish… you are allowed to be shot if you ignore one of those signs. I hope this fence doesn’t say that. I hope this fence says, climb over here and experience this place. 

Grass Curtain

137 Elmfield St., #80, 11” x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 4/10/18.

Swallowed by obscurity, hidden behind the grass curtain, there are gauges in here. A bleeder valve  hisses in the back, a steamy humid night. Carnival dancers in the street, lurching toward dawn.

Backsplash

137 Elmfield St., #77, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board, 4/6/18.

This is a direct response to my old friend Tom Kinder and his post of a backsplash behind the paint shaking machine at some big store.

Static

137 Elmfield St., #78, 11”x14”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board

Toledo One-foot

137 Elmfield St., #76, 18”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4/4/18.

He was a ranch hand, a cowboy, preacher and a dad
Hand caught in the picker, made his family sad
Was a snake that bit the foot, too far to make the doc
Neighbor took the foot off to beat the reapers clock

Used parts

137 Elmfield St., #75, 8” x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Thats the Apex welder, smoking. He’s getting older, stuff starts to break down. A regular at the Egyptian organ market, he is shopping for a heart. If they’re all out here, he’ll try the butcher.

On the way to work

137 Elmfield St., #74, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 3/23/18.

Sometimes you have to make room for your own thoughts. That is harder then it seems, we are pumped full of other peoples ideas so aggresively its hard to know whats yours and whats not.

Morning Walk

137 Elmfield St., #73, 8” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on board, 3/20/18

When everything is fresh and clear, ideas feel new and the possibilities are endless. Not every morning but some, and just one of those will peel the bark off a bad day. 

The shed

137 Elmfield St., #72, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board

They always smelled good, like old leather, oil, sometimes rust. If you are a woodchuck, under the floor is a great place to live. I work in a shed alot, as a tinker. Bent over my workbench it is branded from countless welds, watching the slag until it burns out. Each one a little volcano in a kerosene soaked stick building, I am careful. It is full of hand tools, grinders, sanders, a drill press and saws. The vice bolted to the table is old and marred, the electricity is fine.

Pawnshop

137 Elmfield St., #71, 18”x 24”, oil, wax, oil crayon on canvas, 3/11/18.

Smoking, drinking, making mistakes. The rent is always due so you pawn the little bit of stuff you have. A city full of people miscalculating the power of optimism. Everybody knows the value of everything now. There’s no dusty Gibson in the corner, no magic lamp, the genies have left the planet. But there used to be secrets in these places. Pennies on the buck for an instrument soaked in blood and tears that you could own… until the rent is due. 

Corn Mirage

137 Elmfield St., #70, 20”x16”, oil, wax, oil pastel on board, 2/28/18

If you stare at anything it starts to change. Hunting at dusk, a little stump turns into a woodchuck. A fur collar on a winter coat looks like a whitetail deer as it moves in the shadows. Corn turns into crow, then alien, then ghost, then back into corn. You chuckle at hair standing, a mosquito brings you back. That old truck is a beaut, rust, leaks and all. When I look at something and recognize it, I see it that way forever. If i don’t recognize it, I see it differently each time. 

Corn Abstract

137 Elmfield St., #69, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas, 2/21/18

This field of corn has very different personalities depending on the time of day or night. It holds a kind of tension in the dusk. A good bear waddles out of it, crosses the path and heads down to the river to fish. We share some of the same spots, am always pleased to see him first. He is a patient bear, waiting for me to get out of the river before he gets into it. Unusual as bears don’t often wait for things, they cut the line. 

blue corn

137 Elmfield St., #67, 8”x10”, oil, wax, pencil, inkjet on paper, 2/4/18.

The sound of corn. When I paint the stuff I don’t think about light and dark, line and fill. I think about the way it feels walking through it. Endless trailing fingertips gently inquiring. If you could only pause for a moment to answer. We almost never do. You keep moving and it whispers to your shadow, we are here, we are waiting.

Red corn

137 Elmfield St., #66, 8”x10”, oil, oil pastel, wax, inkjet, pencil on board, 1/30/18

Corn is a big deal around here, it marks the progress of summer. “Knee high by the fourth of July,” they say. I liked that movie where my father’s baseball heroes walked out of the corn to play on the the farmers diamond. He said, “build it and they will come.” So powerfully optimistic it’s fun to think about. And ghosts in a cornfield? Thats just butter on toast.

Out of water

137 Emfield St., #65, 8”x10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet, pencil on board, 1/26/18

An homage to a place that does not belong to me but when I am there, under the right circumstances it feels like mine. That happens a half dozen times a year. And since this is all really about enlightenment it occurs to me that the difficulty of that mission is tempered by a good sense of humor. Laughing out loud at your own troubles is a testament to walking in the right direction.

Beneath

137 Elmfiled St., #64, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 1/24/18

The under story always feels aquatic to me. The questions might have to do with water, the answers definitely do. Looking behind or under something seems like a good place to find things. The question, “what is important?” never stops seeming relevant.

The Audience

137 Elmfield St., #63, 8.5”x10”, Oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on board, 1/16/18

As a musician, I have not always been kind to my audience. Badly written music sung off key, wrong notes during the solo. And not just a little bad, but big loud epic clinkers that are so dissonant stuff comes out of the bass players nose. But like most things, the best stories are rarely about success. markrichart.org

The Backyard

8” x 10”, oil, wax, oil pastel, inkjet, pencil on masonite, 1/15/18.

For me it was the American Dream. A house with a backyard, one parent working, the other home with the kids. I can still hear them playing… lots of them. Dogs barking, prairie home companion on the radio, food cooking, my neighbors big voice yelling at his boys. He had one of those whistles you do with fingers in the mouth. So loud his kids could hear it anywhere in the neighborhood. We complained about our taxes and auto repair. Tools on the driveway, station wagon up on jacks. It was never too hot, and never too cold, and all the children were above average. www.markrichart.org. 

look again

24” x 30”, oil, wax, pastel, pencil on canvas, 1/9/18

Closer you look the more you see, under the mask you’ll find me. Please old crow forgive me, no reason that you should. The maker told the reaper, to nail his hands to wood. 

Nirvana

137 Elmfield St. #60, 24” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, ink jet, pencil on canvas. 12/20/17

It is about the fish, but also this place. The time spent there, the sounds of the water, birds of prey competing for food. If I had to throw myself out of the sky, face first into a river to eat i wouldn’t do it. I’d be a lazy bird, slothfully eating dead squirrel by the side of the road, then maybe over to Mcdonald’s for some fries. The better birds would trash my name and that would be fine. But to be human, with a fly rod, on a sunny day in June when the water is perfect, middle of the week and not another living soul on the river… is a life well spent.

Under it All

137 Elmfield St., #59, 24”x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil, toner, vellum on canvas.

A simple interrogation. Behind a forced laugh and the taste of metal, a fist slams into your head in a cold room. You wonder why, but just for a second. Because why is not an adult question and the answer leads you deeper into a basement no one wants to be in.

Stories from the ground

137 Elmfield St., #58, 24”x 30”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas

Thinking about landscapes, fields and grass. Sometimes when things are just right you can look out over a field and be in the picture. Its a different way of experiencing a place, more than an observation. All the senses come together and the richness of it hits you like an epiphany. These are delicate moments, and everything in modern life tries to drown them out. There are stories to be heard, and if you are quiet they will come out of the ground.

Accusation

137 Elmfield St., #57, 12”x12”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas

Wrench has stepped into the fray, confronting authority, exposing fraud and injustice, he gestures toward the man behind the curtain with an outstretched wing. www.markrichart.org.

Along the Farmington

137 Elmfield St., #55, 24” 24”, oil, wax, oil crayon, pencil on canvas, 11/27/17

If you pull into the Kolp Gardens and park on right, under the poison ivy tree you can see the path heading downstream. The cornfield will be on your right, animals will spook and run across your path as they bolt out of the stalks. It might be six hundred yards or a little more down that path theres an opening in the brush on your left, you can slide into the water there, under the canopy of a big maple. The ford is easy if the water isn’t too high, walk downstream below the island until the water is waist high, theres some wood to your right. This fish lives there, and he’ll take a size fourteen zug bug if your lucky.

Raheem is flyfishing

137 Elmfield St., #54. 24”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Raheem is not from here, he has discovered fly fishing and digs it. He is thinking about jazz and that maybe this is not such a bad planet after all, you just have to avoid the schmucks. He is thinking after his tour he might move back here with his family. Maybe to Lebanon CT, or Prineville OR. The carp and black dace are wonderful and the natives don’t seem to care about them.

Carpville

137 Elmfield St., #53. 24”x24”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/31/17

Its halloween, I don’t think this painting has anything to do with that. It does have a carp in it, who i met on the Farmington river one afternoon after he bit my zug bug. A very pleasant meeting I set him free when we were done. He seemed pretty indignant about it and indicated that it would be the last. www.markrichart.org

On the Mend

137 Elmfield St., #52, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/18/17

I don’t know how wrench lost his leg. This was supposed to be about a sense of place. How many things do you need to create a place? Not just a landscape but something that looks like it is in motion, where things are happening. The sort of thing a memory or fantasy could stick to.

Birdie and the Hepcats

137 Elmfield St., #51. 20” x 20”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 10/8/17.

It was a schematic, a design for all those transistors and capacitors. Patch it all together and turn it up. The music makes its own electricity. We are listening to Junior Brown, and his rockabilly surfer slide guitar with vibrato. Twang Deluxe hides here cuz he’s wanted by the police, and my wife thinks he’s dead. 

Sitting on eggs

137 Elmfield St., #50, 20” x 20”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 7/21/17.

It's fall, my favorite time of year. When I was a kid adults seemed to talk about the weather all the time and I thought that was weird. Now, it is very clear to me. A nice day with a little breeze is a gift, it is the kindest thing the universe can bestow on its creatures and I am grateful. A long time ago Elvia and I worked in a mannequin factory in Long Island City. Sometimes we painted life size toucans. At the end of the day you could look across the big studio, and see a dozen of these toucans, their beaks identical and pointed toward the sky. That was a pretty good job.

Celebration

137 Elmfield Street, #48, 9/14/17. 12” x 12”, oil, wax, oil pastel on canvas.

Music, champagne, people talking & laughing, glasses clinking, applause for a great toast. Late in the summer color is vivid, the taste and smell of changing seasons bright and clear. A perfect place for sweet corn and mosquitos.

Small Town Reverie

137 Elmfield St., #47, 9/7/17. 20”x20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Little towns around train sets in the sixties, Middle Haddam in the winter, my father said he grew up in a Rockwell painting and didn’t know it. I never knew anyone with rosey cheeks, the holiday brings more booze and all of a sudden it’s The Last Picture Show. Sweeping, the push broom makes a sound like waves on the street in front of the deserted pool hall. You can’t hear for the wind, and the dust makes it hard to care. The boy was never right anyway. www.markrichart.org.

Last day of camp

119 Colonial St., #46, 8/30/17. 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

Moving out of the summer studio, feels like the last day of camp. Milk crates full of spiders, old rags, couple of trash bags. I can hear the roofers across the street, theres a bluejay out here hollering back at their nail guns. Garden in its last stages, still a few big yellows on there. Thought about croquet when i started this, and the sound of the mallet on the ball.

Harvest Eclipse

119 Colonial St., #45. 36” x 36”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 8/22/17

 

Summer is burning by fast. Gardens are giving up their fruits & vegetables, it’s still hot but there is a temporary quality to the heat. As a kid this is the time you start getting nervous about the upcoming school year. Days are getting shorter, you play harder, stay out longer. Summer romance heats to the boiling point, it’s days numbered. Grass is tan, ground is hard and under all that, the planet works furiously to feed its people. Yesterday there was an eclipse, it was not dramatic in CT, it got a little dark, just for a bit. 

Raheem at Harvest

12”x12”, oil & wax on canvas

 

This one is unusual for me in that it is singular in its narrative. It is harvest, Raheem is pleased, his work has payed off and even the crow is joyful. He may or may not be human.

Wrench & Pyramid

12”x12”, oil & wax on canvas

 

 

A small painting, a foot square. Wrench looks like he is swimming or flying to me, those things look and feel similar. The other characters, symbols and complexities are familiar. There is more than one thing happening. 

Walker

119 Colonial St. #42, 8/4/17. 36”x36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

Walker has no eyes and no face. He is a wrench, he has wings and feet and he is thinking about everything that has ever happened on earth. He is concerned about the human condition but because he fixes things he is optimistic. Unaffected by chaos, immune to impatience, he is meditative and possibly enlightened. He is capable of flight but today chooses to walk.

This leads to that

119 Colonial St., #41, 7/26/17. 36”x36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas

 

Theres a long list of names for this one. It has an aquatic feel to me, there is a net in there, lots of stuff caught in the net. I thought this was an environmental painting, scolding us all, but now i don’t see it that way. I think its more about the things we do, the stuff we have and how all that effects everything. We had a heat wave here in CT as this one developed. I thought it might be about that, it was around a 100° in the studio. Kept wishing there was water to jump into, maybe thats what this one is referring to. And maybe all that stuff is not a query, just an observation.

Short Story - Kerry's Garden

20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 119 Colonial St. #40, 7/15/17.

 

Kerry’s garden is exploding, it shoots up out of the ground like a fierce geyser. It is spitting food into the atmosphere, a volcano of sustenance. There are rabbits all over the yard and they won’t take a bite, not one. If they got close enough one of those tomato plants would snatch and strangle it in a second. At night all the plants come to life and run around the neighborhood frightening dogs and bats. None of them wear sneakers but that does not slow them down. Sometimes if i get there early, they are all still panting, soaked with sweat from the exertion, the earth freshly turned from the harried rerooting. It is not easy for a plant to do that. In colonial times, Kerry would be hung, shot or burned alive for opening the door to hell. Theres a pepper plant in there with a tiny human head… that one in particular deserves mention.

Short Stories

119 Colonial #39, 20” x 20”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 7/17/17

Fireflies and Charlie Soule, summer of ’73

119 Colonial St., #38, 7/8/17. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

I was a freshman, Charlie was a senior, he was a big deal to me. We played guitars together and a ton of other stuff the summer of 1973. RIP Chuck.

Distraction, 36”x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/29/17.

Trying to concentrate on a single thought is a good way to activate everything in your head. All kinds of stuff competes for attention. Ideas, like children, shouting pick me pick me, look what i can do, watch me again. And all the stuff comes up like a lava lamp, morphing from one shape to another. I don’t know what happens to the things that reach the surface, they seem to disappear, making room for new interpretations. What seemed so essential, so important at the time turns to vapor. Someday I will do that.

All the gods lied

119 Colonial St, #36, 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 6/17/17.

An exodus or pilgrimidge, All the Gods lied is a snapshot about what was, what is, and the uncertainty of the future. All of these elements have a dialogue with each other and it’s my job to let that happen. Some things can be vague in the way they touch, others must be perfectly clear with emphasis on the tangency and the narrative. Adding in all your personal bullshit is fine as long as it stays in the context of the human condition.

 

Cliff Notes

119 Colonial St, #35, 6/7/17. Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36” x 36”

The mechanically aided, hand drawn pencil line is the grandpappy of everything and must be respected. As far as the rapture goes, we will play King Herod’s Blues until the end. The organizing of complete thoughts will be suspended due to the complexity of that chore, we will instead organize fragments of thoughts. The audience probably won’t notice until it is too late, so lets all try to hit the bridge at the same time. In F# please, uptempo, five six seven eight…

Always Pretending

119 Colonial St., # 34, 5/30/17. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas.

Time is passing, things are happening, humanity is blurring itself into the DNA of all things. There are shadowy people in the background, they’ve always been there. Society looks and acts like a video game, which evolved from pinball and the flippers sling the ball back up top and we push the machine but it doesn’t make a difference, so spend another quarter. Thumbs up? Maybe no thumbs at all.

Religion

119 Colonial #33, 36” x 36”, Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas 5/18/17.  

Lots of different points of view here, those three in the upper left are a mystery to me. Maybe other worldly, maybe from the future or the past. The three women in the lower right, wearing burkas, are dealing with their challenges, keeping the faith and moving away from trouble. A lot of this could be a flashback from Tangier, 1980. Darkened windows, hushed voices, it is Africa hot and I was sick.

Tornado

119 Colonial Street #32. 5_10_17, 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 

Have spent a lot of time thinking about transparency while working on this one. And it occurs to me that nobody ever deleted a thought from their consciousness. When people don’t want to think about something we cover it up with other thoughts, louder thoughts, but none of them are opaque. Everything you’ve ever done is probably in your head somewhere, buried in a layer. And I guess at the bottom of all those layers would be guilt & fear because those two things smell bad and we cover them up like a cat covers its mess. So here we have Tornado… a funnel cloud of images & ideas.

Falling bones & the twins

Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 36” x 36”, 5_3_17

 

There was a big article about conjoined twins in the paper… couple Sunday’s ago. Many of us are completed by someone else, and we spend our lives trying to find that person. To be connected. The falling shapes on the left are a tracing of a deer rib, eaten long ago, it is shiney and clean now I use it like a french curve.

Waiting for trouble

137 Elmfield St., #30. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 4_22_17.

Was going to call this one Seance, because I like the idea of making yourself open and available to things we don’t understand… to things that might conflict with our personal points of view, or belief systems. But something else happened, and this is my story after all. 

Red Saxophone

137 Elmfield Street #29, 30”x 30”, oil, wax & oil crayon on canvas.

Music is a difficult art form in that it involves capture. The work vanishes the second the sound is made and leaves me wondering, is the impulse to entertain, or is it a coping mechanism for the human condition?

Retreat

30” x 30”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 3_11_17. 

Sprout, ideas about growth

137 Elmfield St., #26. 36” x 36”, oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas, 3/4/17. 

Paradox

137 Elmfield St., #25, 2/17/17. Oil, wax, crayon, pencil on canvas, 30" x 48"

I started this one then got distracted by a pile of graphic design, which is good because we like to eat every day. Probably too much NPR but we are into the Trump era now and everybody on our team is pissed. Maybe the title, Paradox has something to do with that. Alternate facts and evaporating evidence, and contrary truths. We never liked the government anyway.

Reject

137 Elmfield St., #24, 1/19/17. Oil, wax, crayon, pencil on canvas, 30” x 48”.

Wrench

137 Elmfield St. #28. 30” x 30”, oil wax and oil pastel on canvas, 3_22_17.

Everyone has problems. Things break and if you don’t fix them they fall apart. The wrench can bring order to chaos, life to machines, and purpose to the person holding it. 

Cicada Moon over poison Ivy

137 Elmfield Street #23. Oil, wax, oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 30” x 48”, 12_30_16

 

This was going to be about fly fishing, but like so many true things it is not about that at all. It is about sound, a sense of place, and cicadas.

Crow & Cicada

30” x 48”, oil, wax oil pastel, pencil on canvas. 12_18_16.

 

Radio playing, reading something pulpy… again. This one might be more about the blood trail. Elvia and I were staying at the La Quinta hotel in New Britain CT, maybe mid nineties. We stepped out to get a bite to eat, and there was a fight going on outside. One of the men was stabbed pretty good, and as he did that special walk stabbed people do, holding his wound and staggering, he bled onto the sidewalk, leaving a crazy curvy blood trail, right out of a Pollack. We followed that fresh trail like it was a game, laughing at his bad luck at being stabbed, and my good luck at not. I can’t remember what we ate that night. 

137 Elmfield St. #19, Under Boothill. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/15/16.
119 colonial #1, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The Crow

30" x 48", oil  paint, wax, pencil, oil pastel, on canvas. 12_9_16.

May Insomnia. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Remembering the beach, 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
137 Elmfield St., Things I can't recall. 30" x 48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas, 11/2/16.
Windowseat. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Batman can't play piano. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #13, Falling yellow and orange crush 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas
The reader. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial, Sweatlodge peyote.

30” x 48”, oil, wax & crayon on canvas. 10_5_16. This one is about cooking a vision. Searching all the dark corners and listening to the spiders.

119 colonial #14, Learning 9/14/16 Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"

It started by writing things. Scrawling "I will not disturb the others," about a hundred times. Like a kid being punished in school, standing in front of the black board. Listening to the crickets and birds through the open garage door, remembering the regret. The other kids gone, leaving me with my thoughts, a penitent state. Maybe, in a distant way like a memory, this painting is about... learning.

Standing Rock

30” x 48”, oil paint, wax, pencil, and oil crayon on canvas. 11/29/16.

119 colonial #12, Totem. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Flutter. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Pick me. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
Bits not pieces. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
The show. 24"x24", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 Colonial #17, Sacred River. 30” x 48”, Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 10/15/16.
Language is foreign. 36"x48", oil, wax & crayon on canvas.
119 colonial #15, Midnight in the garden 9/23/16. Oil, wax and crayon on canvas, 30"x48"

The title is about the book, and thinking about Savanah. I think the painting is about dissimilar things coming together. Conflicting ideas and the areas they touch.

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