This week I am working on the 2nd painting is a series of paintings themed on Provence and the South of France. This one is my first rendition of Olive Trees, a subject so beautiful, and so dear to the two painters I admire the most, Jean-Claude Quilici and Vincent Van Gogh. Along with the director of the Marshall-LeKAE Gallery, I've hit upon doing a small display - a small late summer show of 8 to 10 paintings, all themed along the lines of the places in Provence that were painted by Van Gogh and Cezanne. Some of you may know that I spent a six months in Aix-en Provence as a student in 1996, and have seen many of these places with my own eyes. I am excited to do some paintings inspired by this beautiful and historic region. I too have walked this hills and the alleyways frequented by Cezanne, Van Gogh, and many others - and their charm was not lost on me, and still affects me to this day. A lot of what I have done in my paintings of the American West was to take an inspirational spark from the Provencal colorists, and plant it here in the American soil.
We are also in the process of organizing a three artist show at Cobalt Fine Arts in Tubac, featuring myself, Paul Sheldon and Fred Collins. The opening reception is planned for March 26th, and one of my featured paintings, "The Flowers of Fall" is already sold, but will be on display for the opening.
Also, I'd like to remind everyone that I will be featured in the March issue of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine, and I encourage you all to, pick up a copy. The staff and editors of Phoenix Home and Garden have been a delight to work with, and I am very happy to be featured in this sharp, beautiful publication.
As a last note, I wanted to take a moment to ask all of you to remember the recent victims of the terrible shooting here in Tucson. On that day, my wife and son were shopping at another store only 500 yards away and they saw emergency vehicles rushing past them as they were driving home. Typically, I'm not one given to big pronouncements on this blog - and it is pretty clear that there have been deep political underpinnings to both this act of murder as well as the consequent debate over what it has meant. But I am among the camp who believes, without a doubt, that we have calm down and learn to be civil to one another again. I always loved what Edward Murrow said, "we must not confuse dissent with disloyalty". I do believe that voilent speech does affect people who are already angry and disaffected - for whatever reason. We therefore owe it to our children and our neighbors to stop letting anger dominate our discourse. This great land of ours will survive the discussion. And let's do all we can to also assure that a duly elected official can fulfill the roles that they have been elected to do - without the threat of violence against them. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims, both living and dead, did not deserve to have their lives shattered by bullets.
Our hearts and are with Mrs Giffords and the other victims, as they recover, and as the families of the lost mourn and make the effort to go on with thier lives.
Let's remember our neighbors in Tucson.