I was honored to receive "Best in Show" for my aerial landscape of the Central Valley during this years "Arts Alive in Agriculture", hosted by the Fresno Arts Council at the Fresno City Hall. Many talented local artists were included in this annual fine art exhibition, held each year, displaying the beauty of agriculture in the San Joaquin River Valley and surrounding area.
I look forward to being a part of Third Thursday Arthop in Fresno. I have 35 pieces on display at Green Office Furnishings in Fresno. Join us on Thursday, June 16th from 5-8pm for Arthop!
I was honored to receive first place in the landscape division of the Arts Alive in Agriculture show. The show is on display during April at the Fresno City Hall lobby.
The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust will host a unique exhibition featuring Fresno artist Daniel Van Gerpen opening on March 5, 2016. Resplendent Remnants will feature works by Van Gerpen, from his Remnants and Relics series utilizing mixed media that incorporates painting, photography, and found objects in art that evokes the texture and feeling of sublime landscapes.
A South Dakota native, Van Gerpen has called California home for over ten years and pulls inspiration from the iconic landscapes of Yosemite and Big Sur while still finding beauty in the miles of agricultural land that encompass the Central Valley. From the shear face of Half Dome to sentinel trees that survey the farmland, Van Gerpen’s work speaks both of isolation and connection with the natural landscape.
With their dedication to the natural environment, the Ranch House at the River Center seeks to connect visitors with the natural environment. This exhibition feels right at home with its dependence on the natural materials and vistas for inspiration. Weathered stones and wood enhance the connection between the art and the places that are represented. Resplendent Remnants is available for visit each weekend in March and April.
The Ranch House at the River Center has a variety of exhibits relating to the culture, nature and history of the San Joaquin River and environs. Ranch House exhibits are available to the public for free every Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 – 3:00. The River Center grounds are open to the public for free Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 3pm. The River Center provides free parking and access to the Lewis S. Eaton Trail, the Hidden Homes Nature Trail, as well as use of the beautiful grounds as a community gathering place for spending time outside in nature.
This is my first painting from my 30/30 Project. 30/30 Challenge:
During the month of October I am taking on a 30/30 challenge. Last November I worked through a postcard challenge by creating a postcard sized painting everyday. This year I am stepping it up a bit and plan to create 30 paintings in 30 days. I am hoping to develop my painting style and experimenting with different styles and techniques. I hope this is a time of growth and look forward to seeing what develops. I will post the paintings as they develop along with behind the scenes images to help show my processes. You are invited to follow along with the process over on my Instagram page.
Artist feature for KMPH Fox 26 TV. Video produced by Marc Blake for the Central California Conservatory of Visual & Performing Arts, Jewel FM Gallery, Galerie de Merzan at the T.W. Patterson Building.
I was honored to have two of my pieces receive third place ribbons at the ACA September Invitational Show at Chris Sorensen Studios.
A few images from the gallery display at the Pacific Grove Art Center in May and June.
I am looking forward to my upcoming exhibition entitled: Remnants and Relics at the Pacific Grove Art Center in Pacific Grove, CA May 1 through June 25th. An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 1 from 7-9pm.
Marked by myriad of media such as painting, photography and assemblage the integrated vision of this collection combines the idea of remnants and relics with a passionate interest in light and time. My process involves layers of memories conveyed through layers of paint enhanced by found objects reminiscent of the portrayed places. These excavated artifacts share in the storytelling. I intend to not just recall a place, but also provoke a feeling. I seek to add texture to help draw forth the atmosphere of an experience and incorporate found objects to connect the tactile with the visual.
Here is a time-lapse video of me in the studio working on a new piece.
It has been great settling in to my new studio space downtown. Although December was a busy month with all the holiday festivities I was still able to make it down to the studio and start getting set up and moving in artwork to display and all of my painting supplies. (I had to sneak some pieces out of the house without Layla seeing.) I still have some work to do to finish setting up but I have been enjoying working in the space with what I have so far. The gallery and studio is a great old building with exposed brick and and beams. It has a lot of character and it's fun to see my art is this setting.
It has been great to connect with other artists who also have studios inside of the gallery. It is also wonderful to see the artwork that is on display in the galleries. I have also enjoyed talking with some of the visitors to the studio and gallery and make some new acquaintances.
I am looking forward to the first Arthop I will be a part of in Fresno. On Thursday, January 8th from 5-8pm my studio, the gallery and many other art locations downtown will be open to the public in the evening. I have walked around a few times during these events and it is wonderful to see all of the great art that is being made in Fresno and meet some of the artists. There are a lot of venues to visit and many things to see. I look forward to visiting with everyone who stops by to check out the gallery and see my space. I have many new pieces to share as well as some that are still in process.
See you at Arthop!
The name of the gallery is 1821 Gallery and Studios - www.1821gallery.com
It is located at: 1821 Calaveras St. Fresno, CA 93721
For a list of Fresno Arthop locations visit: http://fresnoartscouncil.org/arthop/venues/
During the month of November I worked on a Daily Postcard Challenge. This was intended to be a discipline that would require me to create a postcard piece each day of the month. In order to have a level of accountability to help ensure that I finished the project I gathered names from friends, family, and Facebook friends to serve as recipients of each postcard. Thank you to everyone who participated!
It was a fun project, though challenging at times. This was intended to be a quick project each day and for the most part that was the case. Most of the cards were created in a matter of minutes. During the process I got to explore some different compositions and used some different colors than I typically use. Overall it was great to have all of these pieces to have on record. Some of them may become full-sized paintings as well.
Another goal of the project was to seek inspiration. As Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it must find you working." This was a great jump start before I moved into my new studio space. It was helpful in getting the creative juices flowing before working on some larger pieces.
I am halfway through the daily post card challenge. It's been fun creating a little something everyday even if it is something simple.
The other day the wifey and I had a small conversation about college and whether or not it is still relevant in todays world. It seems there are many paths to learning and many ways to find your purpose in life, and how to learn how to do that purpose.
It seems there are many ways to learn and gain experience and I questioned whether or not college was still a vital route. As I pondered this further in Introvertville I began reflecting on some of the influences that I still carry with me from my college days.
I think there is value in focused study and practice. As with anything you get what you put into it. I think some people approach college as something to get through. Just do the bare minimum to pass. As with most things the more investment and curiosity you have, the great the result. I view my college experience as rewarding and feel as though I put in a decent amount of effort. Here are some of the things that I still retain that I learned in college:
Perceived constrictions are not real. There are more possibilities. You don't have to do it like everyone else does. I had a preconception about what photography was capable of. My experience was something very different and diverse. I remember the demonstration on long exposures. Our professor turned out the lights and lit fireworks. This is something that sparked an interest in photography. We learned best practices but also where there are windows to escape the rigid constructs that I had imagined prior to taking the class. I enjoyed experimenting and discovering different techniques and exploring new artists.
Productivity can double before 9am. While many in the art department would grind out working well into the night I developed a routine of going into the studio at 7am during the week and on Saturday. I found this to be the best time to be in the studio without any distractions because everyone else it there late at night and sleeping on Saturdays. Plus I could listen to whatever music I wanted to.
Make your own surfaces. I learned it is better to make your canvas fit your idea instead of trying to fit your idea into a canvas. This is a practice I have come to value more over time. Not only for originality, I feel more connected to my work because my hands have touched it from the beginning. I love rough and organic edges, something that store bought surfaces and canvases do not provide.
Make a lot of junk. And then rework it. and then rework that. and then paint over half of it. Then paint over the other half. Then paint over all of it. Then make another one. Experiment. Fail. Learn. Don't let anything be precious. Although you may love a certain part of a painting, if it doesn't work for the whole piece, it must be eliminated.
Sometimes the opposite of what you thought the right answer is is what the right answer is.
Playing dodge kite in the middle of the night is fun.
You can catch gophers in apple juice jugs.
Art History lecture is a great place to have lunch.
You can learn more in critique than in a closet. One of the things I miss most about the college art experience is having daily access to other artists asking similar questions, getting different answers and learning from the mistakes and successes of others. In addition, being forced to talk about your art makes you think about your art more. Learning to make art is about asking questions both of others and of your self.
I love the dance-like elegance that this simple set up of fans and fabric create. There are even moments where the motion of fabric matches perfectly with the music.
I wonder why my mind wants to create a story between these two pieces of fabric. Their relationship of dancing, becoming intertwined, separating for a bit, rising, falling, separate but connected. Maybe it's just the romantic in me that seeks to draw some correlation to life and relationships. You have the influence of the fans all around pushing everything to the center. And yet the fabric is tossed around the circle, often reaching to the very ends unable to break the invisible barrier.
Or maybe I am drawn to the freedom of the motion. As I watch, I can feel my body resting seeking to become part of the wind blown dance.
During the month of November, I am doing a daily creative challenge. Each day I will complete one drawing or painting in the form of a postcard. To make it a little more fun I will mail each card. If you would like to receive one of the cards in the mail just send me a message with your address. There are only 30 days in November!
You never know when something simple will impact you in a way that never seemed possible. A tiny pebble of a day creating vast ripples in a life of ordinary.
Two years ago, today, I received an email that would change the course of my life, forever. Or more aptly, the course had already been set, I just did not see the turn coming. A butterfly effect enacted by a wink.
In my endeavor for companionship I had received a few emails of this nature. Each time I would receive an email like this, my future would flash before my eyes. Curious if this would be "The One". "This is how it started." "Could it be?" And once the flash was over, the wall of "forming a response" would jolt to the foreground. Followed by the process of investigation. Reading her profile. Rereading her profile. Rerereading her profile. Looking through all of her pictures. Rereading her profile. Looking through all of her pictures looking for any type of context clue that might reveal itself. Rereading her profile. Opening an email form to send a response. Closing window. Rereading. Pictures. Mouse hovering over "reply". Riffling through cheesy responses in my head. Writing. Deleting. Editing. Rewriting. Another future flash. hope. doubt. anticipation. anxiety. Unable to sit still long enough to write a response.
Just hit send.
Just hit send.
Just hit send.
Joy, fear, excitement, curiosity, and anxiety all coagulated into a single mouse click.
Rereading the email. Rereading her profile. Rereading my profile.
Just walk away.
It is an interesting blend of being so excited about the possibility and trying to keep in mind that it's only an email to a woman 150 miles away that I have never met. It could pan out to be nothing more than a single interaction. OR it could be the single most important interaction in the history of everdom. The battle of excitement and realism. Do people really find meaningful relationships this way?
First Phone Call.
First Touch of her skin.
Falling in love, with Los Banos?
I could never have imagined that I would be sitting here and looking back on so many wonderful memories from the last two years. It has been a blessing and a joy to be able to get to know such an amazing person. Still rereading: but now a face and stories...our story. And looking through pictures...our pictures. A woman who makes me know love in a way that I never thought possible. To know and to be known.
To think, it all started with a wink.
I will pack up an office and leave a place I have worked at for the better part of the last nine years and say, "see you later" to many friends that have become like family. I will head east and start a new job, in a new city and most excitedly enter a new season of life; marriage.
So with great excitement I enter this new season of life. There is so much to look forward to: being closer to the woman whom I love so much, starting a new job, meeting new people and of course being closer to Yosemite, a wonderful source of beauty. There are also many things I will miss. And so on this night, likely one of my few remaining opportunities for a casual impromptu visit to the ocean, I decided to stop at one of the turnouts I had never been to before. I parked and walked down the short trail, dancing around the scattered patches of poison oak. Reminiscing about the time I wandered down a trail in shorts and got poison oak up and down my legs and on my face so that my eye was swollen half shut and had to have two shots before the symptoms subsided.
I thought about the many times I had stood next to the ocean waiting for the light to be right to take pictures. Reminding myself to always step back and be present in the moment. A picture can never fully capture the moment and so I try and be mindful of being present knowing that life is not just about seeing the moment but about taking time to feel it.
And so I endeavor in all of these changes to be present. To remind myself that the journey is exciting and I need to take moments just to take in everything around me. I am thankful for all that I have and grateful for the experiences life has brought me so far and look forward to the adventures that lay ahead.