Allegory of Spring

There is a mad enchantment that possesses the heart and mind when confronted by the possibilities glimpsed through visions of beauty and love.
“Allegory of Spring” is the first of the paintings for my upcoming solo exhibition “Mad Enchantment” at Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe. The opening reception is on September 15, from 5-7 pm and runs thru the 21st.
“Allegory of Spring” 24×20 inches, oil on panel
The Spring 

by Thomas Carew

Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long’d-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal’d, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made
By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season; only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January.
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2015 Texas Book Festival Poster

texas book festival

I am very honored that my painting “The Naturalist” has been chosen for the official Twentieth Anniversary Texas Book Festival poster. The festival is on the weekend of October 17 and 18 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin and benefits Texas public libraries. I am thrilled to have been chosen because the public libraries have been instrumental in my self education as an artist. Before I even stepped inside an art museum I found art within the books I devoured at the library. More practically, I learned to draw and compose paintings by copying old master works found in books. I also discovered literature which has served me faithfully not just for comfort and escape but as a treasure chest of ideas for my works.  It is no wonder that I wish for my works to open the same doorways to dreams and imaginations that literature does.

The narrative quality of Ronquillo’s work made it a perfect choice to represent the Texas Book Festival this year. As Stephens [Rachel Stephens from the Wally Workman Gallery] remarks:

“As you can see in the festival poster image, her informed visual language creates characters that are layered with a past as well as a future. The eye contact activates the viewer as a participant. Her symbolism intrigues the imagination. It is no wonder that the literary community is drawn to her work. What time period is it set in? Are the flowers being offered or received? Is the finch a friend or a possession? And what army could the red armband signify? As with literature, there are no wrong answers. There are only stories, stories wanting to be told, stories wanting to be read.” ~ from the Texas Book Festival Lit Blog

Speaking of artists, you can spend the three months between now and TBF weekend admiring the poster art by Fatima Ronquillo, an elegant that looks as if it might be several centuries old, which has the feel of both the Old World and the New World, of past and present, of nature and civilization … it tells a story of the kind we love to discover in books. ~ Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

“Reveries” solo show

“Reveries” is a selection of works portraying figures engaged in meditative introspection and dream states. To be caught in a reverie is to be caught in a daydream or fantasy and to inhabit the liminal world between the physical outer self and the mysterious hidden inner world. The narratives portrayed, such as in “Flora with Piglets,” may either be improbably real or only a fantasy.

Opens Friday, August 14, 2015, from 5pm to 7pm, at Meyer East Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“The Novice” and “Marcel”

In the studio I tend to create stories about the works on the easel. Having gone to a Catholic school myself, I imagined the young nun as a teacher with the little schoolboy “Marcel” as her pupil. Now “Marcel” in my mind is a rather bookish young man, perhaps a writer or poet, not unlike a young Proust. The laurel leaves behind him symbolize his literary talents or aspirations. “The Novice with Dog and Sweet Peas” is a study in creams and whites, accented with a bouquet of pink and purple sweet peas on a ledge. The little King Charles spaniel accompanying her is adorned with a medal of honor hanging from a red ribbon.

Both works are now available at Meyer East Gallery in Santa Fe.

The Novice with Dog and Sweet Peas
“The Novice with Dog and Sweet Peas” 20×16 inches, oil on panel


“Marcel” 10×8 inches, oil on panel SOLD

Solo Exhibition: “Possession”

I am pleased to announce “Possession” ―an exhibit of new works at the Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, Texas. The show runs from March 7-28 with an opening reception on Saturday, March 7th, 6-8 pm. There is also a Preview Happy Hour on Thursday, March 5th, 5-8pm.

“Possession” is a body of work wherein figures are in the act or contemplation of possessing something or someone or are themselves possessed by something or someone. Portraits are in essence vignettes of personalities held in cherished objects. While there is the sure self-possession of the hunters and the beloveds, there also lurks the uncertainty within those emotionally possessed or even inexplicably and literally bound. Most often an ambiguity exists: is the figure the possessor or the possessed?