"These jewel-like paintings intuitively fuse different aesthetic traditions, folk art and old master, with natural grace and an uncanny quality that may be a species of magic." —American Arts Quarterly
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again I shall not live in vain.
~ Emily Dickinson
I painted two winter scenes for Meyer Gallery in Park City, Utah. I love the calm and quiet hush of a landscape blanketed by snow. “Child with Winter Robin” was inspired by walking in the hills and trails of Santa Fe, where the sound of birds can be heard, almost as if spring is not long in coming. “Beloved with Amaryllis and Golden Arrow” is a reprise of a 2015 painting of the Amaryllis myth. This time the subject is the boy beloved by Amaryllis.
I first painted the amaryllis story back in 2015. That first version featured the girl with the arrow wounding her heart.
(February 2022) Black Rock Editions is a two-year-old Santa Fe print house, but its roots stretch back fifty years and across the nation. Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is proud to announce a special print showcase celebrating Black Rock’s founding, with a nod to the 50-year legacy of its forebear, Landfall Press. Works on paper from Black Rock’s roster of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women artists commingle with historic Landfall prints by legendary artists such as Christo and James Drake. Special programs throughout the show, held at the gallery and at Black Rock’s remarkable headquarters, highlight the nascent print house’s intersectional vision for the future of printmaking. An opening reception with Black Rock Director Christina Ziegler Campbell and Master Printer Steven Campbell is on Friday, February 25, 5–7pm.
“Chris and Steve were deeply engaged in the curatorial process for the show, which enriched the storytelling in so many ways.” says Gallery Director Jordan Eddy. “We’re recreating the experience of entering Black Rock’s workshop, opening their flat files, and marveling at their plates and prints.” Though they established Black Rock in January 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Campbells started with a solid foundation. They’re both veteran employees of Landfall Press, a 50-year-old print shop that was founded by Jack Lemon in Chicago and moved to Santa Fe in 2004. When Lemon generously gifted Landfall’s space and equipment to the Campbells, they shifted their focus to include up-and-coming artists from communities that have often been ignored by other print houses and the larger contemporary art establishment.
The exhibition features artwork by Jordan Craig (Cheyenne), Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Dan Namingha (Hopi), and Mexican-born artist Sergio Sánchez Santamaría. Works by seasoned printmakers Peregrine Honig and Jeanette Pasin Sloan appear beside editions by self-taught artists Fatima Ronquillo and Timothy Cummings. Also on view from the gallery’s archives are works on paper from Landfall by internationally renowned artists Judy Chicago, Christo, Lesley Dill, James Drake, Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, and Jiha Moon. Moon is one of the only artists who has worked with both Landfall and Black Rock, pointing to a torch handoff in the cross-cultural explorations of the Korean-born, Georgia-based artist. “Ultimately, the exhibition examines the community of printmakers who were—and are—central to elevating and evolving the printmaking medium as a dynamic means of investigation, expression and community engagement,” Eddy says.
For these two latest paintings, I took inspiration from William Morris, the great textile designer, artist, craftsman and poet of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Throughout his work he sought to marry art with nature. In “Strawberry Thief” Morris depicted the little bird thrushes that stole fruit from his garden at his home, Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire. In my painting, the figure is clothed in a jacket reminiscent of William Morris’ design only this time the thrushes are live companions or conspirators with their strawberry loot. For “Sweetbriar and Bluebirds” I gleaned from two William Morris wallpaper patterns “Trellis” and “Sweetbriar” where once again, where the sweetbriar roses and birds surround the figure of Flora heralding springtime.
The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make.
~ William Morris
I am the handmaid of the earth, I broider fair her glorious gown, And deck her on her days of mirth With many a garland of renown.
And while Earth’s little ones are fain And play about the Mother’s hem, I scatter every gift I gain From sun and wind to gladden them.
I am very pleased to announce my participation in the Group Exhibition MILK at the Dorothy Circus Gallery in London on 27-29 January and then in Rome on 17-19 February. The “Mother and Child” theme is one that I have painted throughout the years having been much inspired by Renaissance Madonnas. The theme for me has evolved, oftentimes referencing the mythology of Venus and Cupid. Love is the connecting thread.
Happy Holidays to all! Thank you very much for your continued support and encouragement through the year. I wish everyone a New Year full of blessings. Venus and Cupid with Parakeets is a new work just delivered to Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe. I have lately been enamored by jonquil yellow color and eau de nil (a pale nile green). What better use of such evocative colors than to portray symbols of love.
The pair of Indian yellow ring-necked parakeets (the male has the rose band around its neck) are shown with a branch of the arbutus unedo or strawberry tree, which flowers and fruits simultaneously and is said to have been an emblem of Venus.