Art Installed: Jewel Toned Paintings Inspired by the Darkroom

Today's install is courtesy of Ann Connelly Fine Art in Baton Rouge, LA.

Ann Connelly has been in the art consultation business for well over 20 years. She represents contemporary artists whose focus leans towards botanical abstraction. 

Her latest install features three of my jewel toned paintings on paper, which were framed by the gallery's framing experts, hung over a fireplace in a newly designed living area. I usually don't get excited about art matching the furniture, but I have to comment on how much I love the velvet pillows and orange table, that make this otherwise monochromatic space a design jewel.

Art Installed: Jewel Toned Paintings. Image courtesy of Ann Connelly Fine Art.

Art Installed: Jewel Toned Paintings. Image courtesy of Ann Connelly Fine Art.

When Ann shared this picture on her Facebook page, a commenter asked if these were linocuts or lithographs. I guess the printmaker in me is alive and well - I do think in terms of layers and building imagery like a printmaker, which is why I studied Printmaking in combination with Drawing at the Memphis College of Art way back when. 

As I was working on these, I was reminded of the times I used to help my father process photographs in his darkroom. He owned a photo studio in Clinton, NJ., and I loved being in there with his music blaring while we would process pictures together. He would sit at the enlarger and ask me to hand him the paper, make the exposure, and then hand it back to me so I could then place it in the baths of developer, stop, and fixer. The red darkroom lamps cast their light on every surface, making the experience feel like a dream, and when we finished our work, the door would open and the rest of the world, with all of its bright lights and demanding colors would come flooding back in. The darkroom was like our refuge back then.

These pieces are NOT prints, or photographs, but are done the slow way - painting by hand. The monochromatic tones were masked off to set the stage for the drawings (which I did from some of the paper sculptures I have in my studio) in paint using a variety of brushes and even sticks to create the lines of the work. 

I hope you enjoy them! To see the rest of my jewel toned paintings from this series, visit my page on Ann's website