Welcome to poemia.net

This is my virtual art exhibit. Have a look around, watch videos of the April 2011 Show and the Spring 2012 Show mounted in the garden surrounding my studio space, read my artist's statement* for each of the three sections representing different works created during thematic phases of my artistic life. Take your time exploring the overview page of each section digging deeper into detail by clicking on any thumbnail to enlarge the work detail.

*Scroll down or click below to view my Artist's Statements
April 2011 Show
Black & White Gestalts
Orchestral Works

I hope you enjoy being here

April 2011 Show
Black & White Gestalts
Orchestral Works
Contact us

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Artist's Statement for April 2011 Show

I was born in Vermont in 1944 of creative parents and spent my youth in Florida. Majoring in International Law in college, I joined the Peace Corps in Nepal, where I was immersed in Hindu and Buddhist cultures.

Not academically trained in art, I attended numerous workshops and established relationships with scores of gifted artists. Over time, I intuitively developed my voice (where the conscious and unconscious meet, I am constantly puzzled). Intellectually I have drawn from masters of the various ism's, finding most affinity with Kandinsky and the German Expressionists. Recently I have been enamored, paradoxically, with the process of quilt making as well as the discoveries in neuro-science. This confluence guides me to the interplay of the static and the kinetic, the horizontal and the vertical, the convex and concave and the breath's inhalation and exhalation, all infusing the "internal" engagement.

Inspired by the backgrounds of Matisse and others, I often employ monotypes as grounds for my figures melding the semi-representative with the abstract. Believing in the ethos of recycling, I retrieve much of my material from the East Bay Depot for Creative Re-use in Oakland. To finance my studio time, I earn my living as a psychologist, family law mediator, and college instructor. I am grateful for this arrangement. I have studios in Alameda as well as the Sierra Foothills.

For forty years I have been a published poet. The term poetry is poemia in Greek, meaning where anything is made, hence the name I have given my Alameda studio. My most recent volume of poetry was available during the exhibit. Doing poetry - engaging in poemia - gives me a sensibility of finding sound on the canvas with its potential texture and musicality. I am constantly encouraged by my wife, Lorinda Ferland. also an artist and my artist son Eli and his wife Jess.

These 72 pieces embody my work over the year 2010 and early 2011. This was indeed a fertile period after a lengthy illness.

I consider myself a happy man.

My next project is to paint black & white gestalts, and then a series of symphonies in Major and Minor keys.

Parenthetically, I'm always on the lookout for enthusiastic patron-souls. They are welcome to knock on my studio door. Ten per cent of sales go to the Buddhist Global Relief Fund. Any other donation to this worthwhile cause is also appreciated. Thanks for viewing.

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Artist's Statement for the Black & White Gestalt Series - August 1, 2011

This new series is a sharp contrast to the previous series which made up the Spring 2011 show. . Last year I spent an intense and labored period working with colored texture using quilting and discoveries in neuro-science as metaphors. Now I present sixty-five pieces that I call Gestalts, three dimensional constructions in black and white on the back of wooden boxes of seemingly incongruous images made whole as they juxtapose each other. All of the objects on the board surfaces were found through happenstance in sundry places and recycled. I started the project several years ago, but the pieces remained in rough form in my attic during a three year hiatus until this late Spring. Like finding old treasures, I climbed to the attic, dusted them off, washed them, and reexamined their aesthetic import.

I radically modified a number of them, touched some up, and left some alone finishing the pieces in my Alameda studio in the summer of 2011. I feel that they go beyond just mechanical positionings. They seem to speak to me despite their often disparate and illogical selection as lyrical interplays…sometimes comical, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes heart-felt, often oddly surreal. I am drawn to the purity that black and white can offer. I got the idea years ago from teaching perception theory to my college psychology classes trying to explain the breakthroughs of the 19th century German Gestalt psychologists, who maintained that the brain's wiring and our cognitive process require a bottom-up translation of finding the Whole.

With juxtaposition, the black and white images reinforce our retinal rod reality in the occipital lobe. I am sure that unconsciously I have been influenced by Kandinsky, Miro, the French Reconstructionists, DuChamp, Dore Bothwell, (the American translator of Notan), and scores of other artists dealing with three dimensional collage/sculpture on flat surfaces. I acknowledge the support of Alameda, California artist and educator Dickson Schneider, who encouraged me to pursue the project.

Artist's statement for the Orchestral Works in Major and Minor Keys

My most current studio project has been to paint in mixed media relationships between the vibrancy of specific music and the canvas's energetic response in color, form, and line…much in the tenor of what Kandinsky wrote in his letters and essays. In some ways these pieces are a natural segue from the black and white collage constructions of piano solos I did 25 years ago.

These paintings are 2' X 2', framing my impressions from listening to the works over and over.

I am focusing on the works of thirty-one past and present American orchestral composers. I decided against listening to the myriad scores of European pieces during this working period, because their numbers, although rich and obviously a great influence on our musical heritage, are too overwhelming in scope and too difficult to select fairly. Moreover, a more vertical approach would give me glances into my own culture, given the Afro-American input, particularly in that I perceive that our music is much more asymmetrical than our European counterparts.

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April 2011 Show | Black & White Gestalts | Orchestral Works | Contact us

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