Saturday, October 31, 2015

Art Exhibition Update

     I would like to say thank you, to all the gallery patrons who have viewed my current show, at All Souls, and who have expressed so many, kind comments on my work.  And I want to say a special thank you, to all those who who came to the opening night reception, when so many other things were going on in town on that Friday evening, which were competing for everyone's attention.  It was nice to see some old friends there again, and renew acquaintances, and make some new acquaintances as well.

     For those who haven't had the opportunity to see the exhibition as yet, the show is going to stay up until November 19th.  So, there is still time to stop by and view my work. I hope you will enjoy it.

     Gene McNerney

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Art Exhibition

     There will be a show of my work in the Gallery of the All Souls building,
in Kansas City, Mo., beginning on October Eighteenth and lasting until
November Nineteenth of this year.  The location is 4501 Walnut (across the
street from the Kemper Museum of Modern Art), with ample parking on the
south side of the building.
     It will be open six days a week, Sunday through Friday every week.
I would like to invite any of my blog viewers, from near or far, to stop by
and have a look, if they have the opportunity.

     Gene McNerney

Pomona, After The Rain

                                                      An original acrylic painting, on canvas panel
                                                      24" X 18". unframed
                                                      $1,800.00, - (plus $30.00, pack and ship)

                                                          (Click on image to enlarge)

     The subject of this painting is taken from another of the fountains in a well known
shopping district In Kansas City.  The sculptor of the life-size bronze was Donatello
Gabbrielli, and the figure he created represents Pomona, the Roman goddess and
protector of vineyards and orchards.  She is depicted as if having just been busily
sampling some of the produce of a bountiful harvest, because her hands are filled to
overflowing with grapes and other fruit.  She stands (or seemingly floats upon the
surface) of an elevated, stone bowl of flowing water, which is cascading over the
bowl's edge in a shimmering curtain, and falling into a wider pool below.
     The fountain was purchased in Italy, and installed in a Plaza courtyard in 1969,
far from Pomona's natural habitat of sunny Italian vineyards.  For nearly a half
century she has been presiding over a realm of conspicuous consumerism, rather
than overseeing the verdant fields of Tuscany.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No Fish Today

                                                   An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                                   18 X 24", unframed
                                                   $1,800.00, - ( plus $45.00, pack and ship )

                                                         ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This painting, of a courtyard fountain scene, is one from a series of fountain paintings
I have done, which feature the fountains of a well-known shopping district in Kansas City.
I have shown other paintings from this series in previous postings, such as Neptune 
RisingA Sunrise Visitor, and Do The Mermaids Bring The Storms?, and I may show
more of them in future postings.
     Although the fountain itself features four little faun figures, which sit at the four corners
of a rectangular pool, I focused my composition on one end of the pool and two of the
figures.   The four fauns were purchased in Brindisi, Italy, in 1928, and there is some
evidence that they may have had a previous life as ornamental features of a Italian villa's
lighting fixtures. And, their years since their installation as a fountain have not been
uneventful.  The story is, that someone once managed to steal three of the fauns, but
the thief was unable to pry away the last one. It was that remaining faun which was used
to make a mold to cast the three, new replacements for the missing trio.
     Fauns, the mythological half-human, half-goat creatures, have been frequent subjects
for artists, writers and composers, from the time of the ancient Greeks right up through
the nineteenth century.  They were originally believed to be the manifestations of forest
and animal spirits, which could help or hinder humans, at their own whim.  The Romans
believed fauns inspired fear in men traveling in lonely, remote or wild places.  But fauns
were also believed to be capable of guiding humans in need, as in the case of the ancient,
well-known fable of The Faun and the Traveler ( later called, The Satyr and the 
Peasant).   That fable was a popular subject for European artists for centuries.
     In the case of this painting, it is the cat I added to the scene, rather than a traveling
human, which appears to find the fauns companionable.  The title of the painting suggests
that the cat may be stopping by regularly, to check on whether the pool has been stocked
with goldfish, but he never has any luck.  No doubt there are a great many cats living in
the large, high-rise apartments surrounding the district, but it is unlikely that any of them
get to leave their buildings.  A cat which could visit that fountain regularly, would truly
need to have nine lives, in order to survive the run through all the heavy traffic.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mellow Autumn Mollusk

                                           An original acrylic painting, on a gesso primed, masonite panel
                                           5 X 7", unframed
                                           $135.00, ( plus $8.00, pack and ship )

                                                         ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This is one of a number of smaller paintings I have done, in which I used snails as
the subject, or in which I used snails in addition to the main subject.  Snails are of an
appropriate scale to fit well into smaller dimension paintings, and the wide variety of
their colorful, patterned shells is surprisingly beautiful.  
     I feel that I managed to pack enough different elements into this painting, that it
gives the impression of being larger than it is in reality, and yet I don't think I made it
too busy.  Other artists will recognize the composition device, of overlapping similar
shapes, which I used to provide depth and a feeling of movement in the painting.
The snail, extending from its shell, almost perfectly echoes the shape of the fallen pair,
even including the extended lines from the head of the snail and the stem of the pair.
Thus, by playing the two shapes against each other in reverse, a circular movement is
created, which helps to keep the eyes of the viewer focused within the painting, rather
than slipping away, out of the little story it is telling.

     This painting can also available ready-framed, as shown here, in a carefully selected
and well suited frame, for $185.00, ( Plus $15.00, pack and ship ).

                                                        ( Click on image to enlarge )


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Donning The Suit Of Lights (Matador #3)


                                              An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                              20 X 16". unframed
                                              $1,400.00, - ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                        ( Click on image to enlarge )

     People often ask artists and writers why they continue to ponder bullfights and
the bullfighters, as subject matter for their creative works.  The questioners probably
hear as many different answers to their quires as the number of famous, or less well
known creative personalities, that they have asked, including Picasso and Hemingway.
But for me, the answer has to be the endless, abstract, visual possibilities of the
dramatic, ceremonial, and ritual costuming.  The rich, hand-embroidered gold-work
and gem-encrusted presentations the matadors wear, along with their vibrantly colored
capes, are echoes of our ancient past, going back to ceremonial, human and then animal
sacrifice. And those elaborate appointments still symbolize man against the dark forces
of nature, and the one sacrificial hero who goes out to face death, for the sake of all the
others, as their heroic proxy in the arena.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Winter Morning Encounter

                                           An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                           16 X 20", unframed
                                            $1,400.00, -( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                        ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This was one of my demonstration paintings for my last workshop.  It was painted
as a response to questions about how to paint snow, and it showed how to build up
layers of undertones before adding the final touches of pure white.  The scene is entirely
     Creating a landscape completely from one's imagination can give an artist unlimited
freedom and possibilities, and yet it can be a trap or dead-end for some who try such
risky ventures.  We have all seen those twenty-five minute, TV art videos, which promote
painting as some kind of happiness therapy, and which value speed of completion over
thought  and observation.  The "landscapes" they crank out do not capture a genuine
sense of place, or a believable feeling of depth of field, or delineate objects in a space
of adequate capacity to hold them.
     In the case of this snowy, forest scene, I hope that I have given it a believable sense
of place, but also that I have given it the better advantage of being a completely imaginary
setting.  That advantage is,of course, the freedom o go beyond simply recording a
landscape as it is seen, to tell more of a complex idea, or even offer suggestions of a
story in the completed composition.  The imaginary landscape can become fantasy
( or even reach into a surreal vision,  such as the painting in one of my previous postings
titled Merlin's Enchanted Keep ). This painting is not that mystical, but it is an attempt
to capture a surreal moment in time, one of those rare, personal interactions with a wild
creature, which a Native American might see as a meeting with one's spirit-animal guide.

    The encounter occurs during a walk along a forest road, early on a perfectly quiet,
windless morning, when a nobble deer silently appears and acknowledges the human
presence with a calm exchange of greetings, looking into each other's eyes knowingly
for a time, before it turns away to walk up the road, perhaps as an invitation to follow
along.  Perhaps the other-worldly nature of such a meeting may suggest the kind of
dream-spirit encounter which can come in the final moments of life, offering assurance
that the last journey will not be too uncomfortable, and that the destination will be
welcoming and natural.

     I'm sure that there are many people who will simply describe this painting as a
picture of a deer in the woods.  I can't argue with that view; we all see what we want
to see.