Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 74

Well, Here I Am in Portugal – Now, What?

 

It’s never too late

to be what you

might have been.

George Elliot

In three days, on September 8th, it’ll make two months since I moved here. Although I moved here for other reasons, it just struck me that I am now – officially that is – a working artist. What does that mean? That means, as a man who owns a cafe here asked me last year, “Are you a showing painter or a selling painter?” Well, I’m a selling painter.

I now have a gallery here in Figueira da Foz – the Galeria O Rastro – and, it seems, many more opportunities than I ever had back in New Bedford. I’ve heard tell of a “fresh start” where you’re allowed to begin over. Well, my experience here so far has been that I now have the opportunity to start my painting career – after a delayed start of 40-years – something I’ve never had before.

I’ve already produced seven paintings, secured a gallery and have a very real opportunity to exhibit at the Centro de Artes e Espectáculos da Figueira da Foz (Center for  the Arts and Performing Arts) or, the CAE (ki) as they refer to it here.

PT - #1 8-2016
PT #1-2016

[click on images twice to enlarge] This is the first piece I did (PT #1-2016) of three specifically for the Galeria O Rastro. It seems in Portugal, or around here anyway, works on paper are seen as not being serious enough. I did three canvases – to order – at the request of gallerist, gallery owner and evolving mentor Rui Beja Da Silva. He wanted me to jump off from my blue paper drawing series – specifically this one…

drawing-6a-2012
DRAWING-6a-2012

 

It was a bit odd since I kept thinking that I was making a copy, of my own work but as a painting. He wanted me to stay away from a monochromatic scheme. “Our patrons want colorful paintings,” he said. I like to work on a monochromatic scale, it’s is a lot easier for me and I believe my imagery lends itself to it. A poly-chrome palette  is much harder! Ah, but there was the challenge and I like aesthetic challenges.

I took the challenge on and produced the three. These two… (LEFT: PT #2-2016 and PT #2-2016) came next. I’m still fighting with myself on the manner and method of execution on the subsequent works but, I can handle it.

PT - #2 8-2016
PT #2-2016
PT - #3 8-2016
PT #3-2016

Has living here affected me or my work. You be the judge. Too soon to tell. I did have a flashback to my first year in grad school at the University of Miami though.

 

My paintings then also seemed to have the same tone. There’s more work in ARTIST’S JOURNAL NUMBER: 75 and it seems to be going somewhere.

Posted on: 05/09/2016, by : Ron Fortier
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