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Artist of the Month at the Riverdale Y

The Riverdale YMHA has selected me to be their Artist of the Month for February.  I have 18 paintings ranging from a representational landscape from 2007 to five abstracts from 2010, and including paintings based on travels to Peru and Ecuador as well as many based on views of Wave Hill and upstate New York.

You can see my paintings by visiting the Riverdale YMHA at 5625 Arlington Ave., Bronx, NY 10471.  Hours: M-Sun 8-8 (Friday close one hour before sundown).

When I look at my own work displayed like that it hits me how much it has changed even just over the last five years.  For many years, my work was very representational:  a lake looked like a lake and the hawk looked like a hawk.

Hawk over Weaver Lake, 2008

Hawk over Weaver Lake, 2008

And I’d have been tempted to say the biggest change occurred last year when I became interested in abstracts as a result of taking an Abstract Watercolor class at the Art Students League.  But over the last couple of years my representational paintings were starting to look more and more abstract anyway.  Croton, the plant, is still recognizable, but I didn’t paint it sitting in a pot.

Croton, 2009

Croton, 2009

But that Abstract Watercolor class was a game changer.  Monster in the Gulf clearly deals with my feelings about the burning of the Deepwater Horizon last year.  No representational stuff here.

Monster in the Gulf, 2010

Monster in the Gulf, 2010

And Noise Machine, well you might recognize the drum but the painting is certainly not representational.

Noise Machine, 2010

Noise Machine, 2010

Moving to abstract has reinvigorated my painting.  It’s a whole new set of challenges and a ton of fun as well.  It’s what gets me up in the morning and wakes me up at night.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Who knows what the next five years will bring?

Posted by ruthhurd on February 6, 2011

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