Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hoffman LaChance Contemporary

Over the years I’ve been very lucky to have been associated with Hoffman LaChance Contemporary gallery in Maplewood, MO. They pretty much focus exclusively on displaying work from painters and I greatly appreciate being involved in numerous shows over the years. I still remember about 8 years ago watching a small piece about them and the gallery on PBS while feeding my newborn son. At the time I was getting seriously back into painting and I had a little daydream about how cool it would be to show at their gallery. The next year I was included in their group holiday show thanks to William LaChance. Since then I’ve gotten to know both Michael and Alicia and they have always been helpful, encouraging and supportive.

Another group show is coming up at the gallery and the opening is Friday Oct 11. The theme of this show is “Zombies” with 30 + artists both regional and national showing original work. Their openings are always fun and entertaining. Many times I’ve gone thinking I’ll just pop in for an hour to check out the work and end up being the last one to leave or we move the party to a late night bar and even once we got some bowling in at Saratoga which is just a few buildings down from the gallery.
I wasn’t sure what to contribute to this show but settled on a simple portrait of Frankenstein who seems to me to be the first or original zombie, though man made. To make it interesting I decided to use oil instead of my usual medium acrylic. I had an old wood panel measuring 12 by 12 inches and spray painted it green. I made a rough outline of the face but didn’t like how it looked so I wiped it out and started over. While I was making a new outline, my daughter wandered into my studio and asked what I was doing. I showed her the picture I was working from but she didn’t think much of it and asked if she could paint. So I set up an easel and got her started next to me. Then I returned to my piece and started filling in the details. Every now and then my daughter would look over and see what I was doing. Or she’d get up and play with markers or listen to music. After about two hours she looked over at the painting and let out a small scream. She was surprised at how it looked from the last time she saw it and it frightened her. She immediately ask that I put the painting away so she can’t see it anymore. I said, “OK” and figured if it scared her that much then it must be done and sat it on the rack to dry.