February 2015 Southwest Art cover artist and feature article!

I'm very excited to announce that I have been chosen as the cover artist for Southwest Art's 2015 landscape issue, and that you can find a feature article on my work in the issue! Look for the magazine nationally in bookstores and newsstands. The article, "Serenading the Land," is on pages 72 - 75 of the February 2015 issue.  Below you can see the cover and the larger painting, A late fall evening, 36" x 58". 

December 2014 newsletter

Convergence, 24" x 60.5" on two archival panels, private collection.

Convergence, 24" x 60.5" on two archival panels, private collection.

There sometimes isn't a lot to say or do. One might see the future on the horizon or want to be more active here and now, but life presents a different, more subdued plan. Such has it been of late. It's the Quiet Time, when I'm faced with the specter of painting little and waiting as the body and mind catch up from the previous year's bustle. In the past, these times were disconcerting because I didn't know whether or how I would emerge – and was less in tune with the necessity of rest and regeneration. I still feel uneasy when the paintings pause and the studio goes quiet: what will come after the Quiet Time? But I know now to let it unfold at its own pace, and for the time being get about the work of cleaning and catching up on all that I wasn't able to finish during the year. It's time to focus on replenishing the stores and building a better foundation. So in the last month there has been hardly any painting; mostly assessing and recalibrating, planning, and taking space from it all......

See the entire December 2014 newsletter – with more images, a couple exhibition announcements, and video – here. You can also sign up to receive Jivan's newsletters directly in your inbox here. You'll get one every month or two and can easily unsubscribe.

Invited instructor – "Empty mind, full canvas" – Saturday, October 18

I've been asked to lead a demo at the Artisan Artists' Materials Expo on Saturday, October 19th, 2014. It'll be a good one! The session, titled "Empty mind, full canvas," will be a rare chance to see me paint a full-size outdoor landscape while answering questions and narrating my process as I go. I plan to undertake a large-format (with luck, 30" x 40" or larger) piece on-site in the rock formations at Buffalo Thunder resort. Barring an exceedingly rare late-October absolute downpour, we'll be outside. 

The session will venture into the practical and the philosophical, touching on topics such as:

  • Where “good” painting originates,
  • How we discover the best of our creative process and shepherd it through the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," or maybe just a busy mind, and,
  • The "simpler" logistical difficulties of painting, like wind and changing light and muddied colors.

Particular attention will be paid to painting on-site and from-life, whether indoors or outdoors. Some time will also be dedicated to discussing environmentally-friendly materials and considerations.

The demo will be from 9am - 12pm and costs $75 + tax. For those of you who would like to get your hands a little bit dirty, some sketch materials (oil pastels, pencils, gessobord) will be provided for visual notes and experimentation. You can find more details and register for the event here

Noonday sentinel (sold), 36" x 60", oil impasto on canvas. 2013. Painted on-site in Nambe, NM. 

Noonday sentinel (sold), 36" x 60", oil impasto on canvas. 2013. Painted on-site in Nambe, NM. 

More thoughts on process - May 2014

A few years ago I wrote an artist statement on process that said: "when painting I'm brought back to simplicities, back to my senses, and in a way, back to life." I called painting an "act of simplification...and devotion," a "trust fall of sorts... that dissolves the excess in my psyche and leaves me clearer in mind and heart." As I recently read through this, everything rang true and yet something substantial felt lost in the neatness and romance. Everything felt a little too certain. A little too well-manicured. Painting, like love and life, is also work – hard, uncertain, and surprising work.

At its truest, I believe, the process is messy, gritty, and beautiful. As much as it is profoundly revealing, inspiring, and delightful, it is also rife with miscues, distractions, frustration, quiet defeats, and outright failures. There is the mucking about of it. The grumbling effort of it. The discomfort of regularly extending beyond one’s safety zone into the unknown; of being ground down and humbled. Or the suffering when one resists inspiration’s invitation, and in so doing, loses the thread of what is vital and pulsing. These often aren't "pretty" moments to look in on. Personal demons and ego and triggers rise and shout from the hidden nooks and crannies. Fear and worry wiggle about in it all.....

Featured artist & Quick Draw participant – Santa Fe Passport to the Arts, May 10th!

On May 10th, I'll be one of over fifty artists painting on-site during Santa Fe's season kick-off event, Passport to the Arts. It's a celebratory weekend of gallery openings, exhibitions, music, food, and more along all of Canyon Road. Saturday's Quick Draw, Artist Reception, and Live Auction is a headline event and should be a lot of fun – I was told that last year at the auction alone over 40 pieces sold!

Meyer East Gallery (225 Canyon Road) will be featuring my work in its main hall through May 22nd, and at Saturday's Quick Draw, I'll start and finish a piece in two hours (¡yikes!) – between 11 am and 1 pm. Afterward I'll be hanging out at the gallery, chatting with visitors for the afternoon until the reception at 4 pm and auction of the wet paintings at 5 pm.

Here is a link to Meyer East Gallery's website, and below is the largest piece on display for the exhibition.

Evening in the Land of the Sun , 42" x 66", oil impasto on canvas, Sold

Evening in the Land of the Sun, 42" x 66", oil impasto on canvas, Sold

Masterworks of New Mexico - 72" x 48" landscape on view

My largest single-panel landscapeCandles in the sun, 72" x 48" (above), will be on view at the 16th Masterworks of New Mexico exhibition in Albuquerque from April 5th - April 26th. It's a huge piece with a huge amount of paint (nearly three liters) and I'm excited to see how it is received by visitors. The exhibition is at the Hispanic Arts Gallery at EXPO NM and features a wide range of New Mexico art and is quite the spectacle to behold. Last year my figure painting, Bella Lucia, won Best of Show. With luck this year will bring more success!

The exhibition opens April 4th from 5 - 8 pm. It runs through the 26th of April. Here are directions to the Hispanic Arts Gallery at EXPO NM. 

Candles in the sun, 72" x 48", oil impasto on canvas 

Success at Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

I'm happy to report that both paintings invited to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art – in Montgomery, AL – sold during the museum's fundraising event in February. Proceeds benefit the museum's great free programming. Good news! Images of the pieces are below. They're from 2013 and are on the more abstract side of my spectrum; thick, scraped, and reapplied paint making for some loose responses to each day. 

Below left: Sunflower abstract, 16" x 12".  Below right: Morning abstract, 20" x 16".

New representation in Denver at William Havu Gallery

I'm very excited to announce my newest representation – William Havu Gallery in Denver, CO. It's one of my favorite galleries anywhere and I'm honored to be showing along some some great artists. The gallery was established in 1973 and is located in an AIA award winning, post-modern building a few blocks from the Denver Art Musuem. Seven exhibitions a year engage an ongoing dialogue on regionalism as it affects and is affected by national and international trends in realism and abstraction. In addition to my paintings you'll find an array of mid-career, established artists, including Mary Mito, James P. Cook, Jeff Aeling, Stephen Dinsmore, and others. Call (303) 893-2360 for information on my work or visit the Gallery Website.

Finalist! in Ray Mar Art Competition

I'm happy to say that my painting, "Bella Lucia," won another award – it was selected as a finalist in the Ray Mar Art Competition. I'm now eligible for the big prize in early 2014. This piece and a few of my other figure pieces have really done well for me lately. My other bigger figure piece, Contemplating the Nei Jing, a 72" x 72" multi-panel work, has been invited to exhibit at the Blumenschein Museum starting 9/20/2013. With the positive feedback these pieces have been getting, I've got more incentive to start in on a figure series this fall. Exciting!

New representation at Meyer East Gallery in Santa Fe, NM

I'm happy to announce that Meyer East Gallery in Santa Fe is now representing a diverse range of my work. They have on hand landscapes, still lives, and more – including some of my more abstract pieces. Meyer East is a great contemporary gallery near the entrance of Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road. The gallery's more traditional sibling, Meyer Gallery, is just across the way – making the two a great combination to visit. I'm honored they've decided to take me on. A few sample pieces are below, and you can find all the work of mine that they have on hand here.

ArtSlant 2013 Showcase - winning painting: "The storm arrives"

My painting, "The storm arrives," was selected as a winner in ArtSlant's 1st 2013 Showcase. It's a 36" x 48" piece painted onsite along the banks of the Chama River, just a few minutes from Georgia O'keeffe's home in Abiquiu, NM. This is one of my most recent pieces, from November 2012, and I'm especially happy it won -- the spot where I painted it is one of my favorite places on Earth, so it feels good for it to be seen! 

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New representation! Heinley Fine Arts in Taos, NM

I'm very excited to announce new representation - Heinley Fine Arts in Taos, NM. Heinley Fine Arts is owned and curated by Donna Heinley, an art historian and dealer originally from the East Coast - Boston and New York - where she became a noted expert on 19th Century French paintings. Heinley Fine Arts is the only place to purchase my originals in the Taos area, and I'm very excited to have my work represented in by Donna. I've found her to be an insightful and tasteful curator who has developed a gallery filled with great artwork that is given room to breathe. Other artists exhibiting at Heinley Fine Arts include Alyce Frank, Evelyne Boren, Nicholas Herrera, and David Michael Kennedy. Works by Beatrice Mandelman also hang at the gallery in addition to the 19th Century French paintings that rotate into the gallery throughout the year. Be sure to stop by when you're in Taos -- you'll be glad you did! 

The gallery is located at 119 C Bent Street, Taos, NM, 87571. For more information call Heinley Fine Arts at (617) 947-9016

Statement on process - 2013

When painting I'm brought back to simplicities, back to my senses, and in a way, back to life. To surrender scripted plans and just listen and look, not knowing what will come, is a trust-fall of sorts and an act of devotion. On the good days this practice dissolves the excess in my psyche and leaves me clearer in mind and heart. It’s something I believe can translate to others through a finished work.

In a time filled with so much that can leave us far from the subtle pulse of a day, acts of simplification – for me, painting – seem like time well spent....

​The making of Contemplating the Nei Jing, 72" x 72"

At 72" x 72", Contemplating the Nei Jing is my largest piece to date. It's huge for me -- and I have piles of used up paint tubes to prove it. The process began in late August and has slowly unfolded over the last two months, first with sketches and then recently with boatloads of paint. Each day at around 3:15 in the afternoon, the light sets our studio corner aglow and I paint feverishly for a couple hours until daylight wanes. I've been photographing progress at the end of each painting day – at this point I'm at over 20 afternoons and evenings -- and below you can follow the piece's development. It's nearing completion but isn't quite there. The last two photos in the slideshow/gallery below show me and the model (Klara, for those of you who know us personally) for a sense of perspective on how big the piece is.