Tuesday, July 28, 2015


In The Dunes 18 x 24" Oil by Christine Sullivan
August, boy August on the Cape. As young children it was simply paradise. Our last grasp of summer before school, a way to hammock ourselves and yet alive with the possibilities of what was ahead. And how appropriate that it is the same window for my first solo show on the Cape.
Please join me for my opening reception
437 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA
In our family, much like many of you, our parents would pack up the station wagon to the gills and make the trek from Syracuse to the Cape the first two weeks of August. We'd stay in the same, small cottage in the Nauset Heights area of East Orleans known as the "Blue Shutters" and owned by Mrs. Hopkins. Complete and unplugged it sat on a spit of land with the Mill Pond, a salt water tidal pond, on three sides. It was where the salt air and the salt water meet and became my center. 

Harbor House, 20 x 24" c sullivan
And while the "big beach" surf of Nauset was the main attraction during the day, it was the quiet moments back at the cottage when we were left to ourselves that I remember most. Alone, down at the  edge of the Pond pulling clams from the mucky sand earning my .50 cents a dozen, or out rowing around the Pond while my brother snorkeled for and speared small crabs, even as I sat on the stone steps outside the rickety screened kitchen door shucking ears of corn for my mom, hearing the Bob White calling in the distance, I somehow, even then, knew. It was all around me as my tanned arms pulled at the green husks. Seeping into that place where we go when things get tough, as they surely would, becoming my Bell Jar. I was seven years old. And it is there when I open a tube of paint. Back once again I go. The pink of the late evening sky above. The tips of the sea grasses bending in front of me. The quiet of the purple beach heather, almost whispering as the tide slowly shifted with a gull overhead.

Of course I have had these experiences as an adult. After I grew out of the summers with my parents I returned alone to live and work on the Cape. Then my parents moved there for twenty-five or so years. My mom returned to her landscape painting, my dad to his 18 foot sail boat on Pleasant Bay. Knowing full well that none of this would consider me a native but my fifty year relationship may stand as an acceptable close second, at least for some. My nights on the bar stools of the Land Ho! well set. But it's always the childhood memories that are the strongest. That I pull from. That joins us all. Especially while painting. 

This was never more evident then during my last workshop with Anne Packard and her daughter Cynthia Packard this past June. We were standing there. On Ms Packard's deck. About ten of us. Busily setting up our easels and paints with little to no small talk. Looking out at the Bay. The Pier. Wondering what we would stare down and attempt to capture and hearing Anne and Cynthia making the rounds...when a brisk wind brought with it the sharpness of that familiar combination of salt air and low tide (which my best friend still refers to as "dead fish!") and my heart lept. Literally. And I was brought back…to those summer days…that love. The sea. The boats. 

Provincelands 30 x 40" Oil, c sullivan
I have about a dozen paintings in this show all of which are Cape images. Oils By The Sea / ROCCAPRIORE GALLERY is located on the East End of Commercial Street and is owned by long-time local artist & film producer Shirl Roccapriore. The history of the location is deep as it was once home to a strong Portuguese fishing family that drew their livelihood from Cape Cod Bay and the surrounding waters. Later it became Harvey Dodd's gallery (1933-2011) for decades. I couldn't feel more honored to be represented by this high quality gallery and to have a solo show here in August. 

Come join me Friday, August 7th for the opening reception. The gallery is located directly across form Ciro and Sals Restaurant and next door to The Mews Restaurant so it's easy to find and to make a night of it! And if you are not able to come see the show in person please visit the gallery website at oilsbytheseagallery.com

All the best! /c.

P.S. While you're in P'Town be sure to pick up a copy of the Provincetown Art Guide magazine and check out my full page ad. 

437 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Three's A Charm: Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition

It was both exciting and challenging to work on this, my first attempt at melding my present painting process with my cartographic past. As it was to learn that "Finger Lakes Geomorphology" was juried into the 65th Rochester-Finger Lakes Biennial Exhibition. This years juror was Michael Rooks, Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Atlanta's High Museum of Art, who chose 68 works by 46 artists from a field of 920 entries by 330 artists - thus I am honored to be in such good company. This will be my third appearance and is largely credited for launching my professional art career.

It is also exciting as this was a bit of a departure for me. The base of the painting is a "map" - harking back to my geography/art degree and early days as a cartographer on Cape Cod - describing the locations of the eleven long and narrow lakes that make up the Finger Lakes. But it was the energy of the earth event that created these lakes, about two million years ago, that shaped my painting process. As did the human interaction and migration as the sense of place evolved. There are nods to the early towns and villages, the salt mines, open farmlands, recent vineyards, the NY State Thruway - but it is more personally an example of my love of paint, rocks and of this region. One that I hope will lead to a bend in the road in my own painting journey.

The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, July 25th from 8pm - 11pm.  There will be live music (including a large dance band in the grand ballroom), a drinks and dessert bar and the museum is open so you are able to stroll through five centuries of world art in a marvel of architecture. 

Memorial Art Gallery is located at 500 University Ave, Rochester, NY. I will be lecturing here during the exhibition on Thursday, August 27th at 7pm and the exhibition ends September 13th. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Artist of the Year - An Exhibition Filled Weekend!

What better way to end my reign then to see it go to my friend and fellow artist, Jan Geyer, The Gargiulo Art Foundation's Artist of the Year 2014. After several months of experimentation in the abstract, Jan is now a figurative painter with expressionist tones and over the past year has been working diligently at her craft and exploring new directions. First there was the Harold Garde Strappo print making workshop. We took this one together but it was Jan that truly fell in love with this Garde invented print-pulling-off-glass process and then developed it in a way that uniquely showcases her deft drawing skills. Then there was the award of a 4-week artist residency at the renowned Vermont Studio Center this past August. It was here that she fell back in love with painting the figure and came back inspired and worked diligently over the Fall finishing an expansive and impressive body of more than forty new figurative works. These will all be on display at two exhibitions / awards shows this weekend. Here's the rundown, and you'll want to attend them all:

Tonight, Friday, Jan. 9th, 6 - 9PM
The weekend tips off when the Gargiulo Art Foundation hosts the Artist of the Year Exhibition at Salvo Art Project's gallery at NatureScapes Nursery (313 Old Brick Rd off Rt 100 just two streets west of Belle Terre).  Salvo's tall ceilings and studio-surround atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to experience about a dozen of her fresh figurative paintings and Strappo prints. It is also a great place to relax on a Friday evening with friends and enjoy the art and open studios of other local artists. Add to this the live music in doors and the gardens of NatureScapes outdoors where you can sit next to a warming fire-pit and enjoy a glass of wine under the night sky and it all makes for a memorable evening.

Plus, many of the former Gargiulo Artist of the Year recipients will be there - Linda Solomon, JJ Graham, Weldon Ryan, myself, Peter Cerreta, Jane Sbordone and Edson Beckett - and it's a great way to support the arts in our community as a portion of all sales of Jan's work goes towards the Gargiulo Art Foundation's Art in Public Places program here in Palm Coast. And Salvo asks for a $10 donation at the door to support funding improvements to this large structure currently housing studios for eleven local artists. The celebration kicks off at 6pm.

Saturday, Jan. 10th, 6 - 9PM
Then on Saturday Geyer opens her expansive Studio at City Marketplace (located next to the Walmart plaza) allowing us to experience an intimate look at her work space and process as well as nearly thirty additional new works, some of which were born during her awarded four-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center this past August. Jan's studio is on the balcony level of City Marketplace, just a few doors down from the Flagler County Art League's Second Saturday community event. The mayor of Palm Coast will be on hand with Tom Gargiulo and Arlene Volpe for the award presentation. Her studio will be open from 6 - 9PM.

[Speaking of Tom Gargiulo and Arlene Volpe I continue to be amazed at the amount of hard work they continue to put into their Foundation's Art in Public Places within our community…even during a scary year of health issues...and naming one local artist as Artist of the Year helps bring attention to individual artists. I can tell you from my own personal experience that this one award, received last November, acted as a slingshot for my professional art career (and I can't thank them enough). ]

Jan's work is also part of a show which opens this Sunday at I AM ART/RACHEL & FRIENDS Gallery in Hammock Beach called "SHE: The Figurative Feminine" - celebrating work by and of women. This show opens Sunday, Jan 11th, 4 - 7PM. The exhibition also features works by local artist Diana Gilson and Kate Miller and includes several resulting works by students of Kate's figurative class held there. The gallery is located at the "Pink" building on A1A north, next to 386 Restaurant. This "Sunday Soiree" event kicks off at 4pm. 

Hope to see you at one or all of these events this weekend!