I spent a long, hot, sweaty, inspiring 7 weeks this summer in Italy, doing a residency with JSS in Civita. I’ll write more about it in the coming months and post here, but for now, i just want to share some images, and thank the Avigdor Arikha Memorial Scholarship, which made my participation in this program possible; it was my first trip to Italy, and a lifetime memorable experience. My warmest thanks and gratitude to Israel and Didi Hershberg, Yael Scalia, Amy Weiskopf, and the rest of the JSS in Civita staff, as well as to all the other lovely painters in the program, especially the rest of the Palazzo Gang for putting up with me. I’ve also posted some images of a few works from the trip in the Landscape section of this site.
Sat down this weekend with Sergio Lopez, and Dennis (Bagger 43), of the Waiting to Dry Podcast, for a long and wide-ranging conversation about art. It was really great to meet them both, really enjoyed our conversation!! I think we were all a little shocked at how quick the time rolled by. We’ll have to do it again soon, studio visits with other painters are my favorite.
Thanks guys, you’re welcome anytime!!
Painter and writer Christopher Benson stopped by the studio a few months ago, and though we didn’t have much time, it was great to continue our online conversations in person.
As a painter it is a wonderful experience to have a viewer as thoughtful, informed, and articulate as Chris is, much less writing about it. He also discusses the work of fellow ‘painter’s painter’ Jennifer Pochinski. A lovely essay, and the 4th in a series about contemporary painters. Appreciate the perspective!
Happy to announce a North Bay landscape painting workshop, for those interested, fee is $250, limited spots so enroll early, the dates are coming up quick. We have some great locations, and Healdsburg is a great place to spend a weekend away. Registration thru the link below. See below for course description.
Painting outside is a somewhat overwhelming experience. Constanly changing light, shifting clouds, weather, myriad possible distractions. however, these challenges create an experience of chasing the moment that stays with me, and feeds my work in the studio. Something about the intensity of looking that happens in that chase gets under my fingernails.
In this workshop we will focus on painting quick studies outdoors on location in the morning, and then break for lunch and continue to digest our observations, and craft our responses in the studio. We’ll talk about pros and cons of using drawings and photos as references to further develop ideas first explored in the field. And of course we’ll look at the greats for inspiration and answers.
This workshop is open to all levels, but is best for intermediate to advanced painters.
I am so thrilled and honored to be awarded this scholarship to attend the JSS in Civita Residency, this summer, can’t wait to soak up this beautiful landscape with a brush in my hand and serious painters from all over the world to talk shop with. (sorry, i have to run away now to jump up and down)
big things are afoot in Denver in a few weeks…
As Scott Conary says, “ a show, painting, teaching, a little general mayhem (of a very cordial variety)”…it’s going to be amazing.
Mark Daniel Nelson
I wanted to share this brand new painting with all of you, this finally shipped out last week:
Due to the more panoramic format it doesn’t share well on Instagram. This client was a dream, and gave me plenty of time so that the painting could evolve the way i wanted it to. This was composed from sketches done from life last summer, and using a few photos as an aid to memory. It was an interesting process, and it’s been very interesting to engage with a sense of place in a somewhat less abstract, more structural and sculptural way. Big thanks to Mineral School, too, for providing a wonderful home and studio in the mountains for a couple weeks, 9 months later i am still squeezing inspiration from that time <3
In January 2018, I was lucky enough to catch the opening of an excellent group show in Philadelphia, at the lovely Stanek Gallery, entitled ‘Disrupted Realism’. There had been a very interesting conversation on social media, initiated by curator and professor John Seed, attempting to define and discuss a certain direction (or perhaps many parallel directions with similar interests/aspects) in contemporary figurative/representational painting—out of this discussion, which sprawled on for hundreds and hundreds of comments from folks all over the world, came the term “Disrupted Realism”. It was a fantastic show, and featured many painters I deeply admire, including Catherine Kehoe, Justin Duffus, James Bland, Alex Kanevsky, Stephanie Pierce, Stanka Kordic, and many more.
I’m pleased to announce that there is a book coming out in 2019, by the same title, from Schiffer Publishing, written by John Seed, and I’m thrilled that my work will be included! There will be 38 artists total, as well as essays, and I can’t wait to see it. More details and links as the time for publication gets closer.
I’m so pleased to announce a solo exhibition of works from my ongoing series, “Garland of Hours”, at the beautiful galleries of Shasta College, in Redding, CA. This series of figure paintings started around 15 years ago, as I looked at photos of my grandparents in their youth. Painting from both my own family’s photos, and those that I have found, in antique stores, estate sales, or just on the street or train tracks… These paintings are a meditation, in visual form, on universal themes: love and loss, presence and absence, remembering and forgetting, youth and maturity, and above all, the temporary and transitory nature of our lives. There will be an opening reception and I will also be giving a lecture/slide talk about the work. Big thanks to Andrew Walker Patterson for making this happen. More details as the time gets closer.
I’m also pleased to announce that I will be offering several workshops in 2019, some here at my studio at the Oakland Cannery, and some in other locations.
Workshops will be most suitable for artists with some experience as we will focus on painting the beautiful natural light in my space, which changes frequently. We will work from life to take full advantage of the subtlety and variety this light offers, and talk about strategies to deal with changing light in the course of developing a painting.
Classes will be small, with a maximum of 6 students, to maximize choice in angles/motifs, and also to ensure each student gets plenty of individual discussion and instruction.
Workshops will generally be one weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 am - 4pm. Each workshop will include a ‘slide’ lecture and discussion, as well as demonstrations, and I always work alongside the students. I will be working in oil, and we will have adequate ventilation, but you are welcome to work in any media you choose. Students provide their own materials. Easels are provided, and if you like tacos, there are GREAT tacos nearby.
Two workshops offered will be: “Painting the Ephemeral”, in which we will focus on painting the interior and still life, $425 per student, and “Painting Presence: The Human Figure”, $550 per student.
Those prices are for the entire 3 day session. A deposit of half the workshop fee holds your place. Students on the wait list will be contacted in first-come, first-served order in the event of cancellations. Dates will be announced soon, first on social media, and then by email and here. To get on the email list, please send me your information using the contact form below.
WORKSHOP EMAIL LIST:
I recently sat down for an email conversation with Larry Groff of the wonderful website Painting Perceptions. We covered a lot of ground, and just like studio visits, I most enjoy conversations with other painters…We covered a lot of ground, including my recent residency in Mineral, Washington this summer, which i keep hoping I will find time to write about here. Alas, I’m too busy following up in the the studio on inspiration from that trip, but I’ll get to it. Anyway, the site has been a great source of inspiration for me for many years, and has made me aware of so much wonderful painting…i can’t recommend it strongly enough and I’m really honored to be featured. Link Below!
“Walnut Lane/Philly WIndow” #1, oil on panel, 16x16, 2018
I hope you enjoy!
I'm excited to announce that i will be showing new paintings this fall in Oakland, my first hometown show in quite a while. The show will be at Fourth Wall Gallery, on 25th St in Uptown Oakland, and I'm honored to share the walls with Andrew Patterson and Sandy Ostrau. I'll be posting more details here soon. The exhibition will be up longer than usual, more like 6 weeks, which i love, September 15th to November 3rd, with an opening reception on Friday October 5th, 6-9 pm, and a closing reception on Friday November 2nd. I hope to see you there.
My friend Colin Frangos came by the studio this summer, and we ended up talking a bit, mostly about my figure paintings from the ongoing series "Garland of Hours". That and our shared passion for the works of Thomas Kinkade (peace be upon him)
I'm very excited to announce my first large solo show in some years, at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, CA! I'll be showing about 30 paintings on the ground floor, most of them from the last couple years. Upstairs, on the second and third floors, will be concurrent solo show of works by English painter extraordinaire James Bland, and longtime Bay Area favorite, Sandy Ostrau! I'm honored to be showing my work in such lovely company, and hope I'll see you at the opening! Accompanying the exhibition will be a catalog, with an essay by John Seed, available through the gallery. I imagine i'll have some copies as well.
"Gage Opdenbrouw: Into the Moment"
John Natsoulas Gallery,
Show Runs September 27 to October 28, Opening reception Friday October 6th, 7-9 pm
email the gallery for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oakland Studio #7, oil on panel, 12x12, 2017
I think the first painting I saw from this English painter was a moonlit interior, with a possibly sleep walking figure and a few cats. I thought it was absolutely magical. I have had the same feeling looking at his work so many times since then and am so excited that he'll be showing new works at the John Natsoulas Gallery concurrent with my solo show! His work shows a clear interest in the work of painters like Sickert, Euan Uglow, and Cezanne, but with a dreamy quality that stands in an interesting counterpoint to the analytical, observational impulse. Good stuff.