Noel’s Critique Party of 4/2/2005

Painting by Damon Arhos "Mark" acrylic on canvas 24" x 48" 2006

Painting by Damon Arhos
“Mark”
acrylic on canvas
24″ x 48″
2006

Critique at Noel’s

We went to one of Noel Robbin’s critique parties last Saturday night…it had been far, far too long, and it was a good one.  All of the work by all of the students was very good (no surprise), but this time even better than usual.

Patty Olwell, my dear friend, was there (a little surprise for me), and damn if her work isn’t just getting finer and finer!  She’s starting to handle oils almost as well as she has always handled acrylics.  She had one piece, kind of a Cezanne-y piece, that Terry particularly loved (not that I didn’t, mind you), and she pointed out the bits of traveling color throughout the piece that she’d learned from me (yay!).  Juicy and gorgeous!  I really loved 2 small still lifes in particular, though.  Just bowls of fruit, but such gorgeous colors!

A huge surprise for me was a student who I had never met before named Damon Arhos. Can I say blown away? His work is really like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and (being somewhat modernistically trained) I have a hard time imagining how he ever developed his very personal and particular style, or how he actually works. The best I can do is imagine that he is truly able to allow himself to get completely involved in the act of painting, without too much ‘thought’ getting in the way — to truly ‘connect’ with his work while he’s about it, and then I imagine when he takes a breath and steps away, even he is surprised at what he’s wrought.  Well, see for yourself, here: http://www.damonarhos.com/.  Damon is one painter whose work has kept us talking for days…

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For one thing, I want gesture-any kind of gesture, all kinds of gesture–gentle or brutal, joyous or tragic; the gesture of space soaring, sinking, streaming, whirling; the gestures of light flowing or spurting through color. I see everything as possessing or possessed by gesture. I’ve often thought of my paintings as having an axis around which everything revolves.

— Elaine de Kooning
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  • This is a lovely piece, and your portfolio looks great.
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