Sunday, October 16, 2011


Dan McCaw and his sons, John and Danny, are on exhibit at Anne Irwin's new gallery this month. I feel so privileged to have attended the opening Friday night and also an artists' talk on Saturday morning.

I really appreciate it when artists use analogies when speaking because I can retain information better when there is only an hour or two to gather information. I rarely take notes because I know I will miss something important, so this is a very helpful teaching tool.

I am going to try to share what "I" heard during the art talk. I found all three to be honest, genuine and giving.

Dan shared the aspect of validation or loss of validation which stems early in life either from a parent, often times the mother, classmates, peers, etc., and how throughout one's lifetime the self is formed by this. When creativity is squashed by the lack of validation, then it remains so until the individual is either able to or decides to let it out.

He also discussed "fear" at length. My take home message was that there were three ways in which to deal with fear. 1. Run from it, 2. Fight it, or 3. Freeze. Interestingly...true.

And he mentioned a poem that said something to the effect that "The longer you keep your hand in the fire, a flower may soon blossom." My take home message was that although you may endure some difficulties and trials along the way, something positive may eventually come.

Lastly, every one's perception is different. Dan recalled a time when he and his sons were on a city street photographing material. While he was taking shots at the buildings, his eldest son, John, was looking at the cement walk. What may be of interest to one is different for the other.

John's love of simple shapes and the more organic source of information is revealed in his more abstract work. His love of anthropology guides his work as does view from a different perspective - the cracks and colors in a cement sidewalk.

Danny's work appears more graphic in nature and allows simple geometric shapes and strong contrast to be the focus of his work.

The four aspects of hue, value, shape and intensity are considered in their work, as well as, the play of warm with cool, dark and light contrast and the lack of facial definition so that the viewer can decide and relate to who the "who" is in the painting.

Last, but not least...COLOR - their play with color, its intensity, contrast, how they allow the brush to move color on the canvas. Masterful!

Wonderful exhibit, wonderful stories - exquisite work! Take a peek before the show closes!!!