An Evening of Poetry, Music and Art
at Peninsula Ballet Theater
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Peninsula Ballet Theatre
1880 South Grant Street in San Mateo
I refer to my style of watercolor painting as “minor abstractions” because they seem abstract up until the viewer steps back to see the details at a distance. I work hard to get this effect, developing it over several years of experimentation. My favorite medium is watercolor. I like to use it like most artists would use oil paint, placing strong thick colors and shapes in precise places that seem deliberate and impressionistic at the same time. The paints that best suit my style are the Japanese Sumi-e watercolor paints. They are rich with pigment, archival, and carry with them hundreds of years of history. I use the traditional brushes as well.
My preferred subject is people, and more specifically, faces, all kinds of faces. Young or old, thick or thin, gnarled or model perfect, they fascinate me. The body language, the eyes, the jaw lines, and notably the facial expressions of people, all capture my interest and spark my creativity. I strive to capture subjects in the midst of a mood, an emotion or a transition. Those fleeting, unguarded moments when we are all truly ourselves, I see as our most universal moments. I want viewers to look at my work and see people very much like themselves or someone they might know. A favorite uncle, a worried lover, a troubled coworker looking for relief.. My goal is to make each painting a story, a memory.
I was born in the Midwest but for decades, have made the San Francisco Bay Area my home. I teach social sciences at the College of San Mateo and often draw upon my colleagues and students for inspiration. Admittedly, I have two passions, art and education. In some ways, they are similar. Both require dedication, attention to detail, creativity, observation, practice, and a personal investment in human interaction.
I believe everyone deserves the delight of having original art in their home and workplace. It is an enduring and unparalleled pleasure.
Joe Cottonwood has spent a lifetime mixing construction work with writing. He has published one book of poetry, "Son of a Poet," as well as nine novels for adults and children. His novel "Famous Potatoes," a road novel with a touch of noir(for adults, please) has been translated and published all over the world. His novel for children, "Quake!" about the 1989 World Series Earthquake is standard reading for middle school science classes. His newest award-winning** book is "99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses" about adventures in the construction trades. In 1979 he built a house in La Honda where he raised his family and where he remains today.
**"99 Jobs" won the 2014 IRDA (IndieReader Discovery Award) as "the best nonfiction book of the year by an indie writer."
Terry Adams is a long-time Peninsula poet, with poems in Poetry Magazine, Witness, the Sun, The Sand Hill Review, etc, Terry's book is "Adam's Ribs," from Off The Grid Press. He lives in Ken Kesey's infamous cabin in La Honda.
Terry and Joe are both retired General Contractors and authors who gravitated to the quiet of the Redwood forest in La Honda, where they co-MC a local "Literary Night," and enjoy interweaving their poems and stories into a unique dual presentation.
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