October 8, 2013

Theater J and the Second of 8 New Illustrations

In April, I was hired by Theater J, housed at the DC JCC, to create 8 illustrations; one for each play in their 2013-2014. 


The second play of the season is The Argument by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros:

"This newly commissioned 2013 edition of The Argument chronicles the arc of a relationship with humor, passion, brutality, and up-to-the-minute relevance."
From the co-author of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-finalist Omnium Gatherum.

Rough Sketch

Final Illustration

September 13, 2013

Theater J and the first of 8 New Illustrations

Theater J, housed at the DC JCC, just opened their 2013-2014 season so I thought it was a good time to share with you some of the things I've been working on for them.

In April, I was hired to create 8 illustrations; one for each play in their 2013-2014.

The first play of the season is After the Revolution by Amy Herzog:

"A bold and moving play from the Award-winning author of 4000 Miles (The New York Times - Outstanding Playwright), staged by the director of Body Awareness and the recent benefit hit, Love, Loss, and What I Wore."

Rough Sketch

Final Drawing

Final Illustration

April 30, 2013

Snapshots of Work in Progress II

I've already started working on ideas for new paintings for my next solo show, A House of Cards slated to open in November at The Dunes, Washington, DC. Below is a quick look at the first step of the process.

April 15, 2013

Supersonic Electronic

Happy to learn that I was featured on the fantastic art blog Supersonic Electronic yesterday. You can see it here.

March 25, 2013

The Collectors - Where Are They Now? #4

The 4th in this series of blog posts is Confundido from the Spanish 101 series I created in 2006 for a group show I was in at Gallery Neptune in Bethesda, MD.

To read more about the origins of this series, please go here.

Collector Jean Beebe
Gregory is a genius at capturing the true human condition with all our foibles. He exposes what we try to disguise through manners but shows through on our faces anyway. I LOVE "Confondido" on so many levels, not the least of which it cracks me up whenever I look at it It hangs in the bathroom with other small works for company, so we can see it often ( ! ) through out the day. Greg's work achieves the ultimate goal of every artist: It continues to interest, draw one in, and stimulate mental exercise. I often wonder about the full extent our little guy "confoundedness". Thanks for making these amazing paintings. Like the owner of "Aboriddo" I would have owned them all, but people beat me to them. Every time Gregory produces an original Ferrand, we know we are going to be in for a "fantastico" time.
This series came about during an explosion of creativity; I painted 12, 11"x16" paintings in 30 days (a record for me).

The paintings were inspired by the holiday theme of the show and a short stint I had as a substitute teacher for an elementary school Spanish class.

Rough sketch and final drawing

Spanish 101: Confundido
11"x 16", acrylic on canvas

The Collectors - Where Are They Now?

March 15, 2013

New Website and other News

After a long time of promsing myself I would do it, I've finally made a new website that will (should) work in all media formats and browsers.

The other news is that after many years here at Blogger, I now have the ability to house my blog on my site, so this will be the last blog post here. To see the new site and stay in touch with this blog go to www.gferrand.com.

March 7, 2013

New Illustration

The following commentary illustration was done for Education Week and accompanied an article that explored the idea that the best way to improve or reform eduction is to put aside competing interests and plans (put forward primarily by government, unions, and teachers) and then work together on a unified goal that gives meaningful support to teachers and most importantly the children in the system.

First rough sketch

After some input from the art director, I came up with these next two.

This was the rough sketch that was given a go.

Final illustration (color added in Photoshop)

February 25, 2013

More press for Small Stories exhibition at MPA

At McLean Project for the Arts, tales go spinning into a world of strange

Old World gone wild at McLean Project for the Arts
Cartoonish paintings by Gregory Ferrand, Nora Sturges and Matthew Mann drop us into an eerie plot.
(Courtesy Gregory Ferrand/ McLean Project for the Arts )- Gregory Ferrand’s “Solitaire, Family,” acrylic on canvas, on view at the exhibit “Small Stories” at McLean Project for the Arts.
By Mark Jenkins,

Feb 21, 2013 11:32 PM EST
The Washington Post Published: February 21

Storytelling was blackballed from visual art by the 20th-century avant-garde, but it’s been creeping back in. Although the old narratives haven’t returned, today’s artists are keen to recount lesser-known tales, or recombine familiar archetypes in unexpected ways. Both things happen in “Small Stories,” an intriguing show of precise, but not exactly realistic, paintings at McLean Project for the Arts.

Nora Sturges, Gregory Ferrand and Matthew Mann all use styles derived more from illustrations than Renaissance canvases. Their work is cartoonish but impeccably detailed, representational yet eccentric. Sturges’s little pictures are blankly surreal, depicting vacant landscapes in American suburbia as well as what appear to be Old World deserts. Rendered in muted earth or snow-country tones, the paintings often fix on institutional buildings and mass-produced objects, including parking garages and precast-concrete barriers. The eerie “Tank” focuses on what seems to be a large shipping container, but the formal way it’s positioned suggests a sort of temple. Perhaps that’s how future anthropologists will see such now-commonplace places and things.

Ferrand’s paintings, which include a series of portraits, conjure the look of old Hollywood. The women have neatly bobbed hair and the men wear suits and ties — even when they’re running toward an airplane in one of the show’s most dramatic works, the red-tinted “Explosion! If only they knew what they know now.” Whether dream, hallucination or disaster-movie frame, the scene teasingly reveals that Ferrand knows what time it is: The plane in the background is a vintage propeller-driven model, but the woman at the center of the composition is clutching both a small dog and a smartphone.

Although his style is not classical, Mann flaunts his familiarity with Old Masters. Many of his pictures emphasize the intricate folds of flowing drapery, whose depiction is a hallmark of traditional painting. He partially paints over prints of famous artworks, and he remakes Fragonard’s “The Reader” with the young woman’s face replaced by a blue grebe’s (among other alterations). Mann’s magnum opus here is “Passion of St. George,” whose image stretches across four canvases of different shapes and sizes. The saint doesn’t appear, but there is a “Dear George” letter from the princess: She has run off with the dragon. That’s not how the fable used to go, of course, but the puckish rewrite is one way “Small Stories” justifies telling tales.

Rosemary Luckett, whose “Altered Terrain” is displayed along the ramp leading to the arts center’s main gallery, also takes a playful approach, but with serious intent. The collaged drawings depict a world where technology threatens everything that lives — even those creatures who designed and built the SUVs, bulldozers and industrial derricks that are among the show’s motifs. Despite ominous imagery, the tone isn’t grim. The artist is partial to rubber ducks, and she builds a forest from tree-shaped air fresheners and shows a frog surrounded by microphones, ready to deliver the message of these works: What Luckett calls the “web of life” is dangerously frayed. After walking to the McLean Project for the Arts from the closest Metrobus stop, count the SUVs in the parking lot.


February 5, 2013

Press for Small Stories exhibition at MPA

by BRIAN TROMPETER, Staff WriterSun Gazette Newspapers
February 4, 2013

Rosemary Luckett’s personality and political views imbue her pen-and-ink drawings, and it doesn’t require a detective to determine where she stands on environmental degradation.

In “The Picnic’s Over,” the Manassas-area artist shows a nude man and woman with oversized bodies and small heads enjoying a snack of red strawberries falling from the sky. The couple sits on a bed of raised forks, with a cake plate between them topped by an automobile wheel. The couple’s blindfolds symbolize their unwitting and careless destruction of the natural world.
“We’re creating all these beautiful products like computers and washing machines and we purchase them in a blind way without thinking about the ramifications of doing these things,” Luckett said.
Luckett’s exhibit, “Altered Terrain,” lines the walls of the Ramp Gallery of the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA), located at the McLean Community Center. The exhibit is one of three that opened Jan. 17 and will run through March 2.
Luckett grew up on a farm in central Idaho, where she contemplated life while working in the fields, and later majored in biology at what is now the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kan. She now is president of Touchstone Gallery in Washington, D.C., and teaches “Collage: The Art of Transformation” and “Sculpture from Scrap” at the Art League School in Alexandria.
The artist began her “Altered Terrain” series five years ago in order to maintain a positive frame of mind.
“I had to do it,” Luckett said. “When I look around and see mass destruction and mass extinction of animals, it’s easy to get depressed.”
She chose to work in pen-and-ink to better render fine details and rarely adds more than one color to any of her works, saying this greatly increases the complexity of the drawings.
Many of her environmental artworks feature rubber ducks, which normally are associated with carefree childhood. Luckett contrasts this with the experience of real animals, such as ducks and frogs, which are being wiped out by pollution.
In “Coaled-Coaled Heart,” Luckett shows a man whose body is composed of bones, plus a ramshackle house and coal truck carrying a blackened human heart. The man’s head is topped with a coal-cutting machine, from which hang nooses.
Luckett also provides detailed environmental information in the side notes that accompany some of her works.
“They’re just wonderful drawings, tremendously creative,” said MPA exhibitions director Nancy Sausser. “She has an incredible imagination.”
MPA also is displaying interpretive works by three painters in “Small Stories,” an exhibit in its Emerson Gallery.
Many of artist Matthew Mann’s works feature lush green fields crisscrossed by rivers, with incongruous items such as fire in the foreground.

Mann renders his subjects – be they flowers, leaves, drapes or a bird’s nest – with almost trompe de l’oeil accuracy, while his juxtaposition of those elements against unusual backgrounds recalls Surrealism.

Mann’s “Rainbow of Blood” shows a scarlet rainbow arching over the artist’s familiar green fields, with a sandstone cliff in the foreground and two headless bodies and a chopped-off tree.
Gregory Ferrand’s paintings focus more on people, who frequently show a sense of uneasiness or foreboding.
In his “Honeymooning,” a stylishly dressed young couple anxiously read a map while perched high about a blue sea with white boats and green mountains in the background.
Ferrand’s series “Solitaire” features eight black-and-white paintings of men and women with coiffures that appear to date from the 1930s or ’40s. Below each portrait subject is an oval-shaped color scene with action ranging from a birthday party, dance and series of masks to a couple skinny-dipping.
The most dramatic of Ferrand’s paintings is “Explosion! If only they knew what they know now,” which shows a frightened young woman being led to an old DC-3 aircraft by a group of men in suits. Dark thunderclouds billow in the background, heightening the sense of urgency.
In contrast with Ferrand’s stylized human dramas are artist Nora Sturges’ smaller, darker paintings depicting simplified, people-free scenes.
The artist’s “Houses” shows a group of tiny dwellings on a desolate landscape, while her “Moon Bounce” places that colorful carnival attraction next to a dumpster in a dreary parking lot, the background taken up by a bland red-brick building accented with security cameras.
Finally, MPA’s Atrium Gallery is displaying “GOLDRUSHed,” a series of oil-and-gold-leaf abstract works by Thomas Xenakis.
While these glittering works are not as message-laden as the other paintings in MPA’s current exhibits, they feature pleasing color combinations, interesting compositions and elements that either protrude out from the canvas or delve more deeply into it.
The McLean Project for the Arts, located at 1234 Ingleside Ave. in McLean, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (703) 790-1953 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (703) 790-1953 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.mpaart.org.

January 30, 2013

Paintings: Next 6 in the Solitaire series

These 6 paintings are part of a series (13 in total so far) I've been working on over the past year called Solitaire. Currently they are on view in the show, Small Stories, at the McLean Project for the Arts' Emerson Gallery through March 2.

The paintings are portraits of individuals with a circle in their chests. Each circle offers an intimate view into the silent internal dialog we each have; expressing fears, hopes, experiences, dreams, etc..... More to come.

Solitaire: Facades   available

Solitaire: Harmony   available

Solitaire: Skinny Dipping 1   available

Solitaire: Skinny Dipping 2   available

Solitaire: Bliss   available

Solitaire: Innocence   available

January 23, 2013

New Painting

I recently wrapped up work on my newest painting, "Honeymooning," which is currently on view at the McLean Project for the Arts until March 2. To see gallery hours and get directions to the MPA go here.

 rough sketch

acrylic on canvas, 18"x 24"

January 16, 2013

New Show Opening Jan.17 -March 2: Small Stories

McLean Project for the Arts
Small Storiesa new show that I am a part of at the McLean Project for the Arts  officially opens tomorrow, Jan.17, 2013, from 7-9pm.
The show, running from Jan. 17-March 2 in MPA's Emerson Gallery, is curated by Nancy Sausser and features the work of Nora Sturges, Matthew Mann, and myself. I will be showing 10  paintings (almost all are new).
All three "are painters whose work delves into the realm of the personal narrative. They have in common a crisp, careful, objective style and a penchant for working on a relatively small scale. Each of these artists make work that suggests a story, in an undefined, open-ended, multi-layered way. The works provide a window into the places, thought, interests, and impressions experienced by the artist. Each painting provides an opportunity to combine the artists’ perspective with that of the viewer, producing an imaginative collaboration of possibilities."

To find directions to the McLean Project for the Arts (in the same building as Alden Theater) please visit the MPA website here.