Dennis Hood abstract painter Orlando Florida

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Into Endless Skies

April 25th, 2024 by DMHoodArtist

Into Endless Skies Dennis Hood Steele Haus
Into Endless Skies Dennis Hood Steele Haus

“Into Endless Skies” - my first solo exhibition – opened on Saturday April 13, 2024.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Gallery for the opening reception. I was touched by the support and appreciation of my work.

I would like to add a special word of thanks to Mrs. Amber Steele, owner, and curator of The Credo/Conduit Gallery at Steele Haus. Amber offered me the opportunity to make my dream of a gallery exhibition come true and I am forever grateful.

This exhibition showcases paintings completed prior to the start of my residency in France, works created at Chateau Orquevaux, and additional pieces completed in my studio, post residency.

The meaning behind Into Endless Skies reflects the approach I take towards my work since returning from France. I am experiencing pure joy in exploring the limitless potential of engaging in service of the arts. I am exploring the endless possibilities that living a life filled with creativity can bring. Approaching my art with an abundance of positivity. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals that appreciate, support, and encourage one another in the enjoyment of creating.

All the paintings are impressionistic abstracts of fictional landscapes and naturalistic visions from my imagination. Each image was created to engage the interplay of what is seen and what is thought to be seen. The tapestry of colors in each painting are meant to amuse the eye upon a deeper contemplation of the work. By using undefined and uncertain horizons, the viewer can individually interpret exactly where the endless skies begin.

The exhibition Into Endless Skies will be on display until June 1, 2024.

There will be an Artist Talk at the gallery on Saturday May 4, 2024 at 1pm. If you are in the Orlando area please stop by and say hello.

Gallery hours vary so be sure to check out www.steelehaus.com for all the details.

Into Endless Skies Dennis Hood Artist Steele Haus
Into Endless Skies Dennis Hood Artist Steele Haus
Into Endless Skies Dennis Hood Artist Steele Haus

Open Studio

March 16th, 2024 by DMHoodArtist

Dennis Hood
Dennis Hood

On the last Sunday of the residency, the artists held Open Studio’s and gave Artist Talks which showcased the work that they had created during their time at Chateau Orquevaux. It was a uniquely special day filled with excitement and nervous energy. The artists shared insight into their creative process and allowed the others to ask questions and provide feedback on the work. Frequently, the conversations revealed personal details that brought the group closer together in both tears and laughter. Being able to share my work in such a personal manner with such incredibly talented and well-respected creatives was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

For the open studio I hung my unstretched canvas paintings around the perimeter of an empty studio and centered a worktable upon which I displayed smaller works. I can remember feeling vulnerable at that moment. Displaying and discussing my work with such amazing artists was unsettling; it was the fear of the unknown. How would they respond to my work? Would they find it interesting and worthy of this residency? It didn’t take long to find out.

Before I left for France, I began reading a book on creativity that was highly recommended by an artist friend of mine (thanks Genna!). The title of this book is ‘The Creative Act: A Way of Being’ by Rick Rubin and if you haven’t read it, please order it now. It offers an amazing insight into the creative process. Rubin asks the reader to think about exactly who they are creating for. This question resonated in my mind during my residency and the answer was always the same: I create - I paint - I sculpt …for me.

During my open studio, I discussed this book and this question with my fellow artists. I shared that I was not creating for the sole purpose of selling (or even showing) my work, but rather I was creating for me and for my health. I received such a warm embrace of validation for my work by these artists that I was taken by surprise. They unknowingly lifted my spirit with their sincere appreciation of the quality of my paintings. My heart was filled with such joy during that open studio experience. And ever since that amazing Sunday afternoon last October, there is a spark inside me that burns with such a passion for my artwork. As a direct result…I’d like to announce:

My first Solo Exhibition titled: “Into Endless Skies” opens April 13, 2024 at the Credo/Conduit Gallery in Orlando. Curated by Amber Steele (gallerist, owner of Steel Haus).

open studio


It's Mealtime!

January 31st, 2024 by DMHoodArtist

dining room
kitchen

I knew that the residency at the chateau included three meals a day. However, what I did not realize was that the meals would be works of art themselves. Chef Marie’ and her staff prepared masterpieces each day that kept the creative juices flowing from sunup till long after dark. Fresh salads, homemade soups, vegetarian options, fresh fish, pasta, and locally sourced beef chicken and pork were served buffet style on the banquet table in the second kitchen. Upon the ringing of the dinner bell, all the residents would gather around the table. Nightly, we were treated to a grand presentation of the meal by Chef Marie herself. Of course, meals at the chateau would be incomplete without delicious homemade French desserts and we were treated to them all! My favorite had to be the Crème Brule’…did I mention that meals were all you can eat!?

After filling your plate (and your wine glass), all the artists would be seated in the main dining hall at three oversized wooden tables. There were no assigned seats, and the dining room was a strict “cell phone free zone”. Each meal was an opportunity to engage and open our hearts to like-minded individuals. Sharing our experiences and artistic journey over delicious French cuisine (and fine wines) enabled the residents to form a unique bond. It didn’t take very long for all these amazingly talented artists to become like a family. The support, encouragement, validation, enthusiasm, and genuine friendship that grew out of the time spent at Chateau Orquevaux was/is priceless.

kitchen
chef


My Daily Routine

December 15th, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

pain-au chocolat
wine cellar
cat

I’d begin each morning with a cup (or two) of French pressed coffee and a freshly baked pain-au chocolat delivered before sunrise direct from the local boulangerie. Some mornings I would spoil myself and include a croissant with the sweetest fruit preserves imaginable to start my day.

7:00am was a quiet time in the chateau, not many other artists were awake at that time (perhaps it was due to our nightly visits to the wine cave located in the basement of the chateau – I’m not sure). I started my days with my coffee and a simple, one-sided conversation with Dusty. I wasn’t sure if Dusty understood my English, or my limited French vocabulary, or if he wasn’t interested in any morning banter. I learned quickly that Dusty just wanted some breakfast and to continue laying in the morning sun and lick himself uninterrupted – Dusty was the Chateau house cat, and he ruled the property like a French King prior to the revolution.

After breakfast, I’d make my way down to the stables to begin my morning studio session. After changing into my painting jeans and sweatshirt, I’d connect my Bluetooth headphones (usually smooth jazz in the morning), fill my water jars, and take a seat at the oversized wooden studio table. Each day began with “warm-up” exercise working with colored inks, gloss fluid medium, black & white acrylics, and a heat gun that I borrowed from the residence. I was interested in creating movement and texture with these warm-up pieces; allowing the inks to have a mind of their own and determine their own paths on and around the surface.

As the morning hours faded and the musical selection changed (usually an acoustic mix by mid- morning), I would slowly begin to work on the canvases which were hung on the studio walls behind me. I consciously decided to vary the sizes of each painting that I was going to create during my residency. This was accomplished by using painters’ tape to section off the canvas into the desired size. Some days I was able to have the acrylic paint dance with the primed canvas like Fred and Ginger. Other days, it was like going ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

After a quick recess for lunch, the afternoon hours were filled with more painting (either dancing and fighting), plenty of music (Pink Floyd was perfect for setting the mood at this time), more coffee (avoiding the 3pm crash), and studio visits to and from fellow artists. Often, these impromptu artist support gatherings were the perfect ingredient for finishing a painting or ending “writer’s block”. Soo grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to surround myself with such like-minded individuals – their presence during my creative process was priceless.

I would return to my room in the chateau around 5pm to clean up and join in the fellowship of our nightly happy hour sessions in the salon. It was here that the bond between such uniquely talented artists was forged. Sharing our personal stories, (our journeys, triumphs, setbacks), with each artist in residence was undoubtably one of the best parts of this experience. Listening to individuals from all over the world open up and show their vulnerable side was so special. As the wine bottles continued to be opened and shared in the salon, it was impossible to ignore the mouthwatering aromas coming from the kitchen and dining hall. We all waited patiently but with great anticipation, for the ring of the 6:45pm dinner bell….what would Chef Marie prepare for us tonight?!!!! (detailed in my next blog).

tables
painting


Settling In!

November 29th, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

artist residency france chateau orquevaux
Dennis Hood's studio space
Dennis Hood artist residency france studio space

The chateau driveway leads down the hill towards what used to be the old horse stables on the property. It is at this location that my private studio is located. There are seven other artists using separate studios in “The Stables” during the residency, each one with their own story; Yet, we have a connected spirit and a bond of like-mindedness that will be nourished over our time together. This is so special!

My creative space is the corner unit to the right with a double window that allows spectacular light and a breathtaking view of the ever-changing autumn colors taking place on the tree lined vista surrounding the property. As I stand in my studio for the first time, I am overcome with emotion and inspiration thinking about all the other artists that have used this space before me to create. Now, it is my chance to add to this legacy of artists. I am not nervous about this challenge, but rather enthusiastic and inspired to begin my work.

I set up my studio by moving the large worktable to create a horseshoe shaped painting area. The three open walls I then cover with six meters of primed unstretched canvas. In the middle of this space, I position a tan area rug for comfort underfoot while I stare at each canvas covered wall. I lay out my assortment acrylic paints and colored inks, (which I purchased in Paris before arriving at the chateau) on the oversized wooden table. My tools are organized, I am ready - ready for the artistic adventure of a lifetime.

Dennis Hood artist residency france chateau orquevaux
Dennis Hood artist residency france chateau orquevaux


The Residency Begins!

November 15th, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

Dennis Hood's studio space
Dennis Hood artist residency france chateau

I arrived at Chateau Orquevaux on Wednesday Oct 18, 2023 to begin my two-week artistic residency.

Driving onto the property I was immediately impressed with the size and natural beauty of the grounds. What seemed like a fairy tale was suddenly a reality as I was met with open arms and heart-warming smiles by the staff of the chateau. Walking through the main entrance of this 1700’s French chateau, I was transported back in time. The scale and décor of each room was incredible. The grand (double- sided) staircase led up to my private second floor bedroom which was positioned at the end of the long hallway. The old floors creaked as I made my way back downstairs to the main dining hall for a welcome glass of champagne and an assortment of French cheeses and breads.

Amazing! The dream I dreamt of for over a year was now VERY REAL. I was here!

And it was just beginning…

Dennis Hood artist residency france chateau orquevaux
Dennis Hood artist residency france chateau orquevaux


Artistic Adventure Awaits!

October 1st, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

My bags are packed - It's finally time for my artistic residency in Orquevaux, France! When I opened an art studio one year ago, this residency was just a dream. It was one of my ten "artistic goals" that I scribbled on the studio wall. And now, it is coming true! I am blessed to have had all the support of friends and family along the way. This dream is now a reality.

Sincere thanks to all the artists that I have attended class and shared a studio space with; your support has meant the world to me. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the guidance and encouragement of my mentor and dear friend, Patricia Byron. I am on this artistic journey because of her positive and gentle nature. I didn't realize when I walked into her classroom for the first time three years ago that my life would be changed forever. Amazing the power of positive affirmations! Thanks Patricia.

I will be keeping a daily journal documenting my time at Chateau Orquevaux. I plan to share many of the stories and adventures in my future blogs. I will have access to my email account while I am there, so feel free to send me a message and I will try my best to respond. Thanks for stopping by.

Au Revoir !!! (till November)

Welcome back!

September 2nd, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

Our art exhibition titled : CONNECTIONS was a big success. Close to 150 people were in attendance and enjoyed the creative works by 20 Orlando based artists. A wide variety of artworks were on display and a number of sales were made that evening. On behalf of all the artists, THANK YOU for your support and enjoyment of the arts. Each of these 20 artists are connected to the 3rd Level Gallery and Art Studio in a special way. I cherish their friendship, their collaborative spirit, their mentorship, and most of all their POSITIVE energy.

I am currently preparing for my artistic residency next month at Chateau Orquevaux in France. My travel plans, deciding what to pack, and most importantly, which "tools in the toolbox" to bring are all being finalized right now. I am excited to have the spirit of this amazing place fill me with the inspiration I need to expand my creative journey. If you have not checked out this incredible residency, please take some time to do so at www.chateauorquevaux.com.

Finally, I have posted another group of Original Works on my webpage so please check them out. Most of the original paintings shown there can be purchased. Additionally, if you are not interested in owning the original work, I can make a high-definition print (in various sizes) of any of the paintings shown there. Just send me an email if you are interested in this option.

Thanks again - be sure to check back next month.

Welcome to my website and blog

July 28th, 2023 by DMHoodArtist

Thanks for stopping by to check out my site.
I appreciate all your support and encouragement as I progress on this artistic journey.

I will continue to update this site each month with new works and details of my life as an artist.

This August (18-26) I will be a part of a collective art exhibition at The 3rd Level Gallery in Orlando, Fl. Three of my works will be a part of CONNECTIONS: an art exhibition where 20 Orlando based artists will come together to share their works and friendship. This is an amazing chance to build our artistic community with very talented and like-minded artists. Don't miss the exhibition.

As many of you know, I have been accepted as an "emerging artist" at the Chateau Orquevaux. This "artistic residency" will take place this October in Orquevaux, France. I am beyond thrilled to experience such an amazing opportunity to study and work with other artists from around the world during this two week residency. I will be sure to keep a daily dairy and blog about my experiences there. Stay tuned!

Please be sure to send me an email if you would like to know more about my art, my process for creating, my inspirations, or anything else. Also, let me know if you'd like to stop by my studio, I'd be happy to give you a tour.

That's all for now,
take care and remember,
"Say it in your Art"