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Among the fictions and poetries and essays of the latest issue of drafthorse, the editors have found space for eleven photos of my paintings, along with a little essay. You can see all the goodness in the latest issue here, or click here for the fast route to my part in it. Thanks to Denton Loving, Darnell Arnoult and Zach Corder for their editorial help.

From left, painter Paul X. Rutz and sculptor Christopher B. Wagner begin work on a portrait of Army veteran Jonathan Sanford of Portland, Ore. This is the first in a series of portraits portraying Portland-area combat vets to be shown in Nov. 2014.

“Between Here and There” is a two-media portrait project focused on Portland-area military veterans from various backgrounds. Each portrait comes in two parts: an oil painting and a sculpture, done live and simultaneously with a combat vet as the subject. This collaboration between painter Paul X. Rutz and sculptor Christopher B. Wagner invites audiences to replace war’s statistics and politics with a focus on human connections. Setting aside the image of vets just off a plane from Iraq, the series portrays individuals in the community with their own tastes and biases.

“Betweenness” drives this project. Each portrait exists in the space between the painting and the sculpture, reflecting the gaps between different viewers’ perceptions of vets. The project’s title also echoes vets’ sense of living somewhere between home and the combat events still resonant in their bodies. To make these portraits, veteran, painter and sculptor must work together, negotiating lighting, pose, schedule and tempo; enacting the kind of social compromises that citizens in a republic must practice; sharing opinions and stories while respecting the space between our experiences as we work together toward a common goal.

This portrait series is made possible thanks to a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

My thanks to painter Kevin H. Adams for his invitation to show two of my paintings with a sample of his latest pieces in a show pairing members of Middle Street Gallery with guests. The show runs for nearly two months. If you’ll be in the mountain gorgeousness of northwest Virginia soon, I invite you to check it out. (They’ve chosen to use both of the paintings I sent them in the show’s promotional material, which is fun to see.)

Kevin, a former Marine Corps Combat Artist with a fantastic eye for color, has taught me plenty about painting in recent years, and I’m thrilled at the chance to show with him. His work can be found herehere and here.

A reception takes place Jan. 25, from 3-5pm.

Middle Street Gallery, Sperryville, Va.

Exciting holiday news! Making portraits in the coming year just got a little easier for me and sculptor Christopher Wagner. We received word from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (based here in Portland, Oregon) that they’ll fund our 2014 portrait project focused on the relationships between combat veterans and the rest of the community, showing at Good Gallery in November.

The project description goes like this:

As a non-combat veteran working with a civilian and with support from Sen. Wyden’s vets advocate staff, I propose Between Here and There, a two-media portrait project focused on Portland-area military veterans from various backgrounds. Each portrait will consist of a 3×3 foot oil painting and a 4x2x1 foot wood sculpture, done live and simultaneously with a combat vet as the subject. I work as a painter. This collaboration with sculptor Chris Wagner will invite its audience to replace war’s statistics and politics with a focus on human connections. Eschewing the image of vets just off a plane from Iraq, we seek to portray individuals with their own tastes and biases. “Betweenness” matters here. The title calls attention to the gaps between different viewers’ perceptions of vets, and it points out vets’ sense of being partly home and partly still in danger. In Nov. 2014, we’ll pack together a set of 10 portraits (20 pieces total) at Good Gallery, a small space in Portland. The show will be an engrossing salon-style grouping, with audiences standing just inches from the work.

Join us for a visual feast of the small at Guardino Gallery, Alberta neighborhood’s multi-roomed old gem of a showing space. The rules are very simple: everything is smaller than 7” x 7” x 7”. You carry out what you buy; no waiting til the end of the show. It’s a range of aesthetic goodness, priced to sell.

I’ll be at the opening reception 6 pm, Nov. 29th, along with many of the gallery’s best painters, sculptors, weavers and ceramicists. Food and drink, as always, for free!

Guardino Gallery: Corner of Alberta St. and 30th Ave. NE, Portland.

After a festive and costumed opening on Halloween night, sculptor Christopher Wagner and I gave a talk at Guardino Gallery this past Saturday to question and answer our show. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great afternoon, especially those whose incisive questions got me rethinking what we’re up to.

The show remains open until Nov. 24, 2013.

We’ve just concluded Portland Open Studios, the annual tour of about 100 studios during the second and third weekends of October featuring demonstrations and other education outreach by painters, sculptors, fabric makers, pot throwers and more. I had the privilege to mentor two excellent students (one pictured here, a BFA student at Pacific Northwest College of Art). This is the first year the PDXOS education program has mentored college students.

I just returned to Portland after a fun couple days opening a show and doing some teaching in Astoria, Oregon. Many thanks to the faculty, students, and art department staff at Clatsop Community College for your hospitality, your attentiveness during the workshop, and your work hanging and lighting this group of sixteen life-sized paintings. What a great space up there in the hills! Click here for more info on the show, open until November 7.

Athletic MeasuresSep. 30 to Nov. 7

As winner of the Au Naturel Solo Show and Workshop award, I’ll be showing 14 paintings, doing a talk about those pieces and leading a workshop in Astoria October 10-11. The opening should be fun. Free food and so on. I’ve attended a couple of these shows in the past at Clatsop Community College’s gallery. The students, faculty and citizens of Astoria really tend to come out for these evenings, and they bring some great conversation.

For those of you in the Portland area interested in coming to the reception—especially the many excellent athletes who repeatedly lifted, pressed, stretched and sweated for these pictures—please contact me if you’d like to get some carpools going.

Opening Reception and Talk: Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:00 pm
Workshop: “Embracing Messy Beginnings (With a Live Model)”: Friday, Oct. 11, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (Includes lunch break)

Art Center Gallery at Clatsop Community College
1799 Lexington Ave, Astoria, OR

Portland Open StudiosOct. 12-13, 19-20

Now in its 15th year, Portland Open Studios presents a two-weekend self-guided tour of 96 studios. Visitors get to see every visual arts discipline from sculpture to porcelain to fabric to photography demonstrated and dissected in the very places throughout Portland where the practitioners work. It’s a lovely education and a fun opportunity to see the city in a new way. Tour guides are available here and in several area stores, including New Seasons markets.

Each ticket—whether you purchase the calendar, the iPhone/Droid app, or the map-only ticket—is good for both weekends. Children visit for free. Proceeds go toward a mentoring program that’s expanding this year to include not only high school art students but also college students in the Portland area.

Guardino GalleryOct. 31 to Nov. 24

At this Halloween opening we’ll wear costumes. Sculptor Christopher Wagner and I will be showing new work that looks like this and this at one of Portland’s best known and most eclectic galleries, right in the middle of the Alberta Arts District.

Many thanks to Donna Guardino for pairing us together. I’ve been working with Chris for months to iron out this show. We’re both very excited to see it come together and looking forward to a more formal collaboration in 2014.

More info to come as this opening gets closer.

Opening Reception: Thursday, Oct. 31
Lecture: Saturday, Nov. 9

Guardino Gallery
2939 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR