Rainy roadways, taxing toll booths, and unwavering traffic...


The adventures of two love sick artists desperate to see the work that compels they’re own everyday creative endeavors.

Yesterday, on a rather ordinary Thursday in September, the fabulous and quite delightful Allie Clouspy (go check her out! http://www.aclouspydesign.com/) and I set out on a spontaneous trip to New York City to attend a show opening for Geoff McFetridge. Now, to be honest, I was not originally familiar with McFetridge’s work, so, after doing a little research, here’s what I found out: this LA based artist and designer is kind of a big deal. Creator of the design studio Champion Graphics, McFetridge has produced works for a number of big name companies (like Nike and Patagonia), all while filling galleries all over the West coast and Europe (this show that is currently up in NY is the first in about 10-years to be held on our own coast). Sounds like a very busy man. I was excited!

So, back to the beginning. At exactly 12:36 pm, on a somewhat dreary and wet afternoon, we set off toward the city on what should have been an easy three hour drive. I repeat, what should have been an easy three hour drive. Six and a half hours later, after surviving the madness of rainy day drivers (you all know exactly what I’m talking about: 35 mph highways, no thank you!), apologetic tollbooth conversations (humorously enough, Allie and I both forgot to pull any cash out for the hundreds of tollbooths that spattered our trip and our rummaged car change was insufficient), and many, many soggy coffees along, we made it! Spirits high and hair drenched, we walked into the Joshua Liner Gallery off of West 28th street, 30 minutes before the scheduled end of the reception. And then we walked right back out. After a full day in the car drinking our highly caffeinated beverages, we were in need of a ladies room (I will spare you the whole other adventure it was to find a public bathroom in NY).

But then we came back and it was glorious! The art, ohhhh the art!! As any art lover and creative would know, those first few steps into a gallery with new work up and hanging is a moment of pure bliss. The white walled exhibition space, packed full of seemingly important new-yorkers all dressed in their high fashion get-ups (us regular yorkies stood out like a sore thumb), was a sight to see. After taking a few minutes in a slight, unoccupied corner to find our barring from the chaos of the day and to relish in the excitement of the whole experience, we were ready to get up close and personal with the art we traveled so far to see. Slowly but surely, making positive to ogle over each piece appropriately, we weaved through the primped and overstated crowd until we made it around and back to our small nook. And then we went back and ogled again.

McFertidge’s work is really something (especially in person). His graphic influence is easy to spot; his use of large flat shapes, clean surfaces, and simple repetition give him away immediately. This man has the mind of a graphic designer and the hand of a drawer turned painter. The beauty of these large, acrylic pieces lies in their simplicity—humble forms and appropriately pungent colors say more on these canvases than any extra fluffing or detailing could. The impact of a salmon colored arm as it reaches out of a mass of grey forms, or the simple silhouetted shape of smoke as it rises to meet the top of a canvas are so commanding. And don’t even get me started of the craft—impeccable! His forms and surfaces meet so cleanly to create perfect lines, never impeding on or overlapping each other. I mean, even his circles are perfect! Beautiful.  

And so, after nearly drooling on a few of the paintings and collecting a healthy helping of disapproving stares for taking selfies with the art, we decided it was time to leave the city and venture home. This time we thought for sure it really would only take us the predetermined three hours. Four and a half hours later, more crazy rain driving, more apologetic tollbooth chats (in our exhaustion we forgot to find an atm—again), and more caffeinated drinks (tea this time), we made it home at 1:32 am. Soggy, tired, but oh-so-happy, we pealed ourselves out of the car, still in awe at the awesomeness of the day. And that is how two love sick artists go to a gallery opening.