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joeseph saginor artist

When I began painting, I took my first four completed pieces to a local guru for feedback. I didn't know him; I only knew of him. I had heard that he was very well-respected and that although he could be very tough on people, he was the man to see: an accomplished teacher, filmmaker, painter, printmaker- one of the top artists of his generation. He said he would give me an hour of his time.

In an empty studio, I set up my paintings, which I had framed, in a semicircle around him. I waited as he sat there, silent. Minutes went by and so I said, "Well, what do you think?" He said, "Why did you frame these?" I was stunned. "Well, I framed them because I like them," I said. Another two minutes of silence went by, and then he spoke again. "Well, you've got a tiger by the tail. " "A tiger by the tail...what does that mean?" I asked him. "You'll find out." More silence. Finally, I asked, "So, do you have any advice for me?" "My advice to you is to take these paintings and put them in your basement and turn them toward the wall. Then go roll up your sleeves and get to work." Thus began a long, strange, exhilarating relationship to the process of painting.

I have come to understand over the years that being a painter is like signing up for a wild ride that you can never fully control. 'A tiger by the tail.' You hang on for dear life and just keep on painting.

I work in oil on canvas, oil crayon on paper, charcoal, and mixed media, often integrating painting and drawing. My paintings derive from personal memories and associations, photographs, and reflections of my work as a psychologist. The content/form of the paintings is for the most part representational. The images include figures, landscapes, and portraits, but to me they have become psychological abstractions frozen in paint and in a moment of time; abstractions expressed not from the ambiguity of forms, but from the ambiguity of human experience.

My studio is at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH, where I was mentored by Clifford West for many years. I have exhibited my work in numerous juried and invitational shows, and group and individual exhibitions. My paintings are also included in many private collections.

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