Size: 48"W x 36"H x 2"D
Year Created: 2018
Ready to Hang
This larger painting is from early in my suburban series. I noticed in the weird developments popping up all around me that the owners would go off to work or wherever, and then the contractors would come. The painters, plumbers, lawn crews, etc would all work on the houses during the day, then leave when the owners came home. In this picture, the work painting crew is having lunch, and nobody else is there. The arrangement of the paint cans at the bottom right echoes the cul-de-sac shape of the houses. The houses themselves seem to be just garages. The pools are ready and the lawn sprinklers are running for people who aren't there.
This is a pretty big painting which wants a prominent place over the sofa or on a generous wall space. It's sure to start a lot of conversations! The sides of the picture are painted and so it needs no framing.
My paintings are often gently humorous or ironic. Some poke fun at our fixation on consumption and prosperity, while others focus on the intrusion of technology in our lives. This large series was first exhibited at Marin-Price Gallery in Chevy Chase, MD.
I always begin with sketches. Sometimes I use source material, photos I take or objects in the studio, but most often I draw entirely out of my imagination. I focus on the composition and color, and try not to think too much about the meaning of the painting, which makes itself clear eventually.
Early on I used acrylic paint on my canvases, but am now back to oils.
Artists who inspire me: Grant Wood; George Tooker; Richard Deibenkorn; Wayne Thiebault.
My name is Alden Phelps, I’ve been painting since graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1986. I live and work in an old farmhouse outside Baltimore. After graduating from MICA, I married a puppeteer and with a few friends created a community arts center where we made theatre productions, puppet shows, and taught art classes. I painted pictures at night, living in an old run-down rental and watching the semi-rural landscape around me transform into countless housing developments and shopping centers. This sad and weird reshaping of the land eventually became my muse. I had my first exhibits at the Rockland Arts Center in Ellicott City, MD and then Marin-Price Gallery in Chevy Chase, MD, my current dealer. I currently perform and teach songwriting at schools throughout the Delmarva area. I’ve just started posting photos of my process etc at