Subject Tags: scared, critique, phone, cel, commentary, social, house, surrealism, blue, modern, man, sky, pop, down, job, office, fear, anxiety, humor, funny, fall, steep, hill, grass, neighborhood, home, suburbs, deck, purple, shadow, papers, electric, run, tower, yellow, green, landscape
Size: 40"W x 30"H x 2"D
Year Created: 2018
Ready to Hang
Where I live some of the developments are built on pretty steep hills, so the back deck is really high. I find that absurdly funny, and I imagine it must be a bit scary living in one of those places where walking out of the back of the house could kill you. In my painting I added a man running away from something, as important papers flutter in his wake. In the distance someone's making an ominous phone call. This is a hand built canvas, and the painting continues around the 2" thick edges, so no frame is needed. This painting was started several years ago but reworked in 2016.
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. Some of my paintings have been 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.
I have used both oil and acrylic paints. Currently I’m painting with acrylics.
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