New work at DragonFire Gallery in Cannon Beach, OR

A fresh batch of new paintings on their way to the Oregon coast in time for the 29th Annual Cannon Beach Stormy Weather Arts Festival — Nov. 4-6 !!

Exhibition in Kirkland, WA!

Group Show: A Contemporary Showcase

Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, WA
Opening Friday, August 12th, 2016 — 5-8 pm. 

Postcard Featured left: "Unfathomable" | 48 x 24 in. | oil & mixed media

Postcard
Featured left: "Unfathomable" | 48 x 24 in. | oil & mixed media

"Temporal Persistence" | 40 x 40 in. | oil & mixed media
This is the first piece inspired by our summer vacation — sailing the waters of Desolation Sound, BC, Canada

Exhibition in Palm Springs!

I'm thrilled to present a mini-collection of four brand new works in a new three-person exhibition
at Brian Marki Fine Art in Palm Springs, CA

“Contemporary Abstraction” 
Chuck Gumpert - Taylor Winn - Michael Lee-Leon

Exhibition runs February 24 - March 16, 2016    
Reception: Friday, February 26, 5 to 8 pm

Following the images is a brief statement about this  new collection, "Articulated Elements":

"Articulated Elements"

This group of paintings represents a culmination of the last several years of experimentation with media, technique, form, mark-making and palette. 


They are inspired by vivid imagery of the patchwork architecture, rhythmic energy and kaleidoscope colors of any bustling public market.  From Bangkok to Mumbai to Seattle, these spaces offer a global experience — keeping human connections flourishing and providing opportunities for unexpected sensory delights.

Inspiration Point in Cannon Beach, OR

This brand new piece is part of a group show — Inspiration Point — at DragonFire Gallery during Cannon Beach, Oregon’s 28th Annual Stormy Weather Arts Festival  — November 6-8, 2015 

Inspiration Point invites gallery artists to share a glimpse into what inspires them in their art.

Life is ever changing and so are we all.  What can move us today is not the same as 5 years ago... or even 6 months ago.  [Art can be] impacted by world events, by music, or perhaps travel, significant personal experiences... etc...

"Blue" | 40 x 40 in. | oil & mixed media 

Blue

I think of many of my abstract compositions as musical — influenced and inspired by “abstract” music: Björk, Radiohead, R.E.M., Muse, Depeche Mode; and the symphonic work of Philip Glass, Hans Zimmer and other modern composers.  The beauty of these types of music, for me, is the lyrical and sonic experimentation — at times discordant, minimalist, energetic, harmonic and nonsensical — which convey all manner of emotions, images, and narratives. Some of my favorite songs have somewhat unintelligible lyrics, but can evoke feelings and imagery simply in the manner they are sung or the mood of the accompaniment.

Music has been an inspiration for my art for as long as I can remember, and like many of us, the music of our formative teen and 20-something years is often what is most firmly planted in our psyche.  R.E.M. is the most influential artist in my life’s soundtrack.  

R.E.M.’s Blue was the final track on their final album in 2011.  It was the perfect curtain-closer to their 30+ year career — the album was a culmination of their many varied sounds and themes.  Blue is characterized by a lush, melancholy guitar sound underlying what is really more of a spoken-word poem which contains lyrics of longing, mourning and introspection followed by more uplifting words of optimism and transcendence:


I am made by my times

I am a creation of now

Shaken with the cracks and crevices

I'm not giving up easy

I will not fold

I don't have much

But what I have is gold


From my first listen, this song has resonated with me powerfully.  In this painting I feel a similar juxtaposition with gritty, textured layers of muddy and melancholy against luminescence, clarity and hope.  In the painting, like the song, the title Blue is literal and figurative.  A large swath of brilliant cobalt blue is focal amid many other shades of blue, but other neutral colors in the palette dominate the surface.  And in the lyric:


Look, the sky, the sea, the ocean, the sun, the moon.

Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.

Naked and blue.


While I can share my inspiration point for my abstraction, I often insist that I’m not a writer, I’m not a poet, I’m not a musician or philosopher — I’m a visual artist.  I prefer to believe my “story” has been told on the canvas.  My hope is that viewers will have a unique, internal and  personal experience, enjoying a moment of their own creativity to see or feel whatever flows through the art to them.  
 

This is my time and I am thrilled to be alive.

Living. Blessed. I understand.

Twentieth century:

Collapse into now


Blue by R.E.M.

 

Yellow circus left the stakes a broken ropes world's useless mug
The ties that bind, ha ha
I can be bad poet
Street poet
Shit poet
Kind poet too

Subway
Almost 4AM
Halloween night
Had enough to drink to make my own party
All my fellow writers in half costume, half asleep
Half silly, gone to seed

I don't mark my time with dates, holidays, faded wisdom, locked karma holders
Convenient

I am made by my times
I am a creation of now
Shaken with the cracks and crevices
I'm not giving up easy
I will not fold
I don't have much
But what I have is gold

I saw your face...

I sing in platinum
I dress in brass
I eat in zinc
Let it pass

Compare a toast
I like that
I understand courage
I still roll with the shout of a character I was married to today
I try to see outside myself
I understand the eyes
Excuse all the highs
Sorry
I am sorry
Ha ha

I like you, love you, every coast of you.
I've seen your eddies and tides and hurricanes and cyclones.
Low ebb tide and high, full moon.
Up close and distant.
I read you.
Look, the sky, the sea, the ocean, the sun, the moon.
Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.
Naked and blue.

Breathing with you. Touch. Change. Shift. Allow air. Window open. Drift. Drift away. Into now.

I want Whitman proud. Patti Lee proud. My brothers proud. My sisters proud. I want me. I want it all. I want sensational. Irresistible.

This is my time and I am thrilled to be alive.

Living. Blessed. I understand.

Twentieth century:
Collapse Into Now

Cinderella boy
You've lost your shoe

Cinderella boy
Your coach awaits

A sun makes shadows
All over your face
As you sit
Naked and blue
Into me

Discover
Discover
Discover
Discover
Discover
Discover
Discover

 

R.E.M. | "Blue" (alternate version directed by James Franco)

Feature Show!

ORGANIC TENDENCY

Two person show at Howard/Mandville Gallery with Christopher Mathie
July 18–August 16, opening reception Saturday, July 18, 5-7 pm.

"While an artist creates a variety of works over many years, one can often identify qualities that become consistent. 
 
Mathie & Gumpert create surfaces that can best be described as organic. That is to say within each painting they create an organization similar in its complexity to that of living things.  Whether in a pure abstract, or surfaces within a figure, plant or animal you can always identify structural layering that alludes to life. 

Look for overlapping textures, transparencies that allow the viewer to see colors through each other, and evidence of the artist's hand.  Quick gestural marks, drips, splashes and slashes all augment their biomorphic, luminous illusions."

Spring Unveiling in Cannon Beach, OR

This is one of my favorite new pieces!  It will be on display along with eleven more brand new works to be revealed at DragonFire Gallery during Cannon Beach, Oregon’s 15th Annual Spring Unveiling Arts Festival  — May 1 – 3, 2015 

I will be in attendance periodically throughout the weekend to discuss my work and demonstrating in the gallery on Saturday, May 2.

"Grace Under Pressure" — 40 x 40 inches — oil & mixed media

"Grace Under Pressure" — 40 x 40 inches — oil & mixed media

Feature Show!

Particular Space

Two person show at Gallery 903 in Portland, OR with Christopher Mathie
March 5 – 31, opening during "First Thursday Art Walk," 6-9 pm.

Inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Modernism, noted West Coast artists Christopher Mathie & Chuck Gumpert have painted together for the past eleven years. Combining their vision they have developed an elegant and evocative style of abstraction that could best be described as organic. With a strong focus on energetic movement, intense emotion, and suggestive shapes, they are powerfully exploring the figure, landscape, and pure abstraction. And, while they work on their own canvases individually, they celebrate their styles as a collaborative journey.