Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nest Tree

I received the dreaded notice from the health dept, to remove my brush pile. It's been 5+ years since my last notice, and this is the largest it's ever been (this sort of maintenance never seems to happen without prodding).

 I managed to break everything down in two days, into 3 wood stacks, a light crunchy scattering over the yard, an extensive and attractive garden border of twisted large branches, and this "nest tree" on the right.

 Mid-way through the pile, I found this old yard offering. The tree was still green from an artificial dye. It also had around 100 bendy branches that could not be snapped off, had to be clipped. I have a dead cypress in the yard, I've not yet removed. How funny to wedge this green dyed dead Christmas tree into the cypress' branches, making it look alive (and saving me a lot of tedious branch cutting).
 Before long I had an entire pile of bendy brush that would be hard to break down. Yep, I wove everything into the nest tree. Here's a detail. It has way more brush in there than it appears in these photos....way more.

I should mention that I almost hoard rotting wood. I really enjoy having it around, and even messing with the pile, digging through and finding the various stages of decomposition. Finding various fungus growth. The urge to build with it is strong too. I had to restrain myself from leaning the larger limbs onto other trees and building things. I would love to be able to engage in strenuous puttering like this all the time.

Latest Work

So....I've been messing around with these sculpted surfaces, and today veered into a new direction, within this new direction. I'm experiencing an affinity for tin foil that's not really about the art politics/policy of using tin foil at all. It's working for me materially in a way that's very similar to paint, plus optically, it's off the charts, in terms of eye bang.

I wouldn't classify this new work as New Casualist or slacker abstraction (I believe this was coined by MAH), because I am still wrestling with finding or creating a sound, ringing resolution. Still, I must acknowledge that those influences helped me pass through some materials and handling barriers, with relative ease.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Trojan Warrior - Day 4

I'm calling it. I'll top coat tomorrow and install on Tuesday, and paint more flying debris on the actual wall. Today was difficult. I did not gear up mentally, because painting the debris seemed pretty straightforward, with little problem solving. So I tried to do it on auto-pilot, and became impatient. Also, I noticed neighbors across the street moving, and I had to keep looking out the window, spying. That house is problematic to the neighborhood, and has been for years. It keeps getting rented to new versions of the previous people, which is an interesting idea for a movie, but sucks when it's real. Then someone gets arrested, and the house sits empty for a while, which is actually good. This last incarnation of "1659 Dwellers" were tolerable. Yep, hard to stay focused today.

I may document the installation, in "how to" steps.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trojan Warrior - Day 3

I spent about an hour this morning finding and photoshopping a cross for the shield, then received an email from my client with a specific image. Not a big deal to change it. I get really lazy about finding the fastest solutions, at least with these commissioned works. I was going to use this shield:

And was even pondering this:

As I said, left unprodded, I get lazy.

Re the above current state of the mural, I'm happy. There are still drawing issues, hand issues, etc. but I can live with it. I'm really excited about the freaking light hitting form thing. I forget until I do this representational work, just how amazing it is to depict light hitting form, with paint. Also, I dispise high contrast and hard edges, and yet I had to go there with this one. You can't paint metallic without high contrast and hard edges.
It was good to have to deal with that. No wonder artists still spend their entire lives painting realistic paintings. It's an endless field of discovery.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spartan Warrior - Day 2

I got a late start today, and then could only work in 1 to 1 1/2 hour spurts, with 1/2 breaks. Still, I pretty much got the face and headpiece done, the the arm worked out. This makes me want to spend time learning to paint faces and the figure. I approached the metallic surface with a very loose and intuitive method. That was fun, and again, it makes me want to spend more time learning techniques.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How To Paint a Spartan Warrior - Day One

Download source images, prep canvas, make drawing and transfer. 

Establish values and shape with a tonal wash.

Figure out the foreshortening that you should have done in Step 1, but didn't have an image for.

Add some color, call it a day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dewclaw Inaugural Exhibition*

I'm calling my new work and show space Dewclaw. The first show will open next Friday, Dec. 2. There is a lot going on that night around town, so we are also having a preview opening on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 5-9 pm each night. I'm excited to finally show this first group of Lane Markers together and in subdued light.

This space still feels like a chapel. It will be interesting to see if this holds when other work is in there. For now, it's so perfect for this group of work, I could cry.

If you're around for either of these nights, please stop by. Dewclaw is part of the newly opened South Studios at the Complex. We are a few doors south of Wug Laku's area in the Circle City Industrial Complex. 1124 Brookside Ave. I currently plan to have the space open on Saturdays 1-4 pm and by appointment.

* Coincidental acronyms are harmless....really

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

While Rome burns.....

 Lusterstone, tin foil, pom-pom, and spray foam.

I can't seem to help myself (which is a more profoundly true statement than I intended).  So much is wrong in my making these things, and a couple days ago it hit me that I was standing in line at Hobby Lobby, a store I despise, purchasing pom-poms for these trivial trinkets. I had already had an internal discussion, and decided I would use mostly recycled materials, or materials I already had, or thrift store items, or dry donated paint skins.....and here I was buying pom-poms (I had already tried to not use pom-poms because Nomi does, and I love her work, and it seemed wrong for me to use them too......but I decided it was okay on that front).

I left the store and thought about hitting Walmart next door. I was hungry and I have been craving Whopper Jr.s ever since I had one a month ago, on a lark. Should I add a trip to Burger King to this outing?

I'm having a hard time reconciling my current impulses and desires with current events at all levels - personal, local, and global. For all my bluster about having come to terms with art for art's sake (with a thumbs up), I can't help but feel self-indulgent, and I can't really blame the current local art scene swing towards justifiable worthiness in art. That's really just someone else's issue. I believe things that engage me are meaningful, and that engaged human beings are good for mankind, in some undefined way.....but I'm engaged in making trinkets.

Still, there's this......

Mound by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fountain Square Don't Care

 "Sugar Tattoo" from the cover of "FSDC"

Review: FSDC Book Launch: Shared Heritage premieres a rarity in the Indy world: the artist-produced zine. 'FSDC,' or 'Fountain Square Don't Care,' incorporates the work of eight promising artists. (Nuvo review link)

The zine title cracks me up and this seems like an interesting new art endeavor at the Murphy Center.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gallery Ideas, Part III (plain ole studio)

I'm skipping over Part II ideas, but may post them later, for kicks. Here's Part I posted yesterday. As much as the studio space itself inspires these other ideas, I really need to focus more intimately and more individually. This is how I connect to the world, and others, in a meaningful way - as an artist partially ignoring that world, and others. It took me a very long time to accept that personal artistic exploration has meaning, and that at its very core this activity is generous in spirit. 

I feel oppressed by the municipal/corporate interests that have been guiding our local arts since around 2000. While there is much more going on, and some money being invested in local arts and artists, it creates a whirlwind environment of highly social, but disconnected participation. It's being done to promote an identity, which is fine, but I wish they would have gone for "world-class" architecture, rather than art.

I don't really need to add my gimmicky ideas to that pool. We have plenty of entrepreneurial art activity planners. It's difficult for me to ignore the space's gallery potential, and I may occasionally clear it out for the occasional Swivel Gallery Show (the space is perfect for placing a single swivel chair in the middle of the room and hanging one work on each wall, or one person's work on each wall).

This is a long-winded way to say I'm going to scale everything back down to using this space as a studio, at least for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gallery Ideas, Part I

I've rented a small space at the Circle City Industrial Compex. It's perfectly intimate, tucked away a bit, no windows, and a nice size for a small gallery. It's been a huge struggle to ignore this space and focus on getting other things done. I've only been in there once since I received my keys, but the ideas are flowing, some good, some whacky. Posting publicly will help me sort out the diff.

Exhibition ideas:
Unstable Art Show - I've been sculpting paint skins while they're still moving (wet), which almost sounds cruel. I'd like to have an invitational one-night only show using in-flux materials. This could be in winter so we'd have the whole snow/ice possibility. It could involve stacking materials. Pretty much anything fragile or ephemeral, as long as it's not fumey or food related. For the exhibition I'd cover the floor in plastic and possibly even display some things in tubs. 

Documented-only shows - I'd like to have a strong online representation and had even considered having the gallery officially be an online gallery, which happened to have a bricks-n-mortar space in Indpls. The space would serve almost as a set for the online activities, and would also be a sort of tourist attraction (at least in concept) for the "real" activities which occurs online....a sort of Precious Moments Chapel for you to pay homage to ;-) , full of momentos (for sale) of online conceptual moments of note. Document-only shows would play into this idea in that I would put up shows in the space, but only present a documentation of them. Not a new idea by any means, but it's still interesting to consider just how and what one could do with it.

Artists You Don't Know - I'd change the title, but this would be either one show or a series of shows featuring local Indiana artists who are making really intriguing and independent work, but who are not really on the radar.

It's Not Gonna Happen - (or Proposals for the Unlikely) -It's a much more positive idea than how it sounds. This will likely be a proposal show, where artists submit very informal representations of projects that simply will not happen, mainly because of context. That same inappropriate context is what makes the idea so fascinating though. For instance, I was making proposals for an area high school, and when I saw the natatorium being contructed, an image popped into my head and I couldn't shake it. Their mascot is a panther. I visualized this image of a panther where the huge scale and the cropped (swimming) shape made it impossible to read correctly on first glance. It actually looks like a loch nest monster or something inexplicable. That moment when you realise it's a panther would be so amazing.....Still, the idea falls so far outside of the norm, as school mascots go.....It's not gonna happen. I may keep this show limited to decorative painting projects, but public art projects are also a great place for "not gonna happen" ideas.

Fantasy Art Finds - (Needs better title) This could be either a proposal show or a theme show for new work. What art would you most want someone else to have made? This really is different from what art you as an artist would like to make, I think. The context could be narrowed. I've always liked to imagine my dream thrift store painting finds. What would I most want to find in a thrift store, or similar place, that some other person had taken the time to make?

Paintings for a Mobile Home - I first had this idea back when I actually lived in a trailer. As campy as the idea is, I was seeking a framework that would encourage sincerity. I've always wanted to keep one foot firmly planted in a non-academic, provincial place of art appreciation. It seems important to always consider what I'd be doing and how I'd be thinking if I were unaware of current art considerations. What paintings would I make if they were intended to be hung in a mobile home? It's almost impossible to conceive without irony, but fascinating to do so. I'm not sure if this would be an invitational show, or just a group I'd do.

I rarely feel inspired by others' theme show ideas, and I am a little chagrined at how much I'm going there myself. Next thing you know, I'll be pushing spectacle art events....

Iron-Artist Assemblage Competition - Timed assemblage of provided materials. Could also have a blind collaboration, where artists work in sequence on one piece. This was actually a side-idea to Sculpt My Yard Offerings - which was originally simply Sculpt My Dumped Tires. I bring in stuff that's been dumped in my yard, you or I make something from it. I though about somehow inviting others to make surreptitious yard offerings that I would try to distinguish from the naturally occurring dumpings. It would be an interesting head-trip, but is just way too insular in scope, even if it's made into a display of some sort.

The Strontium Show - Fun with phosphorescent paint.

I'll end the exhibition ideas here. Gallery Ideas, Part II will be ideas for funding the gallery, and also ideas for setting up the space itself.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October News Brief

I'm preparing for a large series of paintings, where I plan on working within certain parameters. I plan on keeping a fairly consistent palette and work within a theme, and I'll be working with a surface that I don't plan on mucking up a lot, maybe just gentle scraping back. I'm going to treat it as a challenge to not rebel, but to find innovation and adventure from within this predetermined working structure. I may need to have a second group going, where anything can happen, just for sanity's sake.

I talked to two different people outside, while wearing this cicada shell on my lapel. Neither person mentioned it, and I continued to wear it for several hours inside the house. Then caught a glimpse in the mirror and it startled me.

I'm once again starting up the touchup service. I moved my sample making setup outside because of the fumes. Then I spent several hours online researching other, less toxic materials. The mosquitos are almost gone now and it will be nice to spend time outside again. This was an amazingly long satisfying summer, and now I feel like winter will be just a blip. It's usually the reverse.

I finally harvested my fancy carrots. They ended up being shaded by the tomato plants and were a tad dwarfed. I did go ahead and eat a few. They were excellent.

Myrna's continuing to be an absolute delight.

Felix and Sheila inherited a sleeping blanket. It crinkles, they like it.

Alan on the drop cloth pile. I better move those.

I will be leasing studio space starting in November at the Circle City Industrial Complex, home of Wug Laku and friends. I'm getting excited about some exhibition ideas I have for the space. More to come....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Against The Tide" - Online Exhibition and Book

Sharon Butler of Two Coats of Paint has posted an online exhibition, featuring a great line-up of artists. An exhibition book is also available here. The show includes Mary Addison Hackett's amazing painting "Two Oceans Full of Love", and work by many other exciting artists. I am really blown away by Magnolia Laurie's work.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yard Offering - 9/17/11

Found near my mailbox. It's nice to know kids still use diabolical schemes for delivering their insults.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The genie's out of the bag

Okay, first off, I did not intentionally mangle the metaphor for this post's title. I realized after the fact. I have a standing order for a commissioned painting. The specifics were left open, other than a preference for certain colors, and a light unusual landscape. It sounded so straightforward, but I've been workin within frameworks so much lately. They are loose frameworks, but still, I rarely paint on the wide open ranges now.
I'm finding it difficult to stay on task with this commission. I'll switch over to acrylics, and maybe even follow a sketch. In the mean time, it's really been a blast to forage like this. I miss it.

Kincade channels Whistler and makes a sci-fi poster.

All are in progress.

Mocked by reality

I painted a nursery cloud ceiling on Sunday. I have a pretty good technique for getting a reasonable amount of realism, in a very short amount of time. 1/2 day without rushing at all, and all with a 2" chip brush. Yep, I get a little self-congratulatory every time I do this scheme.

Then I happened to glance out the window to see this:

...and then this:

My puny little nursery puffs and I were mocked the entire trip home.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lane Markers on web site

I've finally uploaded works from the Lane Markers series to my site, along with this brief verbal description of the series. This group is demanding studio attention, after being cast aside for several months. It's good timing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kildare Puppies

My neighbor's dog had 8 puppies. Momma is a very sweet and beautiful hound mix. The puppies are 3 1/2 weeks. They will be available to adopt in 3 weeks. E-mail me if interested.