Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Couple Sketches I Worked up at the Coffee Shop

Today I drove to the coffee shop in Sandwich, NH and sat down with a coffee thinking about Travis Millard's work. I started to work robot arms in a similar pattern to some of his shapes and thought that they looked pretty cool. I was thinking it might do me well to have a couple simple pieces like this in my show to balance out some of the detail in the other work that I am hanging.

I've also been thinking that it might be cool to take these shapes and make them into a tree that a bird is perched in or has a nest in. What do you think?

I also started work on a new birdhouse piece. I need to come up with several for the small wall feature at the Hive Gallery. I am trying to make the bird drawings a bit more scientific, so that every bird can look the same. This is more so that I can pay attention to the different species of bird.

I want the bird house to become a house with multiple perches, birds and nests. I am trying to focus more on group shots now, as opposed to single character shots. I will keep everyone updated on the status of this piece as well.

Thanks for stopping in. Peace.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Combining New With the Old

Today I started to work out a sketch of robots specifically to fit into a piece that I had started a long time ago for the "What if the World...." show that I had planned out. The piece was not going anywhere and it was a shame becaue there is a big opportunity to get some waterwork in there. I have been really into the difference between the textures of robot and water and wood, etc.

So The sketch ended up like this, and actually led to some more ideas which I will be sharing tomorrow:

This sketch is feeling really big for me. I am not usually one for having more than two characters in a piece anyway, and this feels really strong to me. So I immediately started to take it to the old painting and try to work the robots in. Here is what I got:

I hope you dig it. In a couple days I should have the finish up so that you can get a better idea what it looks like, but I enjoy the line of robots working their way into this bird's space. I might have to add one more robot in the foreground on the right. Not sure yet.

Gotta run to be a line cook again. Hope all is well, and drop me a line to let me know what you think of the work. The email link is to the right.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Raging the old Jam

Yesterday I was sitting back and taking a look at my show. It is a good thing to do when you need to finish work, you need it to look cohesive, and you need it all to be good. There was just one problem. It wasn't looking as good as I'd like. As a group I could tell that the body of work was pretty good, but still suffering from some problems that I had thought that I had evaded by now.

I did the only thing I could. Critique. Beth was kind enough to direct me through a crit, and I left the crit with three pieces that I was solid on, and plans to make three or four more much more successful. To someone else, having three paintings for a show in April done might seem like a cause for concern, but me, I'm just getting started. This is not to say that I haven't been working on the show, but rather that I need the stress to make something good. Here it comes.

So check out the first piece that I've been working up since crit. I am in love with where this is going, and with the fact that it doesn't seem to be taking too long to get where it's going either.
Let me know what you think:

I've been feeling pretty influenced by Mel Kadel, who has given me some more ideas as to how to use space. I hope that I can make this piece really feel what I intend and reflect that. Her work is totally awesome by the way. You should really check it out. It's so good it makes me talk like a cali girl.

The second piece that Beth and I worked on was a piece that I had thought was finished, but upon second thought I really had to agree with her that it was a bit stagnant. Check out the new sketch. The new piece should arrive on the blog soon.

Gotta run to the day job. Whopping four hour shift, maybe I'll post some more stuff later.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hydroponic Resolution

I needed to get a piece together for February's group show at the Hive Gallery, and on relatively short notice, so I decided to put together a piece from some older ideas that I had been working on. It has been a while since I have brought the plants and pipes together, but I still think that the idea is pertinent.

Most of the work that I have pumped out lately has been highlighting a little more painterly and a little less of the attention to detail that I was going for in the past year or so. I have been yearning to see some Jasper Johns or Rauschenberg in person. The physicality of their work was so intense, and albeit my work doesn't get as close to that as I would like, I hope that there is a least a little bit of that flair in it.

I have also been missing hatch marks in my pieces lately. I am trying to eliminate to much of what I am starting with I think. It is something that I will be paying attention to in the next couple weeks as I finish up the Blue Bottle Show.

More to come soon.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Work in Progress

I've been working hard in the studio, but unfortunately that doesn't always mean that I end up with an awesome finished product. I've had to scrap a couple pieces lately because of faulty compositions and have taken them back to the drawing board, but I did get this under painting off and running this morning, which is pretty cool.

It's starting to look like complicated scenes are not what is going to really make this first show rock. I think it is going to be more about characters up close. You can't quite see yet, as the piece is really just started but, there is a tape deck in this robots chest and the bird is pulling the actual tape out...

I thought it was kind of a cool way to go with the angry look of the robot with his hands in the air.

Let me know what you think.
In other news I finalized the dates on my two other shows this year. The Hive Gallery show will be in May. The opening is May 2. The Art Stream Studios show, titled "Dwellings", will be October and November.

This is really turning into a busy year. Wish me luck, no drama, and time to play pinball. Peace.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"The Mighty Lark Passively Strikes" or "The Seattle Stylee"

For those of you who don't know the Seattle style. It is passive aggressive. That is merely a little internal joke for myself and not a pot shot at Washington's biggest city.

I was working out the Mighty Lark piece that I layed down last night, and decided that it really needed to be more colorful and painterly than I have been working. The Mighty Lark is clearly an ambiguous character, perhaps the paint application should be the same.

Either way, here is yesterday's piece in its entirety. Let me know what you think.

I am kind of in love with the shock in this robots eyes. It looks as if maybe he just had an accident, but it's probably the bird on his head.

In other news, yesterday I finally set up an Etsy site to sell some of my work. You can check out my shop here. I have a modest four pieces up, but it's a start. Stop in and grab a painting. I'll soon have some prints up as well.

Take it easy folks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Mighty Lark Rides Again.

Hey folks just posting a quick under painting that I worked up today. I went to the coffee shop and met up with Ivy today, so while I was there I worked up a quick sketch off of an old piece that I saw in one of my sketchbooks this morning. It is simple but I was thinking that maybe a couple simpler pieces for the show might be just what the doctor ordered.

Now given the figure and the background are both blue in this piece. With a little scumbling that is most likely going to change. Let me know what you think here!

I am really pleased to be using the Mighty Lark here again. I'm also very into his posture in this piece.

I was sent an email yesterday letting me know that there is a page for the upcoming "Memoirs of the Digesting Duck" show with Justin Hillgrove on the Blue Bottle site. Check it out. It's always nice to see your work up on someone else's website.

Gotta jammy for work. Peace.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Finish: A Room with a View

This morning I got online to check my facebook account and on My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses, Meighan had posted a link to a Youtube video of Margaret Kilgallen working and this lead to some links of Barry Mcgee working. I got all excited and amped to being an artist again and decided to finish my piece.

It was going pretty well, and then Beth walked through the door and told me the background was gray. Totally right. I don't know why she is always right, but she is. Long story short, I did what she said and now the piece is done and I am very excited about it. To top it all off the frame for it is already done, so the piece is actually completely done, now as I type. That is amazing.

Here it is. Let me know what you think. Peace.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Room With a View

Today I was trying really hard to finish a piece before I went to work so that I could post it and show everyone what I have been working on but I just didn't have time. My bird head is not really reading in the eye area so it just doesn't make sense. It is coming though. It will be ready to post tomorrow. Maybe the bird construction piece will be ready too. It just needs some highlights to really pop some parts so that it is up to snuff.

As I was trying to bust this piece out though, I remembered that I had never shown the sketch online so I decided to post that instead, hopefully quickly followed by the actual image.:

I like the idea of the robot as a dwelling. The robot also seems to be a little more poppy like an old Asimov cover, or perhaps even more like old tin toy robots. All in all I am quite pleased with this drawing and when the eye on this bird is resolved I will be quite pleased with the painting as well.

Another crazy drawing I had worked up involves a robot fight. I'm thinking of doing a show that is 100 hundred robots and perhaps fifty showdowns. The second robot is definitely meant to be a reflection on the Yellow Submarine. Is it obvious?

Let me know what you think!

Gotta go. Going to be late to work. Peace!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Winds of Progress

I've been gearing up for this years' show schedule. I know I have a lot of work to get done, and it always seems like there isn't really enough time to do everything that I need to do. Adding illness to the mix just makes for bad juju, but that is what I've had to deal with lately.

I've been coming out of it well though. I made myself a couple mixes, downloaded some mash-ups and have re-donned the headphones. Old Skool Mike is back on the scene.

I've been working a little bit differently lately though. Often in the past I have spent a lot of time getting my background worked out colorwise using a patchwork application that takes forever. Recently I've been looking at my work and thinking about what can stay and what can go. What is important to keep for the essence of the paintings but what just gets in the way and makes my pieces harder to read? So after looking through the Robert Motherwell book that Beth and I have, I started to mix some base paint in an old coffee can that has a top. So I've been using the blue ground that I mixed last week to fill in and get everything covered, almost like Bob Dacey's unifying purple wash, but more as a starting point. It's good to have it all mixed though instead of trying to work it off of the palette.

So in the last week I've really started to tighten up these two pieces. The one of the construction working birds and the robot up on stilts, and one with a robot running into power lines. Here is the first:

This piece has been on my board all day long, and as I was sitting in front of it, I really thought it had a long way to go, but stepping back from it and actually scanning it in makes me realize that it is really quite close. I'm trying hard not to make pieces more complicated than the subject lends them to be. Bad habit that I developed over 2008. I guess you could call that a resolution.

Anyway here is the second piece:

This piece has been cool to work on so far, because not only am I trying to work out of the can and keep things somewhat flat, but like Motherwell Iam trying to stand back further from the piece, use my whole arm, and not relly come in too far to define anything. Ultimately I would like this piece to mesh a more abstract expressionist feel juxtapozed with my figure. I feel like I have lost too much of what I thrived on in my painting classes in school and I am attempting to get a little bit of that back with this piece, hopefully leading to more like it.

I have two days off, so you can bet there will be more stuff coming up in the next two days.


Friday, January 2, 2009


Two thousand nine is going to be huge year for me. Last year I was just rolling into a new state, with little identity there, and no clue how to go about life there. Now I am fully aware that New Hampshire is equally as good a state as any in the union, although that doesn't make me wish to stay here forever, but it does allow me to create work at my former somewhat feverish pace. (some days are feverish and some days lately I've just had a fever)

Anyway here is the list:

2009 to do

1.) April Show at Blue Bottle

2.) Monthly Group Shows at The Hive in LA

3.) Featured Small Wall Artist The Hive, LA *date tba*

4.) Dwellings -
A show at ArtStream Studios in Rochester, NH *date tba*

5.) Submitting to art/poetry journals with Ivy Page for our collaborative pieces

6.) Submitting work to galleries like Ello in Portsmouth, NH, and making more proposals
and generally trying to pick up more work.

7.) Attempting to make a limited line of robot toys with my friend Reggie

8.) You can sleep when you're dead.

May I note that the list is abridged, and my apologies for the lack of artwork in this post, but I wanted to show how serious this year will be for Lewis Acrylics' notoriety. Good Luck and everyone have a good New Year.