Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Man Drives a Plane into the Chrysler Building

Today I cleaned and organized my space here in studio and in my house.  Sometimes it is the number one thing that I need to do in order to keep working.  I unfortunately am not very good at cleaning up every day as I often try to keep working until the very last minute that I can get away with and still get enough sleep to not be a zombie the next day at the day job.  Anyway, I cleaned today and it feels really nice.  As a result I worked on several different pieces in different zones of the studio depending upon the type of work and I get to type the blog up in the corner that I have intended to be the reading corner forever, but have never organized or cleaned enough to actually make it so.  Let me just say that I am excited to read a Wild West magazine that my Dad sent me after I finish typing all of my thoughts out here!

I've been pretty steadily working on the large scale cross hatched piece the past two weeks or so.  The friend who commissioned the piece granted me some reprieve in our deadline, but I would still like to get the piece done sooner than later.  Tonight was a little bit of a test.  I felt done with the piece after about four hours of work.  It is easy to get into but also very easy to get tired of.  We're talking the same motion for several hours at a time.  Tonight I forced myself to keep going, however.  There is a high that you get when you finish something that you didn't want to finish earlier.  So today I filled a large area of the piece that I didn't think that I could.  I am stoked, and the piece is starting to look pretty great and just as round as I was originally hoping for too.

 These first three images represent how the piece appeared on Tuesday.  Since then I have worked on the panel in the last image and the panel in the first image.  I flipped the panel on orange over so I could work on those space at the bottom more freely.  It is really starting to tighten up.  The line on the original drawing was really not straight.  So I added a little hiccup in the pipe which I am a huge fan of.

Jasper has not granted me any space all weekend.  In fact he is editing some of the text that I am writing this very minute.  At least he's cute. 

Here's how the panel in the first image is turning out.  I finished way more of this than I thought I would tonight.  I am so pleased.  Well, I need to be running so I can relax a bit before I hit the hay.  Also the angle that I am trying to type at is in direct opposition to how this cat is sitting.  My hand is falling asleep.

Have a good holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Live Painting in Allston, MA.

It's Friday morning and I am still feeling a bit off schedule and tired.  This is most definitely because I traveled to Massachusetts on Tuesday night to participate in a live painting event with fellow artist Monkey Chow at the Treat Yo Self - Holiday Edition hosted by The Great Scott.  It was a pleasant trip.  I rode the bus to and from Boston.  On the trip down I laid out the drawings for two pieces to complete at the event.  Drawing on the bus in the dark proves to still be one of the more peaceful activities that I have experienced.

Painting in public is a strange experience.  I was grateful to be painting with Aaron (Monkey Chow) as well as being able to spend the majority of one of my greatest arts inspirations, my friend Billy Griffin.  Billy ambled about talking about art, San Francisco and his new foray into being a New Englander again, all while delivering adult beverages and grabbing me water for my paints.  It was truly excellent to see him.  However, people watching you paint is a strange case.  At first I found my motions to be a little tentative.  Then I found myself saying, "This is what you do, so lets just do it."  The interesting thing about that was that I started to feel almost arrogant in my motions.  As the night wore on, I realized that it was just another space to paint in though.  I became pretty involved in my two paintings and just worked. 

My interactions with people were varied.  When young people like my work and get excited, talking about drawing and loving art, I inevitably give them something.  I can't help it.  I love that raw excitement about what folks think is cool.  It's better than selling a million pieces.  Having enough money to live is awesome, don't get me wrong, but someone showing you how genuinely excited they are with your work gives it validity small green pieces of paper, which ignore their own lack of financial backing, can never provide.

Here are a couple images from the night.  Please pardon the photo quality from my flip phone.

 I really liked these two pieces.  It was a good experience to feel how involved I could be with something while surrounded by a distracting situation.  You will notice in the last picture my friend Aaron painting.  His work came out awesome.  As was fitting, people really loved his stuff.

Wednesday morning Aaron dropped me at 1369 Coffee House on Mass Ave, where I sat and pondered the hipster crowd I had just observed, what to give my little sister for Christmas, and made plans to meet with my friend Eric at the ICA in Boston.  After jumping off the T, I exited the street right next to this mural that Os Gemeos put up.  The joy that I felt upon seeing this piece made me as positive as ever that art is what I live.  I guess the ICA was cool too.  I'm only kidding.  I think I will follow up with some thoughts on what I saw at the museum in another Holiday weekend post.
Enjoy your weekend folks.  Sometimes the enjoyment of our holidays is all about the capacity to remain in a quality mood in the preparation stages.  Should y'all be in Portland and need a last minute something, give me a buzz.  I've got a pretty good inventory still even after the holiday sales.

Until next time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Commissions - Portland I love you

Sometimes I have trouble with large projects.  I lose interest.  They take a long time.  I think of new ideas and I want to work on something else.  I find myself in studio wrestling with my own consciousness.  I must keep working on x-y-z project.  I must keep going with what I am going on.  This piece was a change in that I felt compelled to work on it from the get go, but then the fellow who commissioned it from me told me to take my time, and then it got put on the back burner and as such, it has taken me until the fellow has now asked me if he will get it soon for me to get back into it.  Now I'm into it again and it feels pretty good.  The mark making still doesn't translate well from small bic pen cross hatched pieces to larger pieces done with a brush.  Also the brushes do not stand up well to being drawn with for more than 3 or 4 days.  The point does not hold up.  I may need to purchase more expensive cross hatching brushes or approach this type of piece from a completely different angle in the future.  We shall see.

Here is what I have so far.  I intend to finish it by the middle of next week.  Sorry for the late night picture phone quality photo.  Better photos to come.

In all reality I should be able to finish this panel tomorrow and hopefully the final panel between Saturday night and Sunday.  Then next Tuesday I will be in Boston for Treat Yo Self, live painting.  I have no idea how that will go, but it's exciting either way.

Portland I love you   (but you're bringing me down.)

Friday, December 7, 2012


Tonight is the MeCA Holiday Sale.  I've been making work that I claim is for the Holiday Sale for the past month and a half or so.  I never feel as if I have enough stuff, but as I was filled with anxiety trying to figure out if I was ready last night, I laid out all of my work and counted again.  I have nearly 70 pieces for sale as well as a number of prints.  It's been a productive month or so.

This will be the first time that I am offering a number of quality prints along with originals.  I am interested to see how this affects my sales.  Will I sell a reduced number of originals and more prints?  Will the prints sell at all?  I have no idea.

Amongst the prints are several pieces from old shows that I have really enjoyed. 

This was always one of my favorites.  I have 8 by 10 inch prints available.  The colors came out spot on, which has always been my worry in the past.  I am also including a print of The Feeder:

This was probably the most intricate piece from that era of my making.   The piece has been sold so it seemed only logical to give the work a new life.  This is one of the major reasons that I am excited about doing some prints.

I will not be charging much for them.  You can get them for 8 to 15 dollars depending on the image.  If they do not sell, I will make them available on my Etsy page as well.  Wish me luck.  It's been a lot of work getting to this point.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Was Feeling Off....

When I was in undergraduate school studying illustration, I used to tell my friend Mandy that if you're feeling down you should draw a monkey.  I haven't drawn monkeys in years.  I don't know why, but at the same time, I use the cartoon characters that I do draw to achieve the same thing.  Sometimes I just lose gas, work too long, or get too moody to produce and then I need to choose whether to make something cute or to go read a book.  Tonight I tried to make something cute.

What do you think?

I had these two guys in mind as they were the creatures that I used in the Bard Coffee window illustration that I made this week.  I really like them, although the bear in the window looks fatter, and I think is thereby a little cuter.  Maybe I'll try to make a different one and see if the size of his mid-section is directly proportional to his cuteness. 

Until then.

Early Mornings & Purring Friends

My schedule has changed at the day job.  It has become the morning job.  I start work Monday through Thursday at 7:30 in the morning.  I realize that this is actually a normal time to be starting work, but after years of working late into the other end of the morning, or going out to play a bit after working late, it has been a difficult transition.  This has been particularly frustrating with the upcoming Holiday Sale at MeCA which I was counting on to pull in some serious dough.  As is usually the case however, I spent a couple days stressing out about the amount of stuff I had and then actually counted said stuff, finding that I had plenty of work to show.

The drops series has been very good to me.  I am really starting to piece together some paintings.  I wouldn't call these pop surrealist or low brow or any other movement I've attempted to fit into.  I feel like they are exactly what I am; melancholy and a bit child like.

I've also been toying with some phrases and making word related pieces.  I haven't finished very many but I have a couple pretty good ideas.  Unfortunately these depend a bit more on my poetic abilities which are, well, lacking in comparison to some very good friends of mine.  I am very proud of this piece however.

Lastly, I figured out what some of my obsession with structure was within my MFA studio work.  I started a new piece and was able to start putting away my thesis.  I actually didn't make the connection between cleaning up studio and putting it away and figuring out one of the keys to its inception until just now, but it makes sense suddenly.  It is done now.

Here is the new piece dealing with some of the same issues.  I'll explain some other day when I have more time.

It has a ways to go, but that's the joy of doing what I do.  Life is getting really busy again.  Keep up.  Keep your head up.  Stay true.  These are the things we all have to do.  Much love to you all.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get Alone

For the most part this was a very productive week.  I have two days in Portland and then it is off to New York state to see my folks.  I'll be traveling with my art school buddy, Ed.  It will be nice to take a break, though I wish that I could have gotten more done with this series of work before I left.  I suppose I'll have a little time in the next two days though.  We'll see.  I am not usually too productive on the days that I work in the deli.

This week was notable especially for noticing the similarities between commonly used subject matter.  I always think of my work in terms of different series, but of late I have been cross-pollinating these different subject matters in order to  arrive at a different set of imagery.  It's been good not only in developing new compositions but also in realizing all of these subjects are really driving at.  It was a very good week all around.

Here is some of the yield.

I think that my body of work is really starting to make a jump in quality.  There is something about reacting to prior actions and size and spacial restraints that really gets you thinking like an artist.  I am very pleased with the results.  As my friend Ed said today, "You've really been working."  I had wanted to get 200 pieces done in October and November.  Admittedly that is a ridiculous clip which is preposterous to keep up with, but I can say that I have finished over 40 pieces thus far, which isn't so bad.

Hope all is well with you.  I'll be back soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On a Roll Like Joltin' Joe

Sometimes you just understand things better, you see better, draw better, perform better and generally live better.  You feel on fire.  You feel like the thoughts that you were on the verge of unveiling are all coming out at the same time.  You see the connection between disparate ideas as clear as day.  You develop and you grow.  All of these feelings seem to follow a slew of bad ideas, misunderstanding and trouble seeing the big picture.  You find yourself struggling through these moments to reach the moments of clarity.  It's as if you are on a drug that pitches you manically from the super high to the super low. 

I have been riding the high for the last day and a half.  I have shut myself off from the world.  I have had epiphanies.  I've slept very little.  I have made some work that I am pleased with.  There are new opportunities in these pieces and that makes me very happy.

I am looking forward to this weekend.  I'm going to make soup and eat bread, work on more paintings and listen to new music.  If I manage to make it out of my house I am going to go see the Man With the Iron Fists finally.  If I don't, then I will listen to some more Wu-Tang than I was planning on.

I hope you are all riding your highs.  I have to try to come down.  Kitten time.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eons Later

I was so upset for the majority of the day.  I think I started off on the wrong foot when I was trying to work on the animation that I've had in my head and couldn't get it to work with the animating plugins in Photoshop CS3.  I looked at my clock and realized that I was going to be late to work.  That was it.  I was cranky pants for the next 9 hours and that's all that it took.  I never did figure out the issues with my animation, but I did get home from work in a very cranky mood, ready to make something new.  I started to look at the stills that I had drawn out from the animation and realized that there was something more in the drops than I was getting into.  I drew out one with the idea of painting the drops at the forefront of my mind, worked up the colors and was somewhat pleased with the results.

I had promised a friend I would meet him around five.  He was hanging out with a photographer friend.  They were talking some serious shop.  I do not know this jive language and soon became bored.  I started to think about this piece some more and as soon as I reached home again started thinking about cleaner color and less line work.  I came up with these two revisions.

I have been doing quick drawings which depend on painting in the negative space for so long that it seems odd to paint in the positive space again.  However, by working with that flat space for so long I've determined that I really enjoy the colors flat and have carried that flat treatment over to these positive filled pieces as well.

While working on the last two, I realized that my bad mood was dissipating.  I called my father and listened to him chat while I drew and eventually painted the second piece.  By the time I was done on the phone I had realized that what I really needed was to spend some time on my work today, to push myself to do something slightly different, and to accept that you don't always have to follow through with good ideas.  I put on Peggy Honeywell and let the soothing banjo and alto voice carry me into a blogging and social state.

I hope you dig the work.  I'm very excited with the possibilities of crossing this with the last several series.  Hopefully it yields something interesting.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Late Nights, Commissions, and the Upswing

This week I had a serious breakdown.  I felt completely burnt out.  The idea that I could take a break didn't really occur to me.  Nor did the idea that maybe I was expelling too much effort in one direction when perhaps I should consider a more balanced method of attack.  My roommate spent a few hours trying to convince me to make my work travel down the prints and greeting cards route, while my friend Ben suggested that I make more conceptual decisions with my work.  Really, I keep coming back to the idea that the two bodies of work are separate entities.  I make creatures and illustrations which are cute and inhibit the ideas within my more conceptual work.  Eventually the two will coexist in the same evironment, but I have an entire lifetime to figure out that dilemma.

For now I consider myself fortunate to have a number of different projects to keep me occupied.  Somewhere in the past couple days I realized that it is better to have a couple things to work out in your studio and creative practice than to have it all figured out.  Having something to work toward keeps the process fresh. 

After the talk with my roommate I looked up prices for making Giclee prints of my work, something which I think that I will do after figuring out the real costs.  I enjoy the idea that an image doesn't need to be killed off after it is sold.  However, I do not think that I can ever exist only on attempting to sell prints.  As it is though, I will be offering signed prints of this image for a ten dollar fee through my Etsy store or if you prefer to just contact me at mike at lewisacrylic dot com. 

The original is still available as well through the Etsy store for roughly twice that.  I find it interesting to attempt to price work.  I do not feel justified to charge extraneous amounts for work that I produce incessantly.  I think that thus far at least my work has been produced at such a prolific rate that to charge much more for it would be inconsistent with my views on work to profit relationships.  I'd be interested in hearing what others may have to say about that.

I've also been producing new images in the Vertical Series as well.  I do not think that I will ever attempt to make prints of these.  The concepts that drive this work depend upon multiplicity, but my own multiplicity of production, not a fabricated production.  Reproductions would inhibit the idea of these images I feel.

Today I also met with a friend who is commissioning a large scale rendition of a work produced in the same manner that my thesis was produced.  This is very exciting not only because I have get to do a large scale work for someone but also because I get to work out the issues that I discovered while working on my thesis six months ago.  I couldn't justify attempt to re-envision the piece without some financial motivation, but now that I have that, I am so excited to work on this new work.  I will share the sketches from that piece soon, once I have everything a little more finalized as to placement.

lastly, the conversation with my roommate touched upon how worthless it is to show in galleries, which was immediately contradicted by an email from The Hive Gallery who is having a recycled cd art show.  I couldn't help but make something for this show.  I was just too excited about the idea and whipped this piece out last night as a result.

It amused me to reference a discman in my image for the Recycled CD show.  I will be sending that piece out on Tuesday.  Things are coming together again.  The upswing is always so nice, and while the rock bottoms in my mood that I experience grow harder and harder to deal with, the time that these rock bottoms last decreases each time that I get them now.  There is a lot to look forward to, a lot of work to make, and a lot of opportunities if I am just looking for them. 

Here's looking out.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Some Thoughts of Late

In the past I have tried to keep this blog and the notes in my sketchbook separate.  I always thought that what I mentioned in my books was too much information for the public to be ascertaining from my work, however in the past several weeks while looking at Keith Haring's journal entries, I've realized that some of these notes might really help me get closer to the truths that I'm after.  If people are more aware of the truths that I am after, they may understand my work better, and they may also be able to more adeptly make comments and observations via this medium.  Essentially, I am wondering if I am more open with my process, if this blog could become a more valuable resource for readers to understand, influence, and be involved with the work.

I have two major projects on my mind.  One of these is the vertical series which I posted a good deal of last night.  The other is a piece that is similar to the piece that I did for my thesis work back in May.  A fellow who frequents the same coffee shop as I do has commissioned a work from me that is similar to that piece.  The Vertical Series on the other hand, I wish to cater to the Portland Museum of Art's Biennial.  It would be spectacular for me to get into a museum show at this point in my artistic career.  I would really like to make a success of that.

While sitting in Bard the other day I started to reason out what I thought the connection between the public viewing my artwork and me making my artwork was.  This quickly got me sidetracked as I am always interested in the channels of communication.  I wrote "it is always the people, always about the connection.  Solidifying the connection", and then I referred to a Hooray for Earth song lyric, "if a wire connects between two houses does that really mean we're all connected?"  I am very curious about this connection, where it fails, where it succeeds.  Who finds this blog?  Who reads it and who just looks at the pictures?  Who, when sitting in front of my work, gets what I am thinking?  Does anyone? 

I will go into further depth with some more examples later tonight, but for now I must be getting ready for work.  I will leave you with the initial sketch that I have drawn out for Mr Packard's commission.

I hope this week finds you well.  It's back to the grind for me and I'm ready for it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It is November Already

Sometimes it is crazy how fast time flies by.  The past couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time hanging out with friends, running errands, providing a shoulder to cry on, being that guy that provides amusement.  It was good, but by about Monday of this last week I felt spent.  It is hard to be completely social and still attempt to work on a bunch of art work.  The two mind sets are not the same for me.  I definitely need my social time, but I have been neglecting my art time way too much since about August.  Monday was the night that Sandy hit the Maine coast and I spent it re-organizing my half of my apartment so that it is nothing but one big studio space.  I set the futon up as a couch which I've been sleeping on and set up the desk in my room as a study, much like in a Sherlock Holmes movie.  I just need a pipe and a deer stalking hat.  I already have the roommate.  He's a manager of an art store, but we'll call him Dr. Koniezcko for now.  Anyway, my studio looked dope by the end of Monday night.  I started to read.  I have a book of Keith Haring's journals that I have just recently started.  It is amazing and provides all of that support that I needed to complete my thesis six months ago.  That is irrelevant, however.  The book has been making me think again, making me consider my own artistic dreams, and reconsider some ideas that I had a while back.

A little over a week ago, I was also given a number of panels from a good friend whose studio and gallery needed to move.  It couldn't have worked out more perfectly.  With the new found energy I cancelled my trip to Lewis County in New York and didn't tell anyone here in Maine.  I spent the next three days holed up in my studio.  It was lovely.  My head started to think again.  I started to play a little more with the vertical series, to the point where I no longer think that I can get away with calling it the vertical series now.

I placed a number of the panels in a grid as I finished them.  The first grid was just a four pack, but started to make me think about the various layers of missed connections and interrupted lines of power.

I was pleased with this, but then started to think about how many of these I could actually place next to each other without effecting the continuity of the piece as a whole or the pieces serving as the constituents.  I came up with this block of nine by the end of this evening.

I was very pleased with this collection of pieces.  I found myself really thinking about combining old school cross hatched illustrations, Mondrian, and comic book illustration.  The layout of color was very much influenced by Mondrian, while the colors that I picked were more referential to Lichtenstein and the Sunday Comics colors.

Here are a few of the panels in greater detail.

This has been a great project so far.  I'm excited to continue working on it tomorrow.  Everything seems to be coming together nicely again.  Until then.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beast Mode

I went to visit a friend last week to watch the Seahawks play the 49ers.  Marshawn Lynch is the running back for the Seattle Seahawks and has nicknamed his style of running the football Beast Mode.  When Lynch says Beast Mode it sounds something like "Beef Mo."  I find this generally awesome.  And so, this week, when I became very upset with myself for not getting everywhere I wanted to be, I took care of myself and then came back to my work for some serious Beef Mo.  A friend had just lined up a solo show.  Frankly, I was feeling a little jealous.  I know that's an ugly emotion to have, but it's the truth.  I want a solo show too.  I want one bad.  I've felt so jaded about my work getting anywhere lately that I have been ignoring the business aspects of trying to get into new galleries.  The wake up call has come.

And so Beef Mo and the soundtrack to The Man With the Iron Fists is carrying me through.  I want to finish this large cross hatched piece and get more work like it started.  I want a gigantic show of it.  I want it as soon as possible and I want to listen to the RZA all the while that I am making that work!

Here's a couple images of how it's starting to come out now.

I cranked out a bunch of this piece super early on Sunday morning.  I woke up a little bit before 5.  I've been thinking that I need to do a lot more early morning work, that that is the key to me getting work done, but then I got home from watching a movie with my friend Julie tonight and I realized that all I wanted to do was work on this piece more.  My friend's solo show is getting me fired up.  I don't like being left behind.  I know it's not a competition, but I'd like to be there and I can be.  So away we go.
I am totally digging on this large scale cross-hatched work with the brush.  I feel like I am getting better with it too.  One would hope that I would.  Thus far it's been a good experience though.  I am very pleased.  I am also pleased to have had a couple moments this week where I just went to painting again as a gut response to life.  I need that to be okay.

Hope you're digging the stuff.  Let me know if y'all need any work for Christmas.  We're getting close to cut off time if you want something to be done in time for Christmas or Hanukkah (we are totally non-discriminating here).  Til next time.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

You May Already Be A Winner

It's Saturday.  I'm sitting at my favorite coffee shop and hanging out with one of my really good friends.  It is a bit overcast and chill outside.  This is the kind of day that I find absolutely perfect.  Normally my face would be absolutely rooted in a sketchbook and I would have my brain completely jazzed.  My synapses generally fire at a million miles an hour, but today has been a little different.  I got a call from a very good friend who is having a rough time of it.  It makes me terribly sad.  I was nearly in tears coming back into the coffee shop, where I was immediately accosted by another acquaintance who was upset about not a heck of a lot, but upset nevertheless.

It's strange to think about how much these things affect your creative process, but they truly do.  In a few moments I will begin sketching in my book again and although I will not be drawing any of these moments out verbatim it comes across as tension and release in drawings.  Characters generally ease the message.  Power lines and pipes say nothing while they say everything.  I haven't entirely figured out how to say everything that I want to say without letting on to the audience, but it is a goal to approach, nevertheless. 

Here is my most recent power line piece.  Just as an exercise I am going to tell you about the emotion behind it.  I hope that that in no way ruins the piece for anyone, but I am feeling particularly open today.  The hard times are not an individual thing.  We all experience it.  Only through solidarity can we hope to do anything about our positions in life.  We must be supportive of one another.

Consider for a second the subjects of this piece.  The left and right segments of this piece are a warm orange with a very chaotic experience to the left and two large moments of opposing interaction to the right.  The cooler green in the center serves as that moment of ease in tension.  The cross hatching is more at ease.  It is a spot to relax, or as it were, the spot at the center of everything where life is simpler.  That is what I was thinking about while making this piece, though I don't think that that was obvious from the imagery.  Also, the closer we look at things the more complex they feel, the more opposition is evident.  As we look at something from farther away there is more abstraction.  The situation seems clearer and easier to comprehend. 

Now it is time for me to draw in my sketchbook.  I've worked out through words what would have been my first two awful drawings.  My acquaintance may already be a winner.  He just needs to open his eyes a bit more.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Such a Good & Relatively Productive Weekend

The past three days have been great.  I've finished five pieces, a proposal, worked in my sketchbook, and spent some quality time hanging out with my friends.  It's really been a great weekend.  I can go to work confidently aware that I couldn't do much more in a weekend and remain sane.

The Power Lines series is really starting to come into its own.  I am getting a variety of different poles and lines, which is enabling me to really tap into a different type of feeling for each piece.  Coupled with color choices the works seems to really get at a lot more than a simple thing that is necessary to our modern way of life.  It has been good for me psychologically to dwell on these simple subjects as well.  I feel more at peace after a weekend of staring skyward while walking around town, going to the farmer's market and cooking.  This is more me than the life I had been living for a little while through August and September.  It is pleasant to be coming back to some work here and feeling recharged and excited by it.

The majority of my day today was spent putting together a proposal for my friend Shirah and I to put together a painting show in Portsmouth, NH.  The show would be coupled with a cooking event from Chef Michael Beers and all be based on the Jim Jarmusch film "Stranger than Paradise."  I am hoping that our proposal will be accepted as this would both be a fun project and a stretch of my capabilities, two things which I am very interested in doing right now.  I will keep you posted.

When I was through with that proposal though, I was feeling stoked and wanted to put together one more Power Line piece this weekend.  Here is that piece.

Now it's time to finish a glass of wine and listen to some indie music to wind down.  For those involved, thanks for the awesome weekend and for those just stopping by, hope you enjoyed the update.  I'll be back soon.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm Going to Graceland

I determined that I am going to make 100 paintings like I made yesterday before the month of October is up.  I think I can do it without any trouble.  I really don't know.  With two Holiday sales coming up it would just be nice to have a slew of new stuff.  If I can make 100 of the drawings then I can get away cost wise to charge ten bucks or maybe less each.  Small things seem to do better for me anyway.

As a result I've been walking around staring at the sky, however.  I must look like a crazy man, which is, well, not that different than usual.  I found a couple cool power lines walking around after the farmer's market this morning and tried to get those across in these two pieces.

I was especially impressed with this image while walking down Congress Street today.  I don't usually like walking down Congress as it is the most populated street in Portland.  For the most part you walk past tourists, homeless folks, and crazies.  It's really just a point a to point b sort of road, but while I walking with a friend today I caught sight of this beauty of a light pole.  I had to do a piece of it.
This second one I am unsure of.  While I do like that green quite a bit I don't think it goes very well with that psychedelic blue and I really don't want to get rid of the blue.  It may become a strange orange tomorrow.  I should probably calm down and go to bed.  Listening to Graceland and then doing just that.


Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Cold Out & I'm a Little Sick

I've mellowed out a lot this week.  I was a little crazy there for a while, but Monday morning I woke up with this sense of urgency about life.  I felt like I had to do something to better my situation.  After proposing to two CS classes and procuring an interview next Friday for teaching an illustration class, I feel like I am more on the right track.  It's time to start working again.  As if my general outlook wasn't enough to get me on this track, Maine has now suddenly decided to be in the thirties.  It's cold.  I don't want to leave my house anymore and if I do, it's for coffee or some other warm substance.

I've been really pleased thinking about the power line series.  I think there is a lot of potential in it.  I'm trying to find the secret to it so I can include images of other subject matter.  The way that I put together the one piece for Bard Coffee allows for far more experimentation than I have so far indulged in with this particular process.

Tonight while sitting in my newly cleaned apartment there was nothing that sounded better than working on a couple new smaller pieces.  I want to make a lot of small guys for the upcoming Holiday Season.  The idea is to have a slew of pieces for $20 and under.  Here's the work that I put together tonight so you can get an idea of what I am after.

The work is smaller than most of the pieces I've put together in the past couple years, but it is interesting to me to push the scale of these pieces.  As the poles get smaller, the shapes become more and more abstract much like power lines off in the distance seem to appear in reality.

Well that's it for tonight, but I'll try to get some more stuff up tomorrow.  Until then, take care.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quite the Lull

I haven't been very good with the blog for the past two months.  I was working a little too much I think.  I've done a lot of work that I am pretty pleased with, however, and have applied to several jobs and proposed some classes.  All of this is is really good stuff.  Next week, I am proud to say, I will be meeting with the chair of the Art Department at one of the local colleges to talk about teaching an illustration class.  This would be absolutely amazing to me.  I have wanted to teach illustration since I was in undergraduate school at Syracuse learning from Steven Cerio.  He's amazing by the way.  Absolutely amazing.

It's been slow getting a couple of projects done with.  It took me forever to put the poster for Bard together this month, but once it was done I was really happy with it.  Here it is.  It's Nintendo themed.

The second image today is of one of my commissions hanging in its new home.  A lot of people have responded to this type of work very positively.  Perhaps I should do more of it, but this particular piece was very much a logical process and not so much a non objective piece.  I'm not sure I can do one again without attempting to train my eyes to do so.  I guess I'll have to give it a try.
I am very excited for the next couple of days.  I don't have anything that I need to finish right off and I am looking forward to working on a couple of things that I have been leaving on the back burner for a while.  Be chill and I'll be with you soon.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living Fast.

I have been working two jobs.  It isn't a lot of hours, but two days a week I've been working all day and then a shift most days of the week at one or the other.  I've been feeling a little depressed, wondering how I will get the money together for the college loans from graduate school that I have to start paying next month.  I've also been making a bunch of work that I'm really pleased with.  Unfortunately the work has been for last minute shows and I feel claustrophobic.  Last night I had a dream that I was stuck in the corner of a large school and that I couldn't get out because there were too many people and I couldn't stand it.  So this weekend, I'm going to leave for a bit.  I need a break.  The trip to New York was awesome, but far too quick to count as a break.

Here's a bit of what I've been working on though, if you're interested.

This is the newest piece that I've put together in the power line series.  I really am getting into it.  This imagery is really pretty interesting to me right now, but even more so I am into the way that this piece was put together.  I also wrote what is perhaps my most concise artist's statement to date about it.


     "I am concerned with lines of power; the method in which information and resources are passed between urban and rural areas as well as between classes and from governing bodies to society. In that sense I think of this body of work as a metaphor for more complex systems of interactivity.
      However, as I pass through this world looking to the sky where this perfect composition of power lines constantly frames my upward view, I recall being a child and counting telephone poles in the back seat of my father's car. In this mindset, the overwhelming simplicity of life strikes me. I tell myself to calm down. I tell myself to keep counting telephone poles."
I also put together a bunch of small animal pieces for Artstream studios.  The opening is this Saturday.  I will be at a wedding in Connecticut and unable to make it, however, my friend Susan will be there and her new work is excellent.  The opening is from 5-7 in Rochester, NH.  Be there or be square.

 It's been some pretty exciting work, but I need to stop for a weekend.  I need to regroup.  Hope you dig the work though.