Thursday, August 30, 2012

It Was a Great Day

It was a day of discovery, work, and errands.  Today I found one of the books that I lost when I moved from Minneapolis to New Hampshire.  I was so pleased that when I got home I looked up another one of those books on Amazon and purchased a used copy.  As I was purchasing this second book, I received a call to work on a t-shirt project.  The company seems legit, though I the art direction seemed relatively limiting.  It's still a cool project though, so I will happily work on it. 

I also finished a sketch of the Crest that the Fish and Splits bowling team is looking to use for their league this season.  I am very pleased with it, although it hasn't been tightened up yet.  I also completed another square foot of the large scale painting.  It's taking forever, but coming out great.  I may need to get another brush, though.  I am terrible on them.

Here is the bowling logo.  I would share other images tonight, but everything is in process and I didn't take any good images while the light was right.  I will have to wait until tomorrow.  Hopefully I finish more of those two projects before I post anyway.

The end of the evening was taken up by a Built to Spill show.  It was great.  What I took from the show was more than a love for a band's music live, but rather an idea of what it is to become an aging artist.  Doug looked so plainly calm on stage, completely immersed in his work, but aware at all times of what he was doing.  There was a poise within him that struck me.  I hope that I can approach my work with that level of professionalism and confidence one of these days  I also hope that growing old will not hinder my ability to rock out.  I guess we'll all see.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Can't Stop Me.

I have spent so much time in the past ten years completely upset that I cook to make money.  I have wanted to make money off of my paintings and my paintings alone.  People hear that you cook and they say things like "Don't stop painting though" or "I hope you continue, you're really good."  I am a stubborn cuss and these conversations drive me up the wall.  I haven't stopped yet and you can't stop me.  My hand is swollen and burned.  I worked at the fry shack early today and again later at the deli job that I just picked up.  I think I will be working both jobs until the fry shack closes.  I tried to convince myself today after the second job that I was going to go home and go to bed, but as I was sitting here at home I thought, "I want to work on that piece I started, the colors aren't right yet."  And so I did.  I love this Power Lines series.  I love working with the wood paint and sand paper.  Most of all, I love how after a day of cooking all I want to do is make a painting.  It is almost as if I get work done with a greater urgency when I am working for someone else.  I want to figure out what that is about, because I don't think that I will have to cook forever.  I will make it.  How do I keep that sense of urgency if I do make it, however.

A question that I will save for another day, because now that I have finished my painting, it is time for bed.  I really am tired.  I guess this means that I worked three separate jobs today.  Woot.  You can call me the machine.  I'm feeling good about myself.  Keep up.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking through Molasses is Hard

I started a part time job to help make ends meet a little; so that I could actually spend more time on pieces that I want to work on and be less dependent on some illustration work which doesn't do anything for me.  Essentially, I want to be able to say no to some projects, which you can't do if you are struggling to get by.  The job is plenty okay.  It's just in a restaurant, but it's busy, so the times goes quickly.  I am good at it.  Folks seem impressed that I can do a Saturday night already, however, I think I've been cooking longer than almost all of the people that do work there.

What this does for me is create some time for a couple new projects that I am really excited for.  I began working on a series of power line paintings the other day.  Power lines are fascinating me not only for the shapes that they make against the sky, but also because of their name, which sounds like a very literal joke to me.  Someone has power and is delivering your allotment of said power to you.  I am especially interested in the power lines in the country though, as it seems to be the only thing connecting one property to the next.  Somehow I think this is going to work in with my large scale tractor drawing.  Here are the first two.

I like the pink piece a whole bunch.  This may be because it is pink.  I don't know.  Everyone seems to know what I like before I do.  My roommate actually told me that my favorite color to work with was pink.  I couldn't deny it, but I had never really thought about it.  I wonder why?  Any ideas?

Hope you are all having a pleasant Sunday.  I'll get back to you with some more work later this week.  Also if you are in the Laconia area of New Hampshire on Saturday night, you should make some time to stop by the Studio for my closing event featuring Grandmaster Chef Beers and the Furious Seven Course dinner.

Catch you soon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

T-shirts & Tractors

I am very pleased to be working on Bard Coffee's new t-shirts.  Yesterday I emailed the owner of the shop with my revised design and he loved it.  This is going to be great.  I am very excited to both help out my favorite coffee shop in town and to see my work on t-shirts.  So so cool.  Here is an image of the proposed design.

Also coming up on the horizon is a proposal for a project in one of the major spaces here in Portland.  I am really looking for an excuse to do a gigantic cross hatched drawing and for some reason I cannot get the idea of doing a life sized tractor as this potential image.  The process is about using up time and space, mimicking the farmer's market in bringing the rural inside the urban.  It reminds me of home and makes me question the concepts of organic farming and natural food stores.
So here we go, more projects, more ideas, ever trying to move forward.  I feel like a small caricature of our economy.  Keep up.  It's going to get better.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Plain Working

This is my first August post.  I have spent the last two weeks doing the social part of the artists' life and starting new projects.  Last week I spent two days at the Kah Bang festival in Bangor, ME, where my friend Julie K Gray had some incredible work up.  I met some fantastic people, made a few connections, and had a lot of fun providing support for one of my best friends.  I also had an opening in Laconia, NH at The Studio which was the kick-off of Speakeasy Dining, the unveiling of what amounted to the largest painting I had ever finished, and a Walter Mitty music show.  Since last week, I have been mulling over a new project, doing the legwork on a project whose final results I know not of, and slowly trying to finish this large scale commission that it now feels like I have been working on forever.  Socially I have been grasping at straws trying to figure out why I feel a little off.  Last night I forced myself to be quiet and work.  I am not sure that that is what I want, but it may be what I need. 

Enough of the painting of the interior of my head though.  Lets get to the nitty gritty. 
The following are three photos of the installation I did at the studio.  This was by far the most people that I have drawn in the past ten years or so.  I really got into the floating heads and a couple of the hands.  Bodies still kind of bore me.  

 Here is the whole panoramic view of the piece, though there are some better photos of it up on my tumblr page re-blogged from my friend Matthew Best.  That link is over here.  I make absolutely no qualms about being an awful photographer.  I am just far too impatient to manage it. 
 The following image is a detail of the large commissioned piece that I have been working on for the better part of two months now.   It is coming along quite well I think.  I am slowly getting to a point with a paint brush where I can create some of the same differentiation in s forms that I can with a bic pen.  This is great because the black paint is immediately recognizable as a dark on wood panel.  It also helps me increase the size of the smaller Vertical Series Panels.  If you do not recall what those looked like, you can see some in my More Partitions post or in the Billboards post.

 The full Vertical piece pictured above is the next step in the series of Square foot pieces that I was doing by joining several vertically composed pieces of wood next to each other.  The same adding and subtraction is being used, but this time on one panel.  I am not sure that I love this piece yet, but it is getting there, and since the entire series is about that adding and subtraction that happens naturally in painting, I do not feel married to anything depicted in the image anyway.
Lastly, I've been producing more blocks.  I am keeping them in sets of monochrome colors.  I have big plans for these, but I am not quite ready to share yet.  Lets just say that I am happy that my thesis taught me how it was possible to hang them, but that my thesis did not get at many of the compositional areas of spaces that I was interested in addressing with them.

There will be more to come soon.  I am in a good spot right now.  After a two month period where art felt like a job that was grueling and thankless, I am starting to feel the pull of the studio and solitude again.  I have lived my life trying to reenact various dreams that I have had.  Sometimes when I fall short of these dreams, I begin to wander and lost track of what it is that I do.  Hopefully I am done wandering for a bit here again.

Talk to y'all soon.