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.