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.