SK shoes

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canvas and markers

For Christmas I gave a pair of white canvas keds to my daughter-in-law with the promise to art them up. Was side tracked until we got the right size. Had to work hard on ideas and finally came up with SpeeDee, Statue of Liberty, Track/High Jump & personal best at TTU, Seattle,Knoxville, Crossfit Knights logo, kettle bells, Bailey and bigfoot. Seems like a lot to fit into a shoe but that’s why I call them  “Life Shoes.”  Only white left from the original canvas is the sign’s background held by SpeeDee (the first McDonald’s mascot before Ronald… figured that was a better choice than a big Ronald on her toes…plus SpeeDee makes for a good conversation). Can’t see on these shots but I did a couple of city scapes on the sides of the shoes. Yellow was a favorite color as was teal and grey.

First post of the year, maybe this will get my juices going again…later.

Reflecting on a series

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6 Mixed media pieces on heavy stock colour paper coated with polyurethane.

Haven’t got any big pieces in process currently, so I thought it might be nice to review a series that was inspired by the fall, leaves and water. The part I am most proud of  was staying within the original idea yet having different looks. Schooled and practiced painters may find this second nature, for myself it was a challenge. The first in this series is the one on the top right, and the last was a bit of a cop-out by just going black and white. I have displayed them as a unit/series once and it felt good. Each has a story as to why it is different from the last, maybe at a one man show I might get an opportunity to bore someone… ;-)   As a normal course  of artistic creativity I tend to jump around a lot, which keeps me from being bored and juices flowing, but at some point I want to explore where some pieces might lead me. We may never create the next world’s masterpiece but if we don’t stretch with the creative spark we achieve, how will we know what is possible? Curious how others feel about this, feel free.

Shields

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10×12 in. mixed media. Sometimes taking a simple shape and using it over and over can produce interesting results if you let your mind enjoy it. In my ink and marker period repeating a shape, and in this case a shield outline, over and over lead me towards a design. Using my full pallet of colors squares began to show up. Then once they took over I stayed with them around the edges. These generally are works that I become so involved with to smallest detail, time seems to stand still and before I know it the sun is peaking in the window and 12 hours have gone by. These are the times when I know I enjoy what I am doing…there are other things in life just as important to enjoy, but it is rewarding to know that making art is one of them.

Stop Number 9

fathernsonartprowlW figuringartprowl12W sharingartprowl12WitsnotaboutsizeWThat was us, stop number 9 on your 2012 Artprowl Program and we couldn’t have asked for two better days of warm sunny weather to have it. We had the front lobby of the library and it worked great, they had also just installed a hanging system for pictures which was handy. It was nice to be sharing this type of experience with your family & friends let alone showing together…note the picture of two content artists photo-mugging. My son Matt has a style of his own and is really starting to produce larger works, note the tall non-plaided one standing next to him. Size 20 shoe and just under 8 foot tall, but friendly.  For myself the hardest part was figuring out which 18 pieces I was going to show in the lobby (nice problem, huh?) I settled on a cross section of my work vs. any series. Lucky for me I was also able to show 6 pieces on the far wall inside the library…first time my fall reflection series hung together, it looked great…really showed my abilities to stretch within a set subject matter and style, yet produce different outcomes.  It was very enjoyable 2 days sharing  and talking about our art, can’t wait until next time.

4 Square Rural

9×12 in mixed media. As simple as this piece seems to be, it was fairly complex in execution. Lost track of the layers but beneath each square of color I started out very vivid and bright. I really love how the textures allowed some of the full richness of the under lying colors to show. I did have to knock down some of the peaks though to get a more uniformed look. The full body white lines in some areas show well too. Unfortunately this piece can only get full appreciation in person, as the photo can’t capture the subtle tones. This was a follow-up to “Neutrons and Fertilizer,” only taking the tones the opposite direction in values.It kind of gives a wintery feel, although I have seen colors this muted from above when you get a lot of sun reflection in spring time. You have to work at seeing the signature as I didn’t want to disrupt the feel of the piece, lower right hand corner.

The 4 Poles

10×14 in. mixed media. A piece from my circle and rectangle period, note signature…not quite as embellished as current. Other than some acrylic this was done mainly with colored pencil and watercolor pencil. Actually if you follow the piece around it was somewhat mathematical in my selection of colors and sizing…then at some point i started adding parts that didn’t follow that rule but felt right. This was the piece that really made me feel good about staying with abstract shapes for my themes. It also presents some challenges as to presentation, due to my working to the very edge. When I mat a piece I always feel like I am hiding part of the expression and my viewers are missing something I intended to be seen. I have given some thought as to mounting them to a black or white mat-board, but haven’t felt good about any process/glue techniques yet. If anybody out there has any thoughts on this, please drop me a comment or line. My e-mail is ken_knieling@hotmail.com. Thanks

You Can Only Clean Fish Once

9×12 in. mixed media. Details on the lighter areas not showing very well, you will have to take my word on there is more to be seen. Used some of that 42 year old ink in getting my colors just right. Had a few on lookers thinking I was doing something with football laces or clocks…nice observation but can’t say I was on that path. Watercolor paper does such a nice job of taking my early layers before I start glazing over with finishes, inks, and acrylic. Not sure I have mentioned my process in naming pieces before…once I have completed a piece I spend some time with it and see what comes to mind…I have almost as much fun doing this as I do working on them. Not sure what my titles say about me as an artist but I do know it is enjoyable. 

Putnam County Library Showing July-August

Well I finally got the works framed and the they are proudly hanging at the Putnam County Library. Isn’t a huge place but it does have a great location in the building, hard to miss seeing it.  This is a program that Stacie Johnson of the library management team fostered for local artists. I have the privilege to be hanging July thru August, since there is limited space I plan on rotating my works every 2 to 3 weeks. Also keeps my fan base from getting bored looking at the same pieces all of the time. I must say it does feel pretty good to have your work displayed in public and feedback from a lot of you bloggers gave me the confidence to do it…THANKS !

So if you happen to be rolling around Cookeville, Tennessee between now and the end of August…drop on by the library Mon-Sat and check me out.  Oh, sorry about the picture best I could get, this tall moody, but friendly guy kept mugging while my son took photos…you would think he was the artist or something… ;-)

OH, there is also another  ART display as you come in from a Tenn. Tech professor of art , Sally Crain-Jager, pretty good stuff…so if my stuff doesn’t hold your interest make sure you give her’s a look.

Rounding The Corner

Mixed media 10×14 in.  During my square period while I was discovering the wide selection that current art markers offer. Many of these pieces were made using multiple layers, 6-8 normally, until I achieved the look and colors I wanted. I like the illusion this piece creates  of a edge coming out at the viewer and the fading to the right and left. Seems like a  simple piece and most people will never know how much detailing it took…but at the end I guess it only matters … does the viewer like what they see.

Salsa Medium Hot

Mixed media 12×18 in.  Love Mexican food, I can’t get enough so why not paint my craving for some salsa, home-made. Free hand repeated pattern using markers and paint sticks with a little pen work.  This piece feels exciting, lively, zestful and crisp…just the way I like my salsa. This was a very spontaneous piece that I had an image in mind but I didn’t want to dwell on it to much, for fear of over working it.  Not sure peppers come in that shape but the colors seems right!

 

Pueblo Layout In Black

Mixed media 12×18 in.  When doing a lot of my work I find working with a colored heavy paper part of the process, this one started as black.  (for those that might know him… professor Pal Wright… Mr. Wright,  I almost covered the whole sheet.) I did several under-layer imagines before I started covering the paper with tissue paper and then started working on top of that then more tissue paper then line and acrylic work. This was another piece that I let take me where ever it wanted…I just followed with my imagination and colors.  When observing after it was completed, I couldn’t help but get a southwestern vibe with the yellows and oranges. The line work made me think about layout drawings or floor plans. I really like how the acrylic colors pull all of the other tissue paper colors into this piece, making them fit.   I could get philosophical about the greens and nature, Indian culture and… but that would be BS…the colors work for me and I find this to be pleasing to look at, puts me in a good place.  Mission Accomplished!

Look Straight Ahead

Slightly mixed media 10×14 in.  I had both eyes laser-ed due to my parents genes and this piece was what I saw on a minor follow-up procedure.  I would have done something about the first two but the canvas would have been pure black or white since I remember nothing, Nada.  Actually the most amazing thing was after the first two procedures I could not believe how much more vivid, intense and richer all colors were…like seeing a different colored world.  I had feared having this done most of my life since my Mom told me I would have the same before 50…she was close.  It went so well and the results so amazing/laser I wish I could have had this much earlier…we live in amazing times.

I Have Reached My Limit

Slightly mixed media 10×14 in.  During a phase when I was doing just circles, but this time I was free with the shape using mainly brushes. The primary medium was acrylic with some ink work. I enjoyed coming up with the different shades and hues trying at least to keep them in range of each other for continuity.  No hidden meaning or deep seated emotion, just the joy of laying color to paper and taking pleasure in the process…I find it a soothing piece to look at.

Social Connectedness

Very mixed up 12×18 in. We are all connected in some way today with each other and more importantly the world, more so than any other time in history.  Where all of this will take us, only time will tell. From my standpoint seeing art from fellow bloggers  on the other side of the world, or sharing data/thoughts/ideas makes this such a wondrous time. I gave this piece some thought as it was developing and the brite circles of colors are ideas, seen through different eyes (the tissue paper) and they are all around us, obviously the white lines are our connections…phone, pictures, tv, computers, snail mail…anything that lets us share. The little silver metal dot is us taking it in, in our own private world (black area). The gold circle is like the potential we have and the black lined area is boundaries that some of us stay within, and others venture outside. This is about as deep as I currently get…been watching too much PBS ;-)  By the way I like brite vs. bright in case you haven’t noticed, my rebelliousness to Webster.

Voyage Of The Cranes

Mixed media 9×12 in. Remember when I was talking in my Chaos In The Bay page about my first attempt of doing a sketch…well this is it. Stained glass without the glass! Actually I may try to do something equine with framing, why you ask? The initial layers of this were very brite and rich and after several coatings I managed to get to the shades you see now…however if you hold this up to a brite light those rich colors come thru…almost like a night day type thing…accident but maybe something to experiment on. By the way I am referring to the birds, ie… cranes.

Segmented Puddles

Mixed media 12×18 in.  The under pinning to this piece was layer after layer of markers and ink with repeated patterns, that start to take a life of their own. I really like how the acrylic is transparent enough to allow some of  the background work to morph thru. The final layers were controlled and precise in contrast to the background layers that were free flowing throughout.

Silver Squares Cost More

Mixed media 11×14 in. This was one of the first pieces I did once I ran out of shoes to paint, love how colors fade in and out…result of layering with acrylic. This has more depth than the picture shows and was a victim of my earlier photo talents, alast this piece sold and currently isn’t available to try again.  I had two names for this and couldn’t decide which I wanted to use…the other name was Triangles n Squares 1 , I want to say the piece sold without a name which is a shame and one i will fix whenever I become Universally known and this piece shows up for auction…just kidding…but my silver markers/paint sticks did cost more than the others, so the name fits. ;-)

Can’t Ya See Why

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Mixed media 10×16 in. Like my migration piece but with only squares/rectangles. Exploring use of wide color palate and fading or streaking colors to show movement. The edges seemed incomplete until I used the line work/grid-ding at which point it started to pull it together , much like the yellowing in the middle plane. Only a GPS system could guide you thru this labyrinth…Enjoy!

Foldable Art: fall side

Spray paint 6×7 ft. The flip side of “country side” started out as a project I was going to do with my daughter…she helped gather interesting leaves…and helped press them…but after that her interest waned… more interesting things to do… ahhh to be a teenager again…lol.  I picked 4 colors out in similar intensity, then just had a blast playing with it.  Probably more  home decor than fine art but I like the effect and it is very pleasing to look at. The  greens, blues and deep reds help on a blah wintery day.  Notice the leaf outline on the right upper panel? A patch up after our son’s puggle  (if you look closely on the right side you also can see her in the background)  knocked the divider over onto a rocking chair, putting a nice 2  inch hole in the panel…I need to remember to use the better glue when patching!