The Show Is Starting

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16×20 in. mixed media on illustration board

Things are getting exciting around here, I am having an artist reception at our local gallery here in Cookeville. (Art a’ la Carte ) Not sure the town is excited, but we are around the house, have to get some good finger food and few last-minute details ready for Friday evening.  The art looks good hanging all together, like a gathering of … well you get the idea. Hopefully I won’t talk people’s’ ears off too much.

As for my latest piece to post, it a continuation of Lines Too Storm. Layers and layers of weather coming in, each different in color and shape.  Had several more overhead lines in this originally but it just didn’t look right, so I had to cover and redo most of the middle…but that isn’t why the darker colors are there. They were always part of the original concept/idea i had for this piece. I have several more ideas along these lines,no pun intended, I will keep you posted as they come to life.

Speaking of storms, the weather is supposed to be a better than fair chance of rain…which will keep people away no doubt…maybe i will catch a break.  At any rate the show will stay up until early December, so that will make up for the bad weather. Nice to talk to people about your art but more important/meaningful to get people to view what you have done.

Wildfires Stop 4 No Man…or Woman

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12x16in. mixed media on canvas.

Been awhile since i have posted on my blog, but I am back again! Getting ready for a show at Art a’ la carte November 22nd. Calling the show “Celebrations Twenty-two”, based on 3 facts:

  • 1. it is on my anniversary (thank you Jane )
  • 2. it is the  date of the opening reception/meet the artist
  • 3. and my featured work (Chaos in the Bay) will be in the “Kansas City Voice,” an annual art publication on …page 22 coming out in November.

Hope to see a few people there that have followed my blog.

As for this latest work I fell back on my forest fire series. Using a new canvas  type for me, comes in pads “ALLWAYS” by Crescendo. Took my inks well with very little bleed and had a nice texture to the surface, just enough tooth to work nicely with pencils. Once I put my finishes on it looked like vinyl, which is way different than what I expected. Will do a few using this to explore the possibilities with my styles. I do wonder if some of you have used this type of canvas before and your thoughts.

Not much to say about the work itself…at least to me it seems very obvious. Fire sweeping thru a forest area, with some man-made features and the sun peaking and playing off of the event/smoke and haze.

My Instagram From The Loch

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9×12 in. mixed media….

Gee, I posted just the work with no words and nobody called me out for it…or maybe that was a hint…lol

This was a different approach than others i have done as i started out with white on white/gesso, playing with the thick media and shaping it. Once dried the fun began again adding color here and there as the piece spoke to me…then the finial layers and massive amounts of rubbing, sanding, carving and then coloring and a finial rub…then I played with my trusty white uni-ball SIGNO…a couple of last minute color additions and clear coated for the shine. A not so instant-gram piece…title says it all, only wish i could have gotten his or her face better ;-)

Elephants Graveyard

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9×12 in. mixed media.

Well the Cookeville Comic Arts Festival at the Putnam Library had a pretty good turn out, especially for the first year. There was I believe 8 artist in attendance showing their talents in the fine art of comic illustration. Could have been more but a nice start to something I hope the library promotes again next year. Although I was manning my son’s table , he was too busy overseeing all the events, comic illustration is and always has been at my core…i really admire the works that were presented at this event…KUDOS Matt !

Ever wonder where those torn fishing nets end up, or what’s snagging them? In my dreams this is at least one answer… was thinking about another octopi piece and well, this happened, but i am sure there would be some lurking around…perfect place…and i am sure that a ship wreck is right behind this outcrop. Good story?…the thing about a ocean type setting is at least true…using the produce netting made the rest easy once they were installed. ..going to live with this for awhile and if it doesn’t feel totally finished…then i suspect i might see a octopi sneaking into the piece… ;-)

Technically this is a very complex effort…besides too many layers too remember ( about 1/2″ thick in places) I used red and black netting and tissue paper over much of the piece, and in some areas, the netting, is so far down you have to look hard to see it…didn’t want to darken the caves as i am sure they would be…the surface is really nice and coral in feel, i believe…might be more of scene/seascape than an abstract, but that wasn’t the initial goal. If i do come back and add sea-life there will be more than one octopi.

Life Beneath the Coconut Tree

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9×12 in. mixed media.

Doing abstracts can surprise you from time to time, especially when there isn’t any definitive idea about the subject matter. This is just such a piece for me. Once I added the browns to the work i couldn’t help but see island type scenes in my head…as most of you that read anything from me know…i like to spend time with a finished piece  and figure out its title… in this case i had several going on in my head well before i finished…not sure i liked the fact it influenced some of my artistic choices before i finished…but hey sometimes it is good to go with what you feel strongly about…and see where it takes you.

If I had a shrink I would imagine he might suggest a vacation to some Caribbean island…actually that isn’t a bad idea !!!

Down 4 Repairs

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9x12in.

Typically when i am being creative 2 to 3 pieces come to completion before my eyes, in a week. Sizes will vary from 9×12 up to 16×20 normally, I dream big but large never seems to work out as well for me…but I sure can hang quite a selection in limited space.  For those that might have been following my blog recently you are aware that I am not feeling as productive (just two very nice pieces in the past 6 weeks…i know I shouldn’t complain.) . Well the slow period isn’t going to get any better…mother nature has decided to help me take my mind off of it. I work in a nice basement that I have slowly  reclaimed over the years from leaking…i wish i had the same type of basement as I did in Kansas…poured vs. these @#%* cinder blocks. At any rate 6 inches of rain with in a short period of time has me mopping, putting up fans, and figuring what to try next…I will say in the past this same event would have a nice half-inch of ground water through-out my fine gray painted slab…this time i have about 4 areas that allowed just enough to soak my limited floor coverings (old rugs) … I found working off a bare slab very uncreative for myself, besides when i  need a break putting is better on a rug vs. the slick too fast slab…long story short it will take me a few weeks to do whatever to make my art cave dry and moldy free…and that leads to my title of this piece. So stay tuned while I work up a sweat for a while fixing my studio, the brite side might be renewed creative energy…plus a few aches and pains.  LATER

 

ps…this is a photo from a visit to the Nelson Art Gallery, was to be a piece at a later date…hmmmm

Had to tinker

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Remember me? Sometimes I will view a piece, like it, but there is just something not quite the way i would like…if after a few days i feel the same, then i have a choice to make.

1) do whatever I think it needs more or less of

2)decide to do another with the changes i think will make it better

3)do nothing for another week or two and see how i feel then.

I chose number 1 and made some changes…why you might ask…the upper half felt too real, and real wasn’t my goal. The textures were too much alike in the green areas . Too much white outlines in the lower branches…and finally the moon needed something more. They were some more minor changes, as to be expected when you go back and get real close to your work.

I loved the first piece, but now I love this one more, been framed and hanging in my house and looks wonderful. I do work in a basement and if my mad experiments don’t work, they never leave those confines…well rarely ;-)

5 What

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11 x 18 in. mixed up media.

Every artist has pieces that never work out as well as they want. The masters just painted over them until they liked it enough to keep…I don’t by any stretch compare myself to them, but I am an artist…and I have pieces that don’t appeal to me as well as others…I present you with “5 What”, this has been worked many times until I just stopped..Sorry Mr. Robert Indiana, I couldn’t pull it off.  Why show it? Because I think it is important as artist we don’t take ourselves too seriously and keep our ego in check, Besides I did have fun doing this piece.The background is interesting , all lines are actually hundreds and hundreds of fives done in many colors, then a tissue paper over lay. But even tho this piece wouldn’t make my top 10, or 50 or 100…it wasn’t wasted time. We prefect our craft by doing, at an earlier age i might have painted over this or torn it up and used pieces for something else…but this piece holds a more meaningful place among my works…my example/reminder of effort/ not quitting, every effort is worth my time…who knows this might be a perfect fit for Sesame Street ;-)

Avocado Recipes

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11 x 14 in. mixed media.

Some pieces come to be because of the last one done…in this case i was doing Taping Down The Views and I went all circles in this piece. Lots of the same processes went into making this just like Shields. This was a phase when i used markers and acrylics and then hi-lighted back with pen work. Not sure if I could find a scene like this under a microscope…but it sure looks like it. If the shapes look a little out of sorts, they are…didn’t use aids to make perfect circles and arches, more organic this way…that’s not to say aids don’t have their place, it’s a choice.

Aluminum Ball No.21 On Brown

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14.5 x 20.5 in. ink and pencil on special paper.

I was working in an aluminum manufacturing foundry when I saw a sheet of this usual packing paper…I believe it has some properties to prevent moisture, which may explain why it took so many coats of acrylic finish.  At any rate I managed to find a sheet in one piece and set it aside…come forward a couple of years later and I found a good use for it. I love the texture and it was a nice challenge to lay color down and not damage the surface, specially the pencils. The title speaks a little to its history as well as the content…this was the last of a three-piece series…sometimes the ideas come so fast for me, I do a few and then it’s on to the next idea bouncing around my mind…who knows if I return to these type/style of pieces, time will tell.

Blue Ball No.5 On White

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11 x  18 in.  ink and pencil on texture paper.

One of a series of three I did using shapes, shades and the color of the paper. I let the circles influence the shape of the rectangles and kinda went from there. When I was in shop class many years ago we worked with plastics, layering them together and making items from those colorful sheets. I remember how cool the colors were when they overlapped, alast I never had the money to try anything with them back then.  So one might see my thinking when playing with these shapes and colors.  Each one was a playful experience and time flew during the process, completion came when it didn’t make sense to add more. Title? Well i did grow up in the 60′s & 70′s so it fit with that period in my mind.

 

Sunflowers In A Red Vase

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11 x 14 in. mixed media.

Punch out from a board game, new color pencils,  markers and the need to use my acrylics…and this is what you get. The background colors were done with the colored pencils and the outlines were the markers, after that I went to town with the acrylics. At first it was just various shades of bright yellow and then the idea formed about sunflowers…after all Kansas and sunflowers go hand in hand, right? Then if you care about the flowers one must put them in a vase, but not any vase …a red vase, must stay classical, right? The greens and browns should be self explanatory. Had to work on the border some, as plain didn’t look right at all.  Quite a bit of raised textured, course the reflections show that.

Without the title not many would guess my intent, but I would hope they would at least enjoy the view.

9th Finger

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8.5 x 11 in. mixed media.

Still working those tasty oranges from Sunkist, no I have never worked for them. I really got thick on the hand textures and deep, must be almost a quarter of a inch high in places.  Still haven’t changed my shade of fingernail polish, just thinned it out a little…no i don’t wear it, it provides the accent i need from time to time in my artist visions. I think my surfaces are somewhere between gloss and matte but slightly more reflective than satin…must be the several layers the surface gets before I stop…I believe you could spill a cup of coffee, triple shot, and still never see a stain :-)

I really like this floor design on this piece, if I was to put tile down on my basement studio floor this would be it.

For the record i have at least 4-5 black and white sketches that i may turn into one of my permanent finger series…you never know…still lurking in my in head.

8th Finger

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8.5×11 in. mixed media.

Here is the more focused and front on picture i promised. I continue to do these and i have in fact finished a 9th, still hasn’t got boring…not sure what that sayes about me…lol  I really enjoyed building the texture as this has almost a relief look to it, especially the fingers and oranges. Had to color the hand as white was too dominate, notice the almost tattoed looking arm…don’t ask what the golden mass to right of the can is, I am still tring to figure it out…but it breaks the black up well :-) Click on the art until you get close-up view, I think it is worth seeing on these piece especially.

Windows Locked and Blinds Open

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9×12 in. markers on pad board

Ever wonder what to do with the pad board when you finally finish a pad? They make a wonderful surface for markers and ink and take acrylic finishes well, leaving a nice surface finish. This is a doodle finished out and detailed to come up with this urban type setting…not sure about modern or not, but love the flow back and forth. The shapes are ones i have used in the past but never as many or varied. Without the white this may be a nice exercise but with the white i find it a fun piece to look at and drift about the composition. The silver helps and is a nice contrast to the white. Gold and copper markers contrast well with the natural color of the pad…and the black helps to finish it off. Was tempted to add letters as accents but the piece was fine without, will log that idea for the next time. Title…in a crowded city I would hope this to be true.

My Blue Ball

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16×20 in. acrylic on canvas.

Pretty basic stuff here, but never the less a nice journey playing with light and color. This is a piece that looks good from afar or up close. Thought I might get cutesy with the title but then that would take away from the intent…sweet and simple.  Someday maybe this will be “Knieling’s Blueboy”, a classic from the reknown artist from Kansas. ;-)

BS or Art

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8.5×11 in. pen and ink.
This is the second one done during my downtime while at this past years art prowl. The subject was actually from some words I had put on my blotter, “art can be elusive,” in my basement studio.(by the way that is my blotter in the background on this photo) While thinking about that this piece took form…drawing about words I try to link most objects, although it isn’t a hard fast rule. In fairness to the process this was finished at my desk and not during the art prowl…the biggest clue…note the bottle of terro, i am sure most art shows wouldn’t require it ;-) It was just an interesting object in my line of site and filled the void presented on the paper. Same could be said about my glass of ice cold diet coke. The rest? … they are almost just positioned doodles in a pen and ink composition. But none the less these are fun to do even if all never get completed or see the light of day…lol

BS or Art? Art can be so elusive to most people, but we must all try our best. Ken Knieling 2011

PS…If it makes my work seem better to you thinking BS is short for cow manure then i am fine with it…but the truth is it stands for Bored Scribbles , used that in college and it still fits ;-) . As to if it is ART?…well that is in the eye of the beholder, right?

Testing new input hardware

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9×11 mixed media…
Using a Asus TF700 tablet, which has a 8mp camera on the back of it. Also trying WORDPRESS software for Android with latest patches and such.

Had to use another way to add “featured image pic” but i think its going to work…this really allows me to have nice portability with my gallery pics and from a blogging standpoint it would be great, to say the least…wouldn’t replace using a camera for gallery files but when i am out and about…one stop shopping, plus a wi-fi connection to post…i am too cheap to pay for connectivity anywhere USA :-) Few more tests and we will see if this will be a keeper…other than it doesn’t run abode flash (no free hulu :-( , i have been impressed especially with picture quality…stay tuned…
…Well the last hurdle I couldn’t clear, connecting to our printer, I am sure there might be work arounds but that starts taking away the value of this tool…i must say it is easy to get hooked on touch screens, course why wouldn’t an artist love that feature :-)…so I will continue the hunt.

Ya Know Why Squirrels Lose Acorns

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9×11 mixed media on watercolor paper.
Discovered some watercolor paper I had purchased from a Ben Franklin store in Topeka, most likely early 80′s…figured that based on the price of $2.65 for a pad of 20 sheets of 9×12. 80lb. stock. It is holding up to my techniques pretty well, normally I would prefer a heavier weight. Matters not as it works and having it in my hands I am making art…not sure if the dry streak is totally over, but it is a start…by the way I did do a 8th finger piece, I will save it for a later post.
Why do squirrels lose acorns? I think they are having so much fun gathering them, finding cool hiding places, teasing dogs, chasing other squirrels that once they go to sleep and wake up the next day its like “Groundhog Day”, …but with no recall of yesterday! I guess that’s just a nicer way of saying scientifically they have no memory of their stash, thus they gather hundreds…in hopes of finding dozens.

7th Finger

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9×11 in. mixed media.
Not a bad place to be stuck, doing my orange/finger/cloud/soda series…so I present my official 7th in a series. Finding inspiration can be elusive, however I have been taking loads of pictures…nature, sunsets, trees, angles in buildings and building frames for finished pieces. But my several new illustration boards cut and ready to go remain stark white…or are they winter’s last white out on the plains :-)
We all go thru periods and I am having one now, but I blame myself. You see when i started doing art again several years ago I told myself i will finish each piece prior to starting another (I might have fudged once or twice) and I have managed to stay this course…so far. I believe my works are fresher for it and it allows me to bounce around with my ideas, which i enjoy.
At this point I am looking for my oranges, and not to eat, can you say 8th finger……..