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.

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.

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 !!!

A Window Cleaners Delight

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9×11 in. mixed media.

High and dry again, even smells great…gotta love Mr. Clean.

Went back to some my earlier roots with this latest piece, used a heavy watercolor paper, the angles came from folds i made in the paper. Using gesso and protective finishes i kept building the shapes, color came from the not so clean brushes … using alcohol i kept filtering in the shades, during this process I accidentally picked up some paper from my blotter…which gave some nice texture so i worked with it. There is several layers of faint color laid over the whole piece using clear medium…helps fade my line work back into the work. The metal punchouts were the last addition, I didn’t want a total organic feel and felt they helped in that end. Kind of reminded me of perspective exercises I have done, thus the title ! These type of pieces always start out totally white, and that is the intent,  but color seems to always creep in before i finish. I guess if my work area was cleaner or my brushes, I might achieve my intended whiteout…oh well!

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 ;-)

Lines Too Storm

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15 x 19.5 in mixed media on illustration board.

I was driving through a nice afternoon rain shower and noticed how the sky was starting to open up. The sight real caught me as magical, rain was still coming down hard and yet grey grey everywhere except in this small portion of sky. When I see opportunities to observe what nature provides/skies I am usually driving so the overhead lines seem to always seek part of the stage. Darn things seem to always ruin the view…. however  this time the contrast between thick and thin lines made the scene complete in my mind’s eye. As is my style the surface has quite a bit of texture, especially since the blues seemed too strong until I covered the whole piece with white tissue paper…got my colors right and got a lot of texture to boot. Not sure I am out of my slow period yet, but this is a nice start.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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?

Over Nemaha County @ 3900 Feet

 

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15×20 in. mixed media on illustration board.
LONGER EXPOSURE AND DIFFERENT LIGHTING, BETTER PHOTO,TRY CLOSE-UP NOW. When I published this newer photo it deleted everyones likes and comments that were on at the time, SORRY,my bad...
Found some long forgotten hot pressed illustration board and it is wonderful to work with using my medias. After playing with a few colors I set out to make use of the play piece, hate to waste anything…must be GREEN as possible. For days I kept at clouds, sky, and farm land before it came to focus in my mind. Rectangles! The patchwork land from above is rectangles, the sky is one big rectangle on the canvas…why not make the clouds out of many rectangles…and who wouldn’t want to fly in a rectangular shaped balloon. Everything seemed to fit and I got a little inventive making the balloons from triangles so to play with colors. I must admit it took me hours to settle on the balloon colors, and only when I used white for the middle 3 did it come together for me. From a distance the clouds seem very cloudly :-) shaped, but as in most of my works you need to get up close and personal to see what is happening. I am pretty pleased with it…EXCEPT…Part of my vision was to use netting below the balloon with another shape for the gondola…MIGHT STILL HAPPEN or MAYBE DO ANOTHER PAINTING WITH THAT IDEA…I guess I need to live with this piece for awhile and see what speaks to me.

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.

Dermatological Wonder At 6 Fathoms

9×12 in. mixed media.  Let me start by saying thank you to everyone, I have hit a milestone I never imagined I would get to…1000 followers!!!!!! … I reached that early today, it is very humbling and at the same time extremely uplifting . THANK YOU ALL

The long winded titled piece was done like some of my bubble tree series, without the trees. I had a preconceived idea about goosebumps…thus the title. It has a different feel than the others like it…but I can sense being in the water for sure. Not many have seen this piece so I will let you guys and gals tell me what you think.dermatologicalwonderat6fathomsW

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.

Neutrons and Fertilizer

9×12 in. mixed media. Title speaks for the work, right? Layered process like my earlier works, 6-8 deep, lots of texture. This is a similar process that was used to make 5 Finger Blues. Title took awhile to hit me, but once I started to think along those lines the name stuck. Inspiration? Ever been up 10,000 ft. while flying over Kansas farm land in late spring? Different crops some fairing better than others…hmmm seems like we have some crop circles.

By the way Cookeville Artprowl 2012 went well…will show a few pictures from it soon.