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.

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.

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.

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……..

6th Finger

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9×11 in. mixed media.
Been kinda of on a dry spell lately, so I went to my fall back…chasing the best finger/orange/soda piece. As some of you will remember I finished this out and shortly after my creativity returns…and I start putting pieces out again. I did try drawing some thoughts on paper, but nothing seemed to jell or seem worth going after. So here I am with another finger piece…if this works, things will be back to normal/creative productivity. Yes that is popcorn on top of the soda can…what you have never try it?

Wave @ Larry, Jane

Wave@Larry,Jane

15×20 in. mixed media on illustration board

This is the second time I have used these forms in an airy above earth type abstract. Each time I feel like doing something else below the form but as I spend time with it…it is just right the way it is. The titles speak to my family roots or at least plays with those roots…as i am sure those that know us will smile. I tried to make the clouds more abstract and at least one over the shoulder critic pointed out the clouds don’t have holes in them…well mine do :-) A couple of people have pointed out these shapes are like kites, I see that, but honestly I wasn’t going for that…but for the viewer art can be about what you see and what amuses you…the mind is a free space after all. Now maybe if I add a bowler hat and a green apple, hmmmmm…nah too corny ;-)
Oh, for those just finding me you might try looking at my earlier posts, my style is abstract but as you will see I bounce around as to the type of stuff I do…just a suggestion,thks.

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.

What Was Your First Clue

 

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20×20 in. mixed media.
Lately I have been going thru some of my unfinished and forgotten projects from many a year ago. So for your viewing pleasure a piece that has taking me 40 years to complete. This piece was one started in college and was going to be a colorful sunset type thing, or maybe bright trees. At any rate I started seeing this endless range of clouds and vast depth in a strange landscape and kind of went with that. Seems so clear now not sure why I couldn’t have seen that back then. As for the title, being a Kansas boy I thought about a saying that is old hat…”We aren’t in Kansas anymore Toto!” I believe the picture speaks to that fairly well, don’t you?

The 5th Finger

8.5×11 in. mixed media. It would be nice to have one of the big art supplier’s stores near me so I don’t have to wait for ground shipments. That is the offset of being able to get on-line and get stuff you need but the wait can be frustrating…unless you are one of the 1-%ers that have disposable income to fuel the shipping giant UPS.
Well at least with this idle time I did create another in the series of finger works. Question: if we have ten fingers, then once I reach the 10th piece, do I keep going? or do I start on toes? This piece was going to be just a simple drawing, but I couldn’t resist…had to stretch myself and add color. Got a real nice surface texture going by spraying acrylic finish from a distance, the surface took colored pencil and crayon like sandpaper but not as harsh. So waiting for supplies isn’t a total waste … :-)
PS…GET OUT AND VOTE

The Badlands

12×25 in. mixed media. In my younger days I tried my hand at commercial art working for the city of Topeka Parks and Recreation part-time, while working full-time at a Pet Food plant. The assignments were fun and I got a taste of working with a client and what they wanted and what you could deliver at minimum wages. The real nice thing was after doing this for about 2 years I realized if i was doing art like this for 40+ hours a week I would have gotten to a point of losing the zest of creativity. A great job and I met some very interesting people but my dream of being a commercial artist took a big hit plus I was good at making dog food ;-)

At any rate this piece was an idea I had for a science fiction book cover long ago and finally did it recently. Markers, colored pencils, graphite lead, and acrylic created the effect…if you see a reflection in the picture I was too lazy to remove the piece from the frame before shooting, what else can I say.

The 1st Finger

8×11.5 in. ink.  The drawing that started my obsession with these objects. I believe it was part of an abstract drawing assignment, not sure where the objects came from…imagination maybe…or school trash bin? 

This is as good as any time to share with you the artists that have influenced me the most as I promised weeks ago. These people represent what I admire the most in art… using color, shape, texture, movement, and feeling.   At some point in time I have been exposed to these artist by book, TV, internet, and in galleries…and when I see any of these works in galleries I can look at them for hours…

Kooning,Monet,F.Stella,J.Stella,Dali,Hopper,Johns,Mucha,Rosenquist,

DeMuth,Diebenkorn,Duchamp,M.C.Escher,VanGogh,

Indiana,Klimt,Picasso,Thiebald,Wyeth,Rockwell,Kupka,

Giraud (Moebius),B.Wrightson,Frazetta,Neiman… I know there are works I really enjoy by other greats, but this group has first dibs on me.

Nude Bathing By Moonlight

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9×12 in. mixed media. If it’s too cold to skinney dip, then one can only bask in the warm rays of the mountain highlands by the lake during a full moon. Most likely this would just be slightly better than skinney dipping, goosebumps would be maxed out either way. Title obviously came to me as a continuation to my last BUBBLE TREE piece. Didn’t use as much tissue paper in this and I pulled out a trick I learned many years ago to get the right shading…shoe polish! Prior to that the shading wasn’t right for the feel I wanted…want to say the first time I saw this used was by a fellow student at Ottawa University. Never used it too much, kinda messy and gets on everything…the liquid polish doesn’t work as well as the paste type…rub and remove till you like it, then acrylic sealer. Funny how old studio tricks come back to ya… with this piece I believe I have enough to start a new catagory…Bubble Trees

The 4th Finger

12×16 mixed media.  Well I am back, the show at the Putnam Library is going well, just finished putting up the 2nd wave of pictures. But more importantly I have started to make pieces again. What better way than to try my 4th version (the 3rd finger) of the soda, orange, finger and cloud themed piece.  Still think the best is yet to come on this series…stay tuned.

Discarded Sunset On Kansas

Mixed media 18×24 in. on canvas. Back in the day part of studying photography was you did your own developing and printing, very challenging and costly till you got what you wanted. In this piece I incorporated some  discarded B&W nature  shots into my painting, along with some discarded fabric from the textile lab. My kids call it the dirty underwear picture, but I never was that cutting edge back then.  A closer look and we  can see a typical Kansas Winter setting near some fence rows.  I also used a brite red cinnamon wrapper to add texture and color. This is a piece that has had no issue (my wife likes it)  finding a home in a main traffic area in my house over the years. Talk about slow, I started this in 1974 and completed it in 1988…a story for another time.

The Other Side

Mixed media 10×14 in. Variation of several ( Between, How Many Trees Make A Forest, The Stage Is Set.) of my other bubbleheaded tree works.  At some point I may revisit these and either on a much smaller or much larger scale try to expand upon this. I don’t believe those are the great pyramids so I have added mountains to the mix. :-)

Flour And Water Doesn’t Make A Peter Max

A 19×24 in. extremely mixed media. Before I get back to my current stuff I thought I might at least show one more, my first mixed media circa 1972. It was during a time when I was trying many different approaches to art and I personally liked Peter Max and the Beatles. (who didn’t at that time) This was about the time I changed majors from architecture to art education. It was also the first time I discovered tissue paper and recycling less liked art, of my own of course. This work uses flour, tissue paper, ink, pen, sand, paper, elmer’s, varnish, and papermate flairs. For being 40 years old it looks brand new, shining just it did then…can ya guess where the recycled art was useful?

 

Springtime In Nemeha County

Mixed media 24×30 in. canvas. I get asked from time to time what was some of your older works like…here for your viewing pleasure is an example of circa 1988. This was done to help complete my BA degree from Ottawa University (no not Canada , sorry). Being a Kansas boy you see these signs in the fields along side of the road everywhere. DeKalb seed has a large presence in Nemaha Co. The sign was done on foam board with colored pencil then fragmented to my liking, against  exposed cardboard (love the ribs and texture).  The painting on canvas was  my acrylic attempt at Kansas landscape. You might notice that it has no signature, well I never quite liked my  signature enough in those days, figured I would come up with a cooler looking one later (I do like the piece tho)…24+yrs later I have never signed it…maybe this year?

How Many Trees Make A Forest

Mixed media 9×12 in. This is a piece that I came back to many times before I felt it was finished. I liked the division of the work and the way the squares formed up, but I kept struggling with the ovals … until I started shading the lighter one. That was when it started to fall into place for me. As to the title…it seemed very obvious to me once I stared at it for 10 days or better.

BP Lied To Us

Very mixed media 9×12 in. This is a very confused piece, at times green (environmental) and at times just the opposite. The beach is green…used home made glue and for color would you believe color pencil shaving I have saved for months.  Now I couldn’t stay true and for the foreground I used marker, ink, and good old nasty solvent…I did have gloves on and preformed this experiment outside in fresh air.  Nice results but not sure I would do this again, messy, smelly, and my gloves weren’t in very good shape afterwards… kinda like working the beaches in the Gulf during the BP mess… Title seemed natural,at least for me.  The title and the piece poke fun at this mess, however I know it was anything but funny…so no offense, just art.