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.

Channeling The Stork or Was It A Crane

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Currently 15 x 19 in. Ink

I remember an assignment in college when we were asked to use bottled ink and whatever size pen point and or brush we wanted. It was to be a subject on a vast piece of paper, but the subject was to come across as small in relationship to its surroundings. I did at least three of these of which this is all I have left, back then I most likely give them away to friends or girls i was trying to impress. Any rate this piece was about 36 x 48 inches on fine illustration paper, not sure were our teacher got the paper…Lynn Havel was his name, a great teacher at BU-CO JU-CO, Eldorado Kansas…back to the assignment I had a small black shadow of a stork flying with no details, couldn’t go outside of the class to work on the piece nor bring in other outside resources (like Audubon..lol) Lucky for me I was a bird watcher for 3 years when I lived in Massachusetts. Came out pretty good I think, got a little lazy on the wings after a while tho…it amazes me how the colors after all these years are still the same, well maybe the paper is a little yellow. Proves the point about using quality materials, this piece is 42 years old.

I like showing stuff like this because people think if you do abstract work you mustn’t be able to do more realistic things…I do abstracts because that is what excites me, …now.

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.

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.

Frito Pie and My Saddle Oxfords

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11x14in. mixed media, cut-outs.
I have mentioned before that I have been going thru my old college day’s stuff, well this is one that I cleaned up. This was a drawing class at Ottawa taught by Pal Wright with models.  I was hooked at the time on using a Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph No.00 Yellow head(one could tell a true user of these fine costly instruments, they had a black spot on their lips from sucking the ink at the tips to get them flowing again). It amazes me when I look at these drawings at the details I captured…gosh my eyes were sooooo much better then. The deal in class was we did a type of couture drawings, we were able to pick up and look, place and continue. Later in my 3rd floor penthouse/dorm studio (nicely lit desk in a shared room) I would embellish with color and cut out sections and place on fine colored papers. Needless to say imagination made them quite interesting, especially since we couldn’t fit a Chevy or Sonic sign in our classroom. Being fair though, it was my 3rd drawing class and one does get bored…and boredom in my case normally lead to creativity. Actually the most unusual thing about this drawing…the model was nude…I must have been thinking about car hops and lunch ;-)

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……..

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

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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.

3rd Shift, Harvesting My Own

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16×20 in. mixed media on illustration board.
Sometimes I think why not use a straight-edge when doing these pieces that have long straight lines…but then they would lack the character and personal touch I enjoy in my lines. Plus from time to time a nice accident will happen such as the shard on the bottom of the reddish rectangle…the original didn’t reflect my continuing the off-centered yellowish rectangle’s line thru it. After that,I tapered several lines for balance. As for the colors, well the darker blues started as paint samples from Lowes, and the name of the color “night shift.” That got me to thinking, I always enjoyed working 3rd shift, and some of my best ideas came during those hours…so now you know. Also short of a soda can and clouds this is a version of the finger series believe it or not.

Benji Doesn’t Work Here, But We Feed Him

 

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18×28 in. mixed media on canvas. Naming works is an art in it’s self, or at least it seems. Some artists I talk to spend very little time on naming a piece and just want to get it over with. Why? We spend so much time making something that is linked in some fashion and form to our name, why not give it it’s due. For myself once a piece is finished i want to spend time with it and enjoy it’s presence…it is during this time thoughts of what to call it drift around my head. I write them out on my work pad,or a scrape piece of paper while I am wandering the bins at Lowes, sometimes one begets another and several names later I wonder how I got to this title…but once I place the label to the piece, rarely does it change, it fits like a favorite pair of jeans…just right. When you get down to it a title can help the artist give the viewer some insight into their vision and from that point look at it maybe in a different way…trying to understandwhat in the heck was going thru the artist’s head…lol ;-)
PS…This piece was about my factory experience and done with the style/commerical art I was into at the time. Believe it or not all of that equipment, I operated at some point in time while working there (Right Donnie?). The title nails it for 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.

Work in process

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20×24 in. mixed media. Don’t usually do this but people have asked before and I am at a stall with this piece, for the moment. Education is a big part of the theme, in case no one noticed :-) Just airing this out for general impression or feedback…maybe a light will come on and I will finish before the next post.

Mother Nature’s TLC

 

mothernaturestlcW9×12 in. mixed media. Given that today’s date is 12/12/12 I had to post…I reached back to some unpublished work. This was done on my trusty 512 Macintosh and then embellished. I did several of these playing with trees having hands and feet to conduct their daily tasks…been thinking about going back and playing with this concept using some of my current styles …time will tell

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.

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

Window Treatments By Knieling

9×12 in. mixed media. Until after the 2012 Cookeville Art Prowl this will be my last post. This annual showing for area artists is something I have been going to or volunteering for many years…this will be my first time being one of the featured artist. Should be fun as I am sharing an area with my son Matt Knieling and his art. Please check out their site, and if you find yourself in the area stop by and say HI!
As for this post’s piece…another exploration work, mainly due to using the plastic netting…I could have lived with this before adding the netting, however after it is so much more than it was before…I love the highlights and the shades achieved…for sure a piece best seen in person and up close.