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.
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 with models and I was hooked 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
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.
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.
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 understand… what 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.
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?
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.
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.
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?