Thanks 2013

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Size TBD, same with medium, currently a photo by K.Knieling 2013

Had to post on this last glorius day of 2013…so what to post? I have several blank canvases,… lots of sketchbook stuff (dated),… and hundreds of photos that may or may not inspire a piece. So I have gone the photo route,… as i know this one will be piece I am sure to tackle in 2014. Kansas farm land winter of 2013, in good old Nemeha County (Pony Express Route) near the Nebraska border.

I also want to post to thank all of you, for taking the time to journey through my BLOG these past 2 years. Your comments, likes, and visits have been a big boost to my creativity, and I appreciate you.

I am looking forward to 2014 & whatever my steady left hand (with an occasional aid from the right also) may come up with. This may be the year i do a selfie on canvas…after all, any artist at some point in time is required to do this…right?

SEE YA NEXT YEAR

Catching Bugs On My Windshield

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16 x 20 mixed media

Couldn’t let 2013 get by without posted something, so here is another in my clouds and overhead lines themed pieces. Love driving highways and observing the terrain/changes and how the sky and horizons merge. Especially when you have a front moving in just before dusk…the sun can bring on such unusual and beautiful colors. Technique wise this piece was done with ink, acrylic, pen, and illustration board. Thought about putting some structures along the horizon line but didn’t want to take away from the flow I was seeing. As a whole this was some abstract elements in it but leaning more towards realism than I would normally do, but I love the way the front looks.

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!

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 ;-)

Where Is The Hamm’s Bear

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15 x 20 in. mixed media on illustration board.

People that know me may not realize I was born in St. Paul Minnesota, land of more lakes than you can count…or the land of sky blue waters…wait that is the Hamm’s famous saying for their beer. This might explain why I drift back to these type of scenes when doing my bubble trees. At least that is what my shrink might say, after digging into my colorful mind….that is if I had a shrink. Haven’t gotten to that point yet, and I know this why? Because my work hasn’t gone Dali or Gogh yet, well maybe skirting it a little occasionally. At any rate this piece is the largest bubble tree i have done to date, other than taking longer than normal, process was the same…I did add some non-organic structures to this piece tho. All my others in this series were free of this  and rock pads just seemed right.

Oh, a little factoid when using cold pressed board…if you use anything very chemical based or solvents, gesso it first…otherwise paper might/will de-laminate…hot press has been fine so far with my mediums…this was the first time I had used cold press…LIFE IS ABOUT LEARNING ;-)

Coral Split

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Doing ocean floor themed pieces with my Octopi pal is fun…and this one is no exception. The focus on most of these pieces is the coral and then the octopi…and as is with all of these so far an old wrecked ship lurking in the background…used to think I was going over the top with my color on the octopi, until i watched a PBS special…if anything I am understating the shocking bright neon colors these animals can produce.

Nothing deep to doing these, just pure enjoyment in the process and time spent.

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.

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.

Earth, Wind and Fire…on Moonrise

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9×12 in. mixed media on watercolor paper.

I have never seen one in person and don’t real know if i care too, but from pictures I have seen forest fires create eerie landscapes to be sure. This was a piece inspired by my sister, who is part of the army of people working for the government that fight these bad boys. I can only imagine the fury and destruction they cause…but in a sense it is also about rebirth and transformation, things that forest areas have been doing for thousands of years…and will continue to do long after we are gone. She is starting to gather a small collection of these, I believe she has three now, from a series of three!!! My favorite one was HAUNTING AFTERMATH.

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 ;-)

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.