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.

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 ;-)

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.

Coral Split

coralsplitW9×12 in. mixed media.

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.

5 What

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11 x 18 in. mixed up media.

Every artist has pieces that never work out as well as they want. The masters just painted over them until they liked it enough to keep…I don’t by any stretch compare myself to them, but I am an artist…and I have pieces that don’t appeal to me as well as others…I present you with “5 What”, this has been worked many times until I just stopped..Sorry Mr. Robert Indiana, I couldn’t pull it off.  Why show it? Because I think it is important as artist we don’t take ourselves too seriously and keep our ego in check, Besides I did have fun doing this piece.The background is interesting , all lines are actually hundreds and hundreds of fives done in many colors, then a tissue paper over lay. But even tho this piece wouldn’t make my top 10, or 50 or 100…it wasn’t wasted time. We prefect our craft by doing, at an earlier age i might have painted over this or torn it up and used pieces for something else…but this piece holds a more meaningful place among my works…my example/reminder of effort/ not quitting, every effort is worth my time…who knows this might be a perfect fit for Sesame Street ;-)

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.

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

Earth, Wind, and Fire...

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.

My Blue Ball

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16×20 in. acrylic on canvas.

Pretty basic stuff here, but never the less a nice journey playing with light and color. This is a piece that looks good from afar or up close. Thought I might get cutesy with the title but then that would take away from the intent…sweet and simple.  Someday maybe this will be “Knieling’s Blueboy”, a classic from the reknown artist from Kansas. ;-)

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.

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.

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.

Yes I Know How To Spell Aluminum

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20×24 in. mixed media. I be done! I’ve noticed the larger I work the longer I take to call a piece done, I mean much longer…not sure I could paint a wall. This piece was started in 1975 for my Senior Show at Ottawa University, now I can use it as a true SENIOR PIECE. I remember having a theme with education in mind, but for the life of me can’t remember what else I was going to do with it back then…what is the saying, I have slept a few times since then. What I have ended up with is a fun piece with interesting elements and good techiques. No real deep meaning or hidden message, just colorful abstract art…by the way the shadow people to the right were inspired by yearbook pictures…and yes my floating head is deep in thought and not about getting a Dr. Pepper.
PS the word was going to be ALUMNI

Working towards finish

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Well a lot added since I showed last…at this point I am letting the piece simmer a bit and see how it feels in the next couple of days. I am really enjoying the thought process (pun intended ;-)
Stay tuned….later WOW 101 posts, been doing this longer than I thought, time zips by when you are enjoying yourself.