Monday, April 30, 2012

Art happenings

      These three paintings are some experimental results from the painting and posting last week. I think this is an interesting idea, and I will continue to develop it. Although it may be difficult to believe, these images are watercolors. They look very much like oils. I painted them on foam core, and found that applying the paint to the surface was very much like working with oils as well. The watercolor stays fluid, and can even be erased, reworked, and scratched into just like oils. It was a new experience for me, as I had always been instructed that watercolors could not be worked like oils. I think it has to do with the sheen of the foam core, but whatever the reason it seems like a good surface to use in the future.

      It is a busy time, and there are many art happenings. "Stabbed in the Art" and "Fest for All", two different art exhibition/festivals will be happening in Baton Rouge this weekend. I plan on attending both and will post about them here. You should go too, if you are in the area.

      In addition to these events, I also have some upcoming exhibition opportunities. I will be submitting some of my work to an exhibition in North Dakota at the end of the month. I was also contacted by my gallery representative in New York, with an opportunity happening in early June. She also confirmed that I will once again be listed in the annual Art in America guide to artists and galleries. It is indeed a very busy and exciting time. I will update information here as it is available. See you in the future, don't forget to post your comments.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Artist Update

      I have once again been invited to participate in the Cultural Association art exhibition in Civitanova Italy. The exhibition is May 20th-July 8th in the Cultural Association Gallery. The image above is the one I created for this show. The theme was arts and crafts makers.

      For quite a while I was uncertain what I would submit to this exhibition. I originally thought about doing something with weavers and/or spinning wheels. I still think that might be an interesting idea to explore, perhaps I will do so at a later date. After discussing different ideas with a co-worker (she suggested cheese making), I decided to experiment with wine making. The completed image is interesting, but I think I may need to explore this idea further.

      I like my pallet choices. I find the colors in this image to be very soothing, and I think they create an almost sleepy atmosphere. As I was working this image, I was torn between using distorted, representational figures, or more accurate, naturalistic ones. The result of this quandary is a kind of combination of both ideas. The figure in the foreground is more representational, while the one in back is somewhat more naturalistic. The same idea was carried though in the ellipse of each wine barrel which virtually divides the painting in two. This division is bridged by the viewer’s eye as it moves across and down the page. I think the addition of a third, even more distorted figure, (perhaps in the lower right corner) would add to this image. I was limited to specific dimensions for the exhibition, and I think working with a larger picture place would also benefit the composition.

      These are my considerations for this painting. What do you think?


Monday, April 9, 2012

Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed "painter of light" died this past Friday (Apr. 6, 2012). A full article from the New York Daily News can be read here.

Kinkade has been an interesting figure. I have written about him and his work before. Click here to re-read that post. I have never been a fan of his work, but I have found his philosophy towards art useful and interesting when teaching and discussing art. To me, his work represents an extreme of the art spectrum, and helps to define how meaning is derived through art.

When I was in art school, I had an art history class that focused solely on landscape art. This course included landscape paintings, but also sculptures and environmental works. Anything that explored the idea of land, land use, or the landscape in general, was discussed. One day my instructor brought up the work of Thomas Kinkade. We, as art students, dismissed the work as laughable. But when the instructor asked us why we laugh at it, no substantial answer could be reached.

Reflecting on this now, almost ten years later, I can say that we possibly laughed at this work because it didn't contribute anything unique. There is nothing inherently wrong with the work of Thomas Kinkade, but the ideas and information communicated in each piece were not new. What Kinkade did do differently, however, was his marketing. This contribution to the art world does raise questions and can put his work in a separate category.

The way Kinkade sold his works (original works are rare, most were re-prints on canvas or paper) asks what is the purpose of art making. Kinkade claimed that his goal of mass-distribution was to create appeal for art at any level, and that the generation of this interest in art was a good thing. I can agree with this philosophy, I think people need art, but I would also hope that viewers are drawn into the world of art and that they explore works beyond the levels that Kinkade represents.