Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016

      Greetings! Although it is August 1st. I am posting my July blog now.

I completed the painting for my sister. I think it turned out alright. That's not to say I like it. I am still very much against it. But I told her I would do it, so there you go. While I was working on it, I found out about a large format art show. I submitted this work. You can go here and vote for it, if you are so inclined:

Last week was also the Art Melt Show in Baton Rouge. This was a very good event. The tone was more subdued compared to years past, but I think that is only appropriate for what this city has been going though lately.

My favorite painting somewhat relates to the issues that Baton Rouge has been grappling with. It is called Brave Little Girl and it is by Kristen Downing. More about her and her work can be viewed here.

Brave Litttle Girl by Kristen Downing

I also realized that July is the 10 year anniversary for my very first solo exhibition. It was held in July of 2006 in Falls Church, VA outside of Washington, DC. Putting on that show was fun, and really got me started in trying to get my work out and seen. Let's hope I can get more work out there.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 2016

      I thought it would be appropriate to update my post from last month. Above is the completed image that was submitted for exhibition in Louisiana. It is titled Mr. "Babbineaux." Like most of my figurative work, I begin with a sketch of an actual person. The finished work however is not meant to be a portrait. There are a lot of interesting things that happen while painting, and one of the things I really like, is the way a painting can take on a personality and life of its own. I think this is particularity true when creating a work based on the figure. The end result of my images of people is something that I call a character painting. It no longer represents the person on whom the original sketch was made, and the figure projects a personality all his/her own. This personality developed during the creative process, and is different each time.

     For this painting, I started with a photograph of a convicted murderer on death row. New evidence was found, and it turned out he was innocent. He was cleared of all charges and released. Something about his eyes appealed to me. In the photograph he seemed to harbor no malice, despite the years of his life unjustly taken from him. Some of these ideas transferred from the photograph, to the sketch, and ultimately to the painting. The figure still has a haunted, tired look. But, overall he seems pleasant. Like an old man sitting on a park bench enjoying the day. All this came together during the act of painting.

     No word yet on if this work has been accepted for exhibition. The drop-off day for accepted works is July 15. So, I should hear something very soon. Given the time frame tough, I'm not overly optimistic that it has been accepted.

      This is the latest painting that I am working on. It is for my sister and I have put it off for a long while. She wants a Buddha picture. I resisted painting this picture for a variety of reasons, including cultural appropriation. Ultimately, I decided to do the image because my sister requested it. I would normally not do a work of this sort. I will post progress on this image as I work on it.    

     Finally, I want to close with this video. It addresses issues of artists, galleries, and the way that nobody likes to discuss art-selling as a business. I don't enter as many shows as I used to, and part of the reason for that is that it's a huge investment of time, energy, and money with very little return. This video exemplifies how this can sometimes come to be. From my perspective, I sometimes  wonder if this undisclosed financial structure within the art world exists to weed out artists. I don't know. It could also just be sour grapes on my part because my work is not well regarded. Anyway, see what you think.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 2016

   I felt it was time for another post. It has been a while since I have written here, but I have kept up with making art, which I am happy to share.

Red Umbrella
   This is my most recently completed image. Earlier this month it was raining nonstop. I actually got caught out in it and got very soaked. I think the rain may have been influencing how I have been working. I completed two sketches before I set out to paint this image, and neither one had the umbrella.

     I had something else in mind when I began sketching these ideas out. This painting and the one that I am currently working on (I'll post that one further down) are going to be submitted for exhibition at a show here in Louisiana. My original idea involved the above figure in a swamp outside of a shotgun shanty house. I may still end up doing that, but with all the rain and the gloomy weather I just wasn't interested in completing this idea. In addition, the painting completed right before I began these two sketches was headed in that direction.

The painting that started my thoughts.
Currently untitled.

    You can kind of see these ideas in this image. The shotgun house is not really visible, and this is obviously not a swamp, but some of those elements are present. I may come back to these later. I do really like the rainy umbrella image. I also like the narrowed picture plane. I definitely think I will keep working with that, but the image I am currently working on has a different subject.

Current painting I am working on

   The picture plane has yet to be fully realized, and I'm not sure what I will do with the background, but I like how this image is developing. Hopefully, it and the Red Umbrella will get selected for exhibition. The deadline for submissions is June 1, so I need to finish this one up.