Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art at the Stutz

There are 2 Art Events at the Stutz March 5, as a part of 1st Friday. The opening of the "Art From the Fourth Chakra"will be at the Stutz Art Space. When finished there, walk One Flight Up for a 2nd floor gallery walk. I will have works at both exhibits. The 2nd Floor exhibit is a teaser for the Stutz Open House held April 23 and 24. If you have ever attended the Open House, you know how enjoyable it can be seeing art in over 70 artist's studios. A "must see" for the year.

Monday, February 22, 2010

ISM Indoor Art Fair

Here it is for those of you that missed seeing the show. I was unhappy with sales this year as I was well under previous years. Reasons...I suppose the slow economy, and a definite cutback on the museum's marketing. Will I do it next year...don't know yet. For friends and patrons that did purchase my work and have in the past, I want to say "THANK YOU", because without your support, it would be hard to continue. Don't get me wrong, I love to paint and go to the studio everyday, but the utmost compliment any artist can receive is: "I would like to buy that one."

What is FUN Painting

At the Indiana State Museum Indoor Art Fair this past weekend, I sat for many hours (those of you that have done art fairs, know what I mean) and watched people and listened to comments made about the paintings on display. Art being very subjective, people usually don't offer up comments if they are not thrilled with your art, but body language and comments can be very revealing if they do like it.

I didn't think about it too much on Saturday, but during Sunday, I started thinking about a word description that I kept hearing. And, that word was...FUN. I finally ask a few people what they meant by the one word description of almost 40 paintings. Their replies were: "It looks like you really enjoy what you are doing", "It just looks like you're having fun". "The subject matter (the cupcakes and cows) are fun subjects and happy...they make me smile."

Now, to a non-painter that was as a very honest assessment of "first reaction". But, to a painter, I suppose (this is my story and I'm stickin' to it) those comments really mean that I have finally reached the point in my painting that the struggle is not brush work is direct and has meaning and the work has a fresh look and not overworked. This was especially true in the plein air works that were completed within a 3 hour window.

So...thank you public. My takeaway is to continue having "fun" painting and to try to carry this spirit into the larger studio works.
And...paint more cupcakes. They always bring a smile.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hawaii Sunset

Oil on Linen

This was the painting I completed after returning from my 2 weeks on the Big Island. We watched the sunset almost every night from poolside in a villa at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island.

Hawaii Commission

This was a very enjoyable commission that usually only comes once in a lifetime for an artist. Actually, as it turns out it was my second trip to the Big Island of Hawaii to work on paintings for the owner of a beautiful villa at the Mauna Kea Resort. In 2006 I spent 2 weeks painting "en plein air" completing 8 paintings that were purchased to replace good, but dated art from the 60s. And, 4 years later I was back to do a major work for an area outside the master bedroom. I had planned on doing a 4'x6' but found out after arriving that there was no way to really get the full 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" birch plywood cut down.

So the project turned into a full 4'x8' sheet. The finished work can be seen from the large oval pool as well as the dining room and living area. And, at night we discovered it glowing with the down lights from above the work. I was there 2 weeks and managed to finish it in 9 days, painting about 5 hours a day. Still time to enjoy the pool and the fantastic beach at the hotel. Every day was fantastic weather and was the only state among the 50 to be void of snow.

Hawaii Mural

The finished Mural to the left and the 2nd stage and start of color application to the right. The first stage was to mount the 4'x8' panel to the wall, and paint the front and edges with a white primer. This was basically the blank canvas. I didn't really have time to do compositional sketches and decided to wing it and paint as I go. I guess this is where years of experience as a graphic designer really helped

Hawaii Mural

At the stage on the left I continue to build the images from bottom to top. Adding the clouds in preparation for the images that will fill the transition from green to blue. The panel was only 12" off of the floor, so the first few days I was basically on my knees or crouching to paint the early images. Ouch!

Hawaii Mural

Continuing to work up from the bottom and looking for color contrast and balance. At least I'm standing at this stage. A lot of looking from 10 to 20 feet.

Hawaii Mural

Near the finish. Finally the last stages of the composition. Added the last plants and flowers and decided that I would put a green glaze at the botton and a blue glaze at the top. This gave an added richness to the painting. I used gloss acrylic medium with the acrylic colors. Not too much pigment to keep the necessary transparency. I finished with 2 more coats of clear acrylic medium. Since the mural does not receive direct sunlight and is protected by an 8' overhang it should be fine for at least 2 years. Hmm...maybe I should go back in a few years to "check it out" and give it a few more coats. ALOHA!