Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last Friday Art Walk

Fire Eating, Sword Swallowing, Marching Bands!
Beautiful dirty hipsters misspending their youth.
Punk Rockers selling gloomy art painted with tar on hunks of plywood.
Neo-Hippies hawking jewelery made out of old tires and pop cans.

That what SHOULD be at the Last Friday Art Walk. So get to it. Did you use up all your freak at Burning Man?

Download a map of everything on the Last Friday Art Walk.

I am posting this video again so you can find my studio.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Subconscious Servant

Follow this link to read an an interesting passage from Birge Harrison's book on Landscape Painting from nearly a hundred years ago. I own a copy of this book. I got it from my grandmother. It is interesting to for me to read books on painting from a long time ago. This book is especially interesting because it is written for a professional artist. Books on art now are mainly written for hobbyists. This passage on the subconscious servant talks about training your visual memory. It is interesting to hear from the voice of an traditional landscape painter before modernism started to emerge. I have enjoyed reading this book over and over for years. I had the chance to see one of his paintings in Atlanta in the Fall.
Controlling the Genie

At that moment the Ginie opened its' mouth and said, "You have heard the condition on which I can accept to work for you." "Yes, I did," said the merchant. "Think about it once more before you finalize the deal," said the Ginie. I will do whatever you will like me to do, but if you fail to provide me some engagement I will destroy you, your wealth, and your family - everything…." "I agree to it. I have enough jobs for you. You will not be disappointed."

The Genie in the classic Hindu story is a metaphor for the mind. The mind has unlimited creative potential but equally destructive power. The story teaches us to use meditation to control the destructive qualities of the mind.

I see a lesson for artistic creation. When practicing art, during the process when images are created, the artist must winnow the grain from the chaft. The artist must be critical. The inner critic can take over and begin to find fault in every aspect of the work and artist. The critic must be controlled as the genie in the story.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On The Easel
This is a small 5x7 painting of a pear that will probably find it's way to Opus6ix. It will need a period of drying and a frame. You can buy it from the studio for $150 plus shipping. email me.

From My Sketchbook
Here are a few pages from the figure drawing class I lead on Tuesday nights. We had Sugi the model who did some very nice ambitious poses.

15 minute poses

20 minute poses

40 minute pose

Monday, March 19, 2007

Paul Etienne Lincoln is an artist I like who has a fantastic blend of craftsmanship and art speak.

He will be showing this new piece at Christine Burgin Gallery.
Two Mechanical Symphonies for Two Cities:
New York New York Sinfonia Torinese
April 21 - June 23, 2006
I wish I could make get there.

I had the chance to see some of his work in Baltimore. In 1995, I saw his In Tribute to Madame de Pompadour and the Court of Louis XV the in the Going for Baroque exhibit at the Walters Art Gallery. In 1996 Ignisfatuus was created for, and first exhibited in, the conservatory at Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, where it was presented as a project of The Contemporary.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Earning The Right

I was talking to a guy visiting my studio during one of the open studio events. He saw an abstract painting that I had done. He brought up the idea that I had earned the right to do what ever I want, knowing my realist work. I think the guy was telling me his feelings about abstract art. He doesn't like, understand, or have interest in abstract art. But I have heard this said of abstract artists before. The idea is that in order to do abstract work you must be proficient in naturalistic rendering. Of course most artists and critics would think this is idea is absurd.

Monday, March 12, 2007

David Byrne

When I first met Sam Karp he showed me David Byrne's book Arboretum. The book is a combination poetry and drawing. Each page is a kind of refined brainstorm. It reminds me of the familiar whiteboard brainstorming. Here the goal is different. The tool is turned into a creative expression itself. I see a connection to what Danny Gregory says in his book about not using your sketch book as a dumping ground but as a space to create.

This is an interesting connection. Danny Gregory the probably uses similar brainstorming in his advertising work. David Byrne has taken the sketchbook and brainstorm format and turned into a conceptual work of art.

I see a lesson in paying attention during the process. Look for ways to turn everything into art.

David Byrne went to Maryland Institute College of Art as a freshman then transfered to RISD. When I was a student at MICA I used to frequent the Mt Royal Tavern. Which is one of the world's great bars. And has a very nice replica of the Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel on its ceiling. I knew a guy that I met there that had lived with David Byrne during his MICA days. He said they kept monkeys in their apartment. I can't remember the guys name now. I don't know if it is true. The Tav's slogan is
Where art is bullshit, and good bullshit is an art.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

From My Sketchbook

A chair at home and a chair at the studio.

An origami crane and a quick scribble looking out the window.

Drawings of Gerald the model at the DIVA Open Figure Drawing class.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Creative License

Here is a spread from my sketchbook. These pages show show a sketch from the life drawing class I lead on Tuesday nights 6-9 at DIVA. I added a little watercolor to one of our favorite models, Mariama. You can also see a couple of artists drawing. Thereis also a face from TV and a guitar player from TV.

I have been enjoying Danny Gregory's book Creative License. This book has helped me have fun with my sketchbook again. I have kept sketchbooks for over 20 years, usually the black hardbound type. Sometimes I take the art too seriously. I loose the fun that got me interested in following the artist's path and that is where the sketch book comes in. I need a place to enjoy looking, drawing, and thinking; my sketchbook helps me do that. But seriousness is fun too. I want to make my sketchbook great but it is just for me. It is not going in a gallery.

Danny has a great perspective on how to handle the inner critic and not take the sketchbook too seriously but still making it good. He has lots of good stuff on getting started, basic drawing, writing exercises, and creativity exercises.