Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free to Run

I really enjoyed showing for the art walk this past Friday night.
I am happy with this little painting too.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Island Shell

Composition - I feel like I am moving into a positive direction with compositions. I am starting with shapes of color and gesture marks to define spaces unlike before when I was starting with splashes of paint and texture.
Mediums - I haven't mastered where I want to go using the different acrylic mediums. I want the pieces to have thin washed areas and thick grainy areas like mixed media work. I used to be better at this than I am doing now, I would work a lot of wet into wet and wash everything off if it got to heavy. I would also use paper collage and stamping techniques. I am being too heavy handed with a brush now and getting that thick plastic look acrylics can have.
Color - I am happy letting colors stay in their areas of the painting. I once thought that all the colors had to be spread over the entire painting to unify it. So for instance a big face can be blue on one side and red on one side and yellow on the top to relate to its area of the painting not a face that is all blue with red shadows throughout and yellow highlights. So for this Island Shell painting, I started moving the yellow green around the painting but resisted the urge to put the white in another area and the teal in other areas. I guess it really is a matter of not over working.
Writings - I started writing short sentences to go with my paintings for the show. It is fun and comes really easy and fast. For some, I think a little bit about what I was feeling and thinking about at the time of the painting. For others it is just my interpretation of the image. It seems the more ambiguous the painting the easier it is to write for them. Making my nonlinear dreamscape type of compositions seem more valid. This is the writing for this piece: "The hot tropical night anticipates treasures for tomorrow."

Monday, May 07, 2007

photo by Sam Carr

Emotional Roller Coaster

Participating in art festivals can really be an emotional roller coaster ride for me. The one that I was in this past weekend was a first attempt in a new location and did not have a big crowd. I do not sell well in these types of local festivals. I think people who have art and photography that is about the local environment fair much better in these situations. And even with the locally inspired art, it has to be of high quality and creative to get noticed and bought. Low cost and functional art also does well. I need a more targeted audience for my work or millions of art lovers attending so that I can filter out my audience. It takes so much effort to set up and prepare for any festival even if it is not well attended or small. So after you have done all of the preparation and paid booth fees it is hard not to get your hopes up for selling. I won an award on Saturday so that lifted my spirits but after sitting in the heat all day Sunday and not having any interested customers. I started feeling pretty low again. What I didn't know that was on that very same Sunday I had sold a major painting at the restaurant that shows my work. There is always just enough success to keep me going and think my ship is going to really come in at any moment.
But after talking to Norman Jensen Saturday night, I have decided that I just need to get comfortable and settled in for the next 20 to 40 years. (However many years God allows.) Get in a place that my family likes and find a part time job for money and settle in to paint. Just be happy painting as a lifestyle and not be anxious for success. And let paintings go. Give them to charity or as presents or destroy them. I don't have to sell everything in order to make more and continue on my path.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Not Just Eye Candy

From the Painter's Keys Blog

'Eye candy'

by Adrian Deckbar, New Orleans, LA, USA

I teach at Tulane University as a Professor of Practice, often I use the squinting technique all the time, in teaching and in my own work. However, I am in a dilemma. Mel Chin recently visited Tulane and lectured and gave a power point presentation and cracked jokes--the whole schtick. He suggested that realistic painting with no political message is "eye candy." I am struggling with that notion. I hear his voice over my shoulder as I paint. Any advice?

(RG note) Thanks, Adrian. All art is confectionary of a sort even when it is political or when it is meant to shock. There is a place for all art but it is commonplace for conceptual, politically- or ecologically-motivated purists to debunk skill-driven realistic art.

My Response

The click back about eye candy and the lecture by Mel Chin really struck me. I create art to nourish others' souls and mine. If all of the art I saw, books I read, music I listened to and plays or dance productions I attended were politically charged, I would be depressed. I love thoughtful content but I think shocking art or political statements are not the only valid ones.