Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fantasy World

The quote is from Itzah C. Krej. It made me start thinking of fantasy worlds, and how we all live in our own fabricated worlds. Fantasy is easier to observe in children, because they don't disguise it. Adults, on the other hand, have a death grip on reality, but never stop to question
if their perceived reality is really real, or just a more sophisticated world of make believe.

Fantasy World; Acrylic on Canvas; 24"x36"

Gambol Art Competition: Juror: Mary McCleary

I have entered these two paintings in the Art League Houston Gambol Show which opens Friday, December 2 at 6PM. The juror is one of the most amazing artists who will be in art history books someday: Mary McCleary. I will have to restrain myself at the opening and hide all evidence of idol worship, because I am definitely a fan.

The first painting above is called "Big Show." It is acrylic on stretched canvas, and measures 48"x60".

The second painting is titled "Courage." It is acrylic on stretched canvas, and measures 48'x60"as well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Black Sheep

Posting another image showing my progress on the painting titled "Black Sheep." Performance, and irony are expressed through vintage circus images which compel the viewer to take a closer look.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Paintings

I have been working on a number of pieces. This is a detail of a piece I am calling "Black Sheep", although that could change as the image develops. The size is 40"x 30".

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portrait with Mask

My diptych is complete. It is two canvases which measure 24"x 18" each. Don't really have a title yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The "Copy This Painting" Movement

The painting above is called "Liberty", and it is another one of my celebratory paintings.

I got a couple of comments about my last post where I mentioned a place where you can drink and do art. My first exposure to this sort of thing was when I went with my friend to give a demo at an art league outside of Houston. A teacher there was trolling for students, and advertised her upcoming workshop to the group by holding up four paintings. "At the end of my workshop" (she gushed), "you will have four paintings exactly like these!" I was somewhat taken aback. I had seen the results of teachers who created disciples in their classroom, where every student became a clone. But I had never seen copying paintings as the central theme of a painting class, or any other sort of class. Just doesn't seem like art to me.

I got an impassioned email from a dear friend who is a talented artist/photographer/and teacher. She staunchly defended art in any form. I have printed out part of her statement below:

in response to your post.,,,about those places where you make a painting. Yes, there is a main focus on product, vs, process, no room for creativity, no personal expression, etc. etc. However, on the contrary, you could also look at it as a non-threatening way to get someone who has never held a paintbrush since being made fun of in grade school for having no talent or for whatever reason, and labeled themself "not an artist" to be able to simply...paint. Even though the subject, purpose, and instruction sucks, it could serve as an excercise in confidence building, proving the fun of art, and allowing them to learn and appreciate that making your own art (even if it looks like evryone elses) is better than going to the local Kirklands or Hobby Lobby and buying a framed print of some obscure landscape that had no experience to connect with it. It could serve as a catalyst to inspire future works of art with more meaning. With technology being so entertaining in the world today, it seems like the allure to art is less and less. Maybe that is just how I see it in my little bubble. It just seems like the majority of people I know don't care about art. The teachers who pick up their kids from my class couldn't care less about what beautiful painted masterpiece their kids made in my class today. They often tell them to fold it up and put it in their pocket so they can go outside to play. I have NEVER in 8 years received a phone call from a parent who loved the art their kid brought home. I doubt very few pieces of art ever make it to a fridge much more a frame or even a push pin in a wall!! But I do it because I know that the process of making the art was so much more important to them than the paper they take home. Its the experiential knowledge they take with them that is so important. I think no matter what you are painting there is just something about putting paint on a brush and watching it magically transform a white blank space into something beautiful,something terribly ugly, or something that just says something that words cannot. If there were words to express that feeling, I guess there would be no need for paint. I'll get off my soapbox now.
I like your painting, BTW!!

America's disconnect with art is a terrible shame. I wish that this great teacher was getting positive feedback from the parents who have children in her class. I salute all teachers at this time of year.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Celebratory Paintings

For the past two weeks, I have worked on small pieces I call "celebratory paintings". They focus on fun and freedom of expression. I put my inner critic in a closet, and let the good times roll.

This painting's story: My daughter went to an after work get together at one of those places where you drink and are "taught" how to paint a specific painting. The leader/teacher had an art degree from a major west coast university. The image of choice was a sappy abstract landscape: solid black lined trees and faux fauvist dabs of color that were to be the foliage. NO DEVIATING from the original image. My artistic daughter got depressed that no creativity was allowed. She also imagined a younger me as the teacher, and wondered how that young woman settled on this humiliating occupation. She thrust the painting into my hands when she got home and said: "PAINT OVER IT!" I did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Big Show

I am posting a progress report for The Big Show. Spring has come to Houston, and a similar delicious display of color is being created in my studio with this work. This painting is so much fun to work on that I can barely contain myself!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Big Show

I have started a new large painting, and I am so excited to get back to the format that I love best. Although small paintings are precious, and are a necessity for those with walls full of art or people with small budgets, I love the painting that grabs you from across the room. I love the impact of big work. This canvas is 4'x5'! Stay tuned for progress reports on this piece!

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Painting and a Houston Mystery!

The Trying Room; acrylic on canvas; 24"x24"

I have been working on a new painting this month. This idea has been floating around in my head for quite some time now. I wanted to create a room knee deep in masks, with a child wandering through the space, making his selections. The masks are in my collection; they are carefully selected to symbolize the choices we make when we decide who we want to be. We make these selections not only in our youth, but every moment of every day.

Methodist Mystery

While visiting an artist friend in the Methodist Hospital in Houston, I noticed that the trees outside were netted so that the leaves and debris couldn't fall to the ground. I couldn't believe my eyes and had to take photos to prove to myself that it was actually true.

None of the other trees in the medical center have netting; I wonder what were they thinking?