In the first few months since we arrived in Minneapolis I have already finished two new paintings, run a print for the new print exchange, and stumbled upon a new drawing series. I’ve joined the local arts association – NEMAA. I have even started a new job in a new line of work with Amazon. Working for Amazon has been good, but has also presented a few challenges. Like training in Chicago for four months and only being home for three days every few weeks. This alone makes it hard to finish projects – mainly because when I’m home I’m spending my time with Sarah.
Normally I don’t like to toot my own horn (or really draw any attention to myself at all), but I have also managed to land a spot in the biggest Art event in Minneapolis – the Art-A-Whirl. While I don’t have a studio in one of the many cool art buildings, nor am I willing to have random people tramp through my house, I have managed to get a few of my pieces into a really cool spot in the Northeast Arts District- The Food Building. I will be showing my work and hanging out at the Food Building all three days of the Art-A-Whirl Friday May 20th through Sunday May 22nd. Stop by Art-A-Whirl if you are in the neighborhood, pick up an original piece or two, and maybe I’ll see you there.
I plan on drawing up a few relief prints to sell in addition to my paintings, however I don’t have any concrete ideas set just yet. Check out the top painting contenders below. Also click on the images to check out the Art-A-Whirl and Food Building Websites.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing blogs. That’s ok, I like to think my work can speak for itself. That being said I hadn’t been producing that much work over the last year anyway, so, no excuses really.
Now, to be fair, we did put our house up for sale and went on a five month road trip to find the next place we wanted to live (if you are interested and are somehow unaware of our exploits you can read all about it here).
I was going to use that time to explore my work and try and find new inspiration in drawing. Well, it didn’t happen like I thought it would. I mean I did some work when we were in places for longer periods of time, but ultimately I didn’t produce anything that really made me feel productive or particularly creative.
So I wrote about my creative block on the above mentioned blog during our trip. That’s when I received an assignment from Elizabeth – an artist and teacher friend of mine (you can check out her stuff here). She thought I could use it as a way to jump start my creativity – I could just do the assignment and it would be new and different and it would potentially lead me back to my own creativity. I had a plan to follow and the assignment looked like this:
And I did it. All of it – the evidence is literally all over this blog post. Well… except for creating a return assignment. Nor did I do the extension on Daniel Spoerri – but I looked him up, and that counts for something. It all took me a few months to complete. I went in spurts of manic drawing and slow tracing to get it done. As it turns out I was the first to complete an assignment from Elizabeth – ever (brown-noser, teacher’s pet, etc., etc.).
It taught me a few things about myself and my creativity. I taught me that I need to actively search for inspiration through new artists (new to me anyway) and see what they are doing – explore more. It taught me that I work best with a project or a theme and it helps if there are a few external motivations to help me along. And it taught me that my friends are out there for help when I need it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the luxury to get out my oil paints and work on something new. About five months to be exact (ish).
It feels good, really good.
It took me a bit to get back into the new work – I had to repair a few paintings that had shifted and rubbed some layers off. From there it went pretty slow as I waited for the new layers to dry so I could hang them and start on a new idea. I went up to it with a little trepidation not sure how I would work on the canvas and if the paint would be forgiving. Turns out I needn’t have worried. It was smooth and easy like I’d never stopped.
So here I am expanding on my body of work again, trying some new things, and putting myself out there for shows (well, soon anyway). Who knows, maybe I can make a career out of this.
There are just some artists who call out to you like a beacon in the storm. They pull you in the right direction and help you avoid the rocky shore, so long as your listening and looking. So, here are the artists that I consider to be my inspiration guides, and the ones who influence me the most.
I think I really like printmaking. A lot. The type of work and the finished products are so astounding. Its a wonder I never tried this before! I think I will just have to balance my time between painting and printing. Also, here are a few links to some of my Seattle friends work, I think you’ll like them.
So I haven’t been posting, but I haven’t been working that much on my projects either. We are trying to buy a house. I mean there are excuses then there are excuses. Anyway I’ve some stuff with good pictures coming in a quick minute.
So I have this handy little app on my phone that when I take notes for ideas, it magically appears on my computer. So long as I have my phone or computer with me, I can jot down those ideas when they hit me. You would think this would help me blog more as I have a running list of topics. Only a few have I actually blogged about. Part of it is that I don’t know what I meant by a certain phrase, but the other part is that I forget to look or get too busy to even think about blogging. Such is life. Add on top of work, friend’s weddings, trying to purchase a house (in Seattle no less), and taking care of a dog who needs at least two 45 minute walks a day you can imagine where on the list this is. As sporadic as it might seem, I am still very interested in Art and making it – it just takes me a while to get anything done. And then I have to think about it and analyze it rework things and whatnot. I am currently working on two projects and have been doing little nits here and there, but no sweeping work on either. I’ve got a print that I am working on and the mystery painting is still in the works. I’m working with lettering on both accounts and its hard and frustrating all at the same time. I will have something for you to see soon. That is a guarantee.
My guess is a bit of both. Here is a thought. Why go through all the trouble of setting up an art blog to not actually 1. use it and 2. do art things. I like to think its one part super lazy and one part human condition. Not only did I start a blog, but I bought art stuff to accompany said blog. I bought wooden shapes st work on form, highlights and shadows. Have I used them? No. But I have touched them multiple times. Usually to move them to make space for something else I won’t use. I bought paint. Have I used it? Some, but not a lot. So why would I go to all this trouble to maybe paint or maybe draw. I thought I could train the lazy right out of myself. Really though, I just have to find a way to work around it. And by around it I mean through it. Man I’m lazy. So hopefully you’ll continue to occasionally see things that I create come across your screen, or on paper. It just might be a while…
So I’ve been drawing pictures from magazines for years: Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated. As a result I’ve accumulated a stack of sketchbooks on my bookshelf. I thought I would use this as a place to post the ones I like best. Hope you enjoy!