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.
Here are a few drawings from my time in Chicago. I have been toying with lines and layers of color in my paintings for a while and since I don’t have my oils I thought I’d play with lines of color in my sketchbook. These are my favorites so far.
And since I’ll be here for a while, I can only assure that there will be more – Stay tuned.
This is a sketch I finished a couple of days ago. It is the back sid of our house where I plan to build a lean-to. Said lean-to would cover the access to the cellar, be a storage shed for yard and other tools/stuff, and I’d also add-on a screened in porch. It’s all there for you to check out. I’m kind of smitten with the sketch even if the building doesn’t happen for a while.
I have decided that my next project will be in oils and will be of substantial size. I haven’t decided what I will be working on yet, but I will say that I will not be painting people just yet. I used to be afraid to paint people because it was a hard question to ask someone off the street – “Can I paint you?” – and not feel weird about it later. Then you think oh, I could paint friends of family. Nope, not interested – I get to see you all the time, plus I have pictures, and Facebook. Logically you then move to what you learned in school and think about hiring a model. At this point all I hear is this: “Wait, you paid how much to have someone stand in our house and do nothing, for how long?” and/or “Why not ask me, I’ll pose for you?”. Too much pressure, just sayin’. Right off the bat that is. And then to back track a little, there are always workshops and drawing sessions with models that pop up sporadically through the months. I digress though; what I realy am just saying is that I am considering eventually painting people. Preferably people I don’t know.
Also, and I know I’ve mentioned this before, I want to do more sketching. I keep seeing sketches pop up here and there that I think are cool and think to myself, why don’t I do that? Well, I’d have to have paper, and I’d also have to use it, with a utensil. Apparently that’s too hard for me to do on a regular basis. I’m gonna keep trying though. I gots me’s some idears. So hopefully I’ll just be posting weird and/or incomplete things a little more frequently.
Lastly, Sarah and I have been talking about getting new tattoos. I think I might get a Rothko on my arm.
P.S. I’m thinking of brining back Art Nouveau, I’ll be the new Alphonse Mucha. We’ll see.
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!