From March 2009

Another Artist in the Making

I’ve written about my daughters interest in the studio, but my son has taken me by surprise over the last week or so with his own creative endeavors.

Where my daughter will make art for the sake of making art. My son, however, needs a little more black and white approach. There has to be a concrete purpose behind it. It has to be very linear and tell a story. And nothing does that better for a kid than a comic strip.

So now my studio has early drafts of comic strips hanging around. And the best part is it’s entirely his own doing.



Painting in Progress: Manual of Psychology


Today I began a painting with a book, the “Manual of Psychology” as one of the subjects. By an author who’s last name is so similar to mine that I was thinking I could be very sly and sneak mine in instead, we’re just one letter off. But I won’t because I claim no authority on the subject of psychology.

I’m fortunate to have an antique shop a block from my house. However, I’m a little worried about how long it’ll continue business, as the fellow who runs the place looks like he’s been at it for about, oh, 150 years. When you enter the shop you have to courteously announce your presence because I’m not so sure he can actually turn to see if someone has entered. If I were a portrait painter I’d try with all my might to capture this fellow. I recently read The Lathe of Heaven in which a tortoise-like alien owns and operates an antique shop… well, lets just say that entering the shop near my house leaves you wondering if you’re trapped in a science fiction novel and your dreams are coming true.

I picked up the book “It’s Story Time” at the aforementioned shop. I think its title and subject contrasts perfectly with the thick, heavy subject and title of the “Manual of Psychology”. I’ll put that down in the notebook with ideas for future paintings.



Painting in Progress: A Big Fan

I’m working on a variation of the vintage electric fan. I’ve added a few more shapes to the composition and will be adding several layers of glazes focusing on the surface of the glasses and fan. Fascinating, huh? If you want to see some simply beautiful still life with geometric shapes, check out the work of Volkert Olij.

After this piece, I’m going to be working smaller. When I started this fan, I thought it would be easier than the typewriter, but the truth is the typewriter has so many tiny little details that you can sort of wing it.



Painting in Progress: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00

Here’s another piece in progress. I’m calling it “1:00, 2:00, 3:00”. I’m positive it will be complete during the next sitting. It’s resting on a self in the studio, by the door leading to what once was a balcony. Someone closed it off in the 1950s. I’d like to expand it into a sitting room one day. Right now it serves as storage.

The second photo is of me hard at work on the typewriter.



Painting in Progress: Underwood Typewriter


I thought I’d share a photo, a glimpse into my work space. This is another painting of the old Underwood in progress. I’m tackling the keys today, a great way to ruin ones posture is to sit for 3 hours straight, hunched over moving across the canvas, inch by inch. In a few months, I’ll share the completed painting once it’s hanging at the gallery for the exhibition in June.

I’m Getting Older

I need to take breaks, frequently, from the easel. Stepping away, focusing on something else, then taking a glance over my shoulder to the easel to see if the past hour or so was a complete waste. I used to take it pretty hard when the painting was struggling. I used to think everything needed to be fixed now, but I’ve learned that it’s wiser to wait about 24 to 48 hours to pass. I no longer experience the feeling of wanting to stick my foot through the canvas. I think I must be getting older.

I’m lucky to be doing what I do. Those nasty news headlines about hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs, joining the millions that already have… well, I guess no matter what, I won’t lose this painter life.

At the bank, I was cornered by the well meaning manager. Several brochures were lunged in to my reluctant hands and questions about my retirement were posed. I just finished telling her I was a painter, an artist, you know, like back in the olden days. I won’t retire. I’ll keep doing the same thing until the bitter end. And I already save so I’m not worried and that’s because I’m really cheap, just ask my wife.

That did not compute with banker. Artist does not understand the rules.