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Dead. Simple. Technology.

There was a time when these old cameras were so prevalent and pervasive in our culture. They were all the rage.

Kodak used slick advertising promising happiness and fulfilment — just take a look at these 100 year old advertisements.

I’m not going to state the obvious, I’ll let you piece together the connections with our own modern consumer culture, all promising the exact same thing Kodak offered a century ago.

Eventually Kodak became irrelevant, unable to move fast enough with the speed of technology. I’m left to ponder the future of the companies that now feed us our technology and gadgets. What will become of them over the next 70 to 100 years?

Vintage shops are now full of these cameras. Intricate designs, all iterations on the same simple process. They make for great compositions — the square cameras, the multiple round lenses and textures of the surfaces.

These paintings are currently showing at Art Essex Gallery in Essex, Connecticut from October 1 – 25, 2014.

Twelve Vintage Cameras
18″ x 24″ – Oil/Canvas – 2014

Eight Vintage Cameras
24″ x 24″ – Oil/Canvas – 2014

Seven Vintage Cameras
20″ x 20″ – Oil/Canvas – 2014

On We Go

And so the adventure begins. After nearly four decades of being a prairie kid, I have undertaken the colossal task (along with my wife and kids!) of packing up and selling our house and arraigning a trek to the West Coast where we will live like gobsmacked tourists for the next few years.

These are the last four paintings I have completed in the studio where I’ve been working for the last decade. The studio where I taught myself to paint. Where I began figuring things out. It served me well, but it really has felt like it’s time to pick up and seek adventure the last few years.

These paintings are available at the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California.

Two Kodaks
16″ x 16″ / Oil on Canvas

More Friends and Neighbors, On We Go
16″ x 16″ / Oil on Canvas

On The Way To Storyland
16″ x 16″ / Oil on Canvas
Young Explorers, Beckoning Trails
16″ x 16″ / Oil on Canvas

New Work at the Elliott Fouts Gallery

Here is some new work available through the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento, California.

These are among the last paintings I’ll be doing in the studio where I’ve been for the last ten years. The studio where I really learned what I was doing, where I was able to focus and get work done.

This room has served me well, but I’m excited to find a new studio, something with more space. It’s been a nerve racking experience. I run the studio with routine and predictability. For a few years, my wife and I have been talking about relocating. I’m treating it like a great big adventure. It’ll be fun.

Antique Bottles II, Study
16″ x 24″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Antique Bottles III, Study
18″ x 18″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Antique Bottles IV, Study
18″ x 18″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Antique Bottles V, Study
16″ x 24″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Antique Bottles & Pears
18″ x 18″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Antique Bottles & Pears
18″ x 18″  /  Oil on Canvas 

Bottles & Pears

Even though the last few months (and the coming months) will be consumed largely by my crazy plan to move half way across the country, I still have managed paint.

A return to a subject I haven’t worked with for a few years. Contact the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento for more info.

Six Bottles & Six Pears
20″ x 24″  /  Oil on Canvas

Four Bottles & Three Pears
20″ x 24″  /  Oil on Canvas

Perfect Ten
18″ x 36″  /  Oil on Canvas

Sweet Sixteen
18″ x 36″  /  Oil on Canvas

1,000 Miles

For the past few years, my wife and I have been toying with the idea of relocating. With young kids and keeping so busy with painting, scheduling back-to-back exhibitions, the task of selling a house, packing, moving, finding a new home and setting up a new life – it seemed impossible. But this spring we put in motion a plan to relocate 1,000 miles away.

I’ve always known that moving would mean I’d have to take several weeks away from the studio. I have managed to be able to paint a few smaller paintings, but not nearly what I’m used to as far as output and ideas go. Preparing a house to sell and packing is a major distraction.

It will still be a couple months before I’m able to sit myself firmly in my new North West Coast studio and let the paint flow. But I’m looking forward to it. I have to keep my eye on the prize.

I just wanted to leave a note here on my blog letting people know what’s up.

The Olivetti Valentine

The Olivetti Valentine typewriter – for the romantic.

My neighbour asked me if I’d be interested in painting the typewriter she used as a student in the 1960s. She had it hidden in her basement and just recalled it when she was looking at some other work of mine. When she showed it to me I was startled. I’m not sure she knew she had such a desirable collectable hidden in a box.

The painting is available at the George Billis Gallery in New York City. Click on the image for more details.

18″ x 24″  /  Oil/Canvas

Camera Obsession

When I was an art history student, I studied early photography and the emergence of the “snapshot” and candid photography — made possible by the proliferation of Kodak box cameras and Brownies.

I was studying this just as digital point-and-shoot cameras started to show up for regular consumers to use. Long before camera phones, iPhones, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook. Long before we had to apply filters to give our photographs a sense of time and narrative. Photographs used to come to us days, weeks, months after we took them. And they already had a “patina” of sorts applied to them. Mega pixel count, image stabilisation and rapid, precise autofocus weren’t available. We weren’t reviewing and editing our images moments after we took them. We weren’t sharing them within minutes with huge networks friends colleagues. Instead they were placed in an album or shoebox and found decades later.

I like painting these old cameras. I find them in antique shops — they’re all over the place and easy to come by. Sometimes they still have film in them.

I like the idea that these cameras once captured all these moments and family history.

Four Vintage Cameras
16″ x 24″ / Oil/Canvas
Four Kodaks
20″ x 20″ / Oil/Canvas

24″ x 16″ / Oil/Canvas

George Billis Gallery NY

I’ll be having my first exhibition in New York City at the George Billis Gallery (521 West 26th Street) from January 21 – February 15, 2014.

The show will have 13 paintings, and the reception is on Thursday, January 23, from 6-8pm.

I’ll share more of the images over the next few days.

Mint Rotary Telephone
18″ x 24″  /  Oil/Canvas  /  2013

18″ x 24″  /  Oil/Canvas  /  2013

On We Go
18″ x 18″  /  Oil/Canvas  /  2013

Fifteen Years at the EFG

I have a painting in the Elliott Fouts Gallery‘s 15th Anniversary group exhibition — January 4 – February 6, 2014.

Elliott invited me to show my work at his gallery six years ago — and the past six years have been productive and fantastic. After several group and solo exhibitions, it is exciting to have my work at the best gallery in Sacramento.

Stories We Like
20″ x 20″  /  Oil/Canvas

Work in Progress

I have an exhibition coming up in September in Yountville, California. I’ve been working on it throughout the summer. Which is usually difficult, considering it’s summer. There’s a strong force pulling me out of the studio and in to the outdoors.

But I’m happy with the work I’ve been able to produce. Here’s a glimpse at some of the pieces I’ve been making.