Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I ask myself sometimes, as I have been into a work for a day or so, 'What every possessed you to pick such reference to work with?' I think I hit that point when I sat down to work today! What you see so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more of that railing to come. Well, it is a challenge for sure and the fact that this material is the sort of stuff I have not worked into a drawing in a bit, makes it fresh for me.
I know I've said before that challenges, especially like working on textures I don't do that often, or working with subjects that I am not that familiar with, can give me pause when considering a new work. But then again, how do you grow as an artist if you don't challenge yourself every now and again?
The reference for this work has been sitting around for well over a year. I have looked at it now and again and scratched my head and wondered how I might ever make use of it; what subject might work well within the context of the image or what sort of idea or emotion would I like to evoke?
In this particular instance, by focusing in on just a small portion of the overall photo image and editing out some unnecessary details that would take away from what will be the overall thrust of the whole composition when completed, and finding the absolute perfect, emotive subject matter to have as a major point of interest, I have finally found a way to make use of material that, when I was there and photographing and making notations as to light and such, I knew instinctively would offer me a really good starting point sometime in the future.
It's good to stash ideas away and let time work its magic. I remember a comment that John Sharp, the marvelous wood sculptor, had said during his talk on being an artist when he received the Master recognition at the Birds in Art opening weekend several years ago. John spoke about his stash of wood chunks, logs and stumps and how it took time for him to 'see' what was there in the wood. Sometimes he would look at a piece of wood for years before finally the idea was revealed to him by the wood itself. I remember at the time taking to heart his statement about how he let the wood show the way.
Like many of my artist friends, I have discs full of reference material, some of it from as long ago as ten years or more. From time to time I just sit and spend some time wondering through a disc full of images and as often will happen, something just jumps out at me in an instant and I know there is something, finally, that will spark an idea. It then goes into a special folder on my computer which I call 'Working Ideas'. I won't tell you now just how many images are sitting there and awaiting refining and editing and careful study, but all of those set aside images will ultimately find their way into compositional arrangements for future works.
Surely more currently gathered reference material always sits at the forefront of my mind when considering ideas for a new work or two. But I never overlook images shot a year ago or two years ago or ten years ago. There was a reason, at the time, that sparked my need to capture that moment, that view, that light, that way things were arranged and as in this instance, there may come that perfect moment when, as Master sculptor Sharp said, it just reaches out and grabs hold of you.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I hope all those who look in on this blog enjoyed their Christmas. I will be posting two new works to ebay this evening, shortly after the two that close tonight, close bids. Check back after 8 PM (Eastern) to see what little goodies I will have up next.
Click here to place a bid on 'Enchanted'.
Click here to place a bid on 'Winter Coats'.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
(posting at 1:30 PM) Been snowing for about 15 hours now with no signs of letting up. Lunch break, time for peanut butter and jelly and a nice hot cup of tea. Sitting at the kitchen table and watching the birds at the feeders in the back yard. Glad I filled them the other day. It truly is becoming a Winter Wonderland out there!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
As noted yesterday afternoon, I completed this little work about twenty minutes ago. This one weighs in at 3 1/4" x 3 3/4". Look for it to be posted for bidding on ebay this weekend. Later this evening, I will be posting another new work, subject . . . well best kept a surprise for right now! So, come back around 8 tonight!
OK, I have just posted (at 8 PM) the next small work up for bid on ebay. If you would like to place a bid on 'Fred and Ginger', click here .
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As there is still some studio time available to me this afternoon before I have to do a few things before dinner time, I wanted to post what will become another small work for ebay. This is actually the first ten minutes of work on this one. What I am doing now is just blocking in tonal values and establishing 'break points' where light meets dark, bright meets shadow and trying to set in some lines of reference for the long and flowing hair as well as establishing some mid tones of grey to try and start modeling the animal, giving dimension to it. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post this ten minute study so far. I would come back to it after dinner time but this evening is a broadcast from the Met of one of my favorite operas, Tosca, and that is not going to be missed! This little work, about 3" x 4", will have to wait till morning for finishing up.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Here's a sneak peek at a little bit of the new work!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
(Posting at 4 PM) Here is the finished work. OK, not a very original title, I agree, and maybe not the most original of compositions either, but I am quite happy with it! Again, the image is 5" x 7".
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Returned from the 'Party' that was the Waterfowl Festival last evening feeling, at the same time, both tired and joyful. Tired because it is tiring sitting all day long for three and a half days, occasionally rising to walk the exhibition floor and see what artist friends are doing. Tiring because being 'On' constantly all day long does drain one's energies by the end of a long weekend. But then, joyful too as I was fortunate enough to have been one of the artists selling fairly well.
Now granted, I did not make a ton of money and to say that one was able to sell art in this economic environment is saying a whole lot, but things certainly have changed from the way they were ten, twelve, fifteen years ago. That party has been over for some time and I was wondering to myself as I drove across the Bay Bridge last night, mesmerized by a most gorgeous orangy hued sunset before my eyes, if we artists will ever see that sort of level of sales again?
In times like the current, do people really need art? In times like these do people even have an appreciation for art? In times like these do people even consider spending a small amount of their hard earned dollars on art?
It was obvious this past weekend that . . . yes . . . there are many who do see the value in having beautiful things around them at a time of great retrenchment and an obvious need to be surrounded by things that can help to brighten an otherwise lusterless and scary world.
'Thanks', simply does not seem strong enough a word to say to one who digs deep into their pocket to pull out a few dollars to buy a small work of original art, especially now when so many don't even have enough to sustain themselves day to day.
These are very hard times for us all and I am grateful to every single person who dug deep into their pocket this past weekend to spend a dollar or two on my art work and that of so many other artists, sculptors, carvers and craftspeople in Easton.
Making art is both a joy and a struggle at the same time. Selling art is also a joy and a struggle, and to those who have added a new work to their collection or to those who have bought their first piece of original art, know that you have not only gained a little more beauty in your life but you have helped to validate we artists' need to create and make that beauty.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Also, on Friday evening, November 13th, Troika Gallery will host a reception for its big Anniversary show with new works from all the gallery artists, including yours truly. Troika is located on South Harrison Street in the very heart of downtown Easton.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Take a look at the studio floor, piled high with work galore,
Monday, November 02, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I remember how, on my first trip to eastern Africa 37 years ago, we saw lions aplenty. I can actually recall by the beginning of my second week on that three week trip, hearing others in the group bemoaning the sight of yet another group of lion . . . 'Oh, just more lions! How about a leopard?' Little did we know.
It is disturbing to me to watch reports on TV and read in print of this massive attack on the lions of Africa and I continue to look for ways to make a difference. Recently at a gathering here at my house, artist and collector friends were discussing this very issue and trying to come up with some ideas of how we might help to get the word out. Perhaps by my bringing this work, when completed, to the upcoming Waterfowl Festival next month, I will have an opportunity to talk to those enjoying the Festival, and make as many others as possible aware of what is happening to the lion in the hope that a broader awareness might help to change the current course of events and save this majestic animal from possible devastation.
The 'King' does indeed sit in a precarious position.
As I read just this morning in an on line posting . . .
Lion population down almost 90 per cent from two decades ago.
In the minds of many people, the lion is what comes to mind first when they think of African wildlife. The sad fact is, the 'king of beasts' may not be found in Africa for much longer.
Dr. Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist from the University of California, says that based on a study he did in Kenya, the current population of lions is 23,000. Twenty years ago, it was close to 200,000.
Frank says "People know about elephants, gorillas and rhinos, but they seem blissfully unaware that these large carnivores are nearing the brink. It's not just lions. Populations of all African predators are plummeting."
Dr Frank blamed the decline in predator numbers on a problem that occurs world wide, not just in Africa. People killing them to protect livestock.
"People have always killed predators," he says. "But there's only so much damage you can do with spears and shields. Now everyone has got rifles and poisons."
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(1:08 PM posting) One of the little guys just about done. Hard to see the subtle variations in the 'black' coat of this guy, but maybe when it's all said and done and I photo it outside in natural light, all that will show up.
(2:12 PM posting) Building up some whites now on this foreground guy. Time to make a cup of afternoon tea!
(3:08 PM posting) Well, this one has gone a lot faster than I expected. I guess I am on a roll today! Anyway, appears to be another hour or a bit more of work and this one will be done.
And here (4:30 PM posting time) is the completed work. Image size on this one is 5 1/4" x 5 1/4"
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
An interesting morning, this . . . while having my cup of tea and munching on a bagel and thinking about the approaching ten o'clock time set for the closing on my house purchase, I was surprised to find, upon reviewing early morning and overnight entries to Facebook pages, a posting from the Woodson Art Museum with a link to the home site of the Wausau Daily Herald newspaper. The link was to a photo essay on the currently hanging Birds in Art exhibition at the museum and amid the ten photos, this one caught my eye as there was my piece being discussed! Evidently one of the museum docents is talking about my piece to a group of grade school students touring the exhibition. Well, there was my five and a half minutes of fame!
And now, to read through the pages and pages of documentation from the closing and try to figure out just what I signed for this morning!
(photo by Corey Schoth of the Wausau Daily Herald)