Monday, February 23, 2009

Stienbecks in Oakhurst, not quite complete but a good start for 2 hours.
U-Joint in Oakhurst, not completed yet but a good start. I've been painting with a friend Allen Rogers in this neighborhood and really enjoy meeting the people and getting to know the community.
Chattahoochee River painting with friends Jami Riley and Shane McDonald on a crisp but wonderful Sunday afternoon. This is a 6 X 12 inch plein air study in oil. I liked the horizontal feel and distinct foreground and background elements in this. The light was just wonderful that day and at 4:30pm it made everything glow.
This is the first of two paintings I did at the Chattahoochee River. The light was a bit flatter and the colors not as rich as later in the afternoon. I still think its a great little two hour painting which is 6 X 8 inches in oil.

I knocked this one out yesterday along the roadside in Milton Ga, (use to be Alpharetta). I've looked at this scene many times at different times of day. I was traveling up there to do a mural for Milton High School about a year ago. I had to go back up to touch it up because someone vandalized it. So as luck would have it I finished at about 4pm and on the way saw the light hitting the barns just right. I travel with paint and my plein-air box in the car these days, so
I went for it. I'm happy I did because this was the result. It was worth freezing out there to do this. I kept it simple, broad strokes of color and carefully sculpted my shapes. It may be one of my best plein-air studies yet. 

As you can see, I've been keeping busy painting a little outdoors, though the weather is still a bit cool.  I look forward to the spring, warmer weather and more opportunities to get out and make new friends, artist and art appreciators alike.

I'm starting to teach an evening class at my studio on Tuesdays from 7 to 9pm. If you know of anyone who wants to work on their drawing skills please let them know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

AAC Show, rewarding

Hi all, just wanted to give you an update and let you know I submitted 3 pieces to the Atlanta Artists Center February Show and did very well. I got all three pieces in and took a 3rd place ribbon for my portrait of Ian and Blue (the cat). Allen Rodi at the Gallery was nice enough to help me take some photos so I'm posting them here. 

My work is going well though I feel the rest of my life is in turmoil. Such is the life of a temperamental artist I suppose. I guess the economy doesn't help either but I am optimistic. I'm talking to several galleries about moving my work into and that seems promising as well as Fulton County in hopes of securing a teaching position at some of the Senior Facilities. I'll keep you updated on my progress. I have also met several private students of late which are very talented and easy to work with. If this works out well I may try to expand it and take on more
students in this fashion. I enjoy seeing the changes they make in their level of confidence and

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's February!!!

This is a quick, 45 min oil sketch I did of my friend Jame Riley.

OK, It's February and well I haven't been keeping up with my blogging thus far. So I'm commiting myself once again to posting new stuff on the blog page and keeping you updated on what's going on in my head. So here goes my first notes for the New Year of 2009.

Thus far it has been - well -eventful. Some stuff really good, some sad and some seems to be disasterous. Yes it's tough here as well but I'm keeping optomistic and hoping for a year full of new opportunities, new friends, maybe even a new loved one though that is far down my list right now.

Yes, I miss Laura but I wish her well and all the happiness life has to offer. She's the best and the closest to anyone in my life I've ever felt totally connected to. So maybe I'm learning something as life goes on, maybe I'm even growing. Time will only tell.

I have literally been blessed this year! Yes I mean it, a friend of mine passed on a charmed coin
with the instructions to keep it on me throughout the year. I am to hold on to it until the end of the year and decide whether the year has been financially fruitful (in which case I pass the blessing on to a friend) or not (in which case I spend it). Thus far I have done well with it. Some small surprises have come my way so far and I'm hopeful that others will come my way as well.
I've found a couple of people who like collecting my small paintings. In these tough economic times it is very welcomed by me. Also there are some work opportunities coming up for me
that I've been working on developing for a while now. I'll talk more about these a little later.

Art this year is a tough sell and the economy is affecting me and the relationship with the galleries that carry my work. Junor Gallery is unfortunately gone. They are a victim of the economy and not being established enough to have a strong client base. I will miss them as they were great to work with, professional and fair minded. Maryln Wilson Gallery in Birmingham is still open but like so many others not moving much of anything for me. So I'm shopping for a new home there and Atlanta as well as Ashville, Chattanoogha and other coastal locations. I strongly believe there is a market out there, I just have to find them and cultivate the relationships.

As for painting, showing work and creating new art, it's going really well. I have several projects in the works to post here. I and Allen Rogers are meeting and working on a series of plein air paintings around the OakHurst neighborhood. We are having a great time and I'm meeting many of the people around the area. Some of them female and very nice to look at, others not but really fun people. Being outdoors painting feels good right now as the weather has been mild and the light wonderful this year. I've also reconnected with my painting buddies in Marietta and we have gone on several plein air paintouts together. Thus far I'm getting an early and strong start. I'm also doing much more drawing which is really sharpening my chops. I've been sitting in at the Atlanta Artist Center on Monday mornings as well as Shane McDonalds Studio on Wednesday evenings and Thursdays with Suzy Shultz in Avondale. Along with that I'm keeping a sketch book on me and showing up at places where they play Jazz and Blues. I'm sketching the Musicians and have a series of drawing started about who is around town now and playing some of the best licks to be heard. For the cost of a beer and a few hours time I can sit and have a live model pose for me while connecting to the rhytums and music I'm hearing. It truly ads a different dimension to my drawings. Try it yourself and you'll find it facinating.

I'm also getting a little recognition for my art this year. Thus far I have gotten 3 out of 3 painting accepted after I submitted them to the Atlanta Artist Center. One took 3rd place. Is there something going on here numerically? The award winner was a portrait titled "Ian and Blue" which sounds jazzy and in fact it is. I feel in some ways it's my best portrait yet and a very pleasant painting to view. The Oakhurst painting are also recieving good reviews and Allen and I are talking to the local merchants about mounting a show soon.

If you haven't caught on thus far there is a theme coming through for this year and a series of commitments around my art. They are simple but I feel powerful intentions to enter the new year.

1. Do more art, keep doing more art and then do more art!

2. Take some risks in creating my art, make it convincing, thought prevoking and challenging.

3. Meet, greet and convert everyone I meet to the view that art is a necessity in each and everyone of our lives, our culture and yes even the world, because it holds the promise of individual expression as well as insight and commentary on life around us.

4. Pass it forward, the knowledge and passion I have as an artist. Give others my experience and knowledge of process, facility and creative problem solving.

So what do you think, I'd welcome your comments, have a safe, prosperous and loving new year.

Ian and Blue, Oil on Canvas