Just Say No To XL

 

imagesI encourage all of my American readers to let the President of the United States know that we support his veto of the Keystone XL pipeline legislation.

The pipeline will create only a relative handful of permanent jobs. The environmental impact of the increase use of fossil fuels from the pipeline will further contribute to the devastation of our climate resulting in higher health, insurance and resource costs, paid for by you and me. The long term costs far outweigh any benefit being shopped around the floors of Congress and in the boardrooms of Big Energy.

Tell Canada and the upper midwest to refine and use the oil locally if need be.

Take the time to educate yourselves as citizens and voters. Because politicians in the Senate, such as Rob Portman R-OH, and House do not support you or your family’s best long term interests.

Common sense tells you this is not about jobs or energy independence. Please support the president’s veto.

Resources:

Petition you can sign here: Nexgen Climate

Article on climate deniers and climate change from Democracy Now!

Bloomburg article on oil prices effect on tar sand oil.

The insurance industry is keeping a close eye on climate change.

Article on the cost of climate change

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Trailer Happenings

No, we haven’t bought a trailer. We’re holding true to our game plan. But I continue to learn more and more about trailers, their prices and the best places to hunt for them. The last week has found me on eBay, which is turning out to be a good hunting spot. The site seems to get a steady stream of trailers, especially on Saturday and Sunday.

Other good sites include Tin Can Tourists, which has a decent classified section, that features a few new trailers every week or so. For Airstreams, the best site is Airstream Classifieds. 

The problem with Airstreams are two-fold. One, they are way too expensive. There was a damaged one on eBay that was a steal at $12,000 which, given the means, I would have rolled the dice on. Otherwise though you’re spending $10K minimum for anything in our 16′ range. The longer ones are actually less expensive. Which leads us to the second problem with Airstreams, they weigh too much. We could only pull a 16′ with our RAV4, and even so it’d have to be a vintage one. The newer ones are outfitted like Cadillacs with all sorts of heavy furniture and gear. This doesn’t keep me from looking, but you know how it goes. Wishful thinking.

Here are just of few of this week’s crop of new and used trailers I’ve been spying.

 

 

Sharing My Art – Day #5

Day #5 of this artist chain mail challenge. The final day.

“Post three of your works for five days and nominate another person to do the same.”

The Cityscapes – These abstract cityscapes are the kind of paintings I’m doing now, when I do get into my studio. They’re a combination of all the other painting techniques I’ve played around with for the last ten years. I like to put paint direction the canvas from the paint tube or palette knife, using tape to mask areas off. I then spread the paint with a knife or paper towel, and sometimes remove it with those tools as well to leave a more translucent appearance to areas of the painting.

The wife always enjoys when I add in little “easter eggs” such as people and cars. I like the little last-minute details because the encourage the viewer to look up close. My paintings are about keeping your eye moving, and finding interest up close and from far away. I want the viewer physically moving when they explore my paintings: looking, feeling the textures and raw bright colors.
I’m inspired by geometry, asymmetry, balance and color.

#1 “Wish” – 2012 24″ x 48″ – (sold in 2012, I believe this painting has an unfinished painting underneath that was supposed to go over our fireplace. You can see my little yellow jeep crossing the bridge)

#2 “Washington DC – 2012 14″ x 18” – (a commissioned piece. Real cities are difficult to do because I feel like people will call you out if you get something wrong, even in an abstraction)

#3 “Yellow Line” – 2012 11″ x 14″ – (hangs proudly in my wife’s studio because she liked it. The guy talking about his “big fish” outside the bar in particular. He’s just below and to the left of the martini glass)

Wish

Wish

Washington DC

Washington DC

Yellow Line

Yellow Line

Sharing My Art Day #4

Day #4 of this artist chain mail challenge.

“Post three of your works for five days and nominate another person to do the same.”

The Other Paintings – As a middle-aged artist I get to do whatever the hell I damn well please when it comes to my art. So here are some of the random paintings I’ve done that don’t necessarily fit into a category.

But you will see techniques that pull from my other paintings, and influence future paintings as well. Tomorrow, the last day of the challenge, I’ll show three works in my current technique or style.

#1) “Taste” 2007 18″ x 24″ – (after a visit to Times Square I took a stab at painting it. I learned two things 1) Painting real life can turn out pretty neat and 2) I abhor painting real life though. I don’t have the patience and I hate constraint. There were two other paintings in this series, neither of which is likely to ever see the light of day. One will go unfinished and the other is dismal)

#2) “Brazil Flag” November 2010 22″ x 28″ – (one of nine flags I painted on commission for the House of Praise in Lorain, Ohio. These were a challenge to do as not all flags fit nicely into a 22×28 aspect ratio. You can see I tried to stay true to my technique and to the flags themselves. I believe these are still hanging in their lobby along with a piece of my wife’s art as well)

#3) “First Snow” 2008 30″ x 48″ – (A commissioned piece featuring an abstract forest and the dogs of the family that commissioned the piece)

 

Taste

Taste

Brazil Flag

First Snow

First Snow

Sharing My Art – Day #3

Day #3 of this artist chain mail challenge

“Post three of your works for five days and nominate another person to do the same.”

The Stripe Paintings – what happens when you sit in front of the TV tracing out 1/4″ lines on a blank canvas, and then cover it all up with acrylic paint? These awesome stripe paintings of course. I’m not sure what got me started doing these but I’d never seen anything like them before. Oftentimes people think they are tape, wood or old magazines but alas they’re just paint. That being said, I’d love to experiment with creating wood and paper versions someday. Since I started making them I have seen wood versions on Etsy and Pinterest, so there’s something there.

These are probably my favorite paintings to do because I never know what they’ll look like until they are done. I limit myself to certain colors and use a palette knife to apply the paint. They are very textural. Often times there will be a painting underneath them that never got to see the light of day. Stripe paintings are a good, therapeutic way to cover up bad art.

They have not found much success commercially, but I think they’re awesome. Here are three of my favorites.

#1 – “Stripe #5″ – 2013 48″ x 72” (This huge painting lives in our foyer. It’s likely my favorite piece I’ve ever done)
#2 – “Strip #6″ – March 2014 36″ x 36” (Sits in storage in my studio. Another favorite of mine)
#3 – “Rainforest” – May 2009 ~16″ x ~20″ (one of my earliest stripe paintings)

Stripe #5

Stripe #5

Stripes #6

Stripes #6

Rainforest

Rainforest

Sharing My Art – Day #2

Day #2 of this artist chain mail challenge

“Post three of your works for five days and nominate another person to do the same.”

Tile Paintings – These abstract pieces are inspired by the geometry of rural landscapes, as well as simple floor or wall tiles you’d find in your home. Each section is painted individually with a brush and it’s always fun to see how they turn out when they’re complete. Sometimes the strokes seem to cross over from one section another adding another layer of interest. As will all my paintings, I try to keep your eye moving, and also make them interesting when viewed up close as well as from afar.

#1 – “Tiles” – June 2008 15″ x 30″ (I still have this one)
#2 – “Seven” – June 2008 22″ x 28″ (this one lives in a box in my studio too)
#3 – “Tile Painting #1″ – July 2010 16″ x 20” (one of a series of 9 tile paintings)

Tiles

Tiles

 

Seven

Seven

Tile Painting #1

Tile Painting #1

Sharing My Art – Day #1

On Facebook there’s a chain mail challenge going around for artists:

“Post three of your works for five days and nominate another person to do the same.”

So I accepted the challenge from a fellow artist and starting today will be sharing my artwork with everyone. I’m posting on this blog as well, in case you find it of interest.

I’ll present my art over 5 days in the general order that is was created. The reason being, my hope is you’ll see how earlier works evolved into my current pieces, namely my cityscapes. When you look at a current piece, you can see techniques from early pieces being used.

The Originals – Many of my abstract pieces are inspired by the geometry of rural landscapes. I would look out a plane window and found the patchwork of farm fields to be an interesting pattern. I hope to come back to this subject matter and explore it further someday. These early pieces are about keeping my eye interested; constantly moving. Creating visual interest and balance. They are also about painting without any preconceived plan. This is a key to my work to this day. I prefer to have the painting “talk” to me and tell me when it’s done. Worst case scenario, it’s paint. I can always paint over it (and often have). Enjoy.

#1 – “Beginning” – 2004 30″ x 40″ (I still have this one, sitting in our dusty basement)
#2 – “Cityscape” – 2006 18″ x 24″ (One of the first paintings I ever sold, and certainly the first cityscape I ever did. It was a paint over of another painting gone awry underneath)
#3 – “Barn In The Woods” – 2005 22″ x 28″ (Sold in 2006, it’s one of the first geometric paintings where I attempted to have a real focal point, the “sun” is rising in the sky, with a “barn” and trees in the foreground.)

Beginning

Beginning

Cityscape

Cityscape

Barn In The Woods