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

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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 #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

 

Day #267

Today was a very special day for us and our land. Today we had the honor of being day #267.

day-267-e

Ever since we moved in, actually ever since we first walked the land, we knew it was a special place. There is just something about the land, trees, meadows, light, sounds….it all has a magical effect on the senses. As artists we’ve appreciated how incredible a place it is. And I’ve always wanted to capture and share that somehow. I try with my photos and writing, but beyond that I always thought it’d be great to share with others, even complete strangers.

Rewind back to earlier this year, I stumbled upon a project that a local artist was working on. Her name is Michelle Darvis and she is a painter. Her and her husband embarked upon a year-long journey to document 2014 with a plein air painting every day. The project, appropriately called ‘A Year In Plein Air‘ is fairly self-explanatory. They travel the state and Michelle paints a new painting every day.

I had seen her work online and heard about it through a local gallery. Right away I had the idea that it’d be cool to have her paint our land. But as with anything I got busy and the thought fell by the wayside. Well, as far as ideas go, this one stuck in me and germinated. Finally this month I decided, “why not” and I sent Michelle an email asking if she could paint out at our place, and in a way include us in on her unique project.

Much to my delight, this wonderful artist who I had never met, said she’d be more than happy to do it. I shared the blog and all its beautiful photos to help entice her.

Today was the day that she came out. We took a quick tour of the land, a tour that included me getting a honey bee stuck in my hair – which was fairly alarming for me. We visited all four meadows, and of course the bee hives. In the end she settled on the east meadow, setting her easel up in the driveway. This is an incredible spot, that most people miss when driving in because they are distracted by the view of the house from that same vantage point. It’s my favorite meadow and certainly the most photogenic.

As the sun dipped low along the tree line, Michelle happily painted. We snuck over a few times to watch and converse, all whilst she converted a blank 8×10 canvas into a flood of colorful brush strokes. In the end, the boys were able to contribute a stroke each to the work, personalizing it even further.

Our meadow is now immortalized in her painting. A painting that along with 364 others will be part of an incredible art show that will travel the country in 2015.

For me everything about the experience was wonderful, and memorable. A mundane Wednesday turned into the most extraordinary of days. In short time our home has a knack for providing the incredible. Now my…our beloved meadow will be immortalized in that painting, but also it is part of a fascinating project, the aforementioned road show, even an upcoming book.

World class plein air painters in America are few and far between. A project like this helps Michelle take that next step, and it’s an incredible honor to be a part of it. (Yes, we had to pay for the painting in case you’re wondering.)

Beyond that though, it means so much to me. To see the feelings I have when I look at our land, transferred in oil on canvas. To be able to share the beauty I see with others, for them to appreciate as well. For me it’s magic. And I’m sure it is for our family as well.

Hopefully the boys will look fondly upon the painting for decades to come. Hopefully Michelle is successful in all her endeavors.

And for me, well I got a tiny little dream come true.

 

visit Michelle’s website at http://www.michelledarvis.com

“A Year In Plein Air” should be touring in 2015 and keep an eye out for her book as well.

Note: Many of the pieces that are part of the ‘A Year In Plein Air‘ project are still for sale! So consider taking the opportunity to own a small piece of painting history. Now may be your only chance. Contact her today.

(P.S. I left the door open in case she wants to come back and paint the bee hives, so that might entice one of you to buy a piece for yourself – especially if you’re a fan of our blog)