Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Still Twitching"

Obviously, as far as this blog is concerned, I have neglected the poor thing. But I will attempt to revive the experience as best I can. Like the egg, or the seed in winter, although it looks inert on the outside, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. When I looked at the date of my last post I had two thoughts..."I sure have neglected this.", and "I can't believe that much time has passed by so quickly." Both are accurate. I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things with the blog. A lot of interesting work has happened in the seemingly dead space between the last post and this one. I'll be sharing some of that journey as well as current endeavors.

The beginning offering is a piece entitled "Winter Scene". It's an offshoot of doing white calla lilies for almost nine months for a show called "Dreams in a Rorschach Garden" last year. One of the challenging aspects of painting the callas was interpreting the various white tones and whites influenced by reflected color and translucent back-lit elements. Shortly after the show in September, there was a call for artists for a show entitled "Winter White"and this idea immediately came to the fore. I decided to try something a bit complicated in both concept and execution and the result is a piece that surprised and intrigues me still. It was a selection in the International Society of Acrylic Painters 2012 International exhibit July 14 to August 12.

"Winter Scene", 40"x32", Acrylic on  muslin over wood panel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Out of the Closet"

Self-portraits...an interesting proposition. It takes more than a bit of courage (or outright balls)to paint or draw oneself and then put it up for the perusal and assessment of the general public. I suppose that there are a lot of ways to look at the process. Is it a bit of ego, public soul searching and revelation, catharsis, masochism, or just artistic tightrope walking? I've done my modest share, but I decided to go all out and over the top with this one. At 72"x30", it's full sized. (The bone man is scrunched into a 5' 7" tile border, so he will need some chiropractic adjustment at some point.)

My opinion is that a self portrait is overtly about the artist and how he sees himself, but once hung on display becomes much more a mirror for the viewer. We tend to recognize bits of ourselves in it and our lives, and in the process may be either fascinated or repulsed by what we see. The best self-portraits that I have seen are endlessly fascinating. My own visual appreciation of them usually includes a large dose of self assessment and comparisons with the elements that I find an affinity to. Sort of like going to a party and checking out how cool or lame one's clothes are to the rest of the company. We hope that we are in the top 1%, but are often brought a bit closer to
reality in the process.

Well, we are a pretty comical species...so lofty, and often so childish.

For your perusal and contemplation..."More And Less Than I Appear". Acrylic on muslin over wood panel, 71 7/8" x 30"

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Light Lunch"

It's been quite a while since my last post. Why haven't I posted? Who knows? It's certainly not because I have nothing to say...that would be a rare event for sure. However, here is my latest painting, "Light Lunch". Done for an upcoming show/fundraiser titled "Just Sweet". Since I did a self-portrait with a batch of blindfolded crows included, paintings with crows as elements has become a bleed-off from all that research. Besides, they are fascinating creatures. I'll be posting some of the work done between "Four and Twenty" and "Light Lunch" in the near future Including the self-portrait, but this will help me get back into the swing of posting. 12"x24" Acrylic on canvas

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pandora & The Pie: "I'll Chance It!"

I've always been fascinated by the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence". When I was very young I was always puzzled about what it meant and completely baffled by the line that stated (nonsensically in my mind) "When the pie was opened the birds began to sing." Right! It seemed quite logical to me even at a tender age that having been "baked in a pie" in such a crush, 24 blackbirds would come storming out of the open pastry in a mad dash for the open skies and freedom....(More like Pandora's box!) "the birds began to sing"..."Dainty dish"...indeed! More like a whirlwind. And there's no reversing the course and getting them back in the pie either.

I got to musing about the effects of cutting open the pie of creativity and the irreversible results. Not always a whirlwind to be sure, but definitely it doesn't just sit there and sing to me...well, it might sing to me, but maybe from a trapeze, the high wire, or a trampoline at the very least. I make the first cut when I set out to create a painting or other work, and when it's completed, and I put it out there to be seen by all, that second cut opens the pie and whatever ensues is out of my hands...much like the blackbirds. The piece is scrutinized if I'm lucky (to be sure, being ignored is the most ignominious fate). Sometimes it will be appreciated and enjoyed, other times it is judged and relegated to some classification niche for mental "ease of handling". Sometimes it might be taken as an instigation and bring on a whirlwind of critiques and dissections that attempt to lessen its power. Hopefully it doesn't just sit there and sing its dainty song. But...that carries the weight of the unknown.

I'm pretty sure that if I knew the final result of my attempts at painting, I would soon give up the chase out of the boredom of predictability. Equally, if I knew how the piece would be taken, what doors would open or shut in my face, what soul travelers I would have the pleasure of meeting, or even what mental cubbyhole I might find myself in the "Art World" I'd probably get tired of the exercise pretty quick. So....pass the pie and the knife please...."I'll chance it!"

For dessert, "Four & Twenty Blackbirds (When the Pie Was Opened...)" (An original painting by WB Eckert, acrylic on canvas, 30"x 25", custom frame) Please direct all inquiries to WBEckertStudio@gmail.com .

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This new piece has been sitting around finished for a bit, but I didn't really know it...or would that be "I really was not ready to admit it"? In that sense it was right under my nose, camouflaged. It's a bit different than most of my other pieces in that it's not a running narrative type of image. Most of my work has a story to it (if they don't have one at the inception they certainly do by the time they are finished). This one doesn't...or at least it's not very obvious to me. This one is sort of an observation without comment if you will.

It's funny how I can look for something till I am totally discouraged and give up in exasperation only to notice that it's been right there in front of me all the time. (I'm very familiar with that one.) I think it's really the same with life and everything around me. It's all made of the same basic "stuff" and exists in the same "sea of ether", (the space that's between each and every bit of "Stuff" in existence), but somehow I manage quite efficiently to sort it all out and make sure that the limits of everything are carefully delineated in my mind. There are times when I stop to realize that there really are no limits to anything... my physical body, my life force, trees, animals, my keyboard, all overlap and spill into one another. It's just very convenient to look at everything as if it's all separate in some way. After all, if I can't have a determination as to where I stop and you begin...well, that might just change my whole outlook and way of acting! No wonder that my usual way of looking at things tends to get me into a lot of trouble, while simultaneously causing a great deal of trouble for those around me!

It is a tough nut to crack since I've all spent most of my life buying into the concept of individuality and separateness. At times and with a bit of effort, it is possible to see past the camouflage I've carefully constructed...if for no other reason than to occasionally scare the selfishness out of myself...and see the marvelous continuity and interplay that I am a part of and is in turn an integral part of myself.

So having finally admitted it done...I offer "A Carefully Camouflaged Whole". (An original painting by WB Eckert (Acrylic on canvas, 24"x 24" [...with a custom frame, not shown, that appropriately establishes it's limits]).

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Warp and the Weft

This is a pretty hectic time for me, even stressful. I've been doing quite a bit of painting, but there is all the attendant "grunt" work, and I, of course being who I am, resist that tooth and nail. So, actually getting down to it has been quite a task. A number of shows are coming up, so there are painting in the works and on the drawing pad, printing of photographic prints, framing, and the paperwork, artist statements to slog through and etc., etc. But, as I said I am painting, and this is a good thing.

The piece on this post is the latest finished piece and there are three on the line in various stages of progress. I usually have a title early on, but this one resisted the usual. Possibly because it's the first of a series that I have in mind and it's too early to tell. That being said, as I sat down to do up this post, a title quickly came to mind... "Warp and Weft".

I'm always amused at all the thoughts that fly through my head while I'm working on a piece. Some are high flown while others trudge along the surface. This one brought musings of Hemingway's idea of "grace under pressure", and the idea that to get through life is one thing, but to flow through it gracefully with all it's weavings and bobbings around obstacles and distractions is quite a goal to be sought after.

It seems that this is the warp and weft of life....the forward motion through all the events and issues that are part and parcel of the journey (99% of which we definitely have no say in) without it you can't have the whole cloth, or even any cloth. Honestly, I think that I'm a very late bloomer at this quest, but as they say, better late than never, and the discovery of something that's been in front of my nose for such a long time is humbling and exciting at the same time....So...forward and onward into the breach...or through the warp!

"Warp and Weft" the series, number 1 (Original acrylic on canvas 15 x 30")

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Early Bird?

Another study. This was a nice surprise. I was working on another piece and was pretty burnt out. I had been painting for most of the day and it was getting difficult to see the subtle color variations that I was looking for in the piece. I wasn't ready to quit painting for the day so I did a quick sketch, picked up a small 9x12" canvas and thought I would explore some color ideas for another painting that is coming up. It was a good call, the small piece worked a nice turn and surprised me. When I showed it to my wife, she agreed and suggested that if I had another canvas that size I should do more of the scene. This is the result.

I suppose I can take a lesson from this for those times when I quit before I'm really ready to and think that I have nothing left. There is usually something left, but I'll never know unless I keep going that extra bit. Good advice to myself...maybe I'll remember to try it a bit more often.

"Morning Patrol" (Original painting by WB Eckert, acrylic on 2 canvases, 9x12" each.)