Sunday, November 30, 2008
i like peppers, i like how they taste, i like how they make other things taste, i like how they look. i prefer the twisty ones the most. i've noticed that many stores seem to prefer peppers that look like storybook peppers...uniform and uniformly "pepper-like". i think that i prefer the "Mapplethorpepper"...suggestive and sensually twisted...visually spicy!
what i did with three of them one afternoon...
"3 peppers" original painting, acrylic on canvas 8"x10" study on stretched cotton canvas ($125)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Inspiration...great stuff...but where does it come from? does everyone get it? why do some people seem to get large doses of it, while others seem to languish? why does it seem to dry up sometimes?
whatever it is, i think it's a good thing.sometimes i muse that it's a slippery item to claim as one's own. maybe we can claim that we had the good sense to act on it, but it hardly seems that we generate it at whim (which would be the only way that we could lay claim to owning it). Another thought to shake around in those quiet times.
i always wanted to try this...i'm not sure if i would want this kind of muse around all the time...rumor has it that they have large and omnivorous appetites.
"The Source" photography, various 3d applications, and Photoshop
Thursday, November 20, 2008
What is Fate, is anything "fated", do we make out own Fate, are we helpless before fate, in fate we trust? if there is such a thing, from what does it emanate?...some things to ponder over a reassuring glass of something stronger than ginger ale.
One of my latest paintings "fortuna ex machina"...41.5x33", acrylic on canvas.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
birds on the brain...that must be the reason. i was doing some photo research on pelicans for a future painting so i found myself, camera in hand, stumbling around the rocks at the sea shore. it was a very nice day and the birds were most accommodating (lazy?) so i got some nice pics and even better inspiration. i wish i had wings...
for the flighty...."Pair On a Popular Perch" and "Simple Requirements"
Friday, September 19, 2008
i decided to paint...just paint. i find that if i spend time deciding whether my impulse to paint any particular idea is worth spending the time on...i don't. the result of that little exercise is no painting. so, in the interest of producing some paintings, i'm painting ANY ideas that seem interesting. this particular one is not the latest, but it is in the recent roster. i also decided to stock them up a bit instead of releasing them every time i complete one. more on this topic later, but for now...
"Birds Before the Storm" (acrylic on canvas, 15"x30", SOLD)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
i really have taken a liking to the sound of the word "bling". it's a wonderfully descriptive utterance for something that has a momentary sparkle and flash...the passing twinkle in an eye used in an over-the-top visual comedy...so sad that we grab onto that so often as the first thing...and spend an inordinate amount of energy of all sorts trying to possess...nothing...or, arguably less satisfying, the wrong thing.
such an incredible lack of discernment..or is it simply just laziness, like looking at nothing in particular and past everything and just grabbing the first "bling" we see?
it makes me very uncomfortable to ponder this one..."calming vibrations"
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
i usually take the stand that there are "absolutes", but as i get more experience in life i have to admit that there seems to be no possible way to ascertain what they (or it) might be.
every single object or event looks different, and may have different significance, depending on the person observing it or the location of the observation point...that would seem to include physical location, mental state, life experience, education, and whatever else we could imagine that would make each observer/location combination unique. it sometimes seems to me that if we could just get all the views, we'd know what something absolutely is...or would we?
i'm fascinated by this concept, and it's easy enough to play around with it on a small scale while photographing the same thing from different perspectives...the more i play with it, the more i'm convinced that there's just no telling...and so i go on exploring and observing.
two of the many faces of one of my favorite buildings, the templeton granary..."a matter of scale" and "boxes and boxes".
Thursday, July 31, 2008
i thought i'd post my latest painting. this has some of my favorite arcs and swoops (and the arm and hand movements that go with them), and the animal whose movements i love to trace with those forms. it's been quite a while since i've painted dolphins, and this is a completely different approach to the subject for me. i may go this way for a while and see where i wash up.
for your pleasure..."Arc Flight" acrylic on canvas
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Not much to say here...color...texture....it's everywhere! i like it!
just a couple of pieces that tickle my retinal receptors..."Turquoise Harem" and "Intruder Warning in Red"
Friday, July 11, 2008
throughout the world, in all of our lives we see the evidence and consequence of the intrigues we create. we are often aghast to observe that, once created, they are likely to take on a life of their own...completely out of our control, careening down paths that we never imagined. oh what wondrous webs we weave...and in the nature of webs, they become tangled and entangling...it's just the nature of things.
unfortunately, we fool ourselves into thinking that we do have control over our creations and machinations...we don't. it's not that we can stop our web-making, and it's impossible to untangle our creations, but it's worth the effort at times to stop and observe that tangle and try to sort it out to find a focus...if for no other reason than to learn a thing or two about them.
these two pieces required considerable thought to find a focus in the tangle...but, worthwhile i think..."industrial strength web" and "snail snare"
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
people and images...i surely find people the most challenging of all images to make. it's not all that difficult to take a good photo of a person, but to capture a bit of their personality...for me, that's a tough one...
my favorite person, wife, partner, and, pleasurably, my favorite model...rachel... "rachel deep in thought" and "piece of mind"
it's fascinating to consider the place of chaos in a world where we value order, or is it considering order in a world that seems to admit chaos at every turn? in any case, in art it is a struggle at times to order the chaos of images, colors, forms, and aromas that we encounter at every turn. like doing a term paper or essay, it's often difficult to corral the material and make some digestible sense of it all...
both of these pieces presented that challenge..."Torigata 2" and "barely contained"
Saturday, June 21, 2008
sometimes it flat out amazes me to see something that i am very familiar with and think i "know so well" in a new context. my first reaction is one of awe at what i'm looking at...its beauty, color, shape, complexity, whatever the overwhelming sensation may be. if i examine it at length, i may come to realize that it is a very familiar thing that shines in contrast to a foreign environment. a star is born! i find myself overwhelmed by the sensation and fail to see what i am really looking at...the "same old thing" in a context that showcases its special traits.
in light of this observation it's surprising that we should be so anxious about being in unfamiliar situations...the very places where we might shine.
so....."punk'd out in orange" and "a star is born"
Friday, June 13, 2008
i'm defintely not an advocate of forgetting the past. i have often been advised that it's good for an artist to destroy all that clinging old work so that we can work a fresh slate...i'm not there. i'm always fascinated by old works. i have a sort of detachment from them in that it's not too long after they are completed that they don't feel like mine. they are fascinating and yet seem foreign to me...like looking at someone else's work. good, bad, or ugly that's the way it is.
at times i revisit old works and re-invent them, or re-do them in another media...or return to the path that i wandered off on when i did them originally. this is one such piece...the sketch was done on a plane flight, and i worked the solution over a period of time...now i'm looking forward to a second journey for it on canvas. "Guilt:Formal"
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Most of the work that i've posted recently has been photographic in nature, but i thought i'd post something a bit different this time. i just finished a commission that i procrastinated myself through for way too much time...having just "broke camp", i'm understandably pretty excited!
without going into gory details, this is an original portrait of a young man on a 1927 Harley Davidson based on a black and white photo of the subject supplied by the client ...done in acrylic on canvas, 30x40". "Shaw's Ride", SOLD
Monday, May 26, 2008
it is interesting to consider that even though we think that everything we look at is in focus, actually only the very specific area that we are looking at is in focus...the rest is just shapes, colors, or movement. we don't normally take notice that we look rapidly at a great number of things in a short period of time, and that our eyes focus and adjust very quickly to each new area of interest...so we get the whole picture rather than just a bit. the camera can tease us with a different view...
playing with that concept with the camera has all sorts of possibilities..."fiery iris" and "green bursts"
Friday, May 23, 2008
it's amazing how often we miss the beauty of the little insignificant parts...shapes, color juxtapositions, words, inflections, sighs...in our mad "appreciation" of the grandeur of everything...
here's to those bits...."colors bumping" and "little bits of time"
Thursday, May 15, 2008
well...there's the mysterious and then there's "in your face".
i did mention that i find it very hard to settle for just one style, one emotion, one look in my work. of course that makes me pretty hard to categorize, but, i gotta admit that's the way i am...as i mentioned in a previous post...like ruby rod in 5th Element, "i don't want one position, i want all positions!"
this is like going from chamber music to art blakey or herbie hancock, but i do like it at times when everything falls into an ordered structure...clean lines, precise shapes, vibrant colors, methodical structure...while working on these two, i was reminded of the painter stuart davis and his jazzy paintings so i had to reacquaint myself with the pleasure of his work....bright and flashy...
so...bright, flashy, and structured..."jazzy ensemble" and "mee 2"
Sunday, May 4, 2008
when i was very young my father used to take my brother and i for walks in the woods...we used to explore and play tag and hide and seek (me in my red jacket)...i always thought it was a magical place...mysterious, dark, sometimes light streaming into secret places revealing wonderful scenes...i don't think i've ever lost that feeling of the mysterious in nature...one of my favorite experiences, still, is wandering in some out of the way area (this often can be 5 feet from a road!) and discovering a bower, a pile of leaves, a stream, a wizened and impossibly gnarly tree, a spider sitting on it's woven lace picnic blanket awaiting a guest for dinner... being awe inspiring without the slightest need for an audience...and here i am, the lucky observer... like being someplace i'm not really supposed to be.
if i have my camera with me, i can spend hours, trying to capture that feeling of awe and the delights that i'm seeing and experiencing. it's not so easy, i find, to capture that mystery...
these two shots are a pleasure for me...i think i came close to capturing that element of mystery that i enjoy..."after the shower" and "oak grove on a rainy day"
Thursday, May 1, 2008
time passes and so does the sheen.
i guess missing the sheen is normal, but letting it become the defining element of our thinking is less than invigorating to one's creative life. when that becomes the focus, all endeavor seems to lean to recapturing what we thought was the more successful time of creativity (or would that be notoriety?). we all(exceptions are entertained)love to be noticed and noted. in fact, creativity seems, like happiness, to be much less satisfying if not shared. there is definitely a thrill and satisfaction from the work done, but put all the results in a place where no one else can see and laud or critique, and i doubt that any of us "creative types" would continue. that's the "fak" jack! (yeah, i know that feeling insular and above it all is a great pose...a lofty perch above it all in the pecking order, but it's not a very original delusion.)
so, what's left? no faded glory that's for sure! like the rust forming under metal that has been repainted in an attempt to restore the old glory...often, like the experiences of life, the bubbling, dented, weatherbeaten, crusty layers add a new glory...and for me, i think i'll try to capture that...there'll be enough time to reflect on the "old glory" when i'm pushing up daisies!
so...for reflection and introspection..."Once Upon a Star" and "Glorious in Retirement"
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
in a crowd of 6.7 billion people, "special" is a pretty astounding word to use when describing one of us, yet we all believe that each one of us is special...(smoke that one for a while!)... and just what what is "success" among this number of strivers for the brass ring...and who or what calls the shots that determine the outcome?
of the millions of sperm that are sent on their mad dash for survival/success in a single act of intercourse, only one will be successful...of all the eggs that are fertilized only a certain number will see the light of day of birth...of those, many newborns will not live to see puberty...and still the number of "successes" are astounding considering the odds.
once reaching adult status, very few are "successful" considering the standards of the world...whether by fame, monetary status, or power...and then how many of us attain the status of "truly memorable" ... those whose ideas or accomplishments are credited with steering this vast human ship through the uncharted waters of history..?
pondering this is a good reason to reach for that additional beer or two...and ponder "beating the odds" and "chosen".
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
while working on these images i got to thinking about how i physically "fit" in the world.
i tend to think of my personal self as insular and totally inclusive to my own "place" in space and time...but experience, science, and "spirituality" seems to hint to something quite different.
how did i know what that other person was going to say before they said it? where do "my" body's atoms and molecules end and the outside's begin...exactly? why does it seem to me that "prayer" or positive "vibes" or energy is effective in the world?
at times these considerations seem to fracture my concepts of just what or who my self is...
does it matter, or is the only practical consideration the skin i'm in?
so..."cat branches" and "boy through water"
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
everything today seems to be framed...from the pictures on the wall, to events in the media, to the messages that politicians wish us to devour whole-cloth...one of the things that humans seem to do innately as a species is make images of life...as someone who remembers the advent of television (but not the events in the lascaux cave), i can attest that this visual framing of everything is everywhere in our lives...propagandists and preachers rejoice!!
i sometimes wonder if we tend to live the greater part of our life being influenced more by framed images and messages than we do by actual real life involvement... it is after all just as easy today to live local lives between home, work, and possibly church...and to shrink from real life as a dangerous horror or snide joke that we see framed in the media spread before us...wouldn't a thought or two remind us that all images are taken "out of context"?....
i wonder... "short of involvement" and "through a glass"
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
sometimes...setting is all. a diamond set it in a glass of water...it becomes invisible for all practical purposes no matter how perfect a diamond it is. take a rotten tomato, place it on a black field and set a small spot light on it...you will have an interesting if not beautiful picture...
so...i thought that i'd search the archives for items that i've always liked, but never did know what to do with and apply some creative settings using elements of the original shots for that purpose...(this bears further experimentation i'm thinking...)
these two have always reminded me of the french impressionists...and now dipped ever so tentatively into the arts nouveau setting have a bit more sparkle than before...
"lily pond pastels" and "lily bloom"
Sunday, March 23, 2008
i always have a feeling of triumph when i can actually get a shot of some birds that are interesting to me...they are usually all over the place and not very amenable to close inspection unless the observer hides out somewhere...alas, a nature photographer i'm not... that being said, i love to watch birds interact...they often take on the form of human social groups...gathering in cliques, chattering away, excluding some hapless member of the avian community...hanging around some light pole or other...real light weights...
in that vein i'm sneaking in "not ready for prime time" and "evening recap"
Friday, March 21, 2008
keeping that "spark" way past the jaded...can everything old still be new without having to get alzheimers to experience it. i suspect that the key has something to do with learning to really look at things anew and not blowing them off as "the same old thing". photography, or any of the "arts" seems to be a facilitator for looking anew at things...almost of necessity the process slows us down enough to look or think again...
"preening in the Sunset" and "morning hangover"
Saturday, March 15, 2008
there's subtlety and refinement and then there is CANDY!
enjoyment at an entirely different level...the guilty pleasures...
sometimes that's all we want...the uncritical glutinous intake of an intricate visual feast. that's how i feel when i look at these. this subject is pretty unceremoniously an enjoyment of raucous architectural flamboyance...yes, it is obviously art deco flair, but considering that it is a stucco front on a metal quonset building and that the building serves as a construction headquarters pushes all the meters towards the top...
"sweet!" and "more than one way to the top"
Friday, March 14, 2008
funny thing about "art"...if it has any chance at all to be any good, it comes from, and in all reality is about, the secret places in the craftsman's heart and soul...the very private and personal element that is mostly unseen by anyone but the artist....then it is outed for anyone with eyes to see. probably not a good thing for the artist to muse on, but definitely a great thing for the enrichment of souls and hearts...
"casual enticement" and "heart of the secret place"
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
well, after considering the virtues of asking the important questions before i take a shot, i have to equally consider the virtues of just jumping in...that doesn't say that the eye behind the lens shouldn't think...maybe it's more that i wonder how often after thinking some fine impulse over and over, to my later regret (or surprise) i realize i missed something special.
the included visuals are older shots revisited...areas cropped for visual and visceral interest and to the dogs with my nagging technical (nice word for it) conscience. i find that very often, the result is more satisfying than i had considered...so here's to "on the higher plane" and to "jumping off"