Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Little Ba

Ba sketch. Watercolor, approx. 3" x 3".
Ancient Egyptians believed the Ba was the uniqueness or personality of the individual and, similar to the Western concept of a soul, lived on after the body died.  It's often depicted as a bird with a human head. 
Lots of artists seem to be exploring that concept in their art lately. This is my version, done a few years ago, inspired by a sculpture I'd seen.

I'm not a consciously concept-driven artist at all.  I draw and paint in the immediacy of the moment, so whatever is coming out in the work must be deep in my unconscious.  I suppose it could be fun for some to speculate on why an artist created a specific image. I think though, that my personal "meaning" within an artwork is irrelevant to the viewer; art is what it is, signifying something to me that's probably very different to the viewer. That's as it should be.
 
Too much explanation ruins it, probably why I failed miserably at critiques in school.
 
Anyway, thanks for reading!
 
 



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Sketchbook Stuff

 What to do when painting in the studio ain't cuttin' it? What to post when nothing's being painted? 
It's too hot to stand around and paint anyway--a great excuse to goof off.

 So I'm sitting on my can, drinking lemonade and filling pages with nonsense.
When I was a kid I used sharpie markers and highlighter pens for this kind of thing. Now it's Microns and watercolors.

And this weird little sketchbook has paper surprisingly suited to both the pens and the watercolors. Gotta try to find another soon.

Hoping your summer isn't all work either. 
Thanks for the visit!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vacation Sketchbook Play

Took a vacation; from home, computers, and from studio art business. But I took along my watercolors and a little sketchbook, as always.

This particular "dance of death" is only 3 1/2" x 3/4" and was pretty surely inspired by my summer read of World Without End by Ken Follett, who puts out fat volumes great for vacation reading. The novel's climax involved the Black Death of 1340-ish Europe. It provided some colorful, grisly dreams and a bunch of sketch subjects.

Who cares if my version looks more like the Funny-Hat 5k of Death? Not caring is the point--play in the sketchbook is total enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Furry Creature Sketches

 Hot weather is not my favorite. Hot, storm-less weather challenges my creativity and productivity. (Hence, this rather pointless blog-post.)
  Sitting around with a group of artists/craftsmen--talking and drinking beer--helps, though. So while I didn't make anything of substance the other evening, these un-thought-out (no resource) sketches appeared in my sketchbook as the conversation progressed.

Mostly I draw birds and little guys. Cute mammals are seldom my thing, but Rams have been on my mind lately, because I'm wanting a ram sculpture from the 60's. 
Hares, unlike rabbits, are rangy, slightly goofy, and always seem to have something up their sleeve--probably ought to explore them a bit more.

Take things easy--and thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stumbling

 Been working on a large canvas of a ramshackle house for some time. I'm in stumbling mode, totally distracted and disorganized. I go from one project to another, not finishing even a thought, much less a painting. Happens all the time, most often right after I've finished a big project.  
Should be used to it, but I hate it, because it adversely affects everything I do--hence, stumble-driving, stumble-cooking, stumble-reading, etc.

 But I'm determined to finish the picture, because old houses fascinate me, and because I dislike painting over a canvas. The idea for this specific painting came from a clutch of amazing porcelain houses by Zach Medler. (Check out his other works http://zachmedler.blogspot.com  )
These two (above) were bought with birthday money, and I love them. The one on the right especially fired my imagination.

My collection of photos of old houses helped with the details, as did my sketchbook. The sketch above is in ballpoint pen, and it's the main one that formed the basis for the painting.

When I finally catch my balance I'll post the finished work.

In the meantime, thanks for the visit!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saint Matthias: At Home in Somerset, NJ

The two paintings were finished and shipped to the Catholic Community of Saint Matthias in Somerset, New Jersey. The generous people of the parish kindly shipped Linda and me out as well!  We were very happy to be able to join them for the Feast of St. Matthias Mass and the unveiling of the large painting which followed.

(My interview in St. Matthias in Action:
http://www.stmatthias.net/connect/sites/default/files/May%202012.pdf)
 It was an honor to be asked to speak following the blessing of the painting; and because of the warm welcome by everyone, I was not nervous to be up front at all--very unusual for me.

The people of St. Matthias have a firm commitment to stewardship; their giving spirit extends not only locally but beyond, including hands-on, hard work for the U.S. and global community. Linda and I were recipients of the kindness, heart, and geniality that have created a remarkable parish and school!
http://www.stmatthias.net/connect
(Photos courtesy of Deacon Ron Caimi)


Saint Matthias. Acrylic on wood, 30" x 84". Collection of the Catholic Community of Saint Matthias. (Image copyright The Catholic Community of Saint Matthias, all rights reserved.) Photo by Neal Wallace.

Thanks very much for following the story.  
 Next post: Some goofy stuff!


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