I get email updates regarding my Vango account a few times a month. I tend to simply read the title then ‘delete’ if does not include the word “sale” or “sold” in it. However, this little notification was refreshing!
With hundreds of interesting new sketches now in my sketchbook, I am running out of excuses to create new artwork. The only excuse I have left is: “I.. need a studio!”
I have successfully built a few more cradled wood panels. This time, I started completely from scratch. That means measuring and miter cutting each piece of wood by hand. Then glueing, clamping, sanding and sealing everything together. It took me a few tries, but I think I have settled in on my own method of how to build a solid cradle that will stand the test of time.
Below are two 12″ x 12″ x 2″ cradles that were built a week apart. You can see the difference in quality between my first hand-built panel(bottom) and my last(top). On the first, I could not get the frame properly square because of the rush-cut wood pieces. So, the corners were either offset or had a gap. I also used nails in addition to the wood glue to secure the panel to the cradle. The results.. an ugly, uneven cradle that will require alot of extra prep work to make it paintable.
After building two other imperfect panels during that week, I learned from my mistakes and ended up with the top panel. All of the corners are perfectly mated. There is no panel-to-cradle “lip” or overlap, and I used only glue to bond the panel and cradle together. A little bit of finish sanding and this panel is ready to be sealed, gessoed and painted!
I had the same experience while building my larger panels. It is the larger panels, however, that are the most cost effective to make. Much more time and material is required for additional bracing, but the investment will pay off. The majority of my new artwork will be done using these large and extra-large panels. The only improvement that I will make is to use real wood panels such as pine, oak or walnut instead of hardboard.
12″x12″x2″ panels(front 2), 24″x48″x2″ panel(middle), 36″x48″x3″ panel(rear)
I am, by no means, a master art cradle builder. But, until my artwork becomes in-demand and I can afford to spend several hundred dollars on a manufactured cradled panel, I’m going to keep building my own. Plus, there is a higher level of satisfaction knowing that I created a work of art that was made entirely by my own hands.
About a week ago, I discovered an amazing artist who I had never heard of, despite the past few months of vigorous art blog and e-zine browsing.
There was a segment in one of my favorite fantasy shows, The Secret Lives of The Super Rich, that covered the growing popularity of Art Basel among the art-loving 2 percent. The segment followed an older couple who, among a select group of other wealthy collectors, enjoyed a “first dibs” browse of the works on display. I found it quite funny that the narrator of the show mentioned that there seemed to be.. ” alot of really expensive stuff that shouldn’t be called art”. This couple, however, was looking for real art. Something new and exciting to add to their current multi-million dollar collection. From what I observed, they bought at least 5 different works of “art”. By the end of the spree(which lasted about an hour), the couple was reported to have spent around $300,000!
One of the works that they purchased was a kind of second-chance offering for another painting that had already been sold. In fact, the curator literally pulled it from a nearby closet. It was an original oil painting by renowned artist Kehinde Wiley. A beautiful 96″ x 72″ canvas from his An Economy of Grace series. Although both paintings were shown for only a few moments, I could tell that it had been painted by an artist of considerable talent. The buyers were familiar with the artist and did not blink at the $125,000 asking price!
A few days after recording that episode, I went back to my DVR to review the segment again. I pressed replay several times so I could catch the name of the artist. After 5 or 6 replays, I kept hearing “Candy Wiley”. I knew that first name couldn’t be right, but I searched it in Google anyway. Maybe enough people had misheard the name as I did. Of course, Google made the connection(and the correction) and offered the artist’s name and website within the results. Wow! I must admit that I have not seen or heard of such a celebrated African-American painter since Jean-Michel Basquiat. I’m sure that statement has been made many times over during Mr. Wiley’s rise to prominence, despite that fact that their painting styles are completely different.
I guess what surprised me the most about my discovery of Kehinde Wiley is that without having any prior knowledge of the artist, I developed an opinion – even a mental image of who I thought the artist might be. Based on a few glimpses of his work, I was thoroughly impressed. It was apparent that the subject in all of the paintings was a brown-skinned male or female – painted with the skill of a renaissance master. I am ashamed to admit that I did not expect the artist to be African-American. I questioned why a (white)artist would focus solely on black/brown subjects. I doubted, momentarily, that a black artist could be a modern master. I was pleasantly surprised(and humbled) to learn otherwise.
When I have the rare moment to research artistic inspiration from around the world, I do so objectively. I cannot say that I have an absolute favorite artist any more than I have a favorite genre, period or subject. Regardless, I am attracted to the work itself and how it moves me.
I will occasionally use the in-site filters to sift the results down to a selection that is most relateable to me. Meaning, the artist or the work resembles myself and the work that I like to create. On my favorite sites such as Artsy.com or Saatchi.com, I usually only filter by Region(United States), Style(Abstract/Contemporary), and Size(Large). I browse the works of the emerging artists and well-established artists. Sometimes, I can’t tell the difference regardless of the press(or prices). I simply look for pieces that catch my eye. Pieces that furrow my brow and perplex me. During my searches, I am also placing myself somewhere in the mix. Constantly questioning what kind of impression my work would have on the casual art browser or (even better)the avid art collector. I suppose that I am both building my own wishlist as well as envisioning my own success as an international artist.
I am far from obtaining either at the moment. Yet, I continue to search for exquisite pieces to add to my expanding virtual art collection. I live vicariously through artists who are making a name for themselves. Some seem to have been randomly-yet-lovingly, plucked from the global pool of the unknown and ushered into museums and galleries to be offered huge commissions and command 5 and 6-figures for their paintings. Others, display such talent and mastery in their work, that there is no question as to why they should be celebrated. I would gladly walk either one of those roads to success.
This building appears to explode from the landscape yet remain cloaked by its surroundings at the same time.
Bureau LADA. ( DHL Architecture for Atelier Malkovich ) Pavilion for an Artist . Amsterdam, The Netherlands. photos : Thomas Lenden
The Pavilion has a strong, hard and reflective shell and a warm, soft core. It is an uninterrupted space, an archive corridor, where the artist can walk around and around, endlessly roaming through their orderly labyrinth, master of their soul. If full to the brim it must be emptied and tidied – it is a hard disc for the creative mind! (c) archdaily http://ift.tt/1wJKB8L