Conception Art Show: Austin 10/20/18

This will be my first exhibition in 6 years!

Click on the link below for ticket information!

https://conceptionarts.com/artist/5SVyViB

Advertisements

Creative Space and Time

Here we are, 5 months into the year and I have finally been able to offer this… my first post of 2018!  I could spend the next paragraph expressing how disappointed I am with myself for not keeping up with my blog or producing more artwork – for which there would be no blog.  That would be a waste of time and keystrokes.  Besides, I have become much less tolerant of complaints and excuses – including my own.  I have recently undergone a major life transition.  This transition, albeit gradual and costly, has allowed me to eliminate one of my biggest excuses for not making art.

In previous posts, I lamented about not having a dedicated creative space.  This was not entirely true.  I did have a bit of space in which to paint and draw.  I simply didn’t like that space.  I didn’t feel comfortable there.  And if I’m not comfortable, I’m not creative!  So, I decided to invest in my comfort/creativity by renting a small apartment.  Obviously an apartment is far from an investment unless you’re the lessee.  But, the purpose of this apartment is to serve as a quiet space where I can feel comfortable and creative enough to produce wonderful artwork.  In fact, I refer to it as “the studio”.

In it’s current state, it looks more like a storage area than an occupied living space.  Inside, there is nothing but art supplies stacked in the corners and lining the walls.  The only piece of furniture is an old desk that I bought from the Re-Store years ago.  It’s top is a large piece of tempered glass that I grabbed from a roadside pile of junk which was set out for the neighborhood’s bulk pickup.  So, that’s it.  I now have at my disposal, a tiny apartment with a “frankendesk” (no chair), and a few creative implements.  This will do just fine until I paint my way into a larger space.

Now, that I have secured a humble creative environment, I need to find a way to eliminate my next impediment to art-making… lack of time.  Between my day job and the shared responsibility of child-rearing, there isn’t much time left in the day(or the night) for creativity.  So, it’s time to plan and execute my next major transition.  From languishing employee to thriving entrepreneur.  Let’s make this thing happen!

Cradled Wood Panel Building

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!12x12 comparison
IMG_20150811_221431IMG_20150811_221348

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.

IMG_20150812_002642IMG_20150812_002656

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.

Who Is Kehinde Wiley?

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!

PRINCESS VICTOIRE OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA, 2012

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.

Related Links:

Artsy’s Kehinde Wiley Page

From The Unknown

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.

Virtual Art Hanging

In my continued effort to make use of this my downtime, I have started working on my virtual art hanging project. In essence, I am using the skills that I learned in my architectural CAD classes to create virtual rooms in which to hang my artwork. As I delve deeper into my own designs, it becomes apparent to me that I do not have to stick to a “rooms-only” theme. I have been taking copious notes as the ideas come to me.

As with other self-started projects, I am sharing my initial attempts with those who may find them interesting. And, of course, I am open to feedback and suggestions. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

This is a fairly simple rendering compared to the last one I completed for my Architectural Rendering class. I used the same autoCAD drawing as a template. The room has a gallery feel with while painted walls and stealth lighting that is softly projected around the perimeter of the dropped ceiling. I alternated between two different tile colors to see which worked best with the lighting. The large carpet and leather/wood bench are meant to create a warm, residential feel.

I created a custom fireplace with custom ceramic poker holders. Three art pieces hang above the fireplace. The largest is my current favorite untitled concrete panel panel. It does not appear in its original form with stainless steel bolts at each corner. Instead, it has been cropped and framed in brushed chrome. To the left and right are enlarged versions of some older ink drawings of mine framed in anodized aluminum.

A simplified rendering featuring a custom fireplace.  No art or furniture has been added.

A simplified rendering featuring a custom fireplace. No art or furniture has been added.

Wide-angle view of the fireplace art display.  Art has been superimposed and a piece of furniture has been added.

Wide-angle view of the fireplace art display. Art has been superimposed and a piece of furniture has been added.

Close-up angled view of the fireplace art display.

Close-up angled view of the fireplace art display.

I know it’s only my first rusty attempt since graduating, but I feel like I need to make a much more elaborate attempt. As our instructor, Brian Lym of Lym Architecture told us in class, it’s going to take a long time to master the application of materials, mapping and lighting to lend indistinguishable realism to the environment.