Monday, October 31, 2016

The Barefoot Artist Official Trailer (2014) - Lily Yeh Documentary HD

"Life breaks all of us."  
If you feel like going on an emotional roller coaster this is the film for you, it will give you all the feels. 
It's currently streaming on Netflix and you can rent it on Youtube and other outlets. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Have Some Sage With That Hamm

Autumn Day 5x7 oil on wood panel plein air study
More wise words, this time from Jack Hamm. 
"Long before a child learns to write, he makes marks which in his uninhibited imagination represent a person.  No one has convinced him that he has no artistic ability, nor has he convinced himself, so he continues his unaffected effort to draw.  Because he persists, oftentimes to the undoing of household furniture, walls--and parents his drawings begin to show a decided measure of improvement. Then one day interest wanes, due to acquired restraints, and only a few after that regularly take up the drawing pencil.  The others borrow the oft-repeated phrase, "Oh, I can't draw a straight line!" The plain truth is that, since we are not machines, no one can."

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Mystery of Picasso

The first time I watched this movie was in an Art History class.  We had spent a long time learning about Picasso and I wasn't that impressed with his work, it's not my cuppa but that's just me. They made such a big deal about Guernica, I understood the symbolism of it all but didn't get the big deal. What made him so fabulous? Then we had to watch this and I remember thinking, I want to dance around and paint too. Now I dance around while cooking in the kitchen. I rarely dance around while painting, but maybe I'll give it a shot.
The one thing I hope some will get from watching this is that you can see how confident he is. He's not timid when it comes to painting. I've seen far too many timid painters who are holding themselves back because they're afraid to make the wrong brushstroke. Honestly, the only wrong brushstroke is the one you don't make.
You can watch the whole thing on Vimeo here, or look around and you might be able to find it somewhere else. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Current and Upcoming Shows

At Starr's Cave 5x12"  pastel on paper. Currently at the Blanden Art Museum
Here is a list of current and upcoming shows that I have/will have work in and places where some of my work is currently for sale. I was compiling the list for myself in an effort to stay organised but thought I might as well share in case you're in the area and want to check out the shows/galleries. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Mysteries of Hieronymus Bosch

Never been one to get overly excited about Hieronymus Bosch but this was a fun documentary. I love good conspiracy theories and I'm always amused how various decades bring about hate for religious cults and Satan worshipers. I don't remember much of the 70s but I do remember every "bad" person was either a Hells Angel or practiced witchcraft or something to do with the occult. In 200 years people will probably look at his work and think far less preposterous things, like maybe he had a bad case of food poisoning when he painted certain things. A high fever can make anyone hallucinate you know. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

F for Fake 1973

The movie this week, F for Fake, is the last movie Orson Welles made. It's the story of a real life forger named Elmyr de Hory. de Hory was said to have sold over a thousand forgeries all over the world. 
There's also a book written by Mark Forgy, "The Forger's Apprentice:  Life with the World's Most Notorious Artist".  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Vincent Price's Priceless Words

Value study charcoal on newsprint 
We all know Vincent Price was an amazing actor but you may not know he was very involved in the art world. He actually held a degree in art history and was a collector. He also sold paintings for Sears & Roebuck. WHAT!? Evidently Sears sold prints of famous paintings and Price's job was to choose which paintings were to be used. They also sold paintings by lesser known artists at the time, something about making sure art is made more public. You can read more about it here

When Vincent was asked, what makes a good painting he replied with, "A good painting is one that pleases you".  Sounds like a ridiculously easy answer and one that can be argued a million times over. What pleases one person can greatly displease someone else, so how does that work? It must work very similarly to food. I hate tuna salad sandwiches, there's no such thing, to me, as a good tuna salad sandwich.  That doesn't mean someone else can't claim to have eaten the best tuna salad sandwich. If you like tuna salad sandwiches by all means eat them, if not don't. If you like abstract paintings then paint them. If you only like realism then paint that way. The only rules here are that you keep an open mind and mind your own business. If you are only into realism then paint that and don't worry about what the abstract guy is doing, it has nothing to do with what you're doing. Keep an open mind because everything is an opportunity to learn something. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Inktober 2016

It's that time of year again, Inktober has officially taken over the social media sites.  Here's more info on Inktober. I really like these challenges and reading about everyone's goals for the month and beyond. Some are inking stories, doing one page each day and at the end of October they should have a whole 31 page story. Pretty cool, huh? This year I decided to go with a theme I knew I'd finish, Bond villains. Here are the first five; Franz Sanchez, Kamal Khan, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Dr. No and Colonel Rosa Klebb. If you'd like to see more just search for the hashtags #inktober #inktober2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

I Never Tell Anybody Anything The Life and Art of Edward Burra

"This is a film about the most intriguing 20th century artist you may never have heard of".
That's the truth. I've never heard of Edward Burra but after watching this I think I know him very well. Edward Burra may very well be my spirit animal. In all seriousness, it's an interesting look at his life and his work.
His subject matter and style don't really speak to me but I get it. And for those of you who are in the same watercolour class as me, they mention that Burra painted in watercolour but he painted like an oil painter. I still have no idea what that means but I'm glad I'm not the only one being described that way.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Practice Panel

Tourist Pose 8x8 oil on wood panel
 This year the member's show at the FAA is a 10x10 format on a birch wood panel. They come unprimed and I was curious how the paint would behave if I left it unprimed so I bought an 8x8 and tested it out first.  I'm slightly surprised by the results.  I've painted on unprimed Masonite before and didn't mind it, but it has a slightly slick surface. The birch wood is smooth but is a trifle more difficult to paint on, well, the way I paint it is.  It felt like I was scrubbing in some parts and I kept hearing my friend John Preston's words going through my head, "it's called painting not brushing".  It did take quite a bit more brushing to get the paint on the panel and off the brush but it's doable. The one thing I noticed and actually thought might be helpful for plein air painting  is that the paint seemed to soak in fairly fast and I was able to go back over with paint and not pull paint from the previous layer. This could come in handy during a quick paint competition after more practice on this unprimed surface, of course.
Since this one was purely practice I decided to go with a weird palette. I picked up tubes of paint out of the "never gets used" pile. It's a box of paint I keep around for those "I'll try that someday" sort of thing and it never gets used. I had several tubes of the Jack Richeson Shiva paint that I won in a plein air competition. I remember trying it once before and thought it was too oily.  Lucky me, the too oily worked perfect on the unprimed panel. The colours I used were, titanium white, ultramarine blue, prussian blue, phthalo green, sap green, dioxazine purple, yellow ochre, indian red, burnt sienna and burnt umber. Out of all of those the white, ultramarine blue and burnt umber are the only ones I use on a regular basis so it was fun to see what I could do with the rest.
I think this was a good practice run, the only thing I'm worried about is what my brushes will look like after I wash them.