Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Scribbling in the Margins #2"

Oct. 5th, 2011, I posted my first "Scribbling in the Margins" post. This is number 2. I don't know how much interest there is in this type of imagery. As I mentioned in the first post, I do believe drawing and sketching are useful as a continuing practice, as well as an art expression in and of itself. Sketch books keep one's observation skills sharp. Read more in the previous post October fifth, 2011.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Embracing the Internet, Facebook, and Blogs"

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

"Walking the Ladies"18x24 oil on linen. I will let this sit for a while and tweak it later

"Embracing the Internet, Face book, and Blogs"

When it comes to computers, Internet, face book, blogs, etc., I am probably one of the least technical people on the planet. I have mixed sentiments towards all of this. Like many, I am usually reluctant to embrace new things. My interest in it is for the sake of promoting my art, workshops, and supporting galleries that represent me. When I think back on the fact that I was probably one of the last of my generation of illustrators to finally get a fax machine, it is hard to believe that I have embraced the present technology to the degree that I have…..not that I have even come close to understanding this stuff. My son has pretty much dragged me kicking and screaming into the twenty first century.

Back in my illustration days I used to use couriers to deliver overnight sketches to New York city from Ct. I did this for years, and spent wheel barrels full of money on these types of deliveries by all of the well known couriers. We also used the train conductors as couriers. Once I finally broke down and purchased a fax machine, I could not believe that I actually functioned the way I did without it. Once you had it you could not go back. It is like getting air conditioning in the South as a young lad…..once you had it, you are spoiled forever.

Before the advent of the Internet, face book, and blogs, I never thought much about articulating thoughts about my work, or art in general. I can only speak for myself of course, but I think blogs and face book are one of the most useful tools artists have been given to express themselves, and to expose their work to a very large audience of like minded folks….that have a common interest. I feel that I personally never have anything that profound to say….just simple personal observations that could possibly resonate with others who have the same interest, or passion for painting and drawing.

The thing I really like about all this is, that one can put images up and, it seems to be a real good system for getting feedback. One can get a feel for what strikes a cord with a majority….and also what does not get so much attention. I get a lot of reaction to some images and others only marginal response….and that is expected. I’m not saying that this is an absolutely accurate measure, or test of work, but it does give one some indication as to whether one has done something that others respond to. It is almost like having a marketing tool at one’s disposal. Comments on Face Book for example….One always hopes that responses, or comments, are based first on an emotional reaction to the work….. as well as the technical aspect of it. There is no pressure to comment or not, so one would assume that when a comment, or a like is posted, it is because someone is reacting to an image for what ever reason. Before a painting makes it to a frame, one can get some idea of how it will be received. This is of course not a fool proof method. It may not work at all, but I think it is better than dancing alone. Of course one can always do what I do most of the time……listen to my wife. Marilyn is pretty good most of the time. It is hard to be objective about your own work at times. It is nice to have someone you trust to tell what you need to hear, and not only what you want to hear.

The other thing that comes to mind is….what if my generation of illustrator would have had the technology that exists today? It would seem to follow that it would have been so much easier to promote ones self. Until recently, I have never done much self promotion, with the exception of ads years ago through my rep. Everyone would obviously benefit from more advertising and some type of self promotion. I think this new world of instant exposure allows one to do some of this without all the tremendous economic hardship of magazine ads, posters, etc. These are the kinds of silly things that bounce around my head when I’m on my daily walks along the inter-coastal. As always, these are only my personal opinions and observations, and do not necessarily reflect any universal views on this subject. Thanks for taking the time to listening to my ramblings.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Newest Small Studio Paintings"

This old flatbed truck came from a trip to a wonderful piece of property in my home town. On a recent trip to a class reunion, the owner of this great little bed and breakfast, Le Village, in Eunice, Louisiana has this old truck sitting like an old rusty piece of sculpture on the property. Of course my love for old rusty things made this an irresistible subject for me. It is only a 9x12 done very quickly, so not much time was invested. I just wanted to get it out of my system. There are, however, many scenes on this five acres that I have plans for paintings. Figures in landscape mostly. I am a little excited about the possibilities. The title of the painting is "Felicia`s Flatbed" named after our host and friend Felicia.

This little nocturne is from a trip to a farm a few years ago. I go back through reference occasionally and see things that I somehow over looked, or missed for one reason or another. This was a herd of grazing horses....there were six originally. I turned the shot into a black and white to see the values, and it suddenly looked like a night pasture, so I made up the color and used the values and information to make it a night scene. I usually do not do this sort of thing, but if it conveys the idea of night, then I think it is OK to do that. I would prefer to have experienced the actual night shot. I don`t know how convincing it is, but I like it, and ultimately that is what counts.....for me.