Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why Hello Owl Crusader

I just started this new piece and am waiting for paint to dry, which is a test of patience. This is the very beginning of the piece and is the black board I posted in my post 'None More Black'. I know of a few elements that will be in the painting as I already see it finished in my mind, so we'll see how it turns out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Favorite Painting #1

St. Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, Francisco de Zurbaran, 1630AD, Milwaukee Art Museum

I have two favorite paintings ever. Today I'm sharing the first, St. Francis of Assisi in His Tomb. As a pre-teen I took a Saturday morning art class at the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI and spent hours sitting on the floor in front of this painting. It's a massive painting, especially when you're 12. At that time it was in the corner of a small room and I liked having it all to myself. As an adult I've realized what an impact St. Francis has had on my life and how he makes his way into my work.

Amazing the memories you create and carry with you through life. Have you experienced a work of art that shook your core?

Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum:
Milwaukee Art Museum

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Confessed Bookworm

I've spent these last few days in deep research mode for my next painting. Whether I'm reading through a stack of books, watching movies, or spending 6 hours on a Saturday watching particular YouTube videos, I'm searching for clues to my next painting. It's like studying for a test with my note taking, post-its, and highlighted words. This process is manic and grueling but somehow fulfilling. I know ultimately it's up to the Universe as to what will show up on that board, but right now my left brain is trying to put the puzzle together.

There are three books on the creative process I own and cherish. Through them I've found structure and expansiveness, not only creatively, but in my personal life as well. Perhaps you too will find them inspiring.

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron

Finding Water by Julia Cameron

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paul McCartney the Painter

Back in my college days in Milwaukee, WI I frequented a bookstore on Downer Ave, picking up books that still inspire me over ten years later. The book I'm thinking of today is a book of paintings by Paul McCartney. Yes, Paul McCartney of The Beatles. He paints, and well in my opinion. His work is full of expression and color, inspiring me to expand the limitations I put on myself.

Years later in Arizona I worked concerts and had the opportunity to work with his clothes all day. This was before I discovered the power of the Beatles (I catch on a bit late sometimes...) so I saw him more as this colorful painter whose paintings captivated me.

At the end of the evening I took home the flowers from his dressing room that I placed there earlier in the day. Some of the flowers ended up in my painting, 11:11.

I was told he will never have a gallery showing, which is a shame.

I hope you enjoy his work:
Paul McCartney:Paintings book on Amazon

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roundabout Wings

Sapere Aude, oil on board, 2012

My paintings solidify in the most peculiar of ways. One idea leads to another and the result is often something I didn't expect or perhaps sort of expected, yet manifested in a roundabout way. Such is the case with the wings of 'Sapere Aude'.

Initially I thought she would have four arms, like Kali. However I wasn't sure there was ample space for so much information. Butterfly wings kept popping up in my mind and I kept setting it aside. It didn't seem to quite fit. I pondered for what seemed like an eternity but was probably really 15 minutes. Pandora was playing on my computer and a Deftones song came on. (Ideas tend to come to me easily when I listen to the Deftones. I don't know what it is. It's been happening for years.) Wondering what album the song was on I turned and saw the image of their album, Diamond Eyes. There staring at me was a white owl with wings open. My answer. She will get owl wings. I've been painting owls lately so this fits in perfectly.

Always be open for answers. You never know how they'll be delivered.

Visit the Deftones: Deftones website

Monday, February 6, 2012

Four Legged Inspiration

Queen of Hares, 2007, oil and collage on canvas, private collection

I have a small long haired chihuahua mix (well, 18 lbs small) and many people ask if I paint my dog in my work. I don't per se, but I do honor him from time to time. If you turn 'Queen of Hares' upside down you'll see her hair looks like my dog's ears. 'Talking God' initially had my dog's face and ears but it didn't exactly fit and was wiped away.

In this photo my dog is posing with the skull that inspired my painting 'Trinity'.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Measuring Time

Scoliosis Sanity, oil and collage on canvas, 2004, private collection

At age 11 I was diagnosed with scoliosis and put in a body brace that I wore for 23 hours a day for nearly four years. The doctor told me if I didn't wear the brace I'd be dead by age 21. Thus began my obsession with 'time', understanding the importance to live life in the present moment and not take anyone or anything for granted. A lot to take for a pre-teen. The clock began to tick. The brace eventually came off, 21 came and went and my spine remained the same. Now in my 30's I still experience health situations relating to my spine... things like the compression of my organs. And when you're trying to breathe, you know, that's kinda important.

You know what though? I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've represented time in my work in the past by painting clocks and rulers. I'm now expanding my thoughts on 'time' which you will see in my future work.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fishes Galore

Today, a quote from a true visionary:

...Desire is the bait, the fish is caught, and then the chef cooks it. Ideas are like fish. They just come to you sometimes, and when you're really lucky, you fall in love with them and know exactly what to do.

David Lynch, Interview Magazine, Feb 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

None More Black

It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.
~Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

You know you're going to have a good day when it starts out with a Spinal Tap quote.

Today's photo is of the board and frame for my next painting and I'm sharing this with you because it's possibly the most exciting part of the process. Once the paint is applied it can feel like work. Right now in this moment it's a blank board, a clean slate, and the possibilities are endless. I can do anything I want. And I think that's something people forget about in their lives. Everyone has the power to change, to pull out a fresh clean piece of paper, and to create the picture of the life they want.

I've slowly started to gather information for this piece... time, beakers, 'Time in a Bottle'... which very well may be the title.

Speaking of time, I will be in Flagstaff tonight for the Random Hearts group show at West of the Moon Gallery from 6-9pm to represent my painting '3 Years, 9 Months, 8 Days'. Perhaps Flagstaff will be the inspiration to this new piece. Stay tuned.

*I've been asked where images of my past work have gone - If you're looking for my past work (pre 2010), Google my name and you may find some.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

B. Love Money White Chocolate

I woke up this morning with the idea to write a blog post every day for the month of February. I realize it's already Feb 2 and I've missed a day. I don't know why I'm compelled to do this as I'm usually quite reserved, however it's a new year, a new month, and today happens to be Candlemas, so this is for Brigid.

The image that popped in my head right away is 'B.Love Money White Chocolate'. It sold in 2005 right after completion. B.Love is the rabbit and in real life (because I always paint about my real life) he is my dear friend Bryan. Ever since this painting he refers himself to B. or B.Love. B.Love drinks iced chai lattes at Starbucks and now lives in Austin, Texas. He also introduced me to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

All of the detail was completed with cotton swabs. I don't think I used a paintbrush much at all.

If you look closely you may be able to figure out the story. Raspberries hang from the sky because at the time my friend Anna was baking a delicious raspberry chocolate torte. Food often inspires me, that is true.

B.Love was completed in a week and was one of four of my images that appeared on cards at Hot Topic in 2007.