Thursday, January 25, 2007

Studio #2 - 2617 3rd avenue south

After leaving the my studio apartment, I moved into an apartment with 3 guys,  Scott, Chris, and Stefan. They gave me a sun room and a fairly large living room as my studio space.  I wish there were more picture from this era, but alas it was before digital was popular and we didn't have money for film to just waste; so I only have these 6.

Studio #2 was crazy, as life at the time was crazy.  We held drawing nights where we had girls we knew model nude for us as we drew them.  We read the cult classics, created art and music all of the time, and built our friendships.  I still know everyone I met there.

I painted two complete series of works here.  Both taught me a lot about oil paint and color.

We threw parties, large building wide parties nearly every month.  At these music and art parties I would simply give away oil paintings to whoever wanted one for what ever donation they could give.  I must have given away 200+ works of art while I lived here.  

Thanks for reading...
...more to come soon.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

0.2 Preface.


     I have written this in an attempt to illustrate for others how to understand what it is I do as an oil painter.  Over the course of the years fifteen years the discipline of oil painting has matured into my chosen form of communication.   Within oil painting I can speak in a way that the audience is aware of my intended concepts clearly and unwittingly, regardless of my chosen subject matter or aesthetic.   I will paint for a period, and then I will write about what I painted. This essay is a collection of my thoughts over the last decade.  This is for me and not for you, if you do not agree with my thoughts on creating works of art and humanities use for the arts then that is fine; my ideas are sure to evolve through time as I learn to understand myself, broadening the relationship I have with my medium.

     I oil paint with two distinctive styles, or methods of aesthetic.  In one, I work with compositions purely based on the texture of oil paint, and in the other I work with the architecture involved in the poetic or rhythmic use of the composition of color-forms to entice direct responses from a viewer.  In both establishments, I attempt to characterize mental-states of being using abstract pictographs associated with the intended narrative of my subject matter.

     I place myself into the mental-state that I am trying to represent, and I stay in character for however long it takes to come to a full understanding of the concept I am working with.   I will stay in character until the work is finished.  I use my total environment to alter my own mental state to that of my intended concept with media such as music, film, and literature as source material to reach and maintain a specific mental-state.  Just as the actor must take on the totality of the character they roll play in movies and theater, I need to be my ideas before and as I paint them.  A mental-state is not simply an indication of emotion but an intellectual stage of being or consciousness where thinking and feeling beings process information during the moment.  The mental-state of an individual effects their behavior and understanding in all aspects of life.  There are many states of being that an individual will go through in life, and whither rational or irrational a mental state is how people deal with cause and effect.  Action a causes us to feel happy, and action b cases us to feel sad, but that effect must not be classified as emotion as emotion is simply an external aftermath of behavior as a result of a mental state.  We each go through several mental states throughout the course of one day.

     All human situations can be represented in a mental-state.  All mental-states can be represented with sound, and all sound can be represented with color-forms.  Compositional oil painting is capable of altering the mental state of the individual, just as directly and immediately as music does.  Although it may not be recognized immediately, or even at all, the outside influence of sound changes how mankind thinks, feels and reacts to situations.  Sound alters our mental state of being, and speaks to us without the complications of personal experience as the interpreter.

     I select the subject matter in the majority of my work during my studies before I establish the composition for each oil painting.  The subject matter I use varies depending on the metaphors I am creating.  I speak about our world indirectly through contextual metaphors and direct word association.

     Always there is a portion of personal life in my works of art, and although I try to erase that identity from my work, to a small degree it remains.  As time goes on, my personality becomes my philosophy which has evolved by the constant study of my work.   The creative process is an act of necessity, and is partially an unwitting passage that I simply have known when and what to paint one step at a time.  Moreover, like the character Frankenstein, my creations are a reflection of the era in which I live and not that of the author, myself.  There is a chance that I am completely unstable and indeed insane to a point where I can no longer understand what is an honest idea within oil painting, and what are the over-persistent ramblings of a sick man. Since I no longer wish to make the clear distinction between the two, I leave that up to you the reader to decide for yourself.

     The following sections are an attempt to illustrate the benefits an artist receives from a dogmatic and disciplined study of his chosen medium.  Secondly to expose the amateur, the consumerist, hobbyist, and scenester artist for what they are and are not.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Artwork of the month: Wassily Kandinsky.

Kandinsky is and always has been my biggest influence (aside from Caravaggio) in abstract art. I have read everything he wrote attentively.  I have traveled to museums simply to view his works of art.  I have visited the Guggenheim in New York 17 times only To spend a few hours in front of "Composition #8" his finest work. I studied his life, his works, and his impact so completely I feel as if i kew him personally.

I can conclude that I truly admire his work, and I would never have liked him as a person. Kandinsky was a spoiled rich kid infused with the misguided plight of privilege. Albeit, his works of art, his thesis, is more insightful than any artist in our recorded history. Bold statement, yes it is and I stand by it.

I have been studying this painting periodically since 1996 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Wassily Kandinsky
Russian, 1866-1944
"Study for Improvisation V"
1910, oil on pulp board

Kandinsky painted on both sides of the work.  It was a common practice artists of early 1900s to paint on both sides of fiber board, and then split them up and sell them as separate pieces.  I have painted on both sides of a canvas several times. 
The sibling to this painting is in a private collection as far as I know.  I have only seen it in person once in 2005 when the two paintings were exhibited together for the first time.

"Two Riders and Reclining Figure"
1910, oil on pulp board

So the original "Two Riders and Reclining Figure/Study for improvisation V" oil on pulp board was separated until 2005 when exhibited as "Kandinsky: A Relationship Revealed" at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  The $ tier made a huge international deal about how amazing this was and how great to have the two works reunited again, even if for only a moment.  The reality is that Kandinsky was poor at the time he painted these works and it wasn't because he wanted the extra money from a double sale for the cost of one... was because he had to paint no matter what the consequences.  historians, curators, directors and investors love the tales but lack the understanding that an artist has about another artist.  

"The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning." 
-Wassily Kandinsky

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A new year for a fresh study of oil painting.

I normally don't take the passing of the new year too seriously.  I have never set a new years resolution, I don't make great plans for change in my life as I like the direction its going, and I don't party until I puke like the rest of the pot bellied vacationers taking a night off from life.  

This year is somehow different.  I have a real job, and its in a museum where I will be surrounded by works of art 5 days a week.  I have been visiting museums for study for nearly ten years now, and this opportunity to truly become familiar with a museums collection is one I can't pass up. 

This time as the new year comes about I set one goal for myself.  To empty the cup and refill it with a better understanding of art history.  I intend to study the works of art here at my new job, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and perfect my craft as an artist.

I want to keep my employment for 5 years.  The should be enough time to perfect my craft, set myself up for working as a professional artist full time, and refilling my cup with a better understanding of art history.  

So enjoy your new year, 2007, and make some art...
...why not right?