Friday, July 20, 2012

New Peloponnesian War studies.

Here are some more composition studies for my Peloponnesian War oil painting.  I would like it to be 36" x 60" oil on linen.  I intend to work my technical clean line work with some lose expressionist elements.  

These are simple ink studies and not all of them will be chosen for the final composition.

Peloponnesian War study 10
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 11
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 12
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 13
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 14
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 15
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 16
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 17
ink on paper

I will continue to search for compositions that embody my subject...
... the Peloponnesian War painting will be started when I arrive in Maui.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New peloponnesian war studies.

I have been reading Thucydides works on the Peloponnesian War again, in an attempt to gain a better understanding of world conflicts.  I see the Peloponnesian as a world war in that it had direct consequences on all of the Greek world at the time.  
These are a few simple ink studies for my peloponnesian war painting.  I have started working on the total negative space composition, and I will have the compositional elements complete by the end of the month.  Maybe...

Peloponnesian War study 1
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 2
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 3
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 4
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 5
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 6
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 7
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 8
ink on paper

Peloponnesian War study 9
ink on paper

More ink on paper studies to come...

...I will start this oil painting in Maui.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I quit my day job.

I have resigned from my position at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  When I was first hired in October 2006, my plan was to keep the job for 5 years, prepare myself for self employment as an artist, and study my trade (oil painting) while gaining a better understanding of art history.

My personal goal was to complete my book "The Aesthetics of Composition in Abstract Oil Painting" and it looks like I have done just that.  I am now on a final edit of my book.  I expect to complete the final edit by the end of August.  I started writing this book in 1999.  I have been completing my formal work over the last three years.  It is intended to be a complete study for the student of oil painting.  If everything goes according to plan I will release my book through the iTunes book store sometime in January of the coming year 2013.  If things don't go according to plan I will self publish through a university press.

My 5 year plan became 5 years and 9 months.  Not bad considering that I was out of touch for a year and three months on medical leave after the bike accident.

My wife and I are moving to Maui, Hawaii at the end of August.  We will both be self employed.  I will work as a full time artist.  Athena will be opening "Such Good Dogs"  a dog boarding, kenneling, and training facility.  We are both very excited for the future, and very grateful for our past.

So long...
...and thanks for all the fish.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A day at the Walker Art Museum.

The last time I went to the Walker was for my bachelor party (and no I am not that boring, I am just as much a filthy degenerate as the rest of mankind- we went to bars and strip clubs too).  It was cool to grease through the museum then and get a quick look.  

Yesterday I was given the entire day off, so I took advantage of it and hit the Walker Art Museum on my way home.  This will either clear my head or befuddle it farther (ever have one of those weeks where its just not going your way and you can see it is not going to anytime soon).
 The building really is pretty impressive regardless of which side you are approaching it from.  I love the dots of grass amount the sidewalk; I feel very directed and attracted to to the landscape design here, just as if I was following the directions of the one bee in the hive that knows the way.  

I think it looks like a robotic human or monkey head.  Any thought as to what you see?  I mean seriously look at it, its eating people!

This sculpture has been in front of the walker for a long time.  I do love Calder, but regrettably I have paid little attention to this work simply because it has always just been there.
Alexander Calder
American, 1898-1976
"The Spinner"
1966, Aluminum, steel, paint
 Roy Lichtenstein
American, 1923-1997
"Salute to painting"
1985-86, aluminum, paint.

Takashi Murakami wallpaper lined bathrooms...
...never tried being watched while I pee.

This was the first piece I came to that I had to stop and take in.  The security guard told me to not take photos so I waited until she wasn't looking then when she caught me I pretended that I didn't know any better.  bad form, yep, but this is too cool to not photo and talk about.
Marlene McCarty
"Group 8 (Karisoke, the Virungas, Rwanda. September 24, 1967. 4:30pm.)
2006, Ballpoint Pen and Graphite on Paper 

I did not pay attention to this title, as it was designed by Ernesto Neto.

Lee Bontecou
American, born 1931
1961, welded steel, canvas, wire, velvet.

An early mark Rothko.  Fun to see his younger works, as I always remember him for his fields of color.  I have always felt disappointed knowing that he slit his wrists.
Mark Rothko
American, born Russia 1903-1970
1944, graphite and oil on canvas

 Willem de Kooning
American, born netherlands 1904-1997
"Untitled XII"
1983, oil on canvas

de Kooning is one of my favorite artists.  His entire career as an artist is this graceful climb back to peace of mind (He deserves a new post all to himself).

Grace Hartigan
American, 1922-2008
"Human Fragment"
1963, oil on canvas

This sculpture is a beautiful work of art.

Bonnie Collura
American, born 1976
Fiberglass resin, paint

Mathew Barney typically just pisses me off.
Mathew Barney
American, born 1967
"Envelopa, drawing restraint 7 manual D"
1993, graphite, synthetic polymer, petroleum jelly on paper, vinyl, nylon

His material list reminds me of Rob McBroom's standard list.

Mark Rothko
"No. 2"
1963, oil and acrylic on canvas

I am a sucker for anything gilded.  My gold leaf texture compositions series of paintings were a serious accomplishment for me.  I love the way light dances across gilded surfaces, how it reminds us instantly of they type of fortune that doesn't have to be monetary. 
Sherrie Levine
American, born 1947
2001, bronze gilt

Paul Thek
American, 1933-1988
1965, Beeswax, plexiglass, metal, and rubber

I have had the pleasure of viewing 4 paintings by Nerdrum.  Each time I am reminded of the classic masters like Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Goya.  Nerdrum is that master of our time, and he knows it and plays that character out to its fullest.  
Odd Nerdrum
Norwegian, born 1944
"White brick"
1984, hand ground pigments based in linseed oil and egg on canvas on cardboard

I love her work...

Yayoi Kusama
Japanese, born 1929
"Oven Pan"
1963, paint, canvas, cotton, steel, wool.

...I always have.

I finally made my way to the garden terrace.  I was alone, not a single tourist in sight (yet) so I had a smoke, work a few lines for my book and relaxed before continuing on.

At this point the rest of the city was waking up from last nights binge fest.  And my buddy Chris texted, he lives a block away and he was on his way to meet me.  Chris and I continued on for the 80's exhibit "This Will Have Been:" and Minouk Lim's "Heat of Shadows" installation.

Jean-Michael Basquait
American, 1960-1988
"Hollywood Africans"
1983, synthetic polymer and mixed media

David  Hammons
American, born 1943
"How you like me now?"
1988, tin, plywood, sledgehammers, lucky strike cigarette wrapper, american flag

This installation reminded me of Scott, a buddy that lives in New York.  I am not going to explain that, if you know Scott you truly understand how cool this is.
Gretchen Bender
American, 1951-2004
"T.V. Text and Image"
1986-1990, television sets with vinyl lettering and metal shelves

These last pics are from the videos in Minouk Lim's exhibit.  It was interesting, and it was nothing original at all.  The ideas are important and need to be communicated often, but alas it missed the mark in that it felt like trite college kids with a camera and a cause and a semester of world history.

It was a good day.  Chris and I scouted out some bike ride spots and then had a BBQ afterwards with a friend of ours from Florida who is up for a week to visit.  The Walker Art Museum lost something for a period of time.  I found myself not going there for a few years, then I would check in and see whats going on and find myself disappointed.  They hired a new Curator a while ago, and in my opinion the Walker is exhibiting a higher standard of work now.

This was likely my last visit to the Walker for a long time...
...moving in the end of August to a land far far away.