Thursday, October 28, 2010

3 the Hard Way

Last night I attended a screening of the documentary “3 the Hard Way”. The movie was filmed and directed by my friend Robert King. Lisa King did the behind the scenes photography. The story documents a project by Raleigh Artists Sean Kernick, Paul Friederich and Georges LeChevallier – the three artists each began with two or three surfaces and each created a piece of art before exchanging the work with the other two artists who subsequently added their own creative elements to the artwork.

While this is not a groundbreaking idea as far as art projects there are few things that made this exceptional. Robert did an amazing job in the production of the film. There was an element of intrigue of what the finished works would look like – this coupled with brilliant cinematography made an entertaining documentary that even kept my 9 and 7 year old sons interested.

The other stand out aspect of this project and film was the cohesion and uniqueness of the artists. Whenever a project like this starts there is always a concern that the artistic styles will be too similar or too different. I did a project as a kid where the teacher asked students to partner up – one student would paint one half of a subject the other student the other half. The problem was that each student had been instructed the same methods of painting by the teacher so the end results were pretty dull since they looked too similar. Conversely if we had a time machine and asked Andy Warhol to collaborate with Johannes Vermeer on a project it might be interesting but very lacking in cohesion. The styles of artists in this film are different enough to be anything but boring, yet not so far out there that the finished works lacked any continuity from one artist to the next.

The pictures shown are a few of the finished pieces by the artists. These are the result of a cartoonist, a graffiti artist and a mixed media painter. Well done guys!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Down Home: Portraits of the Old North State

Last night I attended the exhibit "Down Home Portraits of the Old North State". The show was sponsored by the Carolina Color Gallery and held at the Raleigh Convention - as part of the Raleigh Junior League's Shopping Spree event. Melissa Peden and Megg Rader juried the show and selected 34 works for the show. I submitted two pieces Sweetwater Creek and Lake Waccamaw. Both my submissions were selected and I found out last night (On my 40th birthday) that Sweetwater Creek was awarded First Place! Needless to say I was thrilled!

It was a really nice selection of art at the show. With all due respect to all photographers and three dimensional artists out there it is nice to see a show consisting of paintings, drawings and and other media. Along with mine (top) the works shown on this entry are those of Adam Breakey (second from top) Jan Van Wyk (third from top), and Margot Holloman (bottom and Honorable Mention). These are a few of the works that stood out for me as quite exceptional.

Now if there can only be a red dot sticker next to some of those paintings, turning 40 might not seem so ominous. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hanging Rock State Park

On Sunday we spent the day at Hanging Rock State Park in central North Carolina. It was a great day and I got many cool pictures for future paintings. Ideally we should have been there about a week later as the peak foliage is still not present. Still there are some really nice reds and yellows in the pictures - This will be a nice change as my palette has become way too green as of late.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where do I get my Inspiration?

Where do I get my inspiration?
This is a question that I am often asked and one that almost always leaves me speechless. The truth is, the reason I create art is not through inspiration but art is my destiny and purpose in life. Yes I know this sounds pompous and perhaps even canonical but to me this is crystal clear. It is hard for me to believe in luck or coincidence when so many things lead me directly toward art.

Growing up I spent a lot of time watching TV in the room adjacent to my Dad’s studio, I was by no means my father’s apprentice, in fact I often mocked some of the art he was doing. Yet the potent smell of printing ink and all those painful trips to art museums were influencing me in ways far beyond my understanding. My adolescence had me doing everything but what my parents did, so I played a lot of sports and participated in activities that I thought to be far removed from art. The immediate years after college had me seeking the almighty dollar – I did not want to be a “starving artist” I wanted money and while I had no idea what I wanted as a career the idea of an artist was far removed from my thought process. I took a job selling art materials thinking that to be business and retail not “creating art”. For the most part I enjoyed my job, but I still wanted more – After some personal trials I found that during my evenings I had more time on my hands, but I still do not think it a coincidence or dumb luck that I picked up a paint brush one night.

I read a quote recently stating “luck is the point where preparation and opportunity meet.” I believe this to be true, but for me it is a little different – remember for 40 years I had no desires or dreams to be an artist. There is no greater feeling in the world to realize a purpose you have in this life.

Shown - Tobacco Field at Old Milburnie Road - 10x30" Acrylic on Canvas

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is Art Fun?

Is art fun? Today I was asked this question at my job during a meeting for a new fledgling project. A question that I would think would have a definite YES - seemed much more difficult to answer. I spend hours and hours each week in front of my easel, at my day job I spend even more time reviewing art materials and focusing on how to better improve an artist's life, many weekends are spent at museums, galleries and shows. So... probably 90% or so of my awake life (we'll leave dreams and nightmares out for now) is spent doing art, observing art or learning and selling art materials. Shouldn't it be fun!!?? The same person that asked me this question, also later stated during the meeting that art is way for one to learn more about oneself. I certainly believe this is true. This past Saturday as I finished painting the picture that is shown on this entry, I often thought I really would rather be watching college football than sitting in a lonely, isolated room with just my thoughts and my painting. Yet something kept me there . . . perhaps it is my compulsive personality, perhaps I knew I had deadlines to meet, perhaps if I did not paint that day I thought the painting might be inferior. It never occurred to me that the reason I was alone in my studio on a sunny 80 degree day in the middle of football season was that I might be having fun!

I perplexed this question about art being fun for a few hours after it was asked. I think asking me if art is fun is asking me if I enjoy life. Like anyone I have good and bad days, but my life always gravitates back to art. To me fun seems like more of a temporary word. "I had a fun time at dinner the other night". To use "fun" as it relates to art and my life discounts the massive impact art plays in my life. In some ways it is even spiritual - One rarely describes spirituality as fun, but it is often described as positive and fulfilling.

As I sit here now with the computer in front of me and the easel behind me, there seem to be alot of fun things to do between now and when I go to sleep . . . It's already 6:30 - I should be painting by now.

(Shown) Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge - 9x12" Acrylic on Canvas