Sunday, May 31, 2015

Empty Sentiment

Just finished "Empty Sentiment", acrylic, ink and collaged materials on canvas 15 x 60 inches on canvas. I started it back in March and it sorta spawned other work and then I did some other projects. I looped back around to it this week. I'm not sure I understand my creative process or if I should even try. Maybe, I should just work the way I do and not worry?

This is an abandoned station right at the tip of Arizona on the boarder with California. It's actually across the street of a former in-state customs checkpoint that's been converted to a border patrol station. It seems odd it's so far north.

I woke up this morning realizing how much the visual technology of my age is part of my work. I also was struck with how my peers and I have only scratched the surface of what is possible within this golden age of visual technological tools.

I'm not sure what the next step is, but I know that in some regards that I'm shackled by conservative norms and traditional thinking when it comes to art making. I studied both painting and intermedia back in college. In the end I decided that I was a painter at heart and communicated best through paint. With that said - I also felt as if intermedia-conceptual work although not tethered by object creation and materials was still governed by conventions. In short being unconventional and radical is still governed by a play book and a set of mental constructs. I always hear "think outside of the box", but ultimately our linear minds can only create new boxes to think within. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Aftermath in progress


Work in progress entitled Aftermath oil on canvas, 12h x 36w inches. This is from a photo I took a weekend back outside of 29 Palms in California. It was a great site. 

Tonight I went to an artist meet and greet for the Roosevelt Row scene in Downtown Phoenix. A scene I've been part of for years. It was a great event. I spoke about my work and although I like to think that I do a good job of it, in someways there's room for improvement. 

In the new batch of abandoned desert works I'm trying to speak about living in the desert as well as about the buildings I render. The relationship to the coming of night and the coming and going of monsoon storms. I was born and raised in the Phoenix area until I was twelve and returned briefly for the summer of 87' only to leave again for Santa Fe another desert city to return about a year later. I've lived most of my life in the desert and I am a desert rat at heart. Although I love big cities and dream of living in Oregon, I'm very connected to the desert.

As a artist I find that the meaning within my work can be very complex and deeply buried within my psyche. Time to stop thinking and let my subconscious mind take over while I paint and reveal more to me about who I am.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Riverfront Property Somewhere Else

Just completed Riverfront Property Somewhere Else oil on canvas, 24h x 48w. It's based on a source photo I took along side Route 66 in California halfway between Kingman, AZ and Barstow, CA. My wife and I had gone up for the Rockabilly Festival up in Lake Havasu, AZ and decided to go exploring before coming home.

The title is based on the billboard, but as an aside it does seem like the grass is always greener somewhere else. In this case that may very well be true, but no matter where we are or how good we have it - inevitably it seems like we want what someone else has, because it's better than our lot in life.

In the desert works I've been playing around with the addition of monsoon skies. In the summer growing up in Phoenix the monsoon storms have been a big part of my life. They also have a wonderful double meaning. The storms during the summer are particularly turbulent, but at the same time with the destruction that they can bring they also bring life giving water to a parched landscape. There are very few moments in our lives that don't mark transitional periods, but sometimes in my life some years are more transitional than others.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Study for In a Lonely Place

Knocked out a study for In a Lonely Place last week. I'm still not completely content with her face, but this study has brought me much closer. I will be repainting that portion of the big piece starting tonight.

I have also been working on more abandoned/desertscapes. At the moment I'm working very hard not to pigeon hole myself. I have so many seemingly disparate ideas and directions at times, but it may simply be a case where I don't see the connections at this moment. In short, there is a connection, a thread that runs through everything and if I self-censor myself I'll never get to see it.

In other news! I will be part of a exhibit in October at the Tempe Center for the Arts called "Green and Gray".  More specifics to come, but I will have four large abandoned/desertscapes in the show.