Archive for March, 2010

Creature Comforts (work in progress)
Watercolor Pencil on Suede Board
20 x 22

Here’s my primary reference photo for this painting. (The photos scanned in lacking saturation.) I tipped their heads a little to show more eye because, well . . .that’s my thing.

Problems With My Time-line.
Okay so once again I over estimated my abilities. I am mildly sick and since I don’t want that to escalate into really sick (beside for the obvious reasons I have plans for the end of this week that I don’t want to miss) so I am taking it easy for a bit. Today is Sunday and though usually working on art would be considered resting, I’m taking it a bit further and spending the day on the couch wacthing some old horse movies and of course writing (blog, squidoo etc.)

I was recently asked to write for an online art community and forum, but am thinking it over as at the moment I spend way more time writing about creating art than actually doing art. On the other hand, writing is also an artistic endeavor so it’s all good.

This bottom most photo was also intirgueing for me as a painting but I just couldn’t get it to make sense. I may try some variation of it in the future.

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A Fowl Look – White Rooster on the Wild Faces Gallery website in both print and notecard. For sizing and ordering information visit the website.

I found this while rummaging around my draft folder. I pondered deleting it but then thought “eh. . . why not.”

Next Post
I finally scanned in my primary reference photo plus a couple of others. They will get put up in the next post, probably with the latest work in progress shot.

At the rate I’m going I may actually finish the painting this weekend. That all depends on just how busy the gallery is.

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The Latest On The Giraffe Painting

Creature Comforts (working title)
20×22 work in progress
Watercolor pencil on suede

So here is yesterday’s progress. I almost didn’t post since I’m only just beginning the second giraffe and it’s pretty much still at the all wash stage.

I have been using the Inktense pencils for my under-layer and they work really well. I have to be very careful not to get carried away in the application because some of the colors are really strong.

About the last post

Thanks to everybody giving me permission to keep it. Oddly enough it really does mean something to me.

I do keep original paintings for myself and did so last year about this time. But here’s the deal. Last years painting was worth more to me than I could possibly sell it for. This one however could be a big dollar earner. BIG earner. This time of year I put out many thousands of dollars for booth fees on top of our business and living expenses and of course we are living primarily off the remainder of last summers income.So it really is a money issue. If we were in the middle of art fair (the flush) season I would instantly keep it.

Frankly all this talk and discussion has really helped me to come to terms with the idea. But we’ll see what happens when I get it done.

As far as I know my African critter and specifically giraffe art collectors do not look at my blog. So I could keep it a big secret if I really wanted too. 🙂

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The First Giraffe Painting WIP

Untitled Giraffe Painting
20×22 Work In Progress
Watercolor Pencil on Suede Board

So is it so very wrong?

I didn’t get a chance to work on this on Monday but today I was able to devote much of my day to it. This is about 5 hours work.

Uncharacteristically like me I am kinda in love with the piece already. And even though I created it with the full intention of selling it and selling it quickly. (I got giraffe patrons waiting for it) I’m thinking I may not be all that sure I can part with it.

I am hoping this is just a faze. You know like it’s a faze when I usually begin a painting and I hate it. But that eventually passes. So hopefully this will too. Cuz’ I got bills to pay.

To answer Robert’s question
The giraffe on the left is a bull and thus he is a little bigger. The one on the right is a female. And I’m guessing she would be called a cow since I know males are bulls. That’s my logic anyway.

I’m not sure why she was feeling so tender towards him. But she was nuzzling him for a good half hour or so. I had a bounty of images to choose from.

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Best Laid Plans

Cow Safari Canceled
So today I was supposed to go on cow safari. I have fists full of film and was anxiously anticipating some bovine adventures with a friend of mine.

Well . . . my tour guide called and canceled because someone had invited her to pizza!!!! Seriously? You want to give up an afternoon with me, clomping through the mud and manure, all the while keeping a wary eye on the many longhorn bulls and heifers with calves. Sheesh.

Yeah . . . Okay I guess that makes sense when I look at it written out in black and white like this. But only a non-artist would forsake painting potential for food.

So, since it’s Sunday and I’m a free agent I finally buckled down and finished my drawing for the new painting. (almost) I got a little tired of drawing spots so the left giraffe’s spots will get put in when I’m actually working on the piece. Here is a photo of the tracing still laying on top of the drawing. Thus, the weird color.

It is a 20 x 22 and will again be on suede in wc pencils. It’s a visually complex image. Part of what took me so long to get it drawn was I was thinking of simplifying it. In the end I really liked the confusion so went with it pretty close to the actual reference photos, which I’ll post later.


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The Red Rock Art Center
222 E. Blue Earth Ave.
Fairmont, MN

So here’s what the outside looks like. This was originally a Christian Science Church and was scheduled for demolition in 1999. Restoration estimates came in at around a million dollars. But with the help of many volunteers and fund raising efforts they were able to complete the restoration in 5 years and for half that amount. This building is beautiful both inside and out.

Here’s a photo of Barb (left) and I. This was at the end of the day so we were both kinda harried looking by this point. Plus Barb had a cold. She did amazing well for feeling so crappy.

Barb thinks we need to more of this kinda thing. She was unsure how well our work would mesh. Which surprised me since we do the same thing, just a little differently. But she had a blast and wanted to repeat the experience.

So who knows. Maybe I’ll be doing a lot more gallery gigs. I doubt it though. I still seems to have some sort of resistance. Maybe it’s because I’ve been asked about a dozen times since taking the work to the art center, from customers coming into my gallery, if I’ve been robbed.

Well once again I failed in my photo taking opportunities. I broke out my camera when the event was pretty much over and people had left.

I must say the photos really don’t do the room justice. The size and openess of the space is wonderful. There was also more than one level and we had artwork throughout the building both upstairs and down.

Prior there was a lot of smoozing and we both gave a little talk about our art and how we became the artistic giants we are. (smirk) But it was loads of fun and the center puts on a nice reception with a free-styling piano player and goodies galore. I did sell a few things which is quite nice and helps to make the trip worth it. You know me. I’m almost always about keeping my bottom line.

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Today I did my reception for the gallery show Barb and I are doing together at the Red Rock Art Center in MN. I’ll post some pics and write about it next post.

But for today I’ll mention my two most recent lenses that I created.

The Totem Series Lens I have talked about and was hanging onto it until I got more art done. But then I thought that was kinda silly so published it and will update as I go along.

The other is a more comprehensive lens on Fair Tents And Canopies, complete with links to many tent companies.

Take a peak and tell me what you think.

PS I edited my lenses on the sidebar and organized them into categories for easier use.

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Signs of Spring

Yesterday was Sunday and I spent the day on the farm (how very unlike me.) I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the barn and then me and the dog went for a long walk. It was lovely.

Everywhere Spring was bursting forth. Mind you we still have huge drifts in the yard but we now have plenty of grassy patches peeking through. And the grass is actually green.

The cats are sunning themselves and the geese are flying every which direction looking for a place to call home.

Also the creek is quite flooded. So much so, I can hear it’s roar from the barn, which is unusual.

And the last sure sign of Spring. I groomed Chicory out thoroughly yesterday and he was shedding his coat like crazy. I could have made a sweater and perhaps matching socks from the hair I pulled off him.

Spring is definitely here! Yay!

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The Compulsion To Create

The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility. – Scott Adams

When I first read this from artist Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon. it kinda sent a bunch of my synapses firing. I found this concept totally intriguing and plan to get a little introspective about it here.

Consider yourself warned.

Discipline vs. Compulsion
When I used to run five miles every day (Hard to believe I know. One year I missed only day. I ran in rain and snow and what have you) I considered myself disciplined and athletic. But if someone felt the need to flip a light switch on and off, or wash their hands repeatedly, it is considered OCD.

There’s a fine line between crazy and entrepreneurial.

If you bark at the moon to make it go away, you are considered crazy.

But if you start a business for which there is less than a 5% chance of success, you are considered an entrepreneur.

– Scott Adams

Genius vs. Insanity
There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. And it’s only a matter of degrees (or perhaps perceptions) that define one from the other. An artist who creates into the wee hours jacked up on coffee, booze or in my case diet Coke, until they collapse in exhaustion may be viewed as passionate and brilliant. But take that same person and have them creating something like a bomb shelter or something viewed as having no real benefit is seen as crazy.

To split this distinction even finer. An artist who paints traditional art of landscapes or florals (or say critter paintings) is seen as normal. I mean these are normal things to paint and normal to have hanging on your wall. But when an artist paints dark images or uses something macabre in their work their sanity is pulled more into question.

I know several artists whose work is dark or weird. One of them is one of the funniest, happy people I know. They use art as a way to get the craziness and chaos out of them. Whereas, I use art to connect with critters in a new way. But also, it’s a way to distract myself from the craziness and chaos around me.

So what do you think?
Where’s the line between crazy and genius drawn? How about between passionate or compulsive?

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You’re all invited to the reception for the gallery exhibit on the 16th of March at the Red Rock Art Center in Fairmont MN.

It’s at noon (which seems a little odd) But there will be goodies and I’m sure Barb and I will be coerced into speaking a little about our work and such. (sigh) Barb is quite outgoing. I, on the other hand . . .well I’m pretty good at faking it.

The street address is:
222 East Blue Earth Ave.

And for those who can’t make it, for all the obvious reasons, I promise to take some good photos and post them promptly. Unless I’m hiding under a blanket pretending I’m in my “happy place” from the trauma of having to be social. One or the other will definitely happen..

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