Friday, March 5, 2010

Humility is undervalued these days.

"It’s OK to head out for Wonderful, but on your way to Wonderful you’re gonna have to pass through Alright. And when you get to Alright, take a good look around and get used to it, ‘cause that may be as far as you’re gonna go."
-- Bill Withers (excerpt from the film Still Bill)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Magnificent Tritone

An oldie but a goodie.
Three mighty pitches combine to form something intense, dissonant, and sinister.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grizzly! Grizzly! Bam! Bam! Bam!

Philly gallery Grizzly Grizzly will be exhibiting the work of this artist, Robert Scobey, along with paintings by Yevgeniya S. Baras. I have a knee-jerk bias against video art (hey at least I admit it), but I found this video fascinating in a nightmarish sort of way.

Video via Dennis Mathews Painting

Friday, December 11, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check it out!

I've got a new website.

I'm also offering a new line of high-quality prints professionally mounted on bamboo by Plywerk.

They make great Christmas presents.
Order now! Operators are Standing by!

Bottom image used with permission from Plywerk

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Milo Russell: A brief note on Integrity

I received an unexpected email this evening reminding me of this comment, which was originally posted on Hungry Hyaena 12/8/05:

I had a venerable teacher that gave me a solid lesson in the life of the blue-collar artist. "I've seen more movements come and go than someone who took Exlax," he began. He is an obscure painter--an old widower whose work has never garnered wide acclaim. He has been painting since the early part of the last century, and his work has a strange searching quality to it-- an obsessive, ritualistic groping like someone that repeatedly scours the same patch of earth for something irreplaceable that was lost. His name is Milo Russell. His painting is always the same: a man or a woman seated in a room, perhaps a table and a plant, a window or a painting on the wall. Over and over and over.
He is a shy man that cringes at the thought of openings. He is the antithesis of the scenester, hype-artists.
His lesson was this: All that matters is to maintain one's integrity. Know what you are about and do it unrelentingly. Do it when it is unpopular. Do it when nobody else understands or believes. Do it when they love it. Do it, but keep your integrity (To me this also evokes the structural definition of the word integrity, not just the moral/ethical meaning. In this case it means 'soundness' and without it boats sink and buildings topple).
Perhaps you will die lonely and destitute, but, really, what philosophy can save you from that possibility?
As a workaday painter myself, I hold this advice as I would a jewel.
Fame? Glory? Wealth? Vain aspirations of an over-indulged populace.
I want only to make a living.
Right now that means peddling my wares in the common market. As I struggle to pay the rent, I dispatch my creations to desktops, kitchens, and bathrooms. There they will be groggily stared at while urinating or inspected while waiting for the water to boil. They will be tiny bridges between me, the viewer, and the great unknowable.
I may never Make It Big or Blow Up, but I don't need to. In dirty pants, with cold fingers, I am content to crawl in the bilge and patch my leaky hull with modest, little paintings. Perhaps I will make it through another month. Perhaps, someday, I will be able to simply float.

Image via Savedge Art & Technology LLC

Monday, September 28, 2009

From my fortune cookie.

"Don't be fooled by first impressions."

Fake bricks, N. Williams Ave, Portland, OR

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cityscape Paintings

Somewhere, sometime ago, I signed up for some mailing list. You know the story.

For some reason I never unsubscribed because, well, I figured I must have had some reason to sign up in the first place... even if I can't remember it now. Usually, these emails go straight into the trash along with all the others like them. Today, however, I read one on a whim.

The email instructed me, among other things, to spend one hour a week researching the competition. To watch them and learn from them. To Google terms that I associate with my own artwork and see who comes up. Good idea.

Below are an assortment of artists whose work came up using the simple search terms "cityscape painting." Obviously, I have selected for taste.

Paul Balmer

Mike Hernandez (wow... check out these dog drawings)

Kim Cogan

Anonymous Argentine Painter from here

I could keep going. There are so many talented painters out there that it can get a bit daunting. I suppose that it is a solid reminder to work harder... and then work some more... and then keep working.