Monday, March 24, 2008

Show Update

It"s official, my youngest brother Joe is coming home for a special visit the weekend of the show and is going to bring some of his paintings! I could hardly believe it when he said he wanted to be part of the show. Jeff and I are extremely excited that he is coming. I felt kind of bad at first since we did not invite him in the first place. To be honest I would have not have guessed that he would be interested...but he is!

Jeff and I spent most of the day today working on the space for the show. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, building supports for the art work and just taking a chance to step back and take it all in. It still boggles my mind that we started throwing around this idea a little over a year ago. This idea to have a show where we could display art works of our own. And to add to that, neither one of us had been painting regularly for quite sometime! So we started with an idea, just like paintings do...and here we are, two weeks away. It's pretty cool to think about.

What happens when it's over? What happens when the last person leaves, the lights are shut off and the door is locked? I can't answer that question but I honestly believe this is just the beginning of something significant in our lives.

How do people see me?

Have you ever thought much about this question? Not just how people view our appearance but, how people see me beyond the surface. How do my core values and beliefs come across to others? Am I living the life I say I live? Am I the man I say and think I am? Often times I really begin to question myself in these ways. I suppose it's during these times of introspection that we start to scrape away the surface and get to the parts of our lives that give us meaning and purpose. Its in these inner layers that we find out who we really are.

Soooooooo???? You might be wondering what this has to do with anything...well it does. Here goes. I ask myself this question to keep myself in check. The art I am creating right now asks some tough questions. These questions are not just aimed at the viewer but, right back at me as well. Can I answer them? Of course I can't answer all of them but I try to at least address them. If I didn't what would be the purpose? Why would I even be asking them?

More importantly how do people view me through the questions my art works ask? I can't say for sure. I suppose that I hope they will begin to see a genuine person who doesn't have it all figured out. A person who is willing to become a bit vulnerable. A person who is willing to ask questions or entertain ideas that are not part of our everyday dialog. A person who is willing to ask the question and not have the answer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oh, forgot to add this one too.

This painting is of my girls. 48"w x 30"h. A combination of acrylic house paint (bought at half price at Kerr Hardware) and tempera on luan panel. Funny think about Kerrs, the basement is loaded with gallon after gallon of mis-mixed paint. I mean loads of paint in a variety of colors and finishes. I was just down there a few weeks ago looking for a neutral color to paint the stairway to my basement. I was like a kid looking at the JC Penny's catalog at Christmas. I am sure my eyes were glazed over and a bit of drool was pooling at the corner of my mouth when I finally decided to come up for air with a tolerable my wife would give me the okay on of course.

Anyway, this is one of those paintings I had been wanting to do. Art for arts sake. The dandilioin puff (clock) with its floating seeds is very symbolic though. In the warmer months when the whole family is out for a walk my oldest daughter Ella has this uncontrollable urge to try and pick every dandilion puff she sees. Then she proceedes to blow on it and say that they are wishes floating in the air. I think my wife had something to do with that.

And for those of you who know my girls, Ella loves ballet and being a princess. Paige on the other hand likes to dance as well, but likes to push the limits even more. This is a typical expression found on her face when she gets serious. Not really too serious since Christy and I both laugh our heads off when she makes this face.

Yellow? Well yellow just works. And I really did not want to use Ella's an purple. Go figure.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Two new paintings

Both of these works are as you guessed it...tempera on cardboard. Plus a bit of acrylic and some marker.

The two hands (ripped off of Michelangelo) represent how often times homeless people are viewed as less valuable, less important by our society. The idea is that, just like in Michelangelo's Creation of Man, God is reaching out to us. Reaching out regardless of our current place in society. I believe there is still more to come with this painting. I would certainly not call it finished quite yet.

The second one is pretty much a look at myself. Often times our gifts and of course our hearts become closed off by money. I will tell you more later. Right now I'm pretty tired and can't quite produce the words that would best describe this.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well we are finished...

with the set and props for Seussical the Musical. Boy am I glad and relieved to be finished. It's kind of like when I used to coach track. At the begining of the season everyone is excited and can't wait to practice and compete in meets...then the newness wears off and the excitement and drive starts to diminish. By the end of the season you are just ready to be finished. Thats me right now. Happy to be a part of it, happy to be finished.

Anywho, just thought I would post a few new paintings this weekend. I will try and have photos up by Saturday sometime.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time to step back and take it all in...

Man am I wiped out. Not just physically but mentally. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. My brain needs a break and my soul needs a tune up. It's times like this when the cares and "needs" of the world can overtake a person. Consume them. To the point that the connection to what is really important can be like a leftover meal that gets placed on the shelf in the refrigerator. You see where this is going...if it is not eaten within a few days it makes its way to the back of the fridge and becomes hidden by a hulking gallon of milk and a jar of pickles. I hate that gallon of milk sometimes. Its not that I don't like milk, but I would certainly have liked to have eaten the leftovers before they became covered with a blueish-green fuz.

Milk it does not always do the body good.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thinking out loud...

In the movie Martian Child, a young boy named Dennis asks his potential adoptive father David this question, "Is it good to be like everyone else? " David replies, "That's a very good question." It certainly is a good question and one that I have asked myself many times. Some would say, yes to an extent and I would have to agree in part. Of course there are things such as social norms and the like that we all can relate to and typically adhere to but, in the end I find myself sitting in the boat that is sailing a slightly different direction as everyone else.

As an artist I am constantly looking at other artists work. Constantly seeking inspiration and purpose from work created by others...and of course comparing how well my work holds up with theirs. Am I not confident enough to be happy and content with my own creations? At times, more so than others, but not all of the time. Of course the macho manly answer would be to say that others have no impact on how I work...if they don't like it, well I could really care less.

I wish it were that simple. I'm human, of course what others think and say has an impact on my work. I want people to like it. To say otherwise would be untrue. That does not mean that I am not confident in what I do, it means that I have a heart. It means that I desire to connect with people through the messages and questions in the art I create. And I suppose at times that connection can still be made even if the work is not well received. So in the end, does it matter what others think of my work? Not really, but it sure is nice when they do.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another One from Jeff

This painting is one of the six that my brother will have on diplay next month. It is acrylic on luan. Sorry about the shadows. Just happened to notice that after I loaded the photos onto my computer. Funny thing isn't it? How we often times overlook things right in front of us in the hopes of seeing something else.
Anyway, the symbolism seems obvious, but then again there is often times much more going on below the surface. Maybe I can get Jeff to offer some insight...on a deeper level.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Side Shot

I have been thinking about the use of gifts and talents that God has given each of us. I have also been contemplating how we are to utilize these same gifts. When I created these two pieces I was struggling with a couple of oposing views: money and treasure. Sounds similar, but in all actuallity are quite different. Many times I feel that I have missed opportunities of various types due to the fact that my focus was on making money. Money, one of those things I realize is a necessity, but can become more of an obsession. Not that I want to make more for the sake of making more, I just want to get back to zero. Debt free or at least a reasonable amount.

Anyway, the dark, money focused person, which I can be at times, is focused on the use of the gift (whatever that may be) with just themselves in mind. The other side is the person who can balance that out with an eye on how the gift can be used for others. I am sure that I am not the only one who has this "push-pull" type of relationship with the use of a gift. Not that it is by anymeans wrong to use your gifts and talents to make money, to make a living...duh, that is not the point. I am talking about when the use of the gift for the benefit of others is lost or burried. I call this the we and me type of view.... more to think about.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Few of Jeff's Paintings

These two paintings were painted by my younger brother Jeff. The first painting, with a detail shot, is acrylic on MDF(pretty large and heavy!). The second is acrylic on a stretched sculptural canvas. Very sculptural and abstract. Jeff is much more abstract and non-objective in style but is still trying to get a message across to the viewer. Hopefully that does not sound too confusing. Work is coming along for our show next month...can't believe we only have about a month to go! Jeff will be showing approximately 6 pieces and I will probably have 12. Just a reminder that the show at the Good Book in Rushville is on the second floor with stair access only. Sorry no elevator or lift. We will be having refreshments and possibly some music. Everything is still in the works...kind of a whirlwind right now with my teaching job right now. We are preparing for our spring musical and I am the set and stage designer....just add it to the list. I will do my best to keep the page up to date over the next few weeks.