Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Project...

As always I have to be doing something. That something typically includes some sort of hands on activity and usually power tools. Being off from school for quite a while and not really in the mood to work on a painting I decided to make your average run of the mill plywood toboggan. I decided I wanted to make a toboggan after I spent an hour after school last week hauling my girls around the neighborhood in a sled that they have outgrown. We defenitely needed something longer that they could sit comfortably on. So I started off where any person would...Google. I found some ideas online and figured out what I wanted to do. So yesterday I spent a couple of hours getting most of the parts cut and assembled and today I spent a good four more hours attaching the "skin" to the bottom and top. Tomorrow I will remove the tempoary supports from the front, sand the entire thing and then finish it off with some oil based paint (whatever color I have on hand, not pink or purple). I have learned a few things that I will do differently with the next one. Anywho, I am sure the girls will enjoy it and yes, we are expecting more snow on Wednesday! Hopefully the paint will be dry by then.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

In the past 48 hours my house has miraculously turned into a full-tilt bakery! I baked 10 loaves yesterday and 14 today. European Peasant, Sesame Semolina, Spinach and Feta, Roasted Red Pepper, Sun dried Tomato and Parmesan, Pumpernickel and to round it all out, Cinnamon and Raisin. Wow! It has been extremely enjoyable to say the least. I believe that I like it so much because it is unlike anything I do during the typical working day.

Well, this will most likely be the last post of 2009. I hope everyone takes a moment to remember why we celebrate this beautiful time each year. I wish you all the best for 2010 and hope you have a Merry and Happy Christmas.


Friday, December 11, 2009

On the go

I have been working through some new ideas for upcoming paintings and installation pieces. Using some new imagery along with previous ideas. I really like being able to connect the old and the new. That is probably why I enjoy working on re-purposed materials. It has become quite apparent to me that I have a difficult time working with just a smooth surface. Texture, changes in surface and the like are what grab my attention. The new work I have been planning really emphasizes this. I would also like to find a location to do another show sometime next year, preferably somewhere other than Rushville. This will be on my to-do list. I have a few places in mind, one is in Macomb the other is in Virginia.

By having a time frame and a set date I can better prepare and focus on what I need to do. Hopefully I will have something in place by the end of the year. I will keep you posted.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Work from Friday Nights Group Show

Last night, December 4, Local Connection Artist Co-op hosted its 2nd annual group exhibit and sale. I displayed these four new, and considerably smaller mixed media works. Each one of these was created on old hardbound book covers with screen printing, spray paint, acrylic and pen. Each one was then mounted on a quarter inch sheet of luan panel and framed in painted pine. 99.9% recycled baby! Gotta love that. Unfortunately these did not sell but they will soon be listed on my etsy site if you are interested in purchasing one...or two...or...

The show was a huge success. We had a packed room most of the evening. Good food, great atmosphere. People just out for the evening to look at some fantastic art, enjoy good food and conversation. In my book, that is a fun night. Tiring but worth it. Cheers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New work

I have been working on some smaller pieces lately. As of today, I am planning on having four, possibly five, small paintings for the show. Four of these paintings are on covers of old, discarded books. I removed the pages and have been painting and printing directly on the insides of the the covers. I am also planning on having one piece that utilizes recycled wood.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Upcoming show

I have a few new pieces that will be going in the Local Connection Artist Co-op Group Exhibit and sale next month. These will be smaller works since that is the focus of this years exhibit. Here are a few photos of a spray paint and acrylic on plywood piece I just finished up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

where I'm at

I have had some time to slow down a bit and process some of my current ideas. Still planning on doing some prints...sometime. Just a heads up, my paintings are moving a bit more abstract. I have been trying for so long to paint and create art that has a least some form of realism in it...that is changing. When I slow down and start to really think about the art I want to create, well its not realistic. I'm having a difficult time with this. Difficult in the sense that I never really envisioned myself as "one of those types". See, abstract, especially non-objective art is often times viewed as well, not art. Often times when people are unable to see something from reality or at the very least something somewhat recognizable in a piece of art they dismiss it. It is the dismissing part that makes it difficult. Personally, I don't want my work to be viewed this way. I suppose that is the feeling of most artist who put a tremendous amount of time and energy into their work

Over the years I have become quite fond of art that is uncomplicated and uncluttered. Art that is void of useless and pointless stuff that is totally unnecessary. It's kind of like seeing a photo of say a light bulb resting on a table, shot in black and white with just the right amount of doesn't need anything else, it just works. Maybe its my age, maybe maturity (not likely), experience or quite possibly it something that has always been there and I am finally allowing myself to be "one of those types". Either way, it is freeing and extremely powerful...all at the same. I'm curious to see what happens.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Work from the show last Friday

Well, the show has come and gone. I have to say I am quite relieved. A lot of work went into pulling it all together and I certainly enjoyed it but I am ready to get back to a "normal" pace...whatever that is. I do know that it does not involve painting until the wee hours of the least not right now!

If you are interested in purchasing a piece or have questions about mediums or dimensions please contact me and I will let you know if it is still available.

Work that was in the show last Friday

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stress Relief

This song makes me want to jump up on the tables and tear it up! Certainly takes me to another place. When I want to zone out and push everything else aside...this song does that for me.

By the way, things are coming together for the show. On the home stretch now. Hope to see you at the Phoenix on Friday night!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Update - the early edition

This weekend is going to be jam packed with stuff to do and people to see. A close friend just had a baby today, her third. Some friends of ours are getting married tomorrow, so tonight is the rehearsal dinner. Sunday looks just as full, church followed by a short break and then off to a cookout at some friends house. Am I complaining? I suppose it could be just the friends or people who showed any interest in me or loved me or cared if took another it's all good, just busy. (Tonya please don't try and correct my grammar, punctuation etc. FOR I KNOW IT IS LOUSY.)

Finally I need to find some time in between to get some work done. Last night was a late one, finally washed out my brushes and shut the lights out at Then I was supposed to be up at 6am for my usual morning walk. Well, I got out of bed at twenty after seven and rolled into work a few minutes late. Slammed down a peanut butter granola bar and a half gallon of coffee and off we went.

Forecast for the upcoming week: see previous paragraph.

This little video I have posted for your pleasure is by a duo from San Francisco -Pomplamoose. Always impressive and entertaining. Basically I really did their stuff. Hope you do to.

Cheers to the weekend!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Update 9.26.09

Here are some shots from some of the final pieces I am working on for the show in a few weeks. Man, only a few more weeks to pull it all together! Should be interesting to say the least. Spent some time this morning constructing supports and being interviewed by Rich Egger of WIUM in Macomb. Rich is working on a story about artists that utilize recycled materials in their work. He is also coming to the show and will be talking with my co-conspirator Amber about her work as well.
So long for now. Enjoy the photos.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun Weekend

Not much painting took place this week. Mostly drawing and finalizing some composition stuff as well as an installation piece for the show next month. Christy and I went to Chicago/Wicker Park on Saturday. Went up to pick up some glass and supplies for some windows I will be building later this fall. After that we headed off to Renegade Craft Fair. Check 'em out at - 300 booths of indie-hipsters making all sorts of goodies. Posters to underwear and a bit of everything in between. As we were sitting at a little Thai restaurant eating our Pad Thai at an outdoor table we both realized we could live here. Only one problem, we could not afford to live here! Fun none the less. Check out this little photo from the free, yes I said free, photo booth at the event.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Update 9.4.09

Work is moving along on the pieces I am preparing for the show. Sorry for not posting last week. It was a crazy, busy weekend. This one has been no different. The big plus is that I have been able to get quite a few hours in on some paintings. I am planning on having around ten or so pieces for sale at our show next month. It is official that we are using the Phoenix Opera House as our location. Well on with the photos.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Update 8.22.09

Well not much work was completed during the week since my wife and I had to be out of town for a funeral and school started this past Tuesday. Anyway I had a chance to get some time in today.

Amber Bledsoe, the artist I am showing with on October 9 is plugging away as well. We have been discussing possible locations for the show. We have narrowed it down to three possible locations and will try and make a decision sooner than later.

The date - Friday, October 9 - and the time - 6 to 9pm - are pretty much set. We may have a surprise or two for those in attendance. Just have to see how it pans out.

Anyway on to the photos.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Progress Update 8.15.09

Finally got some time in towards the end of the week. Trying out some new stuff. Layering of wood strips and stuff like that. Progress, although quite slow at times is still progress. That makes me feel good. As always, comment if you want.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

As promised...Show Update 8.8.09

Just got back from visiting some good friends of ours, the Rebman family, up in the Keweenah Penninsula in the U.P. of Michigan. They live in Lake Linden and were our tour guides for the week. Lots of fun and some time to relax. It is nice to be able to stay with friends in their home and share meals and whatever else comes our way.
Time to get back to work. Here are some shots of what is currently happening around the studio. Quite a few new ideas brewing. Just trying to find the time to hammer them out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New work.

I have been working on finishing up a couple of new pieces when the time is available. And there has not been lots of it lately. My brother and I are painting a house for some friends. Big house too. So there goes much of the time that I would typically be using for my own work. But it is good to be working. And the views around the house are jaw dropping. There are times that I just stop and do nothing but stare at the clouds and fields that seem to spread out to eternity.

Thinking through quite a few new ideas for the show in October. From here on out all photos that I post will be in black and white. Don't want to give too much away before the show. Keep everyone on their toes.

Starting next Saturday I plan on posting photos once a week with new photos of work and sketches for the October show.

For now though, I am getting ready to head off to St. Louis for the Cards-Astros game. Then on Sunday we are heading north to U.P. of Michigan to visit some friends for the week. Lots of windshield time this week! 12+ hour car ride with the family. Please pray for my sanity, humility and patience. God help us all!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

new painting in the works

Kind of changing things up a bit. Using a bit less color in combination with grays. Also doing a variation with shades of oatmeal. Yes. I said oatmeal. The next time you decide to make yourself a bowl take a moment to look at the various shades and tints that delicious bowl of warm goodness has to offer.

Seriously though. Just using the oatmeal as a color reference. Not really going to start spreading it onto my paintings. Wait a minute...briliant. No, not really, mold would end up being an issue and that would throw off my whole color scheme.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sayin' good bye....

to cardboard. It has become quite apparent that cardboard does not hold up well to humidity and temperature changes. In the form of a box being shipped it works just fine. When stapled to a wooden support, not so good. So with this post I am saying good by to my dearest cardboard. Our time together has been wonderful and the memories will last a life time and...okay that's enough.

No worries, I have a new love. Salvaged lumber. Ahhhhh, so lovely and mature...sorry wrong direction. Anyway, I am becoming quite fond of this type of lumber. The surface is weathered and probably has many stories to tell. I am amazed and fascinated with the texture and patina of the surface. This isn't that cheap laminated junk that disguises itself as wood when really all it is just sawdust glued together with a pieces of wood grain-like wallpaper slapped on top of it. No this is the real-deal. Stuff like pine, oak, maple and walnut as well as all sorts of plywood. And yes, I am "all geeked-up" on this stuff. Very geeked-up.

So today I fired up the table saw and began cutting down all sorts of boards that I have salvaged from a variety of places. Some from a table and dresser I found during spring clean up week here in Rushville, some from a head and foot board I picked up from the dumpster at the H.E.L.P. Center. Other pieces came from dumpster raids after the stage and sets were torn down following our annual spring musical at Rushville-Industry High School. Some are from a piece of furniture from my own home I disassembled recently.

I spent a good portion of the day cutting, measuring, gluing and assembling different supports for upcoming paintings. Most of these new surfaces are much smaller than the ones I have been working with. The largest support is 36" x say 30". Some of the smaller ones are around 26" x 16".

The next time you get ready to pitch that old dresser or maybe you saw one on the curb in your neighborhood, give me a shout. If you live close by I will come and pick it up. So with this I say, so long my dearest cardboard, I will never forget you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Launch took place.

Yesterday evening we launched Ella's house from our street. I still have video to upload but here is a shot of the girls making their cardboard houses. I suppose I should fill in some gaps here. Last week we went to see the new Pixar film UP. If you are not familiar with the movie it is about an elderly man who is a balloon saleman. He basically gets fed up with the world and decides to fill up hundreds of balloons with helium and lift his house like a hot air balloon. There is much more to the story but that will get you started.

Sooooooooo, the girls and I decided to make small houses made from cereal boxes and then attach balloons to them and let them go. I probably enjoyed as much if not more than they did. Ella's went off without a hitch, Paige's on the other hand...blown into a tree. We made a new one and launched it a day later. We also put a little note inside to anyone who might find them. All we know is that they were last seen floating east out of Rushville. So there you go.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Project Deuce

This is number two of the big projects to mark off my summer to-do list. I started building this computer table back in Feb. and have not done much with it since. Well...we finally moved our youngest daughter upstairs with her big sister and so bugun the process of turning her former bedroom into my wifes studio/workspace/office/i now have two doors to shut and can hide out/studio.

I spent many an hour repairing the cracked and damaged plaster walls, then we painted over the former pale green with a cool grey. Very nice indeed. I just wish it was me moving my painting stuff in instead of Christy and all of her fabrics.

Anyway, the table is made from 100% recyled lumber. The top is made of plywood and hardwood scraps that I saved from the dumpster at the high school which I work. The base is made from reclaimed 5 and a quarter tongue and groove pine flooring. I am in the process of waxing the top and shelves with beeswax and the base will be painted in the near future. Any suggestions on color?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Few Things...

After one week out of school for the summer and I can already check the playhouse off the list. I had been wanting to build one for some time now. Finally planned one out and started building. It is actually smaller than it started out to be. The floor plan is 7 feet wide by 9 feet deep with 3 feet of that being the porch. It sits about 56 inches off the ground. I actually made it so that most of the house is outside the fence in our yard. Only three feet of it is actually inside the fence. But you can only access the playhouse from inside the fence. Pretty sweet if I do say so myself. Painting, windows and door will come later. If my girls only knew how many hours of detention supervision it took to make this happen.

On another note, here are a few shots of a painting that I have been working on for a while now. Almost complete. It is actually two panels.

I will be having a show in mid August too! I will keep you posted.

Happy Summer! Cheers.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Progress Update

Here is round two of my current painting. Soon there will be the addition of a load more balloons and some light blue over some of the white and orange in the lower portion of the painting. Getting time to paint has been quite tough lately. So I chip away at it a little at a time. Sometimes, like right now, over my lunch break.
I am working on putting together a show of these types of works in the future. No dates as of yet, but hopefully sooner than later. On a side note, I have come across a large amount of scrap, cabinet grade plywood pieces. Of course I am going to paint on them. You had to ask?