Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Show Frenzy - part 2

I survived!!

This will be a short post - I am sick, and I have noticed a tendency to ramble when I sit down to write this blog, so brevity is the watchword. At least for tonight.

 My own little corner of the show, surrounded by new work.

In the end, I only managed to complete 13 of the paintings that I started for the show, but that's o.k.  I am just so glad that I had enough pieces to fill my display wall and that there was a bit of variety to that. A handful sold, the rest will be sold as the year ends and 2014 rolls on in.

As I think about the process of painting these (which now seems like a month ago instead of last week) I am struck by how truly exhilarating it all was. I enjoyed bouncing back and forth between the fine detail in some of the birds and the looser, impressionistic brushwork of some of the backgrounds and landscapes.

I began to glimpse a possible new style, more dynamic and atmospheric, for my commercial work. Can I do it? We shall see. I am a creature of habit.

Here are a few of the finished pieces, prior to framing on the day before the show.

"The Crafty Fellow"  SOLD

(A clever title, eh?)

(An even more clever title . . .)

"On the Cascade"  SOLD

"Winding Down"  SOLD

"Superior Overlook"

Thanks for swinging by - I appreciate any feedback you care to offer.  In a few weeks I will begin animating my little Goblin movie, for the first time in a year, so expect some posts about that.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Art Show Frenzy - part 1

“I think I can, I think I can . . .” 

At least 15 brand new oil paintings need to be framed and hanging on my modular wall in the Taylors  Falls Depot Artisan Show six days from now.  No problem! I have done this show before; I must be almost ready . . . right?

Wrong.  Oh, so wrong.  Due to a variety of issues, I have only been able to devote a fraction of the time I normally would to this show. 

This was taken a few days ago - do you notice the absence of finished paintings?

Not to worry.  I will be ready.  I have a system, of sorts.  

For the last few months I have been photographing anything that could serve as inspiration for a painting. I have been printing out selected aspects of these photos, scaling them to the dimensions of my ready-made Gessobord panels. I have been paying extra special attention to color and light effects out of doors lately – filing away mental images that I find intriguing.

As soon as we stood on this spot, overlooking Lake Superior,  I was inspired to do a painting of it.

Two boxes of frames just arrived from an online framing company, and have joined the ready-made frames I picked up from a local craft store.  My taboret (combination wheeled cabinet and palette) is loaded with tubes of paint and several new brushes.

My approach in cases like this is to plop the primed panels into the frames, tape whatever image I intend to paint right onto the panel and then move onto the next one, trying to get a sense of just what the show might look like.  I play musical frames, selecting the style and color that I hope will work best with the finished painting. Having a series of works in progress displayed on easels all around me takes some of the panic away.

 My patented "panic mode" approach to starting a painting. Note the printed photo as well as the frame still in its packaging.  No time to waste.

Ojibwe lodge created for a recent rendezvous at the Northwest Company Fur Post near Pine City, MN.

My initial sketch in burnt umber using the previous photo for inspiration.

To make sure I use my limited time and energy wisely, I start tackling the more complicated pieces first, sketching in pencil and paint, then blocking in big masses as quickly as possible. The smaller pieces, mostly bird pictures and little landscapes, will be the last ones I worry about. 

 At least these two are nearly finished. It's a start, eh?

If this seems a bit mercenary, it should. I am painting these to sell, and for both my sake and the sake of my clients, these need to be economical pieces.  Having said that, I should point something out.  This is actually one of the few times during the year when I can paint whatever I want – and this freedom is so exhilarating!  I reconnect with my love of painting, even while standing in the middle of a mad house for a few weeks.

My next post will show the finished pieces.