2011 #8

May 18, 2011

Circular #2...9x12 acrylic on blueprint and panel...17 May 2011

I like a clear idea, unity of a theme and running with it for a while.  I may do one, two, or three more of these circular abstracts.

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2011 #7

May 10, 2011

Circular #1...9x12 acrylic on blueprint and panel...08 May 2011

A few months ago, I salvaged from the bin a nice collection of old blueprints.  I have been eyeing them and waiting for the right opportunity to incorporate them into one of my paintings.  So I am going to test them out on a couple of circular abstracts.

-Sam

2010 #4

February 24, 2010

the growing tree...30x40 acrylic on canvas and paper...23 Feb 2010

The Growing Tree is a collaborative painting I did with my son’s first grade class.  Instead of fundraisers, the PTA at his school has an annual banquet and silent auction at the local country club.  Each class is responsible for providing a class gift and so “The Growing Tree” is the class gift for this auction.

 The concept for this tree is similar to my winter tree series.  Specifically this one here.  The scale is much larger.  It went from an 8”x8” panel board to 30”x40” canvas. 

Here is the process of how this was created:

 Step 1 – Paint the Background.  I met up with about 10 students who were able to stay a bit after school one day.  I brought in the blank canvas, and easel, a bunch of paints, and cheap brushes and an old bed sheet to protect the floor.  I split the students into groups of two.  I would then squirt some blue and white and maybe mix-in another color onto the canvas the group of two would spread that paint around for a few minutes.  Then it was the next groups turn to repeat that process.  Each group had about 3 or 4 turns.  I encouraged them to paint on top of the previous work and to use big broad strokes…squiggle, circles, and to ride it like a roller coaster.  This created a pretty neat layering of color and gave the background a uniform look rather than 10 individual looks.

 Step 2 – Paint the Circles.  We passed out 22 random pre-cut circles on different colored construction paper to the 22 students in the class.  There are 3 different size circles on the painting – 3”, 3-1/2”, and 4”.  At first I was going to use the same size, but I felt the painting would be more dynamic if the circles were not uniform.  The students were sitting at tables in groups of 3 or 4 and I passed out plates that had the basic colors and paint brushes.  The instruction was that they could paint whatever they want – crazy color designs or more concrete like something you would  find in a tree, but the most important instruction was that they were to paint over the entire circle so that the original color of  paper was not visible.  This was really fun and they all had a good time.

 Step 3 – Paint the Tree.  This was my only visible contribution to the project.  Everything that is black was done by my hand.  Basically, I painted the tree on to the canvas.

 Step 4 – Add the Circles to the Tree.  Once the tree was painted, I used a gel medium to apply the circles onto the canvas.

 Step 5 – Varnish.  After the piece was complete, I added a gloss varnish.  This really make the colors POP!

 This morning I took the painting to the classroom for the kids to enjoy before it is auctioned off this weekend.  I took the above picture with my hand held camera, so I am sorry it is not the best quality.  This was a fun project.  Kids love to paint and I think it turned out well.

Week 51

December 22, 2009

red bird on snowy tree...8x8 panel board...21 Dec 2009

Ahh…One more week and then I need to take a much needed break.  I have really enjoyed doing these trees, because they are most in line with the goals I set out at the beginning of the year.  Simple and minimal.  I really need simple and minimal now.  This month of December has been crazy busy – in a good way with all the fun Christmas activities and family traditions, but also busy with many different art projects.  Besides my weekly paintings, I have done two white elephant paintings, helped coach my first grader  complete two paintings for fine arts program at school, and I am working with all 3 of my kids on a painting project for Christmas presents.  Oh, there is another project I am working on, too.  Busy, busy, busy.   So that is why (right now) I really enjoy these simple and minimal paintings.

Week 50

December 14, 2009

Winter Tree...8x8 panel board...13 Dec 2009

Again, this is another attempt at a real simple painting.  Things are getting super busy around our house, so the more simple this can be will hopefully mean less stress on me.  This tree was inspired by a Christmas lighting display in my neighborhood.  Instead of the traditional light wrapping around the tree, it has balls of lights hanging from branches.

Week 28

July 13, 2009

Iowa: Red...9x12 Panel Board...12 July 2009

Iowa: Red...9x12 Panel Board...12 July 2009

Here is part 3 of 3 for my Iowa color series. 

Lately, I have been exploring the idea of song and album.  No other artform moves me more than music and I was telling a friend that my goal is to someday visually capture that emotional connection of a song or album.  I am not confidant that this can be accomplished.  A song or album can take you on a journey slowly revealing itself to you, whereas a painting is fully exposed.  I cannot control the path of a viewers eyes…oh, I see this can become a deep discussion.  In the meantime, I have focused on stand alone parts that can be put together as a whole.  Hopefully, like how unified songs make a great album.

Week 27

July 6, 2009

Iowa: Green...9x12 Panel Board...05 July 2009

Iowa: Green...9x12 Panel Board...05 July 2009

I had a good  and busy 4th of July weekend.  Luckily, I had an extra day in the weekend, because family activities went late into the night.  After the kids are in bed, then I get time in the studio.

Here is part 2 of 3 in my Iowa series.

Week 26

June 29, 2009

Iowa: Blue...9x12 panel board...28 June 2009

Iowa: Blue...9x12 panel board...28 June 2009

This is the 26th week with my 26th painting.  The year is half over and I am really proud of myself for sticking with this committment  (so far) to do one painting a week for a year.  I actually look forward to my time (usually late at night) during the weekend to work in the studio.  There was a time early in the year when I thought that I would run out of ideas.  Luckily, this discipline has taught me  to quickly come up with new ones and at the same time be planning future ideas.  The key is to always be looking for that potential and to keep a pen, sketchbook, and camera handy.

Iowa: Blue is part 1 of 3.  I recently took a work-related road trip up to northern Iowa.  We drove through heat, massive thunderstorms, incredible clouds and skies, wind farms, farmlands, farmhouses, barns, and small towns.  What fun!