2010 #19

September 28, 2010

Mourning into Dancing...36x36 acrylic on paper and canvas...21 Sept 2010

Here is a picture of my latest painting “Mourning into Dancing” taken at the Anthropoi show in Lawrence at the 739 Flash Space on Mass. Street.  I was at the opening reception last Friday and the whole show is quite impressive.  Try to check it out if you are in Lawrence within the next month.

This is the largest painting I have done since I started this art blog.  I wasn’t sure how my little paintings would translate to a larger scale.  This process was a learning experience and I came away with ideas to do things differently next time.  I had been working on this off and on the last couple of months and I am enjoying a bit of a breather before I start on my next project.

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2010 #10

May 18, 2010

Hedge Apple Tree: Spring...11x14 acrylic on panel and paper...16 May 2010

Spring is here for the Hedge Apple Tree.  The dark green buds are starting to appear and the grass is at a young bright age.  Gone are the greys.  The sun is shining with a yellow-tinge to the baby blue sky.  The rope swing is down and the kids are ready to play.

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.

2010 #2

February 8, 2010

Secret 1...12x12 acrylic on paper and panel...07 Feb 2010

Conceptually, I am pretty excited about this new series that I just started.  For now,  I think I will name the series “Secret.”  As I do a few of these, I will re-evaluate to see if  that is the right title.  I have a few concepts that I have dreamed up in my head and I will see if I translate them on to panel.

I am also excited about an upcoming project that I will be facilitating with my son’s first grade class.  Twenty-two kids will be collaborating on a single canvas to create a painting that will be auctioned off as a PTA fundraiser.  Thematically, the painting will be similar in concept to my “winter trees” series, but on a larger scale.

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 38

September 22, 2009

Green Cow...9x12 panel board...21 Sept 2009

Green Cow...9x12 panel board...21 Sept 2009

I have been meaning to explore more mid-western themes.  We have green cows in Kansas!

Week 37

September 15, 2009

Office Plant...6x12 panel board...14 September 2009

Office Plant...6x12 panel board...14 September 2009

I am not quite ready to start my next series, which I am still trying to figure out.  I have been super busy with work, coaching, games, and art shows.  I just need a bit of a mental break.  So in the meantime, here is a plant that is on my desk at work.  Last Friday, before leaving for home I had not prepared anything to paint, so I looked at my desk and sketched it up.

Week 30

August 5, 2009

Discover and Enjoy...8x10 panel board...29 July 2009

Discover and Enjoy...8x10 panel board...29 July 2009

Sorry this is posted late.  I just got back from a Colorado rocky mountain vacation with the family.  I did pack a couple of panel boards and a light supply of paint, brushes, and other materials along side bikes, suitcases, backpacks and other various things to keep kids happy into a van for our 13 day journey.  Painting was more difficult that I imagined.  We kept busy all day and were exhausted at night.  I approached these paintings with no plans hoping to finds some inspiration in the mountains.  I came home with a few ideas that I saw.  I want the time to implement them properly.

“Discovery and Enjoy” (above) came after a rainy day.  The sky cleared around 5pm.  My 6 year old son and I decided to get out and follow a trail up this mountain that was close to our condo.  The trail took us through a forest and this is what I remember.

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.