Grace Outake

December 2, 2011

Swoon (grace outake)…photo…01 Dec 2011

I have really been fascinated with all the leftover paper cut from my main projects.  I see short-little potential in these pieces of paper that are on their way to the recycling bin.  That’s all.  Enjoy!


This is a video “demo” (sketch) for the concept of my new album (painting.)  It is a simple melody in the most basic way: cut white paper with light and shadow.  I quickly shot this in one take with a handheld camera and left in all the background noise…the music in my studio, the kids talking and running across the wood floors above, etc.

video still

November 13, 2011

video still from Grace "demo" light and shadow mono mix

This fall has been fantastic and has been moving quickly.  It seems like forever since I have posted any new work.  I have slowly been working on a new project of which I refer to as my “new album.”  I am going rock and roll on this.  My album will feature some demo’s, for the collectors a single (radio edit), maybe some besides, and the finished piece.

The above picture is a “still” from a quick little video I took.  This is a demo of what is to come with the new album.  This demo is mono – white on white- using shadow and light to create the image of a figure.  I will release the “demo” video soon, followed by the single, before the album comes out.

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.

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.


2011 #6

April 19, 2011

lines and squares...4x5 acrylic on paper and panel...18 April 2011

This is how I work…I paint paper on a drafting table.  I almost always use scrap paper under the paper I am painting to protect the table from overpaint.  Sometimes I find that the scrap paper with the overpaint of different colors has a unique randomness and I see potential.

This has always been one of my themes and a goal of my work:  TO FIND BEAUTY AND POTENTIAL IN THE TRASH, LEFTOVER, DISCARDED, BROKEN AND UNINTEDED.

So I look at the piece of grided paper with random paint splotches and try to figure out how to make it interesting.  I debated several ideas and go for a line patern with a limited color wash and then I cut away with my knife.

Sometimes, I just need to do a quick project.

2011 #3

March 2, 2011

postman...30x40 acyrlic on canvas and paper...28 February 2011

Sorry…the picture is kinda crummy, but it looks good in person. 

I have been working on this wintery themed painting over the past month…I guess I was inspired by the ‘big’  blizzard and all the snowfall we have had here in Kansas City.

These larger paintings take me a while to do, since I can only pluck away at it a few hours here and there…mostly over the weekend.  I already have an idea for a smaller painting to do next.  Hopefully, this will only take me a couple of weeks instead of a month.  I just like to keep rolling and start thinking about the next project, it keeps the mind fresh.


2010 #22

January 4, 2011

Moose...12x12 acrylic on panel and paper...25 Dec 2010

My good friend has a place called “The Moose” in Colorado and he kindly lets my family stay there when we need a  vacation.  This last summer, I was inspired by all the Moose decor and knew I had to do a moose inspired painting for him.  I promised him this was my last moose painting.

This painting was done similarly to #18, in that paint is applied to panel board and the rest is made from cut “onion skin” paper.

This was my last finished painting of 2010.  Hopefully 2011 will be just as, if not more frutiful.

2010 #21

December 13, 2010

White Elephant...4x6 acrylic on paper and bambo...04 Dec 2010

This is my yearly “white elephant” painting for the white elephant gift exchange party.  My mantra is to “put the white elephant back in white elephant.”  I put this painting together by finding some scrap magazine paper that had been painted with the remaining paint from an earlier project.  I also had a sample of bambo hardwood flooring which I used as the panel to paint.

I have been kind of quiet lately, but I have many projects coming up.  I needed some time for a break (November is a very busy month for our family with 3 birthdays and Thanksgiving.)  I have used that time to reorganize my studio (and Iam still working on it.)  I have also been working on an album cover for a friend.  I painted the world on 20 panels as part of the kid’s Christmas Choir performance at our church…and lately I have just been enjoying the Christmas season.  I have a lot of ideas that I want to get started with.  I expect January to be busy/fun month.

Merry Christmas!

2010 #18

September 7, 2010

untitled...8x8 acrylic on panel and paper...06 Sept 2010

I haven’t posted anything new in a while.  The reason is that I have been working on my largest piece to date.  I have more than tripled the size of my usual paintings and have been working on a 36×36 inch painting.  For me it is a complex piece involving many layers and I have been taking my time with it.  It is almost finished, but not quite.

So, over the weekend, I had this concept pop in my head that was quite simple and minimal in contrast to my current project.  I decided to quickly explore it before it was lost and forgotten.  I like the way it turned out and it has opened up possibilities for future projects.

2010 #15

July 12, 2010

Neighborhood on Stilts...8x8 acrylic on paper and panel...10 Jul 2010

Another small 8×8 painting from my “leftover paint” series…The color is a combo of yellows, tans, and whites and I can’t remember if this was created from the summer or fall version of the hedge apple tree series.  I spread the remaining paint onto a ripped out page of a nearby magazine.  The idea I had for this piece of painted paper was to create a line drawing without making any lines.  Later I came back in and added a thin layer of white over a few of the cut out pieces to visually seperate certain elements from the common background.

I sat on this concept for a while.  I knew I wanted crooked lines with a few feature blocks, but wasn’t sure how to execute it.  I waited and sketched a few ideas until it looked right and the bells went off.  I like it.

2010 #7

April 5, 2010

Secret 5...acrylic on paper and panel...04 apr 2010

…It’s no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest
It’s no secret ambition bites the nails of success
Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief

Over love… we shine like a
Burning star
We’re falling from the sky

A man will rise
A man will fall
From the sheer face of love
Like a fly from a wall
It’s no secret at all…(Bono)

This painting is inspired by a picture I took  in the Piazza del Santo outside the Basilica Di Sant’Antonio in Padova, Italy.  Along the colonnade, there was a vendor set up with religious icons for sale.  I don’t know if these were souvenirs or an aid for worship.

2010 #3

February 17, 2010

Secret 2...12x12 acrylic on paper and panel...16 Feb 2010

Regarding  the “Secret” series, I am interested and exploring these things:

  • square panels – I have been using 12×12, but I just love squares.
  • the image with-in – I like the idea of not taking the image to the edge of the panel and the asymmetrical placement.  It adds to the “secret”…it’s a glimpse and doesn’t reveal the whole story.
  • one color at different values.
  • the hidden narrative interpreted from my personal photos.

We’ll see where this goes.  I plan to do a few more in this style.  This next week I will be working on a piece that is a collaboration with my son’s first grade class.  It should be fun.

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.

White Elephant 2009 #2...5x7 canvas...11 Dec 2009

This weekend my wife and I went to another Christmas party with another White Elephant gift exchange.  I found another 5×7 canvas in our basement that had been previously painted by the kids some years ago.  The fun part about reusing this canvas is working with the existing colors already on the canvas rather than totally paint over and start fresh.  On this one, moreso than my previous “White Elephant,” I let the origianl colors show through and I just covered the canvas with a white translucent wash and then added a sort of ground and horizon line.

Week 49

December 8, 2009

Snowy Tree at 30 Degrees...8x8 panel board...07 Dec 2009

So…the “White Elephant” was a bonus painting and this is the official painting for Week 49. 

I thought I’d try to end the year by going back to my original vision with simple ideas and minimal color and hopefully projects that are less time consuming.  With the Christmas season and the end of the year fast approaching, I have so many things to do and I don’t want to get stressed.

White Elephant 2009

December 6, 2009

White Elephant 2009...5x7 canvas...04 Dec 2009

Each Christmas season, there is always a party where you are suppose to bring a “white elephant” gift.  I have made it my motto to put the white elephant back in white elephant.  Rather than finding junk in the house to get ride of, I thought it would be nice (and fun) to do a small and quick (although it never is) painting of the infamous white elephant.  This is my third year, so I think I have a tradition strarted.  And yes I did find a canvas to reuse in the basement.

Week 48

December 2, 2009

Street Scene and Magazines #2...9x12 Panel Board...01 Dec 2009

I did not originally inted for there to be a “#2” for Street Scenes and Magazines…but as I looked at the orignal, I could imagine what would happen around the corner and off the frame.  I had leftover sheets of painted magazines, so it made since to add a second painting.

Wow!  Only four more paintings left for this year.  I am trying to come up with ideas for a different project for 2010.  Right now I am thinking working on a larger scale.

Week 47

November 25, 2009

Street Scene and Magazines...9x12 panel board...24 Nov 2009

Happy Thankgiving!

This week’s painting is wildly different from my Flint Hills series.  The Flint Hills were so simple in form and minimal in color and this one is just bursting with noise.  I had an image in my mind of what I wanted this to look like and I just kept tinkering with it trying to find that right feeling.  Last night I finally got to a point that I felt it was finished enough to move on.  Any new ideas could be applied to a future painting.  There were many “what ifs…” on this one.

Week 41

October 13, 2009

Three Sisters...9x12 Panel Board...12 October 2009

Three Sisters...9x12 Panel Board...12 October 2009

These ladies are dressed up for a fun night on the town.

Week 40

October 6, 2009

Moon Costume...9x12 Panel Board...05 Oct 2009

Moon Costume...9x12 Panel Board...05 Oct 2009

I really don’t know where this one came from.  The idea of the subject came from an old time theater photo I had laying around and the background was just an experiment with painted strips from different types of paper including a map of Arkansas.

I have ideas for using and taking from more old-time images.  I think I might move in that direction…oh, and maybe more cows, too!

Week 39

September 29, 2009

white cow, black cow...9x12 panel board...28 September 2009

white cow, black cow...9x12 panel board...28 September 2009

More cows…I really wanted to add green (to keep the same colors as last week) but I felt like this piece really didn’t need it.  Who knows…

Week 35

September 2, 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said and Done...11x14 panel board...01 Sept 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said and Done #4...11x14 panel board...01 Sept 2009

This is my last “white” themed piece before I submit these to the “White Show” – a juried exhibit in Lawrence, Kansas.  Hopefully, one of these will be selected. 

I did #4 on an 11×14 panel board.  This has been my largest work yet for my weekly painting series.  My original mission was to work small on 8×10, but lately I have been using 9×12 and now this.

Quiz:  Can you name the bridge seen in #4?

Week 33

August 18, 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said and Done #3...9x12 panel board...17 August 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said and Done #3...9x12 panel board...17 August 2009

…still working on the “little thing” series.  Again, I am submitting these for the “White” gallery show, so you can tell I am aiming for uniformity in content and style.

Week 32

August 12, 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said And Done...9x12 panel board...12 August 2009

Little Things I Should Have Said And Done...9x12 panel board...12 August 2009

Now that I am back home and not working on the road (week 30 and 31), I am revisiting the “the little things” theme.  I hope to submit these for an upcoming gallery show in Lawrence, KS that my friend Darin ( BALM ) is putting on.

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 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 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!

Week 22

June 2, 2009

Untitled (week 22)...8x10 panel board...01 June 2009

Untitled (week 22)...8x10 panel board...01 June 2009

I have really enjoyed working on this current series of grid and white blocks and there are still many different angles to explore, but it is time to take a break to pursue other ideas.  I still want to contribute to this series here and there, but I would really like to dream up something new right now.

Week 20

May 20, 2009

blue streak...8x10 panel board...20 May 2009

blue streak...8x10 panel board...19 May 2009

Sorry this is a little late.  I had a busy weekend with early mornings, which means I didn’t stay up late into the wee hours of the morning like I usually do.

I never know what to name these pieces.  Mabye it will make since later and I’ll rename the whole series.  I know a songwriter who comes up with the titles to all his songs first and then builds music and the lyrics based on those titles.  If I was good with words, I might someday try that approach.

Week 19

May 12, 2009

Everything (In the Right Place)...8x10 Panel Board...11 May 2009

Everything (In Its Right Place)...8x10 Panel Board...11 May 2009

This version of white grided blocks is about order and rules.  There is a color pattern rotating around a center point and the voids in the white blocks follow certain rules given it’s shape and size.  Previous versions were random and arbitrary, which I very much liked because I didn’t want the piece to look forced or predictable.  Even in the previous versions, I think I was still applying rules to create randomness but just not pattern.  Anyway, I wanted to see what happened if I gave in and allowed the rules and paterns to take over.

Week 18

May 5, 2009

4,3,2,1...8x10 Panel Board...04 May 2009

4,3,2,1...8x10 Panel Board...04 May 2009

…a continuation of color, grid, white boxes, and voids.  I want to work on a few more of these, because I like the look of the whole series together.

Week 17

April 27, 2009

Big City #2...8x10 Panel Board...26 April 2009

Big City #2...8x10 Panel Board...26 April 2009

I wanted to build off the idea of last week’s painting.  I still feel like I can take this in a few different directions.  I like the idea of creating a series of similar themes.  It documents the process and growth for me as I explore an idea, but I also like the unity of the work together.

Week 16

April 19, 2009


Big City...8x10 Panel Board...19 April 2009

Big City...8x10 Panel Board...19 April 200

 I realized that my new interest has been white gridded blocks.  I think I just happened upon it, although when I look back on old sketches and notes, it is a recurring doodle.  My 4 year old was watching me work on this.  I asked him what he thought and he told me it looked like a “big city.”