Saturday, April 12, 2008

When you have really 'Made It'

OK, now I have had favorable reviews of my work show up online and in newspapers, had work juried into national shows, won a few awards, have had my illustrations published and distributed in other countries, and have a painting in a museum, but this is when you really know you have made it:
When kids think your work is cool and copy it themselves.

My brother works with someone that has two talented young artist sons. They are around 9 or 10 I think. My brother, works as an structural engineer type person for some fancy company place where he does things and gets paid for it (I should pay more attention to what he says) Anyway, while at work he saw that one of his co-workers had some of his kids drawings in his office. He mentioned that I pretend to be an artist and showed him my website. Before you know it, his kids had printed and copied some of my work. My brother sent me some photos.
I am posting some examples here:

This is an illustration I did for a game called Harn a few years ago. The original is on my website. These are creatures that supposedly attack you and eat your eyes. Cool huh?
Here is what they came up with.

This one was a Crazy Viking dude I did for someone in Sweden. He has a huge dent in his head from an old injury. My original is on the left. The other two are both by Asher (I think I spelled that right).

This one I did for the founder and publisher of the local neighborhood newspaper- the Clifton Chronicle. He likes rhinos. So I did this as a gift. Here is the original.
Below is the copy.

It is pretty fun to see kids interpret your work, even though they will be getting a nasty letter from my lawyer!

Cold Painting

Today was the second day of my Spring Landscape Painting class.
It was cold!
I told everyone to dress warm, but I don't think most people were really ready for just how cold it gets standing in the wind painting. At least it didn't rain.
This is a great group of people and I think it will be a fun class. Hopefully, it will be better weather next week.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Confronted by BS

I love Half Price Books. I spend a lot of time there looking for the next book or books to add to my collection of book shelves. Well, this week they had a big sale and I again added to my growing collection. I found a few interesting art books including a nice one on Whistler.

There is one book I thought I would focus on, as it was a special find. It is a book published by the Columbus Museum of Art on a painter named Joseph Marioni. I had never heard of him, and I probably would not have bought the book if it had not been $2.50. It was worth every penny.

Now, on to this wonderful book. I will just start by showing you a picture on page 9 of one of this "artist's" paintings hanging on the wall. Click on it to see it bigger if you must.

Red Painting acrylic and linen on stretcher 22" x 20" 1994 no. 21

OK, first I would like to point out that this is number 21 of god knows how many other red paintings he has done.
Now, the best part of this book, is that is has 'details' of the paintings. This way you can really get in there to see what is going on.
Here is the detail on the next page. Click on this to really get a handle on it.

Red Painting (detail) acrylic and linen on stretcher 22" x 20" 1994 no. 21

So, if you didn't get what was going on seeing the whole painting, this book zooms in for a closer look. Did you notice? It's red.
The book has 9 more paintings, but it only shows the details of these. I won't show them all, but I will list them. There is Blue Painting # 12, Green Painting # 21, Green Painting #5, Red Painting # 14, Black Painting # 4, Blue Painting # 26, Green Painting # 18, Yellow Painting # 1, White Painting # 1, and Yellow Painting # 6.

There are also 6 pages written about these paintings. I am not sure who is more talented, the man painting these paintings or the person that could come up with 6 pages discussing them. The text is available in English and German, and I found both equally enjoyable. In this well crafted text, Marioni is quoted as saying, "that the very essence of the painting experience is a state of consciousness that is unlanguaged."
Interesting stuff. For him it also seems to be a bunch of other words that have un- in front of them as well, like: trained, inspired, talented, skilled, or interesting. Just to name a few that came to mind. The writer goes on to mention that he feels somehow "confronted" by color.
No kidding?
What else exactly is there to be confronted with?
When I read this, I felt confronted with B.S.
There is even mention of his technique. Guess what? He uses a paint roller, and occasionally will use a brush. He uses these tools to somehow give the impression that these paintings have "somehow simply 'happened'."

I had an exciting moment where I thought my wife and I actually owned a series by this artist. After a search I found it in our archives and I was very disappointed to discover I was wrong. Turns out the series is a collaborative piece. The artists seem to be named Perry and Derrick.

They are a bit more clever with the names of their images than Mr. Marioni, and are way less sloppy with the paint. Interestingly I have something in common with these artists, as I think I painted my bathroom Sunflower 4524D which is in this series of tiny paintings. Turns out, I used a very similar technique to that of Joseph Marioni, by rolling the paint on to the walls.

I know you are going to think I am being over dramatic, but I was so moved by Marioni's work, that I spent a few hours writing a poem about the Red Painting # 21, which I liked better than the detail of Red Painting # 14 on page 40. The poem is below, and I call it G. Let me know what you think.

I really am inspired here, so I went even further and wrote some music. Now, I can't read music or play an instrument, but here it is. And as lack of ability to properly use the tools or media available didn't stop Marioni, why should it stop me. Enjoy.