Saturday, December 31, 2011

Portrait demo

This is an 11" X 14" portrait I did as a demonstration. I just used a picture from a magazine -- it wasn't from life. I did this in about an hour and fifteen minutes and I must say that doing these demos has helped me increase my ability to paint faster. If I was to do this as a commission I would take more time, yet what it has to say as a painting is just enough: not too much noodling around and I pushed the color a bit to make this my own. I've been doing these to build an art class, but the people just don't know what they are missing. So -- I do them for myself. This was done in acrylics -- which, frankly, I hate. But I figure, if you can do this in a medium you don't like it just shows that you can do the job. I've never wanted to be more than a portrait and landscape painter (in oils) so I was happy with the result. I had about a dozen people come up to me while I was doing this and tell me how much they liked it -- one even offered to buy it (I'm not sure how serious that was, but his price wasn't right). Happy New Year, you all!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Worst educational degrees......

Discouraging news, .......although most artists have known this for years. I saw among the "news stories" on the computer the "10 worst educational degrees". Of course "worst" always means worst paying -- money always being the deciding factor as to whether your life amounts to anything or not. So naturally it is up to you to form a philosophy of life. Consult your Bible, Deepak Chopra or the Dalai Lama for a way to look at life (just don't ask me!!!). But don't listen to the list makers who only consult the "bottom line". Sure, very few artists are able to "make a living" from their art, but those who enjoy what art gives them aren't turning in their degree as a lost cause. Art has opened my first job, teaching, giving demonstrations, gallery representation, the respect of some people. It's how I met my wife. No, I wouldn't stand out there and tell other people to go into art, they have to make that step. I'm still disappointed when paintings don't sell or people use me to get what they want (free paintings for their cause). However, without consideration of one's bank account, art is a way of satisfying the work of the hands, the mind and the soul of the human: the skill to produce a work of art, the thought process involved and the satisfaction gained. That might not add up to much in the bank, but it leaves most artists to a life's work among things they enjoy doing and people who respect and value them as people. That said, the little painting I have at the top of the page is a 6" X 6" oil of a winter scene -- totally from my head. I usually have my references to bounce things off of, so this is a little departure. The painting is one of two that I did for The Next Picture Show Gallery

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shows and more shows

This is not the Secret life of the Artist, this is the public life of the artist. The top picture is me at the "Architecture and More" show at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, Illinois. My friend Linda Loew had three of her photos in this show as well. If you look closely you will see a red dot on the the paper label of the bottom painting -- it sold!!! I did not get a ribbon this time, but to me a sale is as good or better. The painting that sold is an oil and the one above is a pastel (which garnered a nice compliment from one of the other artists.)
The other picture is from the show I had in the Fine Arts building, downtown Chicago. My paintings art, from the left, the first, third and sixth. There were four painters in the group show. Nothing at this show sold, but the compliments were nice. Now, I don't have a show lined up for the next month, but I'm waiting on hearing on a show that I am trying to have in a nearby art center.