Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bumper Sticker Update #3

Here are my latest four wordless bumper stickers. I'm thrilled to continue having incentive, and inspiration, for making them and being able to find people who are interested in getting one, however, I recently modified the rules for giving them away -- as always, the first bumper sticker is free for anyone with a US address (just let me know where to send it) but I'm now insisting the people agree to stick it on a vehicle, for everyone else I charge $10.
050514
3" x 10"
limited edition of 10
2014
With these amorphous designs people often tell me thing that they see in them which I always find interesting because I have nothing in mind when I create them, but my favorite interpretation is when someone saw the one below and immediately said "Oh, its a T. rex tail!" I love the image of T. rex tails being green polka dotted.
062314c
3" x 10"
limited edition of 11
2014
070814b
3" x 10"
limited edition of 11
2014
With this last sticker (my twentieth!!!), the printing company had made a mistake with the violet shape, sending me stickers with something that was too close in color to the background, making it difficult to see, so when they corrected the printing job they made a couple of extra to make up for the error, hence the edition of 12. As of today, August 21, 2014, I still have ten copies of 080214, so if you want one, let me know. All others have already been distributed and are no longer available. If you would like to see my latest designs as they become available I recommend following my Facebook page because that is where they are posted first.
080214
3" x 10"
limited edition of 12
2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Messiness Continues

Over the last few months I've continued to explore an abstract expressionist style, over-laid with geometric abstraction. This process involves layering different media, removing them, and then layering more, repeatedly until I'm happy with the results. Media include acrylic paint, shellac, oil pastels, spray paint, graphite, epoxy, gesso, and milk paint (I think that is a complete list but I can't guarantee it). Except for this first piece, I've titled them with their date of completion because I didn't feel comfortable with any other title; I could have left them all untitled, but that would have been too confusing, and I felt that any descriptive name would have felt forced or been too revealing. Instead, I want the viewer to find their own way with the work. Another reason for date titles is that I feel the chronology of the work is important, and revealing, in how the work evolves over time.

This first piece, One Whitish Orb, is a recycled shellac painting from 2010. I struggled with it for several months but finally felt it come together when I added the polka dots.
One Whitish Orb
mixed media on board
35.5" x 29.25"
2014
I especially like how the acrylic polka dots overlay the shellac polka dots (which I didn't realize were polka dots until the acrylic ones were added).
One Whitish Orb (close up)
I've also completed two more two-sided paintings. With these, however, I decided to paint, and have wood exposed, on both sides. I also split them into two pieces and off-set the sections. 
May 2014a (side one)
mixed media on wood
13" x 53" x 3"
65" high from floor
2014
There are saw marks and scraps that gouge the wood in these pieces, adding a layer of linearality to the messiness. I think it is also interesting how the abstract expressionist mess is framed by geometric abstraction.

May 2014 (side one close up)
This is the other side.
May 2014a (side two)
mixed media on wood
13" x 53" x 3"
2014
I think the saw marks, filled with epoxy and may other things, cutting into the clean wood section adds a aspect of minimalism to the piece in addition to tying the two sections together.
May 2014a (side two close up)
The base is made with black cherry and 1/2" stainless steel rods.
2014a (base)
wood and stainless steel
This other two-sided piece is made in the same way except I used 1.5" thick lumber instead of 2" as with the one above.
May 2014b (side one)
mixed media on wood
8.5" x 30" x 2"
61" high from floor
2014
May 2014b (side one close up)
May 2014b (side two)
I like how the imperfect saw kerf epoxy filling gave me a chance to add different colors and create a miniature abstract painting within.
May 2014b (side two close up)
The base design is the same as above, though a little smaller.
May 2014b (base)
In living with my first two-sided paintings for a while, I began to feel that they had a "presence" -- I felt a personal relationship with them as if they were another being in the room with me, and I thought the feeling could be accentuated if I used the same technique vertically. As I started working on these last three pieces, I thought of them as independent spirits with complex personal histories recorded over millennium, with each mark and layer representing events that are obscured, but never forgotten, by the next series of events. I like how all of these layers can be seen as messy and "ugly" on one level, but when viewed as a whole, and appreciated for what they are, it can also be seen as very beautiful and wonderful.
June 2014a
mixed media on wood
41" x 10.5" x 2"
2014
With these last three I also cut circles into the wood, filling them with epoxy and other things, to add another layer of geometry to the work.
June 2014a (close up)
June 2014b
mixed media on wood
53.25" x 9.5" x 2"
2014
June 2014b (close up)
June 2014c
mixed media on wood
47" x 9" x 2"
2014
June 2014c (close up)
I'm really happy with the emotional content of these pieces, I can really feel them, but I'm curious, and looking forward to, seeing if and how others are affected by them. Thankfully, I won't have to wait too long because they will be on display in mid-September -- look for an announcement soon.

Monday, July 28, 2014

North Carolina Barn Bling

On a recent trip to North Carolina I was commissioned to construct some barn art for friends that live in the Asheville area. I had mailed them some of my exterior paints ahead of time and was told that they had scrap wood or plywood laying around that I could use, but other than that, there were no plans. I was thrilled that they trusted me enough to let me do what ever I wanted, with no direction or limitations, just the way I prefer to work. 
Moving the finished piece out of the barn for installation.
Unfortunately, I forgot to measure it so this picture is included for some perspective.
Honestly, constructing it was a little nerve-wracking. Because of travel plans and other activities, I was left with only 30 hours from start to finish. Additionally, I wasn't sure what I was doing, or if I'd be able to finish it, until the 27th hour.
Finding a way to get it into place was a little complicated but, thankfully,
not too difficult because it was relatively light.
I was a little concerned when I saw the plywood that I was going to work with was only 3/8" thick because I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to attach the pieces together but it turned out not to be a problem and the thickness was especially fortunate when it came to raising it in place; because it was so light, it wasn't too difficult to work up the ladder. By the way, I find it only appropriate that we used a tractor for the installation, as all barn art should be installed.
Though I try to be as safe as possible when installing art work, I'm always relieved
when no one dies or is seriously injured in the process.
My fear in taking on this commission was that I would get all the pieces painted but wouldn't be able to come up with anything I liked in the allotted time and would have to tell my friends that I'd finish it at some indeterminate time in the future. I was truly working on "a wing and a prayer", just trusting that somehow something would come together if I just followed the process. Much to my surprise, and based on the feedback I've gotten, it seems to have worked. More than anything though, I'm just relieved I'm not embarrassed with it.
072214
3/8" UL plywood and exterior latex paints and stains
approximately 8' x 8.5' x 1" (I forgot to measure)
2014
I've been calling this series "Barn Art" but I like my friend's terminology of "Barn Bling" better. It is located off a rural road and faces away from it so the only way to see this piece is by personal invitation. It is nice to see my work on an actually barn, I particularly like the contrast of contemporary art on an old, traditional, building.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A New Series of Two-Sided Paintings/Sculptures

I recently finished three pieces of a new series that I am very happy with and I look forward to exploring more. They are two-sided paintings/sculptures. I love how they are unclassifiable, in addition to being both painting and sculpture, they simultaneously represent three different art movements: abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction, and minimalism. 
February 2014a (side one)
mixed media on wood
8.5" x 40" x 1"
2014
They have a lot of contrast, complexity, and depth while also being very simple.
 February 2014a (side one closeup)
Personally, I could look at them indefinitely without getting tired or bored. I feel they provide a lot to see, explore, and experience.
 February 2014a (side one closeup)
I am particularly excited about having a completely natural surface being an important part of the piece. It adds minimalism to the work and makes the wood the subject of the art rather than a surface to build upon. I also find the contrast between the two sides to be very interesting.
 February 2014a (side two)
February 2014a (side two closeup)
The base for all three pieces are made with cherry and stainless steel rods. The rods can be cut to any length so that it can stand on a pedestal, table, or floor but I have initially cut the two larger pieces to stand just over 5' and the smaller one at 3'. With the larger ones I've found that this height creates an interesting experience of being at a human scale -- relating to them becomes more personal. 
base design for all three pieces
stainless steel and wood (cherry)
February 2014b was made at the same time and with the same process steps as February 2014a, so they are very similar and can even work as a diptych, but that wasn't my intent so they are for sale separately.
February 2014b (side one)
mixed media on wood
8.5" x 41" x 1"
2014
February 2014b (side one closeup) 
 February 2014b (side one closeup)
 
 February 2014b (side two)
March 2014 was made at the same time as the other two, and out of the same board of curly maple, but I made a significant change in the painting process early on which resulted in it looking very different.
March 2014 (side one)
mixed media on wood
8.5" x 28" x 1"
2014
March 2014 (side one)
 March 2014 (side one closeup)
March 2014 (side one closeup)
March 2014 (side two)
It is nice to finish work that I believe says exactly what I want them to say. I look forward to seeing and hearing how others react to them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bumper Sticker Update #2

I am so happy to have four more bumper stickers to share with the world. It feels great to find enough people interested in having them so that I have an excuse to continue designing new ones. Additionally, though I have no idea if they have any impact on anyone that sees them, it feels like progress to know that thousands of people will see my work, even if they have no idea who created it.

This one, the 13th in the series, was inspired by a friend who said she would want one if I made something with circles and lines.
 0204-020514a
3" x 10"
limited edition of 10
2014
When I finished #14, I was a little worried about how people would feel about triangles. I never know how people will react to a new design and I'm always pleasantly surprised when they like them enough to put them on their cars. 
 0216-021714c
3" x 10"
limited edition of 10
2014
The 15th was a radical design departure. With it, I decided to play with amorphous, ambiguous shapes. It has been interesting hearing what people see in a design of which I didn't have any preconceived intention other than to create an interesting shape. I found that It is a bit of a Rorschach test. I love how abstract art allows the viewer to create along the artist. I like how it doesn't tell you what to think, or see, which is the purpose of this whole project. 
030214c
3" x 10"
limited edition of 11
2014
With the most recent of the series I continued to explore organic designs and I am continuing to find that people see things I never thought of, nor intended. Although I had only ordered ten of them, the company that makes them for me gifted me another ten so this time it is an edition of twenty.
0304-030914c
3" x 10"
limited edition of 20
2014

Because I enjoy designing these so much, and I can't design a new one until I've distributed the latest; and because I love knowing people are seeing my work (even if it is anonymous) I'm still giving them away to anyone in the US who wants one (your first is free but I charge $10 for if someone wants a second). Just email me your address and you'll find one in the mail in a few days.