Archive for February, 2018

The Alternative Facts Gallery (ongoing portrait series)

The other day, I was on the way to a friend’s house for a gathering of artists who meet and share their work together. I have been going for a few weeks.

As is my way, I was mulling something over on the way there. I had shared a post that was defending libraries for the techno-futurist claim, that in the information age, there is no need for public libraries and stacks of books available for anyone.  The problem I was mulling over: “do these people really exist, people that imagine there is no need for public libraries making information free to all?”

Certainly, they do. There exists a sad sort of person that despite wealth and privilege and all the advantages that an education confers, –somehow look at all the grief and horror that makes up the world and, yet, the greatest injustice they can conceive of –and the one that keeps them awake at night– is the injustice that somewhere, public funds are being used to give a poor person something for free.

When I think of the pitched political battles in the US since my childhood in the 1980s, the common theme has been Conservative politicians (and some neo-Liberal ones) chipping away at all the Social Safety Net that protects the poorest among us from worse deprivations. Then, I thought:

What if, all these powerful men, were not men of wealth and status? What if I re-imagined some alternate timeline where they were not protected by their wealth, and privileged, but lived lives that were desperate and roiled by misfortune. What if these men weren’t powerful men, but homeless men, the impoverished, or the incarcerated?

This is an ongoing portrait project. For each portrait, I will create and alternative biography (based on details from their actual biographies) and create alternative fact biographies for each picture.

My end goal here is not to cast scorn on the men depicted, (though I feel the scorn is much deserved), but rather, if we can imagine powerful men as homeless men, then we ought to be able to find a way to, and the means to, raise those men and women around us who are the homeless, addicted, and impoverished, towards a better future for them and for us.

 

Paul Ryan, born Janesville, Wisconsin, 1970

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Case notes: Paul has faced a long-time methamphetamine addiction, (15+ years) that began when he followed his father (Paul Davis Ryan Sr.) into the construction trade. He became dependent during times work was more scarce and has repeated bouts of unemployment and incarceration (drug manufacture/distribution, armed robbery, drug possession and operating a vehicle while ability impaired). The family’s resources were strained when an onsite accident caused his father’s disability and there was further strain at home when an elder relative moved into the household needing care. Paul has been homeless for about the past 8 years. He is still actively using. His drug use makes him often unpredictable and difficult to house.

 

Donald J. Trump born June 14th, 1946, Queens, NY.

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Donald Trump, alternative facts portrait, acrylic paint and graphite on gessoed paper, 8.5″ x 10″

 

Case notes: Donald is a mixed drug user and a serial sexual offender/pedophile (level 3). Raised in Queens, NY, when he has not been incarcerated, he has run a small subcontracting firm, –which folded when he was sued for defrauding an elderly client. He has committed sexual offenses against both adult women and adolescent children. (see read more)

The duration of Donald’s homelessness has been greater than twenty years. He is also known to be positive for Hep C (intravenous drug user).

 

Mitch McConnell Born Sheffield, Alabama, 1940s (date in-precise)

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Case notes: Mitch has had lifelong mobility impairments due to inadequate treatment of polio at age 2. At present he is wheelchair-bound. Nonetheless he is an abuser of prescription painkillers. He was –for a time the proprietor of a small book-shop. He was forced into early retirement (social security remains his sole source of income) which he took with early retirement penalty when a nearby Wal-mart Supercenter made his business no longer profitable. Mitch currently resides in public housing for the aged.

Other images/process images:

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New Works/Works in Progress, Eleven Images, 2018

This is my page for all the new work.

As always, older work can be seen at the link:  https://wp.me/p2c9SR-Ag

And the last new work of 2018:

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“When One Door Closes, Another Door Also Closes” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $265. 

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“When One Door Closes, Another Door Also Closes” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second sitting. 

 

 

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Untitled work, oil and graphite on canvas. 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

On the larger Easel:

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“A Lullaby, but Sung as a Dirge” oil and graphite on canvas, 24″ x 48″ $335. 

 

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Untitled, oil on canvas 24″ x 48″ second sitting.

 

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Untitled, oil on canvas 24″ x 48″ first sitting.

 

 

New window pieces:

 

A Window VIII, (“Don’t let your Light Go Out”) Mixed media on reclaimed wood panel.

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“A Window VIII,” (Don’t Let Your Light Go Out) Mixed media on reclaimed wood panel, 9″ x 22″ $305

 

 

 

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“A Window VI” mixed media on reclaimed wood panel, 9 and 1/2″ x 24″ $255

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“A Window VII” mixed media on reclaimed wood panel, 8″ x 13 and 1/4″ $125.

Two new pieces on my easel:

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(Tentative) “Embryo” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

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“Embryo” oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20″ second sitting.

 

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Didn’t get a lot done today, but enough to justify adding a picture. Work in progress.

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“Embryo” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ third sitting.

 

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Embryo, oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20″ third sitting.

 

Detail shot:

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Embryo, detail.

 

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Love Me, Connect Me, (Embryo) oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $320.

 

 

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 2 x 11″ x 14″, first sitting.

 

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Untitled work, color blocking.

 

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“Untitled,” oil and graphite on 2 x 11″ x 14″ canvas, second sitting.

Realized that I didn’t like how the yellow was dominating the other colors, I like it much better with this cooler palette:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 2 x 11″ x 14″ canvas, third sitting.

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Detail

 

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Untitled work, oil and graphite on 2 x 11″ x 14″ canvas, third sitting.

 

Finished, finally:

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“Sow Your Grief in a Heaving Sky” oil and graphite on 2 x  11″ x 14″ canvas (full dimensions 26 and 1/2″ x 14″) $365.

 

 

Added to the series of “window paintings”:

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Process photo, the piece is painted over wet gesso.

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Process photo, most of the color is in place

 

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Deepening, intensifying the colors.

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A Window III, acrylic paint and charcoal on gessoed wood, reclaimed wood panel 11 and 1/4″ x 22″ $325

 

Two more new window pieces:

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“A Window IV” mixed media on gessoed, reclaimed, wood, 11 and 1/2″ x 22 and 1/4″ $285.

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“A Window V” mixed media on gessoed reclaimed wood,  5 and 1/2 x 11 and 1/4″ $85.


Not entirely sure where this is going yet, but I like how it’s started: (color-blocking, new piece)

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Color-blocking, new piece, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″.

 

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Untitled work, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second sitting

I feel like this one is nearly done:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ third sitting.

 

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“Gaps in the Pavement, Gaps in Her Smile, ” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $180.

Began a new piece:

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New work, untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 9″ x 12″ color blocking.

 

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″, second sitting.

 

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Untitled, third sitting, oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″.

 

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“The Balrog” oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ $115.

 

Color-blocking on a new piece:

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New work, untitled, 16″ x 20″ oil and graphite on canvas, color blocking/first sitting.

 

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Untititled, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second siting.

 

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“Whisper Her Name to the City at Night” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″, third sitting.

 

Setting this one aside to dry:

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“Whisper Her Name to the City at Night” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″, final. $175

 

New work, “A Window II”. This work is based on a similar work from 2016.

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“The Window II” charcoal and acrylic paint on gessoed wood panel, 7″ x 18″, $175.

The buyer of that work made the suggestion I make a series like it, and last night I made a second version of the piece. The original is shown here: You can read about its making at the link: https://wp.me/p2c9SR-qM

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A Window, charcoal and acrylic paint on wood panel, 9″ x 19″ (SOLD)

New piece on the smaller easel, I began color-blocking this yesterday.

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New work, untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ colorblocking

 

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Untitled, first sitting, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 24″ second sitting.

 

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“Nothing Grows Here and No One Stays” oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20″ $235.

New piece, did the color blocking for another (smaller and more affordable) triptych. Got everything in place, now I am on to building up the colors.

When this is finished, it will be suspended together via chain and hooks.

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Untitled, triptych, oil and graphite on canvas, 3 x 11″x 14″ panels, color blocking.

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Untitled, triptych, 3 x 11″ x 14″ panels,oil and graphite on canvas,, first sitting.

 

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Untitled, 3x 11″x 14″ panels, oil and graphite on canvas, second sitting.

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Panel 1

 

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Panel 2

 

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Panel 3

 

Developing this one, really love how it is coming together. Perhaps one more session on this and It will be done:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 3 x 11″ x 14″ third sitting.

Update on this one. It is not quite done, but nearly so, I feel:

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Triptych, oil and graphite on 3 x 11″ x 14″ panels, fourth sitting.

 

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“This Was Only Meant to Scar You” oil and graphite on 3 11″ x 14″ panels, (this is near complete, but I may do a bit more with it)

At long last, calling this one done. After painting it vertically, I have decided I am going to display it horizontally. Will update when I work that out:

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“This Was Only Meant to Scar You” oil and graphite on 3 x 11″ x 14″ panels, final.

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Detail, panel 3 right.

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Detail, panel 2, center.

 

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Detail, Panel 1, left.

 

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Shown horizontally, the final piece will be displayed this way.

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“This Was Only Meant to Scar You” (triptych) oil and graphite on canvas 3 x 11″ x 14″, chain, hooks, wood (total dimensions: 18″ (h) x 52″ (w), $550

Color-blocking on two new pieces:

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artist’s note: I chose to do a treatment of the double-helix structure of DNA, because it represented a certain challenge –because there’s a certainly difficulty, for me, to do a work of something that’s a commonly produced image, and one I associate strongly with another artist.

We’ll see what happens as the piece develops.

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Double-Helix motif, second sitting, 12″ x 24″ oil and graphite on canvas.

 

Setting this one aside, to work on the other one. Also, it has a name now.

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“I  Don’t Feel Like Star-Stuff Today Kid (I’m Left-over Parts of Lizards and Fish)” oil and graphite on canvas, 12″ x 24″ third sitting.

 

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“I  Don’t Feel Like Star-Stuff Today Kid (I’m Left-over Parts of Lizards and Fish)” oil and graphite on canvas, 12″ x 24″ $275.

 

 

And on the second easel:

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Untitled, color blocking, oil and graphite on canvas, 12″ x 12″

 

first sitting:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 12″ x 12″ first sitting.

 

Developed this work at my friend’s art party. I like what’s happening here:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 12″ x 12″, second sitting.

 

This one is now finished and for sale. When it’s dry, I am doing a high-gloss finish with this one:

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“You Bring the Rust, I Got the Belt” 12″x 12″ oil and graphite on canvas. $165.

 

 

Started a second new work. I am working in a limited color palette designed for a particular space I may have the opportunity to show work at, –loosely this is a series of oil paintings meant to be shown together. (the other I have started begins a couple images down).

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New work, color blocking, oil and graphite 11″ x 14″

 

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Untitled, first sitting, oil and graphite on canvas 11″ x 14″

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ second sitting

 

Did some work on this last night, I’m not sure it’s totally done, but is certainly nearly there:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on Canvas, 11″ x 14″ third siting.

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“Some Streets to be Lost On,” oil and graphite, 11″ x 14″ $175

 

As a couple housekeeping items, this work is finished:

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“A Bloom Where you Are Planted, A Bloom Where You Lie” oil and graphite on canvas, 20″ x 24″ $300

 

 

And this piece needs a chain to suspend them together.

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“Time is the Architect of Ruins” oil and graphite on canvas,  2 x 22″ x 14″ canvas, needs chain.

 

And now this one is ready for sale/exhibit:

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“Time is the Architect of Ruins” oil and graphite on canvas 2 x 11″ x 14″ canvas, total dimensions 14″ x 31.5″, affixed by chain, final $425

 

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“Time is the Architect of Ruins” oil and graphite on canvas 2 x 11″ x 14″ canvas, affixed by chain, final $425

 

 

And, now, with all the current commissions finished (one is yet to be delivered, but I thank the buyer for their patience) now it is time to move forward on 2018 work.

The first fully 2018 piece of 2018:

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untitled, color blocking, oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20″

 

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Untitled, first sitting, 16″ x 20″ oil and graphite on canvas.

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second sitting.

 

Did some development on this one yesterday:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20″ third sitting.

 

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“The Machining of Greenery” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $225

 

As always, message me at eaton.robertb@gmail to inquire about individual works. Payment plans are always available –with a 25% deposit (non-refundable). Payment via pay-pal.

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