Posts Tagged ‘ fine art ’

Eleven Images: Featured Pieces of the Week

On this page, each week I will spot-light a different work that is for sale and not currently on exhibit. I’m inundated with a glut of work in my two-bedroom apartment. With that in mind, I will feature different pieces here each week discounted from what I have asked when the works were on exhibit.

For inquiries, contact at eaton.robertb@gmail.com.

Had some pieces come off exhibit this week:  $35-$40 each. If you have your own frame, make an offer.

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Empire State Plaza, mixed media on paper, 8.5 x 11, $35, or make best offer.

 

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Study Cabinet Photo (Old Man), mixed media on gessoed paper, 11″ x 14″ $40, or make offer.

 

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Study, Alley in Troy NY, graphite and acrylic paint on gessoed paper, 11″ x 14″ $40 or make offer.

Featuring one of the larger pieces, –also– price drop.

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“A Maelstrom Will Love You In Its Time” oil on canvas, 24″ x 48″   was $345, –reduced to $300.

 

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“Hummingbird” mixed media on canvas, 14″ x 14″ $135

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“Horror-Skeksis,” acrylic paint on wood panel, 11″ x 16 and 1/2″, $200.

The exhibit “Impressive” at the Albany Barn has come down. Thank you everyone who came out to see my work and work by other great area artists featured in the show.

I have four of the wood-block prints, here. I would like to sell them as a set, but I will entertain offers for the individual pieces as well:

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“No One Who Wanders is Truly Alone”, woodblock prints (set of four) recently exhibited at the Albany Barn, inquire with artist about sale price.

 

This week, some work in mixed media on paper. First, some weeks ago I took a bus down to the river-front and did this study of “The Livingston Ave Train Trestle”

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“Livingston Ave Train Trestle, Albany, NY. mixed media on paper, 8 and 1/2″ x 11” $45.

and this:

from a 35mm photo, a study of the The Richardson-Olmstead Complex (former Buffalo State Psychiatric Center), viewed from the rear of the administrative building.

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The Richardson-Olmstead Complex, study, pencil on paper, 11″ x 14″ $30

And lastly, this:

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No One Who Wanders is Ever Truly Alone” oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ (2016) $245

For those keeping track, This painting was the source imagery for the wood-block prints I did, that are currently being exhibited at the Albany Barn as part of their “Impressive” exhibit.

 

Some older features here:

 

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“In Cold Spirals” graphite and oil on canvas, 16″ x 24″ $165

 

 

 

Lastly, I had a person interested in a photo, so I made two 8″ x 10″ copies, This is the second, framed, $35.

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Washington Park Lake, 8″ x 10″ print, Olympus OM-1 35mm camera. Framed, $35

 

Also, I am selling prints of my photo’s of St Patrick’s Cathedral (Watervliet, NY, now demolished):

 

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Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, (2011) Olympus OM-1 35mm camera. 4″ x 6″ print $30

 

Some new featured images for this week (2). Also, message me about the other (past) featured images. The first work –at its sale price– is part of a series of smaller inexpensive works in oil, titled “Uneasy Chair.”

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“Uneasy Chair,” oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″ $95

Also, in honor of today (4/24) being the day in 1990 that the Hubble Telescope launched on the space shuttle Discovery, this image (“In Cold Spirals”) was inspired by images of spiral galaxies which have become inspiring and familiar to those who follow the current era of space exploration:

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“In Cold Spirals” Oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $165.

 

This week’s featured piece is one I did for a themed show that was, sadly, not accepted for the show. The work is acrylic on two wood panels re-purposed from an abandoned table-top I commandeered. The image is based on a nineteenth-century headstone I photographed in Amherst, Massachusetts. The sale will include a print of that photo.

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19th-century Death’s Head Wings. Acrylic paint on gessoed wood. 2 wood panels 14″ x 35″ each. Make offer/inquire with artist.

Image of artist with the work:

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[Items below are on sale]

Brand new, finished up over the weekend:

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Aphasia (blunt-force) oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $90

Some older featured works, –now at reduced prices for the duration of the sale. “Body at Rest” I love his little guy so much, and I’d like him to have a home.

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Body at Rest, oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″ $175

“Mother of Crows”

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“Mother of Crows” acrylic paint on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $70

“No One who Wanders is Truly Alone”

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No One who Wanders is Truly Alone, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $150

Also, “Uneasy Chair.”

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“Uneasy Chair” oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″ $95

 

Keep checking back as I’ll be featuring different recent pieces in this space. There’s a few more if you scroll downward that are also on sale.

 

 

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“Do Hearts Find Jagged Edges?” 16″ x 20,” oil on canvas, $125.

 

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“No Lover Isn’t a Noose in Time” oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″ $65

 

 

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“Lullaby for a Castaway” 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas $55

 

 

Please email inquiries or offers to eaton.robert@gmail.com (see the about section for details). As I said earlier, I have a whole lot of work that has recently come back to me. The following works were all included in The Art on Eight show. The show was put on by the New York State Office of Mental Health to spotlight the art work of artists who receive services through the Office of Mental Health. (Some of the previous show have been included in OMH’s Art on Eight Flickr gallery.

 

Several of the small works together that were recently in the show.

Several of the small works together that were recently in the show.

You can see more close up shots of the works as you scroll down (all these works are framed –you will probably wish to use another frame, it was a temporary solution for display purposes) These works are all $25, use the contact information in the about section of this blog: The following pieces are all approximately 8′ x 10″.

Fedralsburg, acrylic on cardboard

Fedralsburg, acrylic on cardboard [sold]

Study (Manet) The Old Musician, acrylic on Cardboard

Study (Manet) The Old Musician, acrylic on Cardboard

Figure Study, colored pencil on paper

Figure Study, colored pencil on paper

Trinity Church, acrylic on cardboard

Trinity Church, acrylic on cardboard

Young Mother and Child, acrylic on cardboard

Young Mother and Child, acrylic on cardboard

Dread locked Cow-girl, acrylic on cardboard

Dread locked Cow-girl, acrylic on cardboard

Figure Study, charcoal on paper.

Figure Study, charcoal on paper.

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Quick Lesson, 5/14/14

So, this past week I stumbled upon a lesson idea I used in class. I thought I might share for people that teach students that may have limited or highly varied proficiency. Readers could also try this lesson on their own. Generally, I aim to create lesson ideas that challenge my students who came into my class with a set of fine art skills, but do not loose my students that may be thinking of themselves as artists for the first time. This lesson is intended for a group of adults with mixed skill levels. My students are adults hospitalized for a mental illness.

This lesson I drew inspiration from one of my favorite abstract artists, Paul Klee’s “Drawn One” (1935). See here:

 

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(Image from the website, friendsofart.net)

The simplicity of the drawing was possible to recreate for less advanced students. I encouraged my students who are advancing to draw a more realistic face.

Because I am working with adults with mental illness, I entitled the exercise “Fractured Self.” Many students used the exercise to explore their own emotional state at class time. I we were working, I talked about how the choice of colors, thickness of lines, and other things may influence the emotional content of a drawing.

I had students working in charcoal (the lines) and oil pastel. I also encouraged students to limit their color pallette to three or fewer colors.

The first step was  to have each student draw a grid of irregular lines that intersect. After creating the grid of lines, students who had been in my class for some time applied what they have been learning about drawing faces, and drew a bust (head and shoulders) in the grid of lines. The last step was to color in the segments of paper created by the grid.

My students responded well to the exercise. The assignment moved quickly, but is possible in a forty-five minute class. I am still working out with my employer the consent and privacy laws under HIPPA to be able to show any student work. Each class I find it helpful to demonstrate the activity on an easel in front of the room. So, I have included two images of my in-class demonstration.

I hope this may give you some of your own ideas. If you do try this in your own classroom, or on your own, I would love to hear feed back from people.

Sample 1

Sample 1

 

Sample 2

Sample 2

New works, 2014-2015

Keep checking back. I am trying to start the new year off with a lot of new pieces. The newest canvases are going to be towards the top. With the majority of my work back, I am building up a portfolio and have plans to show multiple places concurrently.

Two new works started:

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New work, untitled, first sitting, 11″ x 14″ oil on canvas

Second sitting, and it got a name:

 

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“Mindfulness Through Starvation” 11″ x  14″ oil on canvas, second sitting.

And this one:

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New work, untitled, first sitting 16″ x 20″, oil on canvas

 

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“Do Hearts Find Jagged Edges?” 16″ x 20,” oil on canvas, $165.

 

Second shot, on the easel:

 

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I hope to have a chance to work on these again before I head out on the trip to Buffalo Thursday morning. I am playing a live music set out there. I am not sure how close I made it to my goal of doubling my inventory before the end of the year, but I know I am well on my way with these couple here.

 

Working on the piece:

Photo on 1-4-16 at 7.16 PM

 

Two new works started:

Started to block out the canvases,

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Untitled, oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″

 

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Untitled, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

 

Then both, after a first sitting:

 

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Blocking in main colors, after first sitting

 

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Second sitting, “A Maelstrom Will Love You In its Time” oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″ $345

 

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After first sitting

 

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“Stay The Oracle” oil on canvas,  8″ x 10″ NFS.

 

Canvases are piling up:

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Current work space, ’15

 


12/18/15

Started two new works today. Also, I titled one of the pieces from the previous session of painting I wasn’t sure was done. It grew on me when it sat, and I don’t think it needs to be worked further at this point. (scroll down to see “Memory Was a Predator”)

Here are the two pieces I worked on today (blocking color):

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Untitled work, Oil on canvas, 4 8″ x 10″ panels/canvases

 

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Untitled, first sitting, oil on canvas, 18″ x 20″

You notice that I this point both works have precisely the same color palettes, ultimately, you’ll see, they end up going quite different directions:

(after the end of the first sitting):

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“Teach a Man to Grind an Ax,” second sitting, oil on canvas 18″ x 20″

Got to a second sitting on two of the recent pieces today. They are both now finished. I intend to bring the works in (when the are dry, next class isn’t for two weeks) to make a comparison between different color schemes. One of the paintings ended up dominated by green/blue/yellow (analogous) and the other by red/pink, /blue/ (essentially a triadic color scheme):

Here is the first:

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“Teach a Man to Grind an Ax (He’ll Devour for a Lifetime)” oil on canvas 18′ x 20″ $155

 

 

You’ll see the other take on a loose analogous color scheme:

 

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Untitled, oil on canvas, 4 8″ x 10″ panels.

 

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“Simple X” 4 8″ x 10″ panels, oil on canvas, $248

 

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Untitled work, Oil on canvas, 4 8″ x 10″ panels/canvases

[on to earlier posts]

 

I have a particular exercise in mind with these two canvases. Something I want to experiment with myself, and then have the students in my class reflect on and talk about. When I am further along in both works I’ll get to explaining what I am doing here…

Thanks for reading.

I have two pieces I am working on today (12.5.15). I started both pieces today after the class:

 

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New work, blocking color, untitled, first sitting. Oil on canvas, 11″ x 14″

Second sitting:

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“Set to Spark”11″ x 14” oil on canvas, $205

I may do some additional tweaks on this one, but I think it may be done. I’m really happy with how this one went.

 

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New work, as yet untitled, 18″ x 24″ oil on canvas

 

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“Memory Was a Predator”, second sitting, oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″ $$185

Did some color blocking on this new one today, (as yet untitled):

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New work, oil on canvas 18″ x 24″ color blocking

Later:

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Blocking in the negative space…

 

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Second sitting, earlier today…

 

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“Just Sweep Up the Casings, We Open in 5″ (final) oil on canvas, 16″ x 20” $235

This piece, which I started a couple days ago, I think is now done:

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“Icon: Our Lady of the Dissolution” oil on canvas 11″ x 14″

 

This one came together quickly, done in two sittings. “Red Planet Psalm”

 

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Final, “Red Planet Psalm” 11 x 14″ oil on canvas $95

 

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“Red Planet Psalm” oil on canvas, 11″ x  14″ $95

 

 

A recent habit I developed is to block out shapes and color on a new canvas with whatever color is left from a previous canvas. So, when the last canvas seemed done, I took a small canvas and scratched this out.

 

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“Red Planet Psalm” oil on canvas, 11″ x 14″ first sitting

 


Blocking out canvas # 3 that I have been working on this weekend. By working on I sometimes mean just I am thinking about what needs to happen and letting it incubate. Obviously a work in progress.

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“Eat the Heart” 18 x 24 oil on canvas.

second sitting, building up color and negative space:

“(if you love a thing) Eat its Heart” oil on canvas, 18 x 24, second sitting.

This canvas seems to be failing to thrive.

Third sitting with the new piece, I think it may be done, perhaps just a little cleaning up and intensifying color:

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“Eat the Heart” 18 x 24 oil on canvas.

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on the easel

 

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Eat the Heart (todos vosotrus padres eran tótemas) 16″  x 20″ $185

Should you be translating, I am meditating/editorializing on my own role as a father/parent.

 

 

New work, “The Bloom, see pictures for details:

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“The Bloom” oil on canvas 11″ x 14″ $145

This piece slipped right out of my hands and became a very different thing than what I intended. But it just hit the done pile. It’s hanging on the wall to dry. The image isn’t great, I’ll update with a better image when I remember to use flash…

A shot of the new piece with better light:

“The Bloom” oil on canvas 11″ x 14″ $145

Started a new work. Yes I’m doing two new canvases at the same time. This is the first sitting. When this dries, I’ll start ratcheting up the intensity of the colors. The color needs to be corrected slightly. (the palette is by request). This work is not for sale.

New work NFS

New work NFS

second sitting:

New work, second sitting NFS

New work, second sitting NFS

Essentially, all I have done at this point is to outline the shapes in the image with a mixture of Ultramarine blue, ivory black, and panes grey. It is giving it the effect I am looking for, however, this piece is close to done, when the outlines are dry, it’s back to work on the shapes.

Third sitting with the new piece. The title I am leaving for it’s owner to disclose. The most enjoyable part of painting this piece was that to get the effect I was looking for I painted meticulously with very thin washes of paint mixed carefully on my palette. Generally, I paint quite heavily but this allowed succeeding layers of paint to bleed and show through. I’m going to take another look at this in the morning under natural light, but I think I am ready to call this one done.

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New work, third sitting, oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″ NFS

update 9/20/15

Started a new piece, yet untitled. I am slowly building up the paint. I blocked out the shapes a few days ago and got around to cover the canvas. It’s a small canvas (11″ x 14″). It’s starting to come together, the paint is thich in several places, so I will probably wait for it to be a little tack to being working on it again.

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New piece (untitled) oil on canvas 11″ x 12″
First sitting.

Second sitting: I loved the colors in this, but as I started the second sitting, I felt some darker colors might give the image some depth and movement, there will probably be another sitting with this one as well:

new work, oil on canvas

new work, oil on canvas

new work, oil on canvas, second sitting

new work, oil on canvas, second sitting

Update: 8/8/15

Started a new piece. I did a lot in just one session, but it isn’t done, it seems flat. The contrast isn’t deep enough, though these are the colors I decided I’m using. The piece is tentatively titled “The Murder Slug,”–based on gaming lore that the significant human told me about: one of the lord of the nine hells is described a slug like creature. Hence the name. The topic came up after a recent semi-weekly table-top gaming session. And yes, I am a thirty-seven year-old that plays table-top games and I feel no shame about it.

First a picture of the image alone, and then myself with the canvas.

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Image of new piece 16″ x 2o” oil on canvas.

In this image, an intentional optical illusion (of sorts) begins to be apparent. The devils in the lore accompaning the game are always deceptive and shifting shape, so this became something I was working on since the first sitting with the piece.

Myself, with the new canvas, a work in progress...

Myself, with the new canvas, a work in progress…

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Got to a second (then third?) sitting with  “The Murder Slug (in the house of filth)”. The piece took on a life of it’s own, especially after I told my partner I thought it might be done, and then she made a few suggestions. As I had sort of envisioned the painting the main are I wanted the viewers’ eyes draw to (ie: the murder slug) was sinking into the back ground. The color scheme remained mostly the same, but the composition wasn’t working out with the background remaining as mostly a washed out white and burn sienna.

“The Murder Slug (in the house of filfth)” oil on canvas 16″ x 24″.

After my partner’s feedback, I realized I have to go darker, and I worked in a lot of Prussian Blue and burnt sienna. This finally, not only made the sort of optical effect I had intended, but also drew attention to the center thirds of the canvas to create nice movement in the piece (remember my original comment was the piece was too flat with not enough movement.

Here are a couple images of the (hopefully finished) piece:

(third sitting)

(third sitting) “The Murder Slug (In the House of Filth)” oil on canvas, 16″ x 24″

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“The Murder Slug” on my easel.

Update, new piece, 2 sittings, “Science-Fiction Double-Helix Picture-Show” 16″ x 20″ $140

Science-fiction double-helix picture-show, on the easel

Science-fiction double-helix picture-show, on the easel

Another shot:

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Science-fiction Double-helix Picture-show, 16″ x 20″ $140

Update: This is the finished piece 18″ x 24″ oil on Canvas $185, “The Sentinel”

“The Sentinel” oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″ drying on my easel.

Another shot:

“The Sentinel” oil on canvas 18″ x 24″ $335

This is my second sitting with this piece, tentatively titled “Sentinel” (until I have something I like better (oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″):

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Oil on Canvas 18″ x 24″

Worked a second sitting on the new piece (tentatively titled “The Sentinel”). It’s coming together, but my feeling is it may be getting a little too representational. It recalls, for me slightly, some of Klee’s works in that direction though it was common for Klee, if he painted a figure, for the figure to take up far less real estate on a canvas. Here it is after the second sitting (on my easel):

“The Sentinel” Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 24″

More images coming as I am working on them. Which is becoming a major part of my week this week. […] Finally, a better image of the new piece, “Specters” oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″

“Specters,” new oil on canvas

There’s still two new works that are hanging at the art on eight gallery right now, that have not been photographed yet. Hoping to add images of those soon. Make inquiries through the contact e-mail in this web-sites about section. […] The reception for the Art on Eight Gallery was this past Thursday. Thanks everyone who came to look around and see what I have been up to and the work that Ben (who shares the show with me) has done. A coupe people who were unable to attend the reception have expressed interest in trying to get in to see the gallery at another time. I will confer with my contact at the building to see if such a thing is possible. Thanks everyone for your support and enthusiasm.

“To Realize You Dropped it.” oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″

“To Realize You Dropped It” is a companion piece to “To Love a Falling Object” (the making of which is described below). The two were intended to be very similar. Both are currently on display at the Art on Eight gallery, and have gotten a lot of positive comment. As the show was coming together, I was trying to avoid hanging the gallery with too many older works so the focus would be on work I am doing now. There’s another small piece that I still do not have a proper photo of, “A Tired Script,” (oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″). For another blog, I snatched  a photo of myself next to my easel as it was drying, so you can see that here:

artist, with

artist, with “A Tired Script”

There’s (yet again) a black canvas currently on my easel. As anything happens with that, I will continue to update here. […] Update, first sitting with a new oil. First sitting with a new large oil piece. I did several new works before the Art on 8 show, but, since my digital camera met an untimely end, I don’t have images of the new works that went in the show. Also, since I don’t have any digital camera other than what’s on my MBPro. Since this is a first sitting, the colors are faint, and somewhat hard to make out in this shot.

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First sitting with New Painting, oil on canvas 24″ x 36″.

Even on a snowy, blustery winter day, I try to take advantage of what natural light I can get. The next sittings are going to intensify the areas of blues and greens, as well as the area that’s rather the focus of the piece, the side in the image that is dominated by yellow ocher. […] Started a new oil. I’m tentatively calling this “His Eye is on the Swallowed.” (2 images) This was my first sitting with this piece. Oil on gessoed canvas. 16” x 20″. After this, as I do sittings with this, I will just be fixing the color and contrast, –tweaking the image. This one came together quickly.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

“His Eye is on the Swallowed,” oil on canvas, drying on my easel.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

His Eye is on the Swallowed, drying, first sitting.

[…] Mission complete. I don’t have a firm title for this, but “To Love a Falling Object,” so far,  is the working title. It’s done, for sale, and I hope to be exhibiting it when the right opportunity arises. Trying to put those opportunities together now. Interested parties see the contact in my about section. Here’s a couple images:

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On the easel, “To Love a Falling Object” 24″ x 36″ oil on canvas.

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Detail, “To Love a Falling Object” 24″ x 36″ oil on canvas.

[more images as I worked on the piece, and other new work continue below] I’ve started new works for upcoming shows, and so on. This one is oil on canvas, 24” x 36”. Photos show how I blocked areas of the canvas into light and dark and started building up the sections. 111_4244 Starting… 111_4245 Detail… 111_4246 The work so far, (first sitting). [update: second sitting] Working on the new oil. It is yet untitled. Here it is after a couple hours this morning:

Oil on canvas, work in progress, untiltled, 24

Oil on canvas, work in progress, untiltled, 24″ x 36″

Tonight I did a third sitting with the large (yet untitled) oil. I may still do another sitting, but lightening the highlights and deepening the contrasts are bringing the piece together nicely, in my mind: Photo on 7-13-14 at 8.40 PM Photo on 7-13-14 at 8.43 PM Photo on 7-13-14 at 8.58 PM Photo on 7-13-14 at 9.05 PM … Second (as yet, untitled work): The idea for this was developed from the Tumblr.com blog Fuck-ton of Anatomy References Reborn (see here: http://fucktonofanatomyreferencesreborn.tumblr.com/post/85055323385/artists-subject-prompt-1). I began with using a sketch I had done previously, the source material for that was The Northampton Historical Society’s book: “The Life and Death of a State Hospital.” Here is the sketch (original photo by Sherer) 111_4163 Hospital Ward hallway, pencil on paper, based on the photo by Tom Sherer.

I adjusted the storyline to suit the back-drop I was creating, and made a few modification on the sketch image I had drawn. The piece is nearly done. The over-all effect is very much what I wanted. There’s a lot of detail work, and since I had some tubes of incandescent paint, I decided to experiment with incandescent copper (Golden acrylics) and incandescent gold. This afternoon I worked on it again (after this picture was taken) and the walls and foreground are much darker and look less washed out. Aside for bringing more light at the back of the hall and around the figure, I am mostly pleased with today’s progress. Also, the discarded item is another detail I intend to work on when next I sit down to finish this.

Here’s an image, from this morning:

Acrylic on Canvas, my work based on prompt 1 from the blog Fuck-ton of Anatomy References, it's a really great blog and you should probably follow it.

Acrylic on Canvas, my work based on prompt 1 from the blog Fuck-ton of Anatomy References Reborn, it’s a really great blog and you should probably follow it.

Hope to be able to post either one of these as finished pieces within the next couple days. Morning sunlight tends to give me the best light for painting. I try not to resort to spot lights in my room in the middle of the night –as I did when I was a kid. Worked on this piece, again, this morning. It’s getting there, there’s mostly details left. Also, it has a working title:

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Acrylic on canvas, “Found Where Her Tormentors Never Rested.” For sale, inquire.

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canvas 3, untitled, built around some blue and burnt umber left over from another piece.

Mini-lesson: The Ten Minute Sketch

It wasn’t that long ago I was teaching in a classroom 40 hours a week in a subject matter that was unrelated to fine art. The simple reality for a lot of creative people is that a great deal of our days are spent doing things other than create art to pay our bills. So, with that in mind, the single greatest block on an artist’s creativity can be the simplest of stumbling blocks: “Do I have time for this?”

With this in mind I thought about ways that creative non-professionals and even professional artists can kick-start their process. I’m calling this example the “ten minute sketch.” It involves sectioning a piece of standard 8 x 11 1/2 sketch paper in your sketch book into four sections (the sections will be roughly the size of 4 x 6 note cards I was taught in high school to use to take notes for research papers).

Generally, I have encouraged my past students to “scale up” (ie: increase the size of their drawings and art) and to use a full sheet of paper for each piece. However, –this time around and in the interest of time– the idea is to create a smaller image that can be done more quickly as it will require less detail. Since this is meant for a sketch book exercise, it’s ideal for pencil or charcoal. Those who wish to may choose to work in color, but if you want to keep to the time limit (a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule by any means) you will simplify your drawing by working in one color, or with a limited palette.

Here is my example from last evening:

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My partner, Muse. Pencil on paper, 3” by 5”, from my sketch book.

Bare in mind, this is an exercise designed to help get the blood flowing. You need not agonize about small works not intended for sale. With the small size you will want to keep your details simplified.

I choose portraiture for the topic of this sketch. The planes of the face are generally simple enough to sketch in this small a size. Subjects that are more intricate and have a great deal of detail might take a great deal more time.

Whether or not you work in areas unrelated to your art, the most important key to being happy creatively is good time management. Set time aside each day to be creative. Whether your ten minute sketch is done in ten minutes or not is not important. The important piece of doing this exercise is getting over the notion of being “too busy” or, “not having time” to be creative. This is a mental trick more than anything else.

Get out there, have fun and create!

Cultivating the sketching habit (II)…

Some more recent sketches here. Many more are due because I am developing ideas for some of the small works I plan to do:

[explanation: I’ve recently become a lot more disciplined in doing regular sketches of images that I find interesting for whatever reason. When I was a kid, or a teenager, it was a natural thing to just pick up a sketch-book and treat whatever I saw. I sort of lost that habit in the business of being an adult. Now, as I am producing more lately, large complete works, it’s all the more detrimental to maintain regular practice sketching small ideas and things that I may want to turn into larger complete works.]

[note] I’ve decided to begin loading new works towards the top of the page, so it’s easier for readers to see new works, rather than scrolling past ones they may have already seen to see the newest pieces.

I am currently teaching an art therapy group three times a week, and looking for opportunities to do similar work elsewhere. Sharing my sketchbook in this way might seem a bit odd, since most artists tend to pretty jealously guard theirs. However, it’s become an important part of my pedagogy to encourage students to pay attention to their pre-drawing process. Many of these sketches are basic and rough ideas. Sketches are supposed to be where you problem-solve, they are supposed to be flawed and have problems. That’s the point. Ideas (should they make it to a final work and be hung in a gallery) do not arise fully-formed and perfect. They have a life before that. They start off malformed and imperfectly executed, –and many ideas wither on the vine and die. Being honest about that part of the process has become an important way to make creating art less intimidating for my students.

 

Some recent sketches:

7/9, I always encourage my students to pay attention to “pre-drawing.” In that spirit, this was a practice I did in the twenty minutes I was waiting for the class to start Thursday of the photograph of the train tracks looking south from the Rennselaer train station.

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Pencil on paper, train tracks, looking south from Rennselaer.

 

Two recent (from my sketchbook, 6.25.14):

First, an interior view from the cafeteria/common area in the psychiatric hospital that hosts my art class. I usually arrive at about 12:30 for a one o’clock class, and since I had no pressing business before the lesson started, I spent about 15 minutes doing this architectural study:

psychiatric hospital, sketch of interior/common area.

psychiatric hospital, sketch of interior/common area.

 

Today is one of the days I take my eight-year old son to the library. Normally, I goof around on the wi-fi, but today I opted to use the time to sketch instead. I needed a break from tech anyway. Two sketches of buildings around the Bach Library branch:

Residence, New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY, USA.

Residence, New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY, USA.

 

And this is the rear of two buildings I sketched from the patio area behind the library:

Rear of buildings, near New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY, USA

Rear of buildings, near New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY, USA

Adding two today (6.13.2014)

The first was a practice in my own sketchbook of a Van Gogh piece I was using to teach a lesson in perspective. It’s frequently helpful for me to sketch on my own and work out problems before I teach anyone what I’m doing:

sketch, done right before class, pencil on paper

sketch, done right before class, pencil on paper

Second image, I was feeling in a whimsical mood this morning, so I drew Edgar. Edgar is a diminutive, plastic foam Halloween decoration that has decorated my apartments for many years.

"Edgar," charcoal on paper.

“Edgar,” charcoal on paper.

 

Again, from the book “Hudson Valley Ruins” (it’s a beautiful book, the history in it and the images are top-notch.)

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An abandoned car, from the book Hudson Valley Ruins. (above)

 

 

 

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This should be a familiar sight to people who frequently travel from Albany to NYC: The Yonkers Power Station (abandoned).

In my current class, which is a “therapeutic” fine arts group held in a hospital, I drew this sketch to the prompt I gave my students, “And then the fire went out. No one noticed.”

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Quick architectural sketch. Image from the book “Hudson River Ruins” (Ranaldi, Yasanik [sp?]) The picture is of Fedralsberg, an abandoned ruin south of Albany:

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I have also been doing some figure studies:

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figure study, pencil on paper

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figure study charcoal on paper

Another in my series of images drawing Eduard Manet’s “The Old Musician

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A reproduction of G. Klimt

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And second, Timmy of Nixon’s Spirit:

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So, I am doing a lot of sketching as pre-planning for larger works:

These are the two pieces I posted yesterday I was interested in essentially “tinting” with watercolor:

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Study/sketch, pencil on paper. Pollock and Klingman together near the time of the artist’s death. Photo from a NYTimes article.

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Two small sketches: above is a figure study of a Libyan opposition fighter.

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Figure study, elderly woman with a rake. Pencil on paper.

The following two images I am planning to do further work with. I will do a similar thing as I did with another small work –an image of a depression-era man selling chestnuts from a vending cart. That piece I drew in pencil, and then tinted with watercolor. I am hoping to do that over the next couple days. I will post the results once I have an opportunity to do so.

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This is a reproduction/study of Edouard Manet’s “Madame Michel-Levy.” I am starting more and more to keep Manet as among my favorites of the Impressionists.

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This is an image of a TV/entertainment mogul. I found the image in the NYTimes. For whatever reason it made me think of the song lyric scribbled next to the image.

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The last image is of a young woman, Shawna Timmonds, who was profiled in a NY Times article.

More to come, soon…

These were both in-class demonstrations (charcoal on paper):

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(Note the lines and marks made as I illustrating planning and pre-drawing techniques)

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Hope to have some more of the recent sketches out of my sketch-book soon. Here’s one of my ideas from the SWPA series…

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Sketch for the SWPA.

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In class demonstration.

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In class demonstration: placement of facial features.

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Based on a photo from the New York Times.

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For class, sketching hands and feet.

A piece riffing off Edouard Manet’s  “The Old Musician,” it is a series I am considering for the SWPA (see for explanation here: https://elevenimages.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-small-works-progress-administration/)

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Here’s a couple more sketches (in color). This piece is pencil and colored pencil on paper. I was working with a student on using color in shadows:

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This piece is also a pretty good color study, this time in oil pastel:

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“Years Later, I Stopped Looking for Places to Hide From Her”: Session 1

I started a new work today. The image comes from this sketch, which is a pencil drawing I did from a photo by photographer Clifford Richards of the Steven and Harriette Meyers House. The Meyer’s Residence was once a stop on the underground Railroad, and a local organization is currently fundraising to renovate the house and make it a historical site and cultural center. It is located on Livingston Ave in Albany:

Here is my beginning sketch (with my prompt for the larger piece, which I will talk about in a moment):

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Now, I have always believed that as an artist, one needs to find a way to connect to the emotional content of the work you are creating. Since pre Civil war as an era of history is a little beyond the scope of my experience, I used a prompt to get me thinking about the piece. The title refers to a period in my early twenties when I had to withdraw from school to tend to my health. At the same time, a pretty serious relationship had ended, and my former fiancee had made some pretty wild accusations about my behavior. As a result of that I developed a strangely specific anxiety about meeting my former partner in public places. I began mistaking almost any petite girl with dark hair that bore a passing resemblance for my former partner. Agoraphobia, if you call it that, or any related phobia of that sort is pretty balls. Panic attacks suck.

The prompt may be about a pretty dismal time in my life, but it’s hopeful, because it suggests that that fear passed with time.

Anyway, before the picture of my first session with the piece: I needed to let the first coat of paint dry before I continued to build the colors. I made the pitch of the stairs less steep, and opened up the fore-ground (see original sketch). I hope to continue to work on this piece throughout the week. If I make some progress, I’ll share it here:

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The work is large, acrylic on canvas. It is very much a work in progress.

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So, session two. I am building the colors and darkening the painting. I feel like the contrast has to be made even greater. Here is the work after session two:

 

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More recent works

Here is some of the recent work I have been doing:

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Not the best image, admittedly from the camera, but I liked this one. One of the other assistants in the class I teach brought in the subject for this still life from her day job –which is for a company that installs sprinkler systems, or something of the sort. Occasionally, they have to replace rubber tubing that is overgrown by tree roots, which is what this is.

I like that people tell me it looks like a heart that is pierced by something, or a dead animal or skull of some sort. It was a pretty challenging subject for painting. It’s acrylic on paper.

Recently, I began working on the sketch for another idea. At Trinity Institution where I teach the weekly class, there is a series of photos of the Steven and Harriet Meyers residence. The Meyers house was once an Albany stop on the underground railroad, owned by a prominent abolitionist. The house is currently being restored to be used as a historic site. The photos of the house under restoration are all compelling, but I decided to do a pencil treatment of the following picture as a warm up to a possible larger, complete work or treatment of the subject.

Here is my (unfinished) pencil sketch so far:

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The photograph was one that I found compelling because it shows the basement staircase –the basement being place that logically would hide the presence of people not wanting to be found. The photo was compelling as well because the area of greatest light is beyond the door-frame, and the walls beyond them darken into near total darkness at the bottom of the page. It was a very well-shot photograph (when I think to I will update this with the photographer’s name).

I apologize the photograph is not very clear, it seems the next thing I may need to buy is a compact digital camera to replace my trusty Kodak Easyshare. It seems to be on its way out.

A couple weeks ago, The art class I am a part of hosted an art contest held as part of the launch of a community walking path in the Arbor Hill neighborhood. I spent most of the day handing out pencils and paper to young kids in the neighborhood, and encouraging their efforts in the contest. As I was set up, I did a quick line drawing of a tree on the property.

Ultimately, I took the rough drawing home, and finished it in pencil. Still not happy with the result, I layered the painting with thin layers of water color paint. So the piece is mixed media, on a rather large sheet of paper.

Here it is before the water color: 111_2988

And here is the finished (essentially, there is one problem I may want to correct before sale) piece:

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Arbor Hill Tree, pencil and watercolor on paper. Inquire about sale and dimensions.

And a couple recent sketches:

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