Friday, August 28, 2009

A Brush with the Police = Merit Award

I am happy to announce that my painting "Down from Andershock's" has won a Merit Award at the Hoosier Salon Member Exhibition.

The painting was painted en plein air on a beautiful Sunday morning. I had grabbed my plein air kit and left the house early, before anyone else was up. After driving around for a short while, I came upon this little garage/shed hidden away behind a local farmer's market building called Andershock's,
on an off-road from HWY-20 and HWY-49. I pulled to the side of the road, lifted the trunk on the van for shade and set up to paint. After a while, I saw red lights flashing, a police car pulled up behind my van and an officer got out.

At this point, I'm halfway through the painting, it's going fairly well, and I don't want him to make me pack up and leave. After all, I'm just standing on the side of the road, keeping to myself—though I do realize this is not my property. So, I greeted him with a big smile and a "Hello". And with a stone face
, he asked what I was doing. "Just painting," I told him. He said he just wanted to make sure there wasn't any trouble. Whether he meant my being in trouble, or me causing trouble, I'm not sure. He looked at what I was doing and mentioned it was looking pretty good.
I tried to make some small talk, but he didn't say much, just stood there mostly. I knew the light was changing quickly, so I went back to painting the piece. He began to watch me paint. After a short while, he nodded, told me to have a nice day, got back in his car and drove away.

I continued to paint.

Unfortunately, Andershock's has since closed and the building, along with the trees and this little shed, have all been torn down. At least, I can look at this painting and remember it all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Your Dream Art Collection

Imagine you're an art collector and can have all of your favorite paintings in the world for your collection. Price doesn't matter. Availability and location are insignificant. Who cares if the artist is living or dead, famous or unknown, modern or realistic. What art pieces would you have on your walls? What inspires you as an artist? What major works would you have? Or what guilty pleasures would be in your collection? Do you love realist work, but would have Autumn Rhythm Number 30 by Pollock in your collection? Are you an atheist, but an iconic religious work of medieval Christianity would hang on your wall? Think like a passionate collector. Decide what those are. However, there is one restriction: You can have no more than two works of any artist.

The main idea is to find works that you like. It makes you take a closer look at your favorite artists work and discover just what it is about a piece that moves you and to begin to see things from a collector's viewpoint instead of simply from an artist's.

For fun, find those works, and either print them out and collect them in a file folder, or (what I did) put them all into a folder on your hard drive and make a pdf for easy reference. You can also put them on a wall in your studio for inspiration. Like all art collections, this will change over time as artists produce new work and as you discover pieces you never knew existed. Also, over time you may begin to lose favor of some of them. You can continually add and subtract from your collection.

You can collect anything you want. The image above is a collage of some of the pieces in my dream art collection. You can see it is a little eclectic, but that's all right. I like it, and it represents who I am.

It's a fun exercise, and I'd love to know what you learned from it.

© All above images are copyrighted to their respective artists.