The past couple of months have been busy....really busy! Between packing, moving, unpacking and working I haven't had much of an opportunity or drive to be creative. Although I haven't been producing any art, I still managed to be a part of a very rewarding event. One of my coworkers, Dustin Bell who is a part of the Open Theater Project, organized a fundraiser to benefit the One Fund. For those of you who don't know...the One Fund was put together to give financial aid to those affected by the Boston marathon bombings. The fundraiser (which took place at the Green Briar in Brighton) was appropriately named "Acting Out Against Violence" and included various performances including poetry, comedy, theater, and music. They also set up an art auction where all proceeds would be donated. Although a little low on inventory I was able to donate an older piece to the auction. "Dairy Cow" was a painting I did years ago when I used to practice a gridded style. The Acting Out Against Violence event was a great success and raised over $1,400...and "Dairy Cow" found a new home! It was great to have so many different artists come together to support a cause very near and dear to our hearts. If you'd like to learn more about The Open Theater Project, check out their website www.theopentheaterproject.com If you would like to make a direct donation to the One Fund you can do so on their website www.onefundboston.org
After donating "Dairy Cow" and seeing the response people had to my old gridded style...it got me thinking that maybe I should revisit that technique. Here's two examples of what I mean by "gridded style". "Pink Panther" is a painting of my uncle's old hot rod...and yes it was actually hot pink. I had so much fun doing this painting and I've always had an appreciation for vintage cars, I would love the opportunity to do another one some day. Although I really enjoyed painting in this style, it looks best with symmetrical images and painted in a large scale. After this most recent move into a new house I've decided maybe it's best to keep my paintings a touch smaller until I live in a permanent home. After all, with its frame "Pink Panther" will only fit into a large van or u-haul. With that in mind, I thought maybe I will try to create the same gridded feel using multiple small canvases and hanging them together to create one image. Here's a little peak into my sketchbook of "the buoy project" I have just begun. When completed it will consist of 13 small paintings.
When I'm between projects all I pretty much think about is "what am I going to paint next?" So I'll pack up my camera and go on a subject matter hunting mission. I should probably know better by now that finding my next subject isn't something to be forced or scheduled into my day, it's almost always something that takes me be surprise. Although my missions may not always be successful in terms of finding subject matter, they get me outside looking and exploring doing something I absolutely love...taking photographs. It was when I was in art school that I really learned to appreciate the process of developing my own film. There's just something about a darkroom developed print that has so much honesty, it's unedited and soulful. Here is one of my favorite photos from my darkroom days...it's a portrait of my friend's mom. By playing around with the developer I achieved this almost fleeting affect...a happy mistake. I used to daydream about the day I could have my own darkroom, but now we live in a world where digital everything rules...so I eventually tossed my manual camera and got a cannon slr. As far as my personal taste in photography goes, I've always been a sucker for documentary and portrait photos. Although, after graduating from college I quickly learned that it's a little awkward asking strangers if you can take a picture of them, so I've mostly just been using my camera as a tool for recording subject matter...although I would like to get back to taking photos simply for the love of photography.
A good friend of mine Samantha Robshaw, is a very talented photographer, so lucky for me I can live vicariously through her. Here's a beautiful portrait of a grandmother and grandchild she snapped at a family reunion. It's so much fun hearing about her photo-shoots and getting to see all the portraits she takes. Lastly, the image of the girl at the counter is one of my all time favorites. Photographed by William Eggleston, a southern artist and one of the first pioneers in color photography.
With the warmer months approaching, I've found myself becoming restless, both in the daily routines of life and also in the studio. So many ideas are clouding my brain...which is mostly a good thing! I often do rough sketches so that I dont forget my ideas and can revisit them later. I've been wanting to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things, which brings me to the painting i've recently been working on "flourish". It's a self portrait (which i rarely do) and it symbolizes all of the creative thoughts in my head growing. William Morris, a famous 19th century textile designer was the inspiration behind the floral pattern. It feels good to experiment, whether this painting turns out well or not it will be a learning experience and sometimes we learn most from the things at which we dont succeed. Besides, I have a sketch book filled with plently of creative ideas but I'm going to give this one a shot!
I'm an observer by nature, always searching for inspiration.