Monday, August 20, 2012

The New Beginning

So it has finally come to pass. I am now an official Grad student at Wichita State University. As I sit here, adding to this far too neglected art blog, I think about how I (for years) would fight the concept of going to grad school. I saw it as just another way for them to get my money. But fate it seemed had different plans for me. No longer could I just sit on the outside, wishing that my work would create itself. No longer could I just wait for inspiration to hit. I needed a thump on the head. I needed a revitalization. And BOOM, here it is. If you can't tell, I am feeling a trifle preachy, hence the gaudy language use. The true goal and fear is to simply create work that matters and affects me. I am currently (slightly) uncertain as to what that will look like, but sometimes a blank slate is the best place to start. I want to move away from some of the work I have been doing, because it tends to come from a (more or less) emotionally unhealthy place. And the other parts of my work seem to be far to illustrative to be critique worthy. The larger problem is that I still like that work. So... how to keep the history, yet move on, and somehow, even more so... how to combine and keep my integrity. The heart of every artist's struggle.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Grad School

I have just accepted a graduate position at Wichita State University for this fall! Looks like grad school was very much in my future. I am tremendously excited to join such a great group of artists!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


My portfolio has been fully submitted to Wichita State University! It feels like an incredible relief, but I am still plagued with a need to make more work. It is one of the best feelings I have felt in a long time! Here are some other images that were sent, I know that some have been on the blog before, but non-the-less....
"Appropriate Interaction" 10"x22" Acrylic and Ink on Canvas
"We Found It" 10"x22" Acrylic and Ink on Canvas
"It Is Time" 20"x30" Acrylic on Illustration Board
"Navigation" 11"x14" Acrylic and Ink on Canvas I am quite sure I will either go back into some of these or I will ignore them and never look back. Either way, it is done and I am pretty pleased!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Portion of Grad School App Portfolio

I have some new photos of my work for ya'll! They are being created for my graduate school application portfolio. I have learned a lot about my work in the short time frame these were created. It really has been a grueling and wonderful experience!
"In This Present Situation" -Acrylic on Canvas 36" x 36"
"Overlooking Destiny" -Acrylic on Canvas 24" x 48"
"Comprehension" -Acrylic on Canvas 24" x 30"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Birth of a New Painting

So I just finished another painting. I actually took some process shots on this one, although I skipped a few major steps. But here is a bit of the process below.

So you may remember the "Rainbow Puke" start, well this is the base for the rest of the painting. Generally it took me a while to figure out how to fix it. The fix was as follows: a thin coat of white gesso. All that remained was some pink permeating through the gesso. (Sorry no process shot)

After the gesso dried I drizzled some yellow on it. Yellow is one of my go to colors, especially in the beginning, as it is rather neutral in its own loud way. I then started to take some new colors in, discovering shapes and forms.

Here I am simply letting the painting and the medium speak. I am discovering shapes and forms and space intuitively.

"Integration" - Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 11" x 14"
And here is the final image. I spend quite a while letting the painting dictate what needs to be discovered. I also try to let the colors do the discovery. It was in this work that I really seemed to discover a method for working. I seem to reference nature and landscape more than I realized, balanced by an intuitive discovery of the the work through its development and my medium.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Conversation with Nancy Morrow

So today I finally got to meet with Nancy, a former professor of mine at KSU. We got to talk about what I had been up to artistically and discuss some of the issues. I couldn’t find my notebook while we were talking so I didn’t take notes. Sadly, I am now trying to remember what all was discussed.

Firstly, she was pleased with what was there. She said that is showed that I had worked, even if I hadn’t worked as much as I had wanted to. We talked a lot about how I was coming up with the images. The early work was built under the P.R.R. (refer to blog name) theory that I had created earlier. These works although landscape in nature, she said she couldn’t directly pinpoint them to their source.

Later I would give up the PRR method, and simply try to work from the brain. I really didn’t think that it was such a bad idea, but looking back I’ve realized that I stifled myself. Nancy said one of the hardest ways to work is from the brain. You have to remember form, light distribution, color variance and everything else related to its physical self. That is a lot of information for the brain to simply remember, organize and interpret. It can quickly become a mad man’s folly. I know we have talked about “inspirational imagery” around the studio, but I guess I always had this silly notion that “real” artists didn’t need that. How very wrong I was. This “inspirational imagery” is a diving board. It is a motivator for work. I don’t have to feel limited my surrounding images, but rather inspired. She suggested that I try to find something I can visually investigate. I research countless things in the form of a hobbyist, but never anything particularly visual. This seems relatively silly in retrospect, as I am a visual artist.

We would eventually talk about process. I believe that I work on canvas best, but at the same time, I feel limited by roughness of the canvas at times. There are times I want to do small delicate work, but can’t. She suggested linen. I’ve heard of it before, but never really investigated it. It seems to be a more tightly woven material, aka smoother. It is also tragically expensive. For now I should just paint.

She found some imagery that I did actually respond to and it was germs, or spores. Something like that, but the forms were very interesting due to their depth and interactions. They also made me think of cosmic photographs (space nebula, asteroids, etc.).

We also talked about the little rooms. They differ so much from the organic paintings. She said that sometimes we feel the need to compensate for missing properties in our work, and that I simply over-shot the moon a bit. She didn’t say it was a bad thing, and that I may be considerable to a therapy of some type. I really liked this idea. It means that my little room things can just be mine. She also liked the cut out shapes (the rectangles full of white lines). Yet instead of overlapping them over each other, she was pondering on overlapping them over the paintings. This isn’t really something I’ve ever considered, but it was a welcome change of thought.

Next on the list was a discussion of the number of works created. She was pleased to hear that I tend to work on multiple paintings at once. The practice isn’t good for everyone, but I work quickly and get bored even quicker. But more so on the number game is, you can start a painting the same way multiple times. The beauty of painting is that is virtually impossible to recreate a painting exactly. I know that you may be able to disagree with that statement a bit, but for me, I can’t recreate a painting without going nuts. So, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel each time, simply restart a painting and learn something new. A technique that was discussed was having 3 paintings that are virtually the same. On one you paint like you normally would, the second you paint with slightly opposing ideas or with different parameters, and on the third you just go crazy. The benefit is that you are learning something from each painting, even if they aren’t so called “the one.”
Another practice that was discussed was creating two lists. One list is filled with everything that you believe a real painting should have. The other list is filled with everything that does NOT make art. Then create two works, one from each list. This is useful in getting an understanding of what secretly and subconsciously motivates your work. We immediately discussed Julie Heffernan, an artist I am very infatuated with, but quickly realized through the discussion that although I love her work, I have not desire to actually paint like that. Please note the image below:

Juile Heffernan - "Self Portrait as Tender Mercenary" Oil on canvas

It was just a joy to talk and confront my work realistically again. I just don’t’ know how artists survive without other artists to talk to. Thank you to Nancy Morrow for your time and wisdom.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Paintings in Progress

Nothing much, just some paintings in progress. One is very mono colored, and the other is like rainbow puke.