Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Break from Painting

Painting is a singular pleasure, one of my favorite activities. With a heavy schedule of exhibits and projects I have lined-up for the next few months I am painting a lot, almost 40 hours a week. There are times when I need a break from the long hours of canvas, oils and brushes, but want to continue working in the studio. Fortunanly I have enough space in my studio that I can work on more than one media, or project at a time. I have two plein air painting easels, I have a small one that I use for a drawing/sketching box that doubles as an easel. It works great and holds drawing supplies such as pencils, color pencils, pastels, conte' crayons, watercolors and a great assortment of rendering supplies at my fingertips. I set-up the easel at the back of my studio, in front of a sculpture pedestal and a large shelving unit laden with art books. This provides an opportunity to work on drawing quickly without taking valuable table space that are normally utilized for teaching classes or laying out papers, stretching canvas and other activities. In the above photo you can see a terra cotta bust that I made a couple of years ago on the pedestal. This was a great subject for a quick charcoal sketch. Drawings and sketches in charcoal are a lot of fun and it was good to return to the media with it's lovely chiascuro effects. I think I'll continue working on more charcoals and take a break from painting when my arms and shoulders become tired from many hours at the easel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Continuing the Portrait of American Veterans Project

Pictured above and below is my 18th veteran to paint. This is Bert Notheison, I visited his home last week to start on his portrait. Bert and his wife Arlene were so happy to see me and thrilled about Bert's part in the PAVP. Bert's stories are many and fascinating, from his time as a pilot in the US Army Air Corp with the 460th Bomb Group during WWII. I'll post his portrait when it is completed.
As the Portraits of American Veterans Project continues, almost 2 years in process, I have reached a marvelous place. Each portrait has come to represent a singular place and time for each individual, yet occupies a shared place within the whole. I think and most certainly feel, that there will be a complete body of work, and a substantial exhibition by the time I paint the 24th portrait. I began the first portrait of Adam Navarro-Lowery in August 2009. this was the start of a journey that has become incredible in it's scope and depth. I am eternally grateful for all of the generous support of family and friends to keep me working in my studio 5-6 days a week in front of the easel, to complete every detail in each portrait.

In early March I applied to Fractured Atlas fiscal sponsorship for financial assistance in developing Portraits of American Veterans Project into a traveling exhibit. Last week I received the good news that my proposal was approved, so now it's time to look towards the horizon and complete the last of the portraits, and put "the show on the road". Continue following my posts and I'll keep you up to date on how things are progressing.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Etheral Fauna the Artist's Muse to Open at Carthage College Thursday April 7

I'm showing with a group of Chicago artists in a show titled "Ethereal Fauna: the Artist's Muse" the opening reception will be this Thursday at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.