Saturday, March 30, 2019

Beginnings of a New Art Direction - Climate Change Made Me Do It

Yes, this post needs a new title.

And yes, it seems just when I've sorted out a mode of painting that really suits me and seems to be a coherent integration of everything I wanted to do with painting, I'm going to abandon it and change again.

Wait, abandon it? Yes, I'm going to abandon it. Why? Because of the looming climate crisis that threatens the survival of human civilization. Why now? I guess I should've started this years ago, and I guess I was hoping that I could do things to help while still maintaining an art career in painting, but now I'm abandoning that hope. The situation is too urgent for half measures, for divided efforts. Making paintings that enrich people's homes, while a good thing in and of itself, just doesn't seem to be an effective way to help society mobilize to cut emissions.

This is going to be a journey. I haven't yet figured out how to best help with the climate mobilization effort, and most of the arts communities around the world haven't figured this out yet either.

I have been working through a lot of thoughts on the topic, and I'll try to post some of my conclusions here as I embark on this journey.

I'm currently working towards something that involves climate themed online comics and digital artwork.

Please check my Instagram account to see how it's progressing, otherwise, sign up for my email newsletter to stay tuned:


Thursday, December 13, 2018

New climate art online

I've recently started to work on more climate themed art, as the scale of the crisis that we're in becomes more apparent and the urgency escalates.

I've recently finished a few digital art pieces with climate change themes. You can also find them on my Redbubble site.

”make your choices”

“Wind farmer”

"hot and dry"

Friday, November 16, 2018

long roads and forgotten stories

I've finished a new painting: "long roads and forgotten stories" it's 36"x54" (click through for better images)

text embedded in the painting from the following books:
"Neuromancer" - William Gibson
"World of Pooh" - A.A. Milne
"Labyrinths" - J.L. Borges
"Tale of Two Cities" - Charles Dickens
"Home from the Vinyl Cafe" - Stuart McLean
"The Stone Carvers" - Jane Urquhart
"War and Peace" - L. Tolstoy

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Forest City Painting Now Posted Online

I've finally posted proper pics:

(Oh man, I'm so slow sometimes...)

Friday, February 2, 2018

New Artist Statement! (hopefully it's not terribly boring)

I've just finished redoing my artist's statement for a show application. I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but when it came time to actually write it, I got pretty stuck. Writing about your own art is hard. And then I realized the solution while in the shower this morning, so I quickly wrote it down. Here's a more refined version, without the autocorrects and typos:

At some point in the past I became aware of the fact that we understand ourselves and our lives primarily through stories. I became aware that they are a basic human need, that we need to consume stories, and we need to tell them.
So I started adding figures and robots to landscape paintings, to make them into scenes from imaginary novels, giving them a narrative aspect.

This worked well, but then I recalled my past as an indie self-publishing comic book creator, and realized that the paintings could incorporate even more storytelling. For what is a more visual storytelling medium than comics?
So I started incorporating elements from comic books, such as adding inset images in panels. Sorting out how to compose a painting with this new level of complexity took time and a lot of trial and error. Man, did it take a lot of errors.
And along the way, as I was still figuring that out, I realized I could add another level of narrative and storytelling to the painting: I could put text itself into the paintings. So I started adding actual fragments of stories that I loved, or ones that influenced me, by adding random bits text from those stories to the base layers of the paintings.

The randomness of the fragments is important. It’s important because I’m not trying to tell a linear story or squeeze a whole novel into the paintings: our lives are semi-chaotic assemblages of bits of the stories we’ve read, watched, and told to ourselves. Our lives don’t unfold in clear linear plots with well-organized themes. So the random text and the comic book inset panels create new meanings and associations. The paintings are intended to give the viewer a landscape and some starting points to imagine their own versions of the story. I guess they could be called story-scapes.
And that’s how I’ve arrived at this point in my creative work, where I’ve recently, finally, started to feel like I know how this works, with text and comics and painting and storytelling.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, October 13, 2017

new robot painting (pancakes!)

I've finally gotten around to posting photos of my newest robot painting. Here's a detail image:

detail of 'pancakes' (32"x48")

And here's a full image: