10 things I learned from Maureen & Spanky

A list:

1. What a 5-in-one is and what to do with it

2. Daniel Johnston

3. How to sponge paint without making it look like your gma did it

4. Juice with spinach in it can taste quite good

5. Scenic artists might be bitter and angry but they also band together, get shit done, and probably don’t hate their jobs as much as it sounds like they do

6. The best part of owning your own business is owning your own business, and the worst part of owning your own business is owning your own business

7. Muslin is less expensive than canvas and works just as well

8. It might be awesome/beneficial to learn how to airbrush (similarly, Painting the Secret World of Nature, John Agnew has some good tips on the subject)

9. The Hub is the only place worth going to in Tampa

10. I might want to look into getting into tattooing

Partridge Cochin Rooster

Partridge Cochin

The thirteenth in the series of watercolor chickens: a Partridge Cochin rooster!

Original watercolor, signed.
8″x10″

For sale, $40!
Or, prints available for $20.
Go to Etsy shop for purchasing.

Buff Cochin Rooster

Buff Cochin

The twelfth in the series of watercolor chickens: a Buff Cochin rooster!

Original watercolor, signed.
8″x10″

For sale, $40!
Or, prints available for $20.
Go to Etsy shop for purchasing.

Pennsylvania, once again

I haven’t been updating this recently, but there’s a reason! Or rather, a couple reasons. First, it was the last week of my life in Cape Cod, so I was at least kind-of trying to appreciate it. Second, my parents and Texas grandparents came up to visit, so there was a long weekend span filled with sightseeing and lobster cooking/eating and shopping and seal watching and beach going and just plain socializing! Third, it was my birthday so obvi I was celebrating. Fourth, I had to move! I feel like I have had to move so many times in the last few years, and it’s really never very enjoyable. So I was packing up all my stuff, cleaning out Jessica’s parents’ condo, driving all my stuff back to PA, unpacking it all, shoving it somewhere until the next time I have to move… you get the idea.

But now I’m back settled in good old Pennsylvania, so updates will follow. I’m still working on chicken paintings, as well as a few commissions (two more 24″ x 36″ bird portraits to go with the herons, and one 36″ x 80″ painting of two penguins and two dragons playing golf together in a foursome). But I’m also planning on starting a couple of my own Projects. I’ve been doing primarily practice/busy work/commissions this summer, and it’s about time I give my brain a good shake and come up with something a little more conceptual. I get antsy if I don’t.

I’m also job-hunting. Which is depressing and hard, especially since I don’t really know yet what I want to do.

So more on both of those topics to come.

Well, I guess technically more on everything to come!

Sunday Artist: Mary Temple

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OK, this is kind of cheating b/c I’ve written about her before.  But whatever, when I re-do Paperpetual.com I’ll probably delete that journal, so here it is again.  And besides, she’s great enough to merit more than one entry of regard.  You see, Mary Temple is one of those artists of whom I am quite genuinely jealous.  This jealousy doesn’t spring particularly from her making something spectacular that I can’t help but wish I had the skill and audacity to complete (although this is certainly part of it).  It’s more because she’s doing exactly what I’d love to be doing; her work is a better version of some of the projects I’ve tackled over my last couple years of undergrad!

It’s one thing to discover another artist who makes work very similar to your own.  Realizing that someone else has already done a project you’re considering can be a let down, but half the time the circumstances are different, and it can give you a bit of fuel to go out and make your version better.  But Mary Temple is different.

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Her shadow work isn’t an exact replica of an idea I’ve had – it’s more of a more eloquent and direct interpretation of the same things I wanted to discuss in my work.  It’s similar to some of the things I’ve worked with (most specifically hand puppet series as well as my brown center shadow installation), only better.  And if I could have thought on it longer, I’m sure I might have traveled in the same direction as Mary Temple.  Her work is what I wish I could have done, what I wish I could be doing!  It’s frustrating, but also kind of amazing.  I’ve been inspired by a multitude of artists over the past coupe of years, but it’s positively scary how akin I feel to her work.  It’s like we’re sharing brain waves!

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Mary Temple, www.marytemple.com!

Sunday Artist: Elizabeth Blackadder

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Is it obvious yet that I’m inspired by a diverse medley of artists?  I haven’t been doing this Sunday Artists thing for very long, but I already seem to have a nice variety on my hands.

I stumbled upon an Elizabeth Blackadder book in the Glasgow School of Art library when I was studying there for a semester two springs ago. As a printmaker, it’s kind of laughable how few traditional printmaking artists I’m gravitated towards.  I’ve tried a large number of traditional printmaking processes, and I’m pretty sure it would be impossible for me to ignore and/or lack respect for the printmaking greats.  Also in Glasgow, I was given the opportunity to see some Goya etchings in person; it’s kind of impossible for me to explain how incredible that was.  But even still, Rembrandt and Durer don’t make me want to make etchings.  But Elizabeth Blackadder does.

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If it’s not already obvious, I adore cats.  I enjoy a variety of Elizabeth’s work (her flower studies are lovely), but I am absolutely besotted with her drawings of cats.  Cats are lively creatures with larger-than-life personalities, and I think she manages to capture their spirit exactly. 

And even beyond the subject matter, it’s her mark-making that truly hooks me.  There’s just something very vibrant and fresh and sincere apparent in both her drawings and her etchings.  I’ve done some intaglio, but I can’t say I was really hooked.  You can do some gorgeous things with etching, and I love the idea of aquatinting the hell out of something, but it never quite clicked with my own work.  I could make beautiful lines, but I always felt like the end product was too removed from that first drawing on the fresh soft ground.  In retrospect, I think I was too caught up in the classical etchings that are all about composition, rework, and revisions.  Elizabeth Blackadder’s etchings make me want to go back to etching and draw and draw and draw, embracing the spirit of that initial drawing.

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P.S. You can see a nice selection of her work here, and/or google.  Or go to the Tate Gallery or the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Sunday Artist: Chris Gilmour

Yes, I skipped last week.  My parents were in town and we were staying in a weird cottage shack and going to the beach and going whale watching.  Way better than blogging, if I do say so myself.

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Anyways, I stumbled upon Chris Gilmour on a recent Paper Forest blog post.  His sculptures are amazing, crazy pieces made of cardboard and glue.  The suspended piano and the safe are definitely my favorites; the irony makes their materiality completely appropriate.

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Go to www.chrisgilmour.com for more.

Sunday Artist: Peter Doig

Milky Way
Milky Way, 1989-90, Oil on Canvas

I saw a Peter Doig show at the Tate while I was in London, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with his paintings.  Milky Way was the first I saw, and I was immediately hooked.  I can be a bit snobby when it comes to the way I judge paintings; I think this has something to do with the grudge I developed towards the painting department at MICA. I don’t know, I feel like there’s a holier-than-thou, pretentious air to some painters. They seem to think painting is a more regal, more important art form than any other medium. As is obvious, I myself love painting. But I still have this thing with painters.

Anyways, I have no thing against Peter Doig. His paintings, clearly inspired and modeled after photographs (a technique and mindset I too prefer to embrace), are gorgeous: beautiful colors, beautiful layering, and beautiful subject matter. He embraces the influence photo and film has had on painting, using perspective to his full advantage.


This is how it looks where I live, Oil on Canvas / Blotter, Oil on Canvas

And it’s just nice when a painting aptly describes just how much the artist loves the process of painting.

Man dressed as bat
Man dressed as bat, Oil on Canvas

Gosh, I just love this last painting. It just makes me smile, no matter what. That’s quite a feat for a painting to accomplish.

You can find more at the Saatchi Gallery’s Peter Doig page. Or just google him, duh.