Chantecler, Rooster

chantecler

The eleventh in the series of watercolor chickens: a Chantecler rooster!

Original watercolor, signed.
8″x10″

for sale on etsy, $30!
sold!

Sunday Artist: Jon Rubin

If you know me and have had art-related conversations with me, you probably already know about my undying love for Jon Rubin’s work. I can’t help it! He’s… a bright example of the generosity that art can initiate and encourage. His work is, at times, an illustrative way of conveying a variety of sentiment and statement. Sometimes his projects are light and teasing, ironic or cheerful. Other project seem heavier, attempts at minimizing the gap between artist and friend.

OK, hold on for a sec. Almost every week you’re going to hear this from me: it’s fine to disregard or ignore my commentary! Sometimes I get caught-up with writing and start liking to hear myself talk more than I like getting a clear point across. So scan over my words if you’re bored, just MAKE SURE you take a few minutes to actually LOOK at Jon’s work!

www.jonrubin.net

Take the time to read about a couple of his projects. Seriously, they’re each strikingly different, and whole-heartedly entertaining/inspiring. For those of you a little too lazy, here are a couple of his projects, photos & summaries borrowed from Jon’s website.

FREEmobile

Seattle Arts Commission, 2003

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Every weekend during the summer of 2003 a custom modified 1968 Chevy step-van, with the word FREE boldly painted on it’s sides and a funk-based soundtrack coming from it’s speakers, toured through one south Seattle neighborhood (Hillman City) much like an ice cream truck. But instead of selling ice cream, the van hosted local residents or families who shared, for free, what they like to make or do with their direct neighbors.

Each weekend a different neighbor drove through the neighborhood in the van handing out free homemade stuff like hand-printed t-shirts, a personal coffee mug collection, homegrown pansies, and crotchet bookmarks, or free personal services like: hair braiding, psychic readings, bike repair, dance lessons, bird calls, and personalized poetry.

The project publicly acknowledges the idiosyncratic hidden talents and resources of the neighborhood. Like a moving museum that goes out to meet its audience, the FREEmobile was a dynamic venue for exhibiting and distributing local folk culture. The truck also became the stage for a weekly interactive performance. By allowing neighbors to share what they are naturally passionate about, the FREEmobile presented a comfortable way for people to meet each other. Each host individual or family was introduced to a larger segment of their community and visa-versa. The FREEmobile also presented a model for bypassing the commercial market system of mass-produced goods and services by keeping the entire project local and homemade, handmade, or homegrown.

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Photo album

Dublin Arts Commission, CA, 2004

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For this project I visited 10 families in the town of Dublin, California and went through their photo albums with them. For each household I selected one photograph to be enlarged, mounted on plywood, and placed on the family’s front yard for four months much like a political endorsement poster or billboard.

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Eternal Happiness Flying Through The Sky

Pittsburgh, PA 2007

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Custom designed posters with the statement Eternal Happiness Flying Through The Sky printed in watercolor ink. The text is designed to wash and fade away over time, leaving just the brightly painted background and the memory of the statement. 100 posters were placed throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

The last one gets bonus-points for utilizing screenprinting. But the other two are definitely my favorites of his projects.

You can read a neat little review about one of his early projects, Market Street Art in Transit, San Francisco, here.

One last thing: a friend of mine & artist, Terrence Boyd is working on a Rubin-helmed project, Waffle Shop; Terry produces the radio show. You should check out their website, and go here to read a great article about it that ran in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. It’s an awesome project, organized by awesome people.

http://www.jonrubin.net
http://www.waffleshop.org

Silver Campine, Rooster

campineblog

The tenth in the series of watercolor chickens!  There are actually two varieties of Campines.
This is the Silver Campine Rooster!

Original watercolor, signed.
8″x10″

for sale on etsy, $30!
sold!

Golden Campine, Rooster

After not painting chickens (or anything else really) for a long, long time, I’m finally coming back to this series! By the end of the year, I hope to have painted every breed of chicken. We’ll see how successful I am at that!

goldencampinerooster

The ninth in the series of watercolor chickens! Finally breaking into the C’s, after a hiatus.
Golden Campine Rooster!

Original watercolor, signed.
8″x10″

for sale on etsy, $30!
sold!

Sunday Artist: David Horvitz

As a little intro, I recently decided it would probably be nice (for me and for anybody who might chance by this blog) to set a day where I am to post about an artist/group/collaboration/somebody who inspires me. Newly out of school and away from the constant supply of People I Ought to Look At that I’d been receiving throughout the course of my entire Undergrad, this might be nice.

So thus we come to today’s, the first Sunday artist:

David Horvitz

I know I’ve heard of him before today… his name definitely sounds familiar, and his work is of the vein closest to my heart. But either way, I stumbled upon him again today. At work I’ve been passing my time with a variety of books, and today I happened to begin reading the “Best American ______” section of The Best American Non-Required Reading, 2008. Passing through Best American Police Blotter Items from Kensington, CA and Best American Facebook Groups, I came across Best American Things for Sale That This Man on the Internet Will Sell You. It was, as it turned out, a piece outlining the items David Horvitz lists for sale on his website (as of 2008).

An excerpt:

“If you give me $3 I will send you an empty envelope. It is like sending you nothing. Or at least, it is sending you something that has traveled a journey that is the distance from you to me.

“If you send me $1,689 I will go see a psychic, ask them where in the whole world I should go to, and then I will go there. I will mail you documentation of this from where ever it is I go to.

“If you give me $9,999 I will go see a psychic and ask them where I SHOULD NOT go in the whole world. I will then go there and mail you documentation of it from there.

“If you give me $30 I will walk around New York, and the first homeless person I see I will buy him or her whatever he or she wants to eat (as long as it is less than $30). I will mail you back the exact change (minus the PayPal fee and the cost of the postage stamp) with the receipt for the food and the name of the person who ate it.

“If you send me $1 I will sit in silence and think about you for one minute. I will send you an email when I start this, and I’ll send you another email when I’m done.

“If you give me $10 I will take a photograph of the sky just for you… I will also delete the file so that you will have the only existing copy of the photograph. It is just for you.

“This one is really serious. I’m scared to do this. But I think I have to. If you give me $10 I will think really hard of someone who I need to apologize to. I will write them a letter of apology. I will make two copies of the letter. I will send one to you and one to the person who I am apologizing to.”

-From The Best American Non-Required Reading, 2008 & www.davidhorwitz.com

 

This really just blows me away. Something very akin to my postcard project, only developed differently. It really makes me think about what I want to do next… I feel like I need to continue with something akin to my postcard project, a way to let From You, From There carry on. And this is a definite inspiration.

You can see more of David Horvitz’s work here. And while you’re at it, read this wonderful interview with him here.

Acrylics

So I’ve finally started a larger-scale (comparatively), non-watercolor painting again. It been seriously a long time… the last time I really painted was a little more than a year ago while I was working at the PA Gov School. Needless to say, I didn’t know how much I missed it until I went back to it. Although I have to admit some impatience. I’ve been so used to making smaller watercolors/drawings that only take a couple of hours; it’s slightly frustrating getting used to working on something that takes much longer to resolve! But I’m getting through, and enjoying myself. Nothing major subject-wise, just a pair of Great Blue Herons for my aunt. But I’ll post photos when I’m closer to the finish line!

Anyways, my return to painting got me thinking about paint choices. I’ve done some work in oils (usually per professor request) and some work on canvas, but I’ve always preferred acrylic on paper. I don’t know what it is… maybe my impatience is satiated by quickly-drying paints, and printmaking has made me a sucker for a good cotton-rag paper?

No matter what sparked my painting preferences, my painting preferences sometimes seem… wrong. Sometimes I feel like people look down on acrylics and anything non-stretched. Is it just me? Was it just a weird vibe the painting department at MICA (a department I avoided, something I admit semi-apologetically) seemed to send my way? Am I just imagining it? Maybe, maybe, and maybe. But I still feel this way! I still feel like oils are considered better, more complex, more sophisticated. But they’re not, I tell you!

I guess it doesn’t really matter either way. I like what I like, and people usually seem to respect my painting. There will always be pretensions (whether imagined or true) in any vein of anything. And I’ll always love complaining about whatever I can think of to complain about.

But seriously, Rives BFK paper + acrylic + water = love. And like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mariah Carey (and other ppl too) sang, “They can’t take that away from me!” Ha. How melodramatic!

Summer ’09

Graduation has come and passed, and I’m finally a free-in-the-wind, new grown-up.  It’s very strange having only unknown to look forward to, but not at all in a bad way.  It’s refreshing to know I have (at least semi-)control over everything to come!  And it’s exciting to start off on a new adventure.

As it turns out (unsurprisingly), the plan to spend the summer at Jessica’s parents’ condo on Cape Cod was an excellent idea.  A mini-vacation at the beach and a summer job at a local gallery/gift-shop is a nice way to divide school from my future life.  And a good way to start up saving money for the eventual relocation and PRINTSHOP/PRESS BUILDING.

The goal is still to have our own shop.  I feel like that’s a good goal.  Jessica & I would have a good shop together, one that puts out commercial work, collaborative printmaking work, and offers local classes.  Or that’s the dream anyways.

So anyways, I’ve finally revamped the site.  Still need to finish testing it in IE (eakk), but for the most part it seems like it’ll be OK.  Then I’m gonna attempt to keep up with this blog better, and maybe update the ‘store’ section to include Paypal sales in addition to Etsy links.  Also, more watercolor chickens and other animals/birds to come, I promise!

Like Zac & Vanessa said famously, “It’s the start of something new!”

4th

Went to Marblehead, MA for the 4th, to visit some of Jessica’s family.  Her dad was up visiting, and her Aunt, Uncle, & cousin call Marblehead home.  The 4th in Marblehead always involves a weekend arts festival, and we browsed crafts and ate lobster rolls in the hot sun.  Jess’s sister and boyfriend also came up, and we even got to meet Julia’s (J’s cousin) bff and boyfriend.

We watched the fireworks on a patch of grass overlooking the harbor near the house where J’s family used to live.  We were overlooking the harbor where a barge sets loose the fireworks, and let me tell you, it was gorgeous.

Marblehead

dusk!

blurry but pretty fireworks