Sunday, April 10, 2016
For the last few years this blog was updated at least once a month. Those days are long gone now. Life is just too busy for such blatant indulgence and it's no loss. There was a time it kind of served a reflective purpose but like most things, it eventually turned into a bad marketing attempt that simply informed readers of insignificant achievements and listings of when artwork would be on display. So, it fell to the wayside, but I find myself with a moment and wanted to actually expressed some real emotions rather than pitch some event.
Lately the color yellow has been overwhelmingly prevalent in daily thoughts and even subconscious thoughts. It's all because of this building I drive by on a regular basis. It's some bordered up building that was a probably a gas station or something else in it's previous life. The main walls of the structure are painted yellow and when I see it, the color yellow invades my mind and doesn't leave for days. Nightly dreams in yellow hues have even followed, day and night I'm consumed by the color. While working on other paintings my thoughts drift to yellow and I soon lose track of what I'm doing. At first I try to ignore it, thinking it will go away and leave me be. But it doesn't. I don't even consider taking a photograph cause there's no way I'd even have time to start another painting. Life does not care about Art. Life always moves forward, never pausing so you can have the time to get the yellow out of your mind. And if you take a pause from Life at the wrong time, Life will get its revenge and move on without you. So, you bide your time and wait for an opening, a small sliver of time when the walls aren't closing in and you can get a clear thought out.
Today I finally had to gave in and start on the piece. A rough sketch in spray paint that's ultimately all wrong but will work as a beginning. The amazing thing about using spray paint is the large amount of color that can quickly be added to the canvas and used as a guide for what will eventually be the final image. It's clearly to clunky and large to be accurate, but the color serves as the perfect roadmap to get you where you're going and you'll still be able to see it's contribution even after you paint over it with acrylic cause it affects everything from color to composition. Lines become shadows while shapes evolve into blocks of solid color that are unique onto themselves.
Ultimately what ends up happening is more time spent painting which after a few days of adjustment, works into a complementary accompaniment to Life. When that hits it's stride, smooth sailing is ahead, for at least awhile, anyway.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Back in April I painted 8 mid-size canvases of buildings and places
located in the city of St. Louis. The paintings were specifically
created for a show from Jun – Aug at East Central College
Gallery in Union, MO. After that show I wrapped them up
and promptly stored them on a canvas rack in my studio.
About a month or so later my friend from Iowa, Karl Haglund,
emailed asking about the paintings. Karl is a painter, well
known for his guitar paintings but he’s also a photographer
and has recently opened a new photography studio in his
home town of Charles City, IA. The studio will not only house
his printing/painting empire but also serve as a place for him
to focus on photography and as it so happens, it’s a great
place for art openings and that’s exactly what he’ll be having
on Friday Nov 6, featuring, yes, you guessed it, 8 mid-size
canvases of buildings and places located in the city of St. Louis,
painted by, me. The show is to help celebrate the grand opening
of his photography studio and I'm delighted to be a part of it.
In addition to the paintings there will also be a special musical guest
will be on hand to perform live at the opening.
now playing - Cave States
Monday, June 1, 2015
and I was there, right up front and snapped some nice photos to
work from for a painting that will eventually go in the Old Rock House.
I had to put the piece on hold for a number of months for a number of
reasons but now I’m back at it and hope to complete it soon. The
packed show was mostly a low key affair, with his brother opening
while both performers shared current Son Volt guitar slinger,
Gary Hunt, also known as a great multi-instrumentalist. We were
treated to a mix bag of Farrar/Son Volt tunes and even
an Uncle Tupelo song or two.
Farrar has lost nothing on his voice, if anything it has aged to
perfection and the stripped down sound really highlighted how
incredible it is. His songs are as solid as they come, cornerstones
of a foundation that started right here in this area, surrounding the
Mississippi River. While one may miss his ferocious electric guitar
playing, he’s still a force to be reckoned with and this community
should be damn proud to have produced such an important artist.
In my excitement of the prospect of painting someone of Farrar’s
stature, I selected a rather big canvas, 40x60 inches. This will be
the largest canvas to date that I’ve done for the Old Rock House.
The size is another reason it’s taken so long to complete. I probably
didn’t need to go that big, but what the hell.
After looking at this piece from a distance and photographing it, I
don't like it at all. Gonna start over on him, make him a bit smaller.
longer and trim it up a bit.
now playing - Jay Farrar