Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Class Act

Stefan from the Tuesday morning Monotype class has been working with fields of color. This is one of his first abstracts from the workshop, and I like it because it has a very balanced color scheme ( the photo exposure may suggest a brown for the darkest swath; it's actually a rich, wine-y red), simple composition and fresh spontaneous brayer (ink roller) work.

I posted a small portfolio of other works from the class on my Facebook page, and will have more soon. It gives me a chance to catch up with some pictures and videos of my own work that I will post soon. For instance, I have staged photos of the different phases of one of the first large works to come out of all the sketches I've been putting up, also on Facebook ( link at the top). I'll summarize the project in a future blog post, too.

I may be taking on a few too many projects, but I'm feeling a burst of energy with the spring, and at this point, probably too many is better than not enough. The videos are the ones that often get pushed to the side, partially because confidence level is still tentative with the new software. But I think they're eye catchers, especially on Facebook and other social sites, so it makes sense to learn it.

As I mentioned, I've posted a number of videos to the soccer fan page I manage, and also to Zip37's page. So I guess Squishtoid is due for the next world premiere! Will begin work on that this weekend.

What I'm reading: A whole stack of histories of US and Britain, hop-scotching from James I (Simon Schama, History of Britain, Part II) through Andrew Jackson (American Lion, Jon Meacham).

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Work

I did get some video of Monday's work session at Open Press, as well as Tuesday's demo for Introduction to Monotypes at the Art Students League. I'm getting more familiar with iMovie, as evidenced by this 5 minute monster I did to promote my soccer supporters group friends.

So I should have at least a small video to post fairly soon, at least in time for the Summer Art Market, the League's popular, signature art fair, in June. I may put up some raw footage as soon as I get a chance to sort through it.

But for now, it's Opening Week for Colorado Rapids football, and I'm enjoying all the zany activities surrounding that. Next week, back to the grindstone, but for now, here's another in a series of sketches (above) I've been doing to prepare for larger work.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Art Star

Took a break from my own projects to go watch a favorite Denver artist do a demo at the Art Students League of Denver. Homare Ikeda has done a lot of monotypes, which is why I often bump into him at Open Press. He's also on the faculty at ASLD. Here he was doing a painting demo, which was well attended and very interesting.

I don't do a lot of painting anymore, and don't usually work in the abstract when I do. I like Homare's loose, open ended forms and his thoughtful, deliberate way of working, though. So chalk it up to networking and professional curiousity when I stopped by. I sent out a few snippets on Twitter, and admired Homare's laid back narrative style. I do a lot of demos myself, and I can always learn.

Homare related that, as a student at Skowhegan, he'd gotten a studio visit from Komar and Melamid, the Russian Pop Artist team. K&M pronounced Homare's work "constipated".

"I figured that was a good thing", Homare related with his shy little laugh. The crowd laughed too. He'd turned the potentially crushing, off hand remark into a small creative victory with his unassuming humor.

Later he tried to explain that being an artist is, to him, nothing special. He's right, and the sometimes idealizing ASLD students need to hear stuff like that. There are geniuses in art, sure. And like many things, art can be done in an inspired way, but before that happens it's mostly just hard work, done with commitment.

He finished up with some sumi-e drawings of traditional subjects; fish, bamboo, birds. It's a fairly unassuming art form, done by a fairly unassuming guy.

Make no mistake, there's more than a little magic in that.