Why I’ll keep painting amid the shitstorm

How to Satisfy the Bird, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches, 2017 — $2300

If we pay any attention to the media these days, it seems current events defeat logic.

It’s all depressing and makes us feel separate from each other and alone.

So I will continue painting because it cuts through the noise. When I paint, I am a part of something bigger than myself. I am connected to a lineage of painters and artists who explored what it means to be human through their work.

Making art and looking at it builds empathy. When we look at a painting, we are standing where a painter – another person, stood before us. We are confronted with what they saw when they painted, seeing what they saw through our own eyes. We find stories in paintings, and connect to those stories through our own experiences. When we look at art we connect to other people we may never meet.

When we look at art, we think about something bigger than ourselves. We are reminded about what is real and what matters. Because my experience outdoors fuels me as a human and as an artist, painting is a reminder to go outside and BE and look around myself and to be appreciative.

When I paint shapes and their edges bleed into each other, I am reminded of the truth of what it means to be human. Walls fall away. We are all more similar than we are different. We are connected by our experience as human beings.

So I will keep painting. I’ll keep waking early and staying up too late, puttering around in the studio and pushing paint, and trying to make some sense of things with my colors.


Intersections and Transformations

All Flame, oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches, 2017 — $1000

Hi all, If you are in the Winston-Salem area in the next month, check out the group show in the Womble Carlyle Gallery at Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Four of my paintings are on view there along with the work of 7 other Winston-Salem artists: Annie Grimes Williams (Jewelry)
Katie Chasteen (Photography)
Sean McNamara (Digital Art)
Ricky Needham (Painting)
Rose Jerome (Photography)
Travis Phillips (Installation and Video)
Woodie Anderson (Painting).

The exhibit is up until November 7th, and the gallery is open Monday – Saturday.


Two Surfers

surfers acrylic contemporary paintingI am nervous about posting such a departure from my current work, but I’ve been wanting to reintroduce the figure in my work for a while now. What better way to do that than with people doing stuff outside? So here is yesterday morning’s piece. It’s 12×12 inches acrylic on wood panel. I’m looking forward to  making more paintings of people.


The unglamourous part of making art

Behind the scenes this week…
I’ve been using torn bits of my drawings as collage material in my new mixed media pieces. After brushing the back of the paper with acrylic gel medium and placing the paper where I want it, I flatten it with a piece of wood and weigh it down with something heavy – in this case, gallon paint cans. I typically let it sit overnight so that it’s ready to go in the morning. Once dry, I can work on the paper and panel with paint, ink, pastel, or whatever other medium I choose to use on it. With these particular pieces I am not using oil paint. This allows me to keep the paper exposed because I don’t have to prime the paper to protect it from the oil paint.


New house, new studio

I haven’t blogged in a while. We bought a house this spring/summer, have been settling in, and getting the studio (in my case) and darkroom (in Tim’s case) going. The studio feels good. We insulated it, put up homasote, and I recently prepared a bunch of new panels to work on a series. I’m working on mixed media collage pieces using some drawings I made last week. Mix of Sumi ink, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, pastel, graphite, and markers. I’m trying to keep the works on panel pared down – which is hard for me because I have a tendency to want to bury layers of paint and drawing and build up the surface. We’ll see what happens…