Category Archives: Art

Neglecting Your Blog

Neglecting your blog isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if it means you’re doing stuff – good / fun stuff. I’ve been out in the garage pretty much all week working on art. I don’t have any pretty pictures to post, so you’ll have to suffer plain text.

I don’t know what the deal is, but my art mojo is in full swing. I’m 99% finished painting Lady Painter, or officially, The Final Finish. Because of some technical difficulties, it was a bear putting together.  But I found a way, (there’s always a way!) and finish framed it and it looks great. I stained the frame, but it needs just a bit of gold trim. God, I love gold paint. It’s wired and ready to hang, which I’m slightly nervous about because the outer frame was really beefy and so this sucker is the heaviest painting I’ve ever made. But I’m sure it will be just fine.

I’m almost finished with another throwaway! I had a canvas that I did a long time ago that I was never terribly fond of. I was going to paint over it, but painted over just part of it, and decided to keep it. I layered some stuff on it and it looks totally dope. (Actually, it just looks like a magazine cover layout, which is sort of depressing.) It needs one more element and it’ll be ready for framing.The best part is I have some painted finish frames from a project that I had to redo that have been languishing in the wood pile that will work brilliantly for this piece. Putting this crummy old canvas and these unused frame parts to use makes me happy!

I cut out the text for the Bambi piece that I thought would solve the issue, but it didn’t. I came up with another idea to make it work, but will test that tomorrow.

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A-Punk by Vampire Weekend

Since we have been blessed with this extra hour of daylight now that Spring has arrived, it’s really hard not running. I mean, it’s freaking gorgeous right now! I really have to take advantage of this weather because before I know it, it’ll be so freaking hot… I don’t even want to think about it.

I got out there and ran the greenway. As much as I’m not a fan of pounding the pavement, today was pleasant. There were a ton of other people out running and biking. Which if I could digress and get up on my soapbox:

Let me first just say that as much as I love bicycling, I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a “biker.” I’ve done plenty of riding in Chicago and Portland, and some here in Texas, but I don’t see myself as a biker. I (think I) get what it’s about.

I cannot understand the bicyclist that insist on speeding by on the path. To me, it seems like cyclists don’t care about anyone else because they’re too focused on going fast. Which is similar to the way motorists treat bicyclists on the road! But here the cyclist is the jerk! ARGH!

Bicyclists, don’t ride like a motorist! Yes, it’s fun to go fast, but it doesn’t always have to be a race. Slow down when you’re passing people. Please and thank you!

Omigod and the running! Let’s get back to the good stuff. I ran my butt off today. I was a little surprised, since I hadn’t eaten much during the day. After I have my coffee, I’m usually good for a few hours. So my energy was a bit flagging, especially after working in the garage all day. But my stomach was empty, so I didn’t have to deal with the bloat.

03/12/13 Run
03/12/13 Run

The first mile was tough. My ankles were pretty stiff, but by mile three I was rolling well. I don’t know how accurate the Garmin is without using a footpod, but my third mile was the fastest at 6:24. That makes me happy because I think that bodes well for the Culinaria 5K. I think shorter distances are hard because you push yourself so much harder. I remember the last time I ran this race, I thought I was going to have a heart attack! Two more weeks til’ 3.1 miles of push!

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Other awesomeness: My mom and I are going to Thailand for two months! Her mother is 90 something, and this might be the last time she can see her mother. It’ll be cool to go back again and see our relatives. And bonus is that we’ll be there for Song Kran, which is the Thai water festival. I was there for it last year, it was really fun. The video clip is from Pattaya, which is a touristy party city. We’ll be in Khao Sun Kwang, which is way more low-key.

It’s going to be tough to keep on track with any sort of running schedule, but I have more motivation this time to stick with it (Chicago). It’s just going to be a lot of early morning runs to beat the sun.

Do you have any suggestions how to stay focused and not totally slag off whilst on holiday? Oh and did you want me to send you a postcard? ; )

Art Jag Part Deux

On another super art jag!

This is the progress on the Lady Painter. It’s coming along well. I decided that I am not going to add any other imagery or text over top. Just need to start thinking about framing.

Work in Progress - Lady Painter 2
Work in Progress – Lady Painter 2

This Bambi piece has been hanging around for two weeks (?) now. Doesn’t seem to want to get finished. Had wanted to add some text that was cut out of foam-core. Maybe I’ll do that and see if that’s what the hold up is.

Work In Progress - Been trying to work this Bambi image, but it's just stuck.
Work In Progress – Been trying to work this Bambi image, but it’s just stuck.

I found three boards I had prepared weeks ago. Had intended to do some colored washes with them, but never got around to it. So they became this mini series. I almost wish (50/50) I had left them alone and not added any new layers (the gold diagrams). I should have at least sat on them a day and seen if they could stand on their own. But impatient person that I am… I projected the tree image on top of one of the boards and it looked cool… I quickly found another diagram, and that was it. They would receive a second layer. But two is not enough, I will do have to figure out at least a third layer. The good thing is, the process is easy to repeat. So, worst case scenario, I start over.

This mini – series is / are not really “paintings”. More like poly-chromed graphite drawings. I don’t know, but it just doesn’t feel right to call them paintings. Regardless, I’m very happy with the procedural discoveries I’ve made with these. Specifically, I’m loving the graphite; when it’s thick and metallic black, and then you smear it! Great effect.

(Actually, I learned about this from the Bambi piece, the background text was done in graphite.)

Work in Progress - Awaiting Diagram and... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting Diagram and… ?

This is preliminary stage. (Below) I do like this as is. I don’t think viewers would “get it” though.  I’m worried the additional imagery may have ruined them.

But the heck with it: “Hold nothing sacred.”

Work in Progress - Awaiting Diagram and... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting Diagram and… ?

Small detail, you may notice those are Behr house paint samples. Yup! I’ve gotten over my paint snobbery. For some colors, it works just fine, and it’s cheap.

Work in Progress - Awaiting... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting… ?

I’m super loving the color palette of these, especially with the gold. But unless you shoot at an angle, the gold doesn’t photograph well, which may pose a problem for purposes of posterity.

Work in Progress - Detail of Gold
Work in Progress – Detail of Gold

Finally, another small happiness. I stenciled the text on these, and it came out pretty well. Which is possible only because I’m working on board and not canvas. However the grain of the wood is slightly annoying, I may move to masonite. [To clarify, these are just cheap stretcher frames with Luann tops. What’s even crazier is these were made from scraps, you can see the joint running across the bottom third on all three pieces. Poor man WIN!]

Stenciled Text
Stenciled Text

This is next in the rotation. The window offers obvious opportunities image placement… Glad this is a one off and not part of a series!

Work in Progress - This image found its way onto the canvas at 12:30.This is the first stage.
Work in Progress – This image found its way onto the canvas at 12:30.
This is the first stage.

And the magic revealed! Lest you think I’m some crazy artistic genius, behold! An opaque projector. My imagery is projected onto the canvas and I simply trace it. I could do it the old fashion way and grid it out, but the result would be the same. My point being, I used to think this was “cheating”, but I’ve gotten over that idea. Mostly. I’ve has this thing since the late 90’s. Best $300 I ever spent. But it may be on its last legs, it seems to be blowing bulbs with greater frequency. And those bulbs are kinda of expensive – $8 a piece. It takes two bulbs, but you can get away with just one.

Maybe you remember overhead projectors from school? This works the same way, except you don't have to use transparencies, you can use opaque paper as well.
Maybe you remember overhead projectors from school? This works the same way, except you don’t have to use transparencies, you can use opaque paper as well.

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Haven’t run for a few days, since…. Thursday. Wow, only two days? It feels like it’s been four days. Missed a volunteering opportunity yesterday because I was working on my paintings. I feel kind of guilty about that, but I have to keep painting when it’s going well. I should try and do a long run today, depending if I can tear myself away from painting. But it’s a beautiful day out right now, it’d be a shame not to get out and enjoy it.

Have two weeks until the Culinaria 5K. I don’t know what my PR’s for any distance, so I am going to run this race like a crazy person so I can PR. (Since I don’t really have a 5K PR, whatever I do will be a PR.) But my goal is to run under 20 minutes. Yeah, I need to run today.