Monday, September 29, 2008

Not sure I really want to be a starving artist after all....

As much as my day job interferes with my studio work, it's a bit unnerving when the safety net it provides begins to sprout holes, which is what happened last week. A round of layoffs at the newspaper where I work has affected me, which may or may not result in my joining the growing ranks of those without a weekly paycheck. In theory, (and fantasy) it would give me more time to paint, but like most painters I can't make a living from my brush, and don't want to lose the health insurance my job provides. So I'd have to dust off my resume and hit the streets, which would be even more of a distraction than the 9-5 grind, so I'm hoping to keep the job in one form or another, unfortunately.

But once I leave the ergonomic office chair, close my studio door and sit for a bit in my old painting chair it becomes of little importance. My battles are in here.

I toured the RISD Museum's new wing on Sunday with some out of town guests. It sure is a change from the old wing—for one thing, it has a escalator! That kind of blew my mind. The Chihuly show was ok, but I thought it was rather thin, despite the dramatically lit and reflected installations. I'll have to go back and take another look when it's not so crowded. I'd like to take another look at the David Macaulay show too. I have to really respect the work that went on behind the pages of his books. Contrast his thoughtful sketches with the "art fair" type paintings that Chihuly whips out for his assistants as studies for his glass designs.

44 days till the hanging.

Monday, September 22, 2008

51 days...

I've been sadly neglecting this blog, due to frantically framing and preparing for weekend guests. I'm also trying to finish 3 more paintings for my show. The dates are finalized and are November 13 to December 5 with an opening reception November 15, 4-7pm. 51 days...but who's counting? My biggest, and most challenging painting in progress is not yet clicking...but is doing better thanks to some advice my painter friend Steve gave me this week. Unfortunately it also means all the puzzle pieces that aren't quite fitting need to go back in the box for a good shuffle...

I also have to accept the possibility that it won't make it into the show, it's more important to get it right than to finish it by some arbitrary date.

Meanwhile, here's a totally unrelated, but cool photo of rain in the grass....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free online portfolio sites

I usually get a few solicitations every month to post my work on portfolio web sites or virtual galleries. Any artist with an email no doubt gets the same. The quality of these portfolio sites varies greatly though, so it's always good the check them out before uploading your work. Most allow you to upgrade for a price, but I've been happy with the following site's free service. Here are some samples of how they present an artist's work.

These two have been around a while and are well organized...
Art Wanted
Absolute Arts

Saatchi has gotten a lot of publicity, and has a bazillion artists, but someone need to take a class in web design!
Saatchi Gallery

This is the latest one I found, it takes a while for your work to show up, but after 2 weeks if it's not there, an email will do the trick. The quality of work on this site seems very good.
Irving Sandler Artists File

Does posting your work on these sites help? I really can't say. But they do allow you to place your web address and other info on them, and they do come up in search engines. So it couldn't hurt if you want to get your work out there. If anyone knows of others, let me know and I'll look into it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Fable

How the shoomakers stole away Saint Hugh's bones and made them working tools thereof, and the vertue that they found in the same; whereby it came that when any man saw a shoomaker travelling with a pack at his back, they would presently say: "There goes Saint Hugh's bones."

Upon a time it chanced that a company of journeymen shoomakers passed along by the place where Saint Hugh's dead body was hanging, and finding the flesh pickt cleane off from the bones, they entred thus into communication amoung themselves:

"Never was Saint Hugh so bare", quoth one, "to carry never a whit of skin upon his bones."

"Nor thou never so bare", said another, "to beare never a penny in thy purse. But now seeing you talk of Saint Hugh, it brings me to remembrance of his legacy that he gave us at his death."

"What was that?" said the rest.

"Marry", quoth he, "I will tell you. When the gentle prince saw that the cruelty of the time would not suffer him to be liberal to his friends, but that his life was taken away by one and his flesh given to others, he most kindly bequeathed his bones unto us."

"Tush", quoth another, "that was but to show his mind towards the shoomakers, because he had received of them so many favors; for alas, what can the dead man's bones pleasure the living?"

"No", quoth another, "I can tell you there may be as great vertue found in his bones as the brains of a weasill or the tongue of a frog."

"Much like", answered the rest, "but I pray thee shew us what vertue is in those things you speak of."

Quoth he, "I will tell you: the braines of a weasill hath this power, experientia docet, that if the powder be mingled with the runnet wherewith women make their cheese, no mouse dares touch it. In like manner the tongue of a water-frog hath such great force in it that if it be laid upon the breast of any one sleeping, it well cause them to tell whatsoever you shall demand: for by that meanes Dick Piper knew he was a cuckold. Againe, I know that those that are travellers are not ignorant that whosoever puts but six leaves of mugwort in his shooes, shall nere be weary, though he travell thirtie or fourtie miles on foot in a forenooon."

"That, indeed, may be true", quoth one, "for by the verie same hearb my last dame kept her ale from sowring. And it is said that where housleek is planted the place shall never be hurt with thunder. Pimpernel is good against witchcraft, and because my sister Joan carried alwayes some about her, Mother Bumby could not abide her. Therefore, what vertue a dead man's bones may have we know not till we have tryed it."

"Why, then", said the third man, "let us soon at night steal Saint Hughe's bones away and, albeit the tyrant will be displeased, yet it is no theft; for you say they were given us, and therefore we may the bolder take them. And because we will turn them to profit and avoid suspition, we will make divers of our tools with them; and then if any vertue do follow them, the better we shall find it."

To this motion every one gave his consent; so that the same night Saint Hughe's bones were taken down, and the same being brought before a sort of shoomakers, there they gave their opinion that it was necessary to fufill the will of the dead, and to take those bones in as good a part as if they were worth ten thousand pounds. Whereupon one stept out and thus did say:

My friends, I pray you, listen to me,
And mark what S. Hughe's bones shall be:
First a drawer and a dresser,
Two wedges, a more and a lesser.
A pretty block, three inches high,
In fashion squared like a die,
Which shall be called by proper name,
A heel-block, the very same.
A hand-leather and thumb-leather likewise,
To pull out shooe-thread we must devise;
The needle and the thimble
shall not be left alone,
The pincers, the pricking-aule,
and the rubbing stone;
The aule-steele and tackes,
the sow-haires beside,
The stirrop, holding fast,
while we sowe the cowhide;
The whetstone, the stopping-stick,
and the paring-knife --
All this doth belong
to a journeyman's life:
Our apron is the shrine
to wrap these bones in:
Thus shroud we Saint Hugh's bones
in a gentle lamb's skin.

"Now all you good yeomen of the Gentle Craft, tell me now", quoth he, "how like you this?"

"As well", replyed they, "as Saint George doth of his horse, for as long as we can see him fight with the dragon we will never part from this posie."

"And it shall be concluded that what journeyman soever he be, hereafter, that cannot handle his sword and buckler, his long sword or a quater-staffe, sound the trumpet or play upon the flute, and bear his part in a three-man's song, and readily reckon up his tools in rime --except he have born colours in the field, being a lieutenant, a sergeant, or corporall -- shall foreit and pay a pottle of wine, or be counted for a colt." To which they answered all, viva voce: "Content, content"; and then, after many merry songs, they departed. And never after did they travell without these tools on their back; which ever since were called Saint Hughe's bones.

The Gentle Craft
By Thomas Deloney, Alexis Frederick Lange
Published by Mayer & Müller, 1903

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clams and clamps

Yesterday I took an unpaid day off work to paint, so I can afford to make today a catch-up day, with a break to take my mom down to Flo's for some fried clams as a last summer treat before resigning myself to the idea that summer is ending. It actually feels more like fall now, it seems in the last few days the light has shifted, and I've put on socks and a jacket a few times already.

My other goal today was to finish my statement, finalized what I'm calling my exhibit, and work on my postcard and gallery book. But I'm procrastinating of course, by working on frames and writing this blog. My frames I think will go well, I've simplified my design, so now it's just production line of sawing, clamping, gluing, nailing, assembling, sanding, spraypainting, and finish work for at least 16 oil painting frames and numerous frames with glass. It looks like an awful lot when I write it out, but I can do it, because....I have to!

But enough procrastinating, I've got to tackle that statement.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

August report

August was a good month for painting, but my garden is growing wild, and I still haven't been for a bike ride this summer! But it's now only 2 months to my show, so that will take priority. I'm to the point now where I have to write a statement. Is there anything more painful for an artist? Fortunately I discovered this site, The Market-O-Matic (1.0)
[fine arts version]
. I knew there must be an easier way! Here's what the Market-O Matic came up with for me...
Work of Anti-Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Kathy Hodge's work investigates the nuances of vibrations through the use of fast motion and close-ups which emphasize the Mechanical nature of digital media. Hodge explores abstract and anxious scenery as motifs to describe the idea of hyper-real space. Using warlike loops, lasers, and slow-motion images as patterns, Hodge creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of time...

The vortex creates, the chaos permeates. In the synaptic space, art objects are resurrections of the creations of the vortex -- a vortex that uses the chaos as a machine to deconstruct ideas, patterns, and emotions. With the devolution of the electronic environment, the vortex is approaching a point where it will be free from the chaos to realize immersions into the machinations of the delphic space. Work of Anti-Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction contains 10 minimal flash engines (also refered to as "clipper chips") that enable the user to make complex audio/visual compositions.
I'm going to go with it...

And despite my neglect, I did manage to get some beautiful little tomatoes from my pitiful little garden...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Does outrage make for better painting?

If not, I should probably turn off the radio...

This is the first painting I did for the series I am going to exhibit in November. Hopefully I am working on the last now, although I'm tempted to try a few more if time permits...which of course it won't!

Tonight I'm taking a break, instead of staying up late painting and torturing myself listening to McCain's acceptance speech, I'm going to grab a drink with a friend at the local watefront watering hole, right next to these guys, Reliant and Resolute (painted in 1988).

I need a drink after the Huckabee act...
"Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here. It's not what he took there that concerns me. It's what he brought back. Lots of ideas from Europe he'd like to see imported here."
OOh, scary Europe, best to stay home where it's safe...

(sorry to get political, it takes a lot to get me to sound off! Here's some comic relief to make up for it -- McCain's Voice Mail to Palin Leaked to Press (Listen))

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