Friday, October 30, 2009

Denali's digital deadline

I'm still trying to pull some Great Sand Dunes art and writing together to post, but have been working all week on finishing a few small paintings for my Denali application, which is due this weekend. 

It helps that I can submit my application electronically. Now I can work up to the last minute without taking slides, rushing the film to one of the few one-day slide processing labs, re-taking the slides because they came out too-blue, too-yellow, too-dark, too light, too-skewed, or too-glarey, developing them again, masking them with silver tape, making tiny little labels, putting them in a slidesheet, carefully printing my application, putting them all in a 9x12 envelope with a return 9x12 inside, going to the post office to get it weighed, putting return postage on the inside envelope, and FINALLY, getting it in the mail, hopefully to be delivered by the deadline date.

The Denali application uses a website called CAFE. It's a bit exact about how you need to format your digital images, but once you submit one set for an application, it keeps them on file so you can reuse them to apply for other opportunities. The only downside is that they don't have too many listings yet. It's a great idea though, so I hope it catches on.

So, until I get caught up and scan in some new dune images,  I'll just post a "lunch sketch" from a few years ago.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I'm continuing to update my website, here's a link to the bigger and better sideshow of the drawings and work on paper I did in preparation for the oil paintings of the Shoemaker series, coming soon to the Bert Gallery!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thinking about my next artist residency...

Here's another little sketch (4"x6") I made out in the Great Dunes. I'm working on six larger oils, trying to finish them in time to use a few in my application for an artist residency in Denali National Park in Alaska. Every year for the past 5 years or so I've applied for this one, every year I'm told I made the "short list" and to try again. So I do. Wish me luck this time!

• • •

In preparation for my upcoming exhibit at the Bert Gallery I'm updating the Shoemaker section of my website to enlarge the images and correct some loading issues.  So far I've revamped the painting slideshow, see the NEW! AND IMPROVED! version HERE.

Monday, October 19, 2009


This is a dragonfly that I found in the sand at the top of the Great Sand Dunes. Right now I think I know how he feels. Except I'm not dead.  Definitely half buried though — but in a good way.  I just found out that I'm going to have two exhibits in the next few months. This after pretty much no activity for almost a year. So I'm psyched about it, but have to keep on top of things so I don't get into a last minute panic.

Luckily all the paintings are done, dry and framed.  That's the main thing I can check off my list.

I'm going to show the Shoemaker paintings at the Bert Gallery in January-February. I've shown with Cathy Bert several times and it's always a great experience. It's such a pleasure working with a real professional. I just wish she had a bigger space, but I'm happy that she says we can fit 9 paintings into her back gallery.

The other exhibit will be an installation of my Church paintings in a storefront or window space Downtown Providence. It's part of Providence Art Windows, which has been a very successful project to utilize vacant space downtown and a great way to have my work seen by people who don't usually visit galleries.

I'm also working on half a dozen other projects and deadlines, in addition to the old day-job, that I won't bore you with, but WILL use as an excuse for not posting my Great Sand Dunes journal and artwork yet. But I will. Soon.

Until then, here's a little watercolor I did out in the dunes...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Drawing dunes

Here are a couple of photos of the charcoal sketching class I gave as part of my artist residency at Great Sand Dunes National Park. (more added to my Great Dunes slideshow) I had 10 students and they were all great and fun to work with. Some traveled 2 hours or more to attend! It must be a western thing, back east we gripe if we have to drive 20 minutes. Of course, we have annoying things like red lights, stop signs and traffic jams, not found in the San Luis Valley. The scenery there is awfully cool too. Makes me want to go for a drive now...west!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Great Sand Dunes photo album

I've sorted through my two weeks of photos from the Great Sand Dunes and pulled out the best here - Great Sand Dunes photos on Flickr. A lot of them didn't come out that well. I think the light was just too strong, and I'm not enough of a photographer to compensate. But I have what I need for reference, and I actually think it's better if the photos are weak. That way I bring more of myself to the paintings, and use the impressions in my head instead of what I see in a beautiful photograph. I dreamed of climbing dunes for 3 nights after I got back, so I think the impressions are there!

I'll post photos from my charcoal sketch class soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back east

I'm back from the Great Sand Dunes, but still shaking the sand out of my sneakers. It was almost 10pm when I finally got home, and it was back to work the next morning, so I'm still not completely unpacked yet, but getting there. I hope to get my journal and photos of the dunes and of my work uploaded soon, I'll post a link when that happens.

Meanwhile, it is nice to be home, nice to breathe the thick moist air of the east coast after the thin dry air of Colorado, although it is beautiful out there. The fall colors of the west can certainly rival New England's. And it was such a luxury to have no obligations for 2 weeks except to hike, sketch and teach 2 classes. I met some great people out there too.

More later as I catch up!
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