Monday, July 26, 2010

Shepard Fairey, with a little help from Johan Bjurman

I've spent the last few weeks stalking this project going on downtown, and friend and mural painter extraordinaire Johan Bjurman, as he turns a mural concept by Shepard Fairey into reality on the side of the Pell-Chafee Performance Center.  I'll be writing a short piece about the process which I hope will be published in August. I'm also creating a video documenting how the heck you get a mural from a digital file to an eighty by forty foot wall. Links to come.

Now, to the studio to work on my Sand Dunes painting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oil painting

My kitten post didn't send my web stats through the roof like I thought (feared) it would. And here I thought everyone loved kittens! Maybe baby squirrels? No. . .  I'll have to think of another way to increase my stats, and go back to posting paintings.

The World Prodigy -  o/c
While we wait for the BP oil well to be finally plugged, I'll offer an older painting of The World Prodigy which ran aground in 1989, spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into Narraganset Bay and polluting a stretch of the RI coast.  At the time I wasn't trying to make an environmental statement with the choice of subject, but in 1989 I was painting the working waterfront and the tankers and ships which unloaded at the Providence docks. I think I just wanted to capture the drama of the island of light and activity in the dark sea.

Luckily for R.I. the coastline has recovered. Not all victims of spills are as lucky. The impact of another spill which took place 20 years ago, the Exxon Valdez, is still felt and remembered by Alaskan artists.  I fear that will be the case for the people of the Gulf as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It's not that I don't have more substantive things to blog about, but no time to actually compose a rational blog entry. So when all else fails — kittens! (No, they're not mine, though I was tempted to kitten-nap them.)

I'm heading into a couple of week's vacation from the day-job though, so I hope to post news of some real progress in the studio, and I don't mean cleaning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting there

I've spent about a week and a half making boxes for my paintings and stashing them away in the rack (at right). To box some of the paintings I had to buy some even bigger pieces of corrugated at RISD Metcalf store. At 7 bucks a sheet it was kind of pricey, but I was informed that they were The-Only-People-Who-Had-Them. I remember, though, buying large sheets years ago from a warehouse in Pawtucket for considerably less, but I couldn't remember exactly where, and had no time, so I hauled 7 sheets across North Main Street and barely fit them in back of my pickup. Thank goodness it wasn't a windy day.

So my studio is getting a little bit more organized, and I no longer have to maneuver a narrow path like some hoarder with 25 cats. Not that I'm not guilty of the "but I might need it someday" syndrome , but I only have one cat, so that disqualifies me.

I've also been working on my Great Sand Dunes painting, there on the easel. I changed the composition, which put me back a few weeks, but it's a better painting for it.

With all my cleaning and moving I've made the acquaintance of dozens of spiders, including one "dead" spider that I found crushed between sheets of cardboard. So as not to damage the limp little corpse, I picked him up with tweezers and added him to my dead bug collection (I am NOT a hoarder—I just might need dead bugs someday). An hour later I noticed he wasn't so flat. If I didn't know he was dead, I'd say he was standing on his feet. After another hour passed, he seemed to move slightly, then suddenly started making a mad dash around his container. I let him go, far from the studio, since he looked like he had potential to be a biter. Unlike this elegant long legged beauty I found in the garden this morning.

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