WHHHAAAAaaat’s Going On?

October 17, 2013

Hey guys,

I’ve taken a break from posting for a while it seems.  Last time i was actively posting was at the end of May it looks like.  I put the drawing every day thing to rest for a number of reasons.  The summer was pretty wild.  I got married to my best friend which is just awesome, and it’s crazy to think that in a couple weeks we’ll have been married for half a year already! Jeez!

The summer was a great one.

Image

In August, after setting some big goals in the distant (but not too distant) future, with high expectations and a lot of work ahead of us to make it happen, i got more and more creative tingles that just needed to be addressed.  I’ve been making more woodcuts, drawings, started some larger “paintings”, created a silkscreen flyer.  In the coming months i’ll submitting to shows and auctions and having my first solo show ever at the start of the new year.

Erica and i took a trip out to NYC to hop around some galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood last weekend.  It had been a while since we had the chance to do this and our last trip to see the disappointing, alienating Whitney Biennial in May of 2012.  So, we walked around saw some art, some some price sheets that just made me laugh.  $20,000 for a painting?  Who are these for?  I mean, this isn’t news to me; i’ve known that that art world is an expensive place for expensive tastes, but i got to thinking about it more in relation to my expectations on becoming a working artist.  At the beginning of 2013, when i made the moves to really start putting my art first, to try and make it my sole source of income (as an end result), but i’ve never really explored what my options are.  No way do i want to have my art represented by galleries that need to meet those kinds of margins.  I don’t want my art in an institution backed by corporate sponsorship.  What are my choices as an artist if i keep these ideals?

So, this is where i’m at.  I’m selling my art for really cheap currently and i’m constantly being told i’m “selling myself short”.  I mean, i get it, this is a huge investment of my time and i should ask for more because i put a lot of myself into this work.  However, i refuse to accept that i can’t be taken seriously because i only have one zero in my prices.  When i think about how much would i buy a painting for, and i think about the art i’ve bought and realize that the most expensive piece of art i’ve bought was on sale at $80.  My audience are my peers and that’s how i prefer it currently.  I draw most of my inspiration from them and i want it to be affordable to them when health insurance barely is.

I don’t really dig the ego-centric path of being an artist, but that’s all i’ve got so far.  I look forward more to building a dialogue with other artists and helping to build a community where we can do something more with our talents.  How i want to be a part of that will be an ongoing investigation.  I want to be part of a force that helps keep art relevant to our lives.

 

Did you know there’s a part two?  Well, there is.   I got a little winded yesterday and my hand cramped up from clutching that brayer with such power.   Also, these two blocks were bigger than yesterday’s, so laziness is definitely a factor.

I’m still using Caligo Safe-Wash relief inks.  Turns out it was a good idea.  Erica’s blog has some pictures of our cats getting into the inks.  While Rocksteady didn’t appreciate the squeeze he was in to wash the ink of his paws, it was pretty easy to remove with just soap and a little water.  I sent the manufacturers an e-mail a while back asking how safe these inks are around pets and while they wouldn’t tell me it’s perfectly safe around our cats, they assured me it went through the testing to determine it was non-toxic to humans.  The most important part of this is that it was incredibly easy to wash off the cat’s delicate paws.  While I’m talkin about it, i should mention that Erica is has begun this new year with a resolution to be somehow creative or inquisitive each day and write about the experience.  So keep up with her blog!  She’s 11 days in and going strong!  It’s pretty awesome.

I can’t say too much about the imagery really.  I’m still learning woodblock as an artform and getting a hang of what this kind of mark-making can do for my drawing.  I’m really excited about it.

The reference materials I use range from photographs I took/found of my friends and family mixed with images I’ve collected from various sources, mostly from the internet.  I understand that there are few images that seem to incorporate symbols, but to be honest I really haven’t formulated any sort of dictionary to define it.  I’m going with what feels right and with what makes sense to me.  I can’t sit and think too much about images that I invest so much time in.  For example, the seated figure took about a month to draw out and plan and carve and then it sat for a while, I got a little sick of looking at it and then another month, month and a half later I printed it.

Sounds like i hate this process, but to be honest I embrace printmaking because I enjoy the zen of working in a sequential manner.  I like working with a system of steps to create something.  I love cooking.  I love making coffee.

on Sunday, March 13th, i went out Muskat Studios and Brickbottom Artists Association to check out an exhibition, a collection of printmaking work from Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary.  I got a chance to talk to the project coordinator/curator, Alex Kirillov, who also graduated from MassArt’s printmaking department.  He had received an award and traveled to four major art academies in eastern Europe and collected work from students and faculty with the hope of helping making connections between artists across the world.

so, i really dragged my feet on writing about this show.  it was a little humbling.  the passion matched the technical know-how of the artists i saw at these two galleries.  in some cases, these artists have a pretty difficult time rounding up supplies specific for printmaking.  i have everything i could ask for to make a great body of work.  i still have somerset and rives paper left over from my time at Massart from 6 years ago.

i have to give myself a little credit though.  i’ve put a good dent in that lately.  i spent the next couple weeks after this show working on some woodblocks

oh yeah, sorry about the quality of these images.  you get the idea, though, right?

i’ve been working on stuff, i assure you.  i just haven’t got a clue out it all fits together.

i’ve been writing about my work a little.  or at least amassing a list of questions i have to myself about my process.

here’s some sketchbook stuff. more to follow.

Erica Anne Wells!

July 20, 2010

Erica holds my hand when we walk down the street.  My hand holder.

Erica tells me to go draw when i say i don’t want to cos the day has worn my down or life has worn me down.

Erica is a fellow collaborator and artist.  we share all kinds of stuff!

She also has a blog that i am now telling you to go to!

http://findingmachine.blogspot.com

She also sells digital prints of her drawings!

http://findingmachine.etsy.com

She’s a finding machine alright.

She’s found me and she helped me find her!

today i saw this and was humbled.

dan wholey is an amazing songwriter and we run into each other from time to time.

it’s pretty awesome to see this video, a product of a collaboration of about a dozen people; the songwriter, the players, the recording engineers, the videographers, the editors, the guys that made their sandwiches (or whatever they ate), etc.

more than becoming an artist with a name people recognize, i want to be part of a collaboration.  i want to be in a community of folks who work together to get things done.  i don’t want to work hard and step over people to stay alive.  i think that kind of living is shameful.

seeing dan here, together with a team of people to play and record and document is really inspiring.  the look on the faces of everyone as they’re hearing different cuts of the material and seeing satisfaction ooze from behind their eyeballs fills me with envy.  get me some of that ooze.

then i got off my ass and worked on some painting.

more to follow.

(sean donnelly is the credited videographer and the other players are jen dowty, dan shekhtman and mike tucker.  the recording was made in may of 2010 at msr studios in nyc.)

Studio Cat

April 22, 2010

Our Spare-Bedroom Studio

April 21, 2010

this is where all the magic happens.

magic being doubt, failure, fear of failure, more doubt, frustration and occasionally i’ll wring out enough motivation from the sweat-rag of forced creativity to blog about.

have a great day!

why did i do this?

March 8, 2010

just what do i think i can accomplish by creating a place where someone can view my barely started, certainly unfinished art?   do i think people will care?  do i want them to care?  why would i want them to care?

did i make this to create a dialogue with my fellow artists?

i guess i wanted to be able to point someone in a particular direction in case they ask what it is that i do.  that way i can delay my talking about it.