Todays painting is another still life. Its of a ship my older boy and I made when he was younger, the mast is made of bamboo and it has a working rudder. I don't remember if it floats or not though. It must. How about, I don't know if it floats upright, like a ship is suppose to, or if it just falls onto its side. I don't remember the circumstances of why he wanted to make a ship so bad, he never was interested in pirates or anything. He was annoyed with me when I wanted to put a pirate flag on it. This is purely a good guys ship.
Todays painting is of an action figure I had as a child. Capt. Maddox, he was part of Johnny Wests crew. These figures were based on the time when people started settling and expanding the U.S. into the "wild" west. Capt. Maddox is a Union soldier turned Indian fighter, but in my Johnny West land everybody got along, either that or the Indians would win and absolutely slaughter everyone. I've been fascinated by this time period after the civil war and the western U.S. in particular. I don't know if these toys started this fascination or if I was attracted to the toys because I liked the old west. Also, the shadow reminds me of a Keith Haring figure, an artist who I admired very much.
Todays painting is one from a found photo. The photo is a black and white and looks to be from the 1950's. I enjoy doing these, I think it gives the photo and the person in it (whoever it may be) a new life of sorts. Both by reinterpreting it in color and just by the act of turning it into a painting. The photo and person which was once lost or discarded, is now given another chance to last into the future.
Todays painting is again from my friends trip through Colorado. I was trying to capture the looming sense of the cloud cover and the red and orange colors in the dirt are something that I find intriguing.
I'm back! After a long lay off where I was getting ready for a show. Thanks everyone who came out to that! Todays painting is of a new series I'm doing of friends vacation photos that they've posted on facebook. This image looked to me like a painting already, so I just did it.
Todays painting is looking up through the treetops while standing inside a stand of trees planted by farmers to keep their crop from blowing away. The trees are planted in rows like crops and are a strange type of woods, with only one species present.
Todays painting is of an unoccupied house/buisness on Gratiot. I hesitate to say abandoned because it seems in good enough shape, but lord knows the last time an actual business operated out of there. I liked the wild flowers and weeds growing like crazy off the street and the shadows and disappearing view down Gratiot.
From the album "Land Of Eden : paintings of Edenville, Mi."
Oil on birch panel, 2010, 5"x 7"
Todays painting is of a patch of trees called a wind break, usually cedar or pine which grow fast and straight. They are planted in rows like crops, and standing inside of one is at the same time kind of eerie and like being in a cathedral of sorts. A cathedral of nature and yet still man-made and eerie because it seems like the woods but something is a little off with them.
Todays painting is of the beautiful Fisher building at sunset from the I-75, I-94 interchange just before I crashed into the barrier. Just kidding! Although I have hit that particular barrier before but I wasn't driving. A Larry Bird look alike was (I kid you not) but it was ok because it was his brothers car.
From the album "Land Of Eden : paintings of Edenville, Mi."
Todays painting is of the Tittabawassee river near where the Tobacco river empties into it. I think thats the way it works anyway. The sun being momentarily blocked by a tree on a piece of farm land thats grown feed corn, and had cows grazing among other uses. I've been away on vacation and it feels good to be painting again.
Todays painting is a 3-D construction from an image taken by O. Winston Link who shot the last years of steam powered trains especially those used in the eastern part of the U.S. This is from 1955 in North Carolina, the Abington line. This was a black and white photo that I re-imagined in color.
Todays painting is of a tree blocking the sun. This is down in Detroits abandoned waterfront park on the east side. I should say its been abandoned by everyone but the fishermen. They drive right up to the edge of the water in their vehicles on dirt paths created by daily fishing trips, other than that it is overgrown and the paved roads are badly deteriorated. Its quite an interesting area.
From the album "Land Of Eden : paintings of Edenville, Mi."
Todays painting is of my beloved M-30 bridge over the Tittabawassee river. The piers on this bridge were always a bit brutish to climb up on and the road way to busy for us to jump off of. Which is why I prefer the old Curtis road bridge farther down the river. It has since been replaced and doesn't have the same charm anymore. The M-30 bridge however is just kind of an old grey battleship, you can't really give it a hug like you could the Curtis road bridge, but I love its consistency and its epic nature.
Todays painting is of one of the often unnoticed canals on Detroits east side. These canals extend into a few neighborhoods replacing what would be an alley. Some have no development on them at all. It was on these my friends and I (in our youth) would go for a swim after the bars closed.
Todays painting is of the Lodge freeway in Detroit just south of 7 mile. I like this part of the freeway with its high walls, it has the feeling of a river canyon out west. I was trying to capture some motion and feeling of speed.
Todays painting is another in the study of light. This time artifical light and the late dusk sky, which I always think is one of the most beautiful colors of sky. Its a view out of the Royal Kabob in Hamtramck. Good food.
Todays painting is a couple of dudes back when they were just young dudes. Everyone one has a photo like this, either of your father and you're shocked at how young he looks or of yourself and again shock at the picture of youth. Why these guys are trying to shine up an already sun bleached car is anyones guess, love combined with youthful exuberence probably. This is another found photo, a friend has posted an album of these on facebook and they are endlessly inspiring.
Todays painting is another found photo, a black and white, date unknown. In these instances I feel sometimes like a fashion designer coming up with colors that this person might wear and look good in. I also wanted to paint her so that if you are a guy looking at the painting you would fall in love with her. Thats all, two simple things in this painting. I reinterpreted what the colors on that day might have been, and I'm trying to have someone fall in love with an inanimate object, can't be too hard can it?
Todays painting is a view of the sunset in my side view mirror on my car as I was coming home the other day. I wanted to treat the image as a whole with a very graphic design sensibility, just basic shapes coming together to give an impression of roadway and shape of the mirror and door of the car. The image in the mirror I was trying to make seem as something very real. The mirror is just a reflection of reality, but here I am trying to make it more real, the most real, the mostest real thing in the painting. I consiously built up the paint thickness in the clouds so they would have more weight to them to contrast with the thinner treatment of the pavement and door. Anyway, I hope you like it, and have a good weekend!
Todays painting is of some trees (branches really) in the neighborhood. I was thinking about abstact paintings and natural forms and I thought I would try a cheap version of a "Jackson Pollock type" abstract expressionist painting but using real, natural forms. Now let me be clear, I'm not kidding myself thinking I can compare this 5 x 7 inch painting to one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. I'm just saying my first impression of staring up into some tree branches and cropping it just so, you could make an abstract painting, one reminiscent of Pollocks style. Anyway, I was playing around a little with color too, trying to make the sky and leaves vibrate a bit, using complimentary colors. Sometimes I feel like a DJ, because I felt I should show something today that was a little calmer and more reflective than the craziness of the past few days, you know, bring the crowd down a little with a mellow jam. I hope you like it.
Todays painting is another 3-D construction, this is the kind of thing I do most of the time I suppose. I try to pull elements of a picture out and animate them then reincorporate them back into the painting. So this guy is forever animated in the air, extending what for me would be a thrill, I guess half a thrill really, part of it is landing safely so you can do it again. With him pulled out of the picture, I think its easier to imagine the guy landing and then rolling out of the picture to get a burger somewhere with his buddies. Why its important to imagine him eating a burger, I don't know.
The skateboarding craze really took off in southern California in the mid seventies when there was a long drought and people had to leave their pools empty to conserve water. This is taken from a photo of Lance Mountain.
Ya so, I'm not a professional photographer, who coulda guessed? It took me 5 photos from yesterdays post and I still don't think I got it right. So I shot a quick video to show how the take out container is constucted. Please forgive the soundtrack, although it IS very appropriate for the subject matter. Ctm (chuckling to myself). Apparently I don't know how to focus either.
Oil on Chinese food take out container, 2010, 8"x 9.5"x 4.5"
Todays painting is another that I've done on Chinese food take out containers, I started doing them a few years ago, after laboring in my studio on a cardboard dodecahedron, I came inside for lunch and finished off some leftovers. When I started unfolding the container to recycle it, I realized it was almost a readymade version of what I just spent a couple hours trying to fold together. The image is of skateboard pioneer Tony Alva, one of my heroes from childhood. A friend had a subscription to Skateboarder magazine (which later became Thrasher) and we would stare and dream of the cool stuff for sale and the incredible pictures by photographer Glen E. Friedman (who not only was there, at the start of the skateboarding craze of the mid-seventies but also at the beginings of the Los Angeles hardcore punk scene). I, of course became a skate punk, as soon as I understood what that was, but could never quite get the actual skateboarding part of it.
The skater is cut out from the bottom closing flap of the container, it is just folded up and stapled. The hanger is the metal handle from the container.
Todays painting comes after a few days off. Trains, I like, model trains, real trains. I think it goes back to childhood and the early male psyche. When my son was born it was trucks first, then a years long fascination with trains, he was just attracted to it. We didn't really do any thing to encourage it at first, then we fed his appetite for it, I was pretty gung ho after awhile with the train part of my brain waking up after a long slumber. There is a spot in Cleveland Ohio where you can stand in between the rapid transit tracks and the freight tracks and when trains are on both rails and passing by on either side of you at a pretty fast clip its really an intense experience.
Ok, painting water is really hard, but fun. The problem is, its completly abstract and yet entirely recognizable. It is an insane jumble of color on top of a reflective form, but it all makes sense. I can't really paint abstractly, I think I'm too self concious, but this is pretty close. This is the first painting in a series that I'm going to do where nature makes its own abstract painting.
Todays painting is another 3-D construction. I like to employ my friend, one point perspective in cases like these. My thought is to try and make the image look as if it disappears into the distance but have it physically be the closest thing to the tip of your nose as you are looking at it. I've done a couple of these little expieriments and am doing larger versions of ones I like. So far there are really two different ways to approach this problem. You can lay the image over the construction, as I did here, and it will look compressed as you look straight at it, it will always look slightly wrong. Or you can paint it so that as you look straight at it, it looks fine or normal, but the moment you move it distorts. I've done it both ways and they are a lot of fun to make and look at. The image here is of a street in the old country as my mother used to call it, and I imagined it as a place where Grandpa might of first caught a glimpse of Grandma.
Todays painting is another one with very strong light, this time (not unlike the last one I suppose) I am trying to compose for drama and a sense of action. No one is really doing anything but I'm trying to instill as much drama and anticipation in that nothing as possible. I think it would be a drama-tically different painting if my friend Loretta wasn't in the painting on the left there. Did you notice my very clever play on words there? Thank you very much...
This is a visual diary of paintings, inspired by Stephen Magsigs great "Postcards From Detroit", I'm primarily an artist that works in three dimensions, but with this blog I'm trying to just concentrate on the two, although sometimes when I can't take it any more I'll post some of my "constructions". I work from life and from photographs, some photos that are found or discarded, are given a new life and reinterpreted.