Wednesday, July 21, 2010


"Elise" (24 x 18 oil) is one of my favorite pieces.  She evolved from a full figure into a portrait.  There are times the paint and canvas have their own plans.  She was done a few years ago, and I no longer own her.  I liked the piece enough that I use the image as my desktop on both by personal and business computers. 

Process is most important to me, not product.  Yet, here is a product that evolved from moving, pushing, spreading, spilling and pulling the paint around.  Playing with a brush and color without a definite destination in mind is the way I work.  I let the paint and image speak to me, and listen with an open mind.  Then my hands execute instructions. 

The title came from nowhere.  I don't know anyone named Elise.  I do like the name ...

Titles are always difficult.  I no longer give titles to my work unless I feel strongly the piece would be enhanced.  Yet, how can words enhance a visual image?  People are always asking me what the title is.  Does it matter?  I like "untitled."  Or, one year I gave each painting a number ... like cattle on a large dairy farm.  One piece was "No. 32" and the lady that bought it wanted to know what it meant.  I did tell her the truth and said I was tired of thinking of titles for pieces and numbered them instead.  I did assign them random numbers, so perhaps the title did mean something.  How does  "No. 3,658" sound?  Pricing too ... why even numbers?  I like $2,345.  Or, $543.  It doesn't take that much cash to make change, and most people pay by check or credit card anyway.  If the piece is in a gallery, it's not the artist's problem. 

I've decided to put a price on the pieces I'm not attached to, and leave it at that.  There are some I keep around for several years.  Then there are some, I don't care if I ever see them again.  "Elise" was one I do wish I had kept.  I needed cash at the time and she paid a lot of bills.

"How much time will I save by not writing or typing titles, explaining them, etc.?  I think a title prejudices a viewer.  I like my work to be enjoyed, and the viewer can react and put themselves, or their own story, into the piece.  I don't want to try to define my work with words for the public.  I'd prefer to put my energy into painting.

I had my first "sunshine art" show last Saturday.  I didn't take much work and didn't sell anything.  Lots of compliments, great conversation (I like to converse with the public that likes and appreciates my work) but all of that does not put food on the table. I did enjoy the day, hot as it was.  I like seeing  the public's reactions to my art.  You're always wondering how people will react to work, especially if it is new.  I have good part-time enployment, and am grateful for that.  Unemployment is very high, and I am fortunate to have found a perfect position to supplement my artistic income. 

The title of this blog is "Visual Conversation."  And, here I sit typing away words.  I guess we can't live without words.  I do think visual communication is deeper, and natural. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Where the "Start" Ended

I'm calling this piece finished.  I had a difficult time getting a decent digital of it, due to reflections and my lack of knowledge of the digital camera.  Sometime I should sit with the owner's manual and figure out all the settings.  It's not really that complicated. 

There is a lot of detail that can't  be seen in this little image, but one can get the idea.  I see something different each time I look.  This is also a piece that works whichever way you hang it. 

I've delayed really working by painting the sides of several gallery wrapped canvases, and now by arraging this post.  Time's up, I have two pieces to work on today.  My first show sale is in two weeks.  It may be pushing it to have the ones I side painted today completely dry, but it should work.  Once I have an inventory, I usually don't add to it until the next year.  This year is an exception.  I think I mentioned I have a solo show coming up in October, but to my pleasure, it's been changed to the month of December.  I thought about painting things I "thought" would sell ... and changed my mind.  I'll keep on painting what I want to. 

Some pieces I keep for awhile, some I give away, and the rest I cart around and have fun talking to people at shows.  I know my work only appeals to a small percentage of the population.  I've found those that stop and look, and talk, are people I really like.  Go figure.  They've already met me through my work, and feel comfortable enough to be friendly.  Time's up again.