Friday, May 27, 2011

New Website

My new website is now up and running! Check it out to see a collection of my best and most recent work

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some Bauhaus Drawings still available!

I still have some drawings left over from the Bauhaus show. If you're interested in owning a piece of the show, or in commissioning your own portrait, shoot me an email All drawings from the show are $50.

I'll also be at the First Thursday ArtWalk in Pioneer Square (Occidental Park) with all of the remaining drawings if you'd like to look through them and pick one or two up! Hope to catch some of you there!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I do not draw/paint from photographs.

I do commission work. I get an awful lot of requests to do work from photos. Photos of a friend, photos of a parent or child, etc. I always respectfully decline but extend the offer to do the drawing/painting in person, from a live sitting. The subject comes up often so I thought I would put it out there, why don't I work from a photograph?

I don't think there's anything wrong with working from a photograph. If you're a powerful artist and you're able to get the maximum result from a photograph, then more power to you. If your work is powerful and your expression is exact, what's the problem? There isn't one. For me, however, I find that I do the best work with the subject right in front of me.

A purpose of the artist is to talk about living; talk about life. My inspiration to work comes from living. It comes from the people and places around me. As such, my work has the most power when the people or places are right there in front of me. When I am experiencing them. It's no easy thing to try and put a slice of somebody's personality onto a sheet of paper with a stick of charcoal. It's even harder if the person is not right there in front of you.

Ultimately, my work is a reflection of my life and my experience. In order for me to have the best experience, the best emotional response, I have to experience the person or place I am attempting to talk about. The resulting piece is a combination of my emotional response and the truth, essence, beauty, and simplicity of the person or place I am experiencing. Each work is neither entirely my ideas and opinons, or just a strict rendering of what is in front of me (as a camera taking a snapshot).

I see a lot of value in working this way and striving for this result. I feel that if people are going to pay me to create something for them, I owe it to them to do the best work I can possibly do. The best work I can possibly do is when I am experiencing the subject in person and putting a little of myself, a lot of them, and as much truth, beauty, and simplicity as possible into the work.

As an independent artist, I set my own standards. I demand excellence out of myself and am working on disciplining myself to take it even further at all times. This is why I am willing to hike to the top of Little Si with all of my painting gear (2 miles one way) to do a painting on top of the tiny mountain. I can't get as powerful of a result without the experience.

With that in mind, I am always open to commisisons. Just put the person or place in front of me and I'll work you up something powerful. :)

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high." -Henry David Thoreau in "Walden".

Friday, May 6, 2011

Check out my stickers!

That's right! Art for People, baby! I do the art and you're the people! Yeah! Let's take this ship to the moon, peeps!

The painting in the video

Here's a close up look at the painting in the video

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some new drawings

Portrait drawings were about 2 hours. Figure drawings about 30 minutes. All charcoal on vellum, 18''x24''.

Does Art have a purpose? Does the Artist have a purpose?

Why should anyone care about Art? Does Art do anything for people? For society? Should it? Should people care?

In the philosophically relative times we live in I find it very interesting to talk with so many people about art and hear so many definitions of what art is. I would propose the question, if we do not know what art is, how can we make it? Similarly, if we do not know what is the purpose of the artist, how can an artist intentionally fulfill that purpose?

From my observations, art does two things, not unrelated. The first purpose of art is to express something of what it is to be human. Art talks about the experience of living. In drawing or painting, the artist does this visually. In music they do it audibly. In poetry it can be written or oral. And on and on. Whatever the artist, a purpose of the work is to express something about the world from their own point of view. This sounds basic, but without the intention, it is hard to accomplish. Maybe this is the difference between students and professionals. The student studies everything for the purpose of learning. The work a student does is very broad and inclusive. The professional has an opinion and a focus.

Another function of art is that it assigns a value. When an artist creates a work one statement the artist makes, by default, is the emphasis of the work. The artist says:

"You should think about this."

"Contemplate this."

"This is important."

"This has value."

By sheer virtue of the artist paying attention to something, and others looking at it, it gives it a measure of importance. Similar to the saying "Any press is good press". Don't we pay attention to things of importance? So if the artist gets people to pay attention to their work, doesn't that give it some additional importance?

I think artists should be mindful of this. If you're an artist you should talk about the important things in your life in your work. This gives some additional value to those things, and as a result, some additional value to living in a world with it. Whether it's an idea, another person, or the planet itself. This is what I love about drawing or painting other people. It says that the other person is valuable! I believe this! It gets me fired up!

I also want to add, this is what really riles me about a perspective of "modern art". "modern art" says that portraits or landscapes are old ways of painting, old ways of doing things, and we need to always be on a quest for something new and different (notice, not necessarily on a quest for anything better). Have people lost value? Is the planet not worth paying attention to? This is a load of nonsense. People have value. The planet we live on has value. LIVING has value.

THIS is the purpose of the artist. The artist gives value to life, to living, by stating the importance of the life and world around them.

Pioneer Square Art Walk

I am going to attempt to set up a tent at the Art in the Park for Pioneer Square Art Walk this Thursday! Hopefully I can make it a monthly thing. I'll be there with paintings, the remaining Bauhaus drawings, and some other drawings. Come check it out and say hello!