Monday, July 30, 2007

Let the work begin....

Happy Monday to everyone. I hope all has been well lately. Things here in Otsego have been going pretty good lately with lots of illustration work coming in the last few days. Its great having work come in, but will be pretty swamped the next couple of weeks with sketching, faxing, finalizing and finishing the illustrations for three different projects. I find it quite strange how things tend to go in streaks with a dry period and then a rush, dry period and then a rush. Wouldn't it be nice if things were on more of a steady pace? The good thing so far is that all of the dry spells seem to be getting smaller in length and the busy spells are naturally getting longer. As long as it continues that way, I can't complain at all.

Another fun activity that has been happening lately is the classes that I am teaching in the park across from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It has been received well by the public and there have been numerous people that have come back week after week to keep trying their hand at drawing. Hopefully I will be able to post some pics of the fun that we are having, but have to get the museums and the patrons permission first. We will see how that works out! Until then, I will leave you with this image of an illustration that I did for the book titled "On the Other Side of the Ocean" by Ruth Elisabeth Schoch. As I was going through some images recently for the Children's Book Illustrators new website that is being produced, I ran across this image and thought how great would it be to be outside in this heat and just be playing around in the water again as a child. I still remember those days of running through the sprinkler and all. Just think what the neighbors would think if I did the same today!!! What a sight it would be!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A chance find

One of the great things that I have really enjoyed about the blogging world in the brief 6 months that I have been here is the people you just happen to come across. This past week, I had one of those chance findings when I came across an artist by the name of Tracy Helgeson. When I came upon her site from somewhere I don't quite remember, I was struck by how beautiful her landscapes were and the use of color that were in them. To my surprise, I saw today that she had mentioned my blog on her site and also her time she had spent at MCAD. As a fellow MCAD alum, it is always fun to see how other artists' experiences of art school were and where they have gone from there. I would definitely recomment you guys visiting her site and checking out her work. It is a real treat that is a nice way to end the week.
As for the piece above, it is a painting that I had almost forgotten about until I ran into the person who bought it a number of years ago. To reconnect with her was alot of fun and to see how happy she still was to have it in her house was a nice compliment. Often when a piece leaves the studio, you never get to know what happened to it over time. But with this week, it seems that the past is coming back in more ways that one! Hope everyone has a great weekend and will be back in the next couple of days!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The start of my Etsy shop

Well, after much debate and thought, I have decided to start the Studio McCann Etsy Shop. It will be a marketplace to pick up such items of mine as prints, signed books and original artwork. I know at first things will be a little slim in the pickings, but rest assured that I will be adding more pieces on there in the upcoming days and weeks. I guess I have to start somewhere, right? The reason for my doing this is the success that I have been seeing from such fellow bloggers as Janet Nelson and Cynthia's Colorado Art Studio. So with that I will be getting some photos ready to put up on my site and start selling!

In other news, I will be attending a panel meeting this Thursday for the City of Minneapolis's Arts commission to watch the process unfold for the Call for Artists. They will be reviewing all of the proposals that were submitted for the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility Public Art request. It looks as thought there were 21 applicants and we are sandwiched in the middle of the meeting. It will be fun to see how a panel discusses and chooses the finalists for a project such as this. Hopefully, come Friday or Monday, I will be able to post that we were chosen, fingers crossed! If nothing else comes of it other than watching, it will definitely prepare Mike and I for the upcoming projects that we apply for.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


As most of you know by now, I often will work in a variety of styles and media. This time however, I am reaching out to you guys to help me find a solution to a project that I am working on. The project consists of finding some sort of media that can be used on concrete walkway that will give the effects of a pastel painting and would stand up to the elements here in Minnesota. That includes everything from; foot traffic, rain, snow, snow blowers, salt and all other fun elemental properties. I recently just came across a polymer outdoor paint called FolkArt Outdoor, but am curious if anyone has found a product themselves or has worked with anything. I have a photo that I have attached here to give you an idea of the space. It is the front of a great restaurant that needs to have the same great looking feeling as it does inside. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The application is in...

As I had mentioned in a previous post a while back, Mike McCann and I have been working on an application for a public arts commission in Minneapolis for the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility. I can officially say that we submitted our first public arts entry and are relieved that the initial process is over. One thing that I have learned is that there is alot of information and details that have to go into a public arts proposal application. From the preparation of images to be viewed on a large screen to the narrative that has to be less than 2 pages in length, yet tell them how you would be the best artistic team to use $135,000. How can one convince a panel and a group of reviewers in 2 pages or less the entire scope and ideology behind what and how you want to do something. It was worth it though. The process gave Mike and I the opportunity to review our individual artistic accomplishments up to this point and also the start of more collaborative opportunities to come. If any of you get the chance to go thru this process yourselves, I would definitely recommend it. Make sure though that you start plenty early and don't get caught up in the overwhelming paperwork that must be in place. To that, I hope that Mike and I were successful in what we submitted and anxiously await to hear what the reviewing committees have to say with the selection of the finalists.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ArtWatch 2007

Another great event has come and gone. I can't tell you how much fun I have had over the last 4 days at ArtWatch. Being able to work around so many other artists and friends was truly a treat. Especially with fellow bloggers Janet Nelson and Terry Howell Stanley. The artist who was on my left side was a nice surprise as well with fellow MIA employee Mike Judy. And to make things better, my parents came in from North Dakota to check out the gala event last night as well! Overall the atmosphere was one of intense creativity and lots of exciting and varied styles of art. The piece that I tackled for the event was a image of the Minnesota State Fair. I wanted a piece that would keep me occupied and challenged throughout and was very pleased with the effort for only having worked on it for 8 hours. I had a little more time than that, but it was to easy to wander around and check out the other great art being worked on. So with Artwatch done now, today I am off to teach the drawing class today at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It should be a good time with beautiful weather and all. Have a great rest of Sunday and hope you guys enjoy the following pics.

This was the space we were given over the course of ArtWatch. It was a little tight for space, but fun to work with so many creative people.

Here's Janet Working hard on her Fish images

And here is the Final piece. It is a 32" x 40" acrylic painting of the Minnesota State Fair. I really like the energy and excitement that the composition had and found it to be a challenge to get done in the short amount of time given. Overall though, I am please with the effort and look forward to next years event!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Off to Art Watch at White Bear Art Center

Well, the time has come to go off to Art Watch at the White Bear Art Center. Tomorrow is the checkin and setup of the studio spaces and Thursday and Friday will be the actually making of the art to be auctioned off on Saturday. It is going to be a blast and am really looking forward to seeing the other artists that I haven't seen in a while. I will definitely be posting some good pics come the end of the week from all of the activities. If any of you are in or around White Bear Lake, make sure you stop by and say hi for a little while.

As for the image below. It is of Superstition Mountain that I painted a few months ago as it looks in its new frame. I just picked it up from the shop this afternoon and am really liking the texture of the frame and how it plays with the texture throughout the painting. But I will only get to enjoy it for a couple of days and then it will be off to Richeson Art Gallery over by Green Bay in Wisconsin.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Beale Street cont.

Managed to get a little more work done on Beale street. Most of the time the last couple of days has been spent on getting the application materials ready for a huge public arts commission here in Minneapolis. Hopefully tomorrow will get a little more painting in.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Beale Street and outdoor drawing

So Saturday is here and the heat outside has been a great enticement to stay inside and work in the comforts of the studio. After spending the morning cleaning things up, I was finally able to see some of my work space again. I took advantage of that newly found space to fill it up with more crap that was sitting on the floor. The good thing is I still have a few areas that I could work at if I needed it. As for the Beale Street painting, I starting sketching it out, and am liking the direction it is going. I have another one that I will be sketching out tomorrow morning, but for now, it will be getting things straightened out on this one.

In other news, tomorrow I start a drawing class that I will be teaching for the next 8 weeks at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It is going to be so fun to have a drop in drawing class that will allow people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to try their hand at landscape drawing. The reason for this class is to coincide with the show Mirror of Nature: Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910 going on in the museum. I definitely recommend anyone who loves landscape paintings to check out these beautiful pieces.

Also, this week is the start ofArt Watch at the White Bear Art Center in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. There will be about 40 schooled artists setting up temporary studios to work while the public is invited to watch or visit with the artists. It should be another great time and am really looking forward to seeing alot of friends that I haven't seen in a while. Stay tuned for a complete schedule of times and places to be to come and check it out for yourself!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Getting some paintings started

As most of you know, I am a person who loves the blues. When I recently found out that my sister and her fiance were headed to Memphis for a month, you can imagine how jealous I was. But then I realized that I now had a photographer in my sister to get some new content for some paintings. I know it isn't the same as being there myself, but by painting the images that capture my imagination from her, I can feel like I am there already! So with a large number of photos to look thru, I have come across some that really feel like some of my other work that I had done with Uptown here in Minneapolis and the New York paintings.

Book wise, lately I have been really fascinated by a book that I came across titled "The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings". To get a view into a masters mind before he completed some of his most famous paintings has been a real treat. For me, the process is sometimes more fascinating that the actual completed work. Here is a crayon and scratchwork on Gillot paper entitled "Windmill at Zaandem, 1883". Hope you enjoy and am anxious to start showing you some progress on the paintings of Memphis that I am working on.

PS. I am happy to say that after a short six months with my blog up and running, I have made it over 5000 page views. I know it isn't much, but it is a good start and am anxious to see the progress after a year!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Happy 4th of July to everyone. I hope you have had a great day and are getting to enjoy the fireworks that are going on tonight. Things here have been great with a pool party at my cousins and a really kickin' barbeque as well. Now tomorrow will be back to business as usual!