Wednesday, August 29, 2007

BB King and Etta James...

After a number of weeks of anticipation, a concert that I have been waiting for is here. Tomorrow night I will be off to the Minnesota State Fair to go to the BB King, Etta James and Al Green concert. I will be there with seven other friends and probably won't get any sleep til Saturday! But what better reason to stay up late than to listen to some of the legends that are BB and Etta.
You probably have noticed the lack of postings this week, the main reason for that is I am finally getting through some of the address's and new contacts at some of the publishing houses and am looking to do a promotional mailing in the next month. It is really exciting stuff I know, but it needs to be done and find that there is no better time to do it than when you are busy already. That way, hopefully it will keep things that way. But, it makes for some not so fun posting when I don't have new paintings or illustrations to post. Instead, I will attach three photos of my patio plants that are starting to block my view of the back yard. I also noticed the other day that one of my elephant ears was putting out a flower which is the first time that I have had that happen. I don't know if it is the short growing season that doesn't provide flowers, but since I have had these the last 3 or 4 years, this is the first plant to pop one out. Hopefully it won't be the last.
So with that, I wish all of you the best Labor Day weekend. I will be off to the lake come Friday so I won't be posting again until I come back on Monday night. It should be a good time as it is my Mother and Fathers 30th anniversary this weekend. It will be a crazy fun time with all the family coming to visit.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Illustration Friday - Visitors

Here is my rendition of the word Visitors for the Illustration Friday call for entries. It is inspired by my Uncle and Cousins recent canoe and camping trip to the Boundary Waters here in Minnesota. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Start of another school year.

As the last few months have seemed to just blow by, I have come to realize that summer is fleeting away with the start of another school year. Even though I am no longer in classes, I will be at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design bright and early tomorrow morning to welcome the new students. It is one of the many events that the Board of Directors puts on throughout the year and that I have been fortunate to be apart of. I have found that with this orientation and the also the international student barbeque that one of our Board members has at his house, it really gives the students as well as us a chance to get to know everyone on a very personal scale. As a student, coming to a campus that has only 700 total students throughout the college, it can be a very individual experience rather than a public university that has 5000 incoming freshman alone. As an alum, I know what they are going through and will have a blast getting to know where everyone is coming from and what they are hoping to study during their four years here. I am sure there will be lots of questions from everyone. So with that, I am looking forward to working tomorrow on my next Illustration Friday topic and will hopefully be posting tomorrow night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A little bit of drawing

As the rain has been falling the last few days (or close to a week), I have found myself taking advantage of getting some of the mundane things done that an artists needs to do. From filing paperwork to finding out which paints I am running out of, it has been a productive stretch that has also been very relaxing. Sometimes it is a little difficult to find a few minutes with such a busy schedule, but really enjoy these down times. I have also been able to sit and think about some of my own work that I want to do that doesn't relate to a show or a client which is a nice change of pace as well. Of those, I have really come to enjoy a little area that I drive by every day and decided to do a quick study of the space. It really has a nice mix of twigs, rocks, and such to create a great textured painting in the near future. Until then, this study will have to suffice and keep my attention. Maybe this weekend I will get into a full size painting if the time permits.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Illustration Friday - Captain

Well here is my Illustration Friday rendering of the word Captain. As you can see I am taking a children's book approach to this one. Hope you like!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A break of sorts

Having worked night and day the last two weeks on a huge illustration project, i can finally say it is in the hands of the client and I am in the process of straigtening out the studio for the next one. As I work on more and more of these, it is amazing how fast the time goes and when you look back it is almost a blur. I have found that the steady work has done wonders for the process in that everything seems to flow faster, from the sketches to the finished illustrations. I guess when you know what needs to be done and you just go for it you naturally find quicker ways to do the same work. Or maybe, I am just taking less time thinking about it and going thru and doing it. I don't know, but I like it. Hopefully I can take the energy that I am currently on and transfer it to the other work that is looking at me now.

Another thing that I have been aware of lately is documentation of my work. As more and more artwork is getting produced and sent out, I have found that it gets difficult sometimes to properly document something before it leaves. Fortunately, I have a great scanner and digital camera that can always be used to keep up to date, but then there is the backup of the digital archives and such that seem to get lost sometimes (or backlogged). In any case, I am excited that thru the course of this summer, things have been on a nice steady pace and one that leads me to think that a day job may not be needed in the not so distant future. One can always hope that art alone will be the source of all I may need, but that is just my thoughts now that things are a little happier. The better time I suppose to ask these questions is when it is slow and the same bills come due!

In other news not related to my ramblings, I have followed thru on a few juried art show entries that I have been meaning to get out. With any luck, I hope to hear back from those in the next month. So, off to clean up the rest of my studio and then start back in on the paintings tomorrow. Ohh, by the way, the image above is a charcoal piece that I did a couple of years ago of Buddy Guy. I have been listening all night to some blues music and thought it would be fitting to throw up an image that was of the same subject matter.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Illustration Friday: Emergency

Well Friday is here and there is another topic from Illustration Friday. This weeks word is "Emergency". With creating this image I wanted to illustrate what would be after an emergency rather than the emergency itself. It is colored ink on a linoleum block with pen and ink. Hope you like!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A peek into 2008

As I near the middle of August and in the midst of a large project, it is sometimes hard to think too far into the future. But the past few days have reminded me that I must think ahead to keep things rolling. If I keep tabs only on the now, then it will be an awfully slow rest of the year and next. The good thing though is that I have been keeping an eye on what's upcoming and next year is already starting to turn into a good one. With another exhibition scheduled now in Sept. 2008 at the Owatonna Art Center, that gets two exhibitions up and running with the other one being in June at Homewood Studios. There are some other opportunities with showing work that are in the process of coming to light, but will have to wait a little while to officially get it out there. Another great opportunity that is going to be happening is a workshop that I will be teaching over at the Richeson School of Art in Wisconsin that will be focused around Illustration in October of next year. So, with those three events already scheduled, it looks as though 2008 is starting to look pretty interesting. I just hope I can keep things coming in from here until there!

On another note, Cynthia Guajardo has a great post about some much needed paperwork for artists on her blog. I would definitely recommend checking out her post to get the paperwork that will make keeping track of all your work so much easier.

With that, have a great rest of the week and will be back in a few days with another Illustration Friday entry!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Drawing in the park

Update: Thought I would include this picture from one our first classes in July. I just got it in this afternoon and is courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

One of the great events that I have been able to be a part of this summer is the Drawing in the Parks at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. When asked if I would like to teach the class, I knew right away that this was going to be a blast and didn't want to miss it. So, starting on July 8th, we held open classes in the Fair Oaks Park in the front of the museum from 1-4 on Sundays. The best part of these classes was it was a free drop-in drawing class with all of the materials provided. It doesn't get any better than a free class with free materials.

Over the last five weeks, it has been amazing to see all of the people that have come by claiming the ability to draw stick figures and end up with a great drawing. Of course, some of the most exciting works have been by the children that stop by. It is really fun to see how engaged the students (no matter what age) become in the process of drawing nature. Another surprising stat so far is the number of people that come back week after week to continue on their piece or try their next challenge. With that, we had almost 60 people out there drawing yesterday and am looking forward to the family day they are holding this coming weekend with a 100-150 possibly expected. I hope that if any of you, or anyone you know, would like to come by, it would be great to see you out there. We are looking for the next three weeks to be as fruitful and fun as the last five. For more information on the class at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, just click on their name and you can get directions from there. And remember, it is absolutely FREE!!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Illustration Friday - Missing

Hello everyone. Well the weekend is here and I have a bunch of illustrations to get done. I am really looking forward to getting to some of the final illustrations on a project that I have been working on all week. To kick off that work, I am posting a quick illustration I did for the Illustration Friday. Illustration Friday is a place where illustrators get a new topic each Friday to illustrate and come up with their own version of that topic. Since I don't have alot of free time at the moment, I am keeping mine pretty loose in nature, but fun at the same time. This weeks topic is "Missing". I am sure this one is a hard one to figure out. Anyways, hope everyone is off to a great start on your own weekend and will be back with some more thoughts soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thoughts and prayers

Not very often will I stray from the usual rantings and mentions of my art, but tonights events here in Minneapolis warrant it. As most of you probably have seen over the news stations tonight, the main interstate bridge crossing over the Mississippi river collapsed tonight. As a bridge that I have used on an everyday basis for years, it was so surreal to look at the television and know that i was just there a day ago. What else can I say other than my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and people involved.