Monday, December 21, 2009

Art House Sketch Book Project Finally Done!

For those that don't know about Art House SketchBook Library project here is some info:
Sketchbooks offers a glimpse into an artist's life, which is why we want to make a publicly accessible library of sketchbooks that people can browse, peruse, and check out. We think that this sketchbook collection has the potential to open a new line of communication between the artist and the viewer, since the experience of making and viewing are both so personal. Anyone can sign up to receive a sketchbook. Before joining our permanent collection, sketchbooks will be exhibited at select galleries across the US.
Project Goal
The library will house thousands of sketchbooks from artists that reside all over the globe. We'll be touring around the United States with the collection starting in April, followed by a permanent location for the library in 2010. 
A Permanent Collection
Your sketchbook will become part of our permanent library. Sign up receive a blank sketchbook marked with a barcode that links it to a searchable database. When you send your completed book back to us, it will be included in the library. Future library patrons will be able to browse books alphabetically, by location, and theme.
So I got in on this and now I'm finished! Below are some images from my book. Enjoy! When the project goes on tour to different cities, I will keep you posted as to which ones!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

For All My Oil Painting Nerds

Many of you are oil painters like me and a few of you are so in love with oil painting that you actually enjoy opening tubes of oil to sniff the contents. Yeah it's kind of weird sniffing paint, but the smell of good quality paint is heaven to me. People always ask me why I make paintings the way I do, why I use old master techniques in this day and age.

If you have ever wondered about PVA Size vs. Rabbit Skin Glue, Linen vs. Canvas, Ground vs. Gesso, Modern Manufactured Colors vs. Traditional, Value - How light or dark is your color? Hue - What is your color family: yellow, orange, red, violet, blue or green? Intensity - How much pure color or chroma does your color have? And so forth.

I have looked up the gamblin website and found it to be most useful and helpful not only for questions I still have but for others as well. Whether you paint old school realism or more of an abstract bend, this site can help you to make work that will last the test of time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Non Shitty Quote By An Artist

I don't find quotes by artists to be appealing or inspiring quite often. They usually come off as rich, arrogant, pseudo-intellectual shitfaces. But in my usual viewing of art magazines at Borders, where I always feel a scolding flame of anger surge through my body when I find an article about "The New Hot Painter Out Of (fill in name of city)", who makes mind numbing, technically sloppy work and who obviously has no gag reflex, I came upon this quote. 

It was one of those quotes that makes you psychically pause and reflect;perhaps how the people who were about to stone a woman to death paused when Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." 

My New Testament is a bit rusty but I'm sure you get it.
Every point counts.
Every thickness counts.
Every direction, every brush stroke counts.
And so do the most differentiated color shades.
They do not count for themselves, their velocity and power is manifested in the magic relation unto them.
Make the picture furrow like earth and brilliant like sun.
Make it pearl and diamond laden with color in every shade.
Make it hard and weighty like rock, but dewey like fruit and pulsating as blood does in a loving heart and fill it with life and laugh and tears, that it may be felt how you have felt it as the maker of a new world.

Hans Hoffman 1955

Friday, October 23, 2009

Even Art Icons Can Go Broke

Inside the Financial Collapse of Annie Leibovitz

I often feel like I'm behind compared to many of my contemporaries. Although I wouldn't consider Annie Leibovitz a contemporary, I often feel like I'm a failure because I don't have major representation here or there, or I haven't had a show at this museum or that art center, or I haven't been featured at a place like Basel etc.
" I think, wow this painting went for how much and this person just got their MFA? Fuck I suck." 

I know success is relative, and I'm doing better than many artist I know, but it's hard to escape the branch of American Capitalism that equates money with true success.
Then I read this article about one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century and remember how lucky I am, how important it is not to get caught up in hype and the importance of financial responsibility!

How did Annie Leibovitz end up $24 million in the hole? New York magazine's Andrew Goldman has cataloged her wildly ill-advised spending flourishes. Oh, and the money behind her glorified pawnshop loan came from none other than Goldman Sachs.

Goldman's write-around profile of an artist in crisis goes a long way toward explaining exactly how the world's most celebrated celebrity photographer wound up hocking her photographic legacy to keep up with her mounting bills. Mostly it's that she never cared about how much anything cost, was an obsessive perfectionist, and trusted the wrong accountant.

Here's Annie the spendthrift:
Leibovitz had also built a life that had become extraordinarily expensive to maintain. It wasn't just the mortgages on the homes. It was the Range Rover, the trips to Paris, the chef and housekeeper, the handyman, the personal yoga instructor, the terrace gardener, and the live-in nanny. There was only one man Leibovitz deemed qualified to work on anything involving air-conditioning or ductwork at either residence, and he lived in Vermont. "She wanted her life to be like a magazine spread," Kellum says. "Everything beautiful, nothing out of place. She wanted everything to be perfect."

Along the same lines, Goldman reports, she flew in kid-song star Dan Zanes and Rosanne Cash to perform at her daughter's first birthday party.

As for Annie the perfectionist, in 2007, former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown asked Leibovitz to take the author jacket photo for her book about Princess Diana. Leibovitz showed up with two cars bearing a stylist, an assistant, a wardrobe, and a wind machine, and tried to extend the shoot to a second day after she was unsatisfied with the first days' results. Leibovitz was bearing the cost of the shoot herself.

That sort of behavior tends to pile up the debts, and in 2007 Leibovitz—who had an extremely hard time doing simple things like signing her own prints in order to make a lot of money selling them—fired her accountant Rick Kantor and manager Jimmy Moffat, who told Goldman that they had done what they could to rein in Leibovitz's spending. 

She replaced them with an accountant named Kenneth Starr (no relation), who had worked with Wesley Snipes (!). It was Starr who introduced Leibovitz to Art Capital Group. Goldman says Leibovitz didn't run the loan by her family or agent, and had no idea what she was getting into. She was shocked by a New York Times article reporting that she'd put her photos up as collateral:
"Trust me," says her sister Paula. "She thought it was a pure loan. That New York Times article was as much news to her as it was to anybody else."

Interestingly, the loan was financed by Goldman Sachs, which seems to be behind every epic collapse these days, and Goldman is now distancing itself from Art Capital: "We are deeply troubled by recent developments concerning Annie Leibovitz and Art Capital," Goldman (the firm) told Goldman (the writer). "Goldman Sachs owns a portion of the loan underwritten by an affiliate of Art Capital to Annie Leibovitz, but we have no involvement in the current sales-agreement dispute between Art Capital and Ms. Leibovitz. We have proposed to Art Capital that we terminate the current loan agreement with their affiliate so that we can work directly with Ms. Leibovitz to help her resolve her financing needs."

The one question that Goldman doesn't answer: Where did she get the money that she was spending so liberally? When Leibovitz went to Art Capital, her mortgage debts totaled $15.5 million. Half that, Goldman notes, was owed to her employer Condé Nast itself. (We broke that story two weeks ago, but Goldman doesn't credit us. We forgive him both because he is a stand-up gent and because he found out about it independently before we did, but sat helpless while New York's publication schedule worked its slow magic and the internet kept going.) 

But Leibovitz borrowed $24 million, indicating that there was an additional $9 million or so in debt she was facing—otherwise why borrow that much more than she needed for a short-term loan? There were other debts, including about $700,000 in lawsuits from unpaid vendors and a million or so in tax liens. But no matter how you cut it, Leibovitz appears to have owed millions more than we currently know about. We have a good idea what she spent it on, but where did it come from? Who else was loaning Leibovitz money? It's an especially interesting question because Leibovitz was never a good credit risk—as far back as the 1980s, Goldman writes, she had trouble getting an American Express card even as she was shooting ad campaigns for American Express (an ad agency intervened and arranged for her to get a card after Leibovitz lost an envelope full of cash she kept handy to pay vendors).

Somehow, it seems, Leibovitz managed to get nearly $10 million in the hole over and above the mortgages on her homes. Was that all on her AmEx? We don't think so.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chicago Barewalls 2009

For those of you not familiar with Barewalls, it is fund raiser put on by the School of The Art Institute of Chicago every year to raise money for student scholarships. The school clears out one of their galleries, invite alumni like myself and Joe Spangler in, give us 7 or 8 hours to paint whatever, feed us and give us booze, invite high rollers and wannabe high rollers in at $250 per ticket, get those people fed and drunk, then once they are hammered and feel like time is running out, they bid on the artwork of their choice. 

Winning bid takes the painting it's an absolute fucking mad house from 8-830pm. I hate painting in front of people and I hate acrylics (so does Joe) but it was for a good cause, I had fun, saw some old friends, made some connections, and got a nice tax right off form the whole thing. Below are some highlights! 


Joe Spangler, the sideways painting king!
Getting it done!

Thumbs up!
What you looking at sucka?!

Monday, April 20, 2009

CSUS New Works In Progress Preview!

I am just about going nuts inside my apartment.
If it weren't for the new studio space at the Verge Gallery (thanks again guys), I would be completely over run with paintings. Inside my head I tell myself I will have at least 15 new works, paintings and drawings, by the end of August for the show at Sac State University. I'm about 50% of the way there and I keep telling myself I can and will do it, but self doubt always creeps in from time to time. 

Some are in varies stages of progress, some are finished, and some are just small studies. More to come, so feel free to leave some feedback and keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Studio Visit Magazine Volume 4

Yeehaw, I Got Published! 

If you happen to have this publication and turn to page 140-141, guess who you will see? Me that's who! After I submitted my work, two months went by I had no word. So I just figured I wasn't chosen. But there it is! Hopefully it will lead to something since over 2,000 galleries and curators as well a growing subscriber and art collector base get this magazine.
Cross your fingers for me!

Midtown Mural Finally Finished!

So if you live in Sacramento or close by, get your self to midtown (23rd Street between K & L) and check out my mural. Well not my mural, but I am one of over 30 artists who have a spot in the Midtown Alley Project! There are numerous blank walls that would look so much better if there was a mural painted on it. So the people at M.A.P.S. finally did something about...Here is a brief snippet from the mural project blog:
"Midtown Alley Project.... where to begin? After about a month and a half of prep, a call to local artists and actual PAINT ON THE WALL real progress has been made! 30+ artists have donated their time and talents to what is shaping up to be the most interesting mural Sacramento has ever seen. At pretty much any hour of the day you can see someone hard at work on their piece or perhaps passers-by just standing back and staring at the scope of it all.

Making the transition from oil on canvas to acrylic on wall was quite challenging, but it is for the most part it wentwell. While I was working on the hands (both Jessica and Wes) I was very frustrated that the paint wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. I quickly learned that I would have to use multiple layers and thin the paint out heavily if I was going to get the realism I wanted. These are some hand and arm close up shots of Jessica's tattoo and of course final shots of Wes and Jessica.

Thanks for the extra pictures Dad and Russ and thanks to Wes for letting me use him as subject matter. Thanks to everyone who said hello to me when I was working outside and everyone at the Midtown Alley Projects for giving me the opportunity. Hopefully there will be more murals to come. And if you type my name into YouTube a little interview with me pops up. Watch it!