Monday, February 25, 2008

Met with Chris

I met Chris Houltberg on Saturday for coffee and conversation. It was great fun to talk about cerebral art stuff and to be reminded that the whole crazy residency really happened. We also got to talking about the critical theory paper due next week. It was great to reconnect and it absolutely made me more excited to see everyone else in June. I can't wait to see what everyone has been working on...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Mentor Meeting with Mike Carson

I met with my mentor Mike Carson today for the first time at his studio in Northeast Minneapolis. I brought my first residency work as well as my new paintings from the last month or so. We spent a lot of time discussing our views on art. He's a great fit for where I'm at because we both use old photos for reference imagery, and we both love to paint primarily for the purpose of becoming better painters. He was able to identify with my struggles to infuse deeper meaning, and for the first session turned mainly to painterly ways of improving my work. He had great suggestions on specific paints, surfaces, color palettes and artists to look at. He currently is working on a very large mural sized canvas for a private commission. It depicts a grand ballroom with many intricate figures. He's about a third done with it, and I got to observe his process and ask lots of good questions. In short, it was a great meeting and I have even more ideas and avenues to explore.... I have so much to go on-  

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Updated Reading List

I stumbled across a few 40$ books I needed on for $13 each, and now I am hooked. I've already updated my reading list with a few others I found. In learning more about imagery from the 50's and the meaning surrounding it, I'm going to read "Coast to Coast: A Journey Across 50's America" by Jan Morris and "A Kinder, Gentler America: Melancholia and the Mythical 1950's" by Mary Caputi. The later is a new book concerning the use of 50s nostalgia and the concept of "the greatest Generation" as a right-wing political tool for advocating the return to "Family Values". I can honestly say that I am very turned off to political connotations with my work, but I absolutely see the value in reading this book to understand how people respond to those images. I'm planning on doing an entire paper this semester on the look, style, history and meaning of the 1950's to today.  Any other suggestions would be appreciated....

On a completely unrelated note, my advisor Hannah Barrett recommended that I look into the work of Belgian artist Michael Borremans. I posted his name in the side bar of my blog along with other artists I'm researching, and the last week or two I've been getting emails from a guy named Wim in Belgium who came across the name on a google search. He's a close follower of Borrowmans, Tuymans, and other Belgian artists and has been sending me book titles, gallery information and all kinds of great resources. What a small world the web has made-

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today I received some great feedback from my advisor Hannah Barrett on my residency review. I think another challenge will be deciding how far I want to take my idea this semester. I'm beginning to see that there are many directions, and I'm going to try to pace myself and hash my ideas out gradually. 

Here's another new image I finished last night, another study painting- by far the most stereotypical 50s image I've done. I find the image hilarious and insulting at the same time-Luckily my wife also finds it funny.... 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Finally- new images

Thanks to the 35 below temperature outside I spent much of the weekend working on study paintings. As part of my studio contract for the semester I agreed to make 20-30 images on paper. I've been looking a lot closer at the actual film quality of old photos as well as the images, so these paintings are smaller (14" x 11.5"), on paper, and built with layers of ochre applied with a palette knife underneath to look like poor film. These photos are very low quality but they give an idea....

more to come....

Monday, February 4, 2008

600 lbs

It's only been 3 weeks, and I have been constantly asking myself how I'm going to get my work done these next 2 years. I've come to the realization that between my teaching job, 2 little kids at home, a marriage to maintain and all my MFA work, I will probably weigh upwards of 600 pounds by the time things are done. Excersise gets the boot. On a positive note, my study paintings are progressing nicely and I have some good ideas...