A little bit of press coverage here: HOPKINS SHOW
Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
The last few weeks have been very busy with all kinds of last minute work for the Hopkins show- the opening is this Thursday the 9th from 6-8pm. With all the prep for display, a few last paintings were neglected and not photographed earlier.... here they are.
"Sunbathers III" 2010 18"x18"
"Potatoes" 2010 18" x 24"
"Potato 2" 2010 13.5 x 18"
"Chrome Table" 2010 8" x 8"
Monday, October 25, 2010
After finishing the car series in June, I wanted to go back and revisit incomplete work. Most of these were small 8" x 8" squares that I made as part of what was originally intended to be a huge grid of cropped snapshots. I figured that finishing these up for the Hopkins show would be a breeze- I was wrong. Without question, working on old ideas and finishing such small paintings was the most painstaking and frustrating exercise yet. Despite being much smaller, they took far longer to complete. Now that they're done, I feel pretty good about them- and I'm really glad I don't have to work so small again.
The following were intended to be shown as a triptych:
I like this grouping- I like the flow of the shapes and colors and the suggestion of a narrative. There are also areas of space to keep it from being too busy. These next ones were also meant to be a triptych:
These three feel far too detailed to work as a triptych. They're so detailed, that they take away from each other. I'm almost certainly going to break these paintings up and intersperse them with larger paintings. More paintings to be posted soon....
Sunday, October 17, 2010
In June 2010, I decided to try something different and avoid people all together. This resulted in a series of 8 car paintings originally designed to function in a grouping. In the end, I will probably intersperse these with the family portraits for the narrative element that they bring. I love old cars, and it's amazing how many great pictures of them you find in old photo albums. That's probably because the family car was more than a object back then. These things are beautiful. They just don't make cars like that today.
In painting them I wanted to see if I could incorporate my style into paintings without people, treating reflective chrome and shapes of color in the same way as a figure portrait. These were enormously fun to do- for a month or so. The size varies, from 8" x 8" (the brown/gray 57 Chevy) to 28" x 36" (The Pink Cadillac).
More paintings to be updated in a week or so....
Friday, October 8, 2010
Even though it's been 5 months since I last posted anything here, I have been working hard on new work for my first solo show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The show opens Dec. 9 and runs to Jan. 9. I've been so busy working that I haven't been so good about shooting pictures. I'll try to get them uploaded here and to the online gallery on my website (nathanstromberg.com) as soon as I can. I'm tired, but the last few months have seen the best paintings I've made. I started back in the spring with some larger paintings in order to see how the photo-inspired images function on a larger scale.
"Yard Games" 2010
"Family Baggage" 2010
"The Bachelor Party" 2010
"Sunday School" 2010
You might recognize the last one as I repainted one of my first 50s paintings from 2006 with the updated palette. Working larger was a fun experiment. The larger paintings certainly aren't as intimate as the smaller works, and are not so good at referencing the source photo, but they do allow me to loosen the brush strokes and paint differently, which had been a fun change.
Many more images to come...
Monday, May 17, 2010
I had a great weekend at Art-a-Whirl in Minneapolis. It was great fun to talk with people and entertain lots of random questions about my work. I also managed to sell a few pieces which was great. Because of the big solo show I'm working on for December, I only put up older work- all of it from 2008 or earlier. It was a little bit of a bummer to have people inquire about it, because in 2 years of grad school I have grown by leaps and bounds as a painter... I managed to give a lot of people my website and talked a lot about the new work, even though it wasn't there for them to see.
One of the unique things that happened was an interview with 3-Minute Egg (threeminuteegg.org), a local arts website run by Matt Peiken. You should check it out and subscribe to it- it's free and it supports the local arts scene. He interviewed me and we had a great chat. Check out his posting from May 17th for our interview. I'm the 3rd of 3 artists here-
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Hey there- New updates...
This weekend I've secured a partial gallery space for the Minneapolis Art-a-whirl... I'll be in studio #214 right above Diamond Coffee in the Thorp Building in Northeast Minneapolis- (1620 Central Ave just north of Broadway). Follow the link here for a map and all other info.
All studios in the building and in a lot of other buildings around town will be open, plus there's free food and music in the Thorp building. Come check it out. I am bringing a lot of older stuff (all the stuff I can't find room for anymore) to the studio and am looking to move it. There's paintings, drawings and prints.... all for in-SANEly low prices! Drop me an email if you have questions. Hours are 5-8 on Friday, 12-8 on Saturday and Sunday. I may be there in a checkered blazer doing my best used-car salesman impression.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Fun news this week- I just learned that I'll be having a solo show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hopkins, MN from Dec. 9 to Jan.9 2011. I submitted a proposal for this venue a few months back. I'll be showing on both floors of the lobby gallery, which is outside of their theater area. I went over there this week to get some measurements and take a few pictures. It's a really great space with wonderful light and my pieces will look great. Only one problem...
The space is aprox. 130 linear ft, or about 100-110 linear feet of actual art space. Much of my graduate work is small, and I figure with new pieces I'm working on I probably have about 50-60 linear feet. In other words, I have 8 months to more or less double the amount of work that I have. Wait for a second while I take a breath...
The good news in all of this is that I thrive when there are deadlines- it really helps me to get working, and I've been feeling much more antsy to paint even in the last few days since learning about the show. It will get done, that's not something to worry about- One thing is certain, it will be a busy summer. Lots of time to paint and lots of time to get better at painting. What could be better than that? The Hopkins Center will be printing up schedules and other assorted promotional materials for the 2010-11 season in the next month or so. I will be sure to relay that info.
I've been busy the last 3 months designing and constructing the sets for a high school production of "Into the Woods", which is a wonderful show. It's just the sort of high-creativity problem that I love, turning the stage into a forest glade with 30' tall trees on a limited budget. I'm pretty proud of it, and assuming the actors and musicians can get everything pulled together its going to be great. It plays April 15-17 and 22-24 at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.
I do have 2-3 new larger paintings completed in the last few weeks as well, so I will post pictures here shortly. I'm still gradually updating the portfolio page on my new website, so click through and you'll see all the images I currently have shot and color corrected. More to come-
Friday, March 5, 2010
It's been a few weeks of readjusting and I have finally gotten around to cleaning up the blog here. Hope you like the sleek sophisticated artsy new look. The last month has been busy- I have been painting quite a bit, trying to finish up a few incomplete paintings from last fall in order to pull together a whole body of work for gallery submission. I also started 2 large canvases, which is something I've wanted to try for a while now. One is complete, the other at about 75%, so hopefully I will have some new images to post here soon.
The biggest news is that I finally went live with a website, so check it out:
So far, it's fairly simple and I need to upload a lot more work to the portfolio section, but it's a great start. A million thanks to my friend Jeff at Holmberg Design who put this whole thing together. Shameless plug for him here... he makes a mean website.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I'm back from Boston and all is well, and I officially have my MFA- needless to say, it feels great.
My artist talk went very well (I've posted a small low-resolution version I made to practice from here- it's tough to read all the captions but the audio will give you a good idea of the presentation). My Thesis defense also went great, not so much a defense as a very cordial talk about my work. After a long week of conducting critiques with other MFA students, I had a big show opening with my work in Cambridge last Friday night. It was lots of fun, and my extended family made the trip which made it even more fun.
Now I am back to normal life and it all seems pretty surreal. I have lots of ideas for painting and more than a few leads for situations to show, so I will be working hard (though not as hard) in the coming months to advance my artistic career. For the sake of friends and family who keep up with this, I'll continue to post here. I'm also working on creating a personal website and will redesign this blog at some point.
To all those who supported me these last 2 years with your time and your words of encouragement, thanks so much.
Friday, January 1, 2010
This last month has been pretty crazy, but it's all starting to wind down- I go to Boston in 6 days, and then the madness begins. The thesis? Done. The artwork? Made, packaged with 50 miles of bubble wrap and UPS'd to Boston. The Artist Talk? Written and coming along- with much practicing left to do, and it gets delivered a week from tonight. I am scared and really excited- it will be great. When I have the time I'll post a video of the presentation here for viewing enjoyment. I'll also pass on details of the final residency...