Monday, September 28, 2009

Changing Spaces

It's that time again. As a co-op of 23 people, we gallery owners have to jocky around every four months or so to give everyone equal time in each of the spaces. Some spaces are much better than others. I had to move out of the first of the four rooms, into the second room. It's not a bad space -- there aren't really any horrible spots -- it's just that there are a few that are very good. We've solved the problem of hanging paintings against the stone walls by putting up some display grid.

Usually I go when I know that there will be no one down there -- and I treat the time with reverence, but my weekend being what it was (trying to reorganize at the house, because we finally got that albatross of a pool table out of the front room. Now I actually have a studio and a bedroom -- but it's going to take a lot of time to get them both straightened out), I had to go durring the middle of the day. It was kind of nice, though, watching everyone else move their stuff and lending a hand. I do wish that more of them would try to put up new stuff each month, though. Some of them have been showing the same work since I joined the gallery a year and a half ago.
As you may be able to see, I decided to put up my "Daniel in the Lion's Den" painting. I did it in late '04 - early '05 as part of my BFA exhibition at CMU. It's funny how time changes one's perspective. At the time I really believed in this piece and it was among my better works ... now ... I strongly debated weather to hang it or not. In fact, I've considered hanging it for a long time and always talked myself out of it. I just don't paint this way any more and I feel that I could have done so much better. Still, I do like a lot of things about it - and I'm glad to have it out of the way while I try to fix up the house.

While moving things around at home, I found a painting that had previously never been framed or on display. Since the window committee was looking for autumn stuff, I let them put it in the window.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paintings from Seattle

I finally got time to finish the painting that I started in Seattle ... I had to work on it from photos that I took the evening before I got rained out while painting. The lighting was totally different in the photos, but that was a good thing. It actually went much faster than I thought it would because I had progressed a little farter while out there than I remembered.

The other painting was done completely from photos from a spot that I would have loved to have painted in from life. (Is that the subjunctive tense that you were talking about, Tim ... "the past unreal conditional"? Kind of confusing ... I don't know how you would teach that to forieners who don't have that tense ... heck, I couldn't get it in German when I was studying it, and they do have.)

It was a grey and drearry morning ... which was kind of nice because it reflects the way that most people think of Seattle anyway.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nice Kitty

On Sunday my friend, Brenda, and I went to Cat Tails ... a little zoological park north of Spokane.
Lions and Tigers and Bears ... oh, and maybe a Liger too.

And then ... there's Pfeffer!

I'm not sure which are more fierce.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Artist Showcase

It seems like nothing exciting ever happens in my life without it being all at once. Sometimes the conflicts are just too much for me to be everywhere at once (sure wish I could figure out that time/space continuum - flux capaciter thing, then it wouldn't be such a dang problem).

Friday afternoon (while I was trying to sleep), one of the producers from North by Northwest got hold of me to do some last minute work for them (not actually something for the movie itself, it was part of something that they were putting together to give to John Carpenter). They were supposed to provide me with some materials with which to work ... but they never actually emailed them to me. When I got back from an art dinner gala that I attended with Del, Marge, and Brenda, I had been prepared to knock it out as quickly as I could before work ... I never got the image that was prommised ... so I had to go to my night job. At 4am I left work early, hoping that the images were in my email ... they weren't. So, I went about producing an image with the reference materials that I had on hand (which were substandard, but I managed to put together a fairly decent drawing.

When I delivered the drawings to the set Saturday morning, I found out that the wrap party for The Ward was at the same time as the Spokane Valley Arts Council annual Artist Showcase Auction. That's the event that I painted the Red Violin painting for a month or so ago (see August 10th entry).

A big part of me wanted to just skip the auction. How often do you get to go to a Hollywood wrap party? Well, hopefully, there will be others -- if not, well, it's not really that big of a deal, I'm not much of a party guy anyway. The wildest that I've gotten in the last twenty years or so is to get a little inebriated and sketch everyone who will sit still for a moment or two. I'm not really a social animal -- just an animal.

Besides, I had such a nice time being with the Gish family on Friday night, that I was really looking forward to the Showcase thing. And it was very nice. There was good food, nice wine, and lots of artwork to delight the eyes.

In my humble oppinion, the greatest piece in the whole place -- hands down -- was Del's Sunflower painting. It amazes me every time that I see it. It looked great there in its frame and all, but I can't help thinking how it blew me away when I saw it on the easel out in the yard. Del had set up the still life outside on a table ... and delt with the additional pains of plein air work -- winds, changing light, and heat -- along with the already considerable challenges of painting a still life. The painting has so much harmony and light that it is incredible. I wish that each of you could see it up close and personal.

The bidding at the auction was real low. Sometimes that's what happens at an auction, though. Sometimes it seems that all the bidding is high ... sometimes it's not. Lots of the paintings that were sold had frames on them worth more than what was bid. Del was wise to put minimum bids on his work. Mine sold for about half of the price that I put on it. I didn't mind, though, it was a fun experience and great to be out with the Gish family.

Both Del and I won awards, too!. That was an unexpected treat for me and I was filled with emotion. It made the effort that I put into it worth while (especially since I was overloaded with things at the time). There's nothing quite like a little recognition (the cash award was good too).

After the shin-dig, I probably had time to make it to the wrap party ... but I had made a decision earlier to just enjoy one or the other and not try to live the life of a crazy man any more than I already do. And I did enjoy the evening -- I made the right choice ... and I was happy to spend a little more time afterward with my good friend Brenda. It's always a treat for me.

It's a Wrap

On Saturday North by Northwest finished it's filming of "The Ward" here in Spokane. They have a few quick scenes to do in Seattle over the next few days ... then the film goes into post-production. It will probably be another year before it's in the theaters. I can hardly wait.
I was called on to do a few last minute drawings ... but nothing extrordinary. I sat in on a few more scenes too. These were being shot on some really cool sets that they built in a warehouse down in Spokane Valley. The funny thing was, though, that the sets looked identical to the rooms and part of the halls up at Eastern State Hospital (the mental hospital in Medical Lake where they did most of the shooting). They made the sets without some of the walls, though, for some better camera angles than they could have possibly done in the actual hospital.

They had one gag that was a reverse dumbwaiter. Instead of the elevator moving up and down, the wall was hoisted up and down by a pulley system. From the camera's eye, though, you'll never know the difference.

The main sign painter talked with me for a little while on the set and asked if I would be interested in working on a mural with him on the next movie that they're doing! Yeah. I'm not sure when that will be and how much involvment I'll have, but I'll be more than happy to work with these guys again.


My trip to Seattle was a real nice get-away. Some of the highlights include going up in the Space Needle again (last time I was up there was with Tim and Ben in '93!), going to the PAX convention (a gamer's thing -- I was snuck in and spent an hour wandering around checking out all of the new games, software, and laughing at all of the geeks dressed in their costumes - actually, a very interesting time), eating at Jimmy Johns! (I didn't even know that there were any over here on the West coast), going to the Pikes place market (where there was so much going on ... tons of flowers and seafoods ...
watched the fish mongers throwing fish), the SAM (Seattle Art Museum - they had some of Andrew Wyeth's paintings of Olga there and a very large Eric Fischal work, but, overall, not one of my favorite museums), finding the wooden boat museum (where they were excited to hear about the Blanchard sail boat that Chip and I are overhauling ... and they had one of the earlier ones on hand ... so you can see what it's going to look like when we get ours finished), and I also did a little painting -- but very little. It took me a long time to
find a place to paint, and then I had to wait for the next day ... when I had no sooner started work when it began to pour. I waited a while .... tried again, but with the same luck. Looks like another one that I'll have to finish from photos.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick Draw

Last Friday I went to the last First Friday event for the Cat's Eye Gallery. This is the gallery where I go on Thursday evenings to do figure drawing. The building is being sold and he is going to move. Conrad, the gallery owner, has been there for around fifteen years and has accumulated tons of stuff. So, he was having a party/sale/show to see the place off. I volunteered to do free "quick draw" portraits to help draw people in (no pun intended).

It wasn't a huge crowd, but I think that Conrad sold a lot of stuff. I got to do several portraits, enjoyed some good food, met new people, and bought some more crap that I don't really need.

Good times.