Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fox and Hare

"Fox and Hare" 2009
acrylic, chacoal, glue, magazine scraps on canvas
30 x 40"

(detail)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Secret Marriage


"Secret Marriage" 2009
acrylic, chacoal, glue, magazine scraps on canvas
16 x 20"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Stories


I was very excited to have Alexis Santi, Editor of Our Stories Literary Journal, ask if I would be interested in having my artwork on the covers of their “Best of Our Stories” editions a few weeks ago. I was interested, and not only for the fame and prestige of the assignment- I liked what Mr. Santi’s journal stood for. Our Stories gives personalized feedback for every submission they receive, including general impressions, strengths and weaknesses of your writing, and suggestions on how to fix your story. Are you a budding or closet writer wondering if you have what it takes? Well this could be just what you are looking for- they also offer emerging writer contests and one-on-one mentorships- much more constructive than sending your submissions off to oblivion without ever knowing why it wasn’t acknowledged.

Mr. Santi purchased a couple paintings from me at my Etsy store recently, “Leave” and “Stay”, the latter of which he used an image of for one of the covers. One of two untitled images of mine from 2007 was used for the second volume of Best of Our Stories; the pair evoke prehistoric cave painting, hunters lay in death or perhaps afterlife, next to their spears. Our prehistory, ancient memory, the struggle of humanity … Our Stories… perhaps this is the thread that spoke to Mr. Santi.
Thank you Mr. Santi for my very first book cover!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Prisoner" sketch, 1995


I was fascinated by my little “Prisoner” sketch tucked in a sketchbook from 1995- it’s exceedingly substandard in it’s execution, but the idea was great! The bisection of the incarcerated figure in place of a prison bar pattern across the foreground carried a lot of psychological heft- everyone has felt divided from time to time. Many years later I did an alternative version featuring a much more developed reworking of the idea- while bizarre, the drawing is technically superior to my initially hasty scrawl in marker over a decade prior, but I completely forgot the admirable simplicity of the original design, loading the re-imagined concept with very outwardly heavy emotion. The new drawing was honest, though the tears and blood were guilty of a blaring awkwardness that I’m certain polarized the work- “can’t you just paint some Pretty Pictures, Colin?” I’m a big fan of pretty art, and work hard at making some for the sheer joy of play, still the human condition catches my imagination from time to time, and I know that turns some folks off. While viewers are often escaping from the fray of their inner nature, I am instead closely inspecting it to free myself, sometimes painfully overexposing myself. I am often embarrassed when I look back on my catalogue, “Wow, did I really do that… for all to see?” -like the naked baby photo, I cringe slightly. I’m not sorry though -I make art for myself.

Early on in my development as an artist, confrontation of my identity was both eagerly tackled and fearlessly pursued like a challenge to fisticuffs- purposely provocative, a dare both to the viewer and myself. I would like to paint the prettiest daffodils that ever graced your living room and very well might, but occasionally fail to resist picking a fight instead. Too much skill/no concept in art makes me yawn; too much concept/not enough skill leaves me suspicious. I read once that Picasso argued art should be both inclusive to the enlightened and dangerous: “Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.” I like that, though Picasso was ultimately able to reach both the individual and most populist spark among mankind. And I want to break down the exclusivity of Art World in my work, hopefully while confounding and surprising us, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shorty and Doc

"Shorty and Doc"
photocopy and acrylic on cut cardboard, 8 x 10"

... not the first time I used a photocopy in one of my mixed media collages, it IS the first time I used a photocopy in combination with my cut cardboard technique, so that was fun.