Monday, December 28, 2009

To Give Is To Receive

Another Christmas has come and gone- the older I get, the faster the holiday season seems to come and go. I personally created some of my gifts for loved ones again this year- the time and concentration spent on these little projects are a personal meditation on the recipient for me, our relationship, love, and shared memories play over and over in my mind during the long, late hours during the weeks I work on my gifts. A lot of folks whip out their credit card at North Face, Macy’s, or Ikea to give at this time of year, but I wanted to give a little something that doesn’t come with a gift receipt- a small part of myself. I am very grateful for my loving family- while I’m a nobody in the World of Art, they think I am (laughs) Pablo Picasso! Having them all together for a picture with their new paintings was the best gift a man could ever receive. I love you always- Charly, Mum, Myles, & El.

"Untitled" (four: pink, bronze, silver, and cobalt)2009
acrylic, mixed media on canvas
11 x 14"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Artist's Statement. Dec. 2009

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

Artist's Statement
For well over a decade my painting has been the real work of my life. My paintings are about color and design, materials and methods, exploration and experimentation. Many of these paintings are about the deep and unseen parts of the individual; they are about the hearts of men. A very personal language of sorts has begun to evolve inside this work- pictograph forms that return throughout, themes recur as well. If the simple vocabulary of my work can deepen the viewer's sensitivity to the subjects of my paintings, perhaps it will ultimately bridge the emotional gap of our detached society. Much can be learned from small beginnings, in which our most basic, initial understanding of one another can form our greatest appreciation for each other. I am most convinced of this when on occasion someone narrates the story of one of my paintings to me upon viewing- they are really telling me their own story. Soon we are exchanging ideas, learning about each other, and so it begins… what was my painting has now become a small part of us together.

CM Shaw, December 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rubbermaid Pliers

"Rubbermaid Pliers", 18 x 24", oil pastel/acrylic/ink pen on paper

Here's the "hand tool" drawing I had to complete for my portfolio review at an esteemed university I had been looking into. Sadly, this school isn’t going to be a good fit for my academic or career goals for a variety of reasons I won’t go into. More discouraging is the resigned fact that I may never get the opportunity to study under a much admired painter teaching there that could very probably helped propel my painting to a whole new level. Such is life. While I am disappointed, I did receive some kind and sincere counsel from my advisors, brushed up the resume/professional references, & made what I felt was a nicely organized portfolio. I also had a great time drawing this hand tool…

The nice gentleman that was utterly confused when viewing my ANCIENT college transcripts at the portfolio review perked up when he saw my drawing- this made me feel a little proud. I enjoyed the project and was pleased with the result. “Was Jim Dine a big influence on you?” he asked. While genuinely admiring Mr. Dine’s work, I had ironically/comically neglected to think of him while drawing the pliers. In reality, I had not thought of Jim Dine in awhile. His robes, and his Jerusalem plant captured my younger undergraduate imagination better than his hand tool work so many years ago for whatever reason...
More conceptual ideas came to mind regarding the required hand tool drawing for my portfolio review, but while learning to draw these pliers I began to really appreciate what spurred my consumerist impulse in the first place. I've always liked these little Rubbermaid pliers- the blue rubber handles w/the red "Rubbermaid" stamp at the end turned me on; while small and deceptively common, I found the visual impact of them charming. What can I say- NICE DESIGN! I'm weird like that- I have a Converse shoebox I can't throw away 'cause it's too well designed (the grommets punched in the box that echo the hallmark feature of the package’s goods are great)! I knew I was done with the pliers drawing when I started throwing red paint at it this past Wednesday night, which gave it a somewhat gruesome new dimension... aren't ya glad I'm not your dentist? My seven year old niece Charly might giggle at that- poor baby was still trying to shake off a stubborn baby tooth at Thanksgiving! So Cute! Love!

The hand tool in question...

My 2nd preparatory sketch for the finished hand tool drawing...

Superiorly designed Converse packaging I cannot bring myself to part with- Excellence, I Say! Wore the shoes twice...