Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Musical Paintings

"Love of Guitar" 2011
acrylic on masonite, 11 x 14"

"L'accordéon Vert" 2011
acrylic on masonite, 11 x 14"

"Duet" 2011
acrylic on masonite, 11 x 14"

In December I took a break from the abstracts I'm working on to make a few paintings as Christmas gifts for some musician friends, including "Love of Guitar" pictured at the top of this post for my talented brother, whom I play in a couple bands with. It's easy to lose the plot while working for several months on a large group of paintings, and so it was nice to relax & make something just for fun  :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quilting Hen

Quilting Hen, 2011
acrylic on canvas, 8 x 10"

Posting yesterday about the hen painting I made my mother as a Christmas gift reminded me I hadn't shown you the canvas made for her birthday this past August. Among the many talents this woman possesses are her skills as a seamstress- she can make clothes, knits a serious afghan, and is a tireless quilter. To recognize her high achievement in the craft, I painted the canvas above to add to her collection of anthropomorphous fowl adorning her kitchen. I enjoy making these whimsical little artworks, and love seeing the look on her face when she opens them  :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

No Partridge in This Pear Tree

"No Partridge in This Pear Tree", 2011
acrylic on masonite, 11 x 14"

I've been making rooster/chicken paintings for my mother's kitchen for some years now, and did another for her this Christmas, "No Partridge in This Pear Tree". She's a fun gal, and we shared a chuckle over it during the recent family holiday  :D

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Work at PHD Gallery!

I'm really excited to announce I am now showing at PHD Gallery along the historic Antique Row at 2300 Cherokee St. in sunny South St. Louis  :)   The handsome & accomplished gentleman peeking out the door pictured above is world renowned artist Philip Hitchcock, proprietor of PHD Gallery since 2007. Part of the white-hot arts district forming on the city's south side, and boasting three adjoining storefronts in a GREEN building (in both design and color), PHD features 12 foot ceilings, clean white walls, north facing windows, and a combined exhibition space of nearly 2000 square feet. Reflecting the passion and artistic vision of artist Philip Hitchcock, PHD is an alternative art space that advances challenging works by ground-breaking local, regional, and national artists.

Among the five works of mine Mr. Hitchcock has taken into the gallery is the canvas pictured below, "Prince of Fire". Give him a call or stop by his beautiful gallery and get a closer look:
2300 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118
(314) 664-6644
 "Prince of Fire" $185.00
acrylic, mixed media collage on canvas
30 x 40"
More Later!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All The King's Horses

"All The King's Horses"   $185.00
acrylic, mixed media collage on canvas
30 x 40"
Contact PHD Gallery, St. Louis, MO (314)664-6644

Another big painting from my showing at Urban Eats in summer 2010. Like "Ship of Fools", collaged scraps of canvas are utilized as narrative panels, illustrated in glue to dry, forming a raised line. It's very textured, many layers of metallic & black acrylic wash making it look like an ancient slab of carved bronze. A couple folks threatened to buy it, but no love yet. The armored Roman/Greek soldier theme is again present- don't ask me to explain this, because I have no idea! Concerning this particular canvas, I do remember hearing a Robert Plant tune, "All The King's Horses", the lyrics committing:

"All the King's horses, all the King's men
I'll weave a circle round the sun
Throw down my arms and give my all
I'll be your soldier of love..."

I liked that a lot, the notion of removing one's "armor", and laying bare the heart that lies beneath. A brave thing to say, and harder yet to do. Personally, my timing is poor, and the romantic inside me often falls short of other's expectations, and often my own. But I feel a great deal of love in my life on many levels, so....  often times, we "get what we get" and should be grateful for that.

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I ran across this hand turkey I made SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO! It's hard to believe it's been that long since my days teaching preschool while I attended the University. We all made these in Mr. Colin's class to hang on our cubbie slots- my name had been trimmed off mine at some point before it was tucked away in a sketchbook, so I pasted a new one on here for illustrative purposes. I never did fully pursue my education degree, moving to St. Louis instead to pursue my musical & artistic ambitions. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the time I spent with the little people- they taught me a great deal about life. I can still see their little faces in my mind, and hope that wherever they are, they have something to be thankful for and are with their families on the forthcoming holiday. Happy Thanksgiving-

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Black Like Sunday No.1

"Black Like Sunday No.1"   $45.00
charcoal and acrylic on paper, 14 x 20"

I made a cut cardboard version of this as well that sold in '09, but like "Cry No. 2 & 3" , I have a fondness for the graphic quality of these charcoal/acrylic drawings on paper- they are more immediately powerful due to their stark nature.

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cry No.2 & 3

"Cry No.3"    $40.00
14 x 20"
acrylic, charcoal on paper

"Cry No.2"    $40.00
14 x 20"
acrylic, charcoal on paper

The graphic quality of these really turned out looking like poster art, which I love. My brother gave me a coffee table book of Picasso's poster work a few years ago that I never get tired of. I made a cut cardboard version of this as well, the whereabouts of which I am unsure. These two were drawn in charcoal and sealed in acrylic medium during the painting process.  

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Handle With Care

"Handle With Care" 2010    $85.00
acrylic, mixed media collage on canvas
16 x 20"

You just never know what someone's been going through- their private anguish, frustration and/or long hours at work, a hair-raising rush hour drive, or a broken heart/broken dreams/a broken life. Handle them with care.

This heavily textured, mixed media canvas is gallery wrapped & painted around it's edges -no framing necessary, ready to hang   :)
See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

January No.3 & 5

January No.5, 2009 $20.00
charcoal, acrylic on paper
8 x 10"

January No.3, 2009 $20.00
charcoal, acrylic on paper
8 x 10"

I made these two at the same time I made January No.1 & 2, of course, and won't hesitate to say that No.5 was my favorite of all   :)   Henri Matisse has had a huge impact on my art, and while the influence of his color is not apparent here, my love for his simplicity of design certainly is. For as the great master Picasso said, “Au fond il n’y a que Matisse” (All things considered, there is only Matisse).

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

January No.1 & No.2

January No.1, 2009   $20.00
charcoal, acrylic on paper
8 x 10"

January No.2, 2009   $20.00
charcoal, acrylic on paper
8 x 10"

I have two boxes FULL of art on paper. I thought of these two the other day while working on my new abstracts, several of which feature circles but none of my birds. One even has two intersecting circles. I always come back around to that shape- I find it pleasing, no beginning no end. These are much prettier in person, all the texture of the paper's tooth and subtlety of the brushstrokes more visible- they'd make a nice pair on a small wall together, and are a "readymade" size for easy, inexpensive framing  :)

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at :)
email me if you are interested!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011


"Soldier" 2010    
carved PVC board, acrylic, varnish
8.75 x 15.625"

I produced three of these carvings on “signpainter’s board", for a show last year. This substrate is essentially a thick PVC board that can be cut and shaped with carpentry tools or even with a small hand tool- in my case a bamboo pick I fashioned by hand for sculpture class at the university many years ago. I painted this in many washes of a deep iridescent red acrylic which has a somewhat metallic luster to it, then varnished it heavily with a glossy coat.

While I haven't been working with the figure at all on my new paintings this year, I don't feel as though I'm done with it. I had a great time with male figures I did last year, and would like to continue that some day. They don't sell as well as my females. A couple of my girlfriends really gushed over this guy. I just liked the left breastplate of his armor shaped like a heart.

email me if you are interested

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ship of Fools

"Ship of Fools" 2010       $95.00
acrylic, mixed media collage 18 x 24"
Contact PHD Gallery, St. Louis, MO (314)664-6644

The ship of fools is an allegory of the 15th and 16th centuries, depicting a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, passengers aboard a ship without a captain, ignorant of their own direction or destination. The Ship of Fools, a book of 112 satires criticizing the state of the Church's Christian nobility, was published in 1494 by German theologian Sebastian Brant. Inspired by a popular motif in medieval art and literature, particularly in religious satire due to a pun on the Latin word "navis" which means a boat and also the nave of a church, the Reformation movement quickly latched onto the book & Brant's like ideals, making it a huge hit. Notable of this publication were the commissioned engravings by Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. (source: Wikipedia)

I wasn't being critical of the church in making this, though I'm always thinking about art history. This one is a more personal interpretation of the allegorical tale using my accumulated vocabulary of little pictographs. I produced this canvas last summer for a showing at Urban Arts Collective in in South St. Louis along with several others done in the same style. The collaged scraps of canvas are utilized as narrative panels, illustrated in glue which dries to form a raised line. Many layers of primer & acrylic wash give the canvas a worn look I find pleasing. I've been working in this method since college, all the time refining the technique & experimenting with different colors & collage textures. They are a lot of work and easier done several at a time due to the time required for the excessive layering to dry.

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at   :)
email me if you are interested!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lost My Mind

I can no longer criticize Twitter for being pointless. I just sold "Lost My Mind" because someone discovered my chronically neglected ColinShawArt Twitter page. The poor man had to hunt me down because I never look at it- I need to pay more attention  :D   I made this 11 x 14" acrylic on masonite along with a matching piece, "Loving Cup", in 2006. I was working on masonite and plywood for quite awhile- like plywood,  masonite can be cut to any size, but fits better in the rabbet of an open back frame, weighs less, and sands smoothly for priming.

Below is the original rough from my sketchbook done in oil pastel and watered down acrylic. Removing the heart was a good move- it looks so much more disturbing, silent, and cold. I like the texture of the sketch though- the blood looks great! It kinda looks like a child drew it, and that's nice.

Thanks Mathius!
See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at   :)
email me if you are interested!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Loving Cup

Often I find myself revisiting an idea or theme in my work, such is the case concerning "Loving Cup", which I painted in 2006 and again in 2010. Sometimes I just want another crack at it, or maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something- who knows?  I just liked the whole idea of the cup's contents pouring down the figure's throat/esophagus directly into his heart. I also liked the whole idea of simply "taking a cupful" of whatever needed to fill yourself - it's nothing new or original, but I said it my own way. A "loving cup" is actually a shared drinking container traditionally used at weddings and banquets, common to several European cultures. The cup may also be shared by a number of persons for ceremonial drinking, symbolizing friendship and unity, and are often given as trophies to winners of games or other competitions.*
"Loving Cup", 2010
11 x 14" acrylic, mixed media on canvas

The first version (2006, below) is much more visceral than the 2010 "Loving Cup". Perhaps I went a little too far, but I thought the blood around the mouth, running down the arm was a good idea. In hindsight it might have been too ugly and scary, like the mess our nation's military was bogged down in with the Middle East. 2006 was marked by heightened sectarian violence and continuous anti-coalition attacks. The pictures & reports coming back from that were gruesome- it was heartbreaking and you just couldn't get away from it. All those soldiers coming back, what they have been through, and how they will fit back into the world after is on my mind now as much as it was then, the news of our complete withdrawl from Iraq having recently been announced.

"Loving Cup", 2006
acrylic on masonite
$65.00, framed in black metal

Below is the original rough from my sketchbook done in oil pastel and watered down acrylic- a method I love to play around with. While it's certainly crude looking, I think it has some real charm   :) 

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at   :)
email me if you are interested!

Friday, October 28, 2011


"Diver" 2010
11 x 14". mixed media collage on canvas

I wasn't consciously trying to say anything when I created this canvas, though it says a lot to me now, looking back. That summer I was showing for three months in a row at the Urban Arts Collective in South St. Louis, making new paintings to add for each of the 3 receptions thrown to promote my residency. In retrospect, that was a little too much for me personally, but it was a good learning experience and I sold a few of the paintings I'd made at another show later that autumn. This little canvas was somewhat lost in the crowd, but I feel it has something of it's own to offer. It's copper metallic & violet color scheme is really vivid in person. The figure diving downward could mean many different things depending on the viewer. What do you see?

See more of my available works at my WORKS AVAILABLE page at   :)
email me if you are interested!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the Studio

I've been enjoying working on my new abstracts, having finished another last week, and started this 36 x 48" canvas. I don't know what qualifies as a successful abstract painting, and I often wonder as I look at some abstract art if it's a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes". That said, it's not as easy to make abstract art look cohesive or interesting!  I don't let that bother me too much in my new endeavor- I'm just enjoying the freedom it's allowed me- there is no emotion, no allegory or narrative, only color & shape. None of the several I've made in the last few months look very similar either, as I try new things on each pass. The canvas pictured above has several gauzy layers of metallic & iridescent paint on it, and is somewhat difficult to capture in a photograph, changing in appearance as you walk past it. Sorry about the terrible picture I took at midnight last night after band rehearsal- maybe when it's finished I'll take another shot for you.

A couple years ago in conversation with the John Cournoyer, having lost the plot of my career and unsure what to do next, I expressed a need to change my art. The great teacher replied immediately, "Do you want to change or grow, Colin?" That simple statement was great advice, and I'm trying to remember that through all this. I think about that every time I've painted since, John- wherever you are- Thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bye Bye Love

When Leslie's father told me she had come back to St. Louis a few years ago, I called the number he gave me and our rapport from younger days was instantly renewed, as though the many years inbetween were but a few weeks. It wasn't long before my drumset was in her attic and we were working out the songs which would soon become the Stars In the Attic EP, for which I enlisted the help of all the best at my disposal: Keith Prives for package design, my bass player David to record and engineer, my own brother Myles to produce, play keys, bass, and guitars behind my drumming, and of course Leslie's piano and lilting, sonorous voice. Probably one of my finer musical moments, Leslie, Myles, and David brought out the best in me on Stars- some of my most creative percussion ideas ever committed to tape. I played in a whole new way, like a different musician entirely.

Leslie also became a part of our longtime rock band Polaris, adding backing and lead vocals at the height of our career, coming home to our home county fair to open for the Spin Doctors. Fitting in with the guys seemed easy for Les, in spite of the locker room humor, cramped hotel rooms, "short" jokes, and sport drinking the job entailed. Not an easy feat. She became an official bandmate. Through all the shows and recording, she always arrived with her incredible talent and both dukes up, and we became very close with our girl. Especially me. She can read me like a book, and there is nothing I couldn't tell her, nothing I could hide from her. She corrects me when I'm wrong and comes to my defense when mistreated or misunderstood. She treats me like a prince, supports all I do, and a piece of my heart belongs to her.

As time passed Les began to focus on her own solo career, traveling around the country on the Green Light Tour to promote environmental awareness, all the way to Seoul Korea for a month long run of shows, eventually teaming up with Myles to perform as a duo around St. Louis. Most recently Les travelled with her husband Alexis all the way to Cambodia as ambassador for her Daughters of Cambodia project, always answering the call of her heart and championing a worthy cause and working to make right what is wrong in the world around her and abroad. Watching her evolve into such an incredibly powerful woman has only made me love her more- I am humbled by her strength of resolve, intuition, and shimmering inner light. Leslie is in every sense the finest example of  humanity I know. 

I heard she & husband Alexis will be moving back to Ithica, NY (on goddamn Facebook, nonetheless! Gah!), where he is from, and that made me cry, LOL!  I regret that St. Louis is losing one of it's best singer/songwriters, and that my dear friend will eventually leave. But as Myles said, I knew damned well that would eventually happen- it's her modus operandi. There is no holding back someone like that- she needs to grow beyond this town, it's just not big enough to hold someone with that kind of imagination. If you really love someone, you have to let them go. Leslie will be just fine with Alexis and his family, she will continue to thrive and enjoy the new experiences she needs, and in all truth she doesn't need me as much as I probably need her. That said, I am most grateful for all she has given me- grateful she came back into my life, changing my landscape, influencing my art and musicianship, opening my mind to possibilities of deeper living, and making me a better man. That kind of friendship is rare, People.

I was determined not to make this mushy, but who cares  :D   I've been writing this damned post for a month- time to push it out, I've got shit to do!  Besides, expressing my feelings or whatever probably isn't one of my more developed skills. So, we'll always miss you, & I'll always love you, Teacup*

Art and photos by myself, D. Blunt, & Karianne Wright. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New canvases for the show

My show partner Dale delivered the 15 new canvases for our February 2012 show at Concrete Ocean yesterday morning- there was a 50% off Art Alternatives artist canvases sale where he works, so we threw down & bought them all at once. It was about $200.00, an average of about $13.00 or so a canvas- not bad! They are gallery wrapped so we won't have to worry about framing, and of decent construction- every bit as sturdy as what I'd been working on the last two years. For one room in the show, Dale & I will show canvases of the same size, bearing the same title,  predetermined while working seperately in the months to come. Dueling Minds, Dale has dubbed the show- he & gallery owner Bryan Pease roughed out the sizes & arrangement of this strategy awhile back, and now the real work has begun.

Letting someone else take the reigns, submitting some control of the whole process of how the work will be done is new to me, and it took a little faith in my friend, but Dale has been of great reassurance and I think it will be good for me. Also new to my vernacular will be my working entirely abstract as opposed to my usual figurative expressionism- Dale is an abstract painter, and to provide unity, I've decided to work alongside him as such. While I've toyed with abstraction in art, I'm a novice at this, but want to try something new and need to grow. I've made a few abstracts on canvas this summer for the adjoining room that will round out the show, and it's been freeing, if not successful, though the few friends that have come around recently have responded positively. We'll have to see if the public reacts the same way, if I can make a sale. I already jumped into this stack of canvases, well into the medium-sized 24 x 36" pictured above to the right in the last 24 hours, and have lost myself in it- that's a good sign.

Juggling work in the coming holiday season, along with my two bands & the fitness routine will be a trick- I'm not known for balance in my life. It has to be to the maximum in all things I do. This mindset, determination, personality disorder or whatever you want to call it comes in handy when learning four hours of music for shows with two separate bands, concentrating on painting for several months at a stretch, or losing 30 lbs as I did recently, but doesn't always transfer well to a harmonized, everyday lifestyle. They call it attention deficit disorder nowadays, and give chidren drugs to squelch it- when I was a kid they just called it creative.

Your life is worth everything- Make the most of it!
More Later!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ginger Bay 10th Annual "Spatacular" & Friends of Kids with Cancer!

I am honored to have been asked by my pal Roze to donate art for silent auction in Ginger Bay's 10th Annual Spatacular! All proceeds benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer  :)  Friends of Kids with Cancer is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for cancer and blood related diseases. "Our mission is to be an advocate for these special kids and provide them and their families with the recreational, educational, and emotional support needed throughout the long hours of chemotherapy illness and isolation."

Saturday, September 17 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Ginger Bay Salon & Spa - Kirkwood
437 S. Kirkwood Rd.
Kirkwood, Missouri  63122

Call 314-966-0655 to purchase your tickets today!

I have donated an 11 x 14" canvas:
"Mother" 2010
acrylic, mixed media collage