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   :) 

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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!