Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Dueling Minds" Feb. 24th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/25/12   Shaw Art Studio/Concrete Ocean Contemporary Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Bryan Pease, owner of Concrete Ocean Contemporary Gallery, approached Colin Shaw and Dale Wilke about creating a show combining their very different styles. To better unify the two artists, Shaw’s emotionally charged, narrative works were abandoned in favor of the non-objective vernacular Wilke employs in his palette-focused, mood pieces. Additionally, Wilke’s preferred larger format was downsized to compliment Shaw’s typically smaller working scale.

The challenge of how to merge the two artist’s distinct approaches into a show that would not jolt the eye turned into a conversation on perception and the individual. From there it evolved into the exploration of multiple realities created in the individual experience, unique from one another, yet coexisting in real time with or without depending on one another.

The artists decided upon the unique approach of assembling a list of titles before any work began, assigning each title to a predetermined size. Each artist then created his own rendering of that title separately, free of any influence of the other’s work. Upon completion, the resulting pieces shown side by side. A unique experience will be achieved both as a group and singularly on several levels, from each artist’s initial reaction to the given title , in addition to each artist’s first experience with the other’s corresponding pieces. The show attendees will then complete the process with their perception of the collaborative presentation.

Opening Reception:
Friday, Feb. 24th 2012 7:00PM - 11:00 PM
Concrete Ocean Art Gallery
2257 S. Jefferson Avenue, at Shenandoah
Saint Louis, MO 63104
(314) 448-1796
(314) 497-0199

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Late Afternoon, January

"Late Afternoon, January"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2012

Another beautiful Tuesday afternoon in January. Though it has yet to show, the months have already turned, and real winter is a breath away. I've stayed very busy and will thankfully be so through the entire season- I think winter is beautiful in its own way, but am usually over that in short order. Since last June I've been working on twenty-two canvases for a show in late February- the work will be like nothing you have ever seen from me before. It has been challenging for myself, and will challenge the viewer. More on that later...

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Wild, Wild Sea, 1993

40 x 52"

While at home for Christmas, I snapped some candid pictures of some of my earlier paintings around the house, including "The Wild, Wild Sea" pictured above, created in 1993 at East Central College under the tutelage of Chuck SHOEmaker. Since I wrote about SHOE in my last post, I thought I'd share a canvas I created in those years back at the old school   :)  The painting courses at East Central back then were tailored to the individual, and SHOE pushed me to "go big", push to the limit of my ability, and pursue my inner vision. It was a romantic time in my life when the possiblities seemed endless!

I still incorporate this method of canvas collage in my painting today. Looking back at the work, this wasn't too shabby for a second semester painting student- if it wasn't  good it was certainly ambitious. The strip lattice frame I built around the hand stretched canvas even has little "pictograms" up both sides (see below). I made things with care even back then, and am proud at how well it's held up- it looks the same as the day it was made  :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In Remembrance

These are some recently uncovered photos I took of Charles SHOEmaker, father of my creativity, working with his students at East Central College, c.1993.  BIG Thanks to Marjorie George for helping me scan the negatives during a very busy past December ... many good memories we share of this old painter, our teacher, our friend. I think about him almost every time I paint. If I close my eyes, I can still see him looking over the rim of his eyeglasses, thinking of how to answer the wild boy who was always talking to him, asking him questions. To this day I think to myself, "what would SHOE say about this?" Among the many things I learned from this man about art and life, he taught me sensitivity to what was going on around me and in my work.

"BIG THINGS FIRST" was our initial lesson in drawing and painting, for without a fundamental understanding of what you are working with there can be no success. SHOE taught me how to make a finished piece presentable to show and be seen by the public- something that sounds simple, but is surprisingly overlooked in the curriculum of a lot of fine art programs. SHOE also made us go to the library every week and check out an art related book or two, and report back to him with the material for discussion, encouraging us get out there and teach ourselves about art. The overall environment he established in the art department was one of hard work and self discovery. We all worked together, went out to see art and films, talked about art, and critiqued each other's projects. It was an exciting time!

And here's SHOE pictured below with Larry Pogue, head of the East Central Art Department, sculpture and printmaking instructor. This was a familiar sight, and comforting to see again. SHOE once said that Pogue wasn't always the biggest fan of his administrative duties, but he was good at them. Together these two artists built that department from the ground up, many successful artists graduating under their tutelage. I am most grateful for all they gave me.

Having passed away in 2000 (but not before seeing his beloved St. Louis Rams win a Superbowl!), I often lament there being almost nothing about the prolific artist committed to the internet for others to enjoy. I did however stumble across the Powder Valley Trading Company, which sells some of SHOE's whimsical silkscreened prints from the 70's. Classmates Marjorie and husband Steve have one of SHOE's smaller, later watercolors, many of which were often quite sizable and incorporated elaborate weaving of painted paper. The 1960 Washington University graduate was nationally and regionally known in his time, and has work in corporate and museum collections, but very little of it is on display on the internet. If you are an old friend or student of Chuck's, please feel free to e-mail me with anything you've found, or photos of his art in your collection. It is often said about folks after they pass on that "everyone should have known them", and in SHOE's case, it really was true.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

...And Some More January Photos

"Crowd of Trees, January"
digital photograph

C.M. Shaw, 2012

"Ridge of Trees, January"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2012

Again, some more January photos taken on New Year's Day. I found the first day of 2012 to be beautiful and medatative. I spent it alone and quietly happy. These photos are from the woody neighborhood I've lived for the past decade- it may not be an extraordinary landscape, but there is beauty there if you look. I find the dormant trees interesting, the lush summer dress they wore only a few months ago stripped bare from the branches, revealing their earthy root to the landscape.

Monday, January 2, 2012

More January 1st Photos...

"Underbrush, January (Green)"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2012

"Underbrush, January (Blue)"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2012

More photos I took from New Year's Day, the setting sun peeking through the underbrush. Winter is on it's way, but the last couple days have been relatively warm. There's something mysterious about the now exposed underbrush among the dormant trees, unrecognizeable from the lush green it wore just a few months ago.

Sunday, January 1, 2012