Monday, February 27, 2012

"Dueling Minds": The Wonderful & Weird Results!

The opening for the "Dueling Minds" show this past Friday, Feb. 24th was a success! We had a large and diverse crowd, coming in waves throughout the course of the entire evening and engaging us with great questions about the work. Dale & I sold eight paintings, including one of our pairs of the same title, which made us feel vindicated in our endeavor. As stated in our press release, we decided upon the unique approach of assembling a list of titles before any work began, assigning each title to a predetermined size, then went off on our own to create our own rendering of that title separately, free of any influence of the other’s work. What surprised and baffled Dale, myself, and the crowd was how much the work had in common when placed side by side...

Exhibit A:
"The Right & The Wrong"
24 x 24" each

No, we did not see what the other was doing color-wise or other as these canvases were worked on. We simply bought the same sized canvases, agreed upon a title during one of our discussions, and went back to our studio's to work. That the colors are so similar was surprising enough, but then for whatever reason Dale put two circles in his top right canvas. While I did not use orange in my tic-tac-toe paintings, I did use a very orangey copper paint. Yes my design possessed a a more rigid structuring than Dale's pair, but they were all four rendered in a very painterly fashion. We had not seen, nor had we discussed what the other was doing on these canvases, and yet they ended up being alarmingly similar in more than one way. Uncanny!

Exhibit B:

"The Depths"
20 x 24" each

Even with my terrible photo, it's easy to see the upward, unfurling movement in these canvases, not to mention the similarity in colors, including the highlight/foreground use of red paint. And though I'm pretty sure Dale wasn't trying to paint a seahorse in his canvas (bottom), but combined with my "bubbly" painting above, there was a sort of quasi-aquatic thing going on here that's undeniable in my eyes. Weird!

Exhibit C:
 "Hot and Cold"
20 x 24" each

Again, the use of red as highlight/foreground color on both of these make them similar, but the silver paint and scratchy, violent nature these two canvases share really drive it home. And though my substandard photo doesn't show it well, my canvas (top) has blueish underpainting revealed where I scratches vertical lines through the silver background. Not unalike!

Exhibit D:
20 x 24" each

While this unexplainable, chance "mirroring" of one another goes on throught most all of the show, I offer one of the more enigmatic pairings. There are many ways the two canvases pictured above differ: Dale's canvas (bottom) has a very surface-oriented, topical nature that crosshatches in all directions, whereas my washed in, vertical "sprouts" are deeply imbedded into the red ground color. For no reason Dale could offer, his last touch at the bottom of his canvas was a horizontal line of colors that mirror my canvas above! Why??

And you'd just have to see the rest of them to believe it- nearly every pair baffled both our audience and ourselves with their similarities.  Like something out of the Twilight Zone, this is by far the strangest thing I've ever witnessed or participated in. I've never seen a ghost or UFO, I'm not particularly religious or superstitious, and while the hair wasn't standing on the back of my neck, I'm unsure I'll ever be able to explain what happened here. It was just... surreal. There will be a closing reception on March 30th you won't want to miss if you couldn't make it to the opening- details to come  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Visitor

"The Visitor" 2012
acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24"

We needed a final piece of the puzzle, so to speak, for the Dueling Minds show tonight. So on Wednesday night I whipped out this surreal-looking espresso-bean-invader-from-Mars thing that I just can't explain, LOL! It started off as simple, flat colors and shapes, and then got freakier as the evening got later  :D  This canvas will be featured in the room adjoining the main show, along with more of Dale and my individual works. Dale & I did a final walk-through with Bryan last night, and seeing all the paintings hung on the white walls under the gallery lights was really something- even better than I expected. Dale exceeded my expectations, and it was uncanny how so many of the pairings went together so well when put side by side. As I explained before, we chose titles to be painted on the same sized canvases, and went off separately to make the work. Seeing them together as we lined them along the floor last Sunday, it was bizarre how similar some of them were in color, shape, texture, or all three. So much fun! Come down to Concrete Ocean for the show tonight- Dale, Bryan, and I look forward to meeting you there    :)

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alone In Love

"Alone In Love"
11 x 14"
acrylic on masonite
Feb. 2012

My pal said the other night that my art looks like Tarot card art, the symbols and figures bearing  deep emotional association. She'd probably say the board I painted late Monday night, "Alone In Love" (above), is a prime example. This one won't fit in with my work at the Dueling Minds show at Concrete Ocean this Friday night, but on a high from making so much work recently, I've had so many ideas I need to get out.  I did something here with the green that I had never done before and that's kinda fun.

From Wikipedia:
Carl Jung was the first psychoanalyst to attach importance to tarot symbolism. He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of persons or situations embedded in the collective unconscious of all human beings. The theory of archetypes gives rise to several psychoanalytical uses. Since the cards represent these different archetypes within each individual, ideas of the subject's self-perception can be gained by asking them to select a card that they 'identify with'. Equally, the subject can try to clarify the situation by imagining it in terms of the archetypal ideas associated with each card. For instance, someone rushing in heedlessly like the Knight of Swords, or blindly keeping the world at bay like the Rider-Waite-Smith Two of Swords.

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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ready, Set... Go

"Magic"  2011
acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30"

Yesterday I delivered my 22 paintings for this Friday's show at Concrete Ocean, as did my show partner, artist Dale Wilke. I was really pleased with how well everything went together, and along with gallery owner Bryan Pease, we arranged how everything will be hung. Today one of the new canvases , "Magic" sold a week before the show- this is usually a good sign of how things will go. It should be a nice crowd Friday night, and Dale, Bryan, and I look forward to meeting you there at Concrete Ocean    :)

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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Show Postcards!

My show partner Dale ordered the cards he had designed, which should arrive Monday. I've never been one to have these made for shows, feeling their impact is dubious at best these days, social media dominating attention for events here in the 21st century. Dale felt we could get some use out of them, so I went along with it for the novelty of experience, and I liked how the design turned out.

Each of our versions of "The Divide" are featured on the verso, so it's a sneak peek at what the work looks like. That said, many of the 22 canvases I've been working on since last June look wildly different from one another, and their non-objective nature radically "cool" in comparison to my emotionally charged work of the past. Like the press release in my last post stated, I opted to paint completely abstract images for this show, as is Dale's style, to establish some unity. Also important however, was the need to challenge myself to something I'd never done- how would I approach the predetermined titles without using the loaded images, personal symbolism, & narrative style I was accustomed to working in? It wasn't easy!

Left intact with each canvas, however, were my expectations of what I deem a finished, presentable work of art- a complex & difficult to explain system of characteristics, based mostly on aesthetic taste I'm sure, but also presentation. I just knew when I was finished with each one, save a couple that became overworked & had to be redone. Many of them appear rather simple, but required several layers of work to satisfy the demands of my personal vision. One of my friends said they looks as though someone else painted them, which pleased me greatly. Some may not appreciate the 180 degree turn in my work, but I was challenged and invigorated by the experience and I hope the audience will feel the same upon viewing them.

"The Divide"
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24"

Dueling Minds: Colin Shaw & Dale Wilke
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