Thursday, December 19, 2013

Secret Melody

"Secret Melody"  2013
11 x 14"
acrylic, mixed media collage on masonite

Like "Her Night", this mixed media collage of mine shares a setting of opulence, both paintings containing a jeweled chandelier and female in fancy dress. The subject in "Secret Melody" faces away from the viewer, a seeker following song to it's hidden origin at the top of the stairs. I wasn't sure where this piece was going, and finished up a year after I began work on it, the musical staff on black the final pieces collaged onto the board. A lifelong musician, I can recall hundreds of melodies from memory and recite them at will.  I remember the minutiae of recordings in great detail, and feel I can play them like a record in my head. Music is part of my every day, often times enjoyed singularly, no other activity involved- I can just get carried off by it. Naturally, the themes in my art frequently center around music. While remaining convinced I experience music more profoundly than the majority, I do feel that most people have a certain affinity for it, and perhaps even a special melody or two that appears in their head. What song does the little record player spin in your head?

Above: Art enthusiasts stop by Norton's Fine Art to get a closer look at "Secret Melody" and all the other artist's works at the Nov. 23rd Size Matters Holiday Show opening.

"Secret Melody" is displayed for sale until Jan. 11th, so call Mary at Norton's Fine Art if you need the perfect holiday gift for that music lover in your life    :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Her Night

"Her Night"  2013
11 x 14"
acrylic, mixed media collage on masonite

I actually finished work on this a year ago, along with a couple other mixed media collages on masonite I was working on simultaneously, before stopping to paint a few acrylics on paper. Collaging matboard and magazine scraps onto my paintings began many years ago, and is a process I always seem to come back to- using found element always creates a surprise in results I don't achieve in the same way when drawing or painting with convention media. The female in tight gold dress was the catalyst for the implied narrative, finding the houses at sunset and extravagant chandelier scraps thereafter to furnish the setting. Her hipshot stance frames the doorway, confidently announcing the evening to come belongs to her.

This collage won the Bruce Zuckerman Memorial juror's cash award at last weekend's Size Matters Holiday Show at Norton's Fine Art on Big Bend. Though I've sold a lot of paintings, I honestly can't remember the last time I won an award for my work, so that was an unexpected honor. With so many artist's pieces on the wall, it felt special to be singled out for "Her Night". The upswing in my 9 to 5 career and other creative endeavors had taken a great deal of attention away form my painting in the last year, but this humble accomplishment made me feel I should perhaps get back to exploring that. A nice crowd of art lovers in the gallery on that unseasonably cold November evening, and I enjoyed meeting new people to talk about art with.

"Her Night" is displayed for sale until Jan. 11th, so call Mary at Norton's Fine Art if you need the perfect holiday gift for that diva in your life  :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Size Matters Holiday Art Show

Join me and over 25 other artists for the annual Size Matters Holiday Art Show at Norton's Fine Art on Sat. Nov. 23rd, from 5 - 8 PM! The pieces submitted for this juried exhibition were restricted in size to satisfy the need for fine art on a holiday budget. I haven't participated in any art shows in over a year, and will be showing three of my new mixed media collages from the last year, all 11 x 14", framed and ready to hang at great prices. Special thanks to Dick Blick for the generous goodie bags we received for participating in the showing- visit them today for all your art supplies!

The Proposal, 2012
11 x 14", acrylic/mixed media on board

Monday, September 2, 2013

White Rabbit Video

I've kept busy making more movies and taking photos lately than painting this past year, culminating with this latest video of my band, the Good Medicine Revival Show, covering "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (1967).  To my delight, my band mates came to life when I began recording- Dan & Mary in particular. We laughed so hard and had such good time... 

While I haven't any full-length feature aspirations, and my little videos are simple, I did reach a new level of sophistication with this one. White Rabbit was a learning experience for me, involving some lip syncing and far more snips of video than I've used in one video to date. The Windows Movie Maker is an idiot-proof program that satisfies my as of late spur-of-the-moment mode of creativity, and has allowed me to express myself in new ways. Special thanks to friends Todd & Jill Hampton for moral support, great extra footage & photography, and making it FUN!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Art Movie: SLAM, New East Expansion & Beyond

It was a  beautiful day at the St. Louis Art Museum this past Saturday to explore the new East Expansion- so much so that I put a little movie together to share with all you art lovers...

Designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield, the new East Expansion increases the the Museum's public space by 30%. It's very modern, like the work newly housed within it's walls. Many of my old favorites from the Museum's color field, abstract expressionist, and minimalist works have taken over the new building, including Donald Judd's untitled series of aluminum and Plexiglas cubes from 1969. Fascinating!

Also of monumental interest was this site-specific tangle of stone arches between the existing architecture and the new expansion. Totaling over 300 tons, Stone Sea by Andy Goldsworthy was hefty crowd of sculpture, sandwiched between the glass of the opposing buildings, like some creature on display in a terrarium. Upon exiting the main level south doors, the sculpture can be viewed from the top.

Enjoy the movie, and be sure to visit St. Louis' world class art museum whenever you get the chance. There's no admission fee and it sits in a great spot within our very beautiful Forest Park, overlooking the Grand Basin near the Jewel Box, the History Museum, the Zoo, & the Muny. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Friends   2013
wax crayon, colored pencil, acrylic on paper
12 x 16"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stars To Light Your Candles

Stars To Light Your Candles  2013
colored pencil, wax crayon, acrylic on paper
18 x 24"

I posted a shot of this stapled to my drawing board in progress a month ago, but here's a better look at the finished painting/drawing. The glitter paint is mostly undetectable head-on, but can be seen better from an angle, like a sparkly surprise...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Angel's Armor

Angel's Armor  2013
colored pencil, wax crayon, acrylic on paper
18 x 24"

Angel's Armor feels related to Daughter (2007), the bizarre winged armor adding a celestial or science fiction feel, which along with the pink hair evoke the look of a comic book heroine. And I like that.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Art Movie: Tony Renner, Works On Paper @ Urban Eats

I made a little movie on the spot this past Sunday of artist Tony Renner's showing of works on paper at Urban Eats in South St. Louis, a place we have both shown together in the past. The pieces were a sampling of Tony's evolving working methods on paper in a variety of medium  from the last five years, and future plans are mentioned at the end of the video. Coming into the arts somewhat an outsider just a few years ago, Tony immersed himself in art-making, poetry, and music with an open mind and enthusiastic output that is still refreshing to me. See Tony's work through April at Urban Eats Cafe, 3301 Meramec, St. Louis, MO. Enjoy...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Early Spring Snow

"Early Spring Snow, March 24th"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2013

As much as I hate to drop another obligatory snow photo on you like every other photographer aspiring and otherwise, you have to admit the Midwest saw a pretty good blizzard this past Sunday- especially so late in March. I shot this from the tiny deck outside my second story apartment, never having set foot outside during the entire affair. I pushed up the contrast and highlights, deepened the shadows, then converted it to a black & white and hit it with the red filter. I've never done that with a snow photo, and am mildly proud of the results. It wasn't our most treacherous winter storm of the year, but it was an impressive amount of big, wet snow in a short time, about 10" or so. Very pretty. I enjoyed the day alone drawing, stopping to shoot the occasional photo and refill my coffee. Farewell to winter! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stars to light your candles...

Started making art again after some fits and starts- here's an acrylic painting on paper that's stapled to one of my boards right now. I love painting/drawing on paper, this one drawn heavily in wax crayon prior to painting with acrylic, and yes, glitter. See her sparkling? I'm trying to keep these loose, and I find a rough, playful crayon preliminary starts things off well. I bought a few new pads of paper, and this is the direction things are headed- lots of new ideas to work on.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Art Movie: Passanise @ Bruno David

I've felt like I wanted to do some art movies on YouTube for awhile now but was unsure where to start. Gary Passanise's October show at Bruno David was a sort of happy accident, in that I often have my camera function dial on the wrong setting from pulling it in and out of my pocket while on the run around town. The snippet at the beginning of this was perfect, captured while trying to get a decent shot of Gary next to his canvas on opening night this past autumn. I added some shots of the four huge abstracts the artist painted on industrial drop-cloths, some music, and Voilá! He did a gallery talk a month later that I hated missing- I lead a busy life. Gary was very gracious at the opening however, sharing his experience and some insight on his working method and thought processes in making the new works. I posted about Gary this summer when I made a quick painting if him- the Director of Painting at Webster University and founding Executive Director at the Santo Foundation, Gary is an accomplished artist represented by Bruno David Gallery here in St. Louis.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Morning Snow

"Morning Snow, Dec. 29th"
digital photograph
C.M. Shaw, 2012

"Last night grey Winter made his first foray
And stole away kind Autumn's russet cloak.
Where on the grass tumbling leaves did play
A glittering pall he spread and at a stroke..."
from "Winter", Michael Morris