Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Larger Paintings

Typically what I do to get a larger painting is pull a small painting I have here of mine and copy it, maybe changing a few things I didn't like about the original.This is my latest and you can compare it to the painting I used in the December 19, 2008 post. Painting larger has been a goal for me but I tend to be vasillating with my goals at times. It seems like life gets in and changes your circumstances which in turn may alter what you need to achieve at any given moment. I keep up with a painter named Stacey Peterson through her blog and she was a chemical engineer before becoming an artist and she appears to have a very analytical way of setting her goals, revisiting them from time to time, and staying on point. I never seem to have this real concrete target of where I want to be, say, at the end of the year. I just paint and work as hard as life will let me and hope to have made ground at the end of the year. When I do try to set goals, I realize I can't control what happens a week from now much less a year. There is so much that bombards our lives, outside circumstances that keep you re-adjusting so often you get off track. I think that is why it works for certain people, they stay on point. Stacey Peterson seems to stay on point.
Oh, and if anybody out there has tips on photographing work, share. It is a constant struggle for me. I am thinking about investing a little money to try and set up a small booth with lighting but then again, I am not sure what light will give me the closest color. The color above is atrocious and I even corrected it a bit in a software program.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Personal Record

I have been painting at Radnor Lake quite a bit recently because I am chairing an art show that the Chestnut Group is having that is a fundraiser for Friends of Radnor Lake. Last week we had some incredibly cold weather and last Thursday evening I painted in about 10 degree weather. However, the following Friday morning I met Dawn Whitelaw and Erin Jones for a winter paint-out in about 5 degree temps.
The girls walk the walk.
Years ago when I started duck hunting I realized the only way to actually enjoy it was to spend the money and buy the winter wardrobe complete with every technological breakthrough in outdoor clothing you could afford. When I have it on I just can't get cold. I was much colder on my November 10 2008 post in about 45 degree weather. But these two looked like they had a few layers of cotton with coats and uninsulated boots and they stayed. Erin got there before me, finished one, and then did another while I was there. I was pretty sure Dawn would stay because she's like a painting Terminator, she won't stop. But I wasn't sure about Erin.
I have to say I was impressed. We all earned a plein air merit badge that morning and afterward Erin and I enjoyed the best hot coffee I have ever had at our local Starbucks. Now if I could teach these two to duck hunt they would be unstoppable.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"I'm Sorry, It Just Doesn't Match My Drapes...."

This is a piece I did back in November right after Thanksgiving. It's just a blown down tree but with the light just right I had to give it a shot. It's one of those things that when you paint it you wonder if it is marketable or will a gallery want it or will somebody want it in their home but ultimately you have to paint it regardless of it's marketability because if you just paint the things that you believe are marketable it will ultimately show up in the quality of your work. You have to paint those things that "move you" or "you connect with" or any one of those other flakey cliches that describes what you love to paint. I think that may be one more in about 10,000 reasons I like what Richard Schmid does. In a recent magazine article he said that his proudest accomplishment was that he always painted what he wanted and he wasn't driven by the market. And in his book Alla Prima, one of the nicest paintings in the book is a blown down tree.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I know this actually dosen't have anything to do with fine art but I wanted to share and the reason there is no title to this post is that I have no words to describe it.
I went duck hunting over the past two days in a little spot in the road called Holcomb, Mississippi. We were hunting a farm that consisted of about 90 acres of rice fields. I have been hunting ducks now since about '86-'87 and if I get to the field to hunt and count, say, a hundred ducks, I have had a great day. It is rare to see clouds of ducks that blot out the morning sun.
When we got to the fields Tuesday morning the sky filled with THOUSANDS of ducks and geese.THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS. The most impressive thing was the sound. From about a half a mile away when this many waterfowl take off it sounds like a train or distant thunder. It was one of those incredible moments that you were glad you had the privilege to experience.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in the Groove

I don't know about ya'll but the holidays throw me off. The schedule becomes terribly chaotic and it makes it hard to get out and get anything done. My painting was very sporadic and blogging ceased entirely. But school starts tommorrow and the groove is coming back.
Over the holidays the house was usually full of little girls. We had the two Vietnamese girls, Tram and Nikki, that stay with us on weekends and holidays. For those of you who don't know, the oldest is the roommate of my oldest daughter at Webb School and the younger one is her little sister and a freshman there. They are 5 day boarders, so they are with us on the weekends and holidays. Add to that 4 girls that my youngest had over the week of New Year's and the 4 my oldest had fly in that she goes to the Duke University T.I.P. program with each summer. They do a good job of staying in touch each year and this was the first chance they had to get together away from the T.I.P. program. They have a lot in common and from all appearance they had a great time together. Needless to say, with shopping and Christmas the week before, and then the house full of girls New Year's week, productivity at Kevin Menck Fine Art has reached an all time low. However, like I said before, school starts tommorrow and productivity should get back to pre-holiday levels.
Also over the holidays I picked up a third gallery. It is in Lewes, Delaware. I have been to Lewes and it is a very high end weekend get away place and it has tons of old east coast village charm. It is a beautiful area that I hope to get to paint in more often now that I have an excuse. The gallery is the Peninsula Gallery there in Lewes.
Alright, now let's go painting.