Sunday, September 25, 2011

What happened to the the Super Artist?

It doesn't seem that art or the artists producing it is near as popular as they used to be.  I mean we have famous artists these days that few have heard of but no superstar artists like there used to be.  Look back to the 50's when Picasso, Pollock, de Kooning, and many others were the famous artist, just as big as the movie stars of the time.  They appeared in Life Magazine and the front page of the newspapers, were mentioned on the evening news.  I even saw a clip of Salvador Dali on a game show.  

It was a time when almost everybody heard of these people.  Look at today's most well known artists.

The top living artists as of June 8th 2009
Jasper Johns
Bruce Nauman, Lucian Freud, Richard Serra, David Hockney, Cy Twombly, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Tracy Emin, and Damien Hirst

Unfortunately Lucian Freud died since this list was compiled.  I bet if you ask the average non-artist who any of these people are they wouldn't have any idea yet 50 or 60 years ago most people would probably know who the top three were of that time.  Try it.  Ask random people who Jasper Johns is.

You hear even less about pieces of art than you do about the artist themselves.  The only times you seem to hear about a painting by people that aren't into art is when someone does a highly controversial piece.  I like a good controversial work of art but not when it's done just for the sake of getting attention.  It should say something more than just "look at me".  Where are today's Guernicas, the Screams, and Starry Nights?

With the internet you would think that art would be even more popular but it's not.  Is the information super highway helping art, distracting from it, or not having any effect at all?  I'm able to connect with other artists all over the world that I wouldn't have been able to many years ago but does the average person not think about art as much?  It seems that way.

Maybe I'm wrong about this.  I live in a small town and cultural dead zone.  Let me know if I'm wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Like a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

It's amazing how much you can forget over a short amount of time if you're not careful, especially so with art.  Part of the reason I got into a rut with my painting was because instead of experimenting I fell into a groove that I became comfortable with.  Without realizing it I eventually became bored with it.  I've been working on a commission off and on for the past four months, becoming more and more bored with each session.  It hit me what I've been missing for so long, it wasn't a challenge and therefore not inspiring me anymore.  Like I said in an earlier blog 2007 was my best year for painting.  I was on an adventure with my art that I eventually fell out of.  Yesterday I rediscovered what I had been missing.  It almost felt like I'd been reborn.  I'm at work right now and I can't wait to get home and get back to work on it.  It's been along time since I looked forward to working on a piece instead of dreading it.  It feels great.  The person I'm doing this commission for is probably wondering if I'm ever going to finish it.  It will be soon now.  Even if they decide they don't want it it will still be worth it just for the artistic rebirth I've experienced with it.  I've discovered that the longer you don't paint or experiment may cause you to forget things and bury them with repetition and useless information making it harder to recover them when you start painting again.  The artistic path is filled with many pitfalls but the few moments of insight are bliss and well worth it.  I feel like a Phoenix rising from the Ashes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alex Schaefer's "Bank on Fire" Paintings.

Alex Schaefer's bank on fire work heats up art world

I'm really excited for this guy and like the meaning behind his paintings.  I'm not familar with him except for what I've learned from this article but from what I gather he's planning on doing a lot more of the burnning paintings.  I hope he means a series of them and not to just paint banks and other buildings on fire for the rest of his career.  It's sad when an artist finds something that's popular and sticks with it for the sake of sales instead of experimenting, trying new things, and moving on.

I like his work.  He doesn't get bogged down with too much detail and uses what looks like the perfect amount of texture.

I look forward to seeing what this artist paints in the future.  Best of luck Alex Schaefer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a Painting in Progress

Here's a peek at my creative process

for the media, by the media
Acrylic on panel
48" x 48"

a New Beginning.

I am an artist and my own worst enemy.  I'm very passionate about my art but very inactive lately as well.  I want to support myself with it but when I get a commission I tend to put it off until the last minute because knowing I'm getting paid for it tends to take away from the artistic experience for me.  I hope to get over this and enjoy working on commissions as much as personal paintings.  I'm in a conundrum, a perpetual irony.  This is my first Blog entry ever unless you count my journal entries on DeviantART  My intent is to show you my artistic journey, to record it and to look back on later as I slowly crawl out of this hole of an existence to possibly eventual contentment.  The only way I seem to be happy is when I'm doing/reading about/thinking about/talking about ART.

I've been an artist ever since I could hold a pencil.  My dad is an artist and so was my grandfather.  I didn't start painting until I was in my late twenties.  I used to have a problem finishing anything and had 20 or 30 unfinished paintings sitting around at any given time until I read the book "Life, Paint and Passion" by Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cubley  If you haven't read it you should check it out.  It helped me to get over the block of trying to please everyone else and helped me to paint like I was the only person who would ever see my work.  I later figured out as long as you paint what you're passionate about you'll find and audience.  If you only paint what is trendy or what you think people want to see chances are your art will seem tired and unoriginal to the viewers.

By the end of 2006 I began finishing my work (the two below).  
2007 was the most productive year, my renascence and it felt great (a few examples below).

If you're interested in seeing more check out my gallery

Like I said before I'm working to become more productive and to achieve a higher quality of life and happiness.  I'm also here to meet other artist and talk art.  I hope all is well with you and to see again you soon.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso