Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts on life after death....

   Redemption of the Just - Isaiah 57

Acrylic and digital print on panel. 24" x 60" - 2010

  This subject came up while reading a news article on Christians increasing choosing cremation over burial. I've often assumed that's not really a bad idea considering the cost of burial. I really don't like business' that have a solid grip on your finances - right to the end.

This posting may seem morbid, at times funny. I decided to search the web to see if there were comments on what Mormon's officially teach on the subject - there were plenty. Apparently the only official statement (and it's not doctrine) is that the Church discourages the practice of cremation; but doesn't forbid it.  That's an interesting statement, to me it says "Everyone I know wants to be buried, but there is nothing really wrong with cremation from a doctrinal point of view. From a doctrinal point of view it comes down to the question of the resurrection. According to The Book of Mormon, another Testament of Christ: 

The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. Alma 40:23

Throughout my life I've been led to believe that this scripture indicates that our mortal, our physical body will be reconstructed to their perfect form. That has always suited me as I think I could use a more perfect form. Having to restore every mortal particle? I wouldn't say that's beyond God's ability, but it does seem very impractical.

On the serious side this brings to question the fate of those who's bodies have been destroyed by one horrible means or another - all the way back to Adam. That's a lot of people who had no choice in the matter. God, being a loving God, has has provided the resurrection, or eternal life, to all men. From the Bible, KJV;

  • John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Therefore my conclusion - the gospel of Lloyd, so take it for what it is: The resurrection is more of a recreation of the mortal form in its "proper and perfect frame".  After all, the Lord knows well how this is done - and it would be a lot less, well - messy.

    Perhaps I should stop reading the news. It gets distracting.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thought of the week:

A quote and a photo from two fine contemporary artists:

Is Art really an extravagance, something 'extra' ? 17,000 years earlier, I'm not sure the 'cave painters', knew or experienced, any extravagance, or 'extras'. When we consider 'Necessity', and the human spirit, perhaps G . Richter was right, again... 'Art remains our highest form, expression, of hope'.
Randy Sabatelli

Photo: Fiedorosicz - In the spirit of abstraction

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How do we portray Christ?

When I paint an image of Christ, I look at a resurrected being - not the one who lived and served on the earth; but the one who is perfected and working on our behalf now. Not always happy with us - then again, I'm not always happy with myself

Monday, August 5, 2013

Art: Talent or Price - Who wins?

American artist Eric Fischl was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, then discussed further by Katheryn Tully in Forbes magazine, that "belief that money, rather than artistic merit, has recently become the universal definition of worth in the art world."

This obviously creates problems not only for the artists but for the collector or investor. As Fischl put it in the interview, regarding the financial bubble in the computer/internet industry in the 80's:

"It was almost like a perfect storm. There was a tremendous amount of money being made by people who were very young, were not broadly educated but were more mono-focused educated. They didn't have a broad sense of history, of culture. Then all of a sudden there's this infusion of money into the art world, where they're looking for things that are not deeply understood but are entertaining, and the lifestyle of it is entertaining. They're hedging their bets, so they're buying lots of different young artists. And it's getting younger and younger. In the '90s, collectors started to buy work directly out of studios in graduate schools by artists who hadn't even become professional artists, let alone mature.

And the impact that has on artists is enormous, because if you start selling work as a student, it's very hard to change, very hard to let go and progress and find your own true voice. So you see a lot of younger artists who've been selling work since they got out of school but have yet to do their second show, so to speak. They started speaking, not in art terms, but in business terms."

The bottom line here is that it's not about talent, and the buyers weren't knowledgeable about art. 

Tully: "There are obviously numerous reasons why the value of an artist, or an art work, should not just be defined by price. The majority of amazing art in the world does not sell for millions at auction or fit the neat parameters of what sells well at an art fair. It’s not a consistent or useful marker for collectors..."

This becomes scary for artist - do I create for the market or create for expression, beauty, essence...? 
Contemporary art today is more diverse than it's ever been. It is so diverse, in fact, that it is becoming difficult for gallerist, or websites (which many feel are driving out a lot of galleries) to describe to a potential buyer what "kind" of art this is. 

In my humble opinion there is no "ism" today. Sure, some artist still work in ism's of the past - even impressionism for goodness sake! After all, it looks good on a wall and, more importantly, it sales. But, is it ART? There's the conundrum. If an artist wants to be true to themselves, their vision and creativity - it may well drive them off the market. In Monet's time communication amongst the art world was close to nil - today it is rampant. On FaceBook alone I have 65 "friends" who are artists and cover every continent! It's fascinating, the myriad collection of varied art I receive each day. Some of them have their market - some are still looking for it, and may never really find it. 

Art (in any form) is just too precious to be viewed only for it's monetary value. Perhaps it is those who buy art just because they like it, because it enhances their lives that will determine the future of art. That, I'm afraid will be some time coming. I guess I can't really complain. I don't sell a lot, almost none in originals - more in prints - but I can say that I'm being true to myself and I'm still growing (that said at my age hopefully means senility has yet to set in). That can't be said of artist who find a niche where they find some popularity and then hammer out more of it because it sells. I do get exhibited, published, given awards, and I've been asked to do solo shows. For now, that provides fulfillment.

Structure 1 - Digital work in progress

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life's too easy - really!

Today I go to Sherwin Williams to buy my paint - yes, I use commercial grade acrylics - not too unusual today. And for the way I paint I buy it by the quart and gallon. Some of my works get their textures and color cast by pouring about 1/8" of paint on a panel with the edges taped. Colors and texture materials are worked into the wet paint and as it dries, more texture is added. When dry I have the base for the painting. 

Years ago and in centuries past you made your own paint. One reason that early artists didn't have large catalogs of work. Following is a recipe by Frieda Kahlo. Here is a rather contemporary Mexican artist who still follows homemade recipes:

Distemper together 4 equal parts of egg yolks raw linseed oil
egg yolk = raw linseed oil = compound of damar gum blended in turpentine = water
damar gum dissolved in turpentine and distilled water. with disinfectant take = concentrated aldehyde alcohol. ½ gram. to a liter of water.
crushed damar inside of lemon [suspended in] turpentine for 8 to 10 days.
remove all the white from the yolk.
  1. Make an emulsion of the ingredients
  2. Grind the colors into the emulsion
  3. If a glossy texture is desired, increase the amount of damar, up to two parts.
  4. If an overall matte finish is desired increase the water up to three parts
Personally, I'll stick with the quarts and appreciate how easy my life is............

Friday, July 26, 2013

Small Things and Things for Love

I offered to do a painting for my 20 year old daughter. She asked only that it have the colors of dark brown, green and purple. Interesting combination - but she is an interesting young lady and very talented. 
I've been working on landscapes lately - at least in an abstract sense. Horizontal colors evocative of landscapes. This work is call Green Sky in the Morning. 24"x24" - acrylic on panel.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I've been ignoring the blog!

Whether you’ll admit it or not, there are dreams you’ve kept since childhood. There are things out there that make you come alive. There is a burden in your soul that feels like it’s been lit on fire, and it makes it difficult to speak, and you fumble for the words, and you ache to quench the thirst.
           Hannah Brencher

Monday, April 22, 2013

Painting and Music

Black Angels - 2013 - 32"x48" - Mixed media with acrylic and tar on panel.

Dedicated to George Crumb - Part 1 of his quartet for electric string instruments, crystal glasses, and two suspended tam-tam gongs: Dark Angels. 1970.

Imagery also based on the ninth chapter of Revelations: (partly quoted)
 And the fifth angel sounded, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
 13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
 14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
 15 And the four angels were loosed for to slay the third part of men.
 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand.
 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
I was introduced to Crumbs music when I bought the Kronos Quartet's CD of the piece. Easily the scariest piece of music I've heard - and fascinating in the fear it instills. In the 1950s and 60s, composers began a new push in experimental music, especially with regard to electronic techniques. George Crumb was commissioned by the Stanley Quartet to create such an experimental piece. Crumb decided to explore the contemporary world's religious strife in his composition. "Black Angels" reflects these haunting and mystical undertones; Crumb meant for the violin to embody the devil's music, and cast the cello as "the voice of God."
Originally I thought the scripture citing the destruction of a third of man-kind was in Isaiah; and therefore had planned on including it in my Isaiah project. Despite the fact that the scripture is in Revelations, I pursued it as a part of the project. 
The painting is a metaphorical abstraction of the writing and as much influenced by the music as the scripture. Although the scripture describes the angels army as horsemen I fell back on the historical vision of winged angels. I admit that this was somewhat inspired by the film "Legion" in which the archangels Michael, and later Gabriel (Michael wouldn't carry out the mission when he realized that man-kind still had hope) were sent to carry out the destruction in our day. 
Yes the angels were painted with roofing tar, darkening the sky and seeking to embody the fearsome nature of the moment. The "locust/scorpions" where constructed in Photoshop to mostly replicate their description in revelation. This was a time consuming project considering that the tar alone required six weeks of out-gassing the solvents (and outside of the studio).

George Crumb: Black Angels

Program:  Subtitle: "Thirteen Images from the Dark Land: a parable on our troubled contemporary world."  Religious connotations: "fallen angel" (falling from grace, spiritual annihilation, redemption); polarity of 7/13 (God/Devil) within three sections (Holy Trinity).  Viet Nam references (departure - absence - return).  Universality: musical allusions to various cultures.  Inscription: "finished on Friday the Thirteenth of March, 1970 (in tempore belli)."

Arsis4 performing part 1 "Departure" of Black Angels by George Crumb

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Matt Knowles - Last of my talented kids

Sometimes you just have to brag!

My father was a music teacher and  the arts have always been in our family. Matt (17) has been a music fanatic - anything but classical (where did I go wrong....). In high school he found a renewed love of  jazz. In the school jazz band he has played guitar (electric, bass, acoustic), baritone sax, cornet and trombone. In other groups he added baritone horn and percussion.
The sweet thing about this video is that he picked up the trombone just a couple of months prior - learned the stops from a friend in the band - then surprised us, and a lot of other with this:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Red Lake

Red Lake

Computer Graphic - 31.5" x 94"
the physical work will be in 3 - 31.5" panels
Printed on inkjet canvas - resin coated
Aluminum frame 

I haven't printed this yet - waiting for materials. This is the largest CG work I've done and it looks excellent in PhotoShop. The print will tell how successful it is. 10 layers used for imaging. I haven't tagged it with a price yet but, of course prints as small as 8"x24" will be available.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hard to change

Currently working in CG. The idea was to create some more "affordable" works - selling something would be nice. 

The first sit down got me "The Choice" (above) - then I decided to get more serious. 

The piece I'm working on now is an expansive abstract landscape. The finished work will be printed on canvas at 32"x96"; mounted on panel; cut into 3 - 32" square sections; framed with aluminum bar; seal the edges of the canvas; then pour a thin coat of casting resin.

So what happened to the smaller work stuff. It seems like I just can't get around that.