An Old Dog New Tricks
Hot July in Nashville. I know, I will stay inside and paint. Well, that was fun. Got a couple of pieces done recently with a new one about 2/3rds finished.
I am going to be brave and attempt to enter the Springfield Art in the Park on September 28 up in Springfield TN. Royce and I are going to share a tent in another show. This will be two in a row for us at AITP. I am looking forward to it. Royce keeps looking at her watch, then at me and back at her watch. OK, so I am not going to have a thousand pieces for the show. BUT...yes I said but... I will have a little more variety to display.
The story goes like this... A couple of Thursdays ago, I went to the 'Boro to visit my sweetie. We were sitting at the table while she was working on making clay pieces for her incredible jewelry. We always chat while she is being creative. Our discussion turned towards clay obviously, and she was showing me basic stuff about it. Now don't get me wrong, I have fiddled with clay before. OK, I have stuffed clay into molds and went "Eureka!". Michelangelo, I ain't. I have never, even back in high school art class tried to sculpt a clay anything. It was time to put up or shut up. With a flourish and an abracadabra, I pick up a chunk and began to play. After counting my fingers to make sure my handling procedures with the tools were successful, I introduced a vague clown head figure. I even named it "Whiskers".
Well, turned out ok. Royce really liked it, said she was impressed for my very first attempt. I know she wouldn't fib to me, so that made me feel good..... And lit a spark. OK, it's sculpted, now it needs paint. Hmm, I've never sculpted, so duh! I've never painted a sculpture. Deep breath, grab a paint brush and some garish paint color and get started....
OK... maybe I'm on to something here. That was harmless. No fingers harmed, didn't thrash in my sleep that night. Didn't scare Royce.... AND IT WAS FUN PLAYING WITH IT....
So being as I am as smart as a Pachlid from Star Trek, I started looking a sculpy tutorial videos. Eyes, ears, noses, heads, arms, feet, etc. Dam, I didn't know sculpture had so many parts. I though it was like the old joke about how you carve an elephant out of soap. You get a bar of soap and a knife and you just remove anything that doesn't look like an elephant. Not that simple. If you give it arms, chances are it will need an armature. I thought that was a part inside an electric motor. Go figure. Go simple or go home, I've always heard. So let's build a small cat.. It has 4 legs so it will need an (no this is not a setup for a pun) armature for the front legs. Long story short, I sculpted a small Olivia (Rooyce's cat) and painted it to look like her. Olivia, not Royce.
OK, her face is flat, and it's a bit rough. One step at a time... At least it is in the form of a cat...sort of. Royce liked it... so that works...Two pieces down, time for more videos....lots of videos.
Spent a little time watching various videos, I'm an expert. Right! Anyway, I decided to take a little more time and come up with something for my third piece that would challenge me a little bit. An ALIEN BUST. No, I'm not trying to arrest an alien. I am going to sculpt one.... Now, it just needs a name for the species....
It turned out fairly decent, needs some more smoothing work. I need to work on detail stuff, finishing off blending better, but over all, I am pleased with my third piece. Who knows? I might actually figure this out by the time the Springfield festival opens. At least I'll have some novice sculptures for sale... Till next time!
Getting my feet wet...
OK, it has taken a long time, way too long. Again, my dear sweet, wonderful Royce has gently prodded me (albeit, kicking and screaming, according to her) into jumping into the outdoor crafts show/festival pool. This weekend, she and I are going to share a tent at the Jere Baxter Lodge 254 BBQ/Crafts Fair. The Lodge has been doing the BBQ gig for years, this year adding the crafts fair for the first time.
Royce will be displaying and selling her marvelous jewelry, maybe a few of her paintings. And I will be hanging paintings and some photography, to see how it goes. I have helped Royce at several shows, but this is my first time trying to sell at one.
On the studio side, I have actually been working on several paintings for the few months, so I feel good about being a bit more productive. I finished up the Maggie painting a couple of weeks ago, and am in the middle of an 8x10 interpretation of an image from the highly talented Jeff Frazier. I hope it passes my expectations, I respect Jeff and his work a bunch, and would hate to screw it up... But, so far so good. Plus I have a few ideas lined up after this one is done.
Royce and I will also be sharing a tent in September, for the 10th Annual "Art in the Park". This event will take place September 29, 2018 up at Travis Price Park up in Springfield Tn. (for more info, firstname.lastname@example.org). I really want to come out swinging for the fences on this one, so I am really concentrating on getting as much new work finished as I can.
Well, sorry I haven't posted for a while, but with work (I finally went full time), it has been way down the gotta do list, but I will try to get back here sooner...until then!
1rst Annual Craft Fair
Iconic Lodge 254
4400 Gallatin Road
June 16, 2018
8 am until 3 pm
for more details, email@example.com
A Long Time Coming...
Back in the 2000's, from about 2003 up until 2008ish, I was pretty active in the era of rebirth of the Nashville art scene. I was a member of both, The Plowhaus Art Co-op, and UNTITLED. I found myself in the group of unknown artists that people were starting to notice a little bit. There were so many of both groups who gained local fame and followers, that it brought more and more attention to the newly revitalized art scene. I was very blessed and fortunate to have a little bit of success and a few folks who were curious to see my next piece. I exhibited my work every chance I found for quite a while. And then I disappeared from the art scene. I just lost the drive or mojo or whatever to create. I floundered in a self created Hell of creative block. Between my prime time with Plowhaus and Untitled, and until recently, I painted maybe 2 or 3 pieces in total. I just couldn't break the wall. I thought that the mojo had died.
Those of you who might have ventured into my blog and read of my adventures of the last three years may have read about Royce Vaughn. My sweety. My joy. My love. Royce is an amazing woman and artist. She quilts, paints, sews, designs and makes jewelry. She is now active in the Murfreesboro Art Crawl (look for her Friday Dec, 8, 2017 on the Square in Murfreesboro), sets up at craft shows and yes, still finds time to jerk a knot in my tail when needed. She is the driving force it took to break the block. With gentle nudging, or not so gentle nudging when required, she helped me to find the desire to pick up the brushes and the camera.
I may have produced the work, but Royce provided the drive I needed to get my head out of my ass and use the abilities I have been blessed to have. So the fact that I have been invited to set up a show at The Springfield Inn Gallery at the Springfield Inn, I owe to Royce finding my mojo for me
I am excited to exhibit new pieces and bring back a handful of less recent ones and I want to thank Jay Swafford (Gallery Director), and Springfield Inn for allowing me to show, and to help them celebrate the Gallery's 5th Anniversary.
And to Royce, thank you for the nudge...
My girlfriend Royce has introduced me to a new (to me) abstract art form. It is called "ACRYLIC POUR PAINTING". It's kind of a Jackson Pollock abstract on acid kind of a process. It is exactly what it sounds like. Whereas Pollock did a lot of slinging paint, (OK, he did pour paint as well), you basically mix up your colors and pour them onto whatever surface you are using. I have seen folks pour on everything from canvases to 33 1/3 LP vinyl records. The typical recipe uses Acrylic paint, a pouring medium, (I use floetrol), water, and a squirt of silicone which helps produce what are called cells. You can tilt, swipe, finger paint, or manipulate the paint in all kinds of ways to produce all kinds of results. I must admit, I find it a little bit habit forming in the way that I am getting all kinds of ideas about trying to control the paint to come up with something unusual. I am having brain storms about trying to figure out how to control the flow in order to create an image reminiscent of the cloud tops of the planet Jupiter including the Giant Red Spot. I have also created some pours that will make neat backgrounds for other images... Royce has painted a couple of new pieces using pours as backgrounds. She has painted an Octopus wearing a top hat and monocle that is just as cool as it can be...
Anyway, back to the old dog...yeah, me. I am curious to see where this new process winds up. I don't want it to take over every painting I do for the next foreseeable future, (a new phase, as a curator once tried to explain my diversity) but I do want to experiment with it some more.... So, I guess I owe my talented sweety Royce for giving me another kick (in the pants) start into doing something creative again... I love her tenacity, I can be a little stubborn she says... Anywho, I have to go take inventory of the paints and see what colors I need to replace in order to make a mess out in the garage... If you are interested to see what I am talking about, just go to YouTube and look up acrylic pour painting. I was telling a guy I work with (who is a very talented artist in his own right) about it, I think he is fixing to jump off into it too.... Royce has created a monster...thanks baby, I love you!
New Year, New Hopes...
Where did the time go? Here we are near the end of March and I haven't posted anything in a while. I had planned to get on at least once a month and bore you, I mean let you know what's happening in my ART World. I haven't been as productive as I had planned on. I finally found a job at the end of January, and have been adjusting to a new job with random days and hours working retail. It has been a strange time indeed. So, art time has been sporadic at best, although I have been playing with some photography off and on since last we spoke. You can see one of my recent projects up above.
Been having issues with my left knee since I went back to work. So with gentle....um...prodding by my sweety Royce and a couple of other folks, I paid a visit to my Ortho.... Found out that I am going to have to have the partial knee replacement that I had done in 2004, taken out and replaced with a total Knee Replacement Device. Yep, as soon as we can get all of the info from work about short term and scheduling with the Doctor, I'm going back under the knife. I'm not looking forward to it, but having had almost the same surgery back in the day, I am not as apprehensive as I was the first time. I get a new card to carry with me that tells airports, I am carrying concealed metal in my knee and not a WMD....
I guess an up side to this, besides being able to walk without pain again, will be 8 to 10 weeks of time to work on some stuff. That is a good thing being as I have a show coming up in December at the Springfield Inn's "Art Gallery".Thanks to Jay Preston Swafford for asking me to show my stuff. This will be the first time I have had any kind of major exhibit of my work in quite a while. So it's time to get busy.
I am also going to enter "The Crawl at the Mall". On May 27, 2017, Jerry's Artorama, EAZE Framing and "SouthEast Nashville Artists" group present their yearly group exhibition at The Global Mall at the Crossings (the old Hickory Hollow Mall). See Jerry's FB page or EAZE Framing for more info! The artist call is open now! I have been promising Karen Hayden that I would enter something for 2 or 3 years, so it's s##t or get off the pot time....
Hopefully, I can get into a regular schedule updating this fishwrapper each month, so you can keep up with my little corner of the world if you so desire... I know it's not as exciting as watching paint dry, but I do appreciate those who drop in and say howdy now and then....
Keep slinging paint or whatever floats your creative boat, see ya next time!
Welcome to the 21st Century
After all of the time I have spent at this computer lately, I am proud to announce that my ETSY shop is finally open. I would like to invite you to visit me at
I would like to thank Royce Vaughn for pushing and assisting me to get this thing up and running. She has been an inspiration all along for the past few months, encouraging me to finally take that next step to market my art to the public again after too many years of sitting on my ass. I listen to Royce talking about her shop and how she is adding new product all of the time. I have a lot to learn about marketing, linking all of the seperate pieces of my "empire" together to present a more professional brand. I have designed new banners, title blocks, and am working on a new business card to replace my 14 year old version... I have wasted enough time not being creative. I owe her a lot and intend to make her proud of me by doing it right this time. I don't have a clue if I will sell anything, but my chances are better than not doing anything at all. So, as stubborn as I apparently am supposed to be, (according to several opinions) I will venture forth into the 21st Century of marketing a hobby / business to it's next logical step.... I invite you to come along and let's see what happens! Thanks for visiting!
First off, even though everyone is going to and fro for the holiday, I still want to wish that everybody has a safe, joyous, not too overstuffed, Thanksgiving with family and friends! And if in your Tryptophan induced couch slugdom, you happened to venture into my little corner, I thank you.
I am blessed in more ways than I can name, with family, friends, a home, my health, and so much more. Even my present employment situation is in some weird way, a blessing. I have had plenty of time to reflect on what is important in my life.ii have a wonderful lady who is warm, caring, talented, funny, silly, and most of all loving, and willing to put up with my bull-headedness most of the time. So Royce, thank you, and I want the world to know I love you. My daughter, Jessica, who can aggravate the living ka-ka out of me at times, is one of the best things that has happened to me in my 62+ years on this rock. My Sister, Marsha, husband Wayne, niece Amanda, have always been there for me, I love you guys. To all of my friends out there, words can't express how much I appreciate and cherish all of you. So here is to all of you, my thanks, hope you much happiness.
I am in the process of sorting through paintings and photography in order to set up an ETSY shop. I hope to have it up and running soon. Royce is trying to guide me through it, a lot more to it than I thought. I am also looking into Red Bubble and Cafe Press as further outlets. I am inspired to finally to get up off my duff and try and make a go at supporting myself through my art. This has been an "on the back-burner dream" for a long time, and I have realized the time is now. As more than one person has mentioned, it's about time!". So to all of those who have followed my work for years, or just finding out who I am and what I do, hang on, the wild ride is about to begin!
Looking through the archives, I stumbled upon another of my 1970's era pieces, based on a seen of the PBS production of Ursela K. LeGuin's epic novel, "The Lathe of Heaven"....this painting dates back to 1979...
183 weeks, 1281 days, 30744 hours, 1844640 minutes, 11,067,840 seconds.
Numbers...no, missed time, missed opportunities, missed creativity. I know, I have been photographing a lot of things in that time. Isn't that creativity? Yes it is...But it's not my only method of creating. It has been for 183 weeks since I last put paint to canvas. I have had lots of discussions with lots of people about "why aren't you painting?". Those of you out there that are artists, writers, song writers, and so know about the "block" that happens to us all. I am trying to finally break through mine, little by little. This is a start, hopefully more to follow very soon.
I think I will call it Equinox", finished 9/22/2106, right at the autumnal equinox...
acrylic on canvas, 8x10
Well, the middle of August, dog days....being as I have no dog, I just call it the hot part of summer. I have been kind of busy, out shooting pictures of all kinds of things, trying to keep my eye accustomed to "seeing" everything out there. It is funny how, if you put the camera down for a while, you seem to miss the little things that drew me to photography in the first place. The clouds, the hummingbirds, the people's expressions, scenery, every little nuance that drives what I consider a good photograph. I once asked a friend how his work was always able to draw the viewer into it's world so completely. He simply stated, "practice, shoot every day". I guess I never really considered that photography was something that you needed to practice. But I guess subconsciously, I did. I find myself shooting all kinds of stuff around the house. I have been playing with my new Macro lens, a lot, trying to learn to use it properly. PRACTICE...PRACTICE...PRACTICE. I thought I was just playing around, trying new things with it. You sat tomato, I say potato...Point being, this old dog learned a new trick, even though he didn't know that he was learning one. What ever your skill, keep at it constantly, find something new in it...make it exciting every time you use it. Now to go practice with a cold tall glass of tea and the air conditioner...
Nothing like a walk in the snow...
OK, it's a cold snowy ass day and I sit here looking out the window. On 1/22/2016 Nashville received up to 8 inches or more of snow. Stopped the city dead in it's tracks. Well never having been known to be the smartest spork in the dishwasher, I bundled up and grabbed the camera and off to the Shelby Park Greenway I go. There is something about trudging around in the snow by yourself that I find totally calming and Zen like. Took a bunch of pictures, first time the camera has been out in months, yes I need my ass kicked, line forms to the left, take a number.
I have a lady in my life that just amazes the crap out of me. She is so talented in so many forms of art, it's ridiculous. The last two years have seen her go through such tragic and life changing events, and yet she creates something artistic and beautiful just about every day. It embarrasses me that I have this block that has put both my painting and photography on the back burner. I am hoping that my walk in the snow will help to clear my head and steer me in the right direction to feel more creative.
I feel that sitting here looking out the window at the snow and updating my website with more of my photography and a blogging is a step in the right direction. I hope so. I watch and listen to Royce talk about her latest project, I see the glow on her face, the sparkle in her eye. I want to feel that again too... No, I need to feel that again... Go create something, don't be me...