Monday, September 24, 2007
"Casting Stones", Sumi and Acrylic Inks and Paints on Canvas, 12"x30"
My “to varnish or not to varnish” philosophy is cyclic. My scroll paintings are all unvarnished in the sense that I do not add a final sealant to the paintings… yet they are protected in the manner in which I initially mix my painting grounds.
Since recently returning to canvas from a long period spent working primarily on paper, I have begun to research new mediums (and rediscover past ones, as well) for “finishing” my paintings. Today, I finally decided upon re-exploring my previous dabbling in the land of encaustic painting. The work, pictured above, is “pre-varnish”; as soon as I find my errant half-empty jug of Dorland’s Wax medium, I’ll re-stretch (because I stretch flat over wood panel to paint in my destructive fashion and then release from the panel to stretch open over bars)… and seal/polish the painting and finally re-post for inspection. While I know the local viewer will immediately recognize an observable difference, I’m curious how much change will be noticeable from the on-line perspective. - DN
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Number 33
"Late Spring, Missouri Storm", Oil on Archival Board, 8"x40"
This is an older piece completed after my childhood home was destroyed by the nearly simultaneous strike of two tornadoes in southern Missouri, a few late springs ago. I was the age my daughter is now, when my father and I spent a spring and summer building a home that seemed luxurious by our standards, during my father’s 33rd year. He has always claimed number 33 to be his lucky number. It took my own marriage, family and a long time of both to understand why he held that figure to a near holy proportion. Building his family a home was his Mt. Sinai. Only a few months from that age, myself, I wonder what grand plans await my little family and I. - DN
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Poison in Motion
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Desires Without End or Just Without Merit
Monday, September 17, 2007
"Tallit, Southern Fields and Shmita", Sumi and Acrylic Ink and Paint on loose Canvas
Shmita is the law in Torah that states every seventh year the fields must be allowed to rest. According to the Jewish calendar, this is the year (5768).
My creative burnout factor has greatly increased over the past few months, as I find myself overwhelmed with continuous exhibitions and new land to explore and paint. To keep my interest-level and rapid production high, without degrading my level of quality… I have returned to my earlier forays of abstraction based upon the surrounding landscape.
My work has held a certain degree of abstraction to its mast for a number of years, but only occasionally have I driven my art towards a complete series boasting nearly 100% non-representative qualities. Yet, here I am. Attempting to usher in a Modernist art movement that already lived a full-life outside the southern states. While I realize that there have been plenty of other artists that explored the realm of abstraction while working in the South (Robert Rauschenberg and Julian Schnabel – both Texans which doesn’t necessarily constitute Southern; and of course, the artists of Black Mountain College, etc); I have to wonder why in this singular place, the concept of Modernism hasn’t stuck… at all? Imbued by barn paintings on saw-blades and actual old “pieces of wood salvaged from a barn”; I believe I know the answer and it’s hidden somewhere in the traces of a disappearing bible-belt, the slow advancement of higher education and an overall desire to remain socially simplistic in a radically ____________ world (you fill in the blank).
I’m not always sure why I chose a specific location when the need to move arises. Sure, I give myself a laundry list of reasons and rationales, but deep-down… I really only understand that most basic of desires - I need a journey. Part of needing a journey goes hand-in-hand with taking a break from the comfortable to explore that part of the psyche that we don't parade at parties. Rauschenberg probably said it best, though:
"You have to have the time to feel sorry for yourself in order to be a good abstract expressionist."
Happy Trails (or dark convoluted ones if that is what you need to get your creative juices flowing) - DN
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
"Eclipse: Crowley's Ridge Under a Red Moon at 3AM", Sumi and Acrylic Inks and Paint on Canvas
A recent late evening/early morning eclipse created a blood-red moon... as it moved over the nearby rise of Crowley's Ridge. Looking at it during the hours between waining sleep and the faint of wakefulness, I wondered it it was an eclipse or simply G-d peeling a blood orange in the sky. - DN
Monday, September 10, 2007
"Cottonfields" Acrylic and Sumi Inks and Paints on Canvas
Click on the image to see the larger work. My last posting of new work was not actually of new Missouri-based paintings, so I thought I'd start showing them on a regular basis to prove I am painting here! - DN
Friday, September 07, 2007
Is it just the name... or does it matter that paintings are ...GOOD?
How often are artists (and collectors, gallerists, curators, critics...) found fighting for overall personal name recognition as opposed to battling for significance in an individual piece? The process is all that matters, the singular work created during that illuminated moment of lucidity that transfers a person from human to god, from painter to artist. Enlightenment is fleeting. It’s as fickle about leaving as arriving, and it can only be found in the flash of the creative process… not saddled to drudgery of an imperfect life. – DN
Thursday, September 06, 2007
New pieces created specifically for the Morris Graves Exhibition... (among a group of 28 paintings). Click on an image to see the detailed version. - DN
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
No Such Thing as a Quiet Revolution?
... and then there is always the back-handed inspiration of Graham Greene:
"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."--GRAHAM GREENE
I have always heard the art world is only a faithful mistress to young artists. I look back at other, more successful, artists I have known that burned-out… “You had a good run, thank God you were young before it passed you by, too bad your youth didn’t allow you to enjoy it.” Or maybe that’s just my jaded opinion of what I saw.
Sunday, I tossed more logs on the fire, barely refreshed after completing, crating and shipping twenty-eight paintings to the Morris Graves Museum, last Friday. I was once again stretching canvas and painting into wet gesso, without the patience to even formulate a coherent thought before I drug my roller and brush over the surface, disfiguring the clean white with abrasive combinations of red, yellow and violet. Starting and finishing a bottle of a French cerulean blue-colored concoction called “Hpnotiq”; like water in the hundred-degree heat matched by true southern humidity. I’m beginning to wonder if my painting process will ever relax to a slower pace. I’ve read that even Pollock couldn’t slow down, he either painted feverishly or he didn’t paint at all. Looking backwards, through the bottom of a bottle, at an unbelievable ten-year-run gone past, it’s said that Pollock didn’t even paint for the final eighteen months of his life.
I often daydream of returning to my Hi-line home in the northern Rockies, spending my days hunting pheasant and evenings quietly painting my distant neighbors from the Blackfeet reservation or half dozen Hutterite colonies. My painting style would either be repugnantly dismissed or unique enough to merit the regular occasion to attain models and practice my craft. Like most opportunities in life, I can only assume that it would fall within some middle ground of acceptance. Someone, just this morning asked, “Do you get bored easily?” “My God, Yes!” I wanted to declare… and here I am later, daydreaming of my northern home and still wondering if it’s possible to slow my near-rabid painterly pace. – DN
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I've been messing around with the layout of this blog as well as another overhaul of the main portfolio website. Thanks for your patience. - DN
Monday, September 03, 2007
Scam or Need an Editor?
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