Sunday, June 27, 2010

des moinesian progress

Executing a move that could now arguably be called 'pulling a Signe', I brought us to Iowa for the Des Moines Art Festival a full week ahead of schedule. Now I think it's maybe a tiny bit funny, but the moment of discovery was truly horrible. I'm not a careless person by nature...I never miss a deadline and am rarely late...but I'm HORRIBLE with dates. I couldn't tell you right now when my anniversary is (don't tell Genna).

I told Genna this could have happened for a reason (meaning, like, karmically) and he said "Ya, because you're a crappy organizer." Two-shay. Luckily for me, it's World Cup time, and Genna forgave me as soon as he figured out how much soccer he was going to get to watch.

Since we hadn't made it ALL the way to Des Moines, we cooled our heels in lovely downtown Peoria IL FOR A WEEK. Here's Genna and Jerky at the riverfront...

and Jerky and me in the same spot:

That is a festival behind me, but we weren't in it for once.

Here is our Des Moines booth (a week later):

Nice, right? And here's my view of the newly opened John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park from the back of our booth:

Genna behind the booth with his nice new haircut (thanks to the JCPenney salon at the Peoria Mall), next to my current drug of choice, the Diet MtnDew...

...and here's me:

Here's the backside:

Sunday morning we decided to switch it up and change to a big wall of smalls in the front:

Next time I take show pictures, I'll show you more of the 'ugly truth' part instead of the 'dressed up pretty' part shown here. Des Moines had more of the 'ugly truth' part than most shows. Weather during the first two days was scorching. Friday and Saturday ran to 10pm, by which time crazy grumpiness had set it. Overnight both Fri. and Sat. there were terrible, windy storms that had us awake and wondering if our work would be there the next day. Saturday morning brought a pulled apart booth, complete with nearly top-less tent and wet work. Sunday was windy enough to give me stomach pains. Ah, the care-free life of the artist!

So, two more weeks (I think. Maybe I should check?) and we'll be headed to Wisconsin. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 14, 2010

what Genna's doing

See that giant hole Genna's standing in? That's my house!

We (read: Genna) are/is in the process of renovating our Nastiya's bedroom and our second bath. The giant lacuna he's standing in used to be the bathroom and hall, through the wall behind him is Nastiya's room. As usual, the demolition stage went quite a bit farther than we had planned. When the rotten bathroom floor was removed, the joists underneath looked like they had been cobbled together from junk found on the side of the road. Also, we could see that the foundation was not level and needed extra support in some areas.

He has about three work weeks available before Nastiya arrives for the summer, so wish us luck!

Friday, June 4, 2010

ordering chaos

After leaving nearly my entire inventory of work at Bennett Galleries a month ago, I've been double-timing it in the studio. This is fairly standard practise for me as we are on the road in 'seasons' where I might not hold a paintbrush for months. It's always exciting to see what happens after a solid three or four weeks at the easel. I think I passed my 10,000 hour mark (Outliers, anybody?) a few years back and since then haven't felt like I was starting over each time I've been away, but it still takes me that month or so of intensive work to reach what feels like a new step in development.

All that to say that I've stepped into something new in the last few work days. I'm finding myself drawn to increasingly complex images, many of which include machinery (which I've never liked working with before). I'm employing a gridding system in order to get the most accurate possible drawing before beginning the paintings. Like this...

Here's that finished piece:

What's exciting me most about this is the challenge of creating a cohesive structure with many elements atop Genna's chaotic, free form underpaintings that still has a solid composition.

Wonder what's coming next week?!

(top image: "Smithy Fishers", oil on linen, 36" x 48", $2200
bottom image: "New Truck", oil on linen, 36" x 36", $1800)