Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back to Oil painting...

Well, it's been a while since I have put brush, oil, and canvas together... but I (re)started school this past week and getting dirty with some oil and solvent was part of the deal (and this was certainly by design) it stands to reason that I would be doing some painting!

Below is the graphite underdrawing:



Next, some color:

and the "final" piece... this was only a couple hours in class, and of a bunch of paper bags, but I am trying to get some fundamentals, so don't judge ;) 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Commuting in New England...

 Above is my "parking space" at work and below is the lovely Charles River Trail on this past New Years Eve... cold, snowing (well, was more like flurries) and very grey; but I liked it!

While I was riding to work on the first week of January I noticed this hazard to life and limb hanging from below the BU bridge. This, in case you cannot tell, is a jagged piece of rusted steel that must weigh about 80-100 lbs. The good news is, by the time I was riding home, it was no longer there and there was no gouge in the wood of the boardwalk. Also, it must be said that the bridge is currently undergoing renovations and this may have caused the piece of metal death to come loose. It also must be stated that today, I saw a barge parked under the bridge and I suspect that this was to begin repairing the structure underneath.  

Below is me expressing my fright and concern at said jagged piece of death metal (no, not Sepultura ;)

Late last week, as I was walking from my parking space to my office, I noticed this nice little (and I mean little... it can't be any bigger than a 46 or 49cm) Royal H Cycle single-speed. It's messy from riding the Winter streets of Boston, and I am not sure if I would ride a Royal H in the wretched salt and filth, but at lest it's being ridden! ...and isn't that what bikes are for? ;)

SPEAKING of messy... below are a few pics of my commuter bike from last month when I switched my road tires for knobbies when the snow started to fall.

That red bike in the background is my lovely 1976 Fuji Sports 10 Single Speed. That is one of the smoothest bikes I have ever ridden, and prior to my current commuter, was my daily... a good 3000 miles went on that bike in the last few years and it's still kickin'

ok... this pic below is the bike I mentioned in my previous post, and it's still there in the river... embedded in ice. :/ This is a more recent shot, as well.

Well that's all fro now... I leave you with a self-portrait (and though not intentional, it seems to be in a
similar style as the photos of Filigree at Lovely Bicycle ) taken this past Saturday right after
I photographed the "river bike"

Stay warm!

new sketches... and some masters!

...are up in my sketch book blog, otherwise not too much is goin' on. Expect another bike/commuting related post soon.

On that note, I want to take a moment and highlight a few of my favorite artists.

As a preface, I have to come out and say that, though I am and have been a student of the arts for much of my life, I am woefully under-informed as to a lot of artists -- both contemporary and historical. Now this is not to say that I know nothing about Art History, just that I have spent more time trying to create art than learn about it's lineage.

Without further ado...

John Singer Sargent
 I am not sure when or where I first noticed Sargent's work -- but it has been many years. I guess that his style is considered Realism, but it certainly is influenced but the expressionist movement. At first glance, his work can seem a bit stodgy -- but upon closer inspection his style shines and you can see these lovely and bold strokes of light and color which seem to depart form the super-smooth and (in my opinion) boring works of earlier in the 1800s



Edward Hopper



Norman Rockwell



Alphonse Mucha 
What can I say about Mucha? Of all the artists here, I have probably been aware of, and a fan of his work the longest... I love the Art Nouveau aesthetic and always have. It is a bit unfortunate that, in this day and age, people see fit to just copy his works over and over again, rather than expand upon it...



That's all folks! ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

artistic ramblings... and other stuff


Well, my last idea stalled as quick as it was conceived... I can't encapsulate the image I am trying to evoke... I need to learn how to draw (not being self-defeating, just a bit out-o-practice)

So in the interest of keeping the hands busy I painted this on New Years Eve...

It's a whole bunch of nothing... I had no idea, no sketch, and no concept when I started it... just a lot of paint.
I think it's okay as far as an abstraction of nothing goes; normally when you paint something abstract, you need to start with an actual form to abstract from... this is just splashes of paint.

After that I decided to look through a lot of my older work and I found these 2 paintings from a few years back that I felt needed revisiting... here they are "before":


and here they are "after":


I know it's hard to really see without a decent scan, but I think they are at least a little closer to being complete -- though, as I have said before, nothing is EVER "complete" ;)

January Shennanigans!

Well... it's been a few days since the New Year... and I achieved my (Pre)New Years Resolution to ride to work every single day up until the end of December. Now that it's January (and 2010!?) my next goal is to ride through February. It might be hard but we have already had days where there is 50+ mph winds and temps in the single digits (well below zero taking into account wind-chill!).

Unfortunately, I have not had much opportunity to photograph the lovely white fields of ice the Charles has become, or the cross-country skiing trail the Charles River Path becomes after a snow... for my hands have been sheathed in gloves that inhibit the use of my tiny tiny camera.

BUT... I was treated to a few unique sights; so much so I had to stop and document them. So here they are!

As I was going along I saw the unmistakable visage of a bicycle poking it's way out of the ice near the Western Ave bridge... My suspicion is that it was stolen, ridden, and the disposed of over the side into the river... now this is a bit sad; I cannot tell what sort of bike this might be from my photographs, but no matter weather the bike is a $50 Wal-Mart special, or a pricey vintage to-do, this is no way to treat a bike...

...someone could've ridden it, and someone might have loved it... I'll check to see if someone "rescued" it tomorrow.


Now below we have someone who must be trying to get a Darwin award... You have to peer a bit but if you look close enough, you will see someone riding his bike on the ICE. Okay, yes... it's not on the river proper, but this is STILL river water (albeit protected) and the temps yesterday and today have been over freezing and it's been sunny... and there is still plenty of "open water" on the river as our temps keep fluctuating so I am not confident of going out on a frozen lake, nevermind riding my bike on a par-frozen river!!

2 words: NOT SMART.