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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Replacing Angels

I have spent the last week and a half living in the studio, painting like crazy to finish the two winged ladies to replace the two that were peeling off the ceiling in Holy Redeemer. these would be the old paintings (I dont know who did them):
Turns out that these two paintings were painted with oils directly on to the layer of latex paint on the ceiling, so they didnt last long at all. I went to remove the loose flaking paint spots and within one shot, half the painting came off. So, rather than patching up dying paintings, I created new ones on canvas. I painted them to better match the original paintings placed on the rest of the ceiling (signed by J. G. Schmidt). I painted the same angels with the same instruments, I just changed up the composition, and gave them more youth. I also increased the amount of detail since these two angels are viewed at half the distance of the paintings done by J. G. Schmidt. That guy really knew what he was doing. And even though I will say that my paintings are great improvement to the previous angel paintings, my paintings in no way compare to those done by J. G. Schmidt, and I didn't expect them to. But I am still very happy with my angels.

As of tonight I have finished painting the second angel, and with the help of a friend I finished the gold circle design around the first angel.

Angel #1:

Angel #2:

haha. I like this image of Nic making use of our studio.

While I finished up the second angel today, Andrew helped out and started the gold ring on the first angel. He saved me about 7 hours of work. If you ask me, thats awesome.

So I finished the last bit of gold that Andrew didnt get to, and this is what the first finished angel looks like. I think today was a pretty successful day to add to a pretty successful week and a half. when the second angel dries it will get a gold ring like the first, and I will have both angels varnished, cut out and I will be on my way back to madison to install them where they belong.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thoughts For A Serious Etch A Sketch Artist...

If you check out my googlepages website, the page displaying images of some work I had done with an Etch A Sketch (http://evan.crain.googlepages.com/etchasketch), there is an explanation of why I choose/chose to work with an Etch A Sketch. As of recently, I have discovered that you can find that page in a search through google, which I didn't think was possible before (I have no problem with that, I am making more of a matter-of-fact statement). But, the reason I bring that up is because some guy who seems to be very enthusiastic about Etch A Sketch art, and creating it, happened to come across my that page of mine and respond with an email. There is something about that email that I find problematic. He quoted me on my disliking of main stream Etch A Sketch drawings and imagery shown over the internet and T.V... such a small line of such a large paragraph of an explanation as to why I chose to create work involving Etch A Sketches the way I do. He proceed to introduce his work with "I guess you haven't gotten around to looking at my stuff?" I'm just not sure how to read that. Maybe he's being cute or introducing himself in a playful way... BUT, maybe hes arguing with my feelings towards main stream Etch A Sketch art using HIS work as ammunition. Where do I go with that? My main reason for being uninterested in the work you'll find online or on T.V. programs, is the lack of advancement in the use of an Etch A sketch (Something I stated in that paragraph on my site). I'm not referring to the skill of drawing with the toy, but where people go with that skill.. People don't think to push past that glass screen and red frame. I believe the Etch A Sketch singles out "the line", places the line on a pedestal free of other forms and mediums. Everyone spends hours making images, working hard to hide the line. Sounds pretty ass-backwards to me. I'm not saying that images of people and places can't or shouldn't be drawn on an Etch A Sketch. I'm saying if your going to use a drawing device that works purely off one line, show how the line is part of that image, how it moves through the figure. Show why the line is important and emphasize that. I definitely encourage non literal ways of approaching that as well. If you don't feel the line is important or if you're one of those people spending hours to hide the line... why the fuck are you using an Etch A Sketch? Paintings are cool too.
Don't think I'm saying I'm any better or any worse. I use the Etch A Sketch with all that I have been saying in this post as goals, and what I hope to accomplish when I do use it.
But, getting back to that email, I looked at his work, he definitely has the coordination, but his work still looks pretty much the same as all the other skilled Etch A Sketch artists that you'll find interviewed on late night talk shows or in newspapers. Its still lacking the originality to blow me away. He has skills. But I think he has settled with the standards.

So you know how to use the thing... where you gonna go with it?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Discovering Older Paintings

I recently found some pictures I had taken of some paintings I did in high school. I was excited to find them. But I just realized this evening that Jessie, the girl in the paintings, had copies of the pictures of these paintings and had posted them a long time ago. Haha. I most likely knew that and forgot, so finding these pictures wasn't such an amazing discovery after all. But thats okay, finding old work is always something I enjoy. Theres an energy or something vibrant and positive about these high school paintings that doesn't appear so much in my post-college figure paintings. I need to find my way back to that stage where i block out technique and just enjoy pushing paint around. If I can find my way back to really enjoying the medium, the the image,(in one way or another) will work itself out in the end.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Plans to Improve

Given to me about 2 months ago, i am finally getting around to planning a way to fix up this Squier Strat. Although the friend that gave it to me bought it for cheap, I still think he paid too much for it. the body actually looks like it was made from Pine. It has poor soldering, and theres a nice sized crack running through the inside area of the body. Everything would benefit from a good cleaning as well. I Thought about scrapping the whole body and making a new one from scratch, and though i totally haven't ruled that out yet, I'm probaby just going to make some repairs to the original body and strip it of damaged finish. Id really just like to focus on the decoration and reassembly, and if I keep to the standard body size it will be easier to replace the needed parts. Some of the hardware has rusted, but the pick ups sound good and the neck is in good condition. Rather than using my artwork to decorate this guitar, I have asked an amazing artist/friend to come up with some artwork for it. If she follows through, the outcome of this project will be pretty awesome.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Today was a day of possibly a new beginning, and what better way to document it than to start my first blog entry. 2007 pretty much cleaned me out... emotionally, creatively...and financially. But I decided to restore my optimism for 2008. A new year, a new beginning, and excitedly waiting for a show of my work in mid Jan.

Although the show left me with bittersweet feelings, and little to come out of the effort put into it. Overall the opening night was a lot of fun (though I was really sick and loaded on pain meds) and there was a great line up of bands that came and played without out any compensation in return. I was really lucky. Not so lucky with the owner who did next to nothing. He didn't even take down the old work that was on the walls.

TODAY is an example of a way the show actually did pay off. Through someone I met at the show, I met a Milwaukee painter. I talked with her, and shared work for a little while this morning. Shes young.. 2 years older than me, but living life as a painter and doing well for herself. It was great to finally meet someone in Milwaukee who actually knew how to accomplish something.. someone that actually works towards what she wants rather than just talking about it. Finding that in Milwaukee is a rare thing, and I feel somewhat relieved that i know at least one person like that around here.

BIG NEWS (for me anyway):

I finally have a studio space. Its in a cute building in the Bay View area of Milwaukee. Its a good deal, and a positive working space. I have keys and everything, tomorrow I will go and fix it up and bring in some materials so it can be waiting for me when I get back from work in Madison next weekend. Nothing these days move very fast, but I really think this could be the beginning of something good.