Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Digital Painting: Chicago Purple Face

Chicago Purple Face, digital painting, 2009
I scanned one of my quick sketches and the added the colors and text in Photoshop. The image ghosted in the background is from a panorama photograph of water tanks in the south loop. I actually did a painting based on the water tanks - from my city by the lake series.

New Painting: Line Looking for a Dot

Line Looking for a Dot, mixed media on panel (framed), 20x28, $375
This mixed media painting incorporates a few different processes built up over multiple layers. It was made with collage, acrylic paint, and a screen print image. The collaged classified ads are from a recent Chicago Reader and the crossword puzzle from the Tribune.

I've been doing a lot of screen printing in 2009 and this was my first experiment to blend my painting and screen printing. I threw in some collage to create another layer and provide some background interest. In some places the newsprint crinkled giving it some texture. This piece is part of a series of about 30 screen prints of water tanks on paper and also on old record albums. Those are still in the works but should be done soon.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two New Finished Paintings - bright, spring colors!

The Wine Drinker, acrylic on canvas panel, 16x20, 2009
I started this painting from a sketch about two years ago. I dug it out recently and reworked the colors but kept the composition essentially the same.

Staring at the Sun, acrylic on panel, 18x24, 2009
This painting was done a panel coated with a smooth acrylic gesso. Lately, I've been experimenting with different surfaces. I really like how the paint moves on wood panel - it's much different than canvas. I'm able to get more detail and blend the colors easier. Anyway, this was my ode to spring and the warmer weather to come.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo Fridays: Crossing Argyle Street

Crossing Argyle Street (Chicago), photograph, 2002
This photograph is looking east at the corner of Broadway and Argyle in Chicago - the Little Vietnam of Chicago. Lots of good, cheap BYOB restaurants and a few blocks from the lake. The Argyle Street L Platform pagoda is in the background. This was my L Stop between 2002-2005.

I had an apartment a couple blocks to the west. It was a large, top-floor, one-bedroom apartment with a separate dining area and balcony. I even had access to the rooftop which had a great view of the skyline (until the landlord closed off the roof hatch). It was next to a cemetery on a dead-end street so it was usually quiet except for the barking dogs in the building. Interestingly, the house next door was where Charlie Chaplin lived when he worked at Essanay Studios around the corner before taking his career to California.

This was the only apartment in the city where I lived on my own. I dedicated the dining area as my studio and it's where my art really took on a new direction. I was unemployed/self-employed doing freelance web design and marketing. I had an art show almost every month, sometimes two. It was where I was living when I started dating my wife.

Days spent at coffeeshops, the gym, or riding my bike throughout the city -- it was a very free time in my life. While it was difficult to live only on unemployment benefits or freelance work, it was creating art that got me through a lot of the tough times. The experience definitely built a lot of character and makes me really appreciate what I have. And now, I can tell you how to live in Chicago on $5 bucks a day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Fridays: Flying Over Marina Towers

Flying Over Marina Towers, photograph, 2006
It's been a few weeks since I posted an image for Photo Fridays. Been slacking off on the internet obligations.

I shot this from across the river from Marina Towers in Chicago. I lucked out with the plane flying over at the same time. This shot echoes memories of 911 and resembles the cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (released not long afterwards in 2002). It's my favorite Wilco album and I think it really captures the mood of that time in America.