Thursday, December 31, 2009

Additional Directions

A new year .. sometimes seen as an opportunity to make changes in one's life (not that New Years is the only time for that). For me, I expect 2010 to be a time to pursue additional opportunities in making and selling art.

I love traditional/classical art, especially landscapes made during the 19th century and earlier. For years, I've been painting the southwestern deserts in a classical way, perhaps with a touch of the surreal to add a sense of mystery to desert scenes.

However, after years of doing art shows in desert locales, I've come to realize something: desert residents don't necessarily love the desert -- or desert art. One of the comments I often used to hear from show attendees was: "I live in the desert. Why would I want pictures of it hanging in my house?"

These are people who like mostly sunny weather without frequent rainstorms to upset their golfing or shopping pleasures. The fact that these conditions exist in deserts is almost coincidental. They prefer to landscape their yards to make their homes as undesert-like as possible and import water from elsewhere so they can create the tropics in the desert.

So -- I expect I'll continue to paint the desert. It's too much a part of how I approach art to let go of that.

But I'll have to paint less desert and more of something else. In the next few days, I'll be contemplating what else I should paint so I can pay the bills.

Traditional art isn't that popular in this area. At best, landscapes (Tuscany scenes, especially) have to be impressionistic. Otherwise, there's always the world of abstract expressionism.

So don't be surprised to see a revised Website which features some classical scenes, but also abstract art And possibly some surrealism based on the microbial world. (After all, I majored in microbiology and used the electron microscope to see a world which is both real and surreal).

Additional directions and more of the same ... that's what 2010 means to me!

Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Riddance 2009!

Only a few more days, and we can deep-six 2009 forever. Good riddance, frankly! Most of us have suffered, some greatly, as a result of the economic situation we've been struggling with. I hope you'll join me in hoping and praying 2010 will be better.

In the meantime, I never got into the habit of making New years resolutions, and I don't plan to start now. But I do happen to have some goals for 2010, so maybe we can go there:
  • Sell more art

  • Sell even more art!

  • Branch out and diversify -- not so much in art style, but in subject matter. Maybe even style!

  • Further develop my drawing skills: animals and people. I want to be much better than I am now in drawing (and painting) human beans and critters.

  • Sell lots and lots of art

Those seem like reasonable and do-able goals to me! Wish me luck! And I'll hope and pray for a more prosperous year for all of us!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Spirit of Christmas Past

Well, Christmas is over, and I'll have to admit: I had trouble getting into it this year -- and for the last few years, actually.

Life as an artist can be hard enough even when the economy is good. But for many of us, it's been extremely difficult trying to survive when no one is buying art. That, in turn, makes it hard to feel very festive at this time of year.

Some are saying things are slowly getting better. I hope so. Hopefully not TOO slowly! I do have plans for diversifying somewhat: more subject matter, maybe even additional styles of working (under a pseudonym, most likely) and approaching galleries outside of desert areas which tend to have extreme ebbs and flows of population depending on the season.

If you're into prayer, I and my fellow artists could all use some of that. It would help to know if I'm on the right road, and if I'm not, which offramp should I take. That "lamp upon my feet" has gone out, and I need a match! Thanx!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Sedona, south of Flagstaff, AZ, is a special place. Some believe the area features energy vortices and other stuff I frankly don't understand. But for me, the red rocks of Sedona are beautiful, and yet mystical. I can see why people believe this is a place of magic.

The painting is one of my "Art-On-A-Budget" pieces -- 8"x 10"/20cm x 25cm. I always have to paint these items with a simplified technique to keep the labor time, and therefore the price, down. But I hope I managed to show just a little of what makes Sedona an incredible place to be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter in the High Desert

Winter solstice is still a couple of weeks away. But the weather here suggests winter is here!

We got snowed on ...

...and we have had mornings with dramatic clouds.

While it hasn't been as cold as other parts of the country, it has dropped below freezing at night, and it's been cold and (often) windy during the day.

All of this will lead to making some paintings. But it has been a little uncomfortable these days.

ANYthing for art, right?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Autumn in the Desert

The Big Morongo Preserve is a marshy area in the middle of the desert. It's located about 20 minutes north of Palm Springs, CA.

Lots of cottonwood trees, close relatives of aspens, grow in this natural oasis. Fall arrives here later than in many other places of the country -- the cottonwoods are pretty much at their color peak. Some of the color will linger until Christmas.

There really aren't that many opportunities to paint the desert in a way that uses bright hues. As much as I love the place, deserts can be rather drab most of the year. So the golden yellows of the cottonwoods are a welcome change.