Thursday, December 22, 2011
I painted this one immediately after the previous painting. Because Winona is on a part of the river that is going east/west, as opposed to the usual north/south, you can get some interesting views of the bluffs. Also because the bluff was covered in the frosty sticky snow I thought it a nice high key color moment. Looks beautiful but I was sitting in a grocery store parking lot looking up and away from civilization.
I had only a small window of time to paint this because I had to teach my final. Shouldn't I be prepping for my class you may ask? Well you don't have to prep so much when you know your shit.
This is a relatively famous spot on the Mississippi River.
Trempeleau Island, or I have seen it referred to on older maps as Mountain Island.
It is the only bluff that is an island on the whole Big River. Native Americans found this spot to be sacred, as do many people today. It is part of a state part in Wisconsin.
I painted this before my final, looking at it from Highway 61. Yes, that Highway 61.
I couldn't believe how much the snow was sticking to the trees that morning, had to paint it.
Also because of the hills there are many dead end roads and single lane roads that send you back into the hills. So unless you are really looking you can miss things.
I found this road just a few miles from home and this farm was at the top.
These are roads so remote that one car will pass me in the course of an hour.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
People tell me I am like Hopper. Well yes, this one looks like the artist I ardently studied in my early twenties. People used to grow quite a bit of tobacco in southwestern Wisconsin. In Ben Logan's book the Land Remembers they grew it not too far from here. Mainly Norwegians(like me). I discovered a tobacco shed in town this week as well, about a block from me. I guess tobacco is hard on the land so I guess I am not that sad to see that it isn't grown here too much anymore. But the tobacco sheds are visually interesting, and this outcropping of tobacco culture is in Genoa, just down the road. I like that is feels lonely in the painting. You can see the Mississippi River and the railway line on the left, shipping routes.
This is a great valley. The colors are wonderful right know. Just a little snow and still a little green, but just in patches. The ochres are stunning this week. This valley isn't always like this, because it is raining it is more atmospheric. Grass fed cattle rule these fields, I am glad they have a good home.
Seeing is very difficult. To really see things, which most people say I am able to occasionally do, requires all you got. And even then it just seems random. I can relate to an athlete or performer when I am painting, because I am performing. The hardest thing about the performance is the vision. Sometimes I can do the best painting I can possibly do and it is still bad. Other times because of the idea and vision behind it, it doesn't demand that I be a virtuoso. It took me the first painting until I was able to see the second. This happens so often. I have to be still, sit and take things in for hours and days before I get my rhythm.
Smalltown Americana. There are plenty of things about Mid-America that people find deplorable, it is where I grew up and what I find poetic. I am convinced people are people, and at least hear I can be myself. I tried to paint before the Packer game this time.
This is a building right outside Stoddard that is no longer a working farm. There are some cool things about Stoddard, but one thing that is incredibly stupid is that we are are a rural farm community with no grocery store, just a gas station. So just like the suburbs and most places "we" as in the "Royal We" don't grow our own food. Consequently buildings like this are no longer working. Lame. Thankfully these building are being maintained. I love the red against the high key background affect.
Again from Thanksgiving. I will probably paint this bluff again. I am seemingly drawn to the abstract in all it's forms. Had to paint this quickly-late for Thanksgiving dinner. You can see the "unholy trains" as Mark Twain described them in the foreground.
Painting done on Thanksgiving. I heard stories about Norman Rockwell's wife getting uppity about how she had to drag him out of his studio to participate in the holidays.
I have the same situation as him, and a bad track record.
This few is south of town(Stoddard).
Sometimes I think about what I say on this thing and that people actually do look at it. Maybe I come across as a serious dude. I am. As an artist, or hopefully responsible adult, I feel I should be outspoken. But don't let that fool you. Just because I try really hard to communicate the beauty of our planet by trying to inspire people to take ownership and understand their actions, doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humor. Now the real point, because I have grown to hate winter and the last three can kiss my ass, I am vowing to enjoy this go around. It seems I am happy when I am outside, so I am doing a painting everyday for a hundred days. Sorry about Christmas in advance. So far I am 14 days in and have 22 paintings. Somedays I paint just one, sometimes a few. I will try to post 100, you will never catch me posting this much in the summer.
This is the first one, I can do better than this. I could tell I was out of rhythm, I think I am going to do a better one.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
A cool outbuilding in Waukesha.
And my own, well the chicken thing was inevitable.
We got four chickens from the Seed Saver Exchange in Iowa.
Two breeding pairs, one of Polish Golden and one Light Brahma Bantams.
Names are Pope John Paul, Phillis, Cnut, and Carol.
When we found out we were getting the chickens had basically 24 hours to build a pen and coop, without ever having done that before.
But hopefully the hard stuff is over and I can go back to concentrating on paintings.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Geez, I am sorry I didn't realize it was two months since I posted.
Here are a couple barns, the red ones from Door County, and the white one Brookfield
Thoughts good and bad.
I wonder if I can be grateful and offend everyone at the same time.
As I travel and see things a couple things become obvious.
One our country has problems and two it isn't all our politicians fault. It is pretty much everyone I meet that is at fault.
If you invest in the stock market you okay bad behavior. If you don't buy local it you enable corporations. For every second you spend on a computer somebody is making money off of you. Google doesn't need more money. These companies don't need more lobbyists. If you don't question mainstream culture you are not paying attention because it is rude and stupid. If you don't communicate with the people around you in a meaningful way, we get what everyone is sick off, partisan gridlock because it seems nobody is capable of having a real conversation. If you blame the government you should probably turn it around on yourself. I heard some women say that Obama hasn't created enough jobs. Can you imagine if I had to depend on the president or politicians for my career? I would still be in my room at my parents house. People need to turn their shit off and get to know the world around them. As I am fortunate enough to travel around the country I know who has the money and who doesn't. It is pretty clear. As I see towns crumbling because they aren't attracting jobs or can't afford the infrastructure, it is probably your fault if you give your money to corporations. Unfortunately that is almost everyone.
So grow your own food, get your butt outside and discover what is around you. Ask yourself what it means to be a loving responsible adult.
My good thoughts are I am incredibly lucky to be doing what I am doing and I want to thank everyone for supporting me.
And I really mean that. I am so fortunate to meet many people that live interesting lives and care deeply about the world around them and moreover, act on it. It is those people that encourage me and keep my going strong. Well that and the beer...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I got invitied to participate in the Door County Plein Air Festival from July 17-24. It should be a good time, I am very honored.
Come and see me if you are in the area, you can watch all the artists work.
google Door County Plein Air 2011 and you can get the low down,
A few new paintings.
A noble heart does not tolerate injustice
Thursday, June 9, 2011
The crooked house I painted came down. The barn in the painting with the road supposedly got demolished on June 6. A factory farm bought em out. This makes me so sad and angry. People are under this notion that they are smarter and all this technology is helping us. How could that possibly be true when these beautiful small family farms keep getting destroyed. I see so many people that walk around in a bubble on their phone that are completely oblivious to the world around them. That don't support local agriculture and businesses. Supporting local initiatives is not that difficult and anybody that doesn't do this is guilty for all the bad shit going down in this country right now. It is frustrating from my end because I try so hard to live a purposeful life and all day long at art fairs I see nothing but dopes on their phones. People ask me why I don't have a phone. Maybe I don't like being connected to dopes all the time. Maybe when you are diffierent from most people and the dominant culture, you like having room to breathe and think. People need to be conscience of their time and place around them.
Sorry for the rant. Sometimes I get misanthropic towards the stupid, which our culture encourages. I will not live this way.
I want to know where my food comes from. I want to know what plants and animals surround me. I want to take time to support the people in my life in a meaningful way. I try to have a rich meaningful life.
Hard to do any of those things on a computer. Not very many things that are digital have meaning. Old hand made buildings have a warm feeling and a presence. Miles of corn fields and steel sheds have a presence of death and industry. This isn't that hard to see is it?
The other painting is a storm over my great grandfathers barn in Buena Vista township. It brought such joy to see that.
Friday, February 4, 2011
I had a goal of doing 100 paintings in 30 days. I ended up doing 105 paintings in 37 consecutive days.
I had to stop when I was painting the last one, which is posted last, of Lake Michigan. I drove through a large snow drift and it knocked my serpantine belt off. Then everybody got snowed in.
I generally tried to stay close and painted places that I had emotional attachments to.
These are some of the paintings.