When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Here's another collection for the New Year. My intention was not to create a conceptual collection. There's no overall themes of death and rebirth or anything like that. I just wanted to gather up some wintry images to remind us that while it may be cold, wet and miserable, it can also be beautiful. I realize that this has a hemispherical bias, so to all those who happen to be south of the equator (or in the tropics for that matter), sorry. Hope you'll enjoy these images anyway.

Click on the artist's name to link back to my previous post of their work. There you'll find a link to their website. Happy New Year everyone.

"Northern upland, snow remnants" 35.5x51cm

"Left Behind"

"Surviving Winter" 9" x14"

"Doubting Thomas" 25"x48" 2007

"Hunters From Sunday School" 55 x45 cm

"January" oil on canvas  78" x 95 1/2"  1997

"Winter Field Midday"  oil on canvas  18" x 24"

Gregory Crewdson  Untitled, Winter 2007  Archival inkjet print  58 1/2" x 89 1/2"

"Snowy day 2-6-09" 7x7" oil on panel

"Departure" 28x28" 2001

“Snowy Hill” 12" x 12" oil on masonite

"Herd of Reindeer" gouache on paper 2009

"Listen" 1995

"North-West night" oil on canvas 2008 100X80 cm

"Platform"  2010  oil on MDF 8"x10"

"The Oath Breakers" oil on canvas 62"x47.5" 2009

"Adoration of the Magi" 1997 160x160cm

Monday, December 27, 2010

Karin Kneffel

2009  210x110cm  oil on canvas

2009  180x550cm  oil on canvas

2008  130x300cm  2008

2009  180x190cm  oil on canvas

2008  70x70cm  oil on canvas

Karin  Kneffel is a German artist who has been tackling the realist approach  for almost three decades now. Her work is extremely varied and I won't  try to sum it up here. I still haven't looked at her entire website (www.kneffel.de) which features individual galleries for every year starting in 1984,  plus additional galleries for her watercolors and graphic works. For the  last couple of years she has played around with ordinary human spaces  viewed in some extraordinary ways. Quite a few of her paintings use the  motif of the window to depict inside and outside simultaneously,  employing darkness, light, reflection and moisture on the surface of the  window itself, to abstract the image into pattern. Pattern is another  one of her obsessions, whether it is the formal pattern of fabric and  wallpaper, or the the organic pattern of tree branches. All of this  comes together to create an overall impression of "looking" as the  subject matter of her work; Looking in, looking out, not at something in  particular but at whatever is there, and seeing patterns and  connections between patterns...  It is fascinating and beautiful work,  and a reminder to take the time and look anew at the ordinary spaces  around us all the time.

(I'd like to thank www.bluecanvas.com/calcavecchia for directing me to the artist's work)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kelly Reemtsen

Character assassination  42" x 42"

Fastidious  36" x 36"

Heavy Handed  20" x 20"

Add caption  20" x 20"

Not Every Pill Is Bitter  36" x36"
What would the girl who has everything like this Christmas? How about a 1950's cocktail dress and a chainsaw? Better yet a painting by Kelly Reemtsen. With an obvious nod to Wayne Thiebaud, a bit of J. C. Leyendecker and a compelling sense of fashion accessorizing, Ms. Reemtsen offers up some entertaining images of the mid 20th century woman. There is a bit of fantasy meets reality to the pictures; the glamorous dressed up look combined with the tools of hard labor that were more often than not, part and parcel of keeping the home. This dichotomy is also captured in her vibrant candy-like depictions of pills. "Mothers little helpers" I believe they've been called.
Check out her website:  www.kellyreemtsen.com

Happy Holidays everyone.
And thanks to firmhandshakenetwork.org for the heads up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Matthew Troy Mullins

 "VHS Tape Collection, South Pole"  watercolor and gouache on paper  30" x 96"  2010

 "VHS Tape Collection, South Pole" detail left

"Northern Regional Library Facility"  watercolor on paper  24" x 32"  2010

"Entymology Archive"  watercolor and gouache on paper  48" x 36"  2010

"Book Stitching Machine"  watercolor and gouache on paper  48" x 36"  2010

"Construct"  acrylic on canvas  4' x 6'  2007

Matthew Troy Mullins is as much a journalist as he is an artist. He reports from the worlds of science and technology, with an artist's eye for mundane detail, to report back on environments and working spaces that most of us would otherwise never witness. His conscious decision not to depict the people who normally occupy these spaces allows us to view the scene as if we were those people. He is particularly fascinated with places that collect knowledge, that gather and store information, spaces that form a collective attic space/workshop for the human race. Being something of a science nerd myself, I find these images remarkably evocative. The flat lighting and the complete lack of intentionally aesthetic decor do not evoke the sort of soullessness that is seen in so much artistic interpretation of technology. Rather it reminds us that the tremendous knowledge and impact of the human species consists of a vast accumulation of simple tasks and bits of information in innumerable obscure places. It is, in its own peculiar way, quite wondrous.

Check out his website: matthewtroymullins.com

And congratulations to Mr. Mullins on having his work featured in the 91st issue of New American Paintings

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vladimir Stankovic Rus

"The Forbidden Dance"
colored pencils, markers and watercolors on paper  25 x 18 cm

"There You Shall Find All That You Could Desire!"
watercolors, colored pencils, color markers on paper  12.5 x 17.5 cm

"Secret Gathering"
Mixed technique on paper  25 x 18 cm

"The Spell Has Been Broken"
colored pencils, color markers and tempera on paper  25 x 18 cm

 "I Overheard a Secret"  Mixed technique on paper

Vladimir Stankovic Rus is a young graphic designer and illustrator from Serbia (currently residing in Finland and, I think, enrolled in a Masters program. His interest in and pursuit of commercial work however has not hindered his unbridled creative vision. Applying colored pencils, watercolor, color markers, tempera and probably anything else handy to paper, he creates an arresting allegorical vision. There's a strong hint of Gustav Klimt in the way he builds shapes, not with modeled coloring effects, but with rich patterns that give the work an unexpected depth. The shapes butt up against one another and overlap in surprising ways that spell out a puzzle-like narrative of human, semi-human, and monstrous relationships. The menagerie of stylized mythical creatures that seem to lurk throughout much of his work also evoke hints of Heironymous Bosch. These works are small and dense, and worth a good deal more than a glance. Take your time with them.
There's a lot of art to look through, plus some fine graphic design work on his Flickr page.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarah M. Newton

 "Gino's Liquors" multiple plate aquatint  8" x 6.25"

"16th & Bryant"   aquatint  7" x 9"

"23rd & Potrero"  aquatint  7" x 6"

"K & B Liquors"  aquatint  5.5" x 7"

"Super Lavar"  reduction woodcut"  7.25" x 10"

Sarah Newton's prints are an exercise in the processing of observation. Almost all of her images are from locations a mile or less from where she lives; seemingly ordinary street corners, and rundown businesses. By limiting her focus to the mundane within her immediate vicinity she explores just how much there is to see and how little we see it. She takes reference photos as well as doing sketches of locations for her initial studies, then returns to the studio to make her prints. In her own words, "Hand drawn on woodblock or metal plate, the prints are created slowly, through cutting, scraping, burnishing and proofing the plates or blocks. The attention that goes into the development of the image constitutes a meditation on details and spaces that normally don't receive more than a passing notice". But it is not merely the place upon which her meditative process is built. There is also the light, the time of day. With exquisite subtlety she captures the nuances of night lit scenes and the shimmering quality of early morning. The prints are small, a size that requires only a single viewer at a time. Small art can, in this way, create a sense of intimacy with the viewer and the very nature of her work is perfectly suited to this.
Go to her website: www.sarahmnewton.com to see more.

(as you may have noticed I am now putting my short little essays at the bottom of the post so the work comes first. Visual art should speak for itself first and foremost).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ellen Altfest

"Sleeping Man15 x 17 inches, Oil on canvas, 2007

 "Green Gourd12 x 12 inches, Oil on canvas, 2007

"Rotting Gourd11 x 11 inches, Oil on canvas, 2007

"Log Pile29 x 50 inches, Pastel on paper, 2004

 "Tumbleweed42 x 52 inches, Oil on canvas, 2005

 "Pipes20 x 38 inches, Oil on canvas

The artists I post here vary greatly when it comes to their professional status. A few are little more than enthusiastic hobbyists posting on free sites like Flickr. But some, like Ellen Altfest, have reached a fairly lofty position in the art world. She shows in New York (at Bellwether Gallery) and in London (at White Cube). Her 2007 show in London also saw the release of her first monograph, a catalogue of new and older work which can be purchased here. So I guess you can say she's made it. And deservedly so. Her work is realist, but her focus is so tight on the fine details that it's easy to see right through the subject matter and lose yourself in a world of abstraction. An earlier series of decaying objects; rotting gourds, rusty pipes, etc., seemed to suggest that this somehow mirrors the nature of reality, that all things eventually break down into their constituent parts, and if we observe closely enough we can see the entropy inherent in everything. Her figurative paintings are less about the human form than they are about the textures of skin and hair, wrinkles and folds, and veins lying just below the surface. Some of the paintings are of mere parts (a butt, a penis) and here her attention to detail is a challenge to the viewer to see past the shock value of the subject matter and examine almost clinically how paint can mirror the texture of flesh.

(I'm going to start posting my short essays at the bottom of the posts from now on. After all it's all about the art, not my thoughts, right?)