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)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Michelle Muldrow

"Delirium"  20" x 10"  casein on clay panel

"Reconfiguration"  20" x 10"  casein on clay panel
"Altar in Orange"  acrylic on canvas
"Searching Light"  12" x 12"  casein on clay panel
"Blight and Consumption; Bedford Heights, OH"  34" x 22"  gouache on paper
Michelle Muldrow has been exploring the potentials still lurking within the landscape genre and what it means to be picturesque. She has contrasted the notion of the picturesque by incorporating it into her depictions of urban and suburban decay. More recently she has been exploring the idea of the sublime as it might be conveyed by cathedral architecture, by the light and airy spaces lit by stained glass windows. Only here she turns the idea of the sublime on it's consumerist head by using as her subject the chaos and clutter of a big block store. Beyond the philosophical intentions of her work, there is no denying that she has a fluent if not instinctive understanding of color and design. She employs her marked craftsmanship to tremendous effect conjuring the vagaries and contradictions inherent in our perceptions of the american landscape. You can see more on her website: mmuldrow.com

and thanks again to the folks at www.artistaday.com for bringing her work to my attention

Monday, April 25, 2011

Myeongbeom Kim

Untitled  Deer taxidermy, branches, leaves

"Edison"  15" x 15" x 30"  Branch, goldfish, glass, steel

"Leave"  installation


Untitled  balloons, oak tree

Most of my posts fall in the category of representational painting. That's what I know. It's what I do and feel best qualified to comment on. But it's not the only thing I'm interested in looking at, and it's good to mix things up now and then. Myeongbeom Kim is a sculptor, installation and performance artist whose work is quite varied, and reflects an ongoing obsession with trees, balloons and goldfish bowls. There's a lot of clever juxtapositions going on and some interesting commentary on both the fragility and tenacity of nature. But mostly he displays the wit and ingenuity that all art requires to take the viewer by surprise and force us to look at the familiar as if it were new and strange. There's a lot of work to look through on the website so take your time.

I saw this work first on www.artistaday.com

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scott Conary

"Lamb Chop"  oil on panel  8" x 8"

"Bitten Apple"  oil on panel  6" x 5"

"Clouds, Oregon"  oil on canvas  28" x 22"

"Forgotten"  oil on canvas  30" x 30"

"Arrowhead"  oil on panel  8" x 8"

Scott Conary is, as he says of himself, "something of a throwback", a traditionalist if you will, interested in the simple art of applying paint to convey the immediacy of an object with deft and confident brushwork. For some artists, working in this tried and true vein, the subject matter itself is almost entirely incidental. But Mr. Conary finds himself drawn to some very specific images again and again, most notably and recently, meat. It's part of a long tradition, kind of. Rembrandt did a painting of a carcass of beef once which later inspired the artist Chaim Soutine to do a series of ten such paintings while the carcass slowly turned blue and rancid in his studio. Plenty of other artists have depicted food, both meat and vegetables freshly procured from the local market. Mr. Conary worked his way through his own apples, pears,  peppers and more before settling down with chops. There is something undeniably immediate about a cut of meat. There is a distinct visual appeal, especially for a painter, in the glistening surface and the bright red hues. But there's also recognition of the fact that we are ourselves are flesh and bone. One may be tempted to read too much into it. He's also painted numerous small works depicting tools; hammers, pliers scissors, etc.,. There's landscapes, and even a few figurative works. The real focus of his work, it seems to me, is the varied and ubiquitous ingredients of every day life.

There's plenty of work to look through on his website: www.conary.org

And thanks to Sean Thomas, the subject of my previous post for bringing Mr. Conary's work to my attention.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sean Thomas

"Car Culture (Quincy)"  oil on canvas  36" × 40"  2009

"Cartography #7"  oil on canvas  12" × 24"  2009

"Crane Forms #4"  oil on canvas  12" × 18"  2009

"Mill Forms"  oil on canvas  24" × 36"  2008

"Providence River IV"  watercolor on paper  11" × 15"  2006

"Black Falcon Terminal"  oil on canvas  20" × 24"  2007

Sean Thomas is something of a minimalist with an impressionist's sense of atmosphere. His simple graphic architectural forms shimmer through a haze of dusty sunlight. Or is it smog? His most frequent subjects are the interaction of human construction and landscape, but his work is not concerned with commentary. The potential is there, but instead he focuses on description and aesthetics. By emphasizing the term "Forms" in many of his titles he focuses on the abstract nature of the images devoid of political or social content. But still, they are "crane forms" or Mill forms", not simply forms. They are real objects, real places, scenes from the world in which we live and as such are loaded with frames of meaning and association. Many of his subjects are industrial in nature. These are not scenes that most people would normally consider from an aesthetic point of view. He's not asking us to look at these places for their beauty, but we are being asked to see the beauty that might be there.

See more work on his website: www.seanthomasonline.com
and thanks to artistaday.com for introducing me to his work

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paul Smith

untitled  2009

oil on canvas  2010

"Bawdeswell Heath"  2010

self portrait  oil on board  2010
Paul Smith is an English artist whose unpretentious goals are to capture the look and feel, and possibly something of the spirit of the woods and landscapes near his home in Norfolk. I say unpretentious, because this sort of art has been, and continues to be pursued by countless obscure artists, professional and amateur, across the globe, most of it merely reflecting what the artist thinks such a painting ought to look like, ending up a hackneyed imitation of someone else's vision. But it seems to me that Paul Smith's work genuinely conveys a deep and abiding passion for the woods, heaths and fenlands of his home. He's less interested in achieving a specific look or technique than he is in conveying to the best of his ability the world he still thrills to inhabit. He produces still life and portrait work as well. There is in fact quite a variety to his body of work, but his central passion is clearly for the leaves and trees, the rocks and waterways, and the quiet wild lands of East Anglia. Check out his website: paulsmithpaintings.co.uk or you can see larger images on his Flickr page.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vincent Desiderio

  • "Couple", 2009  Oil on canvas  14 x 11 inches

  • "Figure Ascending Staircase", 2009  oil on paper mounted on board  17 x 12 1/2 inches

  • "My Father Fallen", 2009  Oil on paper  13 1/4 x 16 inches

  • Mourning and Fecundity, 2007  Oil on canvas  97 7/8 x 148 inches

  • "Portrait Before Orozco", 2010  oil on paper on prepared board  64 x 48 inches

  • "Abstract Study After Michelangelo (Study for Sleep) III" 
    2009 Oil and mixed media on paper mounted on panel  8 x 10 1/2 inches

Usually I try to post artists who are busy trying to promote themselves, trying to make some small headway in the usually thankless task of making art a career. But every now and then I find out that I've been completely ignorant about a very well established artist. just google Vincent Desiderio and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, as you can tell from the work above, he is primarily a realist painter, whose unafraid of abstraction. The best abstract artists are realists at heart anyway (if I may be so bold). But his realism is often highly narrative, something you don't see all that often on the museum walls these days. The narratives, not immediately obvious from my examples, seem to be mostly dark, disturbing, sometimes downright grim depictions of adult life with occasional studies of the innocence of childhood where the weighty shadows of the future seem to hover around the frame. His pallette is mostly ochres & umbers, brighter colors coming in occasionally to set off the gloom of his psychologically shadowy world.

Like I said there's a lot of places to look at his art, but this gallery (www.marlboroughgallery.com) is where I got the images above and they have quite a few more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Catherine Mulligan

"Supermarket 2"  oil on board

"Restaurant 1"  oil on board

"Furniture Store Window"  oil on paper

"Shopping Mall (escalators)"  oil on paper

"Public Restroom"  oil on board

Discovering amazing art by well-established professionals of whom I'd never heard before is always exciting, but sometimes it's even more exciting to see work by a young artist who has not really even gotten started yet on his or her career. Of course you can never tell how it's going to go. But these pieces posted by Cathrin Mulligan on her Flickr page strike me as a powerful beginning. Although she has figurative work posted as well, my personal favorites are these roughly painted, scratched and doodled studies of modern convenience in decline. Using technique rather than detail she is able to powerfully convey the timeworn feel of aging shopping malls, and outlet stores; the lonely abandonment of an empty storefront, or the vaguely appalling dinginess of a public restroom. She also has some rather nice still lifes as well, collecting odd objects from this dystopian life; a beer can, some coffee creamer, a jar of vaseline, some sardines, a slice of ham. The photos are not professionally done (there's a strong incandescent yellow cast to some) and there's not a ton of work. Most unfortunate of all, there's not a lot of recent work. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope she posts more soon.

You can see a few of the pieces posted from her undergraduate show in 2009 I think, at PAFA.