If You Wanna Draw Maps

Being an artist of any kind is an obsessive kind of lifestyle. To many, it may seem like we’re wasting time, but we’re not. Artists (of every stripe) are consciously, or subconsciously, making something or thinking about making something. It’s a 24/7 type of life. There’s no on or off. Just tuned up or tuned down. Ask any artist, they’ll tell you. It’s an natural born fact.

In that vein, here are some of my recent daily doodles. I’ve been making a lot of these. Small pieces of the larger concept.

It’s a long way to the top, if you wanna draw maps.

New Year, Big News

Hello, and Happy New Year. I know, it’s been a while since I posted. I thought I’d catch up a little while on break but I’ve been quite busy with life in general. I did manage a little time in the studio this week. Not enough, but better than none.

The main reason for this post is the big news. I have been chosen as the local artist in residence for June 2023 at Stove Works, the internationally recognized artist residency in Chattanooga. I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to it with great anticipation.

https://www.stoveworks.org/home

Full Schedule

Hey there. Yes, I know it’s been a while since I made a post. That’s because my work schedule is jam packed. Finding a free moment to post has been difficult. This semester I am teaching five classes at two universities and it’s kicking my ass.

I’m presently teaching three different classes at Kennesaw State University (KSU); Drawing I, Drawing II, and 2D Design/Color. I’m also teaching two sessions of Observational Drawing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). That’s quite a load. 80 students total.

As it is with writing and posting, finding a free moment to work on my art has been difficult. Hopefully I will be able to get back to my current studio work. Hoping to post more often too.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from my Observational Drawing classes at UTC.

A Life of Illusion – Joe Walsh

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 36

I’ve heard this song for decades. It was released when I was 11. At the time and for many years after, I felt it was nothing special. It was just a song. As a kid, this track couldn’t compete “Rocky Mountain Way” or “Life’s Been Good.” I mean, come on! Where’s the appeal?

Years later, more like decades later, I have learned to love this song. What changed? Turns out the missing ingredient was perspective. I was too young to appreciate a song like this. I need some perspective of my own to realize it is a song ABOUT perspective. A damn, good one too.

The final verse is the one that hits me hardest:

Hey, don’t you know it’s a waste of your day
Caught up in endless solutions
That have no meaning, just another hunch
Based upon jumping conclusions
Caught up in endless solutions

Since, I couldn’t find videos worth posting from YouTube that weren’t blocked, I’ve included homemade videos to give you a taste of the audio, so to speak, see and hear.

The mariachi-like horns are a nice touch, don’t you think?

Ten Years Ago Today

Wow. Today is my ten year anniversary. That’s right, I started this portfolio blog ten years ago today. I’ve made 1,235 posts in those ten years too. Kind of hard to believe.

Not much to add at the moment. I just wanted to acknowledge the big anniversary.

I’m buried under class preparation. This semester I am teaching three classes at Kennesaw State University, and two classes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Yep, I’m gonna be busy as hell this semester. All good though, I love the teaching part of teaching.

Here’s to ten years!

Would’ve never remembered the anniversary if I didn’t leave a note for myself.

Continued Progress

I made it to the art studio the day after returning from Chicago. I’m trying to ride the wave of creative energy as much as I can. Therefore, I was in the studio every day last week.

I’m also motivated to make more progress on this series because summer break is coming to a close. Soon I will have to switch gears and put on my professor cap. Lots of prep work coming over the next few weeks. This month I start a very busy Fall Semester. I will be teaching three class at Kennesaw State University and two classes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga!

Here are some work-in-progress images of this series. Still have lots of layers to add. More work left, but I do like how these are coming along.

Back in Sweet Home Chicago

Last week, I was back home in Chicago. It was a quick visit, I spent a lot of time in Niles, since I was mostly there to see my parents and any other family that were available.

While in town, I was able to see a few friends as well. One friend, Anne Halston, lives in the north side neighborhood of Rogers Park. She took me to see some of the street art there. The first work is a very powerful paste up installation. The work is comprised of numerous small pieces of paper pasted to the wall. Each one has the name of a black person killed by the police. As you can see from the images, there are hundreds of pieces of paper.

The second set of images simply show the mural across the street from the first work. It is part of the Rogers Park street art mural series. Because I wanted to add the visual flavor of Chicago, I included the yellow concrete pillars of the underpass. It’s a colorful moment captured from an archetypical Chicago point of view.

It’s always good to be back in Sweet Home Chicago.

Rolling Along

Spent another Saturday afternoon in the studio. It feels great to get some regular studio time again.

I am rolling along on my new series of boombox paintings. Got a lot done today. Feeling good about that. Here’s a few pictures of all that happened today.

Even More Twisted

The moral contortions so many Americans make are getting more severe. It’s far beyond typical cognitive dissonance. This affliction is worst within the Evangelical community. Back in 2018, I made a series of paintings called Mastering the Art of Contradiction about this part of our contemporary culture. Four years later, it’s even more twisted.

Here is Moral Contortionists, from that series. Every day, and in so many ways, I am reminded of this painting.

The Changingman – Paul Weller

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 35

Do you have a theme song? I’ve had a few over the years. Not many. Theme songs are exclusive company. You shouldn’t have too many of them. Music fans always have many songs they can relate to on multiple levels. A theme song is something more. I define a theme song as one that you relate to in such a way that it becomes a small part of your identity, because you can project your identity into the song.

One of my theme songs is from the Modfather himself, Paul Weller! Check it out, I’ve posted a couple of live versions below.

No surprise, it’s also on my list of all time favorite songs.

Is happiness real?
Or am I so jaded
I can’t see or feel, like a man been tainted
Numbed by the effect, aware of the muse
Too in touch with myself, I light the fuse

I’m the changingman, built on shifting sands
I’m the changingman, waiting for the bang
As I light a bitter fuse

Our time is on loan, only ours to borrow
What I can’t be today, I can be tomorrow

And the more I see, the more I know
The more I know, the less I understand

I’m the changingman, built on shifting sands
I’m the changingman, waiting for the bang
To light a bitter fuse

It’s a bigger part
When our instincts act
A shot in the dark
A movement in black

And the more I see, the more I know
The more I know, the less I understand

I’m the changingman, built on shifting sands
(I don’t have a plan)
I’m the changingman, waiting for the bang
As I light a bitter fuse

I’m the changingman, waiting for the bang
As I light a bitter fuse, yeah