Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shockingly Bad or Just Down Right Brilliant...you be the judge

As many of you know at the end of every class I teach I do a critique. It's not a meanie critique but rather a chance for everyone to see how different people resolve art issues. I have a friend who used to be a gallery director and he used to say that you can always find something of value in someone's work. I do believe this . A piece of work may not be something I would hang in my house but that doesn't mean they are without merit. For instance I have to admit I am pretty anti-Warhol...but I understand what he did and the value of what he did. It's just not my cup of tea...or soup.


This brings me to the Museum of Bad Art. I recently came across this place online. I was intrigued, given that there is such a broad range of accepted styles. So here is my dilemma ...I love the concept...but to be honest some of there choices for "bad art" are in my humble opinion a bit off. Now I know that the spirit of the Museum is somewhat tongue and cheek but still, lets take a peek.

Okay now I will concede this is bad...not so much for the the painting but for the freaky kid with the blue mum. Now that I think about I find the freakishness to be down right compelling...I'll still give it a bad, but with a plus for creep out factor.

Another bad...but its about time someone painted a clown as a psychopath as opposed to those seemingly benevolent yet serial killer types. Clowns are scary...this person make no bones about it.


Now this is brilliant in my opinion. Simple folksy. I don't get the badness here. Sure its a little phallic...but I think this is quite creative...as far as genitalia go.




This is amazing! I love this piece. The colors are wild, expression is great. And what about that baby-eating kitty. You got to love that.



Here's another beaut...I'm digging the polka dots. I think they are pretty interesting as is the use of color...look at that floor...wow. Not sure about the big head with blue eyes...but check out the girl on the coach...is she in an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" alien pod. I think so...extra credit for use of alien pods.

Okay that's it for now...if you have a chance to check out the Museum of Bad Art do so. I'm going in person next time I go to Massachusetts. I'll be curious for your responses to the art...good...bad...or freaky.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Big Commish and More Creative outlets

Howdy pards,

so I'm done with the commish and shipped it off to Australia today. Judy gets it next and adds a bit of her magic to it. Now I know I promised showing some photos but because its a gift I need to wait until after mid Oct. to do so...just in case. Hang in there...I think it turned out better than I imagined...hopefully the client will agree. Fingers crossed...this is the scary part of commissions...they are usually my most successful pieces but man it is a hell of a roller coaster. I swear there were so many times during the process where I would say to myself "who are you kidding...you call yourself an artist" fortunately (as it always does) everything worked out, but that never changes the internal dialog. It can be downright nasty...but hey, I won.

Off to Fort Collins CO tomorrow. I'll be teaching at the Artist's Nook...this is Christine's (my business partner) store. Should be fun...they do have some good pubs there...what do expect from a college town.

Lately I've received a number of emails inquiring about smaller works for sale. At the moment I don't have many left in my possession, but there are a bunch at Gallerie Chiz in Pittsburgh. They have the Creative Outlets (I stole this name from Karen Cole...thanks Karen who is in Italy right now...have fun). Check out the gallery here...and here's what they have:















Friday, September 14, 2007

New Art, Book signing in MIssoula tonight...and Roller Derby




Howdy,


So if you're a Missoulian or happen to be in the area you should stroll on down to Liquid Planet, have an espresso or the like. I'll be there signing books tonight (Fri. Sept 14). Also all of the pieces of mine that appeared in Rice's new book Living the Creative Life will be on display. For those of you who can't make it to Missoula i've given you a peek of the work above.

sorry I've not been blogging much. I'm still working on the big commish like a madman. It's close...I think...needs to be. Lifes been pretty boring since I got back from Dallas...up at 5:30 and work work work. Oh did I mention I had a Roller Derby Player in my Ten Second Studio workshop. We went down to see her play, but they were sold out....total bummer. So we went bowling instead, which was fun...but it aint no Last Battle.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dallas and a little press

Hey all,
I'm in Dallas teaching some workshops for Cheryl and Megan at TEN SECOND STUDIOS. While I was away my local paper did a spread on me. Check it out if you like. The reporter followed me around while I did some junking. It was a pretty fun day.
and a book review


Missoula Secrets of Rusty Things book signing Sept 14th at Liquid Planet 5-7. more info to come,

ciao,

Michael

Sunday, September 02, 2007

counting a few of my blessings

I think that its time to count a few of my blessings. After my last post, I went back into the studio and continued to work on a rather large project that I have spent weeks on...or months. I'll post some images once my portion is completed ( I don't like to do in process photos because I find my work changes so dramatically from beginning to end). While I was working on this piece, which is going to be another collaboration with my beloved Judy, I started feeling like finally the piece started to work with me. I often feel like my process is a battle until at some point the art starts to work with me. It's almost like it makes thing difficult to test me...to see if I'm worthy of it giving me a hint of a solution. Anyway, the last day or so was the point in which the piece finally started to work with me. Throughout this project solutions seemed nebulous and my frustrations were high, which were worsened by the amount of time I was gone and away from the studio. So finally I can see clearly now...the rain is gone. Given that. I decided that it is important to count a few of my blessings.

There are a number of things that I am thankful for...

I actually make a living doing the thing I love (as frustrating as the process can be sometimes).

Teaching gives me the opportunity to meet wonderful people wherever I go. It always amazes me how much I learn from the people I teach. Believe it or not it is a learning experience for me as well.

My mother had a bit of a medical scare recently but all is well and she is better than ever. She and my father are the reason that I pursued my dreams...I doubt I would be where I am without them.

Speaking of family I am blessed to have in my life a wonderful sister and her beautiful kids Maddy and Aidan. Maddy is a little artist and Aidan is pre-school pirate. Arrgh.

Friends...what wonderful friends I have..here in Missoula as well as scattered across the globe. What could be better than that?

I have see much of the world and plan to see much more. Ever since I graduated from college I made a commitment to travel overseas every year. For many years it was hard to do, but nonetheless I managed to do it. When money was tight, it meant that I would go someplace like Thailand or Mexico where the dollar goes far. I have learned so much from the simple task of going someplace strange and foreign.

Now lastly and certainly not least is how fortunate I was to find an amazing woman like Judy Wilkenfeld. It is true that I could complain about the vast global distance in our relationship, but though the physical distance may be great...the spirit and soul are amazingly close. I should say that in my life I have know many artists, (and I say this without bias...well maybe a little), but I have never known any that have so much to say that can say it so well. What an amazing person. What an amazing artist. I am blessed to have met her. I am blessed to have her as a friend. I am especially blessed to have her as a partner. Now if someone would lift the anchor and let Australia drift toward the US a bit...all would be perfect.

Tarot Prints to help the hungry

Hi guys,

What a crazy wonderful year so far...it will be one that I will remember always. Everything from my first book publication to the ever-flourishing relationship with the creative and beautiful Judy from across the sea. Now I feel it is time to give a little something to the universe.

I've decided that 10% of the Tarot Card Print sales will go to support the Hunger Project. It is a great organization that is highly rated by charity watch groups. This is an organization that helps fight poverty through some very innovative ways. Here is there mission statement:

The Hunger Project is a global, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.

In Africa, Asia and Latin America, The Hunger Project empowers millions of women and men to end their own hunger. The Hunger Project has pioneered low-cost, bottom-up, gender-focused strategies in each region where hunger persists. These strategies mobilize clusters of rural villages to create and run their own programs that achieve lasting progress in health, education, nutrition and family income.

In all our work, the highest priority is the empowerment of women. Women traditionally bear primary responsibility for family health, education, nutrition and - increasingly - family income. Yet women have been systematically denied information, resources and voice in decisions that affect their lives.

Click Here to Learn more

I think this a very worthwhile cause. Whenever I travel to Mexico I see the struggle that families go through. It is heartbreaking, so I wanted to do a little something. I will place a link to these guys on my blog sidebar if you want to donate to them directly or click below if you want to support them with your purchase of the prints.



thanks,
Michael