I have two paintings hanging up at The Moonlight Mile whisky bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
I’ve written before about my nieces and nephew in Duluth who are big collectors of my work. They’re fantastic, but their taste in art is questionable. For the past few years they’ve sent me drawings, and I send them back the same thing. Until now I’ve only done commissions …
I went to see them in Minnesota last week, and hoped to push them out of their collecting comfort zone. I didn’t ask what they wanted paintings of; I just asked what their favorite foods were. I assumed that at 8, 6 and 4 years old, they must be so bored with monkeys, superheroes and mermaids that we could break new ground.
8. Signe is arty so she assured me that she does love all art, ice cream and popcorn, but it’d be cool to have a painting of The Loch Ness Monster sometime, too.
6. Brett told me many times that he still loves my paintings … but he’d also really like a villain painting, and that I shouldn’t worry about making up some new guy who doesn’t exist; I could just paint The Blue Beetle.
4. Kirsten studied this for a long time and decided that we could definitely improve it if we made the letters red instead of blue. But she also thought it could be much better if it was a painting of Bucky the Pirate Ship and we forgot about this one altogether.
I don’t know how anyone can decide what their favorite thing in the whole wide world is, but hanging out with these three kids and talking art is at the very top of my list.
- THE ART TRADE is explained
I have three nieces and one nephew who are avid collectors of my work. It all started a couple years ago when my niece Signe was 5—she’d pick the subject, and we’d trade paintings by mail (butterflys, princesses, mermaids). Now it’s a pretty elaborate process since there are more kids who want to jump on the bandwagon.
Signe’s now obsessed with the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior … “Nicknamed the “Mighty Fitz”, the ship suffered a series of mishaps during her launch: it took three attempts to break the champagne bottle used to christen her, and she collided with a pier when she entered the water” and eventually sank … Signe’s only 7. This project may get interesting.
… and a sketch I did recently of my most awesome uncle for my most awesome aunt.
I snapped this picture when I was at my parents’ house for Christmas a few weeks ago. It was the final project for my color theory class in art school and now hangs proudly on their wall in Michigan. I think it’s pretty obvious that I became completely obsessed. For weeks I spent all my time hunched over this giant board, mixing miniscule amounts of paint and dabbing them into tiny shapes with tiny brushes. I actually think my professor was slightly embarrassed for me when I brought it in for the final crit, like I’d turned into some sort of mad artist and did too good of a job.
Agh well, what can I say? I just love color theory.
This isn’t the paint palette that I used for the project—that would be nuts if I’d done it in oil. But this is the palette that I used for about 7 years, until my brilliant friend Kelly spotted it one day and suggested I put a frame around it and hang it on the wall as its own painting. I plan to do that, but it still isn’t dry and it’s been 6 years!
I paint in layers, well, I guess I do everything in layers, but I took these photographs a few years ago. I did paintings inside, took photographs outside, made the photos black and white, printed them on transparencies, projected them onto the paintings, and then took the photographs that you see here. I think it’s an interesting idea—maybe I’ll take a stab at it again someday now that I’m back to painting.
I was a die-hard silk screener in art school. I started as a painter, but moved on to printmaking because I found more freedom within the constraints of the process. I found that thinking slowly in stages, one layer at a time, helped me to focus.
I was at a friend’s house recently and found myself lost in some other world, staring at this top print, Drifters, which was hanging on the wall. I did it 13 years ago and haven’t seen it in so long, so I was amazed by how cinematic it is and related to all of the photography and video that I’ve done since.
I’ve begun the daunting task of organizing my many hard drives. It’s become a life-threatening problem because I’m certain my head will explode if I come across one more file titled CoolPhoto.FINALFINALForRealFINALSeriously.
AND the problem’s multiplied because I recently became a “remote employee”—which actually sounds cool, like I’ve gone undercover or work in outer space, but it’s actually just plain cool and means that I work in my apartment—with double everything, including hard drives.
So, organizing files really is a miserable task, and I feel like that guy from the myth that pushed the big rock uphill for eternity, but I’ve been finding a lot of old but relevant ideas, and art that I’d forgotten about. I’m amazed by how my work has changed mediums over the past decade, but my interests are still the same. Here are some of my paintings. It’s funny that I came across these today, because all week I’ve been thinking about painting from my video stills. Between Mediums forever!