Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drawings from Sketchbooks: Moon Boat Guy

Doesn't this guy know that you're not supposed to stand up in a boat?

Apparently not.  

I sincerely hope that no one goes all Freudian on me about this one.  Apparently, back in what I'm guessing was about 2001, I was feeling a little isolated. It does make me wonder why though.  I don't remember that part of my life being particularly lonely.  I suppose now would be the appropriate time to remind myself that every piece that an artist creates doesn't have to be a window into his inner workings.  It doesn't have to open the door to some part of his psyche that was up to that moment hidden from the world.  Sometimes, it's just a drawing of a guy in a boat.

Most of the time though, I guess it's probably both.  Richter has said again and again that we can't remove ourselves from our work, and that's true.  We can't.  But we don't have to embrace the overly emotional side of it either.  The people who work like that are shitheads.  Those who focus on how, as artists, they're so "in touch" with their inner profundity make the rest of us look like idiots.  Don't get me wrong. Honest emotion is a wonderful thing to find in a work of art, but there is such a thing as overreaching.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Pearce Gallery Show

For Immediate Release: 

New Paintings by Eric Bell 
@ The Pearce Gallery in Dunlap, IL

Monday, January 6 - February 8, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, January 17, 2014

More info to follow.

100 Paintings

Oddly enough, when counting how many paintings I had started for my upcoming show, I had exactly 100.  Okay, that's not exactly true...there were 88, but I missed some.  Then there were 96, then I saw a pile of 4 that I had started, but wasn't considering for the show, but I added them in anyway, because the nice big round number was so inviting.

So...100 paintings there will be. 

The New Studio

September 21, 2013, 11:13 pm
Though I'm not actually living in my new house, the studio is up and running.  I spent the whole day there Sunday, and a little bit last night, and the art making machine had all pistons firing.

I've come to love many creative spaces in my life, but I think this one might just take the cake.  

To prove that I don't just love it because it's mine and it's new, I'll now evaluate the space on a sliding 1 - 5 scale (with 1 being poor/inefficient and 5 being awesome/perfectly efficient) in each of the following categories:  Functionality, Organization, Spaciousness, Amenities, Environmental Conditions, and Beauty/Decor. Here goes...

Functionality: 5.  I have plenty of space to draw and paint.  A functional all purpose work table, computer access, music, supply storage, and comfortable seating.

Organization: 5. As my mother taught me, "a place for everything, and everything in it's place."  BOOM.

Spaciousness: 3.  I didn't quite plan it to be big enough.  Its functionality makes up for its lack of space though.

Amenities:  5.  I've been hording art supplies for years.  It's finally paid off.  It's like the Dick Blick outlet store in there...mostly because I go to the Dick Blick outlet store a lot.

Environmental Conditions: 4. Heating, cooling, and opening windows take you pretty far, but the smell of turpentine should probably make me buy a stand alone air purifier at some point. If only I didn't like it so much.

Beauty/Decor: 4.  It looks good.  Especially the flooring (heh hem.)  But my retro industrial vibe was missed by how much stuff has to be in there (/how much of that stuff is just my old stuff), and my budget for furnishing the space.  Now, I will be on the hunt (forever) for cool vintage metal cabinets and beautifully aged wooden pieces, but until then, it's hodgepodge eclectic vibe will do.

So, let's tally the score: 26/30...not bad.

All kidding aside though, the space is great, and I don't really want to be anywhere else in the world than there.  Let's hope that feeling maintains until the 100 paintings I'm working on for my show in January get done.  

Oh yes, that's a real number.  More on that later.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Remains...

And I’m back.  So let’s jump right in.

Today, in my 4th hour photography class we finished watching the documentary, “What Remains,” about the life and work of photographer Sally Mann.  I’m proud to say that the kids were blown away.  I’m glad.  I was afraid they wouldn’t get her – but then again, what’s not to get?  Her work has a complexity to it, but their seemingly deep understanding of her motives and the outcome produced proved an old theory of mine, which is, if you give art more than 10 seconds, and just let it happen, you’ll get it.

Sally Mann is what I call an “everyday genius.”  I’ve blogged about her before, because I LOVE her.  She is impressive and unassuming all at the same time.  Though she entirely human - approachable and down to earth, she is also stunning profound.  What she swears is just a series of discoveries, seems at closer examination to be a clear, concise exploration of the way we live a life.  She carries an intense wisdom about her craft, packed alongside all the doubt that plagues everyone else.  Without pretense, she carefully dissects her thoughts and intentions.  It’s like watching a surgeon work.  There is a precision and a delicate touch.  Monumental things happen with the flick of her hand.  It’s both profound and familiar.  Watching her work is beautiful.

When I stand back and look at her work at large, I can see that she is one of those artists whose career has a forward momentum to it - a perpetual motion toward the future.  She moves on.  She proceeds to what’s next.  No matter what happens, she just works.


I have a great deal of respect for Mrs. Mann, and hope very much that someday our paths will cross.