Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Here's a new painting from March. I'm still not sure if I should call it finished or not - sometimes you just have to know when to say when, so for now I'm calling it done. I ended up using some paint markers as well to get some of the tinier, more geometric details. It was inspired by the drawing below, though I definitely decided to change a lot of things. At 36" x 36", this painting is one of the biggest I've done and is somewhat an ode to some of my favorite music - the title "Electronic Joy" taken from a mixtape a friend of mine made me way back in highschool, which was sort of the catalyst to the stuff I'm into today. Anyway, I may still touch up and add some things to this, but for now, I'm ready to move on to a new (and smaller) one.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This month I decided to do some drawings based on some animals living in the Leesburg, Virginia area, including one of the amazing giant tortoises at the Leesburg Animal Park. These were all drawn using black Pigma Micron pens over some watered down acrylic washes in an A4 watercolor Moleskine. Again, this was part of Big A's Moleskine Exchange, which has been a real motivator for me as far as keeping with drawing and sketching every month. While I usually draw from other people's photos of animals, I decided to use my own this time around. I may even try some very large drawings/paintings of this nature in the near future. Now, if only I could get a good shot of the big blue heron who hangs out at a nearby outdoor park. Unfortunately, Steve Irwin, I definitely am not!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Recently I got a few e-mail requests regarding some drawings of mine, so I thought I'd try out Imagekind to make some prints. The two you see here are large, archival quality 23" x 16" prints. I was pleased with the overall quality, though these two images appeared brighter on my computer screen. With this in mind, I'll probably bump up the contrast and brightness somewhat for my next run. So far a limited run of ten each, in this size ($50.00 each, signed and numbered), as well as limited runs of ten in smaller sizes is on the horizon. I'm still debating whether or not I should sell the prints on Etsy or start an Imagekind shop instead (or both)? Decisions decisions. Any advice would be helpful!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
In anticipation of a new release from one of my all-time favorite bands, Mouse on Mars, I recently spent some time searching for some new info when I stumbled upon a Flickr stream featuring a little record store with close ties to M.O.M. and the Cologne, Germany electronic music scene. Upon further investigation through photographs, I learned a lot about this store I've heard of before known as A-Musik. However, what I discovered is that it was more than a mere record shop, but a solid little culture, complete with live in-store music performances, movie screenings and art shows. I've been to many record shops, but this here is indeed something special, especially after seeing some of my favorite shops disappear, or existing shops' inventory being replaced by more and more DVDs and video games. Some guys like to golf, while others watch lots of sports. For me, it's all about the music, especially searching for cds and records. Perhaps it's a prehistoric, primal inclination to hunt or explore- the thrill of discovering something new, digging it out from the bins and holding it in my hands is very special to me, adding to the listening experience (which could be perhaps akin to "the feast" ?). The same can be said for books, and you will never find a Kindle in my hands, unless it would be to chuck it into the nearest trash bin. A-Musik have been around a while, as well as many of their related musical acts, and they obviously understand the importance of cultivating a "scene" or a culture. It's also a beautiful little store to boot (my wife, the "style expert" agrees)! Seeing these photos (which I nabbed from Flickr) makes me want to hit the nearest record store, and bring my camera as well. In any case, I definitely know where I'll stop first, if I ever visit Cologne, Germany.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Every year I get psyched about several particular art projects with my students. This one posted here is one of my favorites - where my fifth graders create fictional animals. They start out the school year by doing observational animal skull sketches and use those as a launching point. We do some drawings also based on animal photos so they can get an idea of different species, their patterns and textures, as well as their habitats. After all the preliminary studies, the fifth graders work on a final draft, or illustration showing their animal, both head and body, in their habitat on Earth. When I first started this project years ago, we didn't use animal skulls and the kids created aliens instead. I find this more recent approach is more relevant to a lot of things the kids should be thinking about and learning. Currently, my students just wrapped up their clay/three-dimensional replicas of their animals, after writing about them and doing oral presentations to their class. Once their clay sculptures dry up and are fired in a couple of weeks, they'll finally get to glaze their pieces. I think this year I've seen some of the best illos and sculptures yet, and I think next year, they'll do their presentations after all the art work is finished first. I look forward to seeing their sculptures in their final form and will be sure to photograph and post 'em up here when they're done.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
For the month of March 2010, the artist spotlight at Go Flying Turtle! goes to New Jersey-based artist John Fogarty. I've been following John's work through his Flickr stream for several years now, and it's a real pleasure to finally have interviewed him. John's art is guided by a confident sense of intuition and a mighty work ethic. Check out his outstanding collage-work, paintings, drawings and mixed media pieces and see for yourself.
1. Q: Did you go to school for art or would you describe yourself as being self-taught?
A: No I didn't go to art school. I did take some classes at the Art Student's of New York, but those classes were mainly about refining the direction you were already going with your art as well as getting inspiration from fellow students.
2. Q: Vivid color plays a major role in your work. What attracts you to using such color in your collages, drawings and paintings?
A: Bright colors, clashing colors, sort of explosive colors kind of line up with a lot of the emotions and thoughts that race through my head as well as a lot of art that inspires me.
3. Q: I know you're big into music. Do you see a relation to music and sound with visual art, and does music influence your own work at all?
A: Music absolutely inspires my art, I mean it's essential for me to get into the mindstate where I can just fully immerse myself in what i'm making.
4. Q: Whose art and music are you into these days?
A: I've been listening to a lot of mixes by musicians that I like that I've downloaded recently. A couple names that come to mind are Tim Hecker (his music really lines up well with making art for me), a mix Prefuse73 made for MoMa last year, the album Selected Ambient Works 2 by Aphex Twin. So much music, and like art I'm always looking for new music to inspire me. Some of the artists that inspire me are Herbert Baglione, Roberto Matta, Blu, Stephanie Toppin, Sat One, Hans Bellmer, and Wols.
5. Q: Is there any type of art "scene" - spaces, galleries, street, out your way ? How'd you describe it?
A: There is, I haven't really made my way into them yet, but New Jersey as well as Brooklyn have some really cool places that I'd like to get involved with in the future.
6. Q: Much of your work incorporates faces and semi-symmetrical, line-based compositions. Can you pinpoint some of the reasons why these can be found in your art?
A: It could be my love of building something with lots of detail yet finding something recognizable in it. Something that comes to mind when I think of that is kind of like if you look at a tree's branches for a while, you can make out unusual faces and expressions, and in my art once I see that, I expand on that even if that recognizable form gets somewhat lost.
7. Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being an artist?
A: Making art that I don't think is terrible and keeps me interested and positive about making more art.
8. Q: Why do you make art - what do you get out of the act of creating?
A: First off catharsis from my mind which has a tendency towards overloading with thoughts till it short circuits. Secondly I love the process of making art and seeing something develop from a couple lines or pieces of paper into something that trips you out or just makes you see things a little brighter or differently.
9. Q: Do you plan on exhibiting your work in any shows or galleries in the near future? Anything else in store with regards to the art of John Fogarty?
A: No I don't have any shows at the moment, but I am working on making some t-shirts with designs of mine as well as getting a website up and running to sell my art on. Some good things have come about recently, just don't want to jinx them because they haven't completely panned out yet.
10. Q: If you had to describe your art to the average joe who might not appreciate your work at first, what would you say to them?
A: Most of my artwork is made from an intuitive point of view, so I think if they weren't into it I'd be fine with that. I don't think I'd really be interested in trying to convince someone to like my artwork. It's what the viewer makes of it.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Looks like Kris and I weren't the only two lovebirds out and about last Sunday afternoon. What a gorgeous past few days it's been outside. It's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago there was snow up to our hips, and now most of it's gone. I don't consider myself to have S.A.D., but these brighter, warmer days have truly elevated my mood and energy levels lately. I know I'm not alone there. Seeing and hearing birds other than the usual crows and vultures has been a real bonus too. The doves pictured here barely moved when we were photographing them, thankfully. Eventually, we found them running around behind the bushes, their heads bobbing back and forth near the ground like chickens, looking for something tasty to eat. We could have watched those birds all day if we had the time. Looking forward to more of this good stuff soon.