Yes, I’m going to write about the Memory Paintings and LxWxH again! Yes, there are still some available! Yes, you even preview some of them here!
Carrie's LxWxH packaging
First, Carrie, at Gingham & Gold, is a Seattle design blogger and long-time friend of The Ryan Finnerty Studio. She recently made her first foray into collecting local art via LxWxH. (that project that curates Seattle artists and writers by packaging original works in small boxes, for cheap) She wrote about the experience here, using words like “fabulous” and “economical.”
Second, in Mid-October LxWxH will be at City Arts Festival this year. Most of the art there will be installations, experiences, and spectacles. Most of the art there will live inside David Byrne’s blessed heart. You’ll find our stuff at the Friday/Saturday Pop Up Art Market. Go check it out and take it home!
Watercolor by Julie Alpert, flanked by foo dogs
This Friday, July 13th LxWxH (LengthWidthHeight) will be having a launch party for the July/August issue: re Place. You should probably come.
Where is it? VERMILLION ART GALLERY, 1508 11th Ave, Seattle, Washington
When is this happening? Friday, July 13th 6-8pm
Will it be bad luck? No. It will be totally metal.
Some of these will be at the party. (Hopefully, the nudes.)
This is your chance to bask in the glow of Adam, Julie and I. It’s also your chance to rifle around in the FEW REMAINING BOXES and convince yourself that, “Yes. This is the moment! This is when I start my collection of beautiful handmade things! This is when I spend $130 on local art instead of blowing it on toll roads or brightly colored jeans!” Or, if you’re one of the lucky few who’ve already received their issue, this is your chance to get me to call you a “patron of the arts” in front of your date.
Work and certificate for "The One About Needing a Bigger Boat"
On July 1st, LxWxH will begin selling their July/August issue: rePlace. The issue contains original works by Julie Alpert, Adam Boehmer, and Ryan Finnerty. There are only 20 issues available, and each box sells for an extremely modest price. (Order yours early!) My contribution is the Memory Paintings, in which I make visual recollections of other people’s paintings. (more on these in earlier posts) This collection contains small paintings of everything I know about Jan Van Eyck, Gustav Courbet, Caravaggio, Kimberly Trowbridge, and many others. I’ll post more images from this series in the coming days, but the best way to see them is probably to buy one.
LxWxH is like a cross between a gallery, a magazine, and a CSA produce service. What’s important is that its an exciting new idea in marketing artwork, and that it gives regular people the chance to collect some of Seattle’s best artists for very little money. If you think owning contemporary art is just for rich people, Sharon, the project’s curator, will be happy to disabuse you of that idea. (at length) ORDER YOURS HERE.
Work on the memory paintings continues. These paintings will be featured/available in July’s LxWxH. This afternoon’s was an ambitious painting:
The One About All Things at All Times
This painting never fails to dazzle me. It’s a kind of visual encyclopedia of the Northern Renaissance. I teach a class on Medieval and Renaissance Art, and I offer an automatic “A” to any student who goes to Ghent and visits this painting. (No one has tried it yet.) If you can’t fly to Belgium, there’s a jaw-dropping hi-res image of the altarpiece, including x-ray images. You can use it to find all the places my memory faltered on this one.
Work in Progress
Also, this painting pairs beautifully with a Belgian Ale and The Virgin Queen Soundtrack.
The One About Eroticizing The Other
There are more of these each day. As I discussed earlier, in an effort to develop new approaches to painting from observation, I’ve been plumbing the depths of my visual memory. Here are the RULES: 1. Use known paintings. Maybe with complex spacial arrangements, maybe with dynamic color, maybe works I discuss in my art history lectures, maybe with naked ladies… whatever. Rule 2. Look at the image for no more than ten minutes, during breakfast. Rule 3. Wait for the afternoon, mix up some colors, and see what you know. Rule 4. Do not look at the original image. Rule 5. DO NOT look at the original image.
The One About a Subtle but Profound Shift
Observations: 1. Representational, Figurative, Western painting is still weirdly compelling. 2. I am impressed with the parts I get right, and delighted by the parts I get wrong. 3. Gesture is the most elusive element.
Very soon, these will be on public display! And packaged with poetry! And sold at shockingly modest prices! More on this part soon!
This Sunday, April 1st, my studio neighbors and I will be hosting an Open Studio event from 12-4pm. Free and open to the public.
I’ll have some old and new work around, including two new series of works on paper:
from an ongoing series of dress drawings
(more on these soon)
While I typically work from direct observation, I’ve recently been working on ways of inventing imagery, i.e. making things up. While this kind of working has a long tradition in Western Art, (think: almost anyone before Courbet) I’ve been encountering serious obstacles in painting the unseen. Two of the largest problems I’m encountering in this work are freshness and color complexity- two things that come easily in observational painting.
Based on my memory. Anyone know this painting?
To alleviate this gap between the mind and the eye, I’ve been sketching out paintings from memory. I think of some of my favorite paintings and try to recall general atmosphere, composition, and color masses and paint them as quickly as I can recall them. Painting from a fragmentary memory keeps things fresh, while the original artists furnish the good stuff. This one is different from the original in some amusing ways, yet captured some key elements. Can you guess what painting I was thinking of?
A fun processes I use for conceiving scenes is to sketch directly with paint and a rough idea. Capriccios, or imaginary scenes, may start with a half-baked scene in my mind or a compositional shape I want to try out. I’ll lay in some rough shapes and let things develop and change until a scene emerges. A shrub will become a figure, a cloud, then a shrub again. An advantage to sketching this way is that you get to think in terms of color and shape rather than line. Its also fast, allowing for spontaneity and a little ambiguity. I recently did this with some teens at Gage Academy’s Teen Art Studio, where students developed some great sketches and wild narratives. Here’s a quick sketch I did a few years ago. The composition wasn’t terribly interesting, but I still wonder what must be going on in this scene. Write-in your title in the comments section by Dec. 5th. Best entry wins a signed, numbered Arborial Goats print.