I’m sorry for being rather inattentive to this blog, but I’ve had a bunch of things going on. And the biggest of things going on is that we are moving to Milwaukee. It’s where my work is, where our families are, where my sense of a visual sensibility of the world exists. Milwaukee is not perfect by any stretch, but it’s an imperfect that I understand.
I’ve learned a lot from these past six years in Boston. I’ve learned how to be an observer. I’ve learned the importance of being anonymous. My work has gotten better. The way I think about art has become more sophisticated and critical.
But Boston is a frustrating city for creative people. There is a palpable drought of creative resources and outlets; being four hours from New York City will do that to a town. Boston is good for a lot of industries: high tech, healthcare, education, etc. But a city can’t and shouldn’t be all things to every field. Art got the short straw here, and that’s okay. There are other places to paint.
I’ll always be connected to Boston. My family lives here. My doctors and nurses are here. Misia’s job is based here. But I want to go back to Milwaukee. What Milwaukee lacks in financial stability it makes up for in community connections. Milwaukee has heart, and you can’t put a price on heart.
See you soon.
Sorry I didn’t post the last few days; I finished my work in Milwaukee much like a fireworks finale. I worked over 135 hours in my two weeks I was there, and it was amazing. And I finished everything I told them I would finish! Not that I would slack on my duties, but I did have a back-up plan in the event I couldn’t get it all done. Pictured is the last mural I made, a fairly simple 6′ x 4′ sign painting that had to look a bit aged. Again, it’s a shitty photo, but oh well.
The last few days of my trip, I made 20 or so drawings for various projects. Some will go on t-shirts, some are for the bathroom signage (step-through Dutch bike for women; flat-bar Dutch bike for men), and some are for a bicycle map of the city. For the map, I drew Milwaukee landmarks and those images will be integrated into the map. Then there are other drawings I made for the labels of some yet-to-be-imported beers. Those will be revealed later this summer. So there was a lot of drawing! I signed the rights away to these drawings so I can’t share the specifics of each work, but here are some vague group photos of the drawings:
I finally finished this mural. I know when I’m finished when I feel that the whole composition feels balanced. It’s like a visual Jenga system. Does it stand up on it’s own? If the answer is yes, then yes: it’s done. I have one more mural to go, but it’s more like a really large sign than an actual mural. Images to come.
My friend Kelly asked what the line down the middle-ish of the painting is, and it’s a seam in the panels. The wooden panels I’m painting on come in sheets of 8′ x 4′, so they’re cut down to size. This painting is 7′ wide, so there are two panels measuring 4′ and 3′. Here she is:
I’m in the home stretch with this one. I cannot apologize enough for the piss-poor photos; the light in my temporary studio is great for painting, but terrible for pics. It looks a lot better in person than here on the blog:
I spent the whole day painting the walls of the composition. So spent the day painting a wall on a flat surface. Very meta, very insider-y. It doesn’t look too different from yesterday in this photo, but I think tomorrow you’ll really be able to see the progress:
It’s coming along, slow but sure:
Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day. I had a delightful morning Polish breakfast with Misia’s mom, and an equally delightful time with my mom and grandma at the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Jesus, could that guy draw. What I really loved the most was how thorough he was, as well as not being afraid to change or edit his work. I think he had an artist’s understanding that things are never finished; we simply choose to stop working on things after a time.
Here is the drawing I made on which I am basing mural number two:
It took me a long time to compose this image, but it was fun to be given specific directions for the composition: dudes on bikes, front of a market, old timey streets, eating and drinking, etc. But I like a fun task. There’s a lot of information in this mural and therefore might take me a little bit longer than the last one, but that’s just fine by me. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
The problem with the room I’m painting in is that I cannot get a decent photograph of my work. I spent 12 hours painting this mural today, and I don’t know that it looks much different from yesterday’s post. There’s terrible lighting for a camera, but terrific natural light for painting. Please trust me when I say this will be done tomorrow, when I will also begin work on mural number two. Progress!
Today was spent tightening up some lines, adding definition, and other boring structural business. There’s not a lot to post, but I’d feel guilty if I didn’t share today’s work. Onwards and upwards.