Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year / Daily Painter's Art Blog

My world is getting bigger. Over the last couple of days I've explored a few other blogs just to see what was out there. I sat down around noon and didn't get up from the computer until after 3:00PM. And to think that one of my New Year's goals is to lose a little weight and get more fit. That was certainly not the way to do it. From the length of my posts you can see I love to write. But, if I'm seriously gonna stick to my resolutions I'm gonna have to get up from the computer screen and move. As much as I love art and love to paint, I'll need to put the brushes down and pick up a dumbbell occasionally.

Now, back to the original point. While I was lost in the blogosphere I found my way to the most amazing artist site called the "Daily Painter's Art Blog." This site displays new artwork produced by artists on a daily basis (hence the name). Being an amateur, I was blown away by the idea that there are people out there with the talent, imagination and creativity to produce very succesful work on a daily basis. I must admit to a little envy. How great it would be to leave behind the world of "working for the man" and live in a world of painting and creativity. But, I'm just a little too attached to my regular paychecks to risk the life of a starving artist. I'm not saying that I couldn't sell my paintings, but I've not sold one yet. I think actually selling work is necessary if I'm one day hoping to make a living at it.

I said all that to say this. Daily Painter's Art Blog is a special site. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to check it out. After today this blog will carry the Daily Painter's link.

Happy New Year!!!!


I've just come across the work of the illustrator JC Leyendecker. I love the all-american heroic look that he gave his figures. He was a mentor and great influence on Norman Rockwell. Of course it can be agreed that Rockwell's images are burned into our collective consciousness about what our American self-image is. Both Leyendecker and Rockwell were artists for the Saturday Evening Post covers. I've always loved Rockwell's work and fell in love with that style. I knew that designing Post covers was too big of a job for just one man, but I never knew who the other artists were. I also knew that the Post liked to keep that nostalgic/Americana look during this time period. You can imagine my surprise when I found that it wasn't the great Rockwell, but his mentor Leyendecker who originally worked in this style. Now that doesn't take anything away from Rockwell. While Leyendecker's compositional and figurative influence can be seen in Rockwell, it was Rockwell who chose the characterizations, subjects and story-telling skills that set him apart.

Then there is that little detail about Leyendecker that a lot of the "baseball, mom, and apple pie Americans" would have us overlook. Leyendecker was gay. That handsome boy-next-door persona that he perfected was drawn not just with his talent but with his keen admiration of the male form. The wholesome All-American youth that graced the magazine covers and print ads for Arrow shirts was created by a man that truly loved men. How ironic it is that a gay artist would go on to influence man that would shape the imagery of the American character and nationalism. Rockwell would paint soldiers, athletes, farmers, business men as noble heroic figures with character and personality that reflected who Americans thought themselves to be. And to think that the guiding light that illuminated those images came from a gay man serving as a mentor. So, could it be that those patriotic and wistful Americans that admired Rockwell were also admiring the gentle gay influence of Leyendecker's soul? It's something to think about.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Party Time?

Isn't it interesting that you can go for months without so much as a phone call and then suddenly have two party invitations on the same evening. Well, that's the magic of the holiday season I suppose. One invitation is from my friends from work. The other invitation is from people I've just met. So now I'm in the difficult position of trying to decide which lovely group of people I'll have to disappoint. It's a hard decision. I certainly don't have a multitude of friends banging down my door. So it would be a good idea to use the chance to expand my social network. But, at the same time, the people at work are like family. I have great relationships with them and want to maintain that. We don't meet together socially very often so when the chance arises, I shouldn't miss it. There's no doubt about which invitation I accepted. I'll be joining my friends from work.

I've always been awkward around crowds (especially new crowds). I'm surprised I've been as succesful in my career as I have where I'm surrounded by and speak to large groups of people on a regular basis. I'm not going to over-analyze my decision too much. These are the holidays and its meant to be enjoyed. So, if I have the choice between being among loyal friends or being in a awkward and uncertain situation, I'll choose the sure thing. Wouldn't you?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Number One

Obviously this is my first post. I love to write and I love art. So, I wondered, why not write about art. Especially, my art. Since myself and I were in unanimous agreement on this decision, I've got a blog account now. I already have a website with another service that hosts my Art Gallery site (more about that later). But, being a single guy in a little house, in a small town, I'm left with no one to talk to except my reflection in the mirror. Of course, I could pick up the phone and call a friend. But, then I'd have to listen to them, right? And this is supposed to be all about me not them, right?

Well, I'm excited about getting this thing set up so this first entry will be very brief. I hope you're somewhat entertained by what I call everyday life. If you're amused or inspired by something your read, let me know. I'd love to hear from you. (Unless you disagree with me, then just keep it to yourself.)