Si! (2017)

IMG_2664

Acrylic on canvas / 30 x 40

Responsive painting inspired by a live performance of Si!, a composition for tuba and live electronics composed by Karlheinz Essl; performed at Cider Gallery in Lawrence, KS on April 25, 2017 by Brett Keating and University of Kansas Prof. Bryan Kip Haaheim (North American Premiere).

This piece was one of seven spontaneously-produced paintings as I listened to Brett perform six separate electro-acoustic music compositions for trombone, euphonium and live electronics.

Here’s a video of Essl performing Si! in Innsbruck, Austria on November 29, 2015:

1,102 (2015)

IMG_4546

Oil, latex house paint on canvas / 30 x 40 inches

Inspired by a photograph I took of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, O’ahu, Hawaii in June, 2014. More than 2.3 quarts of oil percolate to the surface from the battleship every day, serving as a reminder to those who visit that the the site is still very active. While it’s obviously not good for the aquatic environment, I find the periodic oil blooms on the surface to be a poignant unintentional feature of the memorial; almost as if the spirits of the 1,102 men that lost their life there are acknowledging the millions of people who pay their respects each year. 

Osage, Can You See? (2015)

osage can you see

Latex on canvas / 30 x 24 inches

This piece was a commissioned trade with Hank Will, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Grit Magazine, and a craftsman of beautiful handmade knives. I asked him a while back if he’d make me a mushroom-hunting knife and he produced the amazing looking knife at left. The handle includes brass, denim, locust burl, bison leather, and pear wood, and the brush is horsehair. I can’t wait to hunt morels with it in the spring!

For payment, he requested a painting instead of money, so I made him the piece above. Hank runs a small farm in rural Osage County, Kansas, and I tried to capture the essence of his farmstead by using colors that I’ve seen in rural Kansas. Considering that Hank’s knives are beautiful works of art that are meant to be used, I thought it was appropriate to paint him one of my “utilitarian medium” pieces where I use acrylic latex house paint instead of artist-quality paints. Like Hank, I believe it’s possible to make beautiful art from materials primarily designed to be functional.