I've been busy in the studio trying to finish up a rather large (for me) painting - 72"x48". Hopefully I'll have something to post soon, and then work on something smaller will come shortly thereafter.
I was recently asked by a friend if I'd like to go in on a 2-person proposal to QC Arts, and I agreed. She's not yet shown there, and she thought we'd make a nice pairing. Always nice to have goals.
Dave Linneweh - ISU alum, art pal, and creator of the podcast "Studio Break"(http://studiobreak.com/) - is perhaps best known for his painted deconstructions of homes, storefronts, and olde-tymey signage, evoking both a literal and figurative pulling-apart of the classic idealism of "1950s americana" (well, that's the point in time where my noggin goes). http://davidlinneweh.com/home.html
But over the last year or so, Dave has been taking road trips to do plein air sessions, directly observing the landscape in an attempt to capture what's in front of him on canvas or board. He's invited friends along for the ride several times, and for his latest trip, I tagged along.
We met up in Dixon, IL early on Friday, and landed at our first stop - a park that, while only a few blocks from the downtown core, actually felt somewhat remote.
After settling in and working for a few minutes, it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a challenge. Shortly after my first child was born, I decided to ditch painting with oils in my basement studio, and to switch to acrylics. As we sat outside under the bright sunlight and amongst a pretty hefty wind, my paint dried far too quickly to do anything worthwhile. But whatever, you just keep on working and go with it.
Early on at my first spot:
We sat and talked a lot about other challenges in working outdoors like this - less about the wind/drying, the bugs, or the swamp I hilariously decided to set up in, and more about the artistic challenges related to truly seeing what is in front of you.
First off, it's almost comical as to how "sun-blind" you can get while you work on a white canvas. I'd often look at the scene in front of me after working on the canvas, and values of areas in front of me would seem "off." And since both of us are mostly studio workers, neither of us are well adept at this type of a direct observation activity. It's something you partake in during formal schooling, but it's an area hardly anyone sticks to, as people move into more contemporary media, or more "avante-garde" modes of abstraction. We had art-nerdish discussions about local color vs observed color, specifically about what we were truly seeing in terms of hue and value on the water. It was difficult to sit and accurately portray what your eyes saw, and easy to cop out of that mode of working and fall back into what you were more comfortable with, or "old habits."
In other words, it kind of kicked my ass. But it was well-worth it. I'd do it again. Maybe more beer this time though - heh.
Dave's first scene from our first stop:
With only about 15 minutes at our first stop, I whipped out some dry media and paper. Barely got anywhere though:
Dave's second piece from our first stop. This was the one and only "keeper" from the day. Very nice:
The early beginnings of my view from our second spot. This quickly became a bust for both of us, and 3:00 neared so we had to pack up and take off.
Coach and I recently headed up to the Twin Cities to see Chad and D Rough for the weekend of... (echo stadium voice) the 4th Annual .10K triathlon. If you aren't a friend of mine who's heard me talk about the shenanigans associated with this event, here's the scoop: Chad and his pals get together once a year to do 1/10th of a kilometer "triathlon" that features the traditional bike/run/swim categories thrown for a bit of a loop...
Bike: ride a little mini "strider bike" (think clown bike) a distance of about 100 feet. Run: run a distance of about 175 feet (hairpin turn included) Swim: do about 50 feet worth of a slip n slide
Everyone gets timed, and the organizers keep a leaderboard throughout the day. Chad even buys used trophies and retrofits them with brand-new engraved tags for the event. This year was fun, but the weather put a little bit of a damper on things. A forecast of 75 degrees and sunny ended up becoming 58 degrees and rainy to start the day. Not much changed as the day progressed, but it actually didn't end up being that bad once you got wet. Towel off, eh?
Anyways... check out the following videos and photos. I tried to film good friends plus people I knew from last year. Also got a couple folks I didn't recognize. For photos, I tried to get good shots of the transitions. Some of the stills where people leave the bike behind are kind of comical.
Video 1 - My second run. I hung in 3rd place all day, until the very last male participant of the day knocked me into 4th. listen to the group groan at the end - couldn't quite overcome my first run's time.
Video 2 - Chad's Run. 50% more head-banging than last year.
Video 3 - Coach's run.
Video 4 - Female relay. ?? bikes, Amanda runs, and Katie swims.
Video 5 - Eli's run. Eli is 1/2 of the married duo who shot chad/lisa's wedding. good guy.
Video 6 - Taco's run. style / "grace under pressure" points.
Video 7 - I don't know who this guy was. I will call him North Coast Mankini.
Video 8 - My second shot at a relay attempt. D Rough on the bike. Me running. Dan swimming.
Video 9 - Amanda's run. she is last year's champion.
Video 10 - Chad takes my cam and films his love, D Rough. She took 1st place this year.