Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I was trying to finish three ornament paintings for this year's Ohio Art League Thumb Box Exhibition. I'm happy to report that I've got all three done and will be dropping them off at the gallery on Tuesday. Here's a sneak peak if you want to see how one of them turned out.

Still Life (Ornament) #9

The opening reception is on Thursday 12/2 from 6-9 PM. I'd encourage everyone to stop by. It's always a fun show, plus if you have an art lover on your Christmas list, you're sure to find something they'll like. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does This Shirt Make Me Look Ridiculous Goes Live

In a recent blog post, "The Way Forward, I proposed to crowdsource wardrobe decisions involving clothes that my age may have rendered less than appropriate. To accomplish this I've set up a tumblr blog called (not surprisingly) "Does This Shirt Make Me Look Ridiculous?" Here you'll have the opportunity to view, comment on, and decide whether or not a man of my particular age (47) has any business wearing the pictured garment.

The first installment is up so take a look and decide. Does this shirt make me look ridiculous?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Holiday Tradition, and a Great Reason to Join The Ohio Art League.

Each December The Ohio Art League stages their "Thumb Box Exhibition"; an event that offers a selection of small works by member artists. As an Art League member, I've gotten in the habit of submitting a small painting of a Christmas ornament each year. They're fun to do, and they provide a nice break from the parade of muted landscapes I paint the rest of the year. They usually look something like this:

Still Life (Ornament) #3

This year, members again have been given the opportunity to submit up to three works for the show. I'm going to try and honor that opportunity by painting not one, but three ornaments!

Anticipating success, I've already ordered the frames (from Hackman Frames, of course,) and begun the paintings. Truth be told, it will be close. I'm a notoriously slow worker and that's only been compounded by the fact that I've been really busy this fall. Right now I've got some basic compositions, values, and colors coming together. The rest of the work will involve glazes, modeling, and working the lights and darks.

"The Thumb Box Exhibition" runs December 2-18, so if I get these done (fingers crossed) they'll be on view there.

Also, if you're an artist, designer, crafter, or enthusiast, and you're not already an OAL member you should really consider joining. "Thumb Box" is one of two guaranteed opportunities you'll have each year to show (and maybe sell!) your work. There's also juried exhibitions, member exhibitions, workshops, receptions, and other opportunities for networking and socializing. The Art League is in the midst of a big membership drive (through December 2), so if you join before then, you'll get a free T-shirt courtesy of Skreened. All the details can be found at on the Art Leauge's Membership Page.

Join now, get a free shirt, and show your work in December. That's what they call win/win baby!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Way Forward

This week on Twitter I shared a picture of a sweater that drew some nice compliments when I wore it to work. I think the fact that it's a really nice sweater (It is!) combined with getting it out early in the sweater season (when, presumably, we're more likely to dole out such compliments) probably contributed to the accolades. Whatever the reason(s), I'll certainly take the kind words.

Now I bring up the sweater because it launched a larger dialogue (mostly in my head; though my wife and certain colleagues were also privy to the deliberations) regarding how one transitions from the clothes of one's youth to the clothes of middle-age. On the face of it, this concern seems trivial, or maybe vain (likely both). I suspect there might be something larger at work though. Our appearance is, in many cases, the first impression we make. How we tend to that impression then influences how people respond to us. That much is obvious. Our appearance though is also a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and how we'd like others to perceive us.

The conflict arises when our 40, 44, or 47 year old selves still feel like our 26, 28, 34 year old selves. "It can't be time for khaki ball caps, Dockers, and Lands End gear!" you think, but then admit you do feel a little silly in the clothes that were once staples of your wardrobe. If you grew up allied with any of the various youth subcultures (metal, punk, indie, rap, goth, stoner, grunge, slacker, beat, hip-hop, skate, etc.) this issue is even more pronounced. You've invested heavily in a particular identity and now, in your advanced years, it's turned on you! Rather than helping you look cool, these fashion accouterments make you look...well...kind of sad.

While I expect this transition is one that most individuals will likely navigate on their own, I'm taking mine to the people. You see, I own a number of articles of clothing that I might very well be too old for (see examples above). As a reality check, I'm going to enlist you, gentle follower, to help me decide. Henceforth, before I go out in a shirt, shoes or jacket that might cross into the realm of "sad middle-aged dude trying to look young" I'm going to vet it online and ask for your feedback.

I haven't ironed out (Ha!) all the details yet, but I'm thinking the format will be a tumblr blog, possibly called, "Does This Shirt Make Me Look Ridiculous?". Stay tuned.