New Position at North High School

I have taken on a big change in my professional life and am now the Art teacher art North High School in North Minneapolis.  I have taught for the past five years at Anwatin Middle School and have always wanted to teach at the high school level, so this change holds a lot of promise for me.  Moving to a new school, however, is like becoming a new teacher all over again.  Many of the lessons and strategies that worked for the middle school level don't apply quite as well at the upper levels.  

Right now I'm teaching a beginning level general Art class, Drawing 1, and AP Art.  I'll keep this post brief, but I'll attach a few images of my student's work as well as a link to a local news station's coverage of our first big project - a series of murals.

Click here to see the video of the news story.

Mark your Calendars - March 2nd - Trout on Tap

I'm very excited to be involved with the next Trout on Tap event here in Minneapolis.  I reached out to some local artists whose work I really like, and it just sort of took off from there.  The artists are:

Josh Desmit

Bob White

Jake Keeler

These guys are some of the best artists in the region and, like me, a large portion of their work focuses on trout.  I thought it would be cool to get all of us together to show our work, and they all agreed!  

The event is going to be March 2nd, 2017 at Indeed Brewing in NE Minneapolis.  We'll be going from about 6 - 10 in the Ox taproom.  It is also First Thursday, so there will be a lot of people (hopefully) out and about looking at art.

After this event, I'll be at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo painting with Bob.  Then I'll take a few breaths, paint like mad and try to be ready for Art-A-Whirl!

I feel like my art is really starting pick up steam and I'm excited for the coming year!

Art-A-Whirl and Commissioned Paintings

"Fish On!, Tarpon"  20" x 16", Acrylic on Canvas

"Fish On!, Tarpon"  20" x 16", Acrylic on Canvas

Springtime is always a crazy time.  In addition to finishing up the school year, I have the biggest art event of the year, Art-a-Whirl. Art-a-Whirl features over 600 artists living and working in NE Minneapolis.  I usually don't plan on selling very much during Art-a-Whirl as it has moved away from a chance for collectors to visit studios and become more of a music and beer festival.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing (I like beer and live music as much as anyone else).  My studio is above Indeed Brewing and they have a great line up of bands each year.  Our studio is always hoppin' with people and we usually sell a few little things here and there.  I sold several stickers and a few small works.  I think I'm learning that I need to have a lot of little artworks that are under $50 for this event.  Or not.  Part of me wants to not worry about sales and just create what I want to create.  It is always a bit of a struggle.

I haven't had a lot of time to prepare smaller works as I'm busy working on several commissions.  As of now, I have five that I'm working on, and many of them are due in June.  This means that once school is done, I'll need to be in my studio most every day.  For now, I just finished up this Tarpon painting (see above) for a client who already owns one of my major works.  It was a lot of fun to paint and certainly much more dynamic than my other fish paintings. I'll probably continue to create more action paintings in the future.

Lots of fish!

I have been in the studio quite a bit this winter and spring.  Most of my time has been painting fish for the Greatwaters Flyfishing Expo that took place in March.  This year I took the plunge and payed for a booth.  This event was put on by Trout Unlimited this year and it was a great opportunity to get my work out there and have it be seen by people who really appreciate trout.  In order to get ready for the event, however, I had to pretty much redo my entire inventory of fish art.  Last summer and fall I had the exhibition in Dillon, MT,  and sold most of my fish related art.  In the last six months, I've completed over 20 new works. 

As I continue to paint more and more fish, my technique is getting more advanced and I'm able to complete higher quality work in a shorter amount of time.  I think the challenge as an artist is to keep pushing myself.  Sometimes this means working on technique.  I want my next growth to be about pushing myself to better capture the soul of my visual experiences.  I think there is a playfulness...or perhaps a wandering...that might be lost when I get too focused on making it look "right".  Don't be surprised to see some looser, more meandering work in the coming months.

Building a body of work.

One of the advantages of showing my work is that I have the opportunity to sell it. Last summer, I had and exhibition at Beaverhead Brewing in Dillon, MT and was fortunate enough to sell 18 of the 36 works I had on display.  Many of the other works are now hanging at Frontier Anglers and Anderson Platt fly shops.  A few pieces came home with me and are going to be added to the collection at my house.  This means that my studio has a very limited collection of work and of that work it is sort of a spattering of works from different collections.

I am now in the process of building a few new bodies of work.  One is the fish portraits using iridescent paints.  I'm also working on a series of fish pattern paintings as I have sold all but a couple of these.  I feel that I'm making some breakthroughs with landscapes so I'm building a new collection on Montana inspired works.  Finally, I have some more contemporary themes that I'm beginning to sketch and plan for.

In other words, even if you don't see much online, I'm hard at work.

New Website

Hey, guess what?!  My website sucks right now!

I'm starting over with a new website.  All of my stuff from my old website has been backed up (hopefully) and I decided to go with squarespace. We'll see how this goes...

I left my last website because it felt clunky and really slow.  My domain host (Justhost) was a joke and had terrible speeds.  Here's hoping that google and squarespace are better hosts!

Ok...this is seriously the most boring blog post ever.  Can I tell you about my allergies?  Or names of childhood pets?  Those topics are the only things that could possibly be more boring.