Monday, December 28, 2009

Classes are Starting Up Again Soon!

Hello one and all. I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend (if you were lucky enough to have one at all). Just a short note to remind everyone that I will be teaching drawing at the Des Moines Social Club again. I'll be teaching both a beginner's and an advanced course one night per week. A little different from the last time around...

Classes start Monday, January 18th. Here are the details:

Principals of Drawing 1

Facilitator: Robert Reeves

10 sessions: Mondays 6pm to 8pm, January 18th to March 22nd

Price: $10 per class or $30 per month

With a focus on the concepts of Line, Perspective, Gesture, Values, and Proportion, this class will show students how to draw what they see vs. drawing their ideal of a given subject. In-class drawing assignments will be limited to simple objects to begin and moving to more complex objects and figure drawing as sessions continue.

Principals of Drawing 2

Facilitator: Robert Reeves

10 sessions: Wednesdays 6pm to 8pm, January 20th to March 24th

Price: $12 per individual class or $40 per month

This class is designed for the student looking to improve their basic understanding of Line, Perspective, Gesture, etc. In-class drawing assignments will include figure drawing and complex compositions. Each class will begin with a 15 minute “warm-up” session involving quick gesture drawings, still-life or figure drawing and will wrap up with light critiques and short Q&A session.

You can sign up by contacting either myself via this blog or my email address,, or the DMSC directly. Bring your paper. I'll supply the rest.
See you there!



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Took Me By Surprise

Sometimes things just sneak up on you. I've said many times that I'm looking to make some fundamental changes in my work. I still enjoy doing the Urban Landscape thing, but I'm looking to incorporate more narrative. To create stories... or at least some questions.

Looking to incorporate more figurative study into my work I started preparations for a portrait of sorts. More of a themed piece based around a photo than an accurate painting if you know what I mean. I did the early, rough sketches. Did a lot of thinking about how I was going to lay it out. So I put brush to canvas and within 20 minutes pretty much all of that had gone out the window and my friend was starting to develop what was looking strangely like the head of a crow. It wasn't planned. Totally not my intention. He was supposed to keep his own head. Although I'd considered inserting my own I ultimately decided against.

So here he is with this crow's head thing going on and I'm left with a choice: Keep heading in the direction I'd intended or Go with it. There mere fact that this happenstance occurred was enough to convince me to go with it. It more or less flowed out of me at that point. After two sessions I'm very pleased with what's come out. I plan on putting a lot of emphasis on the hands and glasses in the foreground. The head is nearly done. Plus there's this really great wallpaper in the shot that I'm looking forward to painting. I won't show you the whole thing yet though. Here are some details of the work in progress. If you want to see if in person you'll have to come to the "Sensory Overload" show at Instinct Gallery here in good ol' DSM on January 8th. I'll post the final after the show opens.

Spent some time in the new studio space this week. The walls are painted a lovely shade of eggshell. I'll be painting up the chalkboard wall this weekend hopefully. The floor timbers need a good scrub and a little oil soap to make them look good again as well. Once that's done (Sunday maybe?) I'll start moving my stuff in. I'll be looking for some furniture and little amenities to "home it up" a bit. I think I hear Craigslist and the local thrift stores calling my name. I'll post some pics when it's a little more in-progress.

Until then I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas or whatever you happen to be celebrating (like an extended weekend). Tonight I'm celebrating my first son's tenth birthday. Who knew I'd have a 10 year old kid? Clearly I'm far too young...



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Done with Christmas

It took some doing but I finally wrapped up my Christmas commissions. There were 2 good-sized charcoals and a painting going to the same person... presumably for Christmas presents. They should be arriving at their final destination this week. I sincerely hope the client is as happy with them as I was. It was nice to have a chance to bone up on my drafting skills. I'm trying to get less literal in my work, but it's always good to keep your technical skills sharp.

After taking a couple of days off I'm back on the job and working on a couple of projects. I've got a piece in mind for a show that's coming up very soon called, "Sensory Overload" at the Instinct Gallery in Des Moines. I've unfortunately run out of good canvases and don't really have time to place an order. Instead I've pulled out a damaged and rather large canvas I've been sitting on for a couple of years. One of the bars was crushed in transit from the supplier. They immediately replaced the order, but they never retrieved the damaged merchandise. I finally broke down, disassembled the stretcher bars and am going to re-cut and join the frame. It will be a bit smaller than its original 60"x48", but it will be much stronger... and in one piece.

It's when you start a project like this that you realize what little odds and ends you're missing. I miss having a corner vice, for instance.

I also started work on my studio space. The interior walls are primed. Now to prime the exterior and start painting. I'm going to have a red door I've decided. I'm also going to have some chalkboard space on the wall. It should help me with keeping track of random ideas as well as give my boys something to do when they visit. It might also be handy for teaching which is something I plan to do in this space.

I'm looking forward to being able to instruct oil painting as well as drawing. I'll have all of the materials there and plenty of room. Sooo... uh, if you know anyone who's looking for painting lessons... just uh throwin' that out there. Classes are coming soon.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Plethora of Progress

I've been busy.
I've been able to get a lot of work going lately. Sometimes the ideas have a way of coming out on their own.

I've been doing a lot of talking about changing things up and some of that involves ceasing to censor myself while I'm working. That pretty much means anything goes and that frame of mind has helped me to lighten up and paint whatever comes to me...

I've got some paying projects in progress, but sometimes you have to take a break and let go a bit. The commissioned work is a bit out of my norm in certain ways as well which is a good thing. The drawings have been much more detail oriented than I'm used to, but it's been a good exercise. I've had to pay more attention to detail... something I tend to let slide.

So here's the work: Some of it is finished. Some of it is not. Some of it is commissioned work. Some of it is studio work bound for the gallery. Some of it is personal.

One came from a dream I had when I was younger and one came from a strangely unsettling scene briefly glimpsed during a perilous drive through dense fog at an unappetizing hour.

Two of them are tributes by way of imitation of an influence, but they are still mine.

They are all mine... for now.