Thursday, December 29, 2011

My holiday card

Okay, so it's after Christmas but at least it's before New Years....drum roll please, the Chris Beacham annual (except last year) holiday card!

Blooms in December. Ink and collage on watercolor paper, 2011
Quote on back: "Cease looking for flowers, there blooms a garden in your own home" (Rumi)

If you want one just let me know and send me an address. Oh and have a fun and safe New Years!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A new piece and a comment on Damien Hirst's Spots

I painted a new piece that is basically a series of squiggly lines with some of the created areas filled. It is a pretty simple piece from a simple process. It's been sitting there waiting for me to decide whether it is finished or not. I've been coming down on the side of "Finished!" knowing of course that unfinishing is always possible whereas continuing to paint can have disastrous and irrevocable results. So here it is as of today.

Squiggles #1. Acrylics on canvas, 24 x 20
Then this morning's NYT had an article on the painter Damien Hirst who is filling all 11 of Larry Gagosian's galleries across three continents with about 200 paintings -- all his famous spot paintings that go for upwards of $1.8 million each. I like some of Hirst's work; he's inventive, talented and unafraid. But his spot paintings.....not so much. So when I look at one of the paintings like this one....

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

You can buy the above print (signed edition of 300) here for just £10,000

....I think mine's not so simple after all. There's much wrong with the art scene these days and the fact that the spot paintings will move to the Tate Modern afterwards is one indication. This isn't as bad as a Jeff Koon's balloon dog but I don't think it's museum quality either. (And I'm not claiming mine is better. YMMV as they say.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A couple more news ones

I was playing with simple ink lines in blocks on white watercolor paper.  I'd done a similar one last year that worked out well and now lives happily on a friend's wall in the Bay area.  This one is a bit different in that I cut up the blocks and pasted them on a black background.  It's also simpler.

8 Figures.  Ink and acrylics on paper.  6 x 18 or so
The second has gone through many changes and many fixes.  I think it's finished now.

Caged.  Acrylics, watercolor crayon, ink on canvas.  16 x 24

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New pieces

I've been working a reasonable amount lately, trying some new things, succeeding some, failing lots. Heh, volume is the road to quality. Here's two:

The first started as a beach scene from a photo of a family vacation. It never worked though you can barely see two legs in the upper left that survive. Sort of my usual technique:

1) Make some random lines and shapes with pencil, ink, oil pastel, gesso with ink, whatever.
2) Come back a couple of days later and see if there is any there there. 
3) Work with the there.
4) If it fails, repeat.

Beach Nude. Acrylics, ink, oil pastels, watercolor crayon, etc. on canvas.  24 x 36
The second is more structured in design, technique and result. Working again from a photo of my son Andy, I wanted to try breaking the piece into blocks.  So here it is:

Andy in Fourths. Ink, watercolor crayons, acrylics, maybe oil pastel on watercolor paper.  9 x 13.
Oh and I forgot....I am actually trying to lose the "two spaces after a period" while typing thing. It drives Karen nuts!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

West End Poet's Festival is tomorrow!

The Town of Carrboro is sponsoring a wonderful and free day of poetry tomorrow, Saturday October 15th starting at 11 and running till 11 that night.  It will be at the Carrboro Century Center Century Hall and feature a Post's social and dinner at 6 with the East Cackalacky Band

The local group Sacrificial Poets will host a youth slam at 9:15pm in conjunction with the festival. Open for ages 13-19: 3 rounds with 3:30 time limit per poem. The winner will earn a spot in the 2012 Sacrificial Poets Grand Slam Finals. Top three poets will also receive prizes.  The full schedule is below:

West End Poets Festival
October 15, 2011
Carrboro century Center
Final Schedule

11:00-11:15-             Marta Nuñez-Pouzols
11:20-11:35-             Chris Slydel
11:40-11:55-             Guillermo Parra
12:00-12:15-             Alice Osborn
12:20-12:35            Joseph Fletcher
12:40-12:55-            Ricky Garni
1:00-1:15-             Malaika King Albrecht
1:20-1:35-             J. Peter Moore
1:40-1:55-             Jodi Barnes

25 Minute Break

2:20-2:35-            Dianne Timblin
2:40-2:55-             David Need
3:00-3:15-             Hassan Melehy
3:20-3:35-             Magdalena Zurawski|
3:40-3:55-             Allison Curseen
4:00-4:15-             Jay Bryan
4:20-4:35-             Grey Brown
4:40-4:55-             Maura High
5:00-5:15-             Tyler Johnson
5:20-5:35-             Susan Spalt

6:00-7:15             Poets’ Social with Special Guest the East Cackalacky Band
Southern Buffet Dinner will be provided
Carrboro Century Hall

7:25-7:40-             Joanna Catherine Scott
7:45-8:00-             Chris Vitiello
8:05-8:20-             Laura Jaramillo
8:25-8:40-             Patrick Herron
8:45-9:00-             Brian Howe

Sacrificial Poets will host a youth slam at 9:15pm in conjunction with the festival. Open for ages 13-19: 3 rounds with 3:30 time limit per poem. The winner will earn a spot in the 2012 Sacrificial Poets Grand Slam Finals. Top three poets will also receive prizes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new piece - Keith Richards

I figured I'd go back to some tried and true to get me out of this artistic dead end.  So I had this photo from the NYT of Keith Richards and here's my take on him.

Keith Richards, Ink, pencil and oil pastels on watercolor paper, 12 x 16,
 Not the greatest photo of it but it'll have to do.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Installment 3 in the "I must post" series

Here's another of my younger son Andy.  (I'm working on one of the older son.)  It's from a visit to the Magic Garden in Philly.  It's gone through many iterations.  The neck, wellllllll, let's just say "I can't like it."  How will it end up?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Magic Garden.  Mixed media on canvas.  30 x 24 maybe

Monday, July 11, 2011

As promised....

Here's the second installment in my "recent pieces" promise.

I can't remember the photographer's name but he takes some wonderful landscape photos mostly in France and Spain. Here is what came from it.....

French Field.  Acrylics on watercolor paper.  9 x 13

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A new one but not what's on the website

So I've put some recent pieces on my website and said in my previous post that I was going to post them over time here.  But the best laid plans and all that.

Today I went into the studio and produced something that, at this point, I like.  I've spent much of my painting time over the last year or two producing pseudo realistic portraits.  I don't want to be realistic.  What I want is to capture the person, preferably with as little information as possible. So here is day one of a portrait of younger son Andy that is getting closer and closer to what I want.  Still work to do but I'm happy.

Weeks, later, March 3 actually, I'm putting the much later version of this here. Still not happy but it's better. I'll leave the old version because they are very different...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Some new stuff.....

It's been forever since I updated the site mostly because of being stuck and not liking much of anything I've done recently.  This weekend I decided, what the hell, post it anyway.  At least it shows I've been working.  I'll post a piece every day or so for a while.  I'll even post those I don't like!  If you want to see them all at once and spoil the surprise just go to my website.

Let's start with a piece that is on this blog already but in a vastly different version. This has been though more permutations than can be imagined. The background was created using a wood cut that I made based on a Picasso painting. Picasso himself was actually in it at one time.

Picasso Gone Mad. 
Very mixed media, acrylic, collage, ink, kitchen sink on canvas with cheesecloth, 24 x 30

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Since I don't have anything to post, how about....

...a typically good post from Tyler Green's ArtInfo blog.  Tyler is a good writer, astute and fun to follow.  Here he's posted on 5 good art-related websites on art books, research, college art, and a site called Triple Canopy that he says "publishes feature writing for art-interested geeks."  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So a new one...

Here's an unfinished  portrait based on a photo I took of Andy at the Magic Garden in Philly.  It's certainly the best I've done of this one so far but he looks so sad and he wasn't in the photo.  Progress at least...

Andy at Magic Gardens.  Acrylics on watercolor paper

Friday, April 08, 2011

Okay so this is embarrassing

My last post is nearly 2 months ago and despite painting a fair amount I have nothing of value to show for it.  Even more embarrassing is that I'm going to post two "pieces" created on my iPhone using the Flowpaper app.  People have produced some pretty amazing little drawings using the simple free app.

So just to have something new on the blog here are two of mine:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Some new work

Both Karen and I have been very busy lately, painting and more painting.  Karen has really been doing great work; it's very exciting, not just the work but the number of good pieces she's been able to produce.  Those times of inspiration are gifts.

I've been productive too if not quite on Karen's level.  I did a different version of the park scene that I posted earlier.  A slightly different perspective, different palate, etc.  This one goes to a silent auction at a Haiti benefit this weekend.
Fall Park, acrylics on canvas, 18 x 24

The second is based on an accidentally discovered random method of inspiration.  See for example this nude.  Basically I use gesso and dribble in ink as I loosely and randomly paint the gesso onto the substrate.  Once it's dried I look for clues for an underlying inspiration.  So below I found this Prince of a man.  He was drawn with the same Sumi ink as was dribbled into the gesso.

Prince, gesso and Sumi ink on board, 18 x 13

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

On a more positive note: Google Art Project

Enough about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  Google, with all their money, could have probably bought the museums but instead they have put together what appears to be a wonderful way to go inside 17 of the world's greatest without leaving the comfort of your home.  I'll admit that it's a little maddening learning how to move around within the museums but the Goggle Art Project has great potential.  Here's what they say on their blog:
You’ll find a selection of super high-resolution images of famous works of art as well as more than a thousand other images, by more than 400 artists—all in one place. And with Street View technology, you can take a virtual tour inside 17 of the world’s most acclaimed art museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Have you ever wanted to get really close to a painting to see the texture or try to understand the brush strokes only to have the docent shoo you away?  Here's your chance.  A close up of Van Gogh's Starry Night at the MOMA.  Wow.

Thanks Google!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A followup on the Jeff Koons LLC idiocy

As you might remember the bookstore and art gallery Park Life was sent a cease-and-desist letter by über-artist Jeff Koons LLC to stop them from selling bookends made to look like dogs made of blown-up twisted ballons.  Yeah, you know, what street clowns all over the world make every day and sell to parents with kids in tow.

So Park Life's attorney has filed a federal complaint against Mr. Koons LLC.  ArtInfo has a summary of the document and six of its funniest parts .  The complaint begins:
As virtually any clown can attest, no one owns the idea of making a balloon dog, and the shape created by twisting a balloon into a dog-like form is part of the public domain.
Emma Allen ad libs "I'd like to call to the stand the first expert witness. Dr. Bozo, will you please raise your right hand?"

I have to say, I can't imagine wanting a bookend that looks like this:

The link here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A landscape this time.

I haven't done many landscapes and even fewer have ultimately worked.  I have a book by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist teacher, that has helped me over the last 5 or six years.  I love the cover, a photo of a park in the late fall.  Here's my version of the scene.

The Park.  Acrylics and charcoal on canvas.  18 x 24

A new abstract

This sort of started with a small study I did.  It wasn't intended but Karen immediately said, "What's the little nude about."  That's how her mind works I guess!  This was weeks ago.  So I took a big canvas that had not one, but two (maybe 3?) failed paintings under coats of gesso.

I started with the study and it went fairly well.  Here's what ultimately happened...
Another Nude.  Ink, acrylics on canvas.  24 x 30

Friday, January 07, 2011

Jeff Koons, ugghh!

To my art friends: Jeff Koons, who I consider the greatest con man/fraud of 21st century art (no matter what Stephen says), has laid claim to the rights to create dogs out of balloons. OMFG! Hey I wouldn't want anyone to steal my art either but I'm thinking that there were thousands of street artists creating balloon dogs, birds, horses, etc. ad nauseoum for a hundred years before Jeffie made millions doing it.

Just so Jeffie doesn't sue me, here's a link to one of his, ahem, dogs.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New piece continuing the use of cheesecloth to add texture

I've been playing with covering the painting substrate with cheesecloth from the grocery store.  It adds texture obviously but it also changes how you paint.  Some things are easier and others harder.  For example, instead of using a brush I might use paint straight from the tube or scrape it on with a plastic hotel "key".

Karen picked up some decorative wood wall hangings from Club Nova thrift shop in Carrboro.  I covered one with cheesecloth attached with gesso.  Started painting, added some copper, some black, some red and this face appeared.  For me that is often how it works (when it works).  No plan, just paint.

Watch Your Step.  Acrylics and oil pastel on wood covered with cheesecloth.  14 x 18