Sunday, September 23, 2012

So it's only been four months

Oh well....pretty much all abstracts

Working title "Weeds", ink, pen and acrylics, 24 x 20
Rain, acrylics on canvas, 20 x 16
Untitled, acrylics on canvas 24 x 36

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Two new pieces

This will be brief. I've been working, really, just without that much success. Here are a couple that seem to work...One is an abstract, the other another abstract portrait of my son Andy.

Bamboo, acrylics and pencil on canvas, 20 x 36
Another Andy, Acrylics, watercolor pencil on canvas, 18 x 24

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My interview on WCHL 1360 AM Chapel Hill

Jeri Lynn Schulke of the ArtsCenter in Carrboro asked me to join her back in March on WCOM 1360 AM on the Arts Spot, a community arts interview program of the ArtsCenter. My interview along with many others can be heard by going here.

The Arts Spot


Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am.
Join Tess Mangum Ocana and other hosts from the Arts Center in Carrboro, North Carolina as they sit down with musicians, actors, actresses, painters, and more from around the Triangle and around the world. The Arts Spot focuses on the cultural enrichment and enhancement of our lives that the arts 
We talked mostly about the activities of the Town of Carrboro Arts Committee that I chair but also more generally about the arts in Carrboro, Chapel Hill and the Triangle. We had a fun talk and got into some interesting issues for developing the arts within our area. You can download the interview as a mps or  stream it.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sales are nice!

Sometimes people ask whether something is for sale. I think the question comes from the idea of "losing" something that came from inside, that is very personal and that, perhaps, no one else will understand. I get that.

I got into painting never expecting to show anybody anything, much less find people willing to pay actual money for them. It turns out that people like some of my stuff. (I'll also note that the buying public often ignores my best work - bunch of philistines! I still love you.)

The truth is that there are only a few pieces that are so special in that internal connection sort of way that I will never sell. There is one painting that I have some regret selling but the right person bought it so it's okay.

Yesterday I sold a painting that has gone through many iterations, changes of direction, and frankly several layers of paint. I put it in an abstract show at Johnny's Gone Fishing and yesterday I got a call that someone wanted to buy it. So up to Johnny's to pick up the other pieces and sell one. Kevin Morgan bought it and he explains part of the why here. An interesting story that starts with a poem by Tao Te Ching and includes references to chaos and complexity theories (the painting is titled "Chaos" and I also have an interest in chaos theory) and mucus. Kevin is interesting.

So here it is:

Chaos. Acrylics, ink probably some other stuff on canvas covered with cheesecloth. 24 x 18

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

A new one

So this one is a modification of a Color Field influenced piece from a couple of years ago. It wasn't terrible, but it was also not terribly interesting. So I took a metaphorical axe to it. It became less an abstract...okay, not really an abstract but I like the colors.

It's acrylics on unprimed canvas attached to plywood (waaay more than you want to know).

Monsignor, acrylics on unprimed canvas, maybe 36 x 24?

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

A couple of new old things

First another one from the "finding something there" in an old failure of a painting. This one was actually pretty easy - so easy that I don't know why I didn't see it earlier. Basically most of the black you see was white before. And is not uncommon, I found some realism in an abstract. So it's 3 friends "Hanging Out."
Hanging Out, 24 x 18 acrylics on canvas
Number 2 was different. I started with a heavily gessoed over big (for me) canvas. Karen gave me the new Joan Mitchell biography for my b-day. Joan is one of my very favorite artists. The energy of her canvases is amazing. Oh to be that talented! So I was thinking about Joan and her use of color and composition. After a couple of hours last night - getting late - I stopped, happy with how it was going. Karen thinks it's finished. I'm not convinced- I'm not sure I see where the eye is drawn. But I have f-ed up enough paintings by not letting them soak in before continuing. I have NOT f-ed paintings because Karen told me to stop. So I'm stopping for now.

Birds in Flight, 36 x 24, acrylics on canvas
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

February show of my abstracts at Johnny's Gone Fishing

I'll hang a show in the back area of Johnny's Gone Fishing on W. Main Carrboro tomorrow, January 29th and it will be up through February. I've decided to show abstracts. Here's a new one. I pulled a failure from who knows when and saw a few glimmers of hope in it. After a couple of days of fooling with it something popped out. Finished and ready to go.

This is Not a Stained Glass Window. Acrylics on canvas. 24 x 30

Friday, January 06, 2012

This has nothing to do with my painting!

chris beachams 4, originally uploaded by beekalove.
Me and my boys at the remarkably gracious Christmas party/dinner we attended at the Edmondson's home in suburban Philly. Photo by my remarkably talented niece Becca Beacham.

The portrait or the abstract, portrait/abstract, abstract/portrait....?

Coin flip and it's, hold our collective breath.....the abstract that gets the blog treatment!

I'd never worked with such an odd shape of canvas before. It's, IIRC, 12 by 48. I started with an idea maybe 18 months ago. Fail. I pulled it out every few months, sometimes painting on it, sometimes just looking. Finally 6 months or so ago I did some pretty drastic modifications and I felt somewhat better about it. But something didn't ring true.

It had the box/window motif that has been a largely unconscious part of my painting from the beginning. (I'm sure there is some deep psychological reason for boxes/windows in my painting but I'm not going to go there.) Was structure the problem? How about color? Both?

A couple of weeks ago I had finished working on something and didn't feel like quitting and I had some paint that I didn't want to waste. So why not, I couldn't ruin a painting that didn't work could I? So it goes.

The color was the real key I think but the changes also improved the structural/compositional aspects. It's okay and it might not be finished but here it is.

Skyscraper (working tile). Acrylics and ink on canvas, 12 x 48

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Sometimes things just happen

Several years ago when I was coming out of depression I was creating some mixed media collage type pieces that were pretty angry - mostly because of 4,500 dead American soldiers in Iraq for no apparent reason. This piece started that way with NYT photos of burned bodies and such. This is about version six with no more dead burned bodies. An x-ray would show lots of layers of paint, collage, mistakes, corrections, misdirection, bad decisions and...well you get the idea.

So the other day I was working on a piece and I mixed some paint that turned out beautifully. For those who are not painters, paint mixing is an art and a bit of alchemy. You need a secret handshake and a close connection to the Buddha to get colors right. Usually I can't remember the handshake and the Buddha ignores me. This time though - ahhh - a beautiful pastel yellow that was perfect on its own and when mixed with a bit of Crimson Red (paint colors have names, odd sometimes like Neutrino Bold Turquoise or Betty Davis Eyes Green) came out just right in a reddish pastel contrast. I'll probably never be able to recreate it unless I reach totally enlightenment. Unlikely.

Anywho, I grab the aforementioned multi-layered painting and the magic paint and started to work with little hope. A line here, some paint there, a crock of the neck to see it from another perspective and ultimately I step back and Buddha has graced me with something I like. I sleep poorly wondering whether I'll wake up, go downstairs and realize that the new version, well, sucks. It's happened more times than I care to remember.

This time I don't think so. I like it. For now.

"This is Not a Flag", Beyond mixed media on canvas, 24 x 18