Imagine Vivaldi’s Four seasons, allegro , violin start-up is crisp, clean and swift.
This series is just that , however using a brush and body movements to capture the sound on canvas.
More to come over time …. till then enjoy the music.
Click “Collect Me” to help me win $10,000 and a show in the most immense exhibition of art in New York City : Art Takes Times Square.
via Loft Artwork.
Graphic Arts has always held a certain appeal to me . Although I am of the era and age that computers and computer programs were NOT part of my high school experience , I have secretly been drawn to this pixel world of art.
I often wonder about those that are IN the graphic arts world , how did they get there, are they influenced by the more traditional art world? A computer screen in an office verses a large canvas in a messy studio, quite different enviroments but creativity is creativity. Right? Right!
Whenever I view any graphic arts I always try to think of what was the inspiration, what steps did it take to get to this .. . it is all very fascinating.
I interviewed a very talented young up and coming graphic artist from Toronto, Canada, Greg Ebert, and here is what he has to say.
What is your training; what steps did you need to take to get to this stage in your career?
I always took art and design classes in high school just to get the credits. I eventually realized I liked it. So I completed a 3 year program at Durham College for Graphic Design, The last semester of the course was a internship with a design studio. The same studio I am currently employed with.
How much of your day to day work gets its inspiration from other art disciplines; painting, photography, music?
Being a graphic designer for nightclubs and parties, some days you don’t get the opportunity to sit back and allow yourself to be inspired, you have to rely on your abilities. But sometimes certain projects just need a little more and using different aspects of art to get inspired is the best way to tackle that hurdle.
Is graphic art the new fine art?
I think there’s always going to be a respect for fine art within the industry, just because of the level of skill and patience it takes to complete a piece. I’m not too sure the general public notices or appreciates this anymore. So maybe graphic design is the new fine art, but fine art will always hold its own weight.
Why did you choose graphic design over another art discipline?
I’ve always been computer savy so it seemed like graphic design was the best direction to go when I started my career.When I was in college my dream design job was always to do stuff with music, celebrities, pop cultural, cool stuff….. Somehow I lucked out and that was my first job.But I would love to eventually do something with professional sports.
What is the first web site you hit in the morning?
What’s your favourite colour?
As a graphic designer I cant pick a favourite colour. My mood, the weather, the project, etc. change my preference frequently. But you cant go wrong with Black!
If you weren’t a graphic designer, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t a graphic designer I would probably be attending a lot more of the parties and events I currently do work for. As for a career path, I’m really not sure… I never wanted a traditional job in a sense and that is probably how I ended up here.
Ok.. ok .. let me say, I know my plan for Loft Artwork’s 2012 blog posts, are to be all about interesting artists, art and all things related, but I could not pass on this early morning invitation.
I woke up this morning and a light dusting of very fine fluffy snow had settled in over night.
This snow was white, white, white.. I am not certain if some snow can be whiter than other snow … but this stuff seemed unreal.
Look for yourself:
So I did what most normal people would do ….
Crimson, blue, yellow ( I know )….
And then I figured out a few camera settings, as I was blowing out the images with all the whiteness. ( my focus needs work though 🙂
The final result shows that when the paint blew past the 1/2 inch layer of fluffy it left crack like fissures of different colours. It is a bit difficult to see the whole effect with my limited photography skills. The professional photographer of this house Jon blacker is currently in L.A. completing several photo shoots for his upcoming book Musical-Ink.
I wonder what it will look like in the spring ? Deck and pool cover under that snow….oops.
As an artist, I am always on the look out for those artists that are inspirational for me. I feel that if one does find such a person, it is part of their creative duty to share the discovery with others. It is not everyday you find something/someone that sticks, that somehow whether quietly, loudly, quickly or slowly seemingly makes a difference in your approach to something.
It can happen without you even recognizing it. But when you do recognize it please, please share with the world because …everyone needs some discovery and inspiration!!!
I can not even recall how I happened to find Cagney-King, but I will honestly admit I am very happy I did. I love her work for an abundance of reasons; style, colour, flow, size, impact, content, feel, layers of thought, the hidden and unhidden and the something else that truly can not be explained.
Thanks Cagney-King for taking the time to share with me and others your words, thoughts and stunning paintings.
“I work to draw people into my work, but then to also cause them to step back and take in the whole image and contemplate the meaning and intent. My work encompasses this push and pull with mediums and textures that take me on a journey of discovery with each painting.”– Cagney-King
1. When painting, do you as the artist go through a similar process with the piece? Or is this process by viewers only?
I very much go through and experience this push and pull with all of my work. From concept to the very start and throughout the entire process, the painting speaks to me; and yet is my voice.
There is a kind of communicative dance that goes on with each of my paintings. Just like in a sentence, each word has meaning, and together these become the building blocks of the sentence as a whole. Words put together in a certain way lead to an end result of a formed sentence. Thus it is in this line of thinking that each stroke, each layer, builds up to an end result. This coupled with thought processes and emotions along the way lead to the push and pull that happens for me, and in the end I hope for the viewer.
In this world of television, billboards, media, and internet…everything is cold, fast and instant. I truly believe that our society is becoming de-sensitized. So many times it seems we sit through the news full of devastating and painful images from somewhere in our world, but then after the weather or sports we turn off the tele and then go off to bed. Just like that it doesn’t exist anymore; it is ‘turned off.’
For as long as I can remember, I have been very much affected by all the painful stories from all over the world. I used to read four or five newspapers a day! Plus listen to NPR and watch the evening news. Eventually I just could not stand it anymore. I had to stop because I found I was obsessing over it, internalizing it, and it was just not healthy. It came to me one day that my art was the only way I could try and get people to really look and feel without changing the channel or quickly forgetting. It would be hard just to ‘turn it off.’ Just as music is a universally recognized language, so is art in my book. So I wanted to use it to create a thinking link between myself and the canvas as well as the viewer and the canvas no matter where in the world they stood.
I want the push to be the overall image, and the pull to be the desire to get closer and look at the details and the layers that come together to make the whole. I want people to feel an emotion. Doesn’t matter what it is…just feel it. Then I want them to have the desire to look deeper and wonder or think about what the story might be or how it might relate to their own experiences.
I used to use a lot of written words in my work, but eventually felt that even that was too literal, to instant. That is why now I convert the words to numerical values that don’t spoon feed people the meaning behind the image, but allows them to make it their own interpretation, or just to walk away thinking they just don’t get it at all…which is fine too, as long as they walked away thinking or feeling something.
2. You reference science, math and art in your artist statement, where does this science, math, right brain type of activity come from for you? Were you the kid in class that math came very easily?
Not at all! I held my own, but generally did what I had to do to get by. The truth of the matter is I am a bit dyslexic and horrible at math…but absolutely love the art of mathematics. It wasn’t until much later that I dove back into the beauty behind mathematics and science. It was actually a kind of personal quest to read about and understand the concepts behind some of the most celebrated mathematicians and their theorems. Now I can’t get enough. I pick up old copies of algebra, geometry and science textbooks at used book stores and spend hours pouring over them. Once at a library book sale I came across a stack of books on structural engineering. I began thumbing through and immediately was taken aback by how the physical descriptions of engineering could be taken out of context and take on a completely whole new meaning. For example when you read about the formulas discussing the physical strain and stress energy of a particular metal, and then you take it out of context – the metal then can become the physicality of anything! Suddenly you can find yourself applying the same principals to human conditions or even the human physique. Plus, the formulas themselves are beautiful, a kind of hieroglyphic language. I was completely enamored. The more I learned the more questions I had! Since then I have read mathematic books on everything from the History of Zero to the History of Pi and on to books about some of the most unsolved mathematical theories of our time. My favourite mathematician is from the 12th Century – Fibonacci. His recurring theories found in nature, art and life just blow my mind. What I find fascinating is that when you begin to understand and read about one concept it begins to overlap with others. For instance how Fibonacci crosses over with Pascal (triangle), divisible Pi, and so on. I also love how mathematics crosses over into art. The perfect ratio, the division of space, the third and fourth dimension, scales…etc. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the obvious nature of numbers occurring and re-occurring in my current work. Perhaps it is an extension of my interest in mathematics, or perhaps it is another layer of common language that I want to work into my paintings. I also have meditated on the concept – continuing with the idea of how de-sensitized society can be – that it seems to me that each and every one of us can actually be broken down into a sequence of numbers. Our house address, our birth date, our driver’s license number, our passport number, our social security identity number, our phone number, our IP address and so on. Charles Eames once said – “Never delegate understanding.” I love that quote, and use it in my everyday quest for learning something…even if I will never understand it all…I still want to know and try and will continue to enjoy the journey.
3. How do you know a piece is completed? How often are you just right in knowing this?
I’m not sure I’ve been right yet!
You know the old joke that in every studio there should be two people? One – the artist; and two – the person with the sledge hammer to make the artist stop working on a painting. I don’t have a person with a sledge hammer…and if I advertised for one I would get too many volunteers I’m sure! But, that said…I’m not sure a painting is ever really finished…only rendered to a stopping point. It seems that I always start out with an idea or sketch to get the journey started. The journey continues with various sessions of communication between me, the idea and the painting. The paintings desire to exist in a certain light often times dictates the will for me to stop and step back. I almost imagine the painting physically pushing me away from it screaming ‘leave me alone already!’
I tend to also stop working when I begin to get frustrated and disgusted with myself…then I know I should either stop or put it away and go onto something else. Problem is, when I go onto something else…I never really go back to the other paintings. I will however quite often, be sitting in my studio and looking around and land on a painting that has sat aside for awhile and suddenly I will notice something that just needs a little fix or a little something added, kind of an ‘Ah ha!’ moment. So I’ll jump up, get over to the paints and then slap a dab of paint on, or re-work something very quickly…spontaneously.
Then try to never think of it again.
4. What are you currently working on in the studio? Will you tell us a bit more about it or do you prefer not to share ideas and works in progress?
Currently I am working in a contemporary figurative mode. I am constantly journaling or clipping various images and sketching off of the emotion I feel or the power of the global image. I began the journey of working with figures at a rather wide glance, and as I have developed out the concepts I find myself zooming in more and concentrating on the close-up of the head or the source of emotion. A hand gesture, an exaggerated facial expression and so forth…I don’t want to be too literal and work to abstract the image enough to capture the emotion and the painting process along the way. What I am enjoying about this phase of my painting, is that emotions are universal – global. I like to think that no matter whom, or where a person is in time and space, they will be able to feel or take away a feeling from the painting…no matter their lat and long.
I consider myself a mixed media painter. I like to work on substrates that are at least 36” and larger. Currently I am in a 48×48” square mode. I just love the visual presentation of the square as a living space for the painted image. It just seems to settle in nicely.
I usually begin with what I refer to as acrylic slop and slap coats, working really loose and physical, and then moving to a charcoal sketch. Then I begin to work in more detail with charcoal and ‘turpy’ layers before switching over to tube oils and spray enamels. Along the way some oil sticks, liquid graphite, graphite and more charcoal will work their way in. I am a textural freak and love the tactile feel of a textural piece. However; I have learned along the way that texture has a time and place and can easily distract from a finished painting if over-used or forced. So lately I have been depending on the paints and materials to work the textures in, rather than the physicality of gesso, marble dust, concrete, carpet glue, sand and whatever else I could think of. I use a mix of traditional and non-traditional tools – brushes, palette knives, scrapers, kitchen utensils, sand paper, pattern stencils, and metal grids…whatever feels right for the job at the moment.
I am feeling rather drawn to go back and start incorporating more physical texture along with the build up of paint layers…we will see what happens!
I prefer to work in studio, alone and secluded with my music blaring so that I can enjoy the communicative dance with the canvas and just get lost.
I have tried painting in groups, or en plein aire…it just doesn’t work for me. It is usually a determined disaster…I am definitely a studio painter.
5. If you were not an Artist, what would Cagney-King be? What profession?
Well let’s see…when I tie a paper towel horn to my Chihuahua’s head and make her my little unicorn for the day, I would say that I have just always dreamed of being a full-time artist.
If that just wasn’t in the unicorn cards, I would say that I would want to work in a studio or as an artist assistant. (I would want the artist to be really demanding and challenging too!) Or perhaps as a gallery assistant that got to work directly with promoting artists, or maybe even a museum docent or curator.
As it is, in order to afford my paint, materials, and studio rent, I currently work at a very small ad agency…that is my rock pile for now…until my break comes along to take me away and allow me to transition into a full-time artist. That day seems to be getting closer…so I’ll keep the Chihuahua Unicorn around just in case!
See more of Cagney’s work on her website: Cagney King
Okay, I will admit I am a few days early, but 2012 will be toasted in before each of us realizes and alas 2012 will be on its way …. our goals and visions attached.
In 2012, I will be inviting special contributors to post on my Loft Artwork blog, via interview, questionnaire or mutually decided upon topic.
The vast world of “Art” , touches us all;
from fine artists to graphic artists, interior designers to architects, buyers to collectors, art lovers to those who profess not to understand art at all.
Each month Loft Artwork will share several interesting points of view of the vast wide world of ART, acceptable and controversial alike.
What are you interested in learning regarding the art world? Who are you interested in reading about? Are you a designer, artist or someone otherwise connected to the art world and have something to say?
Contact me, I would love to read and perhaps share your unique point of view.
Stay tuned, January 2012 will bring you a unique interview with a young and upcoming graphic artist, as well as interesting and informative blog from a fine art professional photographer.
Happy , Healthy and Creative 2012 to you and yours.
There is nothing more personalized than your own art collection.
It is a reflection of your tastes, moods, feelings and a homage to your artistic style.
One of my favourite pieces (clearly beyond my budget) is Pollocks #31, hanging at the MOMA in NYC.
PS: this is a pic of me taking a pic of this beautiful artwork.
I began my own personal collection a few years back. I have collected art pieces that I immediately fell in love with, as well as a few pieces that just stuck in my mind for a period of time.
Here are some tips you might find helpful… the bottom line is purchase what you love, it will bring you years of enjoyment.
How do I start an art collection?
The joy of building an art collection is no longer reserved for those with the time and resources to scour art galleries across the globe. With today’s technology, anyone with a computer can access thousands of artists’ works across the full spectrum of mediums., While there is no set formula for building an art collection, here are few tips to make your collection the best it can be, regardless of your budget.
1. Trust Your Instincts Fill your collection with pieces you love – not pieces that feel like a good investment opportunity or a “good deal”. Your collection should be a reflection of you. If you’re not sure what you like, spend time browsing . Choose color palettes or styles that capture your interest.
2. Stick with Original Art Much of the magic of an art collection is in the subtle nuance and energy of the artwork itself – how the work makes you feel when you look at it, what it says to each individual. Original art is unique, one-of-a-kind piece and allows you to make an exclusive statement about who you are and what you like.
3. Choose the Right Mix You may wish to build your collection around a common element (style, color, theme), but selecting works of different size, shapes and mediums will help diversify the overall collection.
Ensure you take care of art that you purchase. Ask the artist if there are any particular suggestions for care and follow his/her directions.
Enjoy and keep collecting!
A great friend of mine Angela ,who is an incredible Life Coach, and owner of Focused Energy asked if she could spend a few hours in my studio with me. Angela wanted to work on a personal art project and I was excited to have her spend some time with me.
We set her up in the main area of the studio, allowing full access to paints, scapers, water bottles, and the funky tools one would wish to have at their fingertips.
With canvas on easel, Angela quickly found her stride and comfort zone in the studio space. I moved about the studio working on this and that, not fully committed to any one thing. I am a “one person” in the studio artist. I get distracted by others, even the quiet ones. I think it has more to do with emotional space than physical space. This afternoon however was not about me, it was Angela’s time .
As Angela drew near completion of her project , we decided to have a glass of wine and a few nibbles. We finished up in the studio, cleaned up and sat back and talked about our day together, the art, the laughter, the wine… and had the second glass of wine!! Don’t waste an open bottle attitude.
My other half, Jon Blacker, professional photographer, had finished a portrait shoot earlier in the day, and equipment was still set up. Angela and I asked if he would take a few shots of us. He obliged and with camera lens on us we posed in our ” so 40″s age and young at heart ” style. We had a great time and thanks to Jon got some great pictures to remind us forever.
Spending a few hours of the day in my studio space with someone else was a great reminder to have fun, laugh, be in the moment and importantly really “play” with art and creativity.
Here we are posing…..Thanks Angela for a playful fun afternoon. ( we are so cool ) lol
Angela Kontgen http://focusedenergy.biz/
I recently completed a loft artwork painting commission for a client of mine in Texas, USA.
They have a beautiful home decorated in a palette of neutral tones which provides a peaceful and serene living space.
I worked with the client to determine tone, size, visual impact desired. We agreed on a plan to complete a 4 ft x 8 ft loft artwork painting that would enhance and serenely fit into the space keeping the overall feel of tranquility as the primary desire.
I would paint the piece in my Toronto studio and have the canvas shipped rolled verses shipped stretched on a frame. The cost of shipping rolled is about a quarter of the cost of shipping stretched on a frame and my client had a reputable stretcher/framer at their end in Texas. It seemed like a win win.
Colour hue, tone, and overall feel were great. However the piece itself appeared to hang suspiciously incorrectly. My client noted that the painting appeared slightly warped. If you look closely at the above picture you can see the warping is particularly visible on the mid to lower left side of the painting.
I asked my client to take the painting down, take a picture of the the back and send it to me asap.
As I suspected the framer had not provided sufficient “bones” and the canvas was winning the tension battle.
The structural support of any canvas plays an important role. This is particularly important when dealing with larger paintings and when the canvas is 48 inches and beyond it is critical to ensure top notch frame work.
For the last five hundred years or so in Europe and elsewhere, canvases have been stretched over wooden frames for painting. This technique became a popular alternative to wooden panels as it allowed artists to create large transportable paintings with a minimum of preparation time and expense.
The stretcher is, in fact, a complex construction which must be well made and finely “tuned” to meet the requirements of a flexible canvas. A necessity in a high quality stretcher is to ensure adequate cross bracing. Without this warping and twisting of the frame under tension will occur.
Other issues of poorly made stretchers may exhibit; insufficient or no beveling on the front face , no key slots and type of wood to name just a few.
In my clients case the issue was inadequate cross bars. A basic standard is at 48 in a cross bar is required , and of course cross bars can be used prior to 48 inches.
I have discovered a Canadian company that specializes in framing and stretching. Should you have further interest to learn more check them out at www.uppercanadastretchers.com
My client returned to the framer, they re-stretched the canvas ensuring adequate structure. The end result is an original loft artwork painting that is professionally stretched and will provide many, many years of enjoyment for the my client and their family.
After having the painting re stretched, my client decided to hang the painting in the softly lit foyer at the front door. The painting looks wonderful there and provides a graceful warm welcome to this homes’ guest.
As to the original living room area, a slightly larger piece is bring considered.
Visit www.loftartwork.com to see more large scale paintings that might enhance your space, and keep in mind that the “bones ” of your painting can make or break your painting both visually and in terms of the life your investment.