Hey, first actual blog post in way too long! Thought I’d write about the music that gets me through my work day. Thank goodness for Spotify, if you don’t have an account get one! Especially if you are either in the creative arts or just sit at your connected device all day for what you do. This is one technology that I strongly suggest running to.
Anyway, as an old fogey, I still prefer to listen to music in album format. That’s just the way I do it. So here they are, both new releases and old, the albums I’m currently enjoying:
UNKLE – Where Did the Night Fall (Another Night Out)Â – Great album from what used to be a Trip-Hop outfit. They’re forging a new direction with this one and I think finds its footing rather well. As with all of UNKLE’s albums, this one is a collaborative work. Some stand-out tracks are Follow Me Down, Natural Selection, Another Night Out, and Money and Run Video
Helvetia – Nothing in Rambling – This one has grown on me with every listen. A bit of a low-fi-rambling-space-music combination. Video
Â Toy – Toy – New British band that has made a fine collection right off the bat. Keyboard infused shoegaze songs that play well late at night or mid-morning. As you can see below, they need to make some videos, even if they’re just done with iphones at shows. Video
Â Massive Attack – Heligoland – I’m glad that after a couple of missteps, MA has another great album to follow up from 1998’s Mezzanine. Luckily, I got to see them touring this album and it only made me love it that much more. Video
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear is on Our Side – Harkens back to the moody stuff of the 80’s that I couldn’t get enough of as a teenager. Echos The Sisters of Mercy and the like. Hard to believe this band is from Dallas, TX… Video
This is a few months old, as you can tell by the abundance of snow in the video, but I thought it was worth posting here. I finally got around to experimenting with shooting and editing video on my iPhone. Itâ€™s a pretty cool process, Iâ€™m not sure why I havenâ€™t done any of this before now. My dog Jack absolutely loves snow and plastic flower pots. This film documents that love, or tries to anyway.
I’ve decided to start a blog series on what inspires me in this world. What follows is my first go at this. I see this being slightly different in subsequent posts than what’s below, but this is where we begin.
When I began my art career, I was working in the two mediums of painting and photography. I love the process of both of these. Painting with oils gives you a lot of time to work to make the paint say what you want it to. It’s very much similar to working in a darkroom exposing the image onto paper. Dodging, burning working the image in every spot to make it just so. Even the action of changing pixels on the computer is the same. (The best Â – absolute best – part of working digitally is that I no longer have to contend with dust. Ever!)
To this end, I have always sought ways to combine the actions of painting and photographing. For my university exit show I produced a body of work in which I had made my own negatives and taken portraits. I thickly coated emulsion on old, cleared negative sheets and made long exposure portraits. It was a fun process, but quite expensive and time consuming. The results were great. It was the first time I felt that I had accomplished my goal of integrating photography and painting. In that, it was a success and I was happy about it. I’ve put an example of this work at the bottom of this article.
One of my two most favorite painters is Gerhard Richter. He has no real peer in his work. Though he has greatly inspired later generations. To me, his soft paintings are the visual equivalent to my favorite type of music, shoegazer. His work combines the soft dreamy with the loose fuzziness. I realise that these are vague terms and aren’t necessarily applicable to every piece. This is just an analysis of how my brain interprets what I see, hear and feel and how that translates into what I do with that information artistically. I think this all relates to my larger fascination with German Expressionism and Romanticism at large. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the same. It’s a very beautiful ugliness.
This does not necessarily translate into the art I produce, but it’s at the heart of what drives me to produce art. I would say that, of all the work in my catalogue, it best relates to Notions of Eden and the aforementioned portrait series.