Monday, November 14, 2011

Open Canvas Art Event

Last Saturday was the 10th annual Open Canvas event held in Milwaukee. Six years ago I stumbled upon a small newspaper display ad promoting this event so the wife and I decided to attend. Billed as 80 artists creating original pieces in one night seemed like an interesting way to spend a Saturday evening, especially if you're into art.

The event is put together by Jeff Kursel and his family in dedication to his father who was a successful ad exec here in Milwaukee. He also attended Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the only accredited private art school in Wisconsin. The amount of work that appears to go into this event is staggering. Coordinating the space; a beautiful old warehouse in Historic Third Ward, dozens of food vendors, donated art supplies from Richeson Art and finding 80+ artists to donate their time and effort, parking, valet, coat check, security and processing the payments from patrons that buy works via a silent auction at the end of the night....WOW...and then the clean up aftermath. It really is quite a show.

This is my 5th year of participating as an artist. I feel so fortunate, as this year featured 90 artists, many locals, many from the Kursel family and a guest artist from Germany. And me...little Mike Pintar, local artist from Waukesha struggling to sell anything this year. Getting the invite back in July to paint at this event gets be jacked up right up to the day of the event. With what I guess is close to 1000 people attending (based on bidder ticket numbers), the atmosphere is so electric and so much artistic energy, it's really hard to describe. I don't have time to take many photos when everyone is there and they discourage photographs anyway, so it's one of those "you have to be there to believe it" kind of things. Here's a quick glimpse of the action.

Artists start arriving in early afternoon. Doors to the public open at 6pm and bidding starts immediately with final auction bids closing starting at 9:30. If you're artist #1, you better be close to finished vs #84 where you'll have an extra hour to finish up your piece. So while it's a ton of pressure to create a piece in 5-8 hours, the process is where the action is, and what the public comes for.

Artists start at various times, but the key is to pace yourself so when the public is watching, you're in the middle of your work. Easier said than done!

The man, Tom Nachreiner of Milwaukee.

I took a "safe" subject this year, a cityscape, but went out of the box and developed it upside down. Below is a completed block-in and starting to move on to refining the big shapes. I'll detail the rest of the process in my next post. It was a great Open Canvas this year and hope to be back next year...cross my paintbrushes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Goes Around.....

So I woke up at 4am my wife's snoring! Of course, that was after I got up at midnight to relieve myself, just after I went to bed at 10pm. It was just one of those sleepness nights.

I decided to get out of bed at 4:45am and one of my first thoughts was about art. I went downstairs and started taking photos of all my art and pieces I have stored in "the closet". Dozens of older works that I just don't have room to hang in my house.

In a moment of reflection, and after my first 4 shot dryLatte, I picked up a favorite book, The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox. I flipped open the book to any random page and behold:
"The plain fact is that it is the Law of Life that, as we think, and speak, and act towards others, so will others, think, and speak, and act towards us. Anything and everything that we do to others will sooner or later be done to us by someone somewhere."

To me, in layman terms: What goes around, comes around. I asked God to help me do the right thing today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shows, Events and Holiday Prep

Last night I attended a meeting at The Clinton Street Gallery where I exhibit. We're planning a holidays/charity event called The Art of Giving on December 8th. More details to follow.

I also met with the owner of Jake's and Haute Taco restaurants yesterday to review what paintings she'd like to see hanging in Haute Taco. We also had a chance to talk about developing artwork, since she was one of my students from recent class.

This Saturday is Open Canvas, a great art event in it's 10th year. This will be my 5th year painting and can't wait. They usually get around 1000 people attending and bidding on work being creating live.

Still waiting to connect with my church people to review final changes made to the layout before I begin painting.

Also put up a new video on YouTube showing start-to-finish of this painting.