Feed Him When You Can / Eastside Block Party

feed-hm-when-you-can_loop

 

Crazy Chester followed me and caught me in the fog.
He said, “I’ll fix your rack, if you take Jack, my dog.”
I said, “Wait a minute, Chester. You know I’m a peaceful man.”
He said, “That’s okay, boy. Won’t you feed him when you can.
(excerpt from THE WEIGHT by Robbie Robertson)

As part of a proposal for a public art project, I began working on a colorful drawing to be incorporated into a larger digital composition. The theme (for me) is about community and building relationships. As I and my wife have reached out to get to know our neighbors better it has made our neighborhood closer and safer. Thus, the block party idea. But as the drawing evolved an organic creature appeared. In abstract,  someone with dementia might mistake it for a dog. The point is still valid that when people reach out despite differences or fear, something organic occurs. Relationships.

A Natural Mask

A Natural Mask

A Natural Mask

 

Returning to one of my favorite design elements in the footsteps of Hiroyuki Doi, an autodidact like myself, I find not only a meditative respite, but order in the seemingly random.

Angelic Energy Field

Angel Energy Field

ANGELIC ENERGY FIELD
24″ x 24″ Acrylic paint and pouring medium on gallery wrapped canvas.
Tuning in to GOD, or rather turning our thoughts toward God and the idea of His glory and majesty attracts the attention of His servants; His messengers as He is ever faithful to respond to our response to his love.

This new (or new to me) technique of paint application emulates a dry brush effect.

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Spiritual Static

Spiritual-Static

SPIRITUAL STATIC – mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas – 36″ h x 24″ w
This painting speaks of the fact that the one permanent throughout eternity is SPIRIT. Spirit remains constant though we may have times of not being clear on this fact due to the distractions of circumstances and desires. We may not be hearing from our spirit or God’s Holy Spirit, but they are always speaking.

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Emotional Roller Coaster

EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
EMOTIONAL ROLLER COATER

EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER

EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER – On Sale Through Valentine’s Day

Mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas – 40″ h x 30″ w

This painting not only demonstrates depth with multiple techniques of mark making and painting, but exhibits the various moods experienced during the different stages of the painting process. There are the dark areas of doubt and despair as well as the lighter areas of renewed hope and joy.

Brushwork of focused intent, angry palette knife cuts and sweeps through the paint as well as energized, whimsical splashes of pouring medium all speak of the range of my emotions while I worked.

My life is sometimes chaotic but regardless of circumstance I choose to return to peace even if it temporarily eludes me. (click image for greater detail view)

 

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Jacob’s Ladder aka Night Climb

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder / Night Climb

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Acrylic and Ink on Watercolor paper 14″ x 11″

Jacob did not climb the ladder but saw a vision of angels moving up and down the steps between heaven and earth. On waking he exclaimed that “Surely God is in this place, and I knew it not.” This image is a visual reminder for me that God is always present whether we know it or not.

 

NEW DAY

New Day

New Day

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Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas – 30″ x 40″

Each new day we greet is an open door to new possibility, renewed potential and hope. Whether we consider ourselves as artists or not we each create in our own way. It is the beauty of our creating that stands as witness to our entering into fully and accepting the gift we are given each new day.

Hidden In My Heart

Hidden in my heart

Hidden in My Heart
48″ x 50″ (click image to enlarge)

There are numerous glyphs hidden in this painting of multiple layers and multiple mediums, including oils, acrylics, various pigments in pouring medium and spray enamel. What is also hidden is the painting underneath, since this is a re-purposed canvas which was once a designer decorative canvas of the Garden Ridge variety that I salvaged for higher purposes.  The title also speaks to the truth of scripture which I have hidden in my heart.

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Blood For Oil

Blood for oil

Blood for Oil
20″ x 16″ oil on canvas

Continuing the review of political paintings is BLOOD FOR OIL. I am a self taught artist, but I have taken the occasional workshop. This painting was done after a workshop I took taught by Ann Cushing Gantz. I was very excited to learn from her, not only because she was such an excellent artist, but because she had studied under Hans Hoffman.

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Neo-Political

NEO-POLITICAL

NEO-POLITICAL

11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas. Part of the “Dancing Paint” series.

I chose this piece to commemorate Father’s Day because it reminded that my father, Rev. Sam O’Toole was not only a great dad, my best friend, spiritual mentor, and pastor; he was also one of my High School teachers. Dad returned to college when I was in my first year of high school to finish his master’s degree in political science. When I was a senior he was maximizing that degree by getting his teacher’s certificate. As a senior, I  had my father as a student teacher in my U.S. Government course.  Oddly enough, my father being one of the teachers in my school, actually increased my street cred. Go figure.

Like all politics, NEO-POLITICAL is not all black & white. There are shades of gray, and of course you always get a little blood in the mix.

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