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12/23/08

Hope everyone is having a great holiday! Family is in town this week and I get to spend some time with my brother (who is quite the artifact hunter!) Here's a picture of the old guy with something he found a few months back. (scroll down to the bottom, he's the one with the scruffy beard.)

I've been doing some website work for a jewelry maker friend. For some of the site, we worked out a trade and she made a ring for me which I designed since she normally does not create men's jewelry. I wanted something chunky and celtic with a peridot. We're calling it a "king's ring", it seems very royal to us. I think it turned out quite nice, here's a pic. For more jewelry on her site which I designed, go here.

Went to Vine and Table yesterday to get a bottle of Shingleback Shiraz for Christmas, can't wait to have some, it's some of the best Shiraz I've ever had. Looking forward to it with some nice honey-baked ham.

Merry Christmas to us all!

Looking forward to 2009 with our New President! Buh bye, Dubya.

Happy New Year indeed!

11/29/08

Still fully stuffed from a self-inflicted eating frenzy on Thanksgiving and trying to stay away from the leftover pies, puddings and other treats from now until March. As you can see on the front page, after 5 months I'm finally done with Church & State after adding some pigeons and a truck front-end. Will be taking it to Closson's in Cincy next week with some other works to see what stays and what goes. They've moved to a new, larger location so this trip will be interesting and fun.

Also took some smaller pieces to Magdalena for the December show, so if you get a chance and are in Carmel to shop, stop by!

NEWSWORTHY: With an artist friend twisting my arm, I've joined the Hoosier Salon and will be submitting work into juried shows there soon with the hopes of hanging in their Indy space. The gallery has been muchly improved with walls removed, spaces enlarged and new paint and hanging scheme. Overall, way more professional-looking. Needless to say, I was impressed. I met the new director, Donna Dole, as well and I think she's done a great job, widening their scope to include 3D and other types of art. Hopefully I can announce that I'm in a juried show soon!

10/25/08

Since I'll be on vacation during this news cycle, I am doing things a little early.

Closer and closer to finishing up the current painting and it's looking good to me. I have yet to come up with the perfect idea for an overlay, however and it might not even happen, depending on what inspires me. We'll see.

A lot of design work in, so not a lot of gallery news or painting happening this past month, unfortunately. I think once this month is over, I can start in on a new series and just let myself go. There is really a big abstract urge building! I'll be taking a trip to take new pieces to Closson's and perhaps by the time that happens, they'll be in their new facility. Should be exciting!

Hope everyone gets out and VOTES! Doesn't matter what party you belong to, just do the democracy thing and cast your ballot. Remember how lucky we are in the U.S., even with the electoral college. After all, some countries don't get to decide who is in charge.

The house got a beautiful new front door. It was on sale and my buddy David K. helped me install it. I should say I helped him, since he did most of the work. Here's some of the video.

10/1/08

I know... I put an older painting on my front page. The current painting is getting closer to being done, but rather than worry about it, I'm just going to post other pieces from the past few years until it's ready to show. I'd rather have it turn out good than hurry it for stupid reasons and mess it up. Quality, not quantity. I think a lot of my older works have not been shown that much anyway, so why not?

Had a really nice visit from Patricia Voelz last week, an artist from Greenwood and also went to the Carmel International Art Festival with some friends. Art fairs can be stimulus overload sometimes, so much to see and ingest, it almost becomes a blur. Seeing all of the artists baking in the sun and not much work moving made me remember why I rarely do outdoor shows. While there, I saw Mary Lou Hess and her husband, who are both in their 80s and still plugging away! What an inspiration. I once carried her work in the it'sALLart gallery (wow, that brings back memories!) and she was such a wonderful person to work with. Saw many other old artist friends and acquaintances there as well, so it motivated me to keep going on this current piece and finish it up!

9/20/08

For the last three months, I've been working on this piece in one little corner of my studio. It has really been a challenge to keep at it without my mind straying and my self control giving out. But I have gotten a second wind and am now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's usually that half-way stage where most artists find themselves wanting to give up and just move on to the next painting. I've been guilty of it myself and have sometimes even done just that.

But this painting has so much work into it already, I have to see it through or it will have been a giant waist of time. A whole summer, in fact. I'm still trying to decide on the overlays. Something with either silhouettes or overpaintings. Birds, perhaps.

Between sessions, I've been keeping up with gardening, doing graphic design work for clients and helping a super-creative jeweler, Sally Mills, with her website.

It's been a very busy summer and with the recent stock market freak-out, a very stressful week as well. The hurricane took some trees down at my southern get-away and that took some cleaning up as well. OK, mother nature, I think I've had my fair share of storm damage this year! Thankfully, I have not had my house disappear or any injuries, so I guess I've been lucky. And when you think of what many people have gone through with Ike, I've been dowright blessed.

The S.A.L.I. Abstract Exhibition judge decided there were other pieces she liked better than mine, so I didn't win anything this year. I'll just have to try my luck next year with another judge! These things are very subjective and it's just someone's opinion when it really gets down to it. Anyway, congrats to those who did get awards. It all evens out in the end. I guess this is not the year for me in the "awards" category, but much like any movie star or recording artist who doesn't win an Oscar or a Grammy, it doesn't mean you give up. There's always next year and by then I'll have a lot more paintings to enter.

I'll get back to this blog on the 1st of October, and hopefully the painting will be done!

9/1/08

Most of my time has been spent on graphic work for clients lately, but I have been putting in at least 3 hours a day on Church and State, a realism painting (see front page) that is seemingly taking forever. I'd say I'm about a third done and hoping that once it's finished, I can move on to something, let's say, more LOOSE?

The rest of my time has been spent helping Magdalena Gallery with their site and watering, watering, watering everything in the yard. Nobody is saying it out loud, but we're having a drought in central Indiana. Hopefully Gustave's remnants will bring us RAIN! Even with the dry weather, I've been getting some great tomatoes and peppers and the jasmine and tuberose have made the whole yard amazing at night with their scent. As long as I keep up my watering, that is.

It's always a surreal experience to see what gets awarded Efroymson grants. For instance: A ladder with clip lights and a feather boa.

Thoughts? Opinions? Get back to me.

8/16/08

Found out on Thursday night that my piece Pop-Fly was accepted into the S.A.L.I. Abstract Exhibition. I entered three, but only one made it which could be a sign that either: A. Way more people entered this year and there wasn't enough room for all, or B. The judge simply didn't like my other two entries. I'm going with A. Now, we just have to go the opening and see who the winners are. For more info about that opening, (which by the way, is a really nice event, complete with food and drink) go to this link which has all the info and directions.

On a much smaller note, I entered a naming contest for a newsletter put out by the people who handle my MC/Visa merchant account and although I didn't win, they are using my entry name "Swipelines" as a title of a section inside, so they gave me a prize anyway! Nice! And they've asked me to design the logo as well, and I'm happy to help out. Here's their company, which has been a great find for me as a merchant.

OK, bad news last. I was told by the Indiana Arts Commission that they lost my application, (in their words: "We didn't lose it, it's just not here"), and this is pretty silly considering I took the time to have a registered return receipt attached. So, the front door got it, but it didn't make it to the right place once inside. Disappointing.

8/11/08

I know... I've been really lax on this blog! I received an email today scolding me about it so I guess that means at least ONE person reads this.

I've been way too busy having way too much fun lately. Weekend of the 1st, I went with a friend to a farm near Nashville, IN to help house-sit (farm-sit?) and had a blast swimming in the lake (my first swimming adventure since 2004, which is a crime) playing music, feeding chickens, turkeys and one duck, three cats and three dogs. What a farm! Great solar-electric place with tons of rooms and acreage and a huge lake. Really amazing cookout, late night swim, general partying and fun... Just a one-night stay and then off to Bloomington to roam downtown for lunch, then went to Primo Gallery (has really changed tastes) and then west of town for a jam session with a friend's band out at some big estate that was reported to host Hillary when she was there. It was pretty impressive, lots of buildings and barns and a giant grass field that could easily host a huge art festival and have room to spare.

Then last weekend went to my cabin in southern IN for lawn upkeep and a chance to enjoy this INCREDIBLE, humidity-free weather we're having right now! Unreal. I never thought I'd be able to sleep in that cabin in a sleeping bag and actually feel comfortable during August, but miracles do happen. Saw turkeys but no deer and I'm beginning to think the white deer is perhaps gone to deer heaven. They say deer only live about 9 years in the wild. Sad, but part of nature. Even though I didn't hike, I still got some tick bites from those tiny kind you can barely see. Next time: OFF, no matter what!

Have not heard anything from the grant office, the Indiana Arts Commission, the S.A.L.I. exhibition or from Publishers Clearing House. If I had my choice, I'd take the latter in small bills, please. So, all the things I applied for in July have not yet been announced in August.

Working on an architectural piece that, with luck, should be done by Sept. 1st so keep your eyes peeled on the front of this site for something a little different.

7/16/08

Been doing a lot of things lately. Finished my grant, got it mailed in, also entered the SALI Abstract Exhibition with Nigel, Architectura (that is currently getting mounted on a really cool panel, details to follow soon) and a new piece that I will feature Aug. 1st called Pop-Fly. (You'll see why.)

Have been doing clean up on the gardens, putting things back in order. I guess by the end of August, things should be back to normal. All in all, it looks good and I only have 4 more sections of fence to put up and the gate. Hard work!

Thought I'd stop being shy about my "craftier" side... I love painting and it will never be replaced, but once in a while... well, I like creating stuff!

Had this clear glass bowl that I thought was nice but needed kicked up a notch to add color to the dining room. Still had a whole set of transparent glass paints (which are baked into a permanent state later) so I created this design which keeps partying long after you crash into bed. The clean shapes are created by... well, that's an industry secret!

Just don't look for me at any art fairs in the future. However, I might start a whole new page of stuff that I've done in the past as well as current "crafty" projects. I hope I don't start smelling like what first hits when you walk into Michael's, as a friend describes it: "the smell of crafters crafting".

6/28/08

Wow, June has flown by... normally, I'd say that was not good, as it's one of my favorite months, but the way this month's weather has been, I'm almost glad it's over. I know, July will be hot and humid, but it may mean the end of Mother Nature's violent streak. The fence is almost half re-built, it's been a lot of work getting the place back to normal.

I got an extented extra month at the Hendricks Co. conference center, so this means my art will be up during the fair! I actually sold a piece thru showing there, so it has meant something more than just exposure this time. A nice guy who owns "The Finer Details" (a classic car restorer) bought "Moon Meadow".

I was busy earlier in the week finishing up my application for the Efroymson Grant. Yes, here we go again. I have no idea what it takes at this point and I realize I have a snowball's chance in hell getting a grant, but the process is free, so why not? This year's application included a concept for a video installation, but that's all I can say or it may be jinxed. Wish me luck!

I've finished up the "Birds and Branches" painting and it turned out fine. I took some video of it and some stills which you can see from the front page of this site. It was done during rainy days, otherwise, it would still be a WIP. I am really starting to see where best to use interference, pearlized and metallic paints. Subtlety is the key or they end up looking like a tacky mess, in both senses of the word. I took the piece up to Magdalena Gallery and she's going to show it later, probably August.

Now I'm on to the next project which is taking Architectura and putting it on one big panel instead of having it be two seperate pieces. Should be interesting...

I also have some videos in the works... concepts involving shadows and light and movement. I wish I could afford a better video editing software, but IMovie will have to do for now. I am also not pleased with how horrible my YouTube vids look... the worst resolution possible, but that's what you get on the net. More bandwidth please....

6/1/08

Friday night (5/31) there was a major wind storm here, impacting my world in a big way. My backyard sanctuary was wrecked, fence blown down, waterfall toppled, trees down, pots broken, plants shredded. Awful. I'll be busy getting things in order for a while, thus the WIP on the front page. I full intend on finishing it as seen, but I have a lot of repairs to make first on the yard. Not a happy guy right now, but at least the house is not damaged and neither is any person!

My vacation was great, too short! Went to PA to see relatives, hike around and then up to NY to retrieve works from Ashwood Artisans. Bittersweet, the owner bought 2 works, but it's always sad to end a relationship with a gallery. It's time to try some new places and that was a hard location with which to swap work out. She understood my position. It's actually a very nice gallery, lots to see, but perhaps a little more high-end gift shop than I want to show in going forward. Whenever there's jewelry and pottery present, paintings have a hard time competing. Nothing against people who do those crafts, but when shoppers go to galleries with ONLY paintings, they'll hopefully leave with... a painting!

5/14/08

Took 16 pieces of work over to the Hendricks County Fairgrounds Conference Center this morning. I didn't have time for breakfast and they had several conferences going for which they had laid out a big spread of “morning food”. Soooo tempting, I was starving but I was good and didn't swipe anything. But those cinnamon biscuits and scrambled eggs looked darn good! Met Lynn Medsker (very nice lady) and handed off the art. I'm not sure how long it will be up, they have yet to settle on a date, but it may be up thru the fair which would be just fine with me! I've reduced the prices on almost everything I'm showing there to match the current economy and people's reluctance of making luxury purchases.

Have had a real hard time getting to the easel this month due to so much going on all at once. Am hoping once I get back from vacation I can devote some good solid time to painting again. I'm having painting withdrawal symptoms!

5/1/08

Went down and retrieved my painting from 930 Gallery, was sort of like stealing art except it was mine. Nobody was there when I arrived and we waited for about 20 minutes... finally I gave up, left a note and took the painting, but I have to wonder if the gallery is very secure? Anyone could have taken the whole show and I doubt it would have been noticed. They need more security of some kind.

Am getting ready to mount some pieces that are stretched (the architectura piece) and hopefully, they'll mount to a panel and look good. Still working on a piece that's a one-canvas tryptich, but that's in progress and can't be shown just yet. Busy! Spring gardening, trip planning, other people's websites, learning new software and trying to fit in painting here and there. I need a clone.

The show at The Sullivan Munce was nice, lots of people turned out. Saw Lois and talked to her briefly, but openings are always two words to the artist and "NEXT!".
My piece was featured nicely and will be there a while.

4/1/08

Made the trip to Louisville and dropped off the piece. Very nice space, it's in what looks to be a transitional area, much like Fountain Square in Indy and once inside reminded me a lot of the Harrison Center. Michael was very nice and it seems like the show will be interesting, but doubt I will be able to attend, gas is too much for two trips!

Finished my video finally, here's the result:

Metamorphosis of Nigel

Of course, video resolution is even worse than showing paintings on the web as stills, but you at least see the concept in action. Would love to make a better vid of this and I have the stills waiting for that day. Enjoy!

3/25/08

The piece Crows in the Corn has been accepted into the Unusual Animals show in Louisville at the 930 Gallery. The opening is April 1st so I have to get busy, stretch the piece and take it down there. Road Trip!

The Sullivan Munce's Life Canvas Exhibit (featuring Lois Main Templeton) has accepted the Goods in the City piece. Details coming up... it will be fun seeing her, I'm sure!

THANK YOU to Lisa Pielo McNiece for being such a good communicator re: the art biz.

I'm currently working on a video/painting piece, but have reached a roadblock. Here's why: I am making a piece that moves through several genres as the video progresses. (realism, impressionism, cubism, etc.) But right now it's a cubist piece and I am really into how it looks and don't want to change it! I want to stop, but I know I have to continue on... maybe a hi-res shot of it made into a print? Hmmm... will show it when done, stay tuned!

3/7/08

The Sullivan Munce Life Canvas exhibit deadline has been extended so I am putting together an entry with Goods in the City as the hopeful contender. That exhibit will be up from April 11th to June 14th, which is a nice long showing, so I really hope I get in.

On a related note, Mr. Sam Roberts at this blog will be kind enough to feature the same piece and Miami Alley on his UK-based site, which features fantastic ghost signs from all over. It may take time to show up, so return visits could be necessary, but there's an amazing collection of ghost signs and ghost walls (and other links about the same) there to peruse while you are waiting.

I'm always oddly delighted how people think these works are either digital or collage. Hopefully both of these opportunities will give me a chance to set the record straight as either piece has not been seen much in public and most have only seen them on the internet which really does not do ANY piece of art justice, IMO.

3/2/08

Went to Plainfield Library and took pictures of the show, they are here. Failed to make the deadline for the Sullivan Munce exhibit, so that is out! There were too many things happening around here to get that on my list. Everything happens for a reason, no?

2/25/08

The Plainfield show is up, I'm going out there to check it out this week and take some pictures for posterity. Hope to hear back from Magadalena Gallery to see how or if my work was causing any stir at their Carmel Gallery Walk on Valentine's Day. One was fairly large, so I'm sure it was seen, but time will tell what the reactions were.

Going out east this spring, and I need to start making arrangements for the trip. Hotels, routes, all that kind of thing. Should be interesting!

1/26/08

Was nice meeting the two women who run Magdalena Gallery and they have been kind enough to allow me to show 3 pieces there during February. It's a very nice space and one that I was hoping I'd get a chance to show in at some point. I hope their gallery walk on the 14th goes well! I'm showing Breaklight, Illuminated Text and Data Shift.

Looking forward to the exhibit at the Plainfield Library... I have everything ready now.

Was able to get 2 pieces sold through Art by Design and now I am part of the Lilly corporate collection. Very good news!

1/21/08

So far this year is starting off with a bang. I have some new interest in my abstracts from a consultant who has a pretty impressive client list. She found me through the indyarts.org site (take note, fellow artists!) and is repping me to a local blue-chipper firm for their new digs. As well, one of the designers at Closson's may take a trip over this way to review and perhaps take home a piece while he's here on a design project in Greenwood.

Sent off a packet to a gallery in Carmel and hopefully will get an appointment to talk with them and perhaps show work. A little drop of water in an otherwise dry, dry market here gallery-wise. I'm wondering if the new arts district is going to be THE place to show work? Time will tell. I have not been out to the other galleries in ages, but gas is too high to tool around downtown and back without an extremely good incentive.

Just finished this piece, and very happy with the results. Took forever to dry and was making life difficult in the tiny studio by laying on the floor in puddles. Have to varnish the sides today and then it's all complete and ready to go find new parents. Bought out some close-out ink colors for way cheap, they are so brilliant and just the exact thing to use as a base for washes over other colors. Totally transparent! It's getting to the point where I know exactly how to mimic Photoshop with these colors and being able to match the screen is what it's all about when I do my digital sketches with an underpainting.

Almost finished organizing and framing for next month's exhibit in Plainfield. I really hope I create some selling buzz with my LOW LOW prices. I need some room and these are older works, all from various shows, a mixed bag but there are some nice pieces.

1/2/08

Happy New Year!

Am going to have an exhibit in Feb. of my medium to small works, big variety, about 30 pieces, give or take. Framing a couple works that are on paper, always a hassle what with mats and glass and all, but these pieces deserve a chance to be seen.

Canvas is so much easier to deal with, especially gallery wrapped. No frames, you just paint it and you are done! In many cases the frame (no matter how nice) detracts from the art, I think.


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NEWS & OPINIONS
from the studio of Keith J. Hampton