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12/22/09

Have finally gotten some small pieces done that were needing just a bit more for me to consider them Finished. I added some small birds and then mounted them on mini-canvases which were painted silver. They are here at the bottom of this page.

I was chosen to participate on the selection committee for the next Legends of Architecture award and met with them today at RJE Business Interiors for a lunch meeting. We've chosen someone worthy and are now in the planning stages of the award banquet. Should be some busy times ahead!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas holiday and looking forward to a better and brighter New Year!

12/01/09

December already? What? I am not ready.

After working diligently for a couple of days, I have my whole site almost completed in the new format. Three new buttons on the main page have been added for the realtors, designers and gallerists out there who may be looking online for new talent. Still need to add them to all other pages, but for now they are on 4.

Thanksgiving weekend was great, lots of wonderful memories with friends and extended family and I hope everyone else had a thankful, spirited holiday as well. Went to our southern getaway and spent 2 days in amazing weather (for November!) hiking and relaxing. Took a lot of pictures and video which I'll be working on later to add to my YouTube and Facebook accounts.

So much to be thankful for this year, a great partner, a wonderful, natural place to get away from it all and amazing, loyal friends who are there for me whenever needed. Plenty to eat, a good roof over our heads and our health. Considering the alternative and those who are less fortunate, we're extremely thankful!

11/22/09

Added a new section to the website called The Dark Stranger since I seem to be creating more of these types of works currently.


11/15/09

Finally put on the new works in Faces and Abstract and some additional paint/digital works which are HERE. Also cleaned up the look to some pages, it was a long time in coming and it needed it BAD.

Have yet to get started painting on that village piece, want to make sure I have the right energy to do that. Perhaps snow will do the trick! Nothing like having a good cup of coffee, listening to great music and painting in the studio while the snow is falling. Almost looking forward to winter! (almost.)

Contemplating putting some works in a local retail space. Still have not made up my mind. Will post something here if I go for it. I'm having trouble mixing my work with the product in question.

11/1/09

Started painting a bit today, getting the practice paintings out of my system, so will post those links here tomorrow after I've taken some shots. One abstract and another face to add to the others (which seems to be a popular page on this site for some reason, gets tons of hits). Then it's on to the village painting for some tight, tiny realism.

Had a great Halloween with friends and ate way too much. It's hard to believe it's November already, especially when there are flowers still blooming in my gardens and gnats flying around in the sun. I'm sure this will all soon change!

10/29/09

Things are still in decompress mode at it'sALLart.

I've been writing down ideas, doing some sketches and taking breather from painting (note I didn't say creating!). I have the village drawn on a canvas, but want to just let that drawing stand for a while before I paint. It reminds me of a patterned shirt I owned when I was 16, the colors and shapes were ala Peter Max (if not actually designed by him) and this village's lines are really similar to that shirt. I like seeing the houses and shapes in simple line format, flat and somewhat abstract.

It's OK to sit back a while before jumping into things again. As an artist friend told me once, "You should take long breaks more often, your work is always better when you get back from a break".

Saw a great episode of the series "Art in the 21st Century". (you can watch full episodes here: http://video.pbs.org/program/1217143847/) I have been wanting to see this program and it was pretty entertaining last night. Even though some of the work was truly inspired, I found it odd that more than one artist stated what I would call "absolutes" about art in general. For me, art has no absolutes or rules. That's what makes it ART, open ended, free from all the rules that seem to be everywhere else. In my mind, ART stands for All Rules Trashed.

A few times I've been approached by people who've asked something along the lines of "Why do you insist on creating so many different looks?" as if there were something horribly wrong with my approach. It's this kind of "rule" thinking that makes me smile and wonder why they need to put someone in a box. The best answer I have is "I enjoy being unique, this is who I am as an artist." In my style inconsistency, I am consistant, it works for me and helps me push the envelope further.

Looking at my last post here, I realize that people may wonder why I would put such a different type of thought here. Without stating something libelous, I just wanted to help heal myself from a past situation and hope that some of my own realizations can help heal others. Often, writing something down frees you from it's energy and now that it's out there flying free, I don't have it banging around in my head any longer! Cheers!

10/17/09

Dealing with a Narcissist

In our upside-down world, the wrong people end up in charge of organizations and companies which they clearly have no business being in charge of. Money, connections and timing play a big part in the business world and can put individuals in positions of power which they often abuse. It's these people who - because of the positions they hold - have the most to lose and are usually the most insecure. They know they shouldn't be where they are and fight daily to keep the reigns, puff themselves up and rebuff anyone who has an idea for improvement. In short, they're narcissists. Entire catalogs of books have been written about this puzzling and abusive personality disorder.

See the below signs and steer clear of narcissists, even if it means not getting to that next rung on the ladder:

• They do not show up on time to appointments, even if confirmed the same day.

• They never ask you how you are but always are tell you about their current status in detail, good or bad.

• They take phone calls constantly while you are meeting with them.

• They show little interest in you or your work, except in terms of themselves.

• They talk in exaggerated terms about themselves or their accomplishments.

• They make sure the conversation is always about themselves.

• They have few friends but many past enemies, ex-employees or associates.

• They are overly concerned with their appearance, taking drastic measures to keep themselves looking young. Plastic surgery is common with narcissists.

• They spare no expense on their own needs, but can be miserly when spending money on anyone else.

• They talk loudly and use large gestures to help keep themselves the center of attention, most visibly in public places.

All are signs of a narcissist, so walk quickly to the nearest exit if you encounter this type of behavior with an acquaintance. You will always be seen as a subordinate and treated with little respect. End things quickly and quietly. Narcissists thrive on drama and see it as another occasion to get attention on life's stage. Stop communication on all fronts and make sure you are protected physically and legally, as narcissists often go overboard dealing with anyone who crosses them. (for more info on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, go here.)

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A fun video to brighten the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw

10/8/09

Went and took the Feather & Brush show down today and am now able to offer the works at a reduced price. The gallery had priced them a little higher than I wanted, now you will see the original prices. For those of you who were thinking about purchasing a piece, you can do so by contacting me directly through my email.

10/1/09

Amazing how long it takes to decompress after a show! After a week of re-organizing my studio and moving things around, throwing out 7 bags of trash and taking a truckload of stuff to Goodwill, I'm finally ready to paint again. I love getting rid of old junk, it's a great way to clean out your physical space and your mental space in one go!

I'm starting another painting, long horizontal of an irish village in a realism mode. It's going to be one of those long-term projects, the drawing itself took about 3 days to work out and then transfer to canvas. Found a great graphite paper at the art supply store for a buck forty-nine per sheet! Now on to painting. It will be in the same look and feel as Church & State, but on a much smaller scale.

9/23/09

Dan Grossman's review of my work in Nuvo is an interesting take on my work, but with no pictures. You can see the show and the work for yourself if you'd like. Hope anyone that didn't get to see the exhibit can view a somewhat edited version of it during the Carmel International Art Festival on Saturday along with other artist's work for the weekend. Read between the lines, folks.

9/20/09

Last night's show was an extremely revealing and fun time for me! The crowd was great, while probably not the heaviest that Carmel's gallery walks have seen, it was still very busy and I'd rather have enough room to breathe than be mashed into the walls all evening.

I sold two pieces and almost everyone I spoke to was genuinely impressed with the paintings and the sculpture. A Nuvo writer asked many questions and took pictures, so a favorable review may find it's way into the magazine! I met a lot of really nice people, and even picked up a student for my class. The evening was pretty much over by 9:15 or so, with a few stragglers walking through. I left a few minutes before ten and was exhausted! Gallery openings are such roller coasters and take a lot of energy! The show will be up till the 10th of October, so if you didn't get a chance to see it, stop in or contact me for an appointment!

9/2/09

Sometimes when unfortunate things happen, you think the world is an awful place, but then an angel steps up and makes us remember that not everyone in life is out to step all over us. Mindy at Brownsburg Signs is that kind of angel. She not only gave me a really decent deal on my signs for the show but was kind enough to put one of my flyers in her store window! If you have any signage needs, please give them a call. The clear plexi signs I'm using are inexpensive and look very classy in a window or on a wall, especially for shows or retail situations where you can't do something permanent. I've been utilizing their services for years and they are really great people!

My early PR efforts helped with spreading the word! It's interesting that they picked that particular picture, I was wondering which one they'd run from the three I sent. I have zero objectivity when it comes to choosing. They got one fact a tiny bit wrong, it's up to 30 pieces now, not 20. In their defense, at the time I sent the press release, it was only 20.

9/1/09

In less than two weeks, an entire year's worth of my work will go on view to the public. This is the longest I've spent on an exhibit. I think it shows, not only in the work, but also in the amount of anticipation I have.

12 months is a long time. There have been ups and downs, huge rewards and lousy disappointments along the way. You roll with the punches. In life, nothing ever quite matches what we think it's going to be. Thankfully, most of my surprises have been good ones. This fact helps me work through low points and move on.

I'm truly proud of the work. It might not be appreciated by every single person who sees it, but I know I've remained true to myself. My approach will always be one that is varied. This is who I am as an artist. Many artists who have achieved great fame have taken the same path. I know I'm in good company.

Reminder: a SIGNED POSTER will be given to the first 100 people thru the door, so be sure and get there soon after the opening!

8/23/09

Where does the time go? Seems like just a few weeks ago I had plenty of time, now I only have 2.5 weeks! But everything is coming together, I need to repair one painting and now that the kinetic sculpture is done, I can maybe squeeze two more paintings in. Oh, and I have an idea for one more sculpture if I find time.

Learning about mechanics and gears and machinery has been a really fascinating trip for me and I have to say that I'm hooked and can't wait to begin my next kinetic sculpture. Without the help of a close friend, I would have never been able to get the job done, so a huge THANK YOU to that special guy!

The poster and other marketing materials are printed and ship this week. Just a reminder to those who read this blog, a FREE, SIGNED POSTER is going to be given to the first 100 people thru the door at the exhibit opening, so be sure and get there soon after the opening! (The poster also includes a decent coupon for Wild Birds Unlimited Carmel Stores!) I also am putting a flyer just about anywhere I can think of, so if you have a spot somewhere that you think it could help promote the show, let me know. Postcards will be going out this next week as well.

The internet is truly amazing and I have seen how it can really boost visibility and help promote an artist. Without it, there are so many things I could not have done for this show, mainly meet Kathy and Dave at Wildbirds Unlimited or have gotten such sweet deals on printing or framing. As well, putting my videos up on YouTube or showing my work on this site or promoting the show on so many online event calendars and Facebook... just a ton of ways to get the word out. I recommend that all artists try and do this kind of side-work, it really can pay off.

I recently purchased a special upside-down suet feeder at Wild Birds and within one day it was being visited by a Downy Woodpecker and a Nuthatch. It's a great item, not too expensive and keeps all of the sparrows and blackbirds from gobbling up the suet since they can't hang upside-down. Oh, they try, though!

8/1/09

Showtime is getting closer! This past week was spent ordering frames and getting all of the work signed, varnished and ready to go. I'm still not done with that process and during the madness of it I'm still working on the kinetic sculpture which will cap off the exhibit. Almost three days I've spent on one frame, getting it right. I've had a few setbacks but am determined to get the darn thing right. It will look great when I do, perfect for last month's featured piece.

I've been told that my work will be shown as a "featured listing" in Indianapolis Woman Magazine, so my PR efforts are starting to pay off.

I visited the Indianapolis Art Center and was thrilled to see a kinetic sculpture exhibit, A Life in Art: Works by George Rickey. I got a good chance to see up close how he constructs his work and how clean the end result is. Amazing stuff. Also took a walk thru the sculpture garden and was a little mystified as to why it's so weedy and unkempt looking but was still enjoying the various pieces, one by James Willie Faust that was new to me.

7/20/09

Just got done putting the final touches on a bas relief sculpted painting. Pretty darn happy about how it turned out. I finished another painting early last week which took me a few days longer than I'd planned, but it was worth the effort. I think I'm starting to wind down now on the bird theme. This is good because I really need to start getting my marketing plan rolling, get frames and display stuff ready, put the final touches on everything and start putting this show to bed! I'd really like some breathing room between making the pieces and hanging the pieces and then trying not to fall over dead while showing the pieces. I have a kinetic sculpture in mind and this week I'm going to figure out if I have enough mechanics to do it. I hope so, as it will really be a fun addition to the show. I just need to stop thinking in terms of paint for a while.

6/30/09

Finished "Nurture", my first wood sculpture today. I'm very pleased with the results, but have learned that in the future I need to use better quality wood and better quality tools as this was a battle to get these in shape using the limited tools I have. The wood was problematic as it was unevenly soft and hard, so carving it was tricky. Next time, I'll use purchased wood instead of "found" wood, but I couldn't resist using a piece of what would normally have burned up in the woodstove! Getting the baby to be the same angle as the mother's body so there could be zero distance between the two was the hardest part but it helped push the emotion much further than if there were dissimilar angles going on. I like the color contrast, I think it says a lot about youth and adulthood. I know a few people will find the layers of heavy paint odd, but I was really wanting to have a textural surface with thick paint to relate back to my paintings and their textural qualities.

6/27/09

I'm happy to announce that both Wild Birds Unlimited and Cookware, Inc. are now sponsors of this fall's "Feather and Brush" show in September. I'm looking forward to getting the word out and will be working hard to make the show a big success, starting with a media campaign in August.

Cookware, Inc. is owned by David Cook and Debra Sellers, in Hawaii and Lebanon, Indiana respectively. David is responsible for giving me the push to start my own business back in 1995. I was VERY reluctant to do so, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. In addition, they have both unselfishly contributed to it'sALLart by providing server space for the it'sALLart website for over 14 years, preventing lots of potential problems over the course of that time. As well, their advice on all matters dealing with the web have not only helped my business, but in turn I've been able to help other businesses based on that knowledge.

Meanwhile, I've added three new paintings to the show page and am working on another sculpture (this time in wood) which I hope to have done by the end of next week.

Locally we have had rain almost every other day here and things are looking really good for a nice crop of tomatoes and peppers. The strawberries are finished and the blueberries are getting bigger, but not nearly the crop I had the first year. My frog has returned and is getting out every night to catch his share of mosquitos. The other night I finally was able to sneak up behind him and get this photo! He's a big dude. Having a frog in your yard is fun and interesting, but also proves that your environment is nearly chemical-free. Frogs are the first to go away if you have too many herbicides and pesticides present.

5/30/09

Now that Male of the Species is done, I have time for painting and working out the next sculptures I have in mind. It's been hard to keep from getting sidetracked right now and the post-partem blues almost had me in "quit" mode. I got over it and started painting again.

My abstract technique classes are done for the season and we had a great time exploring. I'm looking forward to next fall's sessions and hope that we can expand the number of students.

Being an artist in Indiana can be difficult and I doubt many people realize how much harder it is than doing so in a more cultured area like Santa Fe, Chicago or elsewhere. I've seen a lot of artists succumb to inertia and other outside influences and it really takes a strong will to keep plodding along regardless of interest levels on the part of our community. Art is a two-way street, we create it and hope that the world sees it and, if nothing else, appreciates it. The exhibits we stage, the shows we attend and the websites we build are the only chance we get to "speak" to the world. When the world says something, anything back we're grateful!

So far, I've been fortunate to receive a good amount of feedback via this site and by watching my "hits" via a counter which shows where viewers come from and how long they visit the site. A recent trend is developing. The beginning of the month sees a higher number of visitors, many repeat. I guess my monthly changes are perhaps something to look forward to for more than a few and that keeps me engaged. Thank you, whoever you all are out there!

5/1/09

Need to kill some weeds around your house? Do you use RoundUp? Read this.

4/29/09

The classes I'm teaching are going very well, we're in our 5th week and the adult students are having a great time. Teaching this class is giving me an opportunity to evaluate what I do from an entirely different angle and I'm really enjoying the process of watching someone learn something and interpret it with their own twist. We'll be finishing up the 8 week course by the end of May.

I'm still working on the bird sculpture and hope to have it done in a week or so. It is very slow going, applying feathers one at a time. I snuck a painting in between other duties and it's HERE at the bottom of the page.

Spring seems to have come earlier than normal this year and there are so many things happening at once that normally are spaced out a little better. It is making for a very busy schedule as I thought I'd be saved from gardening for another month and was out in the yard weeding and mowing by the 15th of April! Too soon! My apple tree is covered in blossoms and we may finally get a crop of apples this year. I've moved all the berries and vegetables closer to the house so watering won't be such a pain. I have a feeling it's going to be a very long, hot summer if it's already this warm in April. Happy May everyone!

4/1/09

Putting the final touches on a sculpture I've spent the last week on. It will be the first 3-d piece I've done for exhibition, which utilizes a lot of skills I've learned through other practices. The video of the process is a challenge in trying to it up with the piece instead of falling by the wayside. The piece is constructed out of cloth, stuffed over an armature and will be covered in hand-made feathers. It's going pretty well, the basic body is done and the feet and beak are next. Balancing the work was tricky and I wonder how any bird stands without falling down! Must be like the bumblebee, they don't know they're unbalanced and stand anyway.

Watched a 60 Minutes segment (watch it HERE) that was horrible, a story about Masai people killing lions with poison to protect their cattle, ignorant of the fact that it also kills other animals. That fact itself is bad enough but apparently the poison, Furadan, was launched in 1967 and is so toxic that anything else that feeds on the carcass dies as well, including hyenas, birds and other animals. It is banned in the U.S. and many other countries, but is still exported to other African states that have yet to ban it and therefore is smuggled into Kenya. The manufacturer, FMC, is typical of greedy corporations that export toxic products - regardless of the hazards - in order to make a profit. I've sent a letter of protest and am hoping others do the same by contacting them HERE. According to other sources, Furadan is responsible for a 10 percent death rate of birds in other countries as well. Why not just discontinue manufacture of this toxic product?

The Design show at the IMA was truly amazing! If you have not been, I highly recommend it as it will inspire. Beware of getting too close, however, as we were "buzzed" by the alarms for bending too near a sofa to see the back and were swarmed by museum guards! It made for a totally hilarious visit... Thanks, CZ!

3/25/09

Going to the IMA today with a friend to see the designed objects show. Also going to go to some vintage and antique shops to try and find old men's ties for a project that is still in development. Added two new paintings to the Bird Show pages. Am pretty happy with the latest, did a little adjusting to it but am too lazy to re-shoot so you'll have to come to the show in September to see it as a final.

Starting to get interested in 3-d work, but have so much to learn. Glad I know how to sew stuff dimensionally, that will really come in handy for some projects. Total novice at carving and need to dig up my carving tools... where are they?

Studio is getting crowded, I need a big warehouse space somewhere!

3/1/09

Two more pieces to add to the Feather & Brush page, but one is still in flux. The Woodpeckers at Dusk was really a fun piece to work on, I had it in my mind for weeks before I actually got to start it, so I knew exactly what I wanted to happen. I used several techniques on it that I'll be teaching in the class I'm giving, starting April 2nd.

Because of the weather warming up and days getting longer, I've been seeing more and more bird activity in the yard and I think the males are getting more territorial. Hearing the songs in the morning and knowing that spring is coming soon makes it easier to feel creative and I've been busy.

Getting ready to mount the Maya piece that sold last week, so building a panel today for it. Lumber prices seemed to have gone down so I may build quite a few more of these for the show. I love painting on panels as they take more abuse than canvas and seem to have more "presence".

2/17/09

I've finished two more bird paintings which can be viewed HERE. I have two more in process, stay tuned for further exicting adventures.

Also, I'm going to be teaching an abstract techniques course starting April 2nd.

2/1/09

Now finished with the heron painting, it's on the front page or here. I really liked painting on the texture and it was an interesting challenge. Now it's time for an abstract painting or at least something much looser, so that's my next challenge. I've been experimenting with taking old paintings and remaking them into something new, so this might be my next project.

The Kinsey Institute in Bloomington is having a juried exhibit of work at the SOFA gallery and I've entered three pieces there, Eviscera Mechanica, Blue Man Group and Directions, since all can be interpreted as having to do with "sex, gender, sexuality, eroticism, reproduction or the sensual human figure" as the entry application describes. We'll see what happens with that, it was relatively inexpensive to enter, so I figured why not? Plus, I've never seen or shown in SOFA, so I'd like to see what that's all about if given the chance.

Other than that: SNOW, and lots of it. I tend to like it over plain brown even though it's a hassle to dig out of and drive in. We fared better than people living below Bloomington, however, with 3/4 inches of ice on everything and power outages. I know I'll have a big mess to clean up at my place down south.

1/8/09

Now that the holidays are over, things are getting back to normal and I'm painting again, concentrating on bird paintings for this fall's show.

Currently, I'm working on a realism piece featuring herons. Here's a WIP shot for those interested. It's a challenge working on a rough surface, but I'm really enjoying this piece and taking my time to make it turn out as good as possible. This piece has a metallic gold underpainting and it really adds to the interest where the gold is catching in all the nooks and crannies of the texture and avoiding being covered.

I've been working on sketches for other bird pieces and am planning on 20 to 30 pieces in all for the show, both abstract and realism. Some may be weeded out before showing at the gallery, which is normal practice. I will post all of them on this site, however, so if you don't get a chance to see the show, you can always check the whole selection out here. Back to painting, will post more soon!


 



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from the studio of Keith J. Hampton