Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Painting in Progress

This is a recent work in progress. Not the best pictures but hopefully you will get an idea as to what is there. The piece is about 36" square (I think) It has no title, and began as something completely different than what you see, but serves as a good example of how things tend to evolve. There are remnants of the landscape this once was, and also of the woman in a seat which it also once was. Those things will remain as parts of the whole, building up as part of the plot of the thing, some staying others painted over or scraped away until I find something that resonates with all the myriad things that I feel fit.

I think that most people are influenced by everything, and follow a process not too dissimilar than my own: Firs you choose what to paint, then you paint it, then you decide whether to keep it or not, and keep working until it all kind of gels into a cohesive whole. Some painters like to plan things out and then execute a plan, others, like myself, may have a plan but quickly let that go by the wayside when it is not working and follow their intuition. I once was told by an artist and teacher I respected that i had good instincts. It has taken about 20 years for me to understand this and accept it as truth. I think I am finally realizing that my instincts for what is true were correct in the beginning when I was young and not yet mature as a person or painter. The best advice I have to younger artists is this: Throw out anyone else's ideas about what you should be doing and follow your intuition. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to approach a thing, and I also don't think that there is really such a thing as a "great" artist. This idea that some artists are greater than others seems like a lot of hype and BS to me. Any processes that some older and well established artists have discovered have come to them in the same way that yours have come to you, through working.

I hope you enjoy the work, I will get back to my 20/40 series soon. I am stuck on who to write about at the moment and lacking the time to get good scans of the work I want to show.


Bill Koeb

Monday, August 16, 2010

Twenty over 40

6. Greg Spalenka

Greg Spalenka is driven I think by a desire to be aware. His work as bot an artist and teacher are a reflection of his continuing path toward light and awareness. Almost everything he touches contains some element of this path toward light. Whether it be in magazine illustrations about social issues or production designs for an animated film, one can see the thread of Greg's spirit and warmth in the work he does. As a teacher, Greg has touched to lives of countless students and continues to do so through his 'Artist as Brand' series of workshops where he seeks to empower artists as not only creators of content but also as authors of their careers.

I had the good fortune to meet Greg several years ago at the Comic Con in San Diego. He was warm, welcoming, supportive, and without a shred of arrogance, I liked him immediately.