Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cleaning House

Have you ever thought about how the past may alter the future? Do you believe that stress can come from dragging all that baggage around or having too much stuff? Since October I have been trying to get back to painting regularly and one thing I have noticed is that I am being strangled by stuff and the past.

I decided to start deleting old posts here on the blog that "A" don't relate, and "B" don't provide value. This is hard for me, because blogging here has been a lot like a journal, a record of what I've been doing as an artist since I started blogging. One thing I noticed is that I am doing a lot of planning, but not a lot of doing.

As artists, we tend to be pack rats. We hold onto old art that has not, and probably, will not sell. The art isn't our best work, but we can't throw it away. Nonetheless, that "baggage" we are hanging onto, those posts that have little or no value, and the stuff cluttering our lives, our studios, our workshops, etc, etc, may be holding us back and/or causing stress.

Clean your studio, throw out old "non-selling" artwork, delete files on your computer that don't provide value or need, and if you're a blogger and have posts that no longer relate to your mission...clean it up. Make room for new ideas, and new art.


UPDATE: I deleted nearly 170 posts from the blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Before the Rain

Getting out of the studio and painting is one of my favorite things to do. Monday was a frustrating, and quite unproductive day creatively. Therefore, when the sun popped out Tuesday I grabbed the plein air backpack and hit the road in search a place to paint before the rain started in again.

The view I decided to paint - © Michael Warth
The clouds to the South looked pretty dark, but the view North was looking pretty good as you can see in the photo above. I figured I would have a few hours to get the painting blocked in, with the colors and shapes done enough to finish the painting in the studio. I took several photos to help me later.

I always work with a toned canvas, and typically make a quick drawing in pencil before starting the painting process. The 8" x 10" wood panel toned using Raw Umber and White was toned a week ago so it would be dry before packing it in my bag.

The painting was progressing quite well, as passers-by slowed to see what I was doing. Then again, since I took my son, and I was working out of the back of my Jeep, I bet it was funny seeing me out there painting while my son had the stereo jacked listening to his hip hop music. The thumping, the lyrics, and all was at times silly...but we were having fun. To be honest I even cranked the music listening to heavy metal as well. Yeah, I'm not a happy little trees kind of guy...there is something relaxing about listening to Five Finger Death Punch while making a tranquil oil painting.

The storm was coming, and I was pushing my luck. I rushed along getting the colors blocked in as fast as I could to beat the rain. I knew having the basics down, along with some quality photos, I would be able to finish the painting in the studio.

About two hours into painting, and quite comfortable by the way, it started to sprinkle and I ignored it at first. Within minutes, it was raining and I knew it wasn't going to blow over. I had a lot to put away, and even though my plein air set-up is quite easy to pack and transport, I wanted to get things cleaned up so I wouldn't make a mess or forget something on the road.

By the time I got things packed and I was back in the driver's seat, it was like a monsoon outside. Thankfully I packed up when I did. All was not lost though. I got enough done before the rain and I chose this spot because I wanted to make a day of it by heading further north after painting to hit an art store and great restaurant later in the evening.

Matt (my son) and I headed out to get to the art store about 40 miles north of my painting spot. I picked up a 24" x 36" belgian linen canvas, and we made it to the Irish themed pub, The Claddagh in the Brewery District for a Jamison Burger and Guinness. It was a great day, productive, and fun. Everyday should be like this.

In future posts I'll share more about my plein air setup, and how I like to pack my gear for a quick escape from the studio.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's Time

Alternative Revolt Magazine - © Alternative Revolt
Still here? I know, I know, I've been gone for over a year. Many of you may know that I have been working full time for "the man" all while performing my duties as the Director of Photography for Alternative Revolt Magazine, my freelance photography work, and of course my work over at The Thirsty Muse.

Levi Benton - © Michael Warth

I've all but quit working as an artist. Though I have painted a few new works, I have really been lazy when it comes to fine art creations. Over the past few months I have been putting new work together, gathering the proper and much needed supplies, and have great plans to get back to what I love. The magazine is gone, and it really did take up a lot more time that I ever thought it would have. Furthermore, The Thirsty Muse takes a lot of time to produce and it does eat up a lot of my free time. With that said, I don't want to wait for January 2013 to start fresh with the new business model for Warth Arts.

I had a lot of fun at the magazine and I will miss it terribly. Meeting and photographing world famous rock stars (as pictured here at the left: Levi Benton of the band Miss May I), writing the popular 'Hopping Mad' beer column and even doing interviews with bands. The stuff back stage, on the tour busses, in the photo pit, and around the venue with literally thousands of screaming fans is something I could never try to explain here on the blog. Just know I made some awesome memories, great friends, and thousands of photographs I am deeply proud of.

Avenged Sevenfold - © Michael Warth
The work at the magazine taught me a lot about life, and what doing what you love is the most important thing in life. I have met individuals who have picked up a guitar, drumsticks, singing, etc., and made it their life's work. Many of them know I paint and wonder why I don't just make the leap and do what I love for a living. That's a long story for another post.

As of now, I have several canvases freshly "toned" and ready for me to start new work. The plein air bag is always packed and ready for an adventure, and the studio is due to be cleaned up and ready for new levels of productivity. I hope you will join me here on the blog to learn more about my paintings, the process, and the adventures I take on to make new art. It's Time...time for me to get back to the things I'm good at, and what I love to do. At times, I'll share what I'm doing in the world of photography, writing, and maybe even a little bit of my personal life.

A recently completed plein air painting...

"In The Field" 8" x 6" Oil on Canvas - © Michael Warth