Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 Update

Well I have been gone from this blog for a while so I thought an update is required. This is a new year for us all and a new location in life for me. I have moved from the Seattle area to St George Utah. I have successfully downsized my life into a more comfortable environment and warmer weather. All is new and different and there is much to explore and learn. There is less traffic, less noise and less pollution. There are new places to visit, restaurants to eat at and sights to see. There is a big sky and wide open spaces filled with wonder. I am looking forward to this time of life and enjoying all that is new to this old man.
I will try to post more often but no promises as I am not on a schedule any more. See you all on the flip side soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hugo 2016

Hugo is growing up... he is now 3 years old and weighs 72 lbs. He loves his daily walks in the park and wants to play withe everyone he meets. H e barks at other dogs but is just saying"Hello do you want to play with me?" Hugo is the sweetest dog I have ever owned.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Helping the African Wildlife Federation to Save Wildlife.

I am in the process of trying to raise money for the AWF but I need your help to make it possible. I wrote to them last week and got this reply.

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) wants to thank you very sincerely for your generous offer to donate your artwork to our organization. The attachment you shared demonstrates how talented you are!
Unfortunately, it is our organizational policy to not accept gifts of any artwork or personal property, simply because we do not have the capacity to store any additional items.
However you are more then welcome to donate to AWF any of the proceeds that you receive when and if you sell your conservation-themed piece. Additionally AWF would be happy to promote your sale to our members through our social media accounts. If you choose to donate the proceeds, AWF would of course provide you with a tax receipt for the full amount of the donation.
We apologize that we do not have better news, nonetheless we really appreciate your support of Africa’s irreplaceable wildlife. We encourage you to reach out if you have any additional comments or questions.
Best Regards,

If you would like to buy a print let me know they are $80 signed. You can make a deposit directly to my Paypal account scharf62@frontier.com... then send me your mailing address and I will ship the print out to you. Thank you for your help and support. Talk is cheep action is more effective!

Buy this Print

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gone fishing!

Traveling is always good for the soul. It helps reset your inner clock and changes the routines of life. This month I took a trip to North Carolina to visit my older brother on Harkers Island. Harkers Isl. is located near the outer banks and is a great place to go fishing. The waters are warm and fish are abundant due to the many shipwrecks of the outer banks. This is where Blackbeard the pirate plundered ships and it is rumored that the Iron ship Monitor went down. There are also many cargo ships and world war II German subs were sunk in these waters.

This was a beautiful day and the sun was out for most of the trip and temperatures were in the high 70's to low 80's. It felt good to be out of the rain of the Pacific Northwest and replace those gray skies with sunshine.

It wasn't long before we were out on the clear blue water of the Atlantic and enjoying an easy going day of trolling for whatever would hit our bait. I must explain that for me... this is called fishing it is the relaxing part... when something hits the bait and bends the rod it becomes catching and is the working part of fishing. Needless to say that there was a lot of both.
The Catch

Now this excursion to escape the cold and repetition of my daily life gave me what I  needed, a renewed sense of well being and a change of perspective, I also got to renew my relationship with my brother who I hadn't see for years. So often it is easy to get bogged down in our life that we loose track of why we are doing what we are doing.  Space clears the mind and the fresh fish are great eating. Especially if you have a brother or someone else that will do all the cleaning and preparation to get the fish ready. After all catching the fish is only part of the process of fishing and what comes next is not as much fun as catching. It's called cleaning an I am lucky to have had the best fish cleaner in the world with me. He made it look easy so I let him do all the cleaning. Thanks Bro it was a great trip you were a real sport and the fish tasted great too.
Lots of fish

Expert Cleaning
Oh no Mr Bill I'm next!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Evening walk

I took a beautiful evening walk after dinner at the local park with my wife and dog. 
Many people were there enjoying the park, some were barbequing a late dinner in 
the long light of the approaching spring night, others were playing volleyball and 
there was a full fledged soccer game being played in the big ball field. 
A typical Americana scene and to top it off it was sunny with high white puffy clouds 
with a cool breeze blowing. We walked along a winding path that led through a 
small woods by a pond with ducks, newborn chicks were following their mother. 
Swallows flew overhead catching bugs in the air. As the path turned a corner there 
was bucolic view of an old barn while tall green and yellow grasses waved like 
water currents in the breezes. 
A perfect walk. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014


A place to experience and share art with the world.
Artoura.com is social platform created to specifically promote art. It is also thoughtfully designed to help “galleries/artists/educators like yourself interact with other patrons and enthusiasts. My team and I would like to personally invite you to join Artoura and explore the new Renaissance.
We are thrilled to meet you and are grateful for all the enthusiastic support from the local art community. We believe together we can make art more accessible and engaging in the state of Washington and beyond. 
Artoura in 3 simple points.
  • Artoura is an online art community. 
  • Artoura helps you to experience and share art from the collections of the world or from your own collection.  
  • Artoura is free and always will be. 
Become an Artourian now on artoura.com

and join the community today.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The economy and you

If you are interested in making money you must watch this video on how the economy works it is a wonderful 30 minutes. Ray Dailo runs one of the largest hedge funds on Wall Street and his clear understanding presented in laymen terms will give you insight on what you might need to do to get your product into the market.


VL Artist of the Day: Barry Scharf is VL Magazine Artist of the Day

VL Artist of the Day: Barry Scharf is VL Magazine Artist of the Day: © Abstract 4 by Barry Scharf © Morning Coffee and Remnent Dreams By Barry Scharf Dunes Walk By Barry Scharf "I am...

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Thought on Science and Art

I often wonder why so many see the differences between art and science when there is really so much that they have in common.

An oil painter must be a chemist in order to mix paint to an accurate color and sheen. He or she must also be a physicist to understand the mathematics of perspective and the qualities of light and shadow in direction and intensity, and that's only for painting. Sculptors need to understand the architecture of objects, materials and their stress levels, spacial relationships, movement and balance technology as well as the new materials that are available and continually evolving. They work and think through a process of logic and meaning, trial and error to move their concept forward in a creative way. They seek answers to unanswered questions and attempt to change the world through their work.

In so many ways the boundaries between art and science are blurred.
Science like the Hubble telescope peers into the depth of space revealing the art within nature. Within the micro world we are contently revealing the wonders of small things that teach and entertain. The more we look at art and science the more they become one.

Below are the scientific-art photographs of ©David Scharf.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Photography of Dogs, "A Subject of Love"

Poppy at Canon Beach shows of her personality.

It all started when I was a small boy, my family had a dog that loved me. She was a mutt half collie and something else, not sure what but she was a mothering soul. To me she was a big dog but that was because I was small, I was a child and she watched over me. I love dogs. I have always had dogs in my life. They are wonderful creatures that are loyal loving partners in our lives.

Poppy was shot on location in available light.
When I think of how to capture an image of a dog, I think of my inner child and how I loved my first dog. I try to make a connection with the dog as I frame the shot in my camera. I am talking to the dog as if we were in a conversation trying to make a connection. If I calm myself, the dog senses it and calms down. This helps to bring out the personality of the dog.

Here are some of the images I shot of dogs in the past year or two. I hope you like them.

Poppy was always happy to be at the beach, so it became clear that her best portraits would be at a location where she could show how much she loved the experience.

Buttons is looking at her master. Her focus is clear and loving.

Labor-doodle with indoor lighting but outdoor feel.
Suckling babies

The Doodle is a blend of Poodle with a Lab or another bread here is buttons a glamorous girl with a new litter of pups. Such a fluffy group of pups I fell in love instantly. Wouldn't you? These images were taken at Michelle's Doodles a local Washington breeder of fine loving doodles.

 This little guy is my new pet his name is Hugo although he does not know it yet. I am so excited that he will be a part of my family.

"French Bullies"

Highly individual bullies have strong wills and clear personalities.

Clearly intelligent

Focused on the camera

A sweet disposition.

Holding a toy to pose the shot.
  Bullies are independent by nature they have strong wills and want to do things their way or not at all. They are always testing to see if they can be the Alpha dog.

Sweet partings "please don't go".

It is often a good idea to have some help when photographing pets, owners can help with positioning, having a favorite toy available or treats will help to control the situation and get the pet to behave in a way that will bring out their personality. Remember you are not just trying to get a likeness but to reveal the deeper hart of the animal. Finely if all else fails take the dog for a walk, change the environment, tire them out a bit or come back at another time. I am most interested in getting the shot that the family lives with for the life of the animal. Get the shot to remember. These bullies are from Umpqua Valley Kennels in Oregon.
If you would like me to photograph your pet, send me an email to discuss fees and other details.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seeking Exposure for your artwork.

A long time ago, my mentor told me to ignore what is going on outside of your studio. Do not become distracted from the deeper thought and commitment necessary to create at a level that can make you seriously competitive. Because if you want to be at the top of your game you must, keep focused while working and improving. He said to make your artwork deep and so good it cannot be denied. Do this and you will be found, the world will find you!
This process is true, acknowledgement belongs to the deserved ones whose work separates them from the pack of otherwise “good artists”. We are all good artists here, only a very few become great. What is it that gives your work a special hook or vision? What is your skill level? Setting ego aside, look at what you create and ask yourself if it is truly the very best, you can do. Will it separate you from the pack of other good artists?
We live a creative life and have done so all our life; to us this is what is important. We are painters. We are sculptors. We make images that fulfill our spirit and vision of the world. We are true artists in every sense of the word. There is no one else we need to convince of this. It is at this point in our life there is nothing to prove to anyone. Our success is not determined by external fame or fortune but by the joy, we find in living this life. Time will tell if what we have done will last.
Now with all this said there is also a need to share what we as artists make with others. We want them to see what we have been doing. We want them to see our vision. We would like to sell a piece of work occasionally so we can validate our process. Doing this is unavoidable to the artist. Without this, we are living in a vacuum.
Therefore, the dilemma arises of how to share our work. Devoting time to this process takes us away from the studio. So luckily, with the creation of the Internet, we live in a time that now circumvents many traditional time consuming approaches. Posting your work on a web page takes less time then seeking a gallery that may reject you or is less costly then hiring someone to promote you. Nevertheless, which one do you use? There are so many ways to expose your work? This magazine is a good start. However, you need more.
There is a new website now developed and going active soon it is called Artoura.com and it is being designed to promote artist, museums and galleries all over the world. It is also an educational resource that will help art enthusiasts to understand, learn and even purchase artwork, plan travel trips around art and sell museum tickets and guided tours when traveling. This site will give artists their own portfolio page and the ability to dialogue about your work and that of others. I am excited about this new web venue and hope that you will be to.The way forward in today's art world is on the web as well as in person.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is the Medium the Message?

Living in a world of ever changing themes, the question of what to create and how to create it are relevant to the success of the artwork, its look and eventual public acceptance.

I am of the belief that it is not as much the medium as the message, who is making it and why. Picasso worked in many different mediums because each offered a unique connection to the expression of the idea and look of what he made.

Artists who settle into one medium and one style run a risk of becoming obsolete and complacent. To think you have found your way to unique expression may be true for a short time... but as the world marches on you will need to grow with it to be a part of the ever-changing expression of how society will see your work.

It is important to think about your choice of medium with forethought, integrity, skill and heart. What will best express your idea with clearly? It is the result that counts, it is the result that we invest our energy in. Over the years and in many exhibitions I have shown artwork I often been surprised by how others would interpret my work. It was often misunderstood, unclear and confusing to many. In order to find out why I needed to analyze and understand my mediums not just use what was at hand.

I painted in oils, used pencils, inks, watercolors and acrylics. I used oil pastels, chalk pastels, carved wood, marble and alabaster. I have molded paper and built 3d models, worked with clay and porcelain and all this has produced a verity of styles and expressions one no more or less valid then the other. This has led to an understanding of how to represent the overall experience, expression and meaning as an artist.

Because of the ever changing, march of technology I have embraced the digital age. I have learned Adobe Photoshop and other plug-ins in order to produce digital works of art. I have learned to master the printing process to produce fine prints. Now as a user of this new digital technology, I am current and up to date with my creativity. New doors are opening and I am seeing differently.

I am richer for this verity and more capable because of it. I hope that all artists will find the medium that frees them from fear and inhibition and allows them to see and follow their vision clearly to successful expression and understanding as an artist.

Creativity is dependent on confidence of what and how we express of ourselves, mediums we choose must build a comfortable connection between the artist and the expression of the idea. Additionally, we must realize that nothing is permanent in life all things are a passing parade of development. Artists must embrace the changes that life and time force upon us or fall stagnant in the evolution. We must remain relevant to our times and audience. In this way, we live a life that is serving a greater good and not so self-absorbed.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Life goes on as we remember those that have made a difference.

Spring is upon us and it is time to think about being outdoors, the blossoms are budding, new green is appearing on the barren branches and Spring flowers are working their way up from the ground reaching for the sunlight.

I am now back at work in the studio carving whimsical shapes into pieces of apple wood tree that got trimmed in my back yard. Judging by the rings in the wood the tree is between 100 and 150 years old. This age gives the wood a rich color and a heavier then expected weight. It is a beautiful wood to work with. As I strip away the outer bark, a necessary step while the wood is still green and not dried out, I have time to think about many things.

Contemplating the shapes my new sculpture may take and the two canvases partially begun with under-painting drying and waiting for the next coat of paint in the upstairs painting studio. I am still unsure of the direction they will take. Thoughts of the new gallery I am signed with and how I can help them become successful in this soft market. It is a warm spring day filled with soft billowing clouds and blue sky a good day to be sitting out doing this chore in the sun-breaks that warm the air.

Now my mind turns to my old friend and teacher and I am thankful for all that he taught me. In my last few blogs I wrote about him, and this month Visual Language Magazine published the 13 pages of his work. This morning I got an email from Northwest Watercolor Society Magazine and they will publish a short article I wrote in the May-June issue of their magazine. It made me feel good to know that he will be remembered by more then a few close friends and family. His life impacted so many people in so many ways. Here is the short article...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

My dear friend is gone.

It is with profound sadness that I just got word that my teacher, mentor and good friend Ed Reep passed away yesterday. He was 94 and lived a long and productive life as an artist and teacher.
We are all here for such a short time, it doesn't seem fair. We spend our youth wanting to be older and when we age we wonder where our youth went. So much time is wasted trying to figure out who we wre and what we should be doing with our selves. Ed was one of those guys that knew he was an artist at a young age. All things fell in place. He married Pat, his first love and stayed married and in deep love to her his whole life. He was my teacher at East Carolina University and then my friend and mentor for all the remaining years of his life.
Ed Reep taught me how to paint in oils but even more then that he taught me how to be an artist of integrity and to live a creative life. He is the most responsible for my artistic success and it is a debt I can not repay.  I will miss him deeply. Ed, thank you for all that you have taught me over the many years of our friendship, I would not be the artist I am today without your guidance and love. Rest in Peace.

Artistic Discipline

Discipline to me means that you hold intention. I studied with a great artist and teacher...Edward Reep was a famous WWII artist and Guggenheim winner and he told me that "the artist is found in his/her studio". I took this to mean that you are not out in the world being something other then an artist, that you have committed yourself to the creative process and that you are spending a majority of your time in a studio environment working. Of course I took this to also mean that wherever you are, you are in a creative frame of mind, contemplating content and process.

I have often approached the studio door with some apprehension when my process is being difficult, I am feeling lazy or I am doing work I don't feel is going in the right direction. I hesitate as I reach for the door handle. I try to think of ways that I can do something else or have some other pressing issue I should be addressing. Didn't I have an appointment to go to?

It is not easy to confront your creative self everyday, you look in the mirror and there you are! You can't hide from yourself. Will power is needed and there are days that we do walk away. Artist's are not perfect, we have our flaws. So the battle for me is to get through the door turn on the lights and get to work, make the first mark of the day and see where it takes me. It is for me more about the process not the product. I do not make art just to have something to sell. It is up to me to hold the standard of my work to be more then what is trending in the marketplace.  I make my art because I must to feel alive.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Can anyone make "Great Art"?

 It is a common discussion amongst artists... What are the properties and attributes that an artist must have in order to make "Great Art". However you feel about the necessities of being creative there are forces at work that are not definable and are spiritual in nature.

I am of the belief that the qualities that make an artist are not limited to the  standard set of rules of discipline, skill, inspiration, experience and so on. I believe great art makes itself that because the artist is immersed in a creative life and is always on had in the process every day making what they think is their best work, but every once in a rare while something amazing happens... that we as artists loose our self and become observers in the making of something that goes beyond our own expectation. It's as if we are witness not participant... out of body! The brush moves as if by another hand, the colors flow from a palette of mystical bliss and harmony to form images beyond conscious thought.

When it is all over we fall back to earth staring into the result in disbelief and awe. Then the process starts all over again, working and waiting for the moment when we will transcend our ego. We search for a moment that may never come again! Now weather it does or not we can not stop. We are lost. We have tasted the fruit of the creative tree and we are hooked we must follow the muse and we know no other life, this is who we are and what we do. I don't even think it's about "Great Art' because only time and society determines what will remain as great art. I believe it is more about living a creative life and you know... we all can do that no mater the medium.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Living in changing times means evolution of Self, Style and Medium.

As an artist living in a world of ever changing themes. The question of what to create and how to create it are relevant to the success of the work, it's look and eventual public acceptance. 

I am of the belief that it is not as much the medium as the message and who is making it and why. I believe Picasso worked in all mediums because each offered a unique connection to the idea and look at what he created. It is only when we settle into one medium and one style that we become complacent and think we have found our way, our unique expression. Clearly, in the moment this may be true, but only for a short time... as the world marches on we must march with it and be a part of the ever changing evolution of the society in which we live.

I do not worry about which medium to use but whichever one I choose I do so with forethought, integrity, skill and heart that will best express the idea. After all it is the result that counts. It is the result that I am truly invested in. Over my past 50 years of being an artist I have made many errors of judgment in perception of how, what and why I created was viewed. Much was misinterpreted unclear and confusing to my audience. In order to find my way I needed to analyze and understand my mediums. I painted in oils, used pencils, inks, watercolors and acrylics, used oil pastels, chalk pastels, carved wood, marble and alabaster. I have molded paper and built 3d models, working with clay and porcelain and all this has produced a verity of styles and expressions one no more valid then the other, but all part of my overall experience, expression and skill as an artist. 
More recently in my artistic career I have embraced the digital camera. I have learned Adobe Photoshop and other plug-ins to produce digital works of art. I learned to master the printing process to produce fine prints.  In this way I am a part of the new expressions going on in many creative fields, I am current and up to date.

I am richer for this verity and more capable as a result of experiencing so much. I hope that all artists will find the medium that frees them from their fear and inhibition, That allows them to see their vision clearly and to follow it to successful expression and understanding as an artist. 

Creativity is dependent on confidence of what and how we express of ourselves, mediums we choose must build a comfortable connection between the artist and the expression of the idea. Additionally, we must realize that nothing is permanent in life all things are a passing stage of development. Artists must embrace the changes that life and time force upon us or fall stagnant in the evolution passing us by. We must remain relevant to our times and audience. In this way we live a life that is serving a greater good and not so self absorbed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sculpture on exhibit

Just wanted to give a heads up to my blog folks that I am now showing sculpture in a new gallery in Bellevue. This is a really cool space and the gallery is easy to get to. So if you find yourself in Bellevue and are looking for something to do before going to dinner check out the Ryan James Gallery in the Elements Building just off 10th street.
Update: This gallery is no longer in Bellevue due loss of lease. but you can still see all my work at www.barrywscharf.squarespace.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Gallery New begining

Last night was a wonderful evening. For the first time in years I had my sculpture in a new retail gallery in Bellevue Washington. Ryan James Gallery had it's grand opening and it was spectacular. There were so many people there it felt like a big New York opening. So many people enjoying the art, the space and the company of each other. I was very happy to be a part of the evening with many of my sculptures representing my work and being appreciated by so many people. Thank you to Ryan and his staff for so much work to make the evening a success. If you did not get down to the gallery last night make sure you plan a trip soon there is a lot of work on display and it is good stuff. In this economy a new gallery opening is an optimistic sign that things are turning around and if attendance is a sign of good things to come then The Ryan James Gallery is already a success.  I am sure there will be images posted soon on Facebook. Thanks Ryan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The evolution of a species. Technology, Psychology and the Digital Game Industry

Today we live in a much different world from the one in which I grew up. There are so many more choices then there where when I was a boy. Technology and the pixel have changed the face of opportunity and set before us an abundant table of distractions.

When I was a kid a bat, ball and glove meant you would be outside for hours, getting exercise running bases in the fresh air with your friends and team mates. You would be developing skills of dexterity and eye hand coordination all the while practicing people skill, getting along with your fellow team mates and negotiating outcomes.
Now days this exercise is starting to be in part replaced by the new technologies that we have developed to make our lives function smarter and more efficiently. We have advanced ourselves into a mindset of interacting in two different worlds.
The “real world” that is and has always been the key to our survival; in which we eat, sleep and work, and the other in which we play. Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to judging either, but rather in my role as an artist and social observer I am noting changes. Time will be the judge of weather we got it right or wrong. I am in fact in favor of this evolution.
Clearly, everyone wants to be involved in play on some level. We are all looking for the next best distraction from what appears to be the drudgery of life. Games provide much of this to the world, we are either players or observers in which case we are fans and in so being are playing emotionally, cheering on our chosen team or player to victory. This has been going on since the Greeks invented the Olympics so it is not new.
But, what is new is the sheer connectivity we have to our games.  The wireless connection and mobility to be part of them wherever we are. We can participate as fans from our work desk when the boss isn’t watching, or we can play them on our own as a participant in a virtual reality first person shooter. We can access our social life without ever touching another person and can represent our ego through an Avatar that is more to our liking then our real genetic self.
Games have been around forever, but today they seem to have a new and different driving force in society, as always they give us the distraction we so desperately seek and in so doing make our lives fun filled and rewarding. Don’t they?
I know computer games are fun, I play them, some are addictive and introspective. They draw me into the game-play, I loose track of time. I forget where I am and what I am supposed to be doing. I love it. There’s no way I can’t win this thing! I have got to get to the next level, conquer evil in a clearly recognizable form. Be a hero… now your talking!
Computer gaming weather you like it or not is here to stay and has become big business. There are great new careers in the arts, painters, illustrators people who can create have found an industry that loves them. The starving artist metaphor is gone. This is the brave new world of art expression and is why I love gaming so much. Animators, character designers, matte painters people who know how to express visions through the digital media all have a place in the game industry. Innovation, creativity and science are all coming together to bring us to the edge of a new way to experience the fun filled wonders of distracting the mind. 
Cell phones, tablets and such have freed us from the desktop. Apps both large and small now let us roam free with our games. There is no limit to where we can play now. Communication Satellites ringing the globe provide updates and downloads to anywhere on the planet. We take our games with us just to be sure that we have something to occupy ourselves when a moment of quiet boredom approaches. We are multi tasking one and all both work and play. 
Now this is the evolution of a species reprocessing how we find happiness. Good or bad it is here to stay and I for one am grateful for it on so many levels. I look forward to observing the game and what it will bring to our values as human beings. 
Real world or pixel it is all a game after all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Coping with Change

I thought a few thoughts here would be helpful for any one who is going through a life transition like I am.

First be kind to yourself and to others. You may not be aware of your underlying feelings about the change you are going through. It takes time for the change to settle in and for the effects to manifest in your life. Give your doubts over to a higher power if you can not solve them yourself.

Next, Take care of yourself. Keep fit by working out, eating right and getting enough rest. These are important for good health and a sound body. Stretch out those muscles by taking walks or going to the gym for a swim. If you cant swim ride a bike. I like a walk in Nature because I do not even realize I am working out and I am enjoying my surroundings as I go.

And, Work on your skills, master new ones, improve your resume, build a website and talk to a lot of people about what you know and how much you love to work in your skills. After all you chose the path of your skills you must enjoy your work, so keep getting better, stay on top of technology and the advances being made in your area of knowledge.

Finely, go out and play, have some fun, share of yourself and give to others and let them give to you. Accept that you are changing and that nothing will be the same so give in to the new life you are embarking on. Walk it into the world with joy and confidence, you are not your past, you are not a story of what was or what is wrong, you are here in the moment, ready and open to possibilities. If you do opportunities will  rise and present themselves. You will form a new beginning.

These are the terms I use to transition in my life and they are working for me. I hope they can be of value to you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Looking for work

I must admit it has been a long time since I was looking for work, 17 years to be exact. I haven't had to describe what I do or how I do it. I haven't had to convince anyone of my abilities as they were demonstrated every day. I haven't had to talk about myself in ways that attempt to reveal my skills, my usefulness, my statesmanship, my ability to compromise or get along with others. These things have been clear to all I worked with and no bragging was necessary.

I find that now I need to think of all the value I can add to a job. I need to prove my skills and to tout accomplishments. What a pain in the ass this is. But there is no other way if I am to find my next job. Now I don't mind that all this is taking place, I am learning that over the years I have become someone of worth, I have great confidence and common sense and know that I can solve any problem I am faced with. So bring it on interviewers, ask me why you need me, I will give you a host of reasons. Give me the job and we both win. If it is not you then it will be someone else soon.

In the meantime you will find me in my studio working on my art. I have no time to waist. There is still so much to do and so little time to do it all. I could get use to this so don't wait to long or I may find myself locked in the studio not thinking about you and your needs. The muse is with me and she is lovely.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One door closes another opens.

When was it that I became dispensable? I am still the same person and with the same skills, only better with more practice and experience and patience then ever before. I have not changed in any way other then getting better with age? Yet now after 17 years I have been told my position no longer exists at the Art Institute of Seattle, along with 34 others I have been discontinued, disenfranchised and just plain dissed. (800 system wide)

I must now close this door so another will open. I will reinvent that which I already am, polish the armor, spruce up the resume and rebuild the portfolio. I loved my time teaching at AIS and will remember all my friends as I move of in a new direction. I wish them all well.

Now I go through the 17 years of papers and grade sheets in my desk and I remember all the students who's lives I have help mold. So many young faces eager to learn, looking to me for guidance. Many moved up and forward while others fell by the wayside. I look at the names on the grade sheets from years of teaching and can remember many of the people I have influenced. They are now successful in their lives. So much to let go of here. As I toss each piece into the whoop of the trash can I am lighter, letting go, closing the door on these years, I am feeling younger and free of so many responsibilities to this school. All that is left to say is goodbye.

 I would be remiss in closing if I did not add some facts that I have discovered... because you need to know...  my company exec's in all their corporate wisdom made the decision to reorganized and downsizing 800 lives to the unemployment line and at the same time took for themselves a bonus of $25.5 million dollars in a single year compensation for 2011-12 cycle. Rewarding their failing of leadership as they thrust themselves into the 1% of greedy bastards that only care about their own bottom line. I am glad to know that they will no longer determine my fate. I am done with them. I believe that what they did was a criminal act but if it wasn't against the law it was at the least immoral and unjust.

If you are on the fence, if you are unsure of who should lead this country ponder the fate of the 800 family's that  are now looking for the next open door. I am going to vote for Barack Obama are you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Final Digital Painting

Last post showed the process I have been exploring... now I have completed the work. Notice the color shift, the use of advancing and receding colors. Yellow light pushes through the cracks in the wreck as a wisp of blue smoke drifts by. The Truck has been refined and the hills on the left have been shaped  and textured with a beach added.

I hope you like this work. It speaks of the end of the age of fossil fuels.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Art of Digital Painting

I am in the process of working on a new digital mat painting, I must admit that it is an exciting adventure, the only thing that is missing is the smell of oil paint for which I am nostalgic.

The digital world has changed contemporary painting dramatically. The romance is gone now, along with the loft studio in a romantic location, replaced by the cubical in an office or the hip workplace of a game company or movie production house. Long gone now are the smells of paint and turpentine, mixing colors to an exact consistency of transparency and liquidity. The chemistry of the medium... working with pigments, linseed oil, varnish and wax are fading into the world of the past and being replaced by the all mighty pixel. Sad to see it all go after a life well lived as a classic artist working in the tradition of paint.

Now, not being someone who would simply give up or be left behind by the dramatic technological advances of a new culture, I have chosen to embraced the pixel. I have seen the light of it's power and learned to mold it into the expression of my classical training. I am using the application Adobe Photoshop which is a powerful tool of pixel expression, one that has become the studio of today. The flexibility of the software and the tools of execution have over the past years become infinitely more sensitive and expressive, the addition of a Wacom tablet has added the feel of actually holding a tool that comes close to a brush. Digital photographic imagery offers a unique and time saving quality to the expression of digital painting by allowing paint and photo to become fused in a dance of brush strokes and the imagination.

Many will argue that using photos is cheating because the color pallet, perspective and proportion are already part of a photograph. But I take issue with this. As I do this work I am discovering that the challenge is in the unification of elements with over-painting and mixing photo parts and paint strokes into an evolved image that is not painted or photographic. The reward of this work is in the ability to try many approaches to solutions without damaging the work. The traditional painter does not have an undo for a poorly made mark, but the digital artist can add and subtract at will, color changes are a snap, as are scale and proportional adjustments. The ability to perfect forms, colors and even atmospheric changes in a dramatic way are now easy and possible. I am a believer in the outcome of expression as well as the journey one takes to get there. Pixel painting will never be the same as the real thing but it is highly likely the results will be better!
The starting image

Here now is what I have in process I say in process because changes are inevitable and easy to make, one digital painting provides the basis for an entire series of works and the evolution of an idea to it's finite resolution.
Stage 2

stage 3
This is the current stage of development at this time.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January winter's descent

So here I sit in the my warm home being appreciative of all I have. Outside rages a cold winter storm, the roads are closed and all are huddled up to keep warm. Winter snow is beautiful, soft white pillows form on everything covering up the daily grime of the world. Life seems to slow down and take a breath. It is good that we are given this gift of snow, it's light brightens up the otherwise gloomy darkness of a northwest winter and light seems to win out over the cold, damp dark.

It makes me happy to recall how my old sweet dog Poppy use to run and play in it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thoughts at the end of 2011

Well here I am again at the end of another year. 2011 has bee a year of hard work and gratitude for the life that I am living. As an artist I feel obligated to look at all  I have done and if any of it has made a difference in my life or in the lives of those around me. To me this is a time of thoughtful reflection and I am happy to say that I feel I have made a difference this year. In my classes I have students that have clearly matured and evolved in there artistic skills and at the end of this quarter I felt their gratitude as they told me how much they appreciated my teaching. Clearly that is a moment I take pride in, to see them change . At home my family is healthy and we are hopeful for the new year. I think I will avoid any political comments in this post so I can keep this in a positive vein, I am sure we all have some opinion in that subject.

Holland America Amsterdam docked in Mexico
Living in the Pacific north west is a wonderful place most of the year but in winter it gets dark early and is wet and cold most days. It is in the depth of December that I often think of warm white sand beaches and long for the suns rays. So working hard all year long does have it's rewards.

 As I have grown older I have come to appreciate the concept of cruising. It is a way to travel without changing hotels. I unpack once and don't have to catch more then one flight to and from the boat. Once on board the feeling that I have arrived is clear and the vacation has finely begun. Then when the ship leave port I am already settled in my comfortable room and know my way around the ship. The crew is gracious and treats me like a valued guest. I can get use to that kind of treatment and I do very quickly.

Night time taking the tender from the Amsterdam (all lit up) as I go to shore in Columbia.
 The Holland America ships are like a floating city at sea so almost anything you want is there for you. There is a gym and a Spa and great food for all types of pallets
I have sailed on several cruse lines but I am a fan of Holland America. They are my first choice.  The crew is great and the food is , well lets just say if you want it you got it! There is entertainment on board and the casino provides a fabulous distraction from those days at sea. Ok, I have said enough here I will let you know how the next cruse goes when I take it.
Spending time at the spacious back pool while traveling between ports.

As the New Year Approaches I would like to wish all my blog followers a great 2012 and I hope to bring you more thoughts and images from living "In a Creative Life" that will be helpful to you in yours.

 I look forward to hearing from you each time I write a post and appreciate your comments when you do respond. I am looking to expand my membership so please feel free to recommend my blog site to your family, colleagues and friends that you think would like it. Best wishes for the Holidays and a happy new Year to you all!