Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oil Paint: The Quest for Fluidity

Painting by Willem deKooning.  

DeKooning experimented with safflour oil, Pollock used a gloss enamel synthetic paint.  For centuries, the quest to find a perfect fluid consistency of paint that is also reliable has been pursued by artists.  When oils such as walnut, linseed and poppy seed were added to pigments around 1300, they replaced egg tempera as a binder.  Oil paint produced smoother brushstrokes and paint that would stay workable for long periods of time.

Some artists like to use thin paint when starting a painting, so here are a few rules.  In most cases, linseed oil mixed with paint is sufficient. It is not recommended to thin paint with turpentine (or Gambosol), as they will eventually separate from each other. A rule of thumb is not to exceed 20% of  the blending media when mixing with oil paints, as it will fare better over time.  Some mediums create a glossy finish.  If a gloss is not desired, a varnish can be applied after the painting is completed.

Recipes beyond linseed oil:

Keith at Colsnow Art Supplies likes:
Equal Parts:
Stand Oil
Oil of Spiked Lavender
Venice of Turpentine

David Titterington likes:
Morager for wax-like effects achieved by artists such as Rembrandt.
Morager has many recipes, but is generally made with white lead paint and boiled linseed oil
David gets his from here:

Some artists prefer the smell of walnut oil.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Giddy Up by Stephen Johnson

Detail of Giddy-Up

We love this piece by Lawrence artist Stephen Johnson.  Made for the Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas, “Giddy-up!” will be installed in 2014. 

It is difficult to see in this small pic, but a heart gradually transforms into a star.  The materials for the project include 35 glass panels, 18 x 18 each.  For us, the transformation reminds us of the 19th century stop action photos of the movement of a horse running by Muybridge. 

The Horse in Motion by Muybridge

Stephen says this about the work: Love Field, symbolized as a heart from which Pegasus, the symbol of Dallas emerges and subsequently ascends to flight above the lone star of Texas. 

Happy Birthday to Sonny and Karyn.  They turn 25 this week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Final Friday: Nick Satinover at the Hand

Woodcut by Nick Satinover

The latest Final Friday shows have been announced, and one of the most intriguing is the show at the Invisible Hand Gallery.  Nineteen Thirteen combines printmaking and poetry.  The show, which opens Friday, is by Iowa-based artist Nick Satinover.  The staff at Larryville artists liked the look of the work so much, we decided to seek out the artist and learn more.

We asked Nick about his work process. He tells us that his studio research is based on observations made while moving through places.  
I'm not much of a drawing or sketcher... my sketchbooks are really just lists, notes, words, one-liners, descriptions, reflections, impressions or observations of things/people/places as I see and experience them.  I take this raw material and play around with the phrasing and syntax... try to create something more evocative or specific.  I tend to be attracted to things that make me feel ambivalent and try and pass along that conflict.

More on Nick's Poetry: 
The show title Nineteen, Thirteen is also the title of a book of prose poems that will be published by Wrenwood Press in Des Moines, Iowa.  The book is undergoing the final edit and should be available soon.  The book and show are an acknowledgment of the 100 year anniversary of the flood of 1913 that put most of Nick's hometown, Dayton, Ohio, under water.  According to Nick "The work in the show and the book mediate on being in that particular place now (having been shaped greatly by this event in a myriad of ways). "

Nick says he is looking forward to the show in Lawrence "I've heard great things" and plans to be at the opening at the Invisible Hand. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Studio Visit: David Titterington

We visited the studio of artist David Titterington to see what he is up to. David's studio is filled with his latest series of work.  The series is primarily made of square formatted oil paintings that "remix" the human body and landscape.  Each unique painting contains multi-layers of thinly applied paint along with gestural aspects of line and color.

The studio has stacks of books and pictures including 19th Century Hudson River School landscapes, Rembrant, and gut bacteria.  While we visit, David discusses the spiritual aspects in the landscapes of Frederic Church and Albert Pinkham Ryder.

We asked David about his messy palette and work area.  He uses a variety of brands of paints including Gamblin and Old Holland.  We saw various paint mediums, but he showed us a unique product called Maroger.  David describes this product as similar to the product Rembrandt used to build a surface.

Check out David's blog here:

We look forward to David's next big show in February.  We'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Sketchy: Visiting the New Location in KC

Our model Luna Pearl

Many faithful readers have written to us asking about the new location for Dr. Sketchy.  What's it like?
We at Larryville Artists did some investigating, and have the answers for you!

This past summer,  Rachel moved Dr. Sketchy from her loft space in the West Bottoms to the Russian Hill neighborhood in Kansas City Kansas.  The event is now held in a former Russian Orthodox Church.  The building sits on a high hill that overlooks the city; you can see the roof of the church from the highway.  The space has tall ceilings, perfect for Rachel's ariel practice.

Sonny wearing a fabulous wig made of feathers

We went to a session last night.  Sonny, our MC, was wearing a fabulous outfit including sparkly heels and a wig made of feathers. Luna Pearl, from Tulsa, did a great job modeling for us.

There are a few changes.  The party drop-in atmosphere has dropped off a little because the location is not as accessible to some as the loft space.  We missed DJ Cyan, although DJ Volante did a nice job. The cost has raised a little to $10.00.  And finally, only two photographers are allowed to roam around.

Russian Hill History
Russian Hill was originally a neighborhood that was comprised of Russian Immigrants. Some of the neighborhood was broken up when highways were built.  Rachel says it is now an art friendly neighborhood.  The church was the centerpiece for the neighborhood.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Where is the Love? Bird drawing and a Sculpture Opportunity

Love at the Percolator
Where is the Love?  The Percolator is looking for Love for their next show.  Art pieces about love may be dropped off at te Percolator from noon-6:00 today.  The Percolator is also seeking performances about love.  Performers should contact the Perc at  The opening for this show will be the next Final Friday. 

Heart #24 Woodcut by Karen Matheis

Bird Drawing at the Natural History Museum
Like to draw animals or just looking for something different to draw? The Natural History Museum on campus is hosting an event called Drop in and Draw in Thursday from 5:00-7:30.  Any of the animals in the museum can be drawn, but special exhibits relating to birds will be on display for the evening.  Bring drawing supplies.  We are intrigued!


Sculpture Opportunity
Calling all Lawrence artists! The Lawrence Arts Commission's Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is seeking applicants for this year's round of sculptures. Awards of $1200 in exchange for a year long loan. Due Feb. 22. Read more about it here: 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Open Drawing Today and Rodin's Drawings of Cambodian Dancers

The Age of Bronze
Detail of am early sculpture by Rodin
located at the National Gallery of Art

Today is the day of the first Open Model session of the semester for KU.  It is free and open to the public.  The time is 11:00-2:00 in from 405 of Art and Design. 

Study of a hand by Rodin

We caught a story about  the sculptor Auguste Rodin's obsession with dancer's from Cambodia via Claudia at Museworthy:

In 1906, Rodin became obsessed with drawing dancers from Cambodia when the dancers were sent by King Sisowath to represent Cambodia in France's Colonial Exposition.  Although Rodin was not allowed to see the performance in Paris ( he was not properly dressed), he traveled to see the troupe's other performances that were scheduled.   In Marseille, in haste, he forgot drawing materials; he borrowed paper from a butcher shop to complete his drawings. 

Rodin drawing dancers in a park

Drawing of one of the Cambodian dancers

Drawing of one of the Cambodian dancers

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What we learned at Nerd Nite and Party Pics

Last night's Nerd Nite had a Night Rider reference and a moment to remember Aaron Swartz and his commitment to free sharing of information. We learned that it is legal to get a license to drive a self-driving car in California and Nevada.
Probably our favorite presentation of the evening was by co-boss Becky on Framing Information: The Fine Art of Big Data.  There is an enormous amount of data out there (we're probably being collected right now!) & also technology to filter &organize data. We learned the word "dataviz", which is a  graphic representation that does more than words, photos, videos or flat graphics to explain some aspect of “reality".  Properly done data visualization can be brilliant and beautiful.  One website says of dataviz 
 An excellent web dataviz makes you say “Oh, I get it” after even a brief glance.A perfect one also is so beautiful you want to spend time just clicking and admiring–and, as you do, your understanding deepens.
Names on the 9/11 memorial aren't organized in alphabetical order, but by relationships. Wow.
Check out graphics of Lee Byron and others here:

This graphic from the New York Times shows how hundreds of movies performed at the box office over 20 years. Often referred to as an Ebb and Flo chart, meaning movement of water.

Here are the Party Pics!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good Reads: PBR Book Club and Did Titian have Syphilis?

The PBR Book Club book for this month is Jon Ronson's Lost at Sea.  The book is available on audio where Ronson himself is the narrator.  Ronson is a writer who has written for Britains's  The Guardian, and is a contributor to This American Life. This book is a selection of non-fiction short essay type stories.
The Book Clubbers have an early announcement for their February book, presumably in anticipation for laborious selection of writing.  February will be Faulkner month, and readers will have a list of five Faulkner books to choose from.
Here is the PBR Book and Film Club website for more info:

 a detail from the Titian portrait, which has just been rediscovered. 

“Titian painting rediscovered in the depths of the National Gallery”

This head-line news report is interesting for several reasons. 

It appears the National Gallery has works of art in storage that is not documented, which seems difficult to believe.  In probably all museums, everything, from the smallest scrap of paper to the largest painting has a number and is catalogued.  We have seen this process first hand at the Nelson Atkins Museum, and it is meticulous.

The found painting is attributed to Titian and it may have a story behind it, namely, the sitter/artist relationship.  We know a little about the sitter, who was a famous doctor who gave the disease "syphilis" its name.  We also know a little bit about Titian. A visitor to Titian’s studio claimed the painter was exhausted from sleeping with his models.  According to Jonathon Jones of the Guardian, “Glaring back proudly from a portrait newly attributed to Titian stands a famous doctor who have the most terrifying sexually transmitted disease of those times the name syphilis,”  and says “Is it just possible that paid for a syphilis cure?”

Monday, January 14, 2013

Nerd Nite on Wednesday: Brains and Bytes

Nerd Nite: Brains and Bytes
We are excited for another Nerd Nite on Wednesday at Pachamama's.  Doors open at 7:30, and presentations are at 8:00.

Nerd Nite says "Come explore the relationship between brains, tech and the world around us – how big data is being used to create new art, how driving is adapting to modern technology, and how being smart is way different than it used to be."

This month's presentations are: 

1. Meta Nerdery: Being Smart about Being Smart by Erin Bennett and Chris Niileksela

In this presentation, we want to talk about what intelligence is and isn’t, discuss the historical underpinnings of intelligence theory, and provide information on theoretical advances and current research. With this information, you too can be a meta-nerd.

2. Google you can drive my car: The Future of the Automobile by Amy Mihalevich
 “Where would you like to go?” We are moving toward the culture of the iPad and not the T-Bird. Amy will explore how technology is changing the face of the automobile from what we drive today to what someday might drive us.

3. Framing Information: The Fine Art of Big Data by Becky Harpstrite
Like so many others, Becky first discovered her love for art while watching Bob Ross on PBS channel 8 in the country outside of Andover, Kansas.  After many attempts to paint like Bob, she decided to become a graphic designer.  She has a bona fide degree from the Art Institute of Colorado, and also studied Art History at The University of Kansas.  When she’s not designing, Becky enjoys cultivating an appreciation for the finer things in life, and documenting the daily habits of squirrels with her BDF (best dog friend), Jack.
Here is the Facebook Invite:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Art Market: will collectors buy art online? And Art and Design's Spring Schedule

Online Art Sales
Art has typically been a service that relies on personal contact.  However, artists may one day rely on online business as a primary means to sell art.

According to an article written by Julia Halperin in Art Auction Magazine, new startups for buying and selling art are a leading trend in the art market.  “Investors have funneled tens of millions of dollars into fledging websites that help users buy, sell, borrow, and learn about art online.”  These websites have attracted the interest of high profile people such as Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter.

According to Halperin, these companies need not only innovation and promotion, but also a niche for their audience.   Different start-ups target different kinds of investors, such as low, mid, and high-priced work.

If these businesses are successful, it may redefine the roles of dealers, collectors, and artists.

Read the entire article here:
KU's Art And Design Gallery Schedule for Spring: 





MARCH 10–15

MARCH 18–24

MARCH 24–29



APRIL 7–12

APRIL 14–19

APRIL 21–26


MAY 5–10

MAY 17–20

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why is the sky blue and other questions about color

Matisse: Interior with a Bowl and Red Fish
 Matisse explored the expressiveness of color through his career

Why is the sky blue? How much is color a physical thing in the physical world, and to what extent is it created in our minds?  Are there more colors out there, but we can’t see them?

These are usually questions asked in rooms filled with pot smoke in a freshman dorm. However, we at Larryville Artists have the answers to some of these questions. Thanks to recent science discoveries, we know more about color now than ever before.

Is the sky blue?
The sky is blue, but more blue to some.  Artists have been trained to see colors that other people may not see.  For instance, a sky looks straight up blue to most people may appear blue but with shades of pink in it to artists and other people who are trained and work with color.  

In ancient times, the perception of blue was probably different than ours.  Although there are many examples of descriptive colors in Homer's Odyssey, blue is never mentioned. 

Additionally, an interesting phenomenon occurs when an artist uses a limited color palette: the eye tends to compensate by seeing any gray or neutral color as the color missing from the color wheel.  

Are there more colors out there, but we do not see them?
Although many animals have two cone receptors ( humans have three), some animals have a fourth cone receptor and can see colors that humans do not see. For instance, butterflies and birds can see extra blues and greens. The mantis crab shrimp has an amazing 16 different types of cone receptors.  Thanks to science, DNA testing is finding that a small percentage of woman have an extra cone receptor, meaning they can see hundreds more colors than the rest of us.  Experimentation in monkeys have found success in surgically adding a cone to help them see the color red.

For more information on mind blowing thoughts on color, hear the Radio Lab Podcast on color here:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Last Night's Drawing Session at Fatso's

We loved last night's drawing session at Fatso's.  The theme for the night was space. Hosted by the Theives Guild and modeled by a member of Foxy by Proxy Miss Roach VonHoebag, the poses included wonderful space costumes and a creative backdrop with a hand painted rocket.  Space music songs were played too!

Here are the party pics from last night:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Auto Destructive Tendencies and Famous Messy Art Studios

In the art studio, what should be saved and what should be tossed?  This is always a dilemma among artists who often have limited studio space. Will that doodle on that scrap of paper be the idea for the next work?  How many piles of partially finished drawings should be kept?

In the article Auto Destructive Tendencies, Art News reports this month that many established artists purposefully destroy work.  Although self editing can be painful,  many artists agree that some of their work should not be part of their legacy. Some even shred work, fearing it will be pulled from the trash and resurface in the art market. Other artists like the idea of purging; some keep the ashes of their burnt paintings. 

Messy Art Spaces
On the other hand, some artists keep everything. Here are examples of artists who notoriously did not throw away anything (even scraps of paper) and kept messy work spaces:  

Francis Bacon

Jackson Pollack

Pablo Picasso

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Drawing from the Model: Opportunities for Artists

Photo of a Dr. Sketchy model in Paris

Brush up on your drawing skills with figure drawing opportunities in Lawrence!  We have a list of sessions that are worth checking out.  KU has just announced their Saturday Open Model dates, and the Thieves Guild ( which hosts drawing every first Monday of the month) has announced the theme for Monday.  Here are the dates and times:

Sketch Oddity:
Monday, January 7 
7:00 at Fatso's
$5.00 Cover

Here is the information from the Facebook Invite: 
What's this? A sexy model, a divine dancer, AND lasers??
Join us for an intergalactic evening of life drawing- featuring, our resident rocket girl, Miss Roach VonHoebag of Foxy By Proxy! 
BONUS! Foxy By Proxy's Frenchie Fondelle will perform!
Bring your own sketch pads and drawing supplies
$2 wells, calls, and bottles!

KU Open Model
Cost: Free
Room 405 Art and Design
Saturdays 11:00-2:00
Bring your own drawing supplies 

Big easels and nice lighting make this a nice drawing space.  It is held five Saturdays a semester.  Here are the dates for spring: 

Dates: Jan19, February 23, March 9, April 6, and May 4

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

William Burroughs goes International

William Burroughs is primarily known as a beat generation writer, but he also created art later in his life. His art is creating quite a buzz lately.  His art work is currently being shown in a solo exhibition at the British Museum.  His work was exhibited in Karlsrue, Germany earlier this year, and his work will be shown in Viena later this year.

People who have lived in Lawrence a while may remember Burroughs.  Before he died, he occasionally made appearances in Lawrence where he read his work or was seen at parties.  Toward the end of his life, visitors made meals and chatted with him in his austere home.  Some Lawrencians assisted Burroughs when he was creating his art.

His art is a reflection of some of his interests: guns, cats, and spaceships.  The media he chose to work with includes collage and spray paint.

Read Mark Sherin's review of Burroughs' current show at the British Museum here: