June 30, 2011

Between Intimacy and Decoration

Here is the postcard for the show featuring one of each painter's pieces.

Opening Reception!

The opening of our (Ansley Adams, Jaime Misenheimer, and myself-Laurel Steckel) show was June 16th. We had a great turn-out and a lovely time was had by all. Here are some shots of the guests (and artists!)

This last one is Jaime and myself at the end of the night.

May 19, 2011

Edible Art?

So, I've just started getting back into studio work. But since the semester ended, here's what else I've been up to:

Tuna Salad Nicoise 
a fresh, summery, French treat

Laurel's Bistro Steak Salad 
a hearty and delicious salad

May 13, 2011

Source Material

My models (friends) were all at Artista Vista where I showed my work. And they were nice enough to pose with their pieces.

April 5, 2011

Painting or Installation?

When researching for my Thesis show (Dec 4-10 mark your calendars!) I came across artist Alexa Meade, a young up-and-coming artist from DC. Her work first looks like interesting paintings of somber interiors with a figure, but I read on to realize they are actually people and furniture she has painted on. Questioning the boundaries between the 2-D and the 3-D is always a question for me, but this approach really addresses it "hands on." (No pun intended). The paintings create a mood and intrigue as 2D photos- but take on a different psychological role as installations and with the understanding of life beneath the paint. Found via albus cavus blog. See more at alexameade.com.

March 1, 2011

man on wire

See Man on Wire. Philippe Petit will INSPIRE you.


Sketches I've been working on in preparation for a larger painting. 
Vuillard/Bonnard patterning as inspiration.

January 27, 2011

Apollonian vs. Dionysian

I struggle to find my way between the German and French in my work. I'm German by heritage, but I strive to be French as well. My professor, David, tells me this is me fighting between my Apollonian and Dionysian sides. This idea comes from Nietzsche in his work The Birth of Tragedy.  Nietzsche describes the Apollonian as "logical inference," and the Dionysian as "certainty of intuition." When the two work together there is a "powerful birth." My German side seems to be the Apollonian nature, whereas the French I try to bring out is more of the Dionysian.  To explain it with more visual sources, take the Beckmann painting on the left (German, Apollonian) vs. the Bonnard painting on the right (French, Dionysian).  These are what I am constantly trying to marry.


Illusion meets reality

Last week while hanging one of my pieces in a show, I noticed the light from the window hit the painting almost exactly as the light came through the window in the painting. Painted sunlight was then emphasized by real sunlight. It was quite strange but also very beautiful.

January 20, 2011

Sorry, but my Soul is Still Alive.

I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He's floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can't see it, but he's much impressed. He names it God.

This is the last paragraph in the chapter "Sorry, but your Soul Just Died," from Tom Wolfe's 2000 book Hooking Up. In this chapter he talks about Nietzsche, Darwin, and the predicted "death of God" in the late 19th Century. He goes on to discuss brain imaging and new technology and how these developments will lead us to view the human body and brain as a machine, soulless. Wolfe has a very keen eye when looking at the schemes in American history and the way they lead up to contemporary issues. While taking into account all the different theories that have occurred and the modern voices on them (Dawkins, Dennet), he ends his chapter with a discussion he had with a geologist. She discusses her first impression of geology and science as layers of solid findings that build up into a solid, strong tower.  She goes on to say that she now sees that often the first layers are only bubbles- full of air, and that is what many of the towers are resting on. This is when Wolfe contemplates the collapse of the tower.

Of course some may see the need for the towers, and believe the foundations for the theories are a type of reality.  For me though, I'd like to believe I am more than just a machine, that we are all more than just a network of machines, and that the reason I create is because I was created by something, someone, larger than myself. I name it God.

I leave you with The Wander above the Sea Fog by Caspar David Friedrich.  It was journalist Johanna Schopenhauer who wrote of his paintings, "They speak to the spirit rather than to the eye." 

January 5, 2011


This is an old oil pastel sketch from our drive to Asheville.  Serves as a nice go-between medium from drawing to painting. 

January 4, 2011

Luc Tuymans

Saw some great work at the Luc Tuymans show at the MCA while in Chicago last week.  Great to see someone using oil painting as a persuasive language for contemporary ideas.

Class Gifts

For my graduate drawing class this past semester we were supposed to make ten small gifts for an exchange.  I decided to make small drawings/paintings with crayon on a hot plate, and then adhered them to magnets.  The direct process of the paper on the hot plate makes the crayon melt and blend together.  The drawings I did were copies of famous paintings.  They had an awkward childlike quality. Let me know if you'd like one for just $1.00!  They look great on the fridge.