Doings and Goings On

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2012 by scratchyb

In keeping with my goal of getting out to more galleries and art events, I’ve been trying to make sure I go to at least two or three exhibitions and/or openings a month. So far, I’ve done four events in the months of March and April. 

I was excited to go to the opening of Black Thorns in the White Cube at Western Exhibitions, curated by Amelia Ishmael, because the theme was art inspired by black metal.  It just so happened that I was working on a series of small pyrography paintings of corpse-paint faces at the time, so I was in a very black metal mood. This exhibit ended April 14th,so blame yours truly for not having posted about it sooner.

I also went to the Creative Chicago Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center, although I was really only there for the last two hours on Saturday. While I was there, I checked out the exhibit Morbid Curiosity, the Richard Harris Collection. Richard Harris is a collector focusing on the representation of death by artists and cultures from around the world. The highlight of the show for me was the bone chandelier by Jodie Carey, especially since it sort of snuck up on me, despite its size.  I highly recommend seeing this exhibition if you’re in town, it’ll be up at the  Chicago Cultural Center until July 8th.

Most recently I went on the Second Friday art walk in Pilsen. I was interested in seeing Matt Maniscalco and Jennifer Cronin’s paintings at the Black Cloud Gallery, and had missed the opening the weekend before. And I always like this little light display along Halsted St.

Image

Photo by Mandy McGee

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by scratchyb

On Saturday I went to the Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art to catch the last day of the Eugene Von Bruenchenhein exhibit, From the Wand of the Genii. I first discovered Von Bruenchenhein in the book Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds, which was recommended by a colleague.

While his fowl bone sculptures are fascinating, it’s his painting that captures my imagination.  The works on exhibit at Intuit were largely comprised of his towers, colorfully patterned fantastical architecture created with corrugated cardboard dipped into paint along the edges. But what really fascinates me are the paintings he did before 1960, in which you can make out some kind of primeval creatures and plant life in the midst of abstract, cosmic chaos. It’s positively Lovecraftian, in the greatest sense of the term.

A few years back I toyed with a novel about an artist who painted strange, almost maddening things. When I first saw a Von Bruenchenhein, I felt like I had seen the kind of painting I visualized my character producing. Seeing these paintings in person inspires me to take on that novel again.

More about Eugene Von Breunchenhein can be found at http://www.vonbruenchenhein.com/, and his works are also found at the Carl Hammer Gallery.

New Art Piece

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2011 by scratchyb

Photo of woodburn art, a griffin and a winged lion, without color.
A few months ago I posted this piece and mentioned that I was looking for something else to add, and a way to incorporate color.

Photo of woodburn art, griffin and winged lion, with color added.

"Duets"

This is what I finally decided to do. I added the blue background, then some red-orange for the wings. I still felt like I needed something in the center, so I tried a little pinstriping. Overall, I’m satisfied with this piece. I titled it “Duet”.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011

Devil and the Halloween Party

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2011 by scratchyb

Sketch of devil stuck in doorway by his horns.

The devil tried to crash the Halloween party, but had a little trouble getting through the door.

Just a little sketch I worked up, toying with some other ideas.
Happy Halloween!

Lauren Gray, Pyrography Artist

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by scratchyb

Lauren Gray does some fantastic pyrography work. She has a classic style and natural subject matter that somehow still carries a sense of the modern. She’s mastered tonality, and her work has kind of a reflective, moody quality. While her most recent work is with casein paint and pencil, she’s got prints of some of her pyrography pieces available at her etsy store, The Haunted Hollow Tree.

50/50 Pilsen Show

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by scratchyb

Photo by Mandy McGee

I made these bookmarks to sell at the craft show.

 

Friday October 14th was the last day of the 50/50 Pilsen (Chicago) art and craft show, and the only night for the art show. We had a lot of people there, and the show overall was a terrific event. The art show was scheduled to coincide with the Second Friday Art Walk, which happens on Halsted St. on the second Friday of the month.

I’ll be posting those bookmarks pictured up there to Etsy soon.

Scott Marr, Pyrography Artist

Posted in Art, woodburning with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by scratchyb

Two weeks ago I was writing about pyrography artists working in an unconventional way.  Recently I discovered Scott Marr, an Australian artist who does some interesting work blending natural pigments with pyrography.

Coming up Friday night, the 50/50 Pilsen art show.  This is the second portion of the 50/50 Pilsen show, which explores and blurs the boundary between art and craft.  I’m working on the finishing touches for a number of pieces I’ve been preparing this summer.

Pyrography Artist Blair Mclean

Posted in Art, Process, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

Yesterday I talked about the dearth of pyrographers kicking it up a notch to create a higher art.  I found this guy Blair Mclean on YouTube and thought I’d point out his work as an example of the concept that I strive for.  He does some incredible straight-line images of architecture and landscapes that kind of put me in mind of art deco and Peter Kuper.  Instead of traditional burners, he uses a torch and metal straight edges.  This is awesome stuff, check out these videos of his process.

Crafty Art

Posted in Art, Process, Technique, woodburning with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

I’m counting the days down until the craft fair portion of 50/50 Pilsen, and thinking a little bit about where craft and art meet.  Art almost always involves a degree of craftsmanship, unless it’s purely conceptual. The work I’ve been doing recently involves a medium that puts most people in mind of boy scouts, grandparents, and kitschy outdoor country scenes.  Pyrography doesn’t have the popularity of, say, screenprinting, and it is far more time-consuming without the possibility of mass-production. But there’s a lot of possibility in the medium, because of the range of possible markings, from fine-detail to thicker, deeper burns.

Since the theme of this show is where art meets craft, I’ve been exploring the craftier elements of my woodburning, but really, I’m far more interested in how to incorporate this craft into paintings and drawings. Now, plenty of people consider pyrography a serious art, and so do I, but does it get the same respect as painting or sculpture? This past spring I was at the Art Chicago show at Merchandise Mart, and saw one example of pyrography. I’ve found a few cool woodburn artists trolling around the web, but ultimately, where I draw the line is whether someone is creating original subject matter with a discernible style. I’ll be interested in hearing some of the comments of the Pilsen arts community, because at this show I’ll be focusing almost exclusively on woodburn art.

We’ll see what we’ll see.

50/50 Pilsen Sneak Preview

Posted in Art, Painting, Projects, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2011 by scratchyb

The Snail Seller

 

Medusa

 

The big show coming up for me in October is 50/50 Pilsen, which Mandy and friends are putting together.  Last year’s show was a huge success, and we’re hoping to build up excitement for this one.  While I’ve a few ideas for the craft portion of the show, what I’ve really been focusing on is a body of work for the art opening on Friday, October 14th. These two pieces are mixed media: woodburn on basswood and birch panels, with gauche and pencil.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011