This is one of a series of paintings that I have been working on, wherein I am developing a new visual language. One that combines en plein air technique, with the use of strong abstract gesture as a deconstructive element; thereby exploring and expanding the best of what I consider two very painterly, and coexistent, aesthetics.
A note on the painting's subject: it is a free-verse meditation on out of body experiences, colliding worlds, and harmonious passages between raw and delicate mark making.
In my painting studio, I have a piano. When I reach a point in my work, where I need to step away from the painting for a few minutes, to clear my head and refresh, I will often sit down at my piano to play. This has become an essential part of my art making process, which is why I have chosen to share. I am not at all a musician or a performer, just an artist who uses music as part of my routine.
Once it has finished drying, I will immediately be shipping it off to David.
I am so thrilled to be participating in this international group effort, put together by my fellow artists of twitterland, as a benefit for the children's library of Moss Norway. It is a wonderful cause, as well as a triumphant celebration of the highly engaged art community, that I have found myself to be a part of, on twitter.
This happened completely extemporaneously, i.e. I had no idea where it was going until it was done. I had meant to finish it on Mon., in a single sitting, etc. This is what has evolved over the past few days, I'm now calling it done!
I remember when we first met, it was for my merit scholarship interview, in 1997. I was a young and insecure lad, who was afraid that I'd be considered a fraud; irrationally thinking that my work might not be considered valid, that I didn't deserve the title "artist." I carted my work into the room, sprawling it out on the floor and leaning it against the walls. He shook my hand, and gazed deeply. I think that we were alloted 20 mins., other kids were waiting outside. Next thing I know, we've been chatting and really hitting it off for a while, the person in charge of ushering the students came in and mentioned that other people were waiting. "Let them wait! And don't interrupt us again!" He said. We talked about art, poetry, philosophy, life, the Beats (discovering that him and my folks had been friends with the same people back in the day; e.g. Neal Cassidy (a close friend of my father's), Kesey, Ginsburg, etc.). An hour and a half later, we emerged from the room! He hugged my parents and told them that they'd raised a wonderful son. Needless to say, I was aglow. From theretoforward I swore that I would be sure to spend my life as an artist, and would never shy away from admitting to it again.
Motivated by my "Blasts From The Past" post, I decided to get back into painting these alla prima portraits, on at least a semi-daily basis. Still working on my larger paintings, this gives me an outlet for experimentation and spontaneity. I thought that I'd give folks a look into the alla prima process, that is, in how I approach the alla prima process. Stopping to take pictures, certainly slowed me down a little, but I think that it was worth it. I might still go back into this one, to give it a more refined look; but for now, this series of photos will give you an idea of how I work around the painting. Enjoy.
I thought that I'd share something that's a little distant from what I'm doing now, but that I equally adore. This is a selection from a series of daily alla prima portraits (from life) that I did back around 2003 or so. All were done in oil, on bristol vellum, prepped with gesso and p.v.a size.
I am managing a new blog for the "L Hub" Gallery. I am not the owner, but will be in charge of posting events, openings, photos of events and openings, etc. Please stop by the new blog, and feel free to follow. We're hoping that this gallery will become a new hub for high brow, low brow, and everything art in between. Join us!
My goodness, I've been meaning to take photos of more paintings for the blog. Thing is, recently, things seem to really be happening for me, big time, and I've just been so busy. Another group show is coming up this Thurs., and then I have a solo show coming up in ten weeks (which isn't very long, in painting terms)!! I promise to post more paintings soon!
Don't forget: "The Preview" at Driftwood Salon, 39 Isis St., San Francisco, California. Open weekdays 11am-6pm, weekends 12-5pm. Please help put food on my table and tubes of paint in my studio, go there, buy my painting!
Greetings everyone. My apologies for not being around, I have been neglecting my poor blog for quite some time now. I hope to have more pics of my latest paintings soon. Things have been busy, busy, busy with art. If you happen to be anywhere near the Bay Area, CA, at any point during the month of February, please stop by the Driftwood Salon at 39 Isis St., San Francisco, CA. It is a wonderful new SOMA gallery, they are hosting a group show, and one of my favorite recent large paitnings will be a part of it. The reception is this coming Sat. Here is a link to the event:
Born in San Francisco, Ethan Cranke was raised in Sonoma County, both aesthetically and intellectually, on the values prominently associated with Northern California. With an emphasis on free-spirited creativity that is anchored in a devotion to nature and humanity, Ethan conveys what is around and inside of him almost exclusively through the medium of oil paint.
Ethan has painted ever since he can remember. Things began to get serious when he first encountered his earliest mentor, Elfi Chester. She was a good friend and a great painter, whose advice he has dearly missed since she passed away July 16, 2004. She made clear that it was perfectly viable for a person to spend their life as a professional artist, rather than as a hobbyist.
He left the comforts of the West Sonoma County redwoods, in 1997, to study painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. There he was allowed to thoroughly explore his medium, mostly under the guidance of Bruce McGaw (of the Bay Area Figurative Movement) and Jeremy Morgan. Having returned to Sonoma County in 2002, he has been painting full time at his Guerneville studio ever since.
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