This weekend, now nearly over is the big annual downtown Phoenix Art Show called Art Detour now in its 22 year. The event kicks off with First Fridays, which has become the tail wagging the dog so to speak. Although Art Detour was the big event for many years, the monthly party called First Friday receives a lot more attendance on the whole these days. I had planned to go to First Friday but just couldn’t make myself join the madhouse that event has become. It really doesn’t seem to be about art, but more about the party, which is fine — but not necessarily something I automatically think is a great idea on any given day. But I still felt like I had to make it downtown at least once to see the people who routinely support me at the local art shows I do. So I force myself to be a social animal and kicked myself out of my studio.
It was good to intersect with several people I had not seen in a while, but while the studios were open I think many artists/owners were absent & recuperating from the night before. It was a quiet day to be about, but it was a clear-blue-sky bragging weather day in Phoenix AZ. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. So, I didn’t just go to the studios but did a general walkabout in the downtown Phoenix area to investigate how the Convention Center remodel went, to see how the new ASU downtown campus came together and the overall progress of gentrification. It appears gentrification was well underway but the recession has definitely halted things for now. As for the art studios, some that were open before are closed now, some have changed hands, some have moved, and maybe there are a few new kids on the block as well. The Art Detour Head Quarters was listed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts so I was expecting a pretty decent display there; in the old days it had a sample of art from all the participating galleries. Unfortunately this year it was literally a trolley stop with a few brochures — no art that I could see. My overall impression of Art Detour on Saturday was underwhelmed. Anyway I took lots of pictures and edited them when I got home so you can check them out here if you like.
In the last few minutes I have receive a couple of tweets regarding this final day of Art Detour 22 1) Bring an Umbrella and 2) Greg Esser is promoting his new venture at Westwind Studios, 16th Street and Cypress. I didn’t make it over to Westwind yesterday; I wish Greg all the best.
So onto new art. While I was working on 2nd Story Job, which will be posted next, I did not have a second painting to parallel process in mind. I got a piece of water color paper out, gesso-ed it on both sides then thoughtfully dripped, drooled and spattered paint on it while I waited for layers of paint to dry on 2nd Story Job.
As 2nd Story Job neared completion the abstract auxiliary work looked like this.
The color gamut of this picture appears a little skewed toward the blue, and the range of the photo does not do the under-painting/background justice, but I think you can get an idea of how it looked.
I have been on a major bird kick for years and I often default to something related to that — in this case a bird-like dragon. It took me a few minutes to sketch the critter out on to my canvas. I did a glaze of manganese blue to fill in the bird-like dragon’s body for no other reason than I had a big glob of it on my wet pallet left over from previous Social Media Bird paintings and I intended to make the dragon dark. I did not anticipate I would love the effect of the under-painting showing through, but I did. I very carefully applied glazes of black to the serpent to define its structure while retaining as much of the transparency as was possible.
So this results from me not having a plan when I start painting. What do you think?
Update: Details about Born of Fire, size etc., can be found on its art page at AKAJake.com
Artist, AKAJake.com Come Experience the Art!
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