Sunday, April 20, 2014

Marc R. Hanson - Painter (My new Facebook Artist page)

Happy Easter!!!

'Station 2' - oil - 9x12

'Grove' - oil - 9x12

'February Chroma' - oil - 9x12
Pardon the poor quality photos.  All shot on the grass or back of the van with iPhone. 

I've just returned from St. George, UT and participating in the opening activities for the Mission Gallery, where I show my paintings, and for Authentique Gallery.  It was an amazing event put on by owner Jane Bell Meyer and her wonderful staff.  Jane has a wonderfully sincere way of creating a very positive and enthusiastic energy surrounding the world of art and artists, which she truly does love with all of her heart.  The artists were all painting, and I do mean all, for two days, and I do mean for two days (inside joke... we couldn't leave if we wanted to... lol) in locations surrounding the two galleries.  They are only separated from each other by another building.  While we were painting, we were surrounded by interested people walking past, by numerous collectors who were there to purchase, and by many people who specifically came to the area to see this extravaganza. 

And may I add this... PAINTINGS WERE SOLD!!!  It was very, very encouraging to see the sales activity.  

At the event in St George, we were all set up and painting on the grounds of the galleries.  There wasn't a heck of a lot to paint, so many artists used either previous sketches or photos as reference to paint from.  I painted the first one from life, 'Station 2', looking across the road from the gallery.  The next two were painted off of the iPad, using pastel paintings from the February project as reference.  They were mostly painted from memory, since I couldn't see the screen in the bright light, and when the battery died.  We had a great time anyway, shooting the breeze about Art and Life.

Side note... I met some very interesting people.  To me, as a pilot and one with a partially constructed aircraft in storage (dreams to finish one day still alive), one of the most interesting was a gentleman named Frank Christensen who designed one of the most iconic kit aircraft ever, the Christen(Aviat) Eagle, a beautiful aerobatic sport biplane.  Frank is designing buildings now, not aircraft, and he's an avid art collector!  What a treat it was to shake his hand.  Here's the plane...

Marc R. Hanson - Painter ... This is my new Facebook 'Artist Page'.  I've found a way to use Facebook for my artistic purposes, without the need for a personal page being visible and in use. This is exactly what I needed to do, to have this page, without the personal profile, so that I can concentrate on what I think is good about Facebook, as a platform to interact with other artists, collectors and students without all of the extraneous activity. This is my "business" page where I will be posting my paintings from time to time, and posting information about painting and teaching activities. I'm looking forward to the interaction on that basis. 

Ok... It's been nearly a week since I deactivated my Facebook account.  I cannot tell you how much I've been made to feel warm and fuzzy all over by the comments posted on this blog about that subject.  Your support has been greatly appreciated.   I have not been on Facebook in any covert way, except that I was on there this morning in order to set up what I'm going to mention below.  

Being separated from that addictive, voyeuristic world, where you can be or say anything you want to (without consequence),  hasn't been easy.   However, after about a week,  I've settled into a much quieter and calmer place without it, and am 100% convinced that it was the correct move for me to make.   

This past week in Utah, I talked to a lot of artists, the gallery folks, and even some visitors who had made contact with me and the paintings on Facebook.   I got to talking with some of the artists about all of this, many of whom share my same concerns, as many of you who've commented here on the blog do too.  It seems that what we all agree on, is that there is good in what that platform does in the way of bringing us together as artists, collectors and others interested in art.  

In my first blog post about taking the step to back away, I twice mentioned that this was something I was doing to evaluate my purpose and reasons for being there.  In the very first paragraph of that post,  I twice indicated that this was ... "for the time being " and "I've made a decision to stay off of there for a while. "... possibly a temporary situation.

I've always thought, and have pretty much confirmed this, that you cannot have a business page on Facebook without having a personal profile page as well.  One friend this week insisted that it is possible, that he had done just that, created a page for his art without a personal profile.   I have tried in vane to figure that out, read a ton of information on the web, and still cannot see that it's possible.

But, I did read a great blog, BLOGGING BISTRO, that is full of links to help you understand the hoops and hurdles that the Facebook folks have stacked up in your way to making it an easy thing to navigate around.  If you have any questions about how to do something on Facebook, check out this blog, you'll probably find it there.  

I once again do have a presence on Facebook that I am going to nurture, but it will only be an Art/Artist presence, no personal page... Perfect!!!  That is something that I can live happily with and not allow Facebook to become a bigger monster in my closet than I want it to be.  Plus, my liberation all this week has shown me the ability to live without constant FB in my face. 

What I am most satisfied about, since making the commitment to get out of there this past week, is how comfortable using the blog has become again.  This is going to still be where I do my posting, and will then try to figure out how to get the blog posts over to the Artist page automatically, or manually if I have to. 

To make this long story longer, here's what I did... first I have deleted my other artist page, and left my personal page deactivated.  Both of those were under my normal email address, (where you can reach me if you need to).  To open a new Artist Page, you  still have to have a personal profile account, can't be done without one, unless you 'buy an ad'.  In that case you can set up a 'Business' page as a stand alone entity.   I'm not interested in giving them a dime, so that was out of the question.  What I did was to get a separate email address added to my google account that is ONLY for Facebook.  I then set up an account, under a name that isn't my normal name.  I may begin to slowly add friends to that in the future, but for now I'm only going to use the Artist Page.  Once I set up the personal profile with the other name, I immediately went in and  made everything that could possibly be made private by clicking 'only me', private.  That way, it's almost as if that personal profile doesn't even exist.  Once that was done, I went to 'create page' on the drop down menu, and created the page Marc R. Hanson - Painter.  This is where you'll find me, where we can communicate in addition to what I'll be doing here on the blog.  

Thanks again for all of your previous comments and support. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Facebook progress report...

Oh God... Oh the humanity!!! 

Ok, it's not that bad. But close. I'm finding it difficult to know what to do when out waiting on the tire and oil change, waiting for a food order to arrive at a restaurant, or while walking across a parking lot. Doesn't everyone walk blindly into deadly traffic situations while checking their latest comments?  I wake up, grab the iPad and I'm not sure why I have one now?  Hell... I have an old flip phone or two laying around, might as well go back to using one.  Hold on... I'm going rotary dial!!! 

(Since leaving Facebook I've built two large homes, trekked to Machu Picchu and written three novels.  It's not so bad.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

On my way to St George, Utah!

This Thursday April 17, and Friday April 18, the artists of Authentique Gallery of Art and Design, and The Mission Gallery in St. George, UT, are going to be in town demonstrating their art and helping to celebrate the season opening for both galleries.  Please join us if you're in the area. 


Deep breaths...

I'm taking some time this morning to cleanse my shaky, addicted fingers. Why?  Because I've deactivated my Facebook account for the time being.  Sounds silly doesn't it?  It is silly, to even consider that it's a hard thing to do. But it is!  Which is the very reason why I've made a decision to stay off of there for a while.  The only addictions I'll allow myself to succumb to, are love and art.

Facebook does not have any relationship to either.  It's a "fun" place to be hanging out, which is why so many people are there.  We could all make a long list of reasons why we are on there. My own list would be pretty long.  Including things like how amazing it's been to meet so many artists, before I've met them in real life. It's a good place to see what's going on in the art world, and to share art. It gets you lots of positive feedback, which is very nice.  And it serves as the social outlet for many of us who aren't surrounded by others in our daily work.  To be honest, it's a way to keep from being lonely, socially.

What are the negatives?  The rest of it.  Most importantly, the amount of time spent browsing and or responding to commentary, is time that could be spent in other interests I have, that I have let slip away, because of the time FB takes away from me.  That means time to read more, time to involve myself again in many of the hobbies that I've ignored since I let Facebook eat up that time.  Hey, think of the art that could be done with the time gained by not being there!

I've already had emails from well meaning Facebook 'friends' making me feel like I've done something to them, by doing this, because they can't see the paintings.  For them, and the others who's interest in my art I appreciate and am grateful for, check in here and on my website.  Both are better art viewing venues than Facebook.  And you don't have all of the political and social bullshit to have to deal with.

With that, I'm going enjoy this beautiful spring day with a painting excursion or a walk. I'll see you back here as soon as I have something to share.  My studio is waiting... Ciao!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Akron, OH Workshop... filling fast!

I'm pleased to announce that the workshop this June 2-6, in Akron, OH, is filling fast.  There are still some spaces available if you are interested in painting with us in June.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Workshop Announced - June 2-6, 2014 - Akron, Ohio!

I'm very happy to be able to announce a new workshop to be held June 2-6, 2014, in Akron, Ohio in conjunction with the Akron Society of Artists.

This workshop will be five days of painting outside in the landscape, for intermediate and advanced painters , working in oils, pastels or acrylics. I work in all three of those mediums on location and in the studio, and am happy to see artists in my workshops with any of the three.

Since we all come to painting with a lot of information and history of our own, it’s not possible for me to know each individual students’ experience and abilities. I employ exercises in my workshops to help you strengthen your current abilities, and expose those skills that need strengthening. I work with each individual student at their own level, spend a lot of time at your easel, giving individual instruction. I demo everything that I ask you to do.

You’ll leave the workshop having spent five days studying the basic elements of painting… Drawing, Value, Color, Edges and Design… with one other element, possibly the most important one of all… Concept… being explored and discussed at length.

You will go home with a portfolio full of valuable exercises that you can refer back to as you move forward in your own painting process.

All I ask is that you come with an inquisitive and open mind, and the Art Spirit within you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014... Acrylic studio paintings.

Happy Spring!  It's greening up here, the gardeners showed up today to take inventory and begin the season.  The winds are up, something that I now know is a near constant this time of year, east of the Front Range in Colorado.  A person can almost tell the time of the day by the winds.  They nearly always kick in right at 12:00 noon.  Painter and friend, Dave Santillanes, a native of the area, told me that last week.  I've been paying attention and Dave is right, noon it is!

Why am I painting winter then?  I'm taking a little break from getting all of the paintings that I sold during February ready to ship.  I have all of these very fresh studies in the studio, and the memory of painting them, that I am still in the middle of churning through from last month.  The painting urge hasn't let up, I'm giving it it's needed fix.  There is nothing better than having fresh studies and the memory of the experience to paint from in the studio... except painting them outside!  This weekend is going to be devoted entirely to packing and shipping all of the art sold.  Thanks again to everyone who purchased a painting, or two, or three.  I'm grateful for that support.  

To further complicate my life, I've been painting with Golden Open acrylics in the studio.  I'm not  sure why, except that I like the solvent free aspect of them, the ability to stop and start at any time on a painting, not having to wait for it to dry or stay wet if need be.  I  think that I'm also overdosing a little bit on solvents and driers like Liquin.  

I'm not complaining, but I've noticed that when I'm using a lot of either of those type of ingredients in my oil painting, which I do often now so that I can better control the drying time, I have some issues with congestion, slight headaches and watery eyes.  My plan is to use the acrylics for awhile to see if that clears up.  So far, I'm already able to see an improvement.  If I don't go nuts trying to get a grip on the acrylic monster, I think it might be a good move.  

Working with them is more like what I like about working with pastels... I can lay down paint/pastel, and very quickly work over it.  Immediately with pastel, almost immediately with acrylics.  Glazes, scumbling, are all great  techniques that I like to use in oil painting too.  My patience is getting shorter though, it takes too long for the oils to be ready for me to do that like I want to.  If I had an area to 'rack up' paintings while they dry for these techniques with the oil paints, I could see working on a number of paintings in stages at a time.  I don't.  If I have 4 paintings done, it's crowded in here, and there's no where to add a rack.  

With the acrylics, the drying times of these newer 'Open' acrylics, work right along with me.  I paint pretty fast normally.  The acrylics are almost begging for the painter to do that with them.  So, they and I, seem to be working pretty well together.  Taming the monster that they are, is really getting used to a process of painting with them on their terms.  Once I do that, I love what they have to offer.  Stay tuned...

What I'm posting here are two paintings painted from the two studies I'm also posting.  That's not always a great idea, but for interest, that's what I'm doing.  Don't think that I am trying to exactly copy the studies, I'm not.  The studio paintings evolve from the studies, as you can see, and are usually more complex.  That's the case with both of these.  Field studies are the soul of the experience, the journal of your time, and are why I paint outside.  The studio painting is a further exploration of that memory and experience.  I like both.  Since the grass is greening up, and the snow is long gone, the only way to explore either of these ideas is to do it in the studio from the studies.  I didn't take any photographs in February of the locations I painted, with a couple of exceptions.  So if I'm going to paint up any of the February paintings, it will have to be done only using those paintings as reference, or the photos of them once they're out of my studio.  

Both of the larger paintings are painted on acrylic primed linen.  "Freeze in the Air" is painted on a Frederix linen called 'Antwerp'.  It's one that I've used a lot of over the years, but it's really pricey.   I mounted it on a cradled birch panel, after first putting down two coats of GAC 100 (A Golden Product) to seal the wood, preventing acid migration into the surface of the acrylic paint.  It's a problem with oils and acrylics, but more of a concern with acrylics.  The moisture in can leach out the impurities from the underlying wood as it dries, pulling them towards the wet paint.  That can cause discoloration in the paint film.  GAC 100 seals the wood, providing a barrier between it an the painting.  I glued down the Antwerp using Lamin-All glue.  

The other painting, "Frozen Hollow", was painted on a stretched Utrecht linen (Type 66J) that I've had for many years.  I used to make my own lead primed panels and stretched supports, with RSG and this linen.  For this painting, I stretched it on some heavy duty bars that I first sealed the edges of with the GAC 100, then sized it with one coat of GAC 400, followed by 2 coats of GAC 100.  The GAC 400 is for stiffening fabric, which is nice because without using rabbit skin glue (RSG), it's hard to get that drum tight stretch on linen.  The GAC 400 helps to replicate that somewhat.  Following a light sanding, I applied 4 coats of acrylic dispersion primer (mistakenly called acrylic gesso, it's not gesso), with light sanding in between coats.  

This was a test of sorts... I learned that I prefer the linen mounted on board, and will continue that way when painting with the acrylics.  It's nice to be able to 'lean into' the painting with p.knives and brushes when it's on the board. Can't do that with the stretched linen.  Plus, the whole process of stretching and prepping the linen from the raw state was time consuming and it didn't give me any particular advantage.  I didn't like painting on it as much as I did the glued down linen. I may continue to use the raw linen (hell of a lot less expensive than pre-primed even though it's acrylic priming) and prime it myself. I didn't notice much difference at all, painting on pre-primed vs my priming it.  I used Golden 'Gesso'.  That 's what they call it, it's acrylic primer. 

Thanks for looking in!

"Freezing Fog #2"
Oil - 8x10

"Frozen Hollow"
Acrylic - 20x24
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

"Freezing Fog #3"
Oil - 8x10

"Freeze in the Air"
Acrylic - 18x24
©Marc R. Hanson 2014