All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

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28 March 2010

I met with the owner of the truck (again) last Friday. I had thought that he had scheduled the embroidery of the door panels for last weekend, but it's supposed to get done this weekend. So, I have a little extra time to figure out what paints to use, and put together a tentative budget, and a shopping list.

I was really hoping to get started on the truck right away, but it looks like I won't be moving forward on the actual painting until after 10 April.

My studio is slowly--but surely--being dismantled. We picked up the keys to our new place this morning. I have romorrow off all day, and we are planning to move Liora's and my studios this weekend.

So often, it seems difficult to know how best to use my available time. I probably "lost" (spent) at least two weeks working on the fishing lures, time that could have been spent working on the "Face" paintings. And, I spent another week working on the designs for the truck dashboard, and that--too--was time that wasn't spent working on my own stuff.

Whatever happens, I want to get the "Faces" finished by the end of May, or shortly after that...

21 March 2010

Very, very busy!

Every time I think I'm as busy as I can possibly be, reality finds new ways for me to become even busier!

I met with the owner of the truck last week, and I've been working hard on the redesign of his dashboard. He and I were supposed to meet this afternoon to look over my designs, but they're not ready yet. (I want to show him some really wicked designs--and wicked takes time!) I changed our meeting to Tuesday evening, and I'll need to really push this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow, to make sure I have some killer designs to show him Tuesday night.

If he likes my designs, I'll have about a month to prime and repaint all twenty-six parts of the dashboard--

--and, all while we're moving!

Our landlord recently notified us that our rent would increase by about $100.00 a month, starting in May. So, we've been looking around to see if we could find something nicer/larger--and we did. We found a very nice three-bedroom duplex, close enough to our current address so liora's daughter can stay in her school disctrict, and the bedrooms, living room, and kitchen are much larger than our current place.

The basement is subdivded, so liora and I will no longer share a studio space (which I'll miss), but it will be nice having actual walls where I can hang my reference/inspirational images.

We take possession of our new place on April first, and we've promised to be out of our digs by the end of the day, April eighteenth.

So, if my client asks me to paint the dashboard, I'll be working on that project as we're moving out of our current address, into the new one. (I also need to research the types of paints I can use, as well as the types of primer to use on the dashboard material, so that whatever paint I end up using, will adhere properly. If all goes well, I'll have a really nice piece of automotive art I can use to advertise for more of that kind of work...)

Busy? No. Busiest!

15 March 2010

Progress is relative...

I met with another potential freelance client yesterday. He owns a customized "show truck", and he wants to re-do the interiour. So, I'm going to spend part of this week sketching possible colour schemes for the dashboard, and meet with him this weekend to discuss whether he also wants me to do the actual painting.

(Yes, I'm going to get paid for the sketches.)

If he does ask me to paint the new dashboard, I'm going to have to talk to some automotive painting guys, to find out what sort of primer--and paints--to use on the vinyl dashboard parts...)

He also wants a mural painted on the truck's bed-cover, but there isn't enough time for him to get the interiour re-done, and paint the bed-cover, before the truck show season starts at the end of April.

So, that may be a project for the fall. (I certainly hope so!)

I worked in the studio for a short while yesterday, and I'm going to head downstairs and get some more work done tonight.

My art seems to be going so very slowly these days. I don't like it...

10 March 2010

A Sense of Accomplishment

I finally finished the fishing lures Monday night (actually, it was about 1AM yesterday morning!) I returned them to their owner last night, and he seemed quite pleased with them. Even though I don't have as much "invested" in a project such as this, as I do in my own original paintings, I still feel that these shiny little things are out there in the world representing me.

So, I wanted them to look really good, and I'm glad my client was happy with my results.

Now I have to straighten my studio, put away the rotary tool, sandpaper, MSA varnish, etc., so I can get back to oil painting. I'm busy this coming weekend, but next week I will be hard at work on the small paintings, and starting work on the drawings that will be the basis for my next series.

(And, the next series may actually turn out to be two separate series--with lots in common!)

Another of the new paintings. This is Isobel: 12x16, oil on canvas. (Copyright 2009 by Keith Russell.)

06 March 2010

A Wonderful Evening...With Art!

Liora and I attended Kansas City "First Friday" last night. Art galleries all over the city have their opening exhibitions on the First Friday of each month, so it's nearly impossible to visit more than a few galleries over the course of a single evening. (Most of the galleries are only open from 7 until 9 PM for First Fridays.) I chose to start our evening of gallery-hopping by visiting two of the three galleries that have been recommended to me as places where I might consider showing my Face series when it's ready.

The first gallery we visited seemed like a nice enough space; snacks were laid out nicely, and there was even a small bar (complete with bartender). And, the place was packed--always a good sign! I was handed a beer, and turned around to see a good friend of ours. (First Fridays is great for running into people you know...!) Our friend quickly informed me that it was this gallery's final exhibit; the space has been sold, and it isn't certain--yet--whether the new owner will continue to run the space as a gallery, or not.

Across the street was another gallery that had been recommended to me as one I should check out. Stepping inside, I realized that this gallery actually consisted of several different rooms. There was a refreshing "mix" of artwork, and some of the pieces would nicely "complement" my own stuff.

We did wander to a couple other galleries in the vicinity, and enjoyed some amazing sweets at a nearby cholatier. We saw some very nice figurative paintings, some really cool sculptures, and some edgy (and delightfully fun) erotic photography.

About 8:45PM, we ran into another friend, who recommended a show at a gallery we hadn't yet visited last night. We walked the three blocks as quickly as we could, but we arrived just as the place closed. I'd still like to catch the show there, which should be possible; most of these exhibits stay up for a full month.

03 March 2010

Several Different Irons, in Several Different Fires...

I posted an ad to Craig's List a short while ago, hoping to pick up some airbrushing jobs. I've had emails from two people so far; someone who wants a design airbrushed onto the side of his jet-ski, and another person who wants a motorcycle custom-painted in time for spring.

I've sent quotes to both people, and I'm waiting to find out if my offers are accepted.

I always feel conflicting emotions about doing this sort of work. The money would be nice--we can definitely use some extra cash right now! Plus, doing these jobs would almost certainly lead to more work, meaning even more money over the summer.

Not a bad thing, but--

--it's not always easy to find time to work on my own stuff while I'm working on commissioned projects. (It's not always easy to find time to work on my own stuff, regardless!) My latest paintings have already taken longer than I expected them to, and the "fishing lure" project has set them back another couple of weeks, if not longer.

No matter who we are, we only have twenty-four hours in a day.

Better make the most of them!

02 March 2010

Another life drawing...

I'm hoping to attend another life drawing session this Thursday. (I want to have the majorit of the commissioned project finished by then, or I'll have to stay home and get more airbrushing done this Thursday night, same as I did last week...)

I haven't been to life drawing in a while (only once this year so far) and I'm still hoping to average twice a month all year--twenty-four sessions: twenty-four drawings!

There are lots of reasons I recommend that artists find a local life drawing gorup to attend: it's valuable practice, sometimes I can use the drawings as reference images for paintings, I've sold some of my drawings, and I've donated several of them to a local AIDS fundraiser. (They make great gifts, too!)

Every now and then, I leave the session with a drawing I feel is nice enough that I want to keep it for myself.

Such was the case with this one (if I may say so myself) Caroline, from a few years ago...

11 x 14, charcoal pencils on toned paper. (Approximately one and a half hours.)