it has been a long time.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. It’s been a busy two months. The group show Enigma in Baton Rouge, and the two person show at Graphite Galleries have both come to an end.

In Enigma, curated by Kelli Scott Kelley, I had the honor of exhibiting with Jamie Baldridge, Lafayette, Louisiana, Mark Cervenka, Houston, Texas, Amy Guidry, Lafayette, Louisiana, Todd Hines, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Debbie Kupinsky, Appleton, Wisconsin, and Karey Rawitscher, Czech Republic. All are fantastic narrative artists, and encourage you to visit their websites.

For the two person show in Graphite Galleries I was paired with the artist Lidia Altagracia. This New Orleans based artist’s work is sometimes quirky, sometimes dreamy, sometimes dark, and often humorous. You should definitely check her out. She’s become one of my new favorites.

I’ve been busy in the studio and recently for the first time since my undergrad days I was approached to do a commission. The interested party supplied me with the line of text and size of the finished pieces, but left all other creative freedom to me. It’s the first time I’ve ever been approached for a commission in this manner, and in all honesty, I was a little nervous. The pieces have been delivered, the couple loved them both. Here are the finished works:

it's all right to cry acrylic on wood panel 10x10 in

it’s all right to cry
acrylic on wood panel
10×10 in

the simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we would be. acrylic on wood panel 10x10 in

the simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be.
acrylic on wood panel
10×10 in

These last few are the other recent works to come out of the studio:

do i still seem a stranger to you? acrylic on wood panel 11.5x23 in

do i still seem a stranger to you?
acrylic on wood panel
11.5×23 in

a brilliant counterfeit of of joy acrylic on wood panel 23x11.5 in

a brilliant counterfeit of of joy
acrylic on wood panel
23×11.5 in

are you sure you don't want the weight? acrylic on wood panel 11.5x23 in

are you sure you don’t want the weight?
acrylic on wood panel
11.5×23 in

As always, if you are curious about pricing, you can contact me here.

really good news

I’m not really sure how it happened, but last week’s post was deleted. Here are the images I had intended to post last week:

atleastsayplease

you should always say thank you, or at least say please, acrylic on panel, 10×10, $200

paper01

i need it as much as you need me, ink on paper, 30×22, $300

paper02

this is part of loving someone, ink on paper, 22×30, $300

paper03

these meant more when i was younger, ink and gouache on paper, 30×22, $300

paper04

i am a hero, ink and gouache on paper, 30×22, $300

paper05

i refuse to be forgotten, ink and gouache on paper, 30×22, $300

A really good thing happened this week: I was awarded “best in show” at the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s exhibition Critical Mass. The winning painting is titled “I can’t be what I once was” (you can look it up on the website). Besides that cash award, there are some pretty exciting things that come along with the award. First, I will have a solo exhibition in the third floor gallery of Artspace in July. Second, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council will take out a 1/4 page ad in a prominent art magazine to publicize the show (Art News/Art in America). Third, the juror for the show, San Diego art critic Lauren Buscemi will write a review of the solo show to be published in local/national publications and websites. Needless to say I am very excited, and feeling very fortunate. Critical Mass is full of impressive artists living in Northwest Louisiana. If you are in the Shreveport area you should make it a point to stop by.

Graphite Galleries in New Orleans has been doing a wonderful job selling my work,  but this means I am going to be producing like a mad man. I have the solo show in the Leslie Powell Gallery in May/June, the solo show in Artspace July/August, the group show in the Masur Museum of Art June/October, and the group show in The Shaw Center for the Arts October/November.

When it rains, it pours.

If you pray, pray for my wife.

nice letters are nice

I received my first rejection letter of the new year: The Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition. I have to admit that I’ve grown fond of reading rejection letters. I enjoy the subtle differences in the construction of each rejection letter. I used to save them when I was in graduate school. I pinned them to the wall of my studio like some sort of merit badge. I kept them all on the same push-pin. One day while I was painting, the push-pin fell out of the wall. It could no longer hold the weight. I laughed at the situation until I was cleaning up the mess and realized the stack that I thought had been accumulating for awhile had only amassed over the course of one academic year. Sitting there on the floor in the midst of an obscene amount of rejection letters I counted on two fingers the shows I had been selected for, neither of which were in the same year. It was a very dramatic moment.

I’ve grown a thicker skin and developed a more selective process for submissions. And sometimes a rejection letter can be a relief, especially when the opposite would mean a last minute scramble to frame and pack. I think I still prefer a rejection in the mail over one in email.

Now to speak of the shows in which I do have work. Here are the links to their online catalogues:
Louisiana Purchase
Surreal Salon 5

I have also finished two new monotypes and two new paintings:

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I know I shouldn’t, but . . .

I know I shouldn’t post photos of my work that I’ve taken with an iPhone, but I’m just too excited to wait. I can usually wait till I’ve been to the Artist’s One Stop at BAC and taken good photographs. I don’t feel like waiting this time.

In preparation for the upcoming exhibition “Computer Aided” at the Masur Museum of Art, I’ve been making monoprints. I’m using adhesive vinyl text and shapes to create the matrix, which gives it a callagraph effect. These are not the prints that will be used in the exhibition (you’ll have to wait for those) but they are good examples of what will be on display.

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new work, old books

I’ll start this post off with the new work:

i was trying, acrylic on panel, 10x10in

failed attempts and other happy things, acrylic on panel, 10x10in

their sins flung off by strength of faith, acrylic on panel, 10x10in

he cut loose the sandbags, but the balloon wouldn’t go any higher, acrylic on panel, 10x10in

The paintings I sent to Graphite Gallery are going over really well. I’m hoping to maintain a steady momentum in the studio so I can keep sending more work to New Orleans.

I submitted my entries to Surreal Salon 5 and the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition. I think these two will be the last exhibitions I submit to this year. I’m still planning on submitting to a couple of publications, especially New American Paintings. I really need to get started on new pieces for my solo show in Oklahoma, and the group show of narrative painters I was invited to in Baton Rouge next year. Hopefully, I’ll get to do some printmaking in the next couple of months. I really want to try working the text into some monotypes.

My studio has transformed from painting mode to packing mode as I make boxes to ship work to the gallery and to a buyer in Monroe. In the meantime, I’ve been rummaging through my old sketchbooks chasing threads of thought and mining for anything useful. Occasionally I have to stop and laugh at some of my writings from graduate school. You can tell I wasn’t getting any sleep. I’ve also decided to reread Art as Experience. If you’ve never read it, you should.

voted, painted, photographed, and updated.

I had the day off today because its voting day, so I made the most of it:

I voted (won’t be sharing the gritty details)

I painted (one painting finished before 11:30)

this was very disagreeable to a guilty mind

I photographed new work using the equipment at the Bossier Arts Council sponsored Artists One Stop (the work above, and the these two below)

we don’t mind lying to ourselves

always remember: if you’re not having fun, stop

I updated the website 9 new images with info in “paintings” (if you want to see those, you’ll need to go to the website.

The show at Graphite Gallery is going well. Work is selling steadily. Hope the momentum maintains.

#7 is done while #8 eagerly awaits

Good news! My car is back. Unfortunately, I think I got too cozy with the rental. Oh well, I’m glad to have my car back just the same. Even though the bill is settled with the mechanic, I’m still offering the sale on the older works that I listed in a former post. If you haven’t taken the time to look at which ones are on sale, I suggest you do so soon.

Although this week was terribly busy, I was able to finish two more 10×10’s:

what’s to keep it from drying up?
acrylic on panel 10×10 in

there was an eager, greedy, restless look in his eye

there was an eager, greedy, restless motion in the eye
acrylic on panel 10×10 in

These two put the total at 7 (9 if you count the ones already at Graphite Gallery still for sale). This leaves me only 25 more to go till I complete my goal.

Also coming up this week is the reception for the 25th Annual September Competition at the Alexandria Museum of Art. I’m happy to be participating in the exhibition again this year. I’ll post pictures of the reception next week.

5 and One

I completed five new paintings this week. All are 10×10 inch acrylic on panel, and used cut vinyl (the process described in last week’s post). My goal is to have 32 finished by the end of October. Here are the first 5:

the devil is in the details, and god is in the mistakes
acrylic on panel, 10×10 in

with an apple in his mouth
acrylic on panel, 10×10 in

the bark will burn very well even when wet
acrylic on panel, 10×10 in

his heart and soul were in the scene and with his former self
acrylic on panel, 10×10 in

all folded over on top of itself
acrylic on panel, 10×10 in

If you’re an artist in the Bossier area you can really benefit visiting the Bossier Arts Council. Through the Artist’s One Stop local artists can have access to top-notch photo equipment and photo editing/design software. It’s completely free if you’re a member (which you should be anyways). All of us need good photos of our work to submit for exhibitions, and the staff at the Bossier Arts Council would be happy to help you learn how to use the equipment. They will even be offering free workshops on everything from excel to photoshop to setting up an artist’s website.

Out with the Old . . .

Last week I told you that I was going to mark down some of my older work. I chose five and cut the price by 50%. I also sent out an early notification on my facebook page ( Joshua Chambers : Art) a couple of days before I posted the info on here. One has already sold. Here are the remaining four:

"wholesome made for stringy meat" 44x54 acrylic on canvas, originally $1200 - now $600

“wholesome made for stringy meat” 44×54 acrylic on canvas, originally $1200 – now $600
This painting was published in New American Paintings

"it's for my surprise" 44x54 acrylic on panel, was $1200 - now $600

“it’s for my surprise” 44×54 acrylic on panel, was $1200 – now $600
this painting was published in New American Paintings

"next time, you be Santiago"

“next time, you be Santiago” 35×47 acrylic on panel, was $900 – now $450

"it's the difference between schooling and shoaling"

“it’s the difference between schooling and shoaling” 35×45 acrylic on panel, was $900 – now $450

If you are interested in purchasing, please contact me by email through my website, or through my facebook page.

Now, for the step-by-step I promised you:

Once the vinyl is applied (see photo from last weeks post) each panel receives several transparent coats of color until the desired color is achieved.

vinyl lettering is then removed, and two or three more coats of paint go on in order to cover the white of the gesso. This gives the surface an embossed look.

next, a smaller version of the same text is applied to the panel, and the figures or scenes are drawn on top of and around the text. In this photo the drawing is complete and the painting was just started.

Once the drawing is done, the painting is then completed.

The final step is to remove the vinyl.

The final product results in a subtle inclusion of the text within the picture plane.