My sixth studio in Minneapolis was absolutely one of my best. I completed two series of works, formulated my thesis “The Aesthetics of Composition in Abstract Oil Painting” as the foundation for my future works, and established connections in the art world that have proven to be a great benefit to my career as an artist.
After returning to Minneapolis, I moved into an art house with three other guys: Brad, Chris, and Calvin. As before, the entire house was dedicated to the arts (a 5 bedroom, with a huge dining room and living room). We had a music studio downstairs, a painting studio in the attic, and an entire house full of art. As always, there are impassioned stories here; things that happened both theatrical and passionate, and worthy of any bards tale. It was a great time in my life as an artist and the paintings I completed there are some of my absolute favorite.
After I had completed my series of Bullfight works, I recognized that now I knew how to paint what I could imagine. I was lacking a deeper understanding of color and I needed to understand each color as individual compositions. Knowing technically how to control oil paint launched me into a several year color study to gain an understanding of color and each colors relationships to itself and other colors. It was a self-imposed study, but it was invaluable to my work today.
I also started my working relationship with LUX Art & Design. I had an exhibit up of four of my new color compositions at a cafe called Barbette, and the owners of LUX were in town and saw my work there and loved it. I exhibited often at Barbette, aka Cafe Wyrd. (And thanks Andrew for the kind words about my work, it helped). They came to my studio the next day and immediately told me what they were doing and asked if I would like to be one of their artists. A few months and a contract later and I was represented on the west coast by LUX Art & Design. I still maintain my relationship with them to this day.
This is what the place looked like before I built walls, insulated, and put up sheet-rock. Whoever was there before me simply stapled old beer boxes to the walls and then spray painted it all grey. It was cold and smelled like old wood. I reinstalled, sheet-rocked, and built walls to accommodate my needs as an artist.
All of these photos are of my work in progress. At any given time in this studio, I had no less than seven paintings going at the same time. My production levels were fantastic.
I had enough space to be able to view my work on the easel at a very comfortable distance.
I heated the place with that tiny electric heater. It’s 1500 watts would always short out the house if anyone else used something electric in the bathroom below me, or turned on the music equipment in the basement. I had to keep it off most of the time, which made for cold winters.
I am not sure what happened to that painting. I know it sold, but to who?
The space was perfect for shooting photos of my work.
That is a stack of 60″ x 36″ acrylic gessoed canvases. I was burning through canvases faster than I drink coffee. My production level was high, and my finial paintings were great.
I was able to have two easels, my drafting table, a computer station, and a small living space. The studio portion of the house I lived in was 850 square feet, plenty of space to paint and live.
Here are some photos of me while I was working on BitTorrent #1 in this studio. I didn’t complete the work here, but I was able to start my formative series I had been studying and working toward.
It was a fun piece, and still very explorative, albeit it was the starting point of my thesis in practical application.
We took these photos after I had completed Rabbititus #15 “Neutral Colors,” as I was so proud of the completed work I wanted to take photos in front of it.
I know that I made the right decision to move back to Minneapolis, as the results of my time in this studio produced my true emergence as a professional artist.