flying colors blog

a brave new artworld part 1

We have arrived at a peak screen revolution. Unfortunately this has had a negative impact on the way art is displayed, resulting in a transition from gallery or museum viewing of actual paintings and sculptures to viewing them on electronic screens. But there is a natural disconnect between the art world and the tech world....
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head with lightbulb

image credit Terry Border

mechanical head

a brave new artworld part 2

Art and technology appear to be diametrically opposite phenomena, yet they both continue to shape the world. Perhaps they have both been around for millennia: the great pyramid in Egypt could have been an electrical power transmitter at the same time humans were drawing elegant figures of animals on fire-lit cave walls. Today art and technology are big partners in the availability and presentation of visual images. But with respect to art, it is important to be aware that visual images on screens are not art but pictures of art.....
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the artist's muse

Matisse's muse and assistant Lydia Delectorskaya

courting the muse

When an artist faces a startling white canvas in the beginning of the creative process, there is a moment of hesitation, sometimes fear or anxiety about desecrating that perfect whiteness in a gamble to create a work of art. This is risky business and requires some mental and emotional strength...
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manifesto definition

Sometimes I am asked what guidelines I establish for myself while painting. The short answer is that I don't especially separate my life's values from those that I incorporate into a piece of artwork. And they need to be strong enough to withstand the challenges. After all, Woody Allen will tell you, life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.
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Einstein and his therapist

Einstein and his therapist

Omnipotence vs. Insignificance

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - this is a somewhat new kind of religion." -Albert Einstein

What does it mean to be free? There has been much written about that but to me it means the incarnation of omnipotent power. Do we have access to that? NO. That is why it is so difficult to come to terms with our more

Six Impossible Things from Alice in Wonderland

Six Impossible Things

“Six impossible things before breakfast,” is a quote from ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ by Lewis Carroll. It comes from a conversation between Alice and the White Queen where the White Queen wants Alice to believe her astonishing age -- one hundred and one, five months and a day -- and then admits she routinely tries to believe impossible things for half an hour a day.

If you are an artist, you can easily spend more than a half hour a day believing impossible things.

The six impossible things that I believe in more

Playing With Fire

A bee
staggers out
of the peony
-Matsuo Basho

Just how I feel after diving into a painting and emerging only after the nectar has been consumed and the painting has gained momentum. And I am almost staggering because the energy that pulls you in is intense...

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Michelangelo fresco


Who were the Irascibles?

"In the history of all art there was never a movement as hated as Abstract Expressionism" -- Robert Motherwell

So decades ago, why were some artists in New York willing to suffer public abuse to renounce long established Renaissance practices and traditions?
It was the beginning of a new era but how did 'art about nothing' ever achieve universal acceptance?

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Calgary oil tankers

Down by the Railroad Tracks

My show, Lyrical Abstraction, opened a few weeks ago in Calgary. It was a huge production as ever a solo show can be. And such an adventure right from packing a backpack to unlocking my front door two days later. I like these whirlwind trips and this one reminded me of a weekend I spent in New York where a million things happened in a very short period of time. But that's another story.

I slept by the railroad tracks the first night in Calgary but certainly not in a ditch...

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train graphic by W. Skog

Art and Cows

Jane Urquhart's book, Away contains a passage that raises questions about the production/creation of art. Here is an excerpt from the book: "They had come to a small clearing in the woods. In it there was a shanty with a tin stovepipe, a modest-sized workshed painted bright orange, and a yard filled with logs, planks, sheets of tin, and sawhorses. Above the workshop a sign proclaimed, THOMAS J. DOHERTY: SIGN PAINTER AND BARN EMBELLISHER. But most surprising, the surrounding area was scattered with...

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Skog drawing of cows

Skog drawing of cows.

brush graphic

Being in the Brush

Throughout history, the way the artist lays down the paint has been closely examined, criticized, praised, and admired. Joan Mitchell, Monet, Van Gogh, Basquiat, Twombly... are painters whose brushstrokes I admire and have assimilated into my own expression, moreso in my new work. Imposing upon brushwork to carry the visual load has not been the easiest thing to do.

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How I killed my Summer Vacation

Diary of Summer acrylic on canvas W. Skog

There are projects and then there are projects...

Keys to Abstraction

photo of workshop participants


Gather your pencils, your brushes and your paints. Get on some old clothes. Load up your portable studio and let's hang out and paint. I'm holding a workshop in November! We'll be mixing colors and shades and tints and finding what to do with them to make paintings that people will look at. They will be entranced! We'll be searching and FINDING the keys to abstract painting

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Beauty and Morality acrylic on canvas W. Skog

What Was I Thinking?

One question I often get from someone looking at one of my abstract paintings is 'what were you thinking when you painted that?' This is a question I can't entirely fathom. What is anyone ever thinking when they are intensely engaged. Could be this is the state that the yogi's refer to as one-pointedness (there it is right at the top of my head) although that is another mystery.

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What does it Mean to be Inspired?

interview with Victoria writer Rob Wipond

Michelangelo's sculptures were initially a great source of inspiration for me and continue to be even while I'm an abstract painter.

Michelangelo sculpture

Q: Even though your paintings are abstract, I often feel like there are strong, meaningful connections between your paintings and the verbal titles you give them. How would you describe that connection? How do you come up with the titles to your paintings? Do you think the titles are important?

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