flying colors blog


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 insignificance...read 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 are...read 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

cowboy

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

painting: DIARY OF SUMMER
Diary of Summer acrylic on canvas W. Skog

There are projects and then there are projects...


Keys to Abstraction

photo of workshop participants

Workshop!

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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painting: BEAUTY AND MORALITY
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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