Saturday, March 18, 2017

On The Walls This Week - March 18, 2017

Unframed Drawings on the East Wall - 40 x 26 inches each
Three Pieces by Michelle Peterson Albandoz. the piece on the left is a collaboration between Michelle and myself.
The East Wall Rear. Pieces by myself, Brian Schutz, Jeff Janson and Michelle Peterson Albandoz

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Odds and Ends - March 2017

This week I've sent out images to two clients, no response yet. That is not unusual, these things take time, people need a few days to make decisions. In the meantime I'm posting some of the images I sent them, and a few other odds and ends. Some of these have been posted on this blog before, but most were dug out of the files - oddballs  experiments and studies that are not often seen.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I'm Tempted To Call This Series 'Elaborate Cages'

Michael McGuire - Girder And Panel 22 - India Ink on Arches - 40 x 26 inches

Michael McGuire - Girder And Panel 23, 24 - India Ink on Arches - 40 x 26 inches
Michael McGuire - Untitled - Acrylic Paint on Panel - 12 x 12 inches
'Elaborate Cages' seems an apt title for this latest group of work given the political box we find ourselves in at this time. How did we get here? We went from the relative stability of the Obama years to utter chaos. The term cages could also refer to emotional or personal cages we have built for ourselves. Which ever definition you lean towards, these cages may be beautiful, they may give a sense of freedom and direction, but we are trapped and we have constructed them ourselves.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mood Swings

My current mood of despair is occasionally lifted by my art-making and the joy of creation. Actually art seems to be the only refuge this month. At least I have an outlet for what I'm feeling, as ineffective as it may be. I made a new monochromatic flag. Somewhat funereal, but it seems apt. I made an error on the topmost stripe, but I may leave it as is.
Michael McGuire - Monochromatic American Flag - Recycled Cardboard, India Ink on Arches Watercolor Paper - 26"x40"
And a client returned this color study piece based on a Rothko painting. He had purchased and framed two drawings form this series and found that two were a bit much for his space. I was happy to get it back. The framing he choose is good - white frame with good depth to it. The frame sets off and contains the color well.

Michael McGuire - Rothko Study 3 - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What A Difference Six Months Makes?

I had to got out onto my small balcony this morning to pick up a cushion that the wind had tossed around yesterday. As I looked down to my condo building swimming pool I saw this.

Wintery and graphic, we had a dusting of snow early this morning that accented the tarp covering the pool and presumably touching the remaining water. I have frequently shot the pool form this vantage point with no particular goal in mind other than the documenting changing seasons made visible via my condo pool deck.

Here is the summer version to remind us all that the days are getting longer and warmer weather is on its way.

This week I also remade/updated a drawing I made last summer. I have an opportunity to send a few drawings to a show in Guatemala City and I wanted to include a drawing from my 'Overlapping Grids' series. My instinct was to rework one of the more complicated of the grid drawings by shifting the arrangement. Formally each of the grids in these drawing are made with one half heavy line weight and one half lighter line weight. At the time I did not fully understand the result of the two grids overlapping. Why the asymmetry? 

Michael McGuire - Overlapping Grids 4 - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40"x26"
So in the newest drawing I shifted where the heavier line weigh occurs. It changed the drawing, but I'm still unsure why. Note how the NW and SE corners have changed. Perhaps this imagery deserves a full series to explore each of the possible variations.

Michael McGuire - Overlapping Grids 11 - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40"x26"

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back From Puerto Rico - New Watercolors and a Few Photos

I was in Puerto Rico last week. Saw two old friends and met four amazing new friends. I worked hard too. For me there is not much else to do in the heat of the day - I don't sit in the sun and I get bored easily. Consequently I have come back to Chicago with thirteen new water colors. I will post the in chronological order, the progression is apparent. I still struggle with both the watercolor media and color in general. But being in such a colorful, sunlit place made it easy to riff on the take inspiration from the environment around me.

Michael McGuire - Untitled Watercolor Drawings - 12''x 9'' each
In the first watercolor drawing I was once again exploring the array of colors in the small Windsor Newton watercolor set I brought with me. The second is still exploration but I returned to a motif I have used before, the graduated grid. And the third drawing was about mixing grays and again a graduated grid of sorts.

These next three watercolors are still about mixing grays and blacks. The middle black drawing refers to drawings I had been making in Chicago before I left. Hints of the landscape in two of them.

These two drawings introduce the 'Wave' motif and this photo is a reminder that all of these drawings can be rotated ninety degrees for a different perspective. I'm still timid with the color but taking inspiration for the beach that was just outside my door.

Here the motif has been established and I'm trying not to over-think the color.

The end of my stay in Puerto Rico is approaching. I'm actually working harder because I like the direction these watercolors are going. Trying to be a little more thoughtful about the color.

The last three watercolors. I relaxed a bit about the color. These drawings really are studies in the sense that I worked in a somewhat uncomfortable media with color, and maybe I learned a thing or two that will inform my work back in the studio.

Below is a photo of my painting set up in P.R. just out side my room at the 'Numero Uno' Guest house. The ocean is just on the other side of the wall.

I did not shoot as many photos as in years past while visiting Puerto Rico but below are a few from my walks around the 'Ocean Park' neighborhood of San Juan where my guest house was situated.  These photos are a little unfair in that they make the place look like a bombed out city which it is not at all. It is lively and full of businesses and a lot of development is going on. But at the same time there are abandoned buildings and empty lots everywhere. I think it is the product of probate rules in Puerto Rico, and the tropical environment is very hard on any structure. But a lot of great architecture that runs from Miami Art Deco to some of the original wood beach shacks that have been lovingly restored.