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December 18, 2014

Illuminati

It’s all about the lighting. And no, I’m not talking about the rampant proliferation of holiday lights on the homes and businesses of Tulsa.

(We actually had a brief conversation about syncing up the LED lights in the gallery’s front windows to some Slipknot, but decided against it.)

I’m talking about art lighting. The proper lighting can make or break a piece of art.

In the gallery, we have more than 250 light fixtures illuminating art at any one time. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Each fixture requires a trip up and down the ladder. Adjustments must be made. What looks good from the top of the ladder might not look good to the person standing in front of the art on the gallery’s floor.

I can’t really understate how important it is.

Another of the ways we control the light in the gallery is by blocking out the light from the front windows. This summer, we had some window covers made to hang outside. They were better than the old ones that hung inside for a couple of reasons. 1) They blocked the outside light better; 2) They looked more awesomer from the parking lot. (I am aware that awesomer is not a word; maybe it should be.)

For reasons beyond our control, we’ve had to replace them already, so we took the opportunity to switch out some of the images. We think they came out pretty well. You’ll have to swing by and see them when you to get presents for your loved ones.

Here’s are gratuitous pics of Jack standing next to a couple of the window covers:

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If you have lighting needs in your home, we will be happy to come out and do a consultation with you. We work closely (and exclusively) with Gilley’s electric on these projects.

We can light up your life.

 

Continuum

Rolling on with last week’s blog theme, we have a couple other new artists to introduce you to: Stefani Tewes and Kierstin Young.

Biographically speaking, I’ll have more on them later. But for now, two awesome works of art:

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Stefani Tewes, Stop All the Clocks, Oil on Panel, 40" x 40"

107193Kierstin Young, Immanent Epoch, Charcoal & Pastel on Paper, 12" x 16"

Normally, I’d tell you to come see this amazing art in person, but … it’s not here yet. It’s on the way. Stay tuned, true believers!

And with that, I’m leaving you short this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

December 05, 2014

Mission Critical

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It’s the critical time of year.

You’re sitting in your office chair, not wondering about that TPS report you haven’t finished, but worrying about what you’re getting your significant other for the holidays. Oh sure, you could order another ironic coffee mug, or some quirky socks, maybe that thing you saw together at the mall that one time after that event you went to.

Or … you could get them a piece of original art. Think of all the positives: 1) whatever you choose, it is the only one there is. 2) Original art has spectacular staying power. 3) It’s waaaaay more thoughtful than a gift card. 4) You’re buying something beautiful that enriches your life while at the same time enabling an Artist to continue to produce creative, exciting work. 5) It will be a gift long remembered. 6) The person receiving the original piece of art will think you are the coolest person on the face of the planet in the history of ever.

Something to consider. Or not. I’m not telling you what to do. You’re a grown person. Probably.

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Eclectricity in the Air

We are making a deliberate excursion into new genres of art. In some ways, there are no new genres of art, just different interpretations of the same thoughts and ideas humans have had since we began having thoughts and ideas. But in terms of the gallery, we are … branching out.

We’ve been leaning this way for some time. The art market in Tulsa has taken a contemporary turn the last few years, and we try to accommodate that. As always, our goal is to have something for anyone who walks through our front door. Sometimes, that person is looking for something traditional, like a wildlife painting, a bronze or a landscape. Sometimes, that person wants a hyper-realistic painting. Sometimes, that person is looking for an abstract with a particular shade of blue in it.

We try to have it all.

It’s not an easy task. We’re not going to add a new abstract artist just to fill a void. They have to be great at what they do. They have to meet the standard set by our other artists, and we have brilliant artists, none of whom we're shuttling to the side to make room for the new. You can still expect to see all the same artists and kinds of art we've always had. But ... we're shaking things up a bit, too.

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But it begins.

What do I mean when I say new genres of art? We’re not just looking for contemporary work, but art with an edge to it. More things that make you stop and really take in what you’re seeing. Sometimes, that’s style, like with Lindsey Kustusch. Sometimes, that’s subject matter, like with Michael John Nolan. Sometimes, it’s all of it, like with Pamela Wilson.

After all, sometimes art needs to get in your face a bit. Yes, it could just hang there on the wall, complementing the drapes and couch. Or it could move you when you look at it. It could inspire conversations with visitors to your home. It could make people feel and think. It should be powerful.

Original art can do so much if you let it.

So let it.

We’d like to introduce Alexandra Manukyan and her painting, The Countess. Her work is coming soon to the gallery. As always, it is better seen in person than on a computer screen. We’ll be happy to accommodate you in that regard.

10. Countess, 24'x20', oil on canvas, $4000

Thanks for stopping by this week. We appreciate you.

Oh! Before I go, you can now tour the gallery via Google. If you've never had the chance to visit us in person, here's some flavor for you

See you next week. 

November 28, 2014

What up, Turkeys

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What up, Turkeys.

We are fat(ter) and happy-ish, and back from a day of over-indulgence ready to deal some art. I’ll keep it concise because I know you’re consumed with all things Black and Fridayish.

The gallery is loaded with new art from a bevy of artists, new and old. If you visited Facebook this morning, I introduced Michael John Nolan. I don’t have his artist’s page up just yet, but it’ll be there soon. He paints … alternative subjects, but it’s our kind of thing, and we think you’ll like it. As usual, come in, check it out.

But that’s not all …

Josh George sent us two new paintings that are pretty spectacular, including this one, Notice the Vertical Development.

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James Johnson has, once again, begun experimenting with a new style of painting. We have several of them, but here’s one for you (Falling Flowers) without having to click.

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One of my favorite new things in the gallery is from James “Bud” Smith. He calls it Bird Clan Mask.

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Finally, you’re probably aware the yule gift-giving holiday is imminent, and we’d just like to remind you we carry a selection of jewelry, including pieces from Wayne Muskett, Steve Yellowhorse and Jody Lyle. I’ll leave a couple pics here for you, but you should really visit our two jewelry cases.

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In a New Moulding

Most of you are aware we don’t just deal in art. We also carry the largest selection of mouldings west of the Mississippi. A good frame can take a great painting or photograph to the next level. Mouldings allow you to add the “wow!” factor to your art and memories. What could you do with a chalkboard frame? Add instant personalized awesomeness, that’s what.

We have new mouldings from Roma, Larson-Juhl and others.

Check out some of the new lines (there are a lot more than just these, btw):

  Lavo-finishes

Eleganza-finishes

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And that’s it, kids. Short and sweet. Enjoy your shopping.

November 20, 2014

Everyone, Meet Lindsey

Hey, there. Everyone doing well?

Lindsey Kustusch profile picI'll keep the intro short. This week we bring you a Q&A with Lindsey Kustusch. You can read her bio on her artist’s page. Lindsey's work has attracted a lot of attention in the three short weeks it's been here, and one of the first three pieces has already found a home. More are on the way.

Lindsey's been in Germany shooting photo reference for future pieces, and we expect some of that work will be possibly heading our way in the future.

Lindsey's work is a blend of the abstract and real, of soft textures and sharp lines, bold colors and subtle shades. We like it a lot, and we're proud to have her in the Gallery. 

Anyway, on with it. The questions and answers:

Why did you become a painter?

Ultimately, creating anything with my hands is what brings me the most joy in life. I like the physicality and spontaneity of applying what’s in your head to a raw physical form. I hoped I’d somehow find a career in art, but it wasn’t until long after art school and after a short career in animal welfare, did I realize painting was my ticket in. It started as a hobby and then once I realized I can actually make a living doing what I love, I found a whole new passion for the medium itself. There are endless possibilities with paint and very different directions you can take it. Unveiling those possibilities on my day-to-day continuously convinces me I’m where I’m supposed to be.

Do you have a philosophy that drives your work? 107097

These could be more “rules of the road” than philosophies I’d say, but … paint what inspires you and not what you think you’re supposed to, it’ll always show in your work. Seek inspiration through your peers, but always find your own voice. Remind yourself that most of the artists you idolize are sometimes more than twice your age, so be patient and stay focused. Remember to leave the house at least once a day. And don’t forget, you’re living the dream, so stop complaining.

You seem to switch from animals to landscapes to figures and back with no problem, and you do all equally well. Why and how?

I found early on that switching up the subject matter every other painting or so helped to keep me inspired, free-thinking and interested. Sticking to one subject for too long prevented me from taking risks necessary to grow as an artist.

Urban landscapes were the first genre of oil painting to completely blow me away and had me question everything I knew about oil as a medium, so without a doubt became the first of my challenges. I realized that once you break it down into simple geometric shapes and forms, there’s an endless freedom for personal expression in the urban environment. Hard, angular edges, sharp peaks against soft clouds, tight blocks of color stacked on top of one another; abstracting and breaking down the world as we see it into individual knife marks and brush strokes, satisfies a specific piece of the puzzle that no other subject can. Just the same as a figure or animal, but with an entirely different set of problems to solve.

By jumping back and forth, I’m able to stay fresh and forward thinking as to the overall direction I want to take my art. It helps to keep me focused and experimental. The animals allow me to use tools I would normally never use with a cityscape and the freedom to rest my eyes and get loose with the mark making. The figures depend upon a skill set required to accurately describe the human form, which is a challenge all in itself. Each of the subjects I paint serve a purpose in the creative process, and with each subject I hold a personal connection. In the end, my hope is that this will create an inspired, lifetime body of work.

What inspires you most?

That's a tough one. And I'm sure once I answer it, I'll think of something else. But overall, if I had to pinpoint what inspires me the most, it would be living in a city surrounded by creative, forward thinking people. I'm highly influenced by my surroundings, as we all are, so to be in the thick of it, and in a city that lends itself to the creative types is a constant motivator and daily inspiration.

How much do you consider the abstract elements of your work, or is that just a byproduct of your technique?

A little bit of both. I’m constantly fighting the tidiness of the painting, and where, when and what to abstract. Understanding something to the level where you can “playfully” break it down into simple shapes and colors and not create a complete mess, in my opinion, is a truly advanced skill and one that I’m continuously striving for. But I’ve come to realize with my own work, each painting is better left to reveal itself as it moves along, and there’s only so much you can push.

What kind of color palette do you prefer to work in? (Seems like you’re drawn to darker things … )

I guess I am drawn to a darker palette. There’s a richness in the darker pigments that strike a chord with me and seem to always draw my eye before a higher keyed painting. Also, I’ve always had a fear of making paint look “chalky,” and it’s very easy to do with a lighter palette. I like high contrast but lately I’m finding myself drawn more and more to those lighter, dustier, barely there colors, so who knows.

107098Why do you prefer to use palette knives and improvised painting implements?

I think it started with the fear of creating a lifeless, boring piece of art. Delicately blending pigment and lightly applying it to a canvas just wasn’t very much fun and I wasn’t very good at it, so long before I ever knew fine art would turn into a career I decided to start experimenting with the palette knife.

There was an artist in a gallery down the street from me at the time that treated his canvas like a cake. It was so satisfying to see thick, frosting like texture, bold, rich colors swirled together to form vibrant landscapes. He changed the way I looked at oil paint forever.

From there it’s just been a constant cycle of new inspiration, and new ways to experiment with achieving the end goal. When considering movement in an animal or the fog on a rainy day, soft and hard edges are crucial. Using tools that scrape the pigment across the canvas versus a brush have very different effects. Finding these effects with a constant rotation of tools is half the reason I love painting, and if the artist is inspired, so is the art she/he creates.

 What piece of art that you’ve seen recently blew your mind and why?

This past year I was able to see the Joaquin Sorolla exhibit that came through Dallas. Wow, that is the show to see. To this day I have not seen such skilled use of color up close as I have with him. It made me realize again how it important it is to try and see as much art as you can in person, because even the most precise photographs won’t do it justice.

Lindsey, who probably considers herself a Californian, spent a year living in Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas. Call it her sabbatical.

What did you think of Dallas?

The hottest place I’d ever lived. But … besides that, overall it was inspiring. I’d say my favorite part of Dallas was Deep Ellum itself. The realness of the people who live and work there, the old warehouses and saloons nestled along the torn up gritty streets, and fact that almost every night of the week there were cafes, bars and venues playing live music was pretty incredible.

What’s the best part of being back in California?

I’d say being able to have the windows open year round. I live in Oakland, and since I’ve been back it’s varied from a pleasant 80 degrees down to maybe a warm 68 without a cloud in the sky. It’s absurd. So other than the weather being beautiful, San Francisco is one of the most inspiring cities I’ve ever lived in, so being a short 20 minute train ride away just feels right.

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Weekly Updates

Not so long ago, we had one of Google’s official photographers come through and shoot the gallery. You can now, through the magic of the Internet, “walk” through the gallery. Check it out

And with that, we'll see you next week. Thanks for stopping by.

Oh, wait. Last thing. Jack says if you come in next Wednesday, Nov. 26, in your best pilgrim costume, he'll give you a 10 percent discount (excluding bronzes; no discounts on bronzes!). So ... think about it.

November 13, 2014

Off-Color

I wanted to open up with one of my dad’s classic off-color remarks. Instead, we’ll do it Mad-Libs style.

“We’ve been busier than a _________ (noun) in a ___________ (more colorful noun) contest.”

Share yours in the comments section below!

Anyway, we’ve been busy. I don’t know if you know this, but we had a big show last week. K. Henderson, Robert Caldwell and Paul Rhymer were in the house, and they brought the bad-ass art. Lots of it. And then while they were here, they made more.

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Robert, K and Paul wondering what Paul is doing with that plaster mould.

And then, of course, there are at least four more pages in the Receiving Log.

You can always hop up to the top of the page, hover over “Artists,” and click the link for “New Works.” That is the easiest way to keep up with the new arrivals. But it does like my commentary, if that makes a difference to you.

It’s fun, after all, to talk about our new art and to make the proper introductions, when applicable.

Not sure if I got around to mentioning Nicholas Bernard, for instance. I don’t remember how we found Nicholas, but he is a colorful addition to the gallery in terms of work and personality. I mean, this is what he sent us for his artist bio pic: 

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He’s been a potter for more than 30 years, and is still working toward being a master of his craft.  We might argue that he already is, but whatever keeps him motivated to evolve as an artist is fine with us. Welcome to the gallery, Nicholas.

In addition to Nicholas, a dozen of our artists have sent us new work in the last 30 days, a lot of it in the last two weeks. We received three pieces from Camille Engel, a couple from Josh George. There are three new bowls from Tim Yardic, and Claudia Patrick updated her entire portfolio for 2014. There’re two from Allison Cantrell and a new one from Todd Ford. Two from Terry Isaac. James Johnson unleashed his new abstract series last week, and Erika Pochybova sent us her first three-dimensional piece. Two new Scot Storm’s are hanging in the gallery, and there’s a cool wolf from Julie Bender you need to see.

All that and we’re not even talking about the pieces from the show.

Holiday Season

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m obligated by the Accords of Retail Businesses to point out that the holiday season is upon us. This year, we’re making a pledge. Though you may see bows and holly out in front of our shop, you’ll not see it on the inside. Nor will you hear any of yesteryear’s crooners serenading you with the sounds of the season.

At Lovetts, we’ll be pretending it’s just any old normal time of the year.

That said, we have a lot of really great pieces of original art that will serve nicely as gifts. We have men’s and women’s jewelry from the likes of Steve Yellowhorse, John Knotts  and Jody Lyle

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Award Season

Just in case you guys ever doubt the artistic mastery hanging on the walls here at Lovetts, we sometimes like to remind you that it’s not just Jack and me that think they’re awesome. For instance, Camille Engel has been racking up the international awards this year.

 "2014 Best Wildlife" - International Guild of Realism: 

Camille Engel, wins "Best Wildlife" award in the 9th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibition for her 24” x 36” oil painting on linen of a swimming pigeon guillemot, Floating Between Two Worlds. This year's exhibition is hosted by Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC (voted Best Art Gallery in Charleston from 2010 to 2013.) 

Seventy International Artists and 75 paintings were chosen for this exhibition from over 350 juried member entries. Around 40 of the artists with their guests were in attendance including artists from Sweden, Iceland, Canada and Norway. The Exhibition hangs from November 7 through November 28, 2014.

2014-2015 ART AND THE ANIMAL MUSEUM TOUR

 “I am thrilled my English Bulldog, Who's a Good Girl?, was accepted into the 54th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists, and chosen for the 2014-2015 "Fiftieth Annual Art and the Animal" National Museum Tour,” says Camille.

The Society of Animal Artists and its annual touring exhibition, Art and the Animal, represent the very best animal art being produced in the world today. The SoAA is regarded world-wide as the most prestigious artist membership organization dedicated to the theme of animals in art.

Wrap-up

Next week, we’ll have an interview with Lindsey Kustusch, another artist new to the Lovetts family. I would’ve had the interview for you this week, but Lindsey’s been in Germany shooting reference for her next round of paintings. I’m willing to cut her some slack.

Here's a piece of hers to hold you over.

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See you next week!