In the studio again after a long break. After seventeen years of painting throughout the each summer I decided to take a break for the summer and didn't spend much time in the studio painting. I didn't do much photography either and truly enjoyed the time away. I did finish up a piece I started in May by working on rainy days, BELLE PLAINE 30X48 oil. I love being an artist, but it's still work, albeit a job I have loved from a very young age. I enjoyed being able to engage with nature and all of the sights and sounds around our place here on the Great Spirit River, Wakpa Wakan (Ojibwe) a.k.a. rum river. without feeling I needed to get something for a painting, or take a photo or capture a scene, or remember colors or atmosphere. I was able to enjoy all of that, just for the sake of the experience. My wife Dawn and I did a lot of fishing on the river, we got a few big Bass this year and saw so many creatures on our travels up and down stream. Rivers are like wildlife highways, there's always some kind of activity, Eagles, Owls, Osprey, Fox, Coyotes, Otter, Deer, Beaver just to name a few. I do believe we love the rivers, especially the one we are blessed to live above. Thank you Great Spirit.
I used to have a problem with the cold here in southern Minnesota, at least the inconvenience of it all. But, since I'm not commuting to work any longer, the cold doesn't really bother me. Winter cleans and clarifies and gives us time to reflect. The most wonderful thing about this season is the color of light reflecting off of the snow. The light and atmosphere are extraordinary and I love it! The warm tones against the incredible glowing blues and violets. There is an old song by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils from 1976. The lyrics are resounding and reflect my sentiment. "Thank you, Lord
You made it right, you made it right."
Another Spirit River Painting. I love to paint winter scenes, the colors in winter are exceptional and the play of light always warms up an otherwise cold painting. I remember asking a gallery director where I was showing some years ago, if he'd be interested in selling some of my winter scenes. He quickly replied that in the 35 yrs he's been selling art, he's never once sold a winter painting. Well, my winter scenes sell. I've been told by clients that they love the warmth the images inspire. It's not easy making a winter scene warm, but a lot of effort goes into choosing the right scene, light and composition to make the painting warm and inviting. I named this river painting ORION, because it's so prominent in the sky this time of year. I can look out my bedroom window at night and ORION is right there guarding the night. Thanks for taking a moment. Joseph
Hi, so busy lately that I haven't had much time to blog, but here is my newest piece. At least I'm getting some work done in the studio. New York Mills show was a great success, sales figures still to come . . . okay nothing sold, but it was a great show nonetheless and I'm so grateful to Jill Johnson for working so hard and being so kind and gracious.
I'm back in the studio after spending most of the summer researching new material and doing some work around the property, recently bought a bunch of large canvases for upcoming works too. I've spent some time at different farms looking for the perfect cow painting, but not sure I got the material I wanted. One of the farms had a creek running through the pasture, perfect setting, just couldn't get the cows to pose like they were supposed to. Also spent a great deal of time on the River doing some research . . . with a little fishing here and there. I can spend hours or days in the field trying to find the right composition, lighting and situation that will produce a good painting, not an easy task, but a challenge I truly love. Winter is coming so I thought I'd start another winter River scene, this is the first layer (underpainting), the painting will change quite a bit. Wakpa Wakan is the Ojibwe name for the river I love to paint. It means Great Spirit River. It's new given name was by European immigrants that changed spirit river to Rum River . . . I like to refer to it in the native language or just Spirit River, that's just the way it should be. There is an effort by a small group to change the name back to the original, but I'm told things aren't really moving along to well. I'm sure t's difficult to get changes like that to happen.
I'm a painter, so why do I post photos on my blog. My old website had a few photo galleries in addition to my paintings. Since I don't have a photography gallery on this new site as of yet, I'd like to showcase some of my digital work here for now. You know I truly love photography. If painting is my right arm, then photography would be my left. That leaves sculpture . . . that would be my right leg I guess.
I'm a Photographer in addition to being a Painter and Sculptor. I haven't sculpted since I began painting back in 2000. I've been so busy with Painting and Photography I haven't had time for 3-D. Sculpture takes a great deal of time, space and equipment. Especially space, I'd need two distinct studios each with it's own equipment and operating styles. Sculpture was my first passion and my mind is always thinking about three dimensional art. When I was sculpting I thought about two dimensional art, painting, drawing and printmaking. I love creating art in almost any form.
I'm fascinated by ancient Native practices being conducted by the natives in this generation, thus the concept of the ancient and the new. I was honored to be invited to a sweat lodge ceremony in Cass Lake Minn. a couple of winters ago. This was Tony (Magiikwane) with the drum before we went into the sweat lodge. The temperature was 11 below zero outside. The ground in the lodge was frozen solid, but the air temperature was fiery and stifling. I'll never forget that experience and I'm grateful for having the opportunity.
I'm not a plein air painter. I prefer to paint in studio for many reasons . . . to include Mosquitos. I do feel like I need to paint outside once in a while just for the practice. My preference outside is toward Photography, I don't like to sit in one place too long, I like to explore and take in as much as I can. I spend a great deal of time outdoors, on the river, lakes, wildlife and in the city as well. I love being outside observing, learning and immersing myself in the environment I'm in. I take that information back into my studio to paint. I'm showing some of my Photography in my Blogs right now, I haven't decided if I'll make a photography gallery like I had on my old site as of yet.
Archival ink on 100% cotton rag paper $195 Or stretched canvas $295
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton
This is one of my favorite photos. There is a lot of metaphor contained in this image. I think we learn from photos like this. We glean information from the image and process that relating to our own lives. I think that is what I love about photography, the real-life image serves as a vehicle for our imagination and we can come away learning something about life.
After all that rain I have to spend the day mowing the lawn and other care for the gardens today. We have four gardens here on the river. There are two out by the county road, a veggie garden with some sunflowers and other wild flowers we planted. On the other side of the driveway is a raspberry garden we just planted this year. I'm already getting a small amount of fruit. Next year it will be much better, these things multiply like mice . . . or something like that. Then there are the two beautiful flower gardens down by the house. They were well established when we bought the house. Jill Johnson, director at the Center for the Arts in New York Mills will be picking up paintings today.
POSTCARDS . . . Lot's of sad news all over the world, strange times, but we have to keep going, say a prayer, help out where we can.
Postcards. It's raining again. Well, it's been raining since March actually. It's been difficult to get out and do some Plein Air painting. So today I made some postcards for the upcoming show and I'll work on some promotional material to send out to galleries out of the state. I think that may be a good way to introduce myself in addition to online communication. I'm looking forward to starting a new landscape or urban scene soon, fall is coming and with the cool weather I'll have more time for studio work. But first, Postcards.
I'm having a painting exhibit at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center for September. I'll be showing works from my MEN FROM EARTH series, depicting workers and food merchants. From the field to the farmers market, to the cafe and the coffee shop, I depict people involved in the most ancient of tasks, providing sustenance. http://www.kulcher.org/
I have a passion for photography as well. Painting full time doesn't leave much time for taking photos, but I've manage to shoot a few now and then. A good photo doesn't make a good model for a painting. A good photo stands alone and can't be improved upon really. They are two different art disciplines, each having unique requirements for success.