Lord of the Upper Reaches

Lord of the Upper Reaches
detail of Lord of the Upper Reaches

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Seven Faces of Mr. Bill

Welcome to my humble, probably harmless blog.  I've spent my life showing people how things might look and helping them find their own path and accomplish goals along the way.  I hope to do a bit more of that in this series of blogs.  Much like I do to make a living, I'll try here to brighten lives with both splashes of color and ideas for consideration.

I've always believed that a viewer "completes" a painting, just as a reader "completes" a story or article.  The artist/writer can show him (or her) some of the concept -- as he sees it and perhaps as others have seen it -- but it's up to each of us to figure out our own shades of the truth.  When people ask me what one of my paintings "means," I usually explain what some of the elements mean to me, just to get them rolling.  I rarely go through everything I had in mind.  It's a foggy place up here.  But that's the stuff of later blogs.

Have a Ball
a 20-year-old painting, with an odd slice of technique and a sprinkling of visual and thematic elements, for anyone to make of it what they will!

When a publisher contacted me about doing a collection of my work, I had to ask him which "me" he meant!  He described the painting he had bought at a show and similar work he'd seen there, but wondered about my other styles.  By the time I had listed a few of my favorites, including a slice of my writing, he decided that we would have to do a unique sort of collection, with a chapter dedicated to each of me.  Since it couldn't be an encyclopedia (though that might suit my long-windedness), we settled on half-a-dozen Art Me's and a single cross-section of Writer Me's.  Glancing at the six chosen styles, it really did look like a whole studio of different artists, with diverse, developed techniques, like Multiple Artist Schizophrenia, and, hey, that might have to be a blog.

Of course, the book has never been published, but, yes, that's another blog.

Meanwhile, I'd like to share with you some posts.  I'll try to label and organize them, since they will touch on many subjects, such as:
  • My work, including what's on the table/easel now; many of my nicer paintings are sold before they ever reach a show; I hope this blog will give more people a chance to see them before they sneak away
  • Art technique, including full WIP's of paintings I've done
  • Art history, theory, and commentary
  • Art examples by friends and favorite artists
  • Reviews based on my experiences wandering the world (e.g. museums, shows, places, books/movies, or whatever I think might be helpful, interesting, amusing, or a good warning)
  • Soap boxes and pearls of wisdom (at least from my point of view; shy, well-intentioned people with ADD have to be able to take punches in this world, but their two cents can be worth something...)
  • Writing projects, past, present, and future, with (hopefully) helpful insights on the craft
I've wanted to start this blog for many years, but this has been a tough and tumultuous stretch for me, and I'm only now feeling like I have a breath to spare, but then, that's definitely the stuff of another blog.

Though my goobery ISP lost my original web domain, we're up again as www.wjhodgson.net.

We'll try to keep my comings and goings posted there, along with an increasingly robust set of galleries of my work.  At the moment, there is a larger -- albeit eclectic and aging -- slice of work on my deviantArt page, at willtheartman.deviantart.com.

Please feel free to contact me.  I love to chat, and hear what others are figuring out along the way.