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This painting is by my friend, Dan. Personally, I think he is the most talented painter I've met in Chicago. I probably prefer his classical style. He is especially good at representing fabric and hair. He is also a talented folk musician (guitar and fiddle) with amazing vocals. Periodically he stops painting to do music.

This is the first painting of a man that I hung in my house. I like the composition having a lot of space above the figure.

I'll tell you a funny story. When I look at the figure, I imagine that the man is a philosopher, and that the blindfold has something to do with knowledge he doesn't have yet or something deep like that. Once, I had a contractor over. He's a regular, and has a huge personality and a huge loudmouth opinion on everything. I brought him inside to show him something that needed work, and he asked me about the painting (his son paints). I told him what I saw there, and he responded, "You know what I see? I see an old guy on his birthday, just before he gets a surprise lap dance."

So there's always that interpretation.

Here's a shot of Dan by his painting, the day I picked it up. He makes those shirts himself, using a sewing machine he keeps in his art studio (because, as he says, "it's so hard to find reasonably priced pirate shirts").

Artist's website:
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This illustration was lifted off of someone's facebook profile picture, in the "people you may know" section (I didn't). After researching it, I found it was drawn by Goñi Montes, a Puerto Rican illustrator.

I was drawn to snatch this picture off of a stranger's online profile because it's awesome. I identify with the character in the drawing (on his website, the artist says it was originally a male character, and the commissioner asked him to change it to a woman). She's riding a unicycle across a tightrope while juggling 8 flaming torches. Sometimes life feels like that. Oh yeah, and the rope is on fire. But she's stylish with her suspenders and strapless shirt, wearing jewelry, and looking like she's giving it her best shot - she either won't admit she's in trouble, or hasn't realized it yet; it's just a hard task she has to keep doing.

I also like the color scheme. It's not "technicolor" at all, but sort of "sepia-meets-warm-colors". The trees at the bottom may as well be more flames, or a lava pit. The sky has an overcast-sunset glow; I imagine you'd get the same glow and haze from a large fire or explosion.

The artist's website:
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I met this artist, Zac, while he was live-painting an event I was playing at with EE (Resonate 8 at Metro, in case you're curious). He's around my age and lives around here (moving somewhere soon; we're acquaintances whose social circles touch tangentially). The night I met him was the same night I had my first date with a man I would still be with if the timing hadn't been bad and he didn't have an addiction problem. I bought the painting he was working on that night, because it was a special night. That painting is more enjoyable for the sentimental value than anything else, and so I wanted to see more of his work. I went to a gallery where he was showing some of his work, and I bought another, smaller painting.

I usually don't like to know the names of paintings when I'm looking at them, in museums, galleries, or otherwise. I think it drops me into a "things you can't unsee" kind of place. I very rarely appreciate the work more after hearing the title. And then, even when I know the title, knowing the story behind naming a piece makes it even worse. Analysis of the work, and "why they painted it that way" hidden messages are great. I love those. But the title rarely adds anything and sometimes doesn't even sit well with me, especially on abstract works that are viewed more subjectively. But, it's important for posterity that I know the names of the works in my collection. I've listed the title, but I won't tell the story of how it got that title, because it is not deep.

Abstract works of art often overwhelm me with chaotic energy. I don't own many of them. I prefer to buy (look at, and am drawn to) paintings of a figure, usually a woman, in a setting alone. My painting collection became eerily consistent in that way without trying. This painting is the first abstract painting I felt drawn to enough to purchase. It hangs in my project room just above the side of the desk.
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When I was younger, the internet was younger too. I still haven't gotten used to the idea of not owning things. If I liked something, like music or art, I wanted a copy. I couldn't just know that it was available online any time I liked, and be satisfied with that. I still struggle with that, but I've gotten better, only because I have refined the qualifications for the kind of stuff I need to keep. I haven't gotten less protective, only more selective.

When I was in college, I used to spend hours searching for art I liked, images, or screen savers and saving them to a folder. I browsed through poster websites and image searches, mostly. Now, the folder has been culled many times, and much of the stuff I saved has been deleted, because it was trash.

A few pieces remain from those searches. This is one of them. The artist is called IEMZA, who apparently does street art. I have no context for this piece, but it does not appear to be "street art" like graffiti, but maybe more "street art" as in done outside, in public.

That was all I knew when I saved this piece. I don't remember where I found it. I like this kind of futuristic scene that is slightly depressing, yet somehow optimistic. The gray, cloudy background is gloomy and isolating and the messy lines on the craft somehow suggest the deterioration of the material there. Yet, the bubble where the operator sits is bright, like it has its own sky inside. And it's a giant yellow bird craft. Humans have always wanted to fly.

I like the geometric, hard angles. If this type of drawing has a genre name, I think it would be that type of art that is my favorite. It strikes me as unusual that I still like it, even after all this time.

More on the artist:
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Dearest readers,
I'm going to do my best to do the Art for the Month of July feature special montage.

I usually don't even go on the computer during the weekend, so I'm going to try to use my phone....but if I miss a day, don't worry, I'll be back.

Unlike the posters for the months of May and June, I'm not trained in art. I'm an art model, so I've been to tons of beginner drawing courses, but I've never had an art history course. I'm going to focus on works I like, and I might not say much about them. I'm also going to use a lot of local artists, because they're my friends, and art that I have hanging in my house, because it's easy to take a picture of and post (bwahaha).

I will begin later promises. :)
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Most of my journal I'm reserving for friends only. If you would like to read my journal, please post a comment below. I'd be happy to add you back and get to know you.
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