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Nov. 19th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Fear of the Dark

I was discussing the nature of why many people fear the dark. In particular, this conversation was about how someone overcame their fearof the dark once they embraced the fact that they had seen through certain false paradigms which they had clung to for the majority of their life.

As I ruminated on this, it occurred to me that I have always embraced certain dark themes in my own life and artwork, and here is what followed from my thoughts;

In heraldry, colors have associated meanings. The color black is not associated with evil or anything like that; it is associated with mystery and the unknown.

That is what the dark is; the unknown. To fear the dark is to fear that which we do not know.

Once you become comfortable with the idea that really, we don't know much of anything and that it is okay not to know, it should come as no surprise that you would no longer fear the dark. You have conquered your fear of the unknown by admitting that it exists but can not harm you. We all exist within paradigms that are faulty, but acknowledging that we all actually live in the dark is the first step towards lighting a spark of understanding; as Socrates admonished, all true wisdom begins with the understanding that we know nothing.

The light shows us what is there, whether it is good, bad, or ugly. But it won't make the ugly any prettier, and it won't make the good any better, nor will it make the bad less bad.

The future is always unknown. Even the wisest of women and men will acknowledge that life itself is, ultimately, a great mystery. Thus, life is best signified in heraldry by the color black. We are all journeying into the great unknown; you can either face this dark uncertain future with fear, or with the comfort of understanding that, although we don't know why, all is as it should be.

Oct. 10th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Still alive!

Yes, I know, I haven't made a real valid update here since, what, March? Well, if you read below I'm sure you'll see part of the reason why. I don't want to wax too personal here, but in a nutshell my life has been turned upside-down in several different ways, but I'm getting my bearings again, and usually I pick up productivity going into the Autumn season anyway. So, here's to getting back on track!

As an aside, since it seems as though more of the people I know IRL use Myspace or Facebook, I have decided it would be a good idea to keep mirror blogs, so I'll be trying to post the same basic things to both Livejournal and Myspace from now on. If you'd like to see my Myspace page, take a look- but remember that I'm just getting started over there. If you also have a Myspace page, feel free to add me as a friend there.

Anyway, right now I'm working on several different projects, but the one I can most easily report on is a commission piece by the band "Heavy Plastic" (check my friends list over at Myspace to find their Myspace page). I did their previous album cover art a few years ago, and I'm sure we've both improved since then so it's likely that this album will be better by a stretch. I'll have to check with the band to make sure it would be okay with them before I go posting work-in-progress shots publicly, but the cover art is coming along very well in my opinion.

Aside from this piece, there are two other paintings I am doing for very personal reasons, and one of them is finally nearing completion. I would rather not spoil it by posting a work-in-progress shot, but it shouldn't be much longer before it is ready to post in full. This particular painting, for some reason, has taken me longer to complete than any other painting I can recall. It's not that it requires a great amount of detail or effort to do, but for some reason I have felt unable to work on it for weeks or even months at a stretch. I believe the personal significance of it has been the reason for this. It's autobiographical, and it portrays a difficult and profound metamorphosis that I have been undergoing. More specifically, it represents the path I wish to take rather than the one life has been trying to force upon me. Because of the difficulty of this metamorphosis, there are periods of time- sometimes long periods- when I am not feeling true to the piece. If it is not a true autobiographical work, then I can not, honestly, work on it. But it has become my standard to which I am trying to move, and as I find more strength within and move closer to the direction I desire, I find myself working on the painting more- and as I work on the painting more I find myself becoming it more honestly. It is as though my personal metamorphosis and the painting are linked somehow- the painting assists me in my desired path, and my progress along the path gives me the focus to move forward on the painting.

I know that the above paragraph probably sounds like a lot of the cryptic sort of nonsense that you might expect from a pretentious right-brained artist, but it's as straightforward as I can make it. My work has always been a form of self-therapy. It is my way of connecting with my inner self, of examining and bringing to light my inner strengths, demons, and curiosities. I've never made any apologies for the nature of my work. I've always been very clear that my work is what it is because it is what it needs to be at the time. If I have piqued your interest at all, then look forward soon to seeing more posts including images of the works I've discussed here.

May. 11th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Status Update

It's been a good while since I posted an update here, so I wanted to just post this update to let everyone interested know why. I was looking to move out of my small apartment when my computer up and died on me. As I had just made an offer on a house at the time, I was too busy dealing with closing, repairing, painting, packing, and moving to deal with my computer issue. Now that I'm all moved in, I have finally gotten the computer back up and running again, and I'm starting to get settled into my new place.

I have repainted the exterior, replaced all of the major appliances including the furnace, except for the water heater (which was only 3 years old), I've been fixing the plumbing, repairing or replacing doors, doorknobs and locks, windows, outlets and switches, light fixtures, the list just goes on and on. But the place is starting to look very nice!

In addition to more living space, I will also now have much more work space. Most of the basement is being converted into a studio and gallery for my artwork, so I'll have plenty of room to paint and display my work in an environment free of distractions and clutter. It will also be nice to have a proper studio and gallery that people will actually be able to visit, instead of a small room that was serving as my studio, bedroom, storage area and office simultaneously.

I'll be sure to get pictures up when the studio/gallery is complete!

Of course I'm painting all the indoor walls too, one room at a time. I just have to have that color in my world.

Mar. 14th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Burning Through the Mask

I was trying a different technique for this one; it's basic sgraffito, but my goal was to use layers of acrylic with drying retarder to get a good, clean line when the surface area was scraped into. It turned out exactly as I'd hoped it would. A layer of clear gel between the two color coats allows the under-painting to remain free of color contamination by the top coat.

This painting is a revisitation (sort of an evolution) of the abstract self-portrait I made almost a year ago. The first one is posted a ways back in this journal.

Title: "Burning Through the Mask"
Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas
Size: 11" x 14"
© Copyright K.L. Turner 2008
Photobucket

Mar. 13th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Ophiuchus

After completing the twelve known signs of the Zodiac, it came to my attention that there is an obscure and largely unrecognized thirteenth Zodiac sign; Ophiuchus, formerly known as Serpentarius, the Serpent Bearer. The sun passes through the constellation, therefor it is was anciently recognized as an official sign of the Zodiac; however, Ophiuchus is not a zodiacal sign in modern Western astrology due to a historical system in which 12 signs divided equally into 30 degrees each are vital. The sign of Ophiuchus is surrounded by a certain mystique. Due to its exclusion in the Western Zodiac, some consider it to be linked to some dark forbidden secret.

Title: "Ophiuchus"
Medium: Oil pastel and colored pencil on bristol
Size: 2.5" x 3.5"
Status: For Sale (click image to link to auction)
© Copyright K.L. Turner 2008
Ophiuchus

Mar. 3rd, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Fiery the Angels Fell

The title is from a line in the movie "Blade Runner," which was in turn taken (and distorted) from a line in William Blake's "America: A Prophecy."

Title: "Fiery the Angels Fell"
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 20" x 16"
© Copyright K.L. Turner 2008
Photobucket

I'm not entirely happy with the way the camera blended all the various shades of white, yellow, and orange into a solid yellow smudge. Sometimes you just can't get a good photo of a certain piece of work no matter what you try.. and photography isn't my strongest talent.

Some detail;
Photobucket

Mar. 1st, 2008

Fish Skeletons

TeratoZen

Finished this one last week but didn't get it photographed until yesterday.

Title: "TeratoZen"
Medium: Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Size: 36" x 24"
© Copyright K.L. Turner 2008
TeratoZen

.

Detail;
TeratoZen detail

Feb. 11th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Familiarize yourself with your fears

I was asked recently to explain the dark thematic elements present in much of my artwork. Why do dark things interest me? Why do I wish to portray them rather than only celebrating the beautiful things in life?

To answer this question I have to get a bit philosophical. Most people have heard the expression, "You can't run away from your fears," or "You have to face your demons." Most people know this, but few people are willing to actually do it.

When we deny that which we feel threatened by- the dark, uncertainty, doubts, pain and suffering, or whatever our fears may be- we give them power to control us. We avoid situations where we might be forced to confront them. We do this to the detriment of our own personal growth. Since much of my art is a study of personal growth and human experience, it is necessary for me to use dark themes much of the time.

When I paint dark subjects, it is indicative of my belief that that it is important to face these things head-on rather than denying their existence. They are a part of every sapient being. By familiarizing myself with them, I strip them of much of their power over me.

There is nothing wrong with feeling repulsed by dark themes; there is, however, arguably something harmful in being unable to face them. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with embracing dark themes for the purpose of self-improvement.

My work leans towards dark themes, but this does not mean that my life is a place of constant darkness. I also portray life and vivid, positive imagery. I enjoy celebrating the positive as well as embracing the negative. Whether we like it or not, it is through adversity that we grow strong. Lifting weights builds stronger muscles. A tree growing in the wind grows stronger wood. We live in a life defined by joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, ignorance, inspiration, confusion and clarity. It is important, to maintain a healthy focus, that we embrace all that makes us who we are; to acknowledge and learn from all of life's experiences and our own inner voices, not only from those experiences and feelings that are deemed "worthy" and positive.

Feb. 8th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

The Bastard Monument

Here as promised is a better photograph of this piece taken in better lighting conditions.

Title: The Bastard Monument: Security's Tabernacle, Liberty's Tomb
Medium: Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Size: 24" x 36"

Photobucket

Detail;
Photobucket

Feb. 7th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Preview of latest work

This painting is pretty much finished, but I can't get a good photo of it tonight. The only way to photograph it at all was at an angle to deflect glare from the flash. So here is a preview photograph of it, it's enough to tell what the basic idea is, plus a good detail shot. I've used a combination of extrusion, decalcomania, wet-wash, and dry-brush techniques.

Title: Not yet titled
Medium: Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Size: 24" x 36"
Photobucket

Detail;
Photobucket

Feb. 6th, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Welcomed Guests

This painting looks a lot better in person. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Title: Welcomed Guests
Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas
Size: 16" x 20"
Photobucket

Detail;
Photobucket

Jan. 31st, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Budding Imagination

Got this one finished today. I just felt like creating in a vivid color scheme.

Title: Budding Imagination
Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas
Size: 16" x 20"
Photobucket


Detail:
Photobucket


Better photographs will be obtained when I have better light to take them.
~K.L. Turner

Jan. 21st, 2008

Fish Skeletons

Artwork update

I haven't posted in a while, so here are a few new pieces. I'll put all but one behind a cut to spare those who don't want to look at a bunch of pictures... not that I can understand why anyone wouldn't want to look at a bunch of pictures, but whatever.

First, this painting I finished yesterday;

Title: Palingenesis
Medium: Acrylic on stretched canvas
Size: 20" x 16"
Photobucket

Details plus more artwork; behind this cutCollapse )

Thanks for looking!

Nov. 11th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Announcing a new shop

I've had this shop for a while but I haven't publicly announced it until now. I wanted to make sure that there was a large enough selection first! I am adding new designs all the time, here are just a couple of my most recent designs;

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
.
.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Would love to get feedback on the designs, the store, any suggestions or any other comments!
The link to the store is;
http://www.cafepress.com/degeneration

This is my second Cafepress store, my first one is only for my artwork and can be found here;
http://www.cafepress.com/klturner

Updated on 1/31/08 to new design

Oct. 15th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Nexus

This is a larger painting, 36 x 36". I have not yet varnished it; I'll have to take new pictures afterwards because the colors will appear much more vivid once it has been varnished. However, I was anxious to get some snapshots uploaded so these will have to do for now.

Title: Nexus
Medium: Acrylic on gallery canvas
Size: 36" x 36"

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Detail from painting;
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In answer to a question from a subscriber, many of my more recent paintings are not yet for sale for several reasons. First, I am putting together a web site and I want to have an inventory of pieces to put on it. And second, I am submitting portfolios to various galleries and I need to have an inventory of paintings available for that as well.

Sep. 28th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Architext

This painting is like a spontaneous road trip where you think you are going one place, but somewhere between home and where you planned to go you decide to take a detour and wind up somewhere totally unexpected with delightful results. If you've never done that, I strongly recommend trying it.

My original goal for this painting was something soft and organic, with roundish shapes gently back-lit by a greenish light. Once I started painting in the green patterns for the background, I found myself enjoying them so much that I knew I wanted to do something else instead. I added a splash of red to balance the composition and then stepped away from the painting for a bit to decide where I wanted to go next. This was what it looked like at that point;

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I don't know why but the impression of tenement columns (or maybe it was fish bones or bridge supports) was the theme that kept popping into my skull, so I grabbed the knife and roughly placed the forms that were in my head onto the canvas. After that, I just added details and highlights with a liner brush. One of the greatest challenges I have is knowing when to quit, so once it became obvious that any further additions would only change the painting and not necessarily improve it, I decided to call it "done".

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"Architext", 20 x 16 inches, acrylic on canvas
As for the name, well, don't even ask.

Sep. 11th, 2007

Edgar Allan Poe

Dream by Day

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.”
      -Edgar Allan Poe

Title: "Dream by Day"
Medium: oil pastel on bristol
Size: 3 1/2 x 2 1/2"
Status: For Sale (Click image to go to eBay store)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sep. 9th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

New Halloween merchandise!

I added a new section to my Cafepress store just in time for Halloween. Right now it just has cards and party invitations, but I will be adding other products as well as new designs between now until Halloween. Why not take a look (and let me know what you think)? Just click the image below!

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Sep. 6th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

"Introduction"

I finally got some time yesterday to get some serious work done on this piece, and I finished it up this morning. My goal with this painting was to portray the puerile, naive trust that children sometimes possess. As is true with all my work, there are things I do and things I don't like about the finished piece, but overall I'm rather happy with it.

Title: Introduction
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Status: For Sale Soon
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And here are a few details from the painting;
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Sep. 3rd, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Nerd test results

Meh... I had to know. I was surprised by my high score in the computer/tech section. I guess most people have probably never programmed in basic before. But that was over 20 years ago, should it still count? I was also a little surprised by my low score in the sci-fi section; not that I ever really collected comic books, but I've been reading serious sci fi (Heinlein, Asimov, Lovecraft and the like) since I was 7. Ah, well, at least my suspicions were confirmed; I'm a cool nerd. And no, apparently that isn't an oxymoron.


NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Aug. 28th, 2007

self portrait, graffito

Self Portrait

I had a late night impulse (or early morning rather as it was about 3:00 AM) to create this image. This is NOT a digitally altered picture, this is the unaltered original photograph. I used fluorescing pigments on my face to get this effect. I did use a digital brush merely to black out a few white specks in the black at the bottom of the picture.

Problem is, I like this image both full and cropped close and simply can't choose between them. I think the answer is that I must revisit this concept again with a bit more planning to see if I can make a composition that has the elements of both that appeal to me.

Title: "The Seer, The Dreamer"
Media: Photograph, Kodak digital Z712 IS

Crop 1;
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Crop2;
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Jul. 15th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Abyss 13

I simply started painting on a fresh canvas and this was the result. Don't ask me to explain what it is please, the only thing I could tell you is that the vaguely humanoid/mermaid-like creature doesn't appear to be frightened by the ominous looking leviathan. The title refers to the fact that I finished the painting on the morning of Friday the 13th. Clearly fish are a prominent thematic element in a lot of my works; I have been infatuated with creatures of the deep since my earliest days. My oldest preserved drawings (created when I was only 3 years old) are of giant squid, sharks, stingrays and so forth.

Title: Abyss 13
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 16 x 20 inches
Status: For Sale Soon

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Jul. 8th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

I am s-m-r-t, I mean s-m-r-A-t

Tell me something I didn't already know. Actually, this only proves that I'm smarter than meme test writers.

How smart are you?

I am smarter than 99.99% of the rest of the world.
Find out how smart you are.
As an aside, I actually only scored 93.4. But I was smart enough to know how to cheat, and that's what brains are for after all.

Jul. 6th, 2007

Fish Skeletons

The King In Yellow

I already quoted this poem several entries back for a different painting I made (Memories Of Carcosa), but it continues to inspire me to do more art, so here are a few lines from it once again;

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.

The King, cloaked in a tattered yellow mantle and bearing a pallid mask, is an avatar of madness and destruction.

Title: The King In Yellow
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 16 x 20 inches
Status: For Sale


Detail from painting;
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Jun. 21st, 2007

Fish Skeletons

Two trees

I've said before that I think of my tree paintings as portraits more than landscapes. I believe these two demonstrate that concept fairly well; clearly each is unique in personality. The first painting is for sale now, the second one will be listed tomorrow evening (June 22).

Title: Zen Shimpaku
Medium: oil pastel on bristol
Size: 3 1/2 x 2 1/2"
Status: For Sale (click image for link to auction)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Title: Majestic Kapok
Medium: oil pastel on bristol
Size: 2 1/2 x 3 1/2"
Status: For Sale Soon(click image for link to store)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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