If the art pops, is it “Pop Art”?

One of four of my Pop Art paintings featuring word plays tied together by an ampersand.

One of four of my Pop Art paintings featuring word plays tied together by an ampersand.

Several times, I have entered the many paintings that are shown on my BloodLines Art website to become a featured artist on a mass email called “Artsy Shark”.

My work has never been chosen.

The curator of the contest tells me that I have a very inconsistent portfolio and that it’s hard to tell what I’m trying to do as an artist.

“If people don’t know what you represent, how can you ever expect them to buy your work?” she told me.

Maybe that’s true.

The painting you see featured here, which is called, “Salt & Pepper” does not fit my normal surrealistic approach to painting.

And I decided several months ago to completely ignore her advice. Call it my ‘artists prerogative’.

This is the fourth in a series of paintings that feature word plays, tied together by an ampersand. First there was “Rock & Roll”. Then came “Fish & Chips”, followed by “Jack & Coke”. Now, I present, “Salt & Pepper”.

These paintings are bold in their color palette. The visuals aren’t always as easy to paint as they might look. There are seven different colors in the red pepper and that’s not counting the green stem which has five different colors in it. Trying to emulate the typography on the Morton salt canister was a challenge and though it’s not perfect, neither am I! BTW – I used the old time rendition of the Morton Salt canister which featured a much larger version of the girl with the umbrella. The version that is sold today has a much smaller version of the girl and some of the detail has been eliminated.

These paintings are fun to create and offer a bit of a break from my normal surrealistic endeavors. I consider them Pop Art – not just because the visuals pop, but also because they deal with popular known expressions and give them a bit of a twist. They are fun, playful and when you have all of the paintings lined up in a group, they make for extremely striking imagery.

When I painted “Rock & Roll”, it sold about two months after I had created it. I liked that concept so much that I created another version of “Rock & Roll” using a different rock and a different roll.

So now there are four of these and yes, there will probably be more.

And I will continue to post them on my Bloodlinesart.com website. And if I’m never featured on Artsy Shark, I can live with that. Fame is fleeting anyway.

In addition to creating advertising and marketing communications by day, I also create art by night and have built a worldwide following.

You can order prints of my work on Artfully Walls. You can also order prints as well as get my artwork put onto a variety of items like iPhone covers, pillow throws, tote bags, greeting cards, coffee cups, shower curtains and a wide variety of other items by visiting my other website on Pixels. As if that weren’t enough, more items are now available on Vida on an even wider variety of items – from umbrellas to yoga mats, clothing and jewelry to household items. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram to see work in progress from start to finish!

And Then There Were Two

"Rock & Roll", "Fish & Chips" and "Jack & Coke"

“Rock & Roll”, “Fish & Chips” and “Jack & Coke” – art that pops makes it Pop Art!

The three paintings shown above are a rather dramatic departure from my surrealistic style. I believe they would fall into the category of ‘Pop Art’.

The idea behind them originates from yet another departure I took almost 40 years ago with what I called ‘stick paintings’. That’s where I would smother the canvas in paint and then literally ‘stick’ objects into the paint. The first one I ever created was also the first art work that I ever actually sold at my first gallery showing back in 1981. It was called, “Sealed For Your Protection”.

That was back when I was still doing airbrush painting. I had a small canvas and didn’t know what to do with it. So I decided to cover the canvas in color, using a palette knife to spread on paint from every tube of paint I had. It ended up being kind of a mess. Looking around, I noticed that I had all these tabs that had been pulled from my air brush bottles of paint. The tabs were all marked with the words, “Sealed for your protection”. Looking at the gobs of paint on the canvas, I thought, “Why not?” So I stuck about 40 of the tabs into the paint. When it dried, the tabs were literally sealed into the paint.

Jump forward about 34 years and while we were visiting my son, Tom, while he was studying at Oxford, we went to The Tate Museum of Modern Art. It was there that I saw a canvas that had been painted black. The artist had then used a knife and cut a big slice into the canvas, revealing a white canvas beneath it. Modern art.

That journey rekindled memories of my first ‘stick painting’ and I decided to bring back the concept, using items that were linked by an ampersand. The first one I did was “Nuts & Bolts” featuring hand painted yellow screw nuts and their accompanying bolts. I liked what I had done.

So then I created, “Nickels & Dimes”, “Salt & Pepper”, “War & Peace” (click here to see it) and “Sticks & Stones”.

I was thinking of doing more in the series, just to take a break from my more time-consuming surrealistic paintings when I decided to give the word pairings a different treatment. So that’s when I came up with “Rock & Roll” as the first of what would be a series of at least three paintings.

“Fish & Chips” was my second in the series. I had a number of different options for the third but a conversation with Tom Jr. convinced me that the third painting should be “Jack & Coke”. The idea was his. The execution was mine.

When you view the three paintings all in row, they make quite a visual statement as each one is 24″ x 48″. I thought they would look excellent on a gallery wall, or a game room or perhaps a restaurant.

But “Rock & Roll” was recently purchased, and no, I’m not upset about that in the least. So now there are two.

I’m contemplating painting a new version of “Rock & Roll” – using a different rock and a different type of roll. Or maybe the same. Or maybe something new altogether.

That will be a 2020 decision as I’m currently trying to wrap up one last painting for the year.

So stay tuned. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year to you and yours!

If you know anyone who you think might enjoy these updates and overviews, I recommend that you sign up for my free newsletter.

Also, if my prices are keeping you from purchasing anything, know that you can order prints of my work, as well as get my artwork put onto a variety of items like iPhone covers, pillow throws, tote bags, greeting cards, coffee cups, shower curtains and a wide variety of other items by visiting my other website on Pixels. As if that weren’t enough, more items are now available on Vida on an even wider variety of items – from umbrellas to yoga mats, clothing and jewelry to household items. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram to see work in progress from start to finish!