Berman Blog - 17.24

Berman Blog - 17.24

Northwest Passage

Title:  Northwest Passage

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  34" x 34"

Copyright:  2017

Catalog #:  17.008

Here's a custom painting I did for a collector that is based on Captain Cook and the HMS Resolution.  There are several items included in the composition including a sextant and ships wheel.  The goal of the painting was to overlay a variety of forms so that the shapes, colors, textures, etc. relayed an sense of excitement, inherent conflict and almost unbridled energy associated with adventure.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson

 

Berman Blog - 17.23

Berman Blog - 17.23

Port Authority Skateboard

One of the great things about creativity is if it is allowed to permeate other media the art is enhanced.  The added perspective gives both the artist and the viewer a larger understanding of the possibilities and extends the boundaries beyond the current limitations of what the medium can be.

 

Port Authority Skateboard

Berman Blog - 17.22

Berman Blog - 17.22

The Woven Tale Press

Title:  Red Hottie

Medium:  Wood, Painted Steel, Spark Plug

Size:  19" x 39" x 12"

Copyright:  2014

Catalog #:  S14.001

One of the great things about my new website is that it is so easy to share what I am up to quickly and easily.  In this blog entry I want to share that my website and artwork were reviewed by an online publication called The Woven Tale Press.  If you are interested in reading the review please go to

http://www.thewoventalepress.net/2017/03/07/site-review-ken-berman/

What was great about the article is that the reporter added a few of the images that can only be found when a visitor really digs into the site for the content.  Like most websites, there is a lot of content that people never see and never really know exists.  Plus, if you are like me, you are uploading content continually so the website becomes a 'go-to' source for information.  Finally there is an excuse for visitors to look more closely to find things I have included.

The Woven Tale Press also has a section that allows interested artists to submit their work and/or website.  Check it out! http://www.thewoventalepress.net/submit/

Berman Blog - 17.21

Berman Blog - 17.21

Turtles

Ken Berman's Turtle

Copyright 2017

Over the past few months I have been working on a project to create mobile shelters to address the homeless population in Sonoma County.  North Sonoma County Services and advocates for the Homeless, in conjunction with St. Paul's Church, are assembling a variety of shelters and will exhibit them at the Paul Mahder Gallery from May 13th to the 24th.

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." - Robin Williams

Berman Blog - 17.20

Berman Blog - 17.20

Port Authority

Title:  Port Authority

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  24" x 30"

Copyright:  2017

Catalog #:  17.009

People always ask me how I come up with my paintings.  All I can tell them is that my work is predicated on process.  To me the process of creating a painting is the visual equivalent of building a building.  You start with the foundation and work your way up to the roof.  The more stories you have the more layers of paint you have.

When I start a painting I never really know where it is going to take me so I rely on my process.  That's what makes it such a fun and exciting endeavor.  And since I could fail or succeed I have to trust what I do and how I do it.  After 25+ years of painting I not only trust myself but also have the necessary confidence in my abilities to be assured that everything will come out alright.

"When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things." - Joe Namath

Berman Blog - 17.19

Berman Blog - 17.19

Berman Block

The Ballad of Tom Joad

Last week I met with some good people at a maker space in Sebastopol called Chimera to take some photos of my Berman Blocks.  I've never had the chance to see what my blocks would look like when they are photographed in a light box but from now on I'm using it as much as possible to shoot my products ... including my Berman Blocks.

"Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude." - Lou Holtz

Berman Blog - 17.18

Berman Blog - 17.18

Woven Tale Press

Title:  Red Letter

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  12" x 12"

Copyright:  2014

Catalog #:  14.001

Every once and a while an editor and/or reporter from an art-centric publication takes interest in what I've been up to.  Recently I have had the honor of having my work featured in the Woven Tale Press.

Below is a link to my featured video.  Of particular note, the music was composed by Eli Deering @ Rival Stag.  Eli taped select sounds of me painting and composed the sounds into a percussive delight.

Pause Video

"The ability to recognize opportunities and move in new - and sometimes unexpected - directions will benefit you no matter your interests or aspirations."

- Drew Gilpin Faust

Berman Blog - 17.17

Berman Blog - 17.17

Rubbin is Racin

Here's one of my paintings on a skateboard.  It was inspired by the movie Days of Thunder.  The goal was to try and give the design an energy and speed that is reminiscent of both car racing and skateboarding.

The composition is based on two elements representing two cars that are racing each other and just slightly hitting each other to gain position.  Robert Duvall's quote from the movie: "He didn't slam into you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you - he rubbed you - and rubbin son is racin."

"By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward." - Mikhail Bakunin

Here's a link to the YouTube video - Days of Thunder

Berman Blog - 17.16

Berman Blog - 17.16

Going the Distance

Title:  Going the Distance

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  48" x 48"

Copyright:  2016

Catalog #:  16.033

I have spoken to many artists, writers, gallerists, etc. over the years.  There is one thread that holds them all together and that is the desire for their particular message, idea or brand to be heard and validated in some measurable way.  Most often, validation comes by way of sales or with the current social currency of likes or follows or shares. 

This painting is called Going the Distance and is about the pursuit of telling your story and going the full 15 rounds until it is complete in your eyes and without any external validation.  It's about a singular pursuit to do what you think is right and finish what you started.

"I believe there's an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts." - Sylvester Stallone

Berman Blog - 17.15

Berman Blog - 17.15

DeveloPING

Title:  The 10th Ping

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  30" x 24"

Copyright:  2017

Catalog #:  17.006

This painting at it's core is about hard work and being steadfast about pursuing your goals.  It was developed over several sessions and includes at least 10 layers of paint.  The title was derived from the 10 letters making up the word DeveloPING with each layer representing a letter in the word.  The letters PING are all that are left visible.

 

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

Berman Blog - 17.14

Berman Blog - 17.14

Building Blocks

Title:  Building Blocks Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Panel Size:  24" x 16" Copyright:  2008 Catalog #:  08.016

Title:  Building Blocks

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Panel

Size:  24" x 16"

Copyright:  2008

Catalog #:  08.016

Here's another older painting called "Building Blocks".  It reminds me of when I was a child stacking the grocery boxes when my mom came back from food shopping.  I would build them up, knock them down, and then start over.  For some reason I wasn't satisfied with what I designed so I did this a LOT.

"Music is made up out of these building blocks. Studying how these blocks go together and what they consist of and the math of how it works - it's all the same stuff; it's just different aesthetics that we're talking about." - Flea

Berman Blog - 17.13

Berman Blog - 17.13

Title:  Whisper

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Panel

Size:  12" x 12"

Copyright:  2010

Catalog #:  10.001

Whisper

Here's an older painting from 2010 called 'Whisper'.  It reminds me of the song 'Closer' by Joshua Radin especially when he adds the chimes in the background of the song. 

This particular image included was remastered from the original and will be offered as one of my Berman Blocks.

Berman Blog - 17.12

Berman Blog - 17.12

Iron Cross

Title:  Iron Cross

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas on Panel

Size:  20" x 16"

Copyright:  2013

Catalog #:  13.004

Here's a painting I did in 2013.  It reminds me of a quote from Winston Churchill.  Although there are a multitude of historic references to the meaning of the Iron Cross, the intent of my painting is to symbolize the Teutonic Order using my bermanesque iconography in place of the typical shield insignia.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Berman Blog - 17.11

Berman Blog - 17.11

Title:  Shooting for the Stars

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  50" x 60"

Copyright:  2016

Catalog #:  16.031

Looking to become a patron of the Arts?

One of the dilemmas every artist faces is how to monetize their work.  One way is having gallery representation.  Another way is to travel and do art fairs and festivals.  Yet another way is to find patrons or people who appreciate and are inspired by your work and want to pay a stipend to be a part of your development as an artist. 

For those of you out there that prefer the third option, there is a new company specifically tailored to help artists find patrons.  It is called Patreon and you can find me there at KenBermanArt.

Berman Blog - 17.10

Berman Blog - 17.10

Throwback Thursday

This is an older painting done in 2010 and is called "The Green Machine".  It is a play of words since I associate it with the 'Mean Machine' which was the prisoner football team in the movie The Longest Yard.  I often use allegory in my work to connect it to real-world and/or real-time issues.  I try to be as subtle and obtuse as possible for maximum abstraction and optimal interpretation.  In this case, the machine is the fabric presses filmed in the movie as the inmates were chanting 'Mean Machine'.  It is meant to reflect solidarity at a time of oppression or disadvantage.

Title:  The Green Machine

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas on Panel

Size:  30" x 24"

Copyright:  2010

Catalog #:  10.005

Berman Blog - 17.09

Berman Blog - 17.09

Berman Blocks

Assortment of Berman Blocks

I've started a new series of miniature copies of my larger paintings that are laminated onto plywood blocks.  The paintings are printed on photo paper, laminated onto the blocks and then sealed.  They can go just about anywhere ... on a desk, table and of course a wall.

 

"The future influences the present just as much as the past." - Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Berman Blog - 17.08

Berman Blog - 17.08

Throwback Tuesday

Title:  Lowerin the Boom

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Panel

Size:  20" x 16"

Copyright:  2008

Catalog #:  08.027

Here's another older piece I want to share.  This one was done in 2008 and is called "Lowerin' the Boom".  It combined several features of my work including a larger engine block element and colored pencil lines.  It also is one of a series of transition pieces where I start to take my pipes and break them down/combine them so they incorporate several different segments along a line.  These fittings offered a variety of scales and allowed me to add a glaze color to differentiate them from adjacent segments.  You can also see the subtle incorporation of color as well.

Berman Blog - 17.07

Berman Blog - 17.07

The Power of Love

The Beatles iconic song "All You Need Is Love" is a testament to the bands ability to focus on the important issues while they and the world were going through turbulent times in the late 1960's.  The song expresses a clarity of understanding and purposefulness that transcended current events and personal circumstances.  Attached is my version called The Power of Love.  It combines the feminine and masculine traits I mentioned in Berman Blog - 17.04.

Also, this painting will be on exhibit at the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, CA. as a part of the Sensations show.

Title:  Power of Love

Medium:  Oil & Colored Pencil on Canvas

Size:  12" x 36"

Copyright:  2017

Catalog #:  17.003

Berman Blog - 17.06

Berman Blog - 17.06

Nitty Gritty Skateboard

Here is my latest skateboard called Nitty Gritty.  It's meant to represent well-worn tools that have fulfilled their purposes over the years.  It also portrays a grungy urbanism reminiscent of the early industrial revolution - at a time when an old walk-up on the Lower East Side of New York reflected the character and determination of the human spirit.

 

Berman Blog - 17.05

Berman Blog - 17.05

Title:  Extraterrestrial Widget

Medium:  Oil, Alkyd & Colored Pencil on Laminated Plywood

Size:  9" x 9"

Copyright:  2007

Catalog #:  07.001

 

Throwback Thursday

Here's another painting from the past.  It was done in 2007 and featured my construction lines as well as the combination of shapes, colors and layering.  Notably, it won an Honorable Mention Award at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art Biennial and was the first time a critic described my work and included it in his article about the show.  The critic, Colin Berry of Artweek Magazine, called it "A mysterious schematic for an extraterrestrial widget".

People frequently ask me what my paintings are about.  Frankly, I cannot really describe them better than what Mr. Berry did.  The one thing I can offer is a perspective that I was lucky enough to receive from Robert Rauschenberg when I met him at his home/studio for the book signing for Kiki's Paris in late 1989.  I asked Mr Rauschenberg how you knew you were an artist.  He told me that you are an artist if you wake up every day with the drive and desire to create your art.  In his opinion it was that simple ... so I think I'll leave it up to the art critics to come up with a proper description for my work and continue on doing what I do.