Kevin Grass2018-05-04T11:08:59+00:00
2018-12-19T14:56:06+00:00

What I do in my art by Kevin Grass

What I do in my art by Kevin Grass

Our son Nicholas recently sent me an interesting 18-minute video: Golden Circle Marketing Principles. We had been talking about how I can tell people more about what I do as an artist. I was hoping to find a cool slogan, such as Thomas Kincade’s “the painter of light” or Clyde Butcher’s “art from the heart.” Unfortunately, I still have not come up with something that snappy. (I would be glad for any suggestions, though! : )

The TED talk in the video led me to think that maybe it would be helpful if I had a short video that explained what I do in my artwork. We contacted one of Nicholas’s friends, who is a film major at the University of Central Florida, and Maggie Hudak and her boyfriend agreed to shoot the video for a small fee.

Kevin Grass is about to be filmed for his promo video

Kevin Grass, about to be filmed for his promo video.

As you can see below, we had to have a wardrobe change first. The blue-green shirt looked better with my Schooner Racing the Storm painting that I am currently working on than my typical black shirt.

Kevin Grass in his small art studio, about to be filmed

My 10-foot by 10-foot small art studio at home is pretty cramped. With all of the photo equipment and two people working on the filming in place, it was practically claustrophobic!

It took several hours to create the following 3-minute video. I hope it is helpful in explaining further what I try to do as an artist.

Enjoy! I hope you liked reading my 22 blog posts about the creation of my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting and what I’m doing now to help market my work.

I would once again like to thank Creative Pinellas for honoring me with an artist grant to help me realize my big piece for the Art Prize 10 competition in Grand Rapids. Please wish me luck there from September 19-October 7. If you happen to be in Grand Rapids, don’t forget to swing by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to see the piece and to vote for No. 66841!

Best regards,

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 22 of 22

2018-12-19T14:55:04+00:00

Showing my painting at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

Showing my painting at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

The debut of my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting was at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) in Tarpon Springs. Not only is that a beautiful and fully accredited museum, but it also happens to be on a campus of St. Petersburg College where I have taught before.

Because I received grant money from Creative Pinellas to help me realize this project, I wanted to be sure to exhibit this piece in Pinellas County before we leave for Art Prize. I am so grateful for the wonderful staff of the LRMA for being so supportive in this endeavor!

Kevin Grass with his "Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch" painting at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL

Here I am next to the painting in the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.

I initially wanted to move the painting to the museum intact with a U-Haul, since it was a local move, but thankfully I figured out that the full piece would not have been able to round the corner from the painting studio into the hall way. It was simply too large. So I had to take the whole thing apart, put it in our minivan, and drive it rolled-up to LRMA. It was a good dry run for what I will experience when moving the piece to Grand Rapids for Art Prize, give or take a 20-hour trip up there. : )

Here are a few photos from the installation, which took longer than I thought it would.

Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting is rolled up and off the stretcher in this photo

Here you see the wood from the stretcher bars, and the floor covering I put down so I can re-stretch the canvas.

Kevin Grass's painting stretcher is ready to be re-assembled

The stretcher bars are laid out according to their numbers on the back, so that everything fits together just the way it is supposed to!

Kevin Grass's stretecher bars for his "Not #MeToo" painting are put back together

The stretcher bars are back together and now it’s time to staple the canvas back into place.

Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting is ready to be hung at the LRMA>

Now I need to put the frame back together to put around the stretched canvas.

Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting with the LRMA staff

The Leepa-Rattner Museum staff are so attentive! Here, they pose with the piece after I finally got it all put back together.

On Wednesday, September 5th, at 7 p.m., I gave an artist talk at the museum to tell people more about the creation of this work. I was also available to answer questions afterward. I was so overwhelmed by how many people attended the event. It is a credit to the museum and to Creative Pinellas that they got so many people to come!

Lots of people attend the Kevin Grass artist talk at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL

Lots of people attend the Kevin Grass artist talk at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL

Kevin Grass explains the symbolism in his "Not #MeToo" painting during an artist talk at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL

Here I am explaining the symbolism found in the piece during my artist talk.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is located at 600 E. Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs, FL 34689. The museum’s website can be found here: LRMA    I will have three pieces in the SPC faculty art show at the museum beginning on October 7, 2018.

Thank you for keeping up with my blog posts!

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 21 of 22

2018-08-26T23:31:42+00:00

Things to do before Art Prize: a checklist

Things to do before Art Prize: a checklist

Preparing for a competition like Art Prize 2018 takes many things into account that some people would not even think about. The exhibition itself runs for 19 days, and ideally, someone needs to be with the painting to help answer questions about the work and garner votes. There is a preview week before that, so even just the event itself takes a month in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Doing this from Florida as a home base involves some logistics.

Florida artist Kevin Grass created the large Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting showing two ballerinas resisting Harvey Weinstein. One ballerina cringes from this sexual predator, while the other defends herself using pepper spray. This is my entry No. 66841 in Art Prize 10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2018.

I thought I would share some of the “to do’s” that I had/have to do as an artist participating during the 10th anniversary of this competition. Other artists might find this information useful for their own entries in the future, while art collectors will get more of a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to show a work there.

The suggestions on the “to do” list are in no particular order, and many were first passed on to me by a great photorealist artist, Ken Hershenson. This artist, who does an incredible series of acrylic paintings involving jacks and puns on the word “Jack,” is a three-time veteran of Art Prize. He is not participating in Art Prize 2018 but is coming from the Detroit area to help support my entry and loan me his director’s chair. I am so glad to have an artist friend who is in my corner!

Michigan artist Ken Hershenson is showing his I DO Know Jack! series of acrylic paintings to Florida painter Kevin Grass (far right) at the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during Art Prize 2017.

  • Create artwork. In my case, that involved building a stretcher and stretching a 7-feet tall by 14-feet wide canvas and painting my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch work on it.
  • Build a suitable frame for the work. I had to gold-leaf the 5” wide frame, which consisted of two moldings held together to provide the sides of the frame. It was quite a wood-working project!
  • Get professional photographs of the work. Because my entry is so large, it was difficult to get clear photos of the painting without too much glare on them.
  • Apply for Art Prize on the Art Prize website. Our entry was $100, since my wife Michaela and I entered as the “Kevin Grass Fine Art” team.
  • Connecting with a venue to show the work. Reaching out to venues I am interested in and finding out if they would like to show the piece. In my case, I also had to turn down two venues that wanted to show my painting. I was honored that I got such a positive response from the venues for my work.
  • Signage for the show. I have a clear acrylic sign with my logo and “Kevin Grass Paintings” on it that I had made for some international art fairs earlier that I may hang up. Ken also pointed out that I need to have signs for the daily Top 25 and the Final Top 25 (if applicable) to display by the work. I also need to mount the symbolism sheet that explains the iconography of the work next to the piece.This is the clear acrylic sign with my logo. I used “Paintings” instead of “Fine Art” because in the past some people thought my works were photographs since they are so realistic.
  • I also had the symbolism sheet I made to explain the iconography of the painting printed on aluminum to hang by the piece during the show.
  • Organize furniture for the exhibition. In my case, a computer table from Ikea will be used to show a slide show of the creation of this piece and display business cards. A director’s chair from Costco will provide a place to sit during the long periods that the museum is open during Art Prize.
  • Create a video showing the “making of” the Art Prize entry painting to show on the computer table next to the piece. Here is a link to the 15-minute video my wife Michaela made about the creation of this painting: Not #MeToo video 
  • Have hard cover books of other artwork, of the symbolism in the other paintings, and of the making of the Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting available for visitors who want to stay longer and learn more about my work.
  • Find a place to stay during the competition. In my case, I was fortunate that my venue, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, has a volunteer who has hosted previous Art Prize participants before and who is opening her home to me and my wife during the exhibition.
  • Organize transportation to and from Art Prize. My wife Michaela and I plan to drive the 20-hour trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in our minivan with the painting rolled up and the stretcher bars and frame disassembled. Once the work has been put back together, I need to return to Florida, since I have a full-time teaching job at St. Petersburg College. Michaela will stay with the painting each day during the competition, and I plan to fly up on weekends to do my part to help promote the work then. That means several flights back and forth, and afterward helping Michaela drive the work back down to Florida.
  • Purchasing art insurance for the work. Comparing several quotes in order to get the best value on an insurance policy that covers both liability and the artwork itself.
  • Printing business cards with the voting number. It has been suggested that I might start with about 10,000 business cards showing my painting and voting number that people can pick up when they visit the Ford Museum. While most people vote for individual artworks on a telephone app, many will want to see an artist’s website and keep a card with information about their favorite works. I was told that about 250,000 visitors descend on the Ford Museum during Art Prize, so I may have to re-order more cards during the event if I run low.

  

Above are my designs for the two sides of the business cards I’ll be using during Art Prize.

  • Having a special coupon code for people who visit Art Prize on the business cards and organizing a special sale on the prints on my website, kevingrass.art during the show.
  • My wife Michaela needs extra time to prepare to teach her normal face-to-face art history class at St. Petersburg College online during the time she is watching the painting during Art Prize. She will be gone for a month, so there is quite a bit of prep work before the fall semester even begins.
  • Doing a press release about the work and sending it out a couple of weeks beforehand to local media in the Grand Rapids area, as well as in the Tampa Bay area where I live.
  • After voting has begun, check to see if my work features in the daily Top 25 in the 2-D category. If so, display the appropriate sign next to the painting, and promote that on social media.
  • Social media marketing for the work. Reach out to the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram followers by posting daily from Art Prize to let them know how it is going and to help drum up support for my painting.
  • Buy snacks to keep hydrated and fed during the time the museum is open. By purchasing them in bulk and keeping them in the trunk of the car, we can save money during the long days staying with the painting and talking to the public.

  • Bring gum and hard candy to keep our voices from going too hoarse because we are talking to so many people during Art Prize.
  • Figure out a proper wardrobe for the show. Apparently, the weather in Grand Rapids in September/October can go from hot to windy, chilly, and rainy, so having outfits for each contingency is useful.

Those are all the things I can think of to do before heading up to Grand Rapids. Because it is my first time with this competition, I may have overlooked something important, but hope to be able to wing it if that is the case.

Please help support my entry by voting for No. 66841 if you are in Grand Rapids during the Art Prize competition from September 19-October 7, 2018.

This is my finished work after it is framed. Wish me luck!

Thanks and I hope to see you at Art Prize!

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 20 of 22

2018-06-27T14:40:04+00:00

Building and gilding the frame for the “Not #MeToo” painting

Building and gilding the frame for the “Not #MeToo” painting

What to do when you cannot afford prefabricated frame molding? Build your own frame! It’s much more work, but it definitely saves money.

Florida artist Kevin Grass picks out frame molding at Lowe's.

Here I am at Lowe’s home improvement store, picking out frame molding. My wife Michaela gives me a second opinion on my choices and I settle on two different moldings that I will need to combine to make a frame that is about 5″ wide. If I had not gotten lucky at Lowe’s, I would have tried Home Depot and Weiss Hardwoods in Largo, Florida, to find good molding. Thankfully, I found success on my first stop.

Here are the materials for making the frame on my trusty art cart. I am fortunate that the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, where I teach studio art, has an excellent wood shop that I can use during the off hours. That way, I only have to use the miter saw at home in our garage for basic cuts, and I can have access to superior equipment.

Florida artist Kevin Grass wears a red clown nose on Red Nose Day 2018.

I am painting the base of the moldings red, because the traditional “bole,” or clay and glue mixture that is used in the water gilding process, is usually red. I am not actually using this process, but want the frame to have a traditional gold-leaf look. The red will warm up the gold in parts where the metal leaf cracks. In honor of “Red Nose Day,” which is dedicated to ending child poverty, I am wearing a red clown nose.

Back at home in our garage, I start to put together the two different moldings to make the sides of the frame. I am already sweaty from a 25-mile bicycle ride, so I may as well work out here with just an oscillating fan to cool me off in the Florida heat.

Then it’s time to take the frame pieces back to the Clearwater SPC campus to ensure that the frame fits snugly around the painting.

The back of the frame molding and how it is put together by Kevin Grass.

Here you can see how I combined the two moldings to make a wider piece for the frame.

I use test pieces of molding to determine if I will go with gilding (on the left) or gold spray paint with antiquing (on the right) for this frame. Even though it is much more work, I decide to stick with the gold-leaf process. While it takes significantly longer, my perfectionist nature says that I cannot stint here.

The first piece of molding is halfway gilded. It takes about 3 hours to apply the gold leaf to one of these segments and I have six of them to complete!

Here is a shot of how one completed segment of the frame looks next to the painting.

This is the painting with the gold frame completed.

When I visited Grand Rapids during Art Prize last year, I noticed that not many of the really large paintings had frames. Most just had their edges painted. I am hoping that going to this much trouble to provide a nice frame for my painting will give me a competitive edge. The painting will definitely look better framed when it is hung in the Ford Presidential Museum. I am so honored that I can show my piece in such a classy venue.

If you’d like to see some of the works I photographed during Art Prize 2017, please check out my blog post on my website here: Kevin Grass’s visit to Art Prize 2017 in Grand Rapids It even includes a little video I made of the most fascinating works I saw during my 3-day visit.

Thanks again for tuning in! Come back soon!

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 19 of 22

2018-06-05T14:42:49+00:00

Preparing the finishing touches on the “Not #MeToo” painting

Preparing the finishing touches on the “Not #MeToo” painting

You thought my painting was done, when the visible surface was covered with paint and refined? Not quite! Here are some of the next steps in realizing my large Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch project for Art Prize 10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Kevin Grass's wife Michaela Oberlaender paints the edges of the "Not #MeToo" painting

My wife Michaela came to visit me at St. Petersburg College’s painting studio in Clearwater, where we both teach. I put her to work painting the edges of the piece. While I fully intend to frame this painting, I want such an expensive work to have a finished look. Michaela teaches art history, but she has a painting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of her undergraduate degrees.

It takes four utility tables to support this acrylic on canvas painting sufficiently to work on it.

Florida artist Kevin Grass is getting ready to varnish his large "Not #MeToo" painting

Next up is the varnishing step. I use Windsor Newton oil painting varnish and apply it carefully. I have had difficulties with varnish turning milky on paintings in the past, so I am cautious when working with varnish. However, once the acrylic paint dried on the canvas, the colors became dull. That meant that what is a rich black looked more dark grey without varnish. By adding 1-2 layers of varnish, I can restore the color to look as it did when I painted it. Furthermore, the varnish protects the painting, so that someone can dust it off with a damp microfiber cloth in the future.

If you were here in person, you could easily tell the difference between a varnished and an unvarnished painting. However, that is something that does not photograph well, so you will have to take my word for it. I hope you will get to see this piece in person some time, because in real life it looks much better than it does in my photos.

Thanks for reading my blog. Please check back next week for the next step in this process.

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 18 of 22

2018-06-08T12:45:50+00:00

Symbolism and the finished “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch” painting

Symbolism and the finished “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch” painting

It’s finally time to sign my Not #MeToo painting! It seems as if I have been working on this piece forever.

I paint my logo before adding my name to the signature.

I designed my logo some time ago when I was inspired by looking at a Circle K convenience store sign.

Florida artist Kevin Grass created the large “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch” painting showing two ballerinas resisting Harvey Weinstein. One ballerina cringes from this sexual predator, while the other defends herself using pepper spray.

Here is the finished, professionally photographed image of my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting. I am fortunate to be friends with former SPC adjunct photography professor Frank Duffy, who came in especially to shoot my painting for me. He knows how to light such a sizeable work so that it minimizes the glare, which is a real problem with snapshots of the piece. I am a little jealous that Frank is retired and just gets to work on his art, but I am so thankful that he takes the time to do favors like this for me!

Here I am with my painting, so you get a sense of its scale. Again, Frank was kind enough to shoot this professional photo.

If I were to win the $200,000 grand prize at Art Prize this year, I would definitely invest it toward letting me retire earlier from teaching, so I can just paint. That’s what I’ve wanted to do all along, but I have to be practical when I have a mortgage to pay and a family to support. I am grateful that I have my full-time teaching job in the meantime to help provide for us and grants like this one from Creative Pinellas to help defray the cost of doing this big project. But teaching full time and painting full time are exhausting. I don’t have any spare time for fun things, and I don’t want to miss out on life because I’m always working. I keep telling my wife that if this does not work out for me, I can just do small paintings as a hobby to please myself and not worry about whether they will sell. So far, she has been good about talking me out of doing just that, saying that my recognition and sales will come. I hope she is right!

For my figurative pieces that have a social commentary message, I usually design a symbolism sheet to explain the iconography of my paintings. While most of the message is self-evident, there are some viewers who like having an artist’s message spelled out for them. Verbal, rather than visual learners, appreciate that I take the time to do this.

Here is a snapshot of Alexandra’s completed head. Her blonde hair was especially challenging to paint.

A snapshot of Harvey Weinstein’s bust shows that he has a big, meaty head.

Madeline’s head reminds me of old movies of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, because of her carefully angled hair cut.

What do you think of the work, now that the painting phase is done? I’d love to read your comments on my Facebook or Twitter pages. Next, check back with how I go about framing this piece, since I cannot afford to buy prefabricated frame molding.

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Here is a link to my personal Facebook page: Kevin Grass private FB page and here is one to my business Facebook page: Kevin Grass Fine Art business FB page. Here, you can find me on Twitter: Fineartfan, Kevin Grass’s Twitter handle.

Blog post 17 of 22

2018-06-08T12:42:44+00:00

An end is in sight: painting my “Not #MeToo” piece for Art Prize 10

An end is in sight: painting my “Not #MeToo” piece for Art Prize 10

I am making slow, but steady progress on creating my giant Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting. I can’t wait to see it in the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids during Art Prize in September! I just hope that the public there will like the work and vote for it!

Our son Nicholas hangs out with me while I’m painting. He has been studying for a final exam, so he’s giving me an overview of what he learned in his cell biology class. I listen with one ear, while I’m concentrating on touching up the details in this 7-foot tall by 14-foot wide acrylic on canvas painting.

On Madeline’s arms, I employ methods that I learned during the first Figurative Art Convention & Expo that I attended in Miami in November 2017. At the time, I was not sure just how much I absorbed from hearing famous figurative artists talk about their techniques, particularly since most of them work in oil, and I use acrylics. But as I am working on this piece, I realize that I am striving for exactly the kind of balance between sharpness and soft edges that the teachers there talked about. If you’d like to read more about what I learned at the convention, please read the following blog post on my website: What I learned at the Figurative Art Convention

My glass painting palette is ready with paint on one side for dealing with the edges of the canvas, and the other for completing the background. I have to make sure the background is a warm black, so that it contrasts with the cooler black of Madeline’s leotard and skirt and Harvey Weinstein’s charcoal grey suit.

Florida artist Kevin Grass works on his large Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting in his living room.

Once again, I am on the floor, working on Alexandra’s tutu. That and her blonde hair have turned out to be the most challenging aspects of creating this artwork.

I am checking the dryness of the paint as I’m in the last stages of the painting process for making this large piece. When it’s done, I need to disassemble it, roll it up, and take it back to the painting studio in Clearwater at St. Petersburg College where I teach. There, it will be professionally photographed, then varnished, and then I need to build a frame for this artwork. While doing the painting itself is the most difficult part of this project, it is by no means done!

Check back with me soon to see how the professional photos turned out!

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 16 of 22

2018-06-05T12:54:24+00:00

Painting Harvey Weinstein

Painting Harvey Weinstein

I am in the midst of refining the details on my 7-foot tall by 14-foot wide Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting, so I will be able to show a museum-quality work when I bring it to the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids for Art Prize in September.

Here I am working on Harvey Weinstein’s hand. It is actually the hand of my model, Chris North, who stood in for the body for Weinstein. Thankfully for me, the two have similar physiques. Chris normally does life modeling in my Drawing II classes on St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater campus. I was fortunate that he had a dark suit and a red dress shirt for the photo shoot for this painting, since I wanted to evoke devilish colors for the figure of Weinstein. Chris previously modeled in my When Good People Do Bad Things painting, so I know he is a great sport, even when he is not being shown in the most favorable light in my paintings.

Realism artist Kevin Grass explores the reasons for self-destructive behavior in this dark, surreal acrylic painting on panel.

You can explore the details and symbolism (under “see full description & specifications”) of my When Good People Do Bad Things painting, where the model Chris is pulling out his own tooth at the following link: When Good People Do Bad Things on www.kevingrass.art

Here you can see the progress I made on Harvey Weinstein’s hand. I think it’s turning out well.

To let you know how far the piece has come, see how Harvey Weinstein’s hand looked after just the first layer of paint. It seems more like an Impressionist piece at this stage.

I have made good progress on refining the entire figure of Harvey Weinstein. I think of him as the “beast” in relation to the “beauties” that are the ballerinas in this painting. He has a really large head in real life and that underscores my intended message.

A woman asked me online how I can stand to paint Harvey Weinstein, because she thinks of him as such an ogre. It’s actually easy to deal with that: for the most part, I am painting the body of my model Chris, who I consider a friend. And Weinstein’s large head is just another subject that I have to get right. Since he never molested me or anyone I know personally, I don’t have the emotional reaction that one of his victims would have. I am using him because by the time he was accused of sexual harassment, there was a kind of critical mass that spawned the #MeToo movement. While accusations against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill, and the many accusations against formerly-beloved people like Bill Cosby set the stage for this, it was the Weinstein scandal that seemed to mobilize women across the country to speak up about injustices that they endured.

I have moved on to painting Madeline now. Standing on a ladder to paint for hours is as exhausting as sitting squinched up on the floor. I am looking forward to painting smaller, easel-sized paintings after this one! Once again, Carmichael is stopping by to review my progress. Check back next week for further updates and thank you for reading my blog!

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 15 of 22

2018-07-17T15:46:15+00:00

Solo art show in Findlay, Ohio

Solo art show in Findlay, Ohio

Welcome back to my blog! Normally, you would be seeing what progress I’m making on my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting in these blog posts. However, even when you’re working on a big project, an artist’s life goes on. I currently have a large landscape painting show in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at the GALLERY one at the Double Tree Suites by Hilton Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. But it is also time for my first solo art show with NYC gallerist Paul Calendrillo. He organized a show of 13 of my figure paintings at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findlay, Ohio.

Kevin Grass and Paul Calendrillo pose next to the Primates painting at the Findlay, Ohio, art exhibition.

Getting the paintings there involved me buying tons of cardboard and custom-cut Styrofoam, so I could build the boxes for each of the 13 paintings.

This is what the show looks like when the paintings are all boxed up, ready to be picked up by Pilot Freight Services, so they can go to Findlay in time.

Notice that I put an image of each painting on the outside of the boxes, so that when the show needs to be re-packed, the gallery aides can easily figure out which box is for which painting and also keep the felt that I had wrapped around each piece safely inside the box for the duration of the show. This kind of attention to detail makes take-down much easier afterward.

My wonderful artist friend Ken Hershenson picked me up at the Detroit airport and drove me to Findlay. We had a marvelous time talking shop the whole time, since Ken also uses Golden Open acrylics and does representational paintings. Ken is the friend I made when I went to see the Art Prize competition for the first time in October 2017. He will be visiting my work this time when he drives over to see my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting in the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum during Art Prize this fall. He also organized that he, a friend of his, and I will have a group exhibition of our works at Galerie Camile in Detroit next April.

This is a more overall view of my show in the Marathon Center for Performing Arts. The nice thing is, people will get to see my paintings when they go to performances there!

A former student of mine from St. Petersburg College even came to see my show!

Nicole Weaver had moved away from the Tampa area, but kept in touch via Facebook. That’s how she found out about this solo show, which is near where she lives now. I think it is wonderful that she made the effort to come to the opening reception.

An art collector from Tampa noticed my Primates painting and purchased it when he saw it before a performance in the Performing Arts Center. What were the odds that someone who is local to my home would see one of my works in the town of Findlay, Ohio? I think he may have recognized the scene from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

I am so thrilled that my gallerist Paul Calendrillo has gotten our new business relationship off to such a great start! It’s motivating me to make more art!

Thanks for reading my blog,

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 14 of 22

2018-06-05T11:59:34+00:00

Adding depth to the “Not #MeToo” painting with layers of paint

Adding depth to the “Not #MeToo” painting with layers of paint

When last you saw the updates on my Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting, I had finished the first complete layer of paint and stretched the canvas. It’s time for adding some more layers of paint to give depth to the work and to refine it. Unfortunately, the changes I make now will not seem that dramatic, and you have to look more carefully for the subtleties to show. Nevertheless, this stage is important, because I want my finished work to be comparable to the paintings of some of my heroes: Jan Van Eyck and Artemisia Gentileschi.

Look carefully at this pillow. Can you tell that I deepened the colors and sharpness of the pillow in the upper left-hand quadrant of the pillow? I think this kind of detail is better seen in person, and I hope you will get a chance to see this work when it is finished some time in real life.

Florida artist Kevin Grass works on his large Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting in his living room.

This is another night time painting session. It is awkward to sit on the small step stool to paint the bottom of the tutu, but because I cannot raise the painting, I will just have to make do. I can tell that I’m getting older, because after squatting awkwardly, my feet went numb for more than a day! Unless it is for a commission, I don’t think I will be working this large again. It is just too hard on my body. One more reason to admire Michelangelo, who was nearly 67 when he finished his gargantuan Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel. He was truly the ultimate art superstar!

Here is Alexandra’s tutu after I have worked on it for a bit. The challenge is to keep the feeling of the tulle, but not make it so see-through that it seems as if she is wearing Cellophane. This is definitely one of the more difficult parts of this entire painting.

Alexandra the ballerina in Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting

This was the earlier version of the tutu and it was much more revealing. While this is truer to the photographs I took, I do not want to portray Alexandra as a sex object. One of the reasons that painting is not entirely obsolete is that you can still do things with this medium that would not come across the same way if a bunch of photographs were just Photoshopped together. With this artwork, the overall look of it and the beautiful details are more important than being entirely true to the source photographs.

Here I am at another painting session on the floor painting the edges of Alexandra’s tutu. Thankfully, I am patient with this kind of thing, because other artists would have called it quits on this piece a while back. But then they would not get the kind of high-quality, Old Master-style painting that I’m going for! Our older rescue dog Bella decided to hang out with me this time. Our two rat terriers often take turns keeping me company while I paint.

I wish I could paint faster. Sometimes it is frustrating to be such a perfectionist. I hope that the end product will be worth all of this effort. Until next time, thanks for tuning in,

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out www.kevingrass.art! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 13 of 22

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