Friday, July 2, 2004
My show, "City Life", opens tonight in Olde City Philadelphia, and Lorna and I are looking forward to an eventful evening. During the week I began sketches for a new theme. This is one of my favorite times when, on the pages of my sketchbook, simple stick people and guided doodles slowly evolve into powerful ideas worthy of at least a month of tedious brushwork. I have devleloped 5 seperate sketches, but 2 are very strong. I will have to determine if I should begin all 5 paintings.
Friday, June 24, 2004
Well, this past Sunday was Father's Day and I received an Art book from my children. I contentedly moved "Hidden Treasures" from my Studio to my finished wall, but since completing the "21st Century Woman" series earlier this year I have been searching for a new theme. In the past month I have 'touched up' my paintings for the July show, finished 2 tropical works, and began another 'hi-tech' painting that I am not pleased with. This week I sat down with cups of coffee, my sketchbook, and my new Art book to search for inspiration...should I continue on a tropical theme, complete the half-finished 'hi-tech' painting, or develop new sketches in an altogether different direction? Time for more coffee...
Friday, June 18, 2004
This week, with help from my children, I dropped off my paintings at a gallery for an upcoming show in July. Later in the week Lorna and I attended the always worthwhile Members Meeting of a local Museum, after which I spoke with the Museum's Curator. In my Studio I completed the painting "what is beauty?", and may be finshed another tropical work but am deciding just how far to go with the colorful background. Another very different painting is about half complete, but I am not particularly happy with it - sometimes Artists paint over work they cannot "pull out".
Charles Keenan's
~ Weekly Art Journal ~
June through December, 2004
Friday, July 9, 2004
Last Friday, July 2nd, a show of 5 of my paintings opened at a small Gallery in Olde City Philadelphia. The weather was beautiful, and thousands came to the Gallery District to view new work, see outdoor performances, meet Artists, and perhaps visit Independence Hall, Elfreth's Alley, and Betsy Ross' Home. Lorna and I arrived early and, before settling in at the gallery for the evening, enjoyed strolling the short blocks to see the work of so many Artists. There was an excellent rock band playing outside the gallery as many curious visitors filtered past my work. To see more photos from the evening, which ended with fireworks just a block away high above the Delaware River, visit Our Shows. On Tuesday I submitted a painting to a local Museum for their Members Exhibit, which opens in mid-July. During the week I continued to develop earlier sketches. I had only a few, smaller prepared panels in my studio and felt larger surfaces might best show the colors, shadows and details that my sketches were revealing. I prepared 2 larger panels (16 x 20") with gesso and placed them beside my easel near my box of charcoal, hoping to begin next week.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Wow, what a productive week! It is always thrilling to finally go from sketches to painting, and this week I began 3 new works - one from multiple sketches, another from poses of my muse, and a third using direct painting to begin complex, multiple perspectives from my mind's eye. Oil paints give deep rich colors and soft edges, but drying time makes it almost impossible to work on just one painting. Together with the earlier 'hi-tech' painting (which I am successfully 'pulling out') I have 4 works in progress, each in its own unique stage of completion. After writing and mailing a proposal for a larger exhibit of my work, I look forward to juggling my 4 paintings towards their completion next week.
While it was raining outside, it was dry and warm inside. We saw many familiar works and exhibits, and some new ones. I looked closely at Henri Matisse's work - how he loved the color red ! I was surprised to see he made little attempt to cover his canvas, and his pencil drawings are clearly visible between swatches of paint. There were pages from Marcel Duchamp's sketchbook displayed, 
but I liked Edward Munch's 1816 mural of a mermaid. 
I continue to work on 4 of my paintings, each about half complete. Some suggest a new, separate theme, but I find that I have already combined several sketches into each painting.
Friday, July 23, 2004
This past Sunday my family and I visited our city's largest Art Museum.
Friday, July 30, 2004
On Sunday my family and I visited Woodmere Art Museum and saw my painting, "Peek-a-boo!", in the Annual Members Exhibit. It is number 10 in the Balcony Gallery, and it seems this year I have won the unofficial 'Closest to the Ceiling' Award.
I spent almost 20 hours over 3 days working on my 4 new paintings, creating some interesting effects. As my eyes burned from looking so long and so closely at my work I glanced at my Art books and remembered how pleasant it was to do research - perhaps I could split my schedule even further.
Peek - a - boo !
Friday, August 6, 2004
Some say they enjoy college level sports more than professional sports because the players are more competitive and, without the million dollar salaries, engage in a more pure version of the game.
This was the case when we visited our city's Board of Education Building this week to see my son's award winning painting. The corridors were filled with colorful work from the imaginations of this years city-wide winners, and we were captivated.
While Downtown I stopped at the Art Supply Store for materials, and picked up my unsold work at the Gallery.
I worked so intensely last week on my 4 'paintings in progress' that, rather than flounder working on them again so soon, I began a fifth painting.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Continued to develop my 5 works in progress this week, and loved using some of the new paints I bought last week. One painting may be finished, another three are almost complete, and the last is really just beginning. Sometimes I develop a subject from sketches, but this time I could not find the inspiration for a unifying topic. As I continue to work on these 5 unrelated scenes a theme may be emerging. Also, I began framing earlier work for an upcoming show in November.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Out of the 5 paintings in my current 'unthemed' group I finished one religious painting, and decided an earlier studio painting was finished. There are always a few more details I would like to add to my paintings, but the Artist must say when it is complete and move on. Added "Muse with the Artist's Sketchbook" and "Requesting a Favor" to my Web Galleries, leaving 3 of the group to finish. Continued working on the fifth one, while the remaining 2 are almost complete. Liked the atmosphere my "Painting of the Week" creates from my main web page. Worked on frames for my November gallery show.  
Finished "A Day to Herself", a painting I have been 'chipping away' at for over 3 months. Worked on the 2 remaining paintings in this group of 5. Almost completed framing all the paintings for my November show - just one left.
Returned to a bookstore to purchase one book that intrigued me several weeks ago. "Gaughin by himself" is a collection of letters the artist wrote to family and friends. Looking forward to finishing this group of paintings so I can sit back with this newest book, the book I received for Father's Day, and others. I have come to love research and sketching as much as painting itself - a good idea is a real joy to develop. 
Friday, August 27, 2004
Finished "Sleeping Beauty", one of my favorite to date, and added it to my web galleries. Continued work on the 5th of this group of 5. Read some of the book "Gaughin by himself". Worked on the final frame for my November show, and continued developing an earlier accompanying 'statement' for the Gallery. Began preparing a group of nine panels to work on until Christmas. 
Friday, September 3, 2004
Friday, September 10, 2004
This was 'back to school' week around here for everyone but me - 5 people returning to 4 schools. While it has been a bit hectic, next week promises to be unprecedentedly quiet here. I hope to begin accomplishing much, including raising the quality of my work a few notches. This week I did manage to complete the final frame together with a statement for my November show, "Silent Guides", and continued preparing a steady stream of panels for the quiet times ahead. Spent time visitng Artist's websites and wrote a brief email to one Artist that impressed me.
Friday, September 17, 2004
This first week with everyone back at school included 2 holidays, so I did not get as much done as I hoped, but next week should be productive. After finishing 6 paintings over the summer months the creative cycle is beinning again with coffee, sketches, and research. I have prepared 5 or 6 panels, and spent a day with pencil, paper, and books on the Masters. Two ideas emerged from my sketches, and I spent the one quiet day doing an underpainting for an autumn scene, and used ' wipe away' technique to create darks and lights in a second underpainting/ drawing for a figurative work.   

Friday, September 24, 2004
A much more productive week. I may have finished a tropical painting I have been 'chipping away' at since summer - another week to be sure it is complete. Began 2 new paintings (a city scene and a romantic work) in addition to the autumn scene. This leaves me with 3 ' works in progress' for next week. Worked on copies of a 'statement' for November's show, and began distributing promotions. Wrote a museum about including my work in their Contemporary Artists collection.
Friday, October 1, 2004
With the quiet that is settling in I finished "Beyond Paradise", nearly completed a romantic painting (for our 16th wedding anniversary next week), and developed an autumn painting. Looked through our monthly area Art magazine, inquired about a 3 hour portrait class given by Nelson Shanks at Woodmere Art Museum, arranged a date to drop off my November show at Well Fed and mailed a few announcements.
Friday, October 8, 2004
Finished "Old Candles Burn Brightest", and began one or two underpaintings - sketches, really, until I develop the concepts more. Made about 5 sketches for one - ah! I'm not sure I'm happy with it yet! Intensely re-thought 2 colorful city paintings to transform them into a third "Seasonal" set of 4, which will require splitting one underpainting into 2 separate paintings. Made some beautiful progress on one (Autumn), but completeing all 4 will take months. Prepared a few more panels, giving me about 5 blanks to turn over in my mind. This leaves just a few raw boards - time to restock. Corresponded with the newly renovated Alumni Office of U of Arts, and sent out an "Occasional Newsletter".  
Friday, October 15, 2004
Continued to feel strongly about another 'Seasonal' set of 4 paintings, but the material I had would not allow 4 panels of the same size. Procured more raw material and began cutting and preparing panels. By the middle of the week I had 4 similar panels, and spent time on 3 of the seasons, maybe beginning the 4th later today. Received a moving response to my "Newsletter". Dropped off earlier paintings and statement for my November show. 
Friday, October 22, 2004
Focused on my paintings of the 4 Seasons, putting all other sketches and paintings aside. Made progress on the backgrounds in the early part of the week, then worked on the figure in the later part of the week. This is my third set of Seasons, and I feel it is my most intense and well thought out. When I try to see what needs to be done on all 4 at once my mind begins to seem like a kaleidoscope, so I will have to look at each one separately when they are dry next week. There has been interest in my upcoming gallery show, "Silent Guides", which opens in 2 weeks. 
Friday, October 29, 2004
Continued working on the 4 Seasons, completing 2. The remaining 2 are about half complete, but still have some complicated angles and effects to work out. Received an encouraging response from an area University Museum, corresponded further with UArts, and visited Nelson Shank's very impressive exhibit (which includes portraits of President Reagan and Pope John Paul II) at Woodmere Art Museum, speaking with the curator.
Friday, November 5, 2004
Worked very hard towards completing the remaining 2 Seasons - it is always a good feeling when my eyes burn. Began another painting from an earlier sketch to use the 'left over' paint from my palette. Preparing for my gallery exhibit, which opens tonight.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Last Friday my most recent show, "Silent Guides", opened at the Well Fed Artist Gallery in Philadelphia. Lorna and I arrived before 7 o'clock and quickly visited a few of the 20 or so galleries in the area. Among the thousands of gallery visitors that chilly night (many must come from area colleges such as U of P, Drexel, and UArts) there were a few familiar faces: Nora brought her husband Pete, and Patti brought her friend Jeannie. I spent time talking to guests, Artists I knew, and new Artists.
Spent 2 full days during the week working on my "Seasons" and the new painting. Visited Woodmere Art Museum with 3 of my children, and spoke with the staff.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Finished this 3rd version of the 4 Seasons, titled "Seasonal Runways". Worked on a tropical painting. Began sketching out a few ideas for more paintings. After seeing an Art Exhibit at an area Nursing Home Lorna inquired about showing my work in future exhibits. 

Friday, November 26, 2004
Finished a fifth painting, "Dancing Waters",  for my tropical series "Visits of the Heart". Began to arrange a day to pick up my unsold paintings at the gallery. Mailed our family membership renewal to Woodmere Art Museum with a letter proposing a larger show of my work. Had a great Thanksgiving.
Friday, December 3, 2004
Arranged a day next week to pick up my unsold paintings from the gallery. Received our annual membership to Woodmere. Worked on sketches and ideas, and began emailing my holiday "Occassional Newsletter".
Friday, December 10, 2004
Visited Woodmere Art Museum a third time to see Nelson Shank's exhibit of over 50 paintings, including one of Pope John Paul II. Picked up my unsold paintings from the downtown gallery. Emailed a few more holiday "Occasional Newsletter"s, which have received warm, encouraging responses. Spent two days going over sketches...but the holiday season requires attention.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Continued going over sketches and developing ideas, particularly ways to use the new few hours I have each day, such as plein air ( outdoor ) painting. Developed a sketch and prepared a panel for a "self-portrait" which should represent this contemplative period and keep me painting. Began replies to responses I received to my last "Occasional Newsletter". 
Friday, December 24, 2004
Christmas Eve...Finishing the 5th painting for "Visits of the Heart" and the 4 Seasons in November left me with a blank page for a 3rd theme to submit for another year with the gallery. As Christmas approached a new theme rose out of scribbles and earlier ideas. With the new year I hope to begin a series of "plein air", or outdoor, paintings. I hope to gradually increase the vibrance of these with the improving weather, which should begin to offer nice days as early as March. This new theme should carry me into the Spring and Summer months, and might offer opportunities to include friends in my work. I have already put together a box with colored pencils, crayons, and a new sketch book that I bought several months ago. I am beginning with a studio painting that I continued honing sketches for during the week. Merry Christmas !
Friday, December 31, 2004
The last week of 2004 found us visiting old friends, and I discussed my idea for a series of paintings including them. I read that one of the Masters (was it Rembrandt or Ruebens?) would often make 2 paintings - one for himself and one for the sitter as payment. I completed 4 color sketches, giving one to each sitter, which leaves me with two. These will help me to develop the "plein air" theme for the nicer weather. This year I completed 18 oil paintings, with countless visitors to my Exhibits, and thousands of visitors to my Web Galleries. I look forward to another productive year in 2005...Happy New Year !