Introducing My New Studio Manager

Three weeks ago my wife and I adopted a three year old cat named Holly. She’s a wonderful addition to our home, and as you can see in the pictures below, an art enthusiast.

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Goals for 2019

Happy New Year! As this is my first post of 2019, here is a list of my goals for the next twelve months. Some of them are obtainable. Others, not so much.

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  • Continue to work on my latest, major art project (finishing it in 2019 may not be possible).
  • Continue to work on my short story/novella (same as above).
  • Read more about creative writing skills, grammar and structure.
  • Read more about the art world (past and present).
  • Find people to read my work (and read theirs in return).
  • Take more continuing education courses (I did so last year and loved it).
  • Study for the CAPM exam.
  • Attend more art openings.
  • Network.

Give it Time

Although not always possible, time is an artists best friend. If you can spare it, put any sketches/plans for your next project away, and revisit them a few months later.

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Above, are some rough designs. After putting them away, and moving onto another phase of the project, I recently took another look at them, and will likely make a few small changes. After that, I’ll put them away again, and repeat the process in a couple months. I find this helps a lot.

From the Vault

I was going through some old pictures this week and came across a painting I did about 13 years ago. It’s nothing like the work I do today. Here is a little bit about it.

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ABOVE: David McDonough, Spin, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches

BELOW: David McDonough, Spin (detail)

In my early twenties, I rediscovered a love of art that had laid dormant for years. Like many new artists, I started with painting, and although my first efforts where admittedly bad, over time, I grew better.

The above painting is the result of many years of struggle. By no means is it a masterpiece, but for me, it was the first painting that I finished, took a look at, and said: “yes, you are onto something here.”

Spin, was one of the last paintings I made. Shortly after, I changed course, started experimenting with new materials and subject matter, and began making work closer to what I make today.

Whether it’s refining my skills, style or message, making art will always be a challenge. It’s sometimes helpful to look at past projects to gauge where you came from, where you are, and where you want to go.

The World’s Most Expensive Chop Suey

On Tuesday, Edward Hopper’s painting Chop Suey sold at auction for $91.9 million. As with most things in the art world, there’s more to the story than just money.

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ABOVE: Edward Hopper, Chop Suey, 1929, oil on canvas, 32 x 38 inches

First, here is a quick timeline of the painting:

  • Edward Hopper paints Chop Suey in 1929
  • Businessman Barney Ebsworth purchases it for $180,000 in 1973
  • Ebsworth promises it to the Seattle Art Museum in 2007
  • He passes away in April, 2018
  • The painting, along with 65 other promised works, goes up for sale at Christie’s
  • Chop Suey sells for $91.9 million on November 13, 2018

To date, no one has gone on record to state why things went down the way they did. Did Ebsworth have a falling out with the museum before he died? Does his family need the money? We may never know. Sadly, the painting (and others from the collection) may now disappear into a private collection.