Monday, December 6, 2010

"Hey Chris, How did your art event go?"

"Old Wood" Oil on canvas

I'm back from a brief blogging hiatus. Last time we spoke I had announced that I was hosting a big open studio event. So you now may be wondering how it all went. Well........I didn't have the big turn out that I was hoping for but I'm very grateful to those who were able to attend. Out of 70 people I invited 4 showed up. Apart from the 4 visitors I had that afternoon, the studio was silent.............................Oh, wait there was one noise I heard, the sound of a lone cricket chirping in the distance. But I know it was busy weekend for many people and it was the first time I tried anything like that before so rather than be discouraged I tried to focus on the positive and use some of the lessons I've learned for the next time I host an open studio event. The first lesson that I learned from this adventure is that cheese and crackers can actually prove to be a very satisfying dinner...........two days in row.( next time I won't buy so much) The second lesson is to invite people individually rather than all at once. Meanwhile, my moms chihuahua, Mousie, the recently appointed CEO of Ferguson Art Studios was hard at work in her office having a Skype video conference with our frame supplier in South Carolina, Mr. Rufus Jenkins III, the president of Rufus Jenkins Fine Art Framers, Appraisers, and Barbecue Rib Supply Warehouse (a subsidiary of Christies Auctions). It appears that were some discrepancies in the billing and payment dept at our Studios that needed to be resolved. The discussions got a little heated and needless to say Mousie yet again lapsed into a poor grammar moment.
"You know what Rufus.......I'm about hang up on you........................"

Monday, October 4, 2010

If three is company, more is an open studio event

"Three friends" oil on canvas 16" x 20"

(singing) "Come and knock on our door-come and knock on our door" "Take a step that is new-take a step that is new" "We've a wonderful space that needs your face and some paintings to view. Dee Dah Dee Dah Dah." Pardon me, but this is the first time I've actually sung in one of my blog entries. Aren't you glad you can't hear me through your computer. I figured the theme to Three's Company would be a fitting start for this blog entry because for the first time I'll be inviting people to my studio to see what happens behind the scenes. Also because I think the theme song to Three's Company was one of the best T.V. theme songs ever; but I digress. What I intend to do is set a day to invite a small group of people and from there I'll post my email address so that others who are interested can contact me to set up a time to come to see the studio. So, what can you expect to see at my very first open studio event. New paintings, paintings that are still in progress, and maybe a brief painting demonstration. Also there will be some light refreshments. This will be the usual open studio type of snacks like cheese and crackers and there will even be some expensive and fancy wines the names of which I can't pronounce. Actually, it won't be expensive wine; it will be one of those $7.00 bottles of wine that they now sell at Seven-Eleven...................Actually, it will be more like a very high end grape juice.............................Actually, it will just be regular grape juice. But, it will be one of the finest bottles of Welch's Grape Juice that money can buy.................................................O.K., it's only going those small children's juice boxes with pictures of Big Bird, Elmo and the Cookie Monster printed in on them. (artist's budget) Now you might be wondering who you'll see their. You'll see me. (sorry, but that will be unavoidable) You'll also get to meet my family.......I think. You'll also get to meet Meer The Pig, my 4 year old daughter's imaginary friend. (someone please tell me that that's normal for her age.) "How will the event end?" you may be asking yourselves. It might end with me doing a comedic prat fall over the living room couch. Followed by the laughter and applause of a live studio audience and then a closing title sequence. ( I admit, I probably watched a bit too much television when I was 5 years old) Look forward to seeing you. If your interested in coming please contact me at I will fill you in on the details; date, time, location, etc. to anyone interested if you email me. Look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

WHAT!? You actually sold something?

"Evening Conversation" Oil on Canvas SOLD This just in. This painting has just been sold. I created this image 7 years ago and showed it in several venues over the years and now, finally, it sold. The buyer is the father of one of the woman in the painting that I used as models for this image. For privacy purposes, I'll give him the alias, "Manuel San Antonio Boulevardez". Actually he's a very good friend of mine and I'm glad this painting will have a new home. It just goes to show that you never know when someone will be moved buy a painting even after you've had it for awhile. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go digging through the trash to find the sales receipt book that I thought I'd never have any use for. :o) More adventures coming soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jerry. Gone but not forgotten

"Jerry" oil 9"x 12"

"It's a dog first, me eat me wait..........that's not right.........well, you know what I mean. Anyways if you've read my blogs recently, you'll know that this past summer was filled with some joys as well as some setbacks. Getting into a wonderful gallery and then not being able to stay there because of other obligations was pretty disappointing. But this event wasn't nearly as upsetting as the lose of our beloved dog Jerry. I completed this portrait of her a couple of months after she died. Jerry was the sweetest dog that ever lived. A few things that I fondly remember about her - the way she would make a stinky in the grass and then, after using her hind legs to cover it over, she would take off running in a burst of happiness. I remember the way she would walk around with her squeak toy in her mouth. Another thing about her was all the nicknames we gave her during her 12 years of life, if your a pet owner you probably understand what that's all about. These are names that wouldn't make sense to anyone else to but the owners. So whats next in the adventures of the New Haven artist? Well this fall I plan to host an open studio tour, where I'll invite people into my workspace so they can get a behind the scenes look at how I create my paintings. Also I have a solo show at the Yale Medical School in January or February 2011. I also plan to shop around for a new gallery along the CT. shoreline and also out of state. In the meantime there will be new episodes of the New Haven Artist coming with new paintings and more boring stories. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Front Page News

"Front Page News" 10" x 8" Oil This is a small painting that I recently finished. I must apologize for the poor quality of the photo. In this painting I wanted to capture the bright intensity of the noon day sun during the summer time. Light tends to over power color and shadows which means washing out a lot color intensity with titanium white. And now for the front page news you were waiting it is. I am no longer showing at the Elm City Artists Gallery. I know this is quite a surprise. "Why would you leave ELM CITY ARTIST?" you ask. Mainly due to schedule issues. As a member of the gallery you need to sit in for a number of hours every week. Unfortunately it was very difficult for me personally to meet this requirement because of other obligations. Also my work wasn't selling as well as I had hoped. The folks at the gallery were incredibly kind, gracious and understanding of my circumstances. Although my work is no longer showing there, I would still highly recommend visiting the gallery to see the works of the wonderful artists showing there. I had a fantastic time working at the gallery and I'm truly grateful that they allowed me to be apart of it. I plan to show in other venues in the area in the coming months and starting next year I'll be sending samples of my work to galleries outside of CT. for representation as well. I'll keep you posted on that. Meanwhile, Mouse, my moms dog and recently appointed CEO of Ferguson Art Studios was none to pleased about my decision. In fact she was so upset that she lapsed into a poor grammar moment as everyone does at times when one is giving an impulsive response to shocking news. Here was her statement.

"YOU DID WHAT!??......Is you owch yo mind!!!!!??????"

"I mean........Chris, you are crazy for leaving ELM CITY ARTIST! Why didn't you consult me first?!"

"What am I supposed to tell the hundreds of people who regularly flock to New Haven from all along the Connecticut shoreline and New York City to buy up all your latest paintings?" To which I replied with a chuckle "What people?" Mouse forgot what studio she was working for. She realized she wasn't working for the studio of Wayne Thiebaud or Willem De kooning. I also reminded her that just last month I actually had to pay a wealthy relative to allow me to hang one of my paintings in the living room of a house that he owned in Cape cod that no one had lived in for 5 years. "Oh yes, that's right.......never mind." she replied and she went back into her office. Obviously, I'm making all that last part up. I learned a while back that as an artist, it's important not to take oneself to seriously. To be honest though, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't deeply disappointed by the fact that none of my paintings had sold for the entire three months that I was there. That's always a very difficult situation for an artist face. It makes no difference if your just starting out or you've been exhibiting for years. Although I'm disappointed I'm not discouraged. This just means I need to refocus on goals that I've set for my artistic endeavors all of which will be posted along with my most recent paintings on this here blog. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

1st Annual Business Meeting

"Soul De Cuba Cafe" Oil 10"x8" This is a painting I've recently completed that is now available at the Elm City Artists Gallery 284 York St. New Haven CT. This is a restaurant that I drive by quite frequently and it was just screaming to be captured on the canvas. This is the Soul De Cuba Cafe in downtown New Haven. This corner reminds of places New York City. I'd actually been thinking about this scene for a couple of years now and I finally got around to painting it. Some artists will tell you that they have pondered scenes for months or even years before they finally get around to painting what they had in their minds. I have dozens of reference photos that have been sitting in my picture file for 7 or 8 years that I've yet to get to. I intend to use them eventually. And now for our 1st annual business meeting. As president and CEO of Ferguson Art Studios I have decided that it's time for some new energy and ideas to improve sales of my paintings. Last year, sales of my paintings were in the 10's of dollars. This year I'm hoping to make it into the teens. The following year, the 20's. In order for these goals to be achieved though, I realized I needed to make some adjustments. So, effective immediately, I will be stepping down as CEO of Ferguson ART Studios. Don't worry, I'll still be painting and blogging and exhibiting new artwork. But now, you might be wondering who will take over the business side of the multi-dollar empire that is Ferguson Art Studios? My moms little chihuahua Mouse. True, Mouse isn't the brightest star in the galaxy. Quite frankly, she has the I.Q. of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You would think this would be a fool hardy decision to have a little dog make the business decisions, but it's not. Mouse is actually more than qualified to take over the position I had. This will allow me to focus on creating new and better paintings. With her on the job, sales are sure to improve...............I hope. See you next time.


The new president and CEO of Ferguson Art Studios

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Say it don't spray it" (revisited) and PAC-MAN?

"The Breakers" Oil 10"x 8"
A couple of entries ago, I made the stunning announcement that I had joined the Elm City Artists Gallery on 284 York Street, New Haven, CT. Let's revisit that subject; shall we? Before I talk about that, let me just mention that the painting above is a recent one. A scene from the Breakers Mansions in Newport, RI. And now, back to the gallery news. Elm City Artists is a cooperative gallery. Part of the way a cooperative gallery works is that the member artists spend a number of hours a week working at gallery and caring for the needs of the customers and potential art buyers. The artists working at the gallery are allowed to bring their painting equipment and work on their art while at the gallery. This way you can witness the artists creative process along with viewing the finished works that are on display. This is something you don't get to see in most galleries you may visit. My gallery sitting schedule will usually be on Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. If you stop in at those times you'll get to see me hard at work on one of my latest paintings on my $2.50 portable french easel. Now, if because of having a weak stomach you'd rather not see me, I could easily accommodate you by crouching underneath the desk while you tour the gallery. Stop by anytime to meet the other fantastic member artists. Now on a more serious note, this year marks the 30th anniversary of PAC-MAN. Here are 3 things that I hope will happen before the year is out: (1.) They'll reissue the PAC-MAN breakfast cereal. (B.) They'll release the short lived PAC-MAN cartoon series on DVD ( little 7 year old Chris was so excited that he nearly fell out of his chair when he saw a commercial for the program showing that it would be part of the new Saturday morning cartoon line up in the fall of 1982.) And third, I really, really hope the song "PAC-MAN Fever" gets played on popular radio stations. "What does this have to with my painting?" you might be asking yourselves. Very little, but I'm sure you'll read my next entry to find out what random and obscure thought I'll incorporate in my blog.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's the SOOOOOUUUUUUUUULL Mass Transit System!!

"Cedar Street" Oil 10"x 8"
Yes, I am aware that the title should read "IT'S THE SOUL TRAIN" but due to an e-mail I received from attorneys Philip Bailey and Verdine White at the law offices of Earth, Wind and Fire, LLC. I was reminded that I could say "It's the Soul Train" in my blog entry but I could not use it in the entry title. (Kidding) This is one of my latest paintings available at the Elm City Artist's Gallery. This is a scene that I'm very familiar with because it's along my bus route. I drive a shuttle bus in the mornings and then I do my painting in the afternoons. (not a full time artist just yet) In this painting I enjoyed capturing the contrast between warm light and cool shadow. Also I've been working smaller lately in order to increase my output of paintings as well as making it easier for buyers to invest in the originals. "What does the program Soul Train have to do with this painting?" your probably wondering. Well, just because I've been thinking about the program lately. When I was a little I used to watch it. Now; I know what many of you are probably thinking, "What! You used to watch Soul Train?!...You who got upset when you lost your Ultimate Manilow CD? You who resents the fact that people are always saying that The Carpenters were from Downey, CA. when they should actually be saying that they were from New Haven, CT.? Yes, I watched it, although I was very young. I wasn't even old enough to really appreciate the music and the dancing at the time, but I remember looking forward to seeing the animated title sequence at the beginning of each episode and hearing that voice say "It's the Sooouuuul Train!!" I also remember wishing that they would show more of the animated train in each episode. Or, better yet, the producers of the show developing a spin-off show all about the cartoon train; but, alas, this dream never came to fruition. Until my next entry, this is Chris Ferguson wishing you all love, peace and soouull!

Monday, April 12, 2010

"That's great news Chris! But say it, don't spray it."

As my family and many of my close friends will attest, I have the tendency to unintentionally shower the people whenever I talk to them about something that I'm very enthusiastic or excited about. So, for example, were I to talk to you at legnth about the music of James Brown, Alicia Keys, Queen or School House Rock, you would know to come prepared with an unbrella. So, having said that, you should probably pull away from your computer monitor while your reading this. I have some very exciting news. I am now officially represented by the ELM CITY ARTIST'S gallery. The gallery is located at 284 York St. New Haven CT. Now if you are not sure exactly where that is, I'll give you directions. In the vast expanse of the known universe there are clusters of galaxies. Amongst one of the millions of those galaxy clusters, you will find our own Milky Way Galaxy. On the outer fringe of that Milky Way Galaxy you will find a solar system with about 9 planets. Head to the 3rd planet from the Sun and there will find our planet Earth. Head toward the northern hemisphere of the planet and you will come to the North American continent. In the North American continent you will find the United States. Head towards the northeastern side of the United States and you will find the state of Connecticut. Head down to shoreline in the middle of the state and you will have arrived New Haven. York Street is in downtown New Haven. When you walk down York St. you'll see Au Bon Pain Cafe, The Public Cup coffee shop and the famous flower lady ( that's a person not a store and take a minute to talk to her; she's very nice) The gallery is right next to Ashley's Ice Cream. Further details on this breaking news is soon to come.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't never prime over no nothin'!!!!

First of all I would like to start off by saying that I am fully aware of the unforgivable grammatical errors in the title of today's entry. A title like this would earn me an F minus from my high school english teacher and it would cause my college english teacher to faint. Sometimes when you say things off the top of your head with great urgency, the words may come out as seen in the title above. I will now, after calming down, rephrase the statement properly. "Never hastily prime over a finished painting that you believe has failed." This is the lesson of today's entry. I've posted an image of a painting I did in 2003. "Chris, that's a lovely painting of the GRASS ISLAND in Guilford, CT. Whatever became of that one? Is it still available?" you may be asking yourselves. Sadly this painting was primed over and repainted because the artist thought no one would really be interested in purchasing it and since money was tight that week and he was desperate for another canvas to start a new painting, he..................primed over it. "WHAT! HOW COULD HE DO SUCH A THING!" Ughh! I know, I know. I didn't realize this lapse in judgement until a few years after the fact. I had an appointment with a buyer for a painting I had done and I figured I would show some prints of some of my other works. The buyer saw the the Grass Island image and asked me if it was still available. I told the buyer that it wasn't, but I couldn't bring myself to say that I had put this innocent painting to death in a moment of artistic desperation. Since then I've realized that this painting, had it lived, would have found a home by now. After it had been hanging on a wall in our house for a little over a year, I assumed it would never sell. "WELL DUHH!!! That's because you never showed it to anybody!" This was a lesson I learned a second time when I had a small 10"x 10" painting that I considered an experimental throw away piece. I almost got rid of that one too in yet another moment of artistic desperation. ( I get a lot of those moments) When I had another show at the YALE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE I actually decided to put that one in at the last minute and don't you know that thing sold faster than an outfit worn by James Brown in 1977 on an Ebay auction. Not only that, there were others who wanted the piece also. This just goes to show you why you shouldn't prime over a painting you think has failed. Another thing I might add, even if you are absolutely sure that a painting will never leave your studio space and no other eyes will behold it; except for maybe your cat who needs reading glasses, hold on to it anyways because in 2 or 3 years time you may look at again and see how you've progressed as an artist. Every so often I'll look at things I've done 13 or 14 years ago whilst studying at PAIER and say "OK, clearly I was rushing this painting assignment so I could watch 8-TRACK FLASH BACK on VH1" So remember all you bloggers THINK BEFORE YOU PRIME OVER THAT "FAILED" PAINTING.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Oh, D-D-D-Dear!!!!" - piglet

Untitled 9"x10" oil

Pardon my absence. I've recently discovered FACEBOOK as a means of reaching people with my art. Whilst doing that, I've also begun to explore landscape painting. I've found this to be very enjoyable because for me putting a figure into a painting takes alot more time. Eliminating the figure allows me to give attention to other aspects of a painting. When it's strictly landscape I have much more leeway and flexibility; if I want to add an extra tree in the foreground I can do so. This, however, is not the case with an arm, leg, hand or nose. I've posted a painting I found in our basement.(How did that get down their?) It was done En Plein-Aire. (outdoors) I think it was either in Madison or Guilford, I can't remember. I'm still planning to paint figures, but landscapes will allow me broaden my understanding of light, shadow, color and value. I may even add woodland creatures; such as a squirrel or a deer to these images if I can get good photo references. Speaking of woodland creatures, several years ago I actually saw, and I am not making this up, a lost dear on on Whalley Ave. in New Haven near the corner of Orchard St. Nobody knew how the deer wound up all the way down in the city. The poor little deer was as confused as James Brown finding out his tour manager booked him to perform for seven nights in a row at The Grand Ole Opry. ( I have a wierd habit of using singer James Brown as the basis for metaphores and similis.) Stay tuned for my next entry.