Slow Shutter Photography by Linda Erf Swift

Today is the last day of the art month! Thanks for watching.

The photographer of this piece said that she makes this style of photograph by working in a dark room with a slow shutter speed and using some sort of flashlight-type device to illuminate the object over the course of the shutter closing. At least, that's how I remember her explanation from an art fair years ago. Looking at it now, I'm not sure how she gets the perfectly black background, but I like the way the object looks, her choice of vintage kitchen implements and tools, and the fact that it is a manually-created effect.

Acrylic Painting by Tom Torluemke - 'Pissing on the Last Bit of Snow'

Tom Torluemke is a really interesting guy who paints really provocative paintings. I remember once stumbling upon an exhibit of his that was thinking about race and exploitation of resources that consisted of an entire room lined with panels and then also creepy cut-out wood forms painted black that looked like humanesque oil-demons. He's scary sometimes, but he's usually right.

A website (not Tom's own) says this about him, and it's a pretty good summary:

Chicago-area artist Tom Torluemke creates color-saturated, surreal images loaded with grotesque, sexual and scatological themes without being completely repulsive.

Artist's website:

Oil Painting by RozArt - 'Bee Painting 202'

Today's art comes from Etsy. I wanted a bee painting to go along with my beekeeping post, and I like this one a lot. I am always a fan of non-centered compositions. This one even has part of the subject's body cut off (wing), but it's more in keeping with how bees are experienced. They're always doing something and going off to somewhere. Probably the truest stereotype ever is "busy bee".

Beekeeping is also the sweatiest thing I've ever done.

Acrylic Painting by Renee Robbins - 'On Radar'

I met this artist at a gallery opening in Chicago, back when I used to accompany Jeriah on his Friday-night-gallery-crawl whenever his wife, Stephanie, was busy. Actually, I think she was there at this opening, too. I also had Anna Todaro along, and it was one of the last times I saw her before we went our separate ways, socially. I remember Stephanie was wearing one of her dead-animal-barrettes (some sort of bat, if I recall correctly).

Renee's work appeals to me because it is abstract, yet familiar. The pieces look like scenes you would see under a microscope or deep in the ocean. They don't radiate a chaotic energy, but look like a micro-environment, where there is life but still order. I would have bought a piece, but she was already out of my price range. (Nothing against that; I just didn't find her soon enough.)

Tattoo by Mario Desa

Today's art is a tattoo. I really like this tattooist's style and coloring. He uses a lot of animals in his work, and regularly portrays women, like in this piece. I don't know if I would ever want to have such a brightly colored tattoo, but, if I did, he's the one I would want to design it. He is local here in Chicago.

Acrylic Painting by Bruce Holwerda - 'Blind Faith'

This guy is one of my favorites ever. He lives somewhere in the southern U.S. I'm thinking Alabama for some reason. I saw him a couple times at the Gold Coast Art Fair and bought a small original from him entitled Tipping Point. It hangs in the hallway off my kitchen, where I pass by it dozens of times a day. Tipping Point exemplifies one of his major subjects, portraits of women dressed theatrically, while this work shows a good example of the other favorite subject, contraption-style vehicles.

The people in his paintings are not all explicitly dressed as mimes, jesters, clowns, or circus people, but something about them always suggests that type of aesthetic to me. There are lots of masks, I suppose, and headdresses, and balancing/juggling involved in driving the contraptions. There is, inexplicably, often a bird. I love the expressions and the way he layers paint. It almost looks, up close, like he might do a bunch of layers, tape off the human figure, and slowly peel parts of it away as he continues to make layers. The body parts seem more "dug out" of the paint than placed on top.

Anyway, he's cool.

Painting on Plywood by Brian Morgan - 'Pigeon Run'

This guy! I saw this artist's work at a "bike art show", where all the art was bicycle themed, or created out of bicycles, or what-have-you. My friend Adam submitted some pieces he'd welded out of bike parts, and I was there to support him. Much of this art show was kind of boring to me, perhaps because it was not a juried show and the art wasn't all that great sometimes, or maybe because I didn't understand the significance of the photographs in some of the submissions. It was heavy on the bike and lighter on the art, we'll say.

This painting, though, blew me away. I really wanted to buy something from him, but he's already out of my price range. It didn't help that this piece is huge.

I like how he leaves most of the plywood base unpainted and incorporates it into the picture. The blush on the woman's cheek, for instance, is just a dark part of wood he left blank. Cool.

Artist's website: