Sunday, August 31, 2008

Past Progress

I got some nice feedback about the last time I posted in-progress photos of my work, so I thought - with this being Labor day weekend, I'd share some more fruits of my labors. This is a painting I am very fond of - aptly called "Snow Pile". I did it in 2005 while in Savannah, on a door panel (approx 3'x7'). It was executed almost entirely with acrylic glazes and some slight touch ups with some white oil paint at the end. I tried to preserve the orange/red glow of city light on the horizon. It is a little hard to tell on photo, but the black ended up being a real rich warm tone that contrasted the coldness of the snow quite well.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Press

New review of the Eco-Centric exhibition at rule, in which the writer states, "Across from Feige's work are three paintings by Nathan Abels that offer a different view of his talents. Viewers familiar with Abels' almost-exaggerated architectural views will see a different side to this Denver-based artist, in three new landscapes that capture both the potentially destructive power of nature (Without Haste, But Without Rest) and its beauty (Monument)."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Trevor Paglen - Satellites

Active Military and Reconnaissance Satellites of the United States of America
Multimedia Installation

These works by Trevor Paglen (found via Modern Art Notes), show the placement and patterns of US military satellites across the globe. One of our favorite things to do while we're camping is look up and try to find satellites cutting through the constellations. There's a nice Death Cab for Cutie song - called Passenger Seat- which is also about looking for satellites in the night sky. Ben Gibbard sings,

"I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home

Then looking upwards
I strain my eyes
And try to tell the difference
Between shooting stars and satellites
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home..."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Manifest Hope - mega picture post

All photos by Nathan Abels:
Shepherd Fairey paste-ups read carefully (artist unknown)
this one was pasted up a couple block from my apartment on Colfax

Denver has been extremely fortunate to get such high-class art here along with the DNC. Andenken gallery had a show up this week called "Manifest Hope" - mostly Obama-based art works by big shots like Shepherd Fairey and Ron English. Here are my photos from the show that I attended for three of the four days it was open (with the Boom truck):

Shepherd Fairey's large piece - also served as the back-drop to the VIP party that included Sarah Silverman, Jenny Lewis, Ben Gibbard, and others.

(that's Will.I.Am - of the Black Eyed Peas)(that's also Will.I.Am - of the Black Eyed Peas)

Harrison, of Denver's own Magnet Mafia - working on a wall across from the of my favorite bands, Nada Surf - playing acoustic across the street form the gallery.

Here are more pics of the show/opening 1, 2, 3.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Boom Schedule....

Boom Today (I'll join up this afternoon...):

Sat, Aug 23
10am - 12n
American Presidential Experience
Invesco Field at Mile High
parked near door

12:30 - 3:30 pm
5 Points Jazz Festival
25th and Washington St.

4 - 5 pm
Block Party
28th and Adams St.
Perry Weismann 3 will perform

5:30 - 9pm
Media Party
Elitch Gardens
(Parking Space Tentative!)

9:30 - 11pm
Unity Dance Event
Exdo Event Center
35th and Walnut

Friday, August 22, 2008


Last night was the debut of Boom's nomadic gallery in a truck and I think it went well. Unfortunately, I missed the first stop, but was able to catch up with the truck at another artist-conceived-convention-related project called "Karaoke Convention". Now the idea of karaoke-ing campaign speeches may sound a little dry but it wasn't at all. The participating speakers read speeches that scrolled across a prompter verbatim - including any stumbling over words, dramatic pauses, and (of course) long applause. There was a degree of humor to it all, but I can also say that I noticed/absorbed the words that were being spoken much more than if I had simply been watching the speech given on network news. All the speeches to choose from can be rehearsed and read-over on their website. It was interesting to hear speeches from larger-than-life personalities like Obama or Clinton read by people with far less media coverage - regular people who just signed up to participate on the spot. If you're in Denver, take a look at the Karaoke Convention schedule and be sure to stop by one of their events. I talked to the artist last night, and here's the scoop - if you go to Karaoke Convention at JR's on Sunday, the BBC should be there. That's the rumor anyway - but there are a lot of rumors here during convention week, so don't hold me to it. ha ha. And speaking of schedules, Boom is putting together a schedule of where the art truck will be here. I'll take some pictures of the truck tonight...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From the Archive: Ink on Panel Series

I did a series of paintings in 2006 that were done with spray paint, acrylic and a lithographic printmaking process on panels. I made the backgrounds, then hand-burnished images onto the panels from pronto plates. I mixed the ink specific for each panel, and often combined several images on one panel, so each was unique. I enjoyed the textures and atmospheric effects on these panels. It's funny - when I look back at older works sometimes it is like hearing something new in an old song.

New Press: Humanist Magazine

I have a photo in the September/October issue of Humanist magazine that accompanies a interview with one of my favorite authors, James Howard Kunstler. It should be on newsstands soon and you can pick it up at Borders. Here is the online article.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I am pleased to announce that I will be joining the art group called Boom for its second nomadic gallery adventure. Basically - we will be hosting an art exhibit in a transformed box truck - gallery walls, track lighting and all...I was not in Denver in 2006 during the maiden voyage of the Boom truck, but they took a lot of great photos from then:

Boom will be traveling to various events and locations during the DNC this and next week (more info soon). I will have four small pieces in the show - three of which have not been shown previously (and one that has):

"speed of stopping", acrylic on paper, 11x15"
"ice", acrylic on paper, 5x7"
"weight of chance", graphite on paper, 11x15"

"forest fire", graphite on paper, 11x15"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekend Project: How To

We finally got a new desk and it has a glossy white laquered finish that makes it hard for the mouse to work on. So the grungy mouse pad that we kept in the pull-out keyboard shelf on the old desk had to go now that it would be seen on top of the new desk. I had a few scraps of cork board that you can buy in 12" squares from places like Target. So here's what I did - and you can too:

First of all - I started with an image from some vintage silhouette woodcuts:
Then I scanned the image: (feel free to use mine)

Then I printed out the scan at a larger scale:Then using some carbon paper, I traced the outline of the image onto the cork board (the cork board is aprox 1/4" thick). Then I took my trusty x-acto knife and cut it out. The cork board can shed a little if the edges are left rough from the cuts, so I would recommend lightly sanding the edges with some finishing sand paper. That's it. Pretty simple huh? Here's images of the finished product:

It added a nice warmness to the starkness of our desk and computer. If you are using your own image, look for something that has a large solid shape and something you're able to cut out with a x-acto knife.
ps - this may be the first in a series of how-tos...

Friday, August 15, 2008


Behold the first canvas I've stretched in probably three years. I've been painting on panels for so long it is nice to change things up a little, and I have to admit that I do get a little seduced by the romanticism/nostalgia of the textures and sounds of stretching canvas. How painterly right?

Found Friday: A Ship

While in Silverton, CO last week, we stopped by one of the better antique shops we've been in. We got seduced by the charm of this hand-made folk art ship. I love the wobbly lines, the color combination, the somewhat clumsy paint job and the overall uniqueness of this. Great find indeed (that's our new table and chairs too):

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Feature: Inspiration Walls

I was reading this article on TwoCoatsofPaint yesterday, in which the writer calls all the little postcards and clippings many artists paste up on their studio walls, their "artistic DNA" - I thought it would be interesting to see different people's studio wall collage/inspiration walls. I'll get the feature started with a collection of postcards, photos, etc that I posted on my studio wall while in grad school. Currently my wall of inspiration is the front of the fridge. I intend to showcase the studio walls of different artists from time to time, so keep checking back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Image of the Day

Still from "I don't want to get involved in this" from Guido van der Werve

Jason Lazarus

The work by Jason Lazarus is some of the most affecting photography I've found of late. He has several series that can be viewed here -I think I might have looked at every image on his site. I've posted a few selections from different series including, "Living with a Portrait" (the first two images here), "Wright Commission" (the Reinhardt painting), and the last image here is from "Self Portrait as an Artist" series. At risk of sounding sentimental, I think these image have a poetic elegance to them without coming off as pretentious. They seem very human. They present feelings of reflection, loss, and well-placed humor. Some of the series seem very personal and intentional, and some seem very momentary/fleeting. Give his site a look.

Jacob's portrait of Kafka in bedroom (painted by an ex-lover)
Greg's Geronimo portrait for the road

The back of an Ad Reinhardt
"Untitled" 36x26" archival inkjet 2008


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