Sunday, November 15, 2009

A New Gallery

Artists Without Boundaries

As many you know, aside from the body of work I have that I create on my own in my studio and on location, I have amassed a large body of work over the past three years that I have created with artist Tali Farchi.

I met Tali in 2006 when I did an interview for Copper Press with her and Benno Hübner about their multi-media / multi-disciplinary performance called Mo(ve)ment. Since that time Tali and I have been working on many projects from graphic design to producing performances as well as painting. A most fascinating aspect to this working relationship is that Tali lives in the Netherlands.

The design projects we have worked on over the years have been able to be done by sharing ideas and files over the internet. In fact we have recently formed a trans-Atlantic design firm we call Two Designing. More information will be forthcoming on this project. But the paintings that we have done together have required us to be together in the same workspace. This is an unusual way to work, and if it was not unusual enough another unique aspect of this body of work is that it is painted live on stage, and is created along live musicians.

The first time that we worked in this way we were in Amsterdam at the Fringe Festival in September of 2007. Since then we have worked in New York City, Chicago and Michigan. October 2008 found us working in Israel, and this last summer we were in Windsor, Ontario and Toronto.

While we have created hundreds of paintings as we have gotten together, the work that we did in Windsor really was elevated to a level new excellence. We eventually realized that we had to work on materials that were more substantial, and that brought us to working on stretched canvases.  We were immediately taken with what these paintings have become.

During the shows that last from 25 to 40 minutes we create several paintings that are mostly on paper. Only one of these paintings on canvas were created during each show, so there is a special focus given to these pieces. There is an energy that we derive from the music and it really influences the marks we make and the colors we use.  The paintings are projected on a huge screen so that the audience and the musicians can see what we are doing and this in turn gives the musicians have something to respond to as we paint with the music. This dynamic method of creation is exciting because it is so very in the moment. 

When Tali and I are painting these pieces there is only the now.

Please look at the Collaborative Gallery of the work that Tali and I have created.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Royce Deans dot com

12" X 12"
Oil on masonite

I have have several different web sites over the years with various names. Somehow I thought it was about time that I buy my own name. So now, officially is the unveiling of
In the past I have tried to make my web sites complete retrospectives, and aside from being a lot of work to set up and maintain it always ends up that the new work is what is most important.

This new site will feature my most recent work and projects that are keeping me busy. Please stop by often and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. (and yes, if you want to see some older work I will be happy to dig it up for you.)

On November 5th I will be in Chicago to cover the 3rd Annual European Jazz Meets Chicago for Copper Press. It should be an interesting evening for sure. I also plan on making a few gallery stops and a visit to see the new wing of the Art Institute.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October Sky

Big Valley
14" X 10" Oil on Plywood panel

Today was the first day since August that I was painting outside on location. I was at a new location off of Lincoln Road for me. It was quite nice to be out in the elements after only being out in it during the last weeks to only be up on the roof of my studio.

The clouds were great and changing so quickly and the light was different every time I looked up from my painting. It was certainly a challenge. But it was great to be out there.

October Sky
11" X 5" Oil on Plywood panel

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Signs of Summer Being Gone

Summer is offically past tense now. Happy October 1st by the way. But today I participated in the last rite of the summer season... and that almost seems oxymoronic, in that I feel a rite should be a celebration. But today the boat came out of the water.

Aside from the reality that winter is just around the corner, especially here in Northern Michigan, it is just a sad day to be on the boat and have to be packing stuff up instead of getting ready to go on a sail. But I love the changes in the seasons, each one brings it own individual sense of beauty.

Autumn up here is really wonderful and I even look forward to the snow that could come at any time.

It was a great summer,  not only for the sailing. Yes August and September were simply awesome  months to be out on the bay. But earlier in the summer had it's share of awesomeness as well.

So yeah, it was a good one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Paintings Online

The collaborative body of work that I have been working on for the last couple of years with Tali Farchi took a couple huge steps forward this summer. During a three week period this summer we created over 100 paintings on canvas and paper. Many were sold after the shows in which they were painted along with the music of live jazz musicians. There is a considerable body of work remaining, I am in the process of getting them online in a couple of places. Tali and I feel it is important to not just let these painting just sit in my studio unseen. Please go to our new ArtSlant page and also they will be on the Mo(ve)ment Effect web site where they will be available for purchase.

This sites take a bit of time and effort to set up so stop back regularly and see the progress.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Traverse Symphony Orchestra

Valkyries, the Devil & Rhodes

Valkyries, the Devil and Rhodes

Kevin Rhodes, conductor
Isaac Hurtado, tenor
Traverse Symphony Chorus
Sunday, September 20 at 3 pm
Corson Auditorium, Interlochen
Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries
Liszt - Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Liszt - A Faust Symphony

 So yeah, I scored a couple of last minute front row tickets to the symphony that I just couldn't pass up.
Okay, so the Ride of the Valkyries was cool as you might guess. I don't need to say much about that even though that is what I was most excited to hear performed...

But the Liszt is what blew me away... in fact my head is still swimming. That is come complex stuff. The Faust Symphony is the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil. Liszt does not write in a linear fashion as Paul Dukas with the tone poem the Sorcerers Apprentice, where you can image what is going on in the story... No, no no, Liszt dissects the personality of each character and basically give you a personality profile, that this guy is crazy, and passionate... looking for love in all the wrong places and can get pissed off too... and then there is the devil that he is selling his soul too.

Well it was intense... if you ever get a chance to see this live prepare yourself... it is 80 minutes long and it is high powered stuff. Issac Hurtado was marvelous.

Say yes to live music and displays of art anytime you can... you will be better for it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hurry Up and Wait

Four Cores
Oil on wood panel
11" X 6" (28 X 15 cm)

Life is sometimes just hurry up and wait. But, as I see it, and from where I am sitting, I don't have time to wait for anything to just happen. I had a window of time in the last couple days, and so I took advantage of it and did some paintings.

This one is a tribute to the fact that I need to eat fewer hamburgers. I have a bag of apples in my studio.  These four apple cores actually did find themselves striking this pose before I thought I would paint them. When I came into the studio on Thursday, there they were and now, here they are.

Thank you Johnny Appleseed. (and a few other people.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Hangs On Another Day

 West Bay Water
West Bay Clouds
Summers in Northern Michigan are about as good as things can get. Summer this year was nearly a non-event during the time that we were supposed to be enjoying it, as luck would have it the first two weeks of September have turned out to be the most wonderful summer days of the season. Combine the warm weather with the typical September breezes and it makes for the most amazing sailing on the bay. Life being what it is you can't sail all the time, and when I am not sailing I have the bay to look at.
Truth be told, as much as I love sailing if I had to choose between sailing and painting, I would pick painting, that may not be much of a surprise to anyone, but I had to say it.  As a painter looking is so very important. I realize that may sound stupid, that looking is important to an artist, but there is looking and there is looking. I am talking about really seeing what is happening with in shapes and observing the movement of the elements of the landscape, because really every thing is moving.
Blue Sky
I had an interesting discussion about some of my work with a man the other day, and I was asked what the focal point of my painting "Blue Sky" was.  No one had asked me that before and I had to think because I have always just thought of it as a beautiful blue sky day. And that is just it, it is not particularly a specific scene, it could really be almost anywhere. So it is not a portrait of a place, but a portrait of the day. With the blue sky, the breeze, the sun and warmth. All of those things are here. 
So when I talk about that specific kind of looking I am talking about sucking in the whole experience of the moment as I am there inside of the subject I am painting. In this what "Blue Sky" is more of an impressionistic painting than anything.
But what I wanted to say in regards to the watercolor paintings I did yesterday afternoon on the shore of West Bay, was that it was a wonderful experience for me as a person and a painter to sit and look and respond with brushes and paint.
So go outside, sit down and really look at something today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Art Classes Starting Now!

 Art Instruction and Mentoring by Royce Deans

It's that time again, I am currently setting times and arranging classes for the fall in my studio.

Drawing and painting classes for adults and kids, focusing on the fundamentals with an emphasis on creativity and expression.

Please call for sessions and workshops for artists and non-artists alike.

Studio address: 4866 Bartlett Road, Williamsburg, Michigan 49690
Studio phone: 231.883.1681

Monday, September 14, 2009

No Internet...

Last Friday my internet went out... I called the company and they were sending someone out... they never showed, but oddly the modem came back to life. Saturday morning it was off again and is still out of service... This morning I called again and now I have a new appointment for 10-12 tomorrow.

Stop - Windsor, Ontario
Today I began editing of The Mo(ve)ment Effect - Art Without Boundaries.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Smelling the Plein Aire Again

Last Wednesday I guess it was I took my box of watercolors out of the studio. It had been a couple of weeks since I just got out and looked and moved some paint around. I have been working like crazy in several different directions lately. It seems I am about as all over the road as I could possibly be, so it was very nice to get out and focus a little bit.
There really is something for me when I am out painting. There is so much to be gained.
This particular day I was on the west shore of West Bay of the Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. It was a bright and breezy day with a bit of haze. 
Anyway, I have to make this painting thing a regular part of my routine again. It really keeps me centered.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ba Boker Shabat

Holiday weekends,  always present a little bit different air than the kind we get every week. This is Labor Day weekend 2009. While I hope to get out sailing today on the bay, there are a few bits of household chores that need to be attended to. This morning I went to the studio for a little bit of knocking around. As always I was able to meet and greet as is my routine. I also was able to get my palette cleaned off and things in place to get my painting back on track.
So now I am heading home to attend to those chores. Have a great weekend everybody.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jim Cooper

This last weekend the vibraphonist Jim Cooper from Saugatuck, Michigan came up to Traverse City to play at Chatau Chantel with the Jeff Haas trio.

You may ask how I might know Jim Cooper, way back in March of 2008 Jim along with Dave Hay, played with Mo(ve)ment in Holland, Michigan for a session of the then, Mo(ve)ment Meets Musicians.

When Jim played with Mo(ve)ment he and Day Hay just went off into their own little world driven by their own creativity and the paintings that Tali Farchi and I painted while Benno Hübner danced. He really has some great improvisational skills and it was really wonderful to hear them move in and out of some of the more traditional jazz pieces that the Jeff Haas trio plays.

After the first set we sat down out on the deck and compared notes on what each other has been doing the last two years or so. It was a nice little reunion.

The next night Jim played a solo piano gig at Horizon Books in Traverse City.  There he played a lot of his original work.  Talent and creativity is an inspirational combination.

Jim Cooper and me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Art Teacher

Christa Wise and me.
In 1973 I was attending Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois. I took as many art classes as my schedule would allow. I might add that I was a dreadful art student in high school. I can remember to this day the frustration I had as I could conceptualize the projects, but it was just not in me at that time to be able execute very well. When I have looked back at sketchbooks from then I can see why no one had encouraged me much.
Every once in a while a teacher comes along and is able to bring things out in students that might otherwise remain unrealized. Christa Wise is one of those teachers. I can't say that I did any more brilliant work in her class than in other art classes I took, but I did come away from that class with feelings that art no matter how I did it, was still of value... That thought stuck with me as I left high school and moved on through life. I couldn't not do art because it just seems that it is what I do. But the more I did it the better I became.
I would think of my art teacher from time to time and the thought would push me on.  Now that the class of 1974 is having their 35th reunion it is a heavy realization that a few years have passed. The last couple of years I have been teaching art from my studio and again my thoughts went to Mrs. Wise. I remembered the respect she showed to me and her students, no matter what their skill level. I have a similar respect for those that I teach. So, I decided to see if I could locate this person that had shaped  the way I approach art. 
I was more than surprised to find that she was still teaching high school art and living in  Michigan of all places. When I contacted her she said that she was going to be vacationing up in Traverse City. Too strange actually, but as luck would have it we did not actually cross paths at that time. Disappointed I figured that there would be another time as we only live 3 hours away. 
Last weekend I was participating in a plein aire painting event in Saugatuck sponsored by the Water Street Gallery.  Saugatuck is were the Wise's live, so I emailed to say I was going to be in town.
So some 36 years later student and teacher meet again. Aside from catching up a little bit, it was somewhat sweet for both of us as when her and her husband came into the gallery there were red dots on 3 of my paintings. It was a great little reunion.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


While I will eventually catch up with most of what happened this summer, I was just photographing some of the paintings that Tali Farchi and I painted on stage in the Capital Theater in Windsor, Ontario as we were there performing as part of the Windsor International Fringe Festival.
The performances followed the presentation of Tali's original Mo(ve)ment show that she does with dancer Benno Hübner.  Each night we painted live on stage with different live musicians. This in an of itself was quite an inspiration. I have to say in that setting it is inspiration that you don't really have time to soak in, you just respond in the moment.

The night before we painted this painting we were lucky enough to be taken as guests to the DIA. While we were there they was a painting by a Danish painter (Jorg, I think was his name) Tali and I were both taken with. We sat in silence studying it for sometime. We talked about the colors and gestural movements in the brushstrokes. We were both really touched by the engery that we felt from the painting. It was interesting as the painting almost seemed as though it could have been something we may have painted on stage.

Tali was impressed by the colors. We walked away from that painting with the want to go and paint. It is interesting how we could be in the position of painting nearly everyday and then to be faced with something that would make us feel that we wanted to paint even more.

The day after this painting was created we looked at it in the theater with new eyes and it was amazing to us how without really thinking how or if we would do anything different, to see that we really pushed where we were to a new place.

I have always found inspiration in other art and artists and the experience of painting with Tali day after day has shown me so much about expression and being free.  These days I am able to take those ideas and keep myself open to the influences that are around me all the time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to the Blog from Royce Deans' Studio

Zwolle Sky oil on wood panel  19" X 19"

This is the beginning of a new moment for me, with all of this technology at my fingertips that last several years it has been so simple to be everywhere at once and be completely confused and confusing all at the same time.

This is going to be a defining moment, or so it feels to me anyway.

The last years have been good to me in an interesting sort of a way, some moments have been more interesting than others I must admit. Projects I have been involved in have taken some curious turns.

This blog will be an attempt to be the place where I can report on my adventures, exhibitions, thoughts as well as the latest news and developments that are spawned from my studio. I will spend the next several posts recounting the summer and all of its accomplishments as they come to the forefront of my memory. As well, I will keep you abreast of what is happening as it is or is about to happen.

So, here we go. Now that I have this first entry out of the way. I can get on with it and stop just thinking about it.

Until next time, sit tight.