Why blog now?

Why blog? An excellent question. It seems to me on the surface to be such a vanity enterprise. My instinct is to resist it. However, “in the parlance of our times” this appears to be a common channel in which to share one’s thoughts and insights about the world around them. Now maybe it is a tad bit narcissistic to think my opinions have any sway or importance to share in the broader public. Nevertheless, as a sociologist I buy into the adage of C. Wright Mills that “sociology holds great promise” in helping one understand one’s place in the world.   So, as a spin on Mills’ coining the phrase the “sociological imagination” I offer up what I title my “sociological ruminations.” My intent is to share my view on social events through the perspective of a sociologist. That is why I am choosing to blog. I am a sociologist and I think sociological insight is greatly needed during this period in social history where once again societies are undergoing considerable social change.  I also paint by the way.  I believe blogging outwardly will encourage me to keep a journal on my artistic pursuits.

 

Featured post

Abstract Art: “A Surprise” 28×22″ Acrylic on paper (2015)


I frequently use these 28×22″ paper sheets to paint in between canvases. These along with my use of scrap mat-boards serve as a form of sketch pad for painting. I have accumulated quite a few of these over the years and store them away. It just so happened that I came across some extra frame this week. I wanted to see how some of my paper works might look framed and matted. That is how I stumbled onto this piece that I did in 2015 I quite it like it now.

Abstract Art: “Two Trying for One” (2008) 28×22″


I did this series of paintings in 2008. They were done on 28×22 paper with acrylic paint. Rarely do I make it a habit to paint in a series. These three just came to me. I completed them at a difficult time. My wife and I were trying to have a child. Only five weeks earlier we had learned that she was pregnant. But, at the fifth week she started spotting and went to the doctor to discover that the fetus did not have a heartbeat, that we had miscarried. It was our first pregnancy. We were only five weeks pregnant and we never heard a heartbeat prior to then so it’s not as tragic as it may sound. Nevertheless, we were heartbroken.

These were the first three paintings I completed after that experience. I didn’t set out to paint something symbolic it was only after their completion that I started to feel some kind of connection to events. For me the two outside pieces that are lighter in color came to symbolize my wife and I. And, I assumed the contrasting dark image in the middle represented that pregnancy, that lost pregnancy. This must’ve been my subconscious way of dealing with the grief over the experience.

The cross looking marks throughout all three paintings were made using sandpaper, scraping away the top layers of paint. I am not religious so I find it interesting that these look like crosses. I am a bit spiritual at times so I feel that maybe these markings represent a form of yearning for something to deliver peace of mind. There was a wanting to have faith that we were going to be okay. Eventually, we were and two years later we had my daughter Keira.

These painting have never hung in our house. There has never been a good space to hang them together in our house and based on my interpretation it never felt right to hang one alone. They have sat forever in my garage studio, but this past spring I publicly displayed them for the first time. My wife much to my surprise has not attached as much sentiment to these paintings as I thought and that set me free to consider selling them. I had much interest in their purchase after their public showing. I am happy to see that they will find a home for showing rather than collecting dust. I hope you enjoyed the story behind their creation.

Another Valley Park Flood #Flood2017

I believe this is the fourth or fifth flood of the Meramec River since my wife and I moved here in 2002.  Thankfully, our house is on a hill so we stay dry.  The problem is the entrance and exit to our subdivision are one and the same and it is now under water.

Abstract Art: “Portrait” (2017) 48×24″

 

This painting went on a long journey to get where it is now. I had about a two month period where I didn’t paint anything. I started the semester teaching five classes. Additionally, I had a public exhibition of my work as a painter this spring. These things have kept me a bit preoccupied. Alas, a window of opportunity to dabble with the paints again presented itself.

I was a bit rusty I might add, you can see this below in the documentation of this work. Nevertheless, I found my bearings and kept applying. This is what I came to feel most comfortable with. I call you it portrait. Self? Maybe? Who knows that’s just what I see.

Kent Bausman

Abstract Art: Struggling with direction

I painted this at the end of 2016, with the intent that it show vertically but I have struggled with the center placement of the white stripe.  Usually, such things are always off center in my paintings.  Recently, my mother-in-law recommended it hang horizontally thus it looks like a landscape.  I liked this idea and showed it as such in a public show of late.  However, when I brought it home I needed it for a space where it went up vertical.  I like both, not sure what to do with this.

Kent Bausman

The Four Peaks Mountains

I was recently in Mesa, Arizona.  We went up to the Four Peaks Mountains. I am not a religious person, but my Mother was, and I saw her faith get her through some tough times. I think that is why this caught my attention immediately.  While still not religious, I respect those that choose to be.  For a moment her faith allowed me a moment with her memory.

Abstract Art: Untitled 48×48″ (2017)

This is the only painting I have completed so far in 2017. I am a bit disappointed at this pace of productivity. I think I can explain a lot of this. Winters get a bit slower in general because my garage studio is hard to heat to a reasonably comfortable temperature. This was compounded by the fact that I had a show this spring which ate into my to my time getting some of my smaller paintings ready for display.
This painting is a 48×48” acrylic on gallery canvas. The blues were clearly linked to my desire to get my head out of winter. I hate winter, I am really miserable during winters. Nevertheless, this has been a rather productive academic year for me. I taught a course abroad in Switzerland, was promoted to Full professor my final professional rank, had a research paper published, and completed a month long show of my paintings. I don’t doubt that this explains the balance you see in this painting. It is one of my brighter attempts in sometime as well. I am sure this ties into a more peaceful disposition of late.
I am not sure how I feel about this presently. It came to me rather quickly and I am always uncomfortable when the composition of a painting presents itself soon. However, I felt it necessary to cease adding layers, to stop application. It rests in the lower level of our house and I like how it blends in to the furnishings, but I am unclear how I feel out it stand alone. Any thoughts welcome. Does it represent anything to you? How would you interpret this?
Kent Bausman

Abstract Art: Untitled #12 (2016)

This painting is an absolute break from my pattern of work. I think this is why I am so attracted to it. Clearly, I understand if someone viewing it sees a Pollock influence here but that was not the intention starting out. I like Pollock’s work don’t get me wrong, but I never look at his work and feel inspired like I do with a Frankenthaler, Newman or a Rothko. No, this piece is sort of a happy accident.

You see when I begin the process of painting I typically start with these little tube acrylics that fit in the palm of your hand and begin dripping them all over the blank canvas. From there, I normally take a drywall tool and start to spread the dripped paint all over the canvas. I will continue this repeatedly layering in all different directions until the canvas is full of color. It is then that something will start to speak to me, the emergence of various color fields. Nevertheless, lets go back to the beginning. When I start putting down those original drips, I do so randomly, yet sometimes I am taken aback by what sits there. I become hesitant to spread the colors around because I like what is there, no matter how minimalist it looks. All the same, I eventually give in and spread the color around. However, recently I was toying with one of my daughter’s little canvases and I thought about experimenting with keeping the drips in place, yet making a composition that I don’t feel is so much a rip-off of Pollock, something that is originally me.

That experiment worked out well. I loved that little end product, so I decided to attempt in a larger canvas. This piece is 36×24”. There are three principle colors represented in the drips, red, white, and blue. I always like to work in threes. I find peace in three. I am not religious, so I am not connecting this to the holy trinity. I would say I am somewhat spiritual, and so the idea that three represents harmony, wisdom, and understanding works for me. Let’s take that further. Notice that the lines are largely chaotic. Well, I would say that suggests at the time of this paintings creation, this idea of harmony, wisdom, and understanding was not in sync for me.   I completed this work in late November of 2016, and winters are always a real bitch for me mentally.

Still, I wasn’t comfortable allowing these drips to sit there all alone. Regardless of how discordant winters make me feel, I strongly believe that my constitution is one of composure. I believe that is why I was compelled to add that blue strip to this painting. It reflects a maintenance of balance in the face of my harmony, wisdom, and understanding be at times inconsistent. Never off the deep end, never completely out of control, FOUNDATION. The added joint compound to the horizontal line I can only imagine represents a balance that is not perfect, but remains present. I added a coat of red mahogany wood stain over the canvas to darken the tone of the composition. The untouched parts of the canvas were too bright white for me to feel comfortable, but if you look closely, you can still see places that were purposely untouched. I wanted to have some brightness remain.

Kent Bausman Ph.D.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑