The Art of Shoveling Snow

A long time ago I used to paint and draw. I found a couple of small drawings I did back then, but it was unusual for me to do things this small. My paintings were all in the 6′ by 8′ range when I suddenly stopped in 1988.

Since I had gone to architecture school first then art school, I have six years of art history classes under my belt, plus years of reading all the latest rags on contemporary art and countless years of doing the gallery crawls in Chicago.

It seems I always have images in my head.

Two of my biggest influences were also my art instructors. The art school at this university was so small that I wound up hanging out with them after school hours. I was already in my early 20’s, so it was no big deal to go hang out at bars, drink and talk art.

Both of these artists had a way with color that I liked.

William Conger

Robert Donley

A couple of other artists that were a big influence on me were Jasper Johns

…and Robert Rauschenberg.

But you never know where inspiration will come from and today while shoveling snow I kept thinking about Philip Guston.

So now, all along my sidewalk and driveway are a bunch of piles of snow that are starting to look a lot like the image above.

I tried to get a picture of them all, but there’s too much white in the background and they didn’t turn out quite the way I had hoped. Besides, more snow on the way, which means I get to make them bigger.

Recreating the black will be easy.

Maybe if I thaw out the steaks in the freezer I might be able to squeeze some red out of them.

Thank god my wife doesn’t read any of the things I write.

10 thoughts on “The Art of Shoveling Snow

  1. walt

    Although I’m not convinced that shoveling snow (glad you finally got some!)
    is anything more than work, it’s nice to think that art can play a part in it, thawing steaks and all. Nicely painted.

    1. Ken G Post author

      In every type of work I do Walt, I try to have some fun with it. Otherwise I’d lose my mind. I’m sure she’ll be asking why I’m cooking steaks, something I almost never do.

  2. Jim McClellan

    I can say with great confidence that I know as much about art as I do ice fishing. But I do like your work as well as the pieces by Conger and Rauschenberg.

    1. Ken G Post author

      That’s a real early piece by Conger Jim. If you go to his site, the progression he’s taken over the years is interesting. All but one of my paintings have been destroyed, they only exist as slides. All my drawings are still around, but spread out in a few places. The goal is to get everything scanned and play with them again. One of the reasons I quit painting was the smell of turpentine, oil paint and linseed oil. You get real high in the winter while working.

      Ice fishing is for neanderthals, you’re not missing anything.

      1. Gretchen

        Thankfully Dear Husband isn’t even certain how to turn on the computer – let alone peruse blogs, social media etc. Not that I would ever make fun of the old hippie LOL

        1. Ken G Post author

          Part of me wishes I didn’t know half as much as I do. Once you’re in, it’s hard to get out.

          Making fun of spouses comes with being a spouse. I’m sure I get my fair share.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I agonize over whether I should do things on paper, the computer has it’s limitations but lets me do things differently.

      She looked at the pictures, she hates having her picture taken. I think secretly she likes the notoriety, for better or worse.


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