Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall News

This fall I have been taking courses in web and media design at Bucks County Community College and I am learning many fantastic programs, techniques, and processes. Soon I will have post-able examples of my progress. So far I have made ice cream melt in Adobe Flash, a poster in Photoshop, a kangaroo logo in Illustrator (it is a copy but I am mastering the pen tool), and finally I have made a button which when pushed meows like a cat. Other than school work, I have made new drawings and have made one journey to "The Big Apple". While in NYC, I sought out Paul Klee's drawings at the Met. Below is a work I saw at the Met. It is titled One Who Understands and is dated from 1934.

Paul Klee, German (1879-1940)

Finally, of note, I will be having an exhibit at the Abington Art Center which runs November 28 - January 31 2010. An opening is scheduled for Saturday December 12 from 3 to 5pm. Also on December 5th the Art Center holds a "Coffee Break" at 9:30 am and I will talk about the exhibit and coffee will be sampled.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Hiatus

Since my last post in May, I have been traveling and busy making art. I spent much of the summer in Northern Michigan teaching at Interlochen Center for the Arts. In June I drove westward and stopped in Detroit. My main destination was the Detroit Institute of the Arts. A sunny day added to the allure of the visit. I found many folks out on the front lawn of the museum catching rays as they faced Woodward Avenue. The Institute houses Diego Rivera’s installation of murals titled Detroit Industry. The murals portray Ford’s assembly line and chronicles mankind’s advances and struggles with science and technology.

Diego Rivera,
Detroit Industry (Detail), 1932-33

The Rivera murals occupied a whole court yard of the museum and are stunning to see. As it turned out I was equally impressed with the rest of the museum. When I arrived in Detroit I had low expectations given the press the city has gotten in recent years. However, I left the museum feeling that its collection is on equal footing with the best museums in the country and that the city will have better days ahead. The museum's $158 million expansion project (completed in 2007) is partly responsible for this feeling but the collection, the curatorial work, and the staffs helpfulness sealed the deal for me.

The Institute has a particular diverse and strong collection of contemporary art including a special emphasis on art made by African Americans. Below are three more samples from the Detroit Institute.

Donald Lipski,
Waterlilies #58, 1990

Jane Hammond, Mad Elga II, 1997

Kehinde Wiley, Officer of the Hussars, 2007

Beyond this excursion off the beaten path I spent most of the summer in a relatively rural spot in Northern Michigan not far from Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Reflecting upon this veritable isolation from urban life I produced a (seen below)drawing titled Off the Grid.

Kip Deeds, Off The Grid, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soaking Stamps

Stamps often provide an introduction to subjects and people
that are unfamiliar. Finding a good stamp can be exhilarating. 
It can be akin to finding a little work of art. 

Having outbid everyone else on e-bay (accidentally), I was blessed
with several pounds of canceled stamps. At least  four pounds 
were American flags. However, I managed to find some less common
ones in the mix. I have spent the last week sorting and soaking off the
paper adhered to the back of the stamps. Below is one of the little 
miracles I found.

Next time you go to the post office consider helping out the postal
service by buying unusual stamps and avoiding the forever stamps.
Forever stamps also equal more of the same for stamp collectors.
You will be helping out collectors and artists like me who
use stamps in their art. Below is one of my watercolor/drawings
that includes stamps.

Wall Drawing, 22" x 15", 2008

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Training

When I consider the spring season the first thought that comes to mind involves Baseball.  I think of the Phillies practicing in Clearwater, Florida.  If Baseball has spring training I thought there ought to be a spring training for art or at the very least I thought I needed a project to spring me into action.  The image above, titled "Spring Training", is my vision of the spring time and my attempt to move forward.  It brings together and attempts to balances several artistic approaches including abstraction, collage, observation, and a bit of playfulness.  In Pennsylvania spring would not be spring without a little rain hence the little lady with the umbrella seen in the detail below. 

My spring training regiment this year involved a piece of Arches watercolor paper (16 inches by 12 1/4 inches), ink, watercolor, acrylic paint, and stamps.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Path of Least Resistance?

Whenever I can, I try to go for a walk because I find it meditative and I notice that I begin to see objects and places in ways that I do not ordinarily.  Ordinarily, I am in too much of a rush to really look closely.  I walk for about a mile and a half and I mostly follow the same route or a slight variant.  Part of the walk is on a path.  I marvel at one of the trees along the path for it appears to be tipping over and at the same time it seems to be trying to right itself through growth.  It seems to be in a hopeless battle to keep itself from prematurely falling over.  This is a little sad to me.  However, if the tree were not so precarious I wonder if I would have noticed it or considered its life.  The irony about this situation is that the tree is right next to the path. The path is suppose to be the safest route.  Every time I pass the tree on the path I feel like I am tempting fate and that both myself and the tree are locked in the same struggle to stay upright. Sometimes the road most travelled can make all the difference.  Perhaps seeing the road and what surrounds it is key.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Intaglio a Go-Go: Etching Moves Forward

Libraries are one of my favorite places to hang out. I love being around books and people who love being around books. The library is a place of words. However, it is easy to forget that it is also a place of images. Printed images and picture are close kin to printed words. For this reason, libraries have extraordinary potential as places to exhibit art, in particular art related to words.

There is no place better to feel the aura of books, reading, and deep thoughts than at a big city library. The exhibit "Intaglio a Go-Go: Etching Moves Forward" at the Free Library of Philadelphia finds its home in this environment. The library is at 1901 Vine Street right off of the Ben Franklin Park Way. This is an exhibit of prints by Philadelphia area artists working with the intaglio process. Intaglio includes etching, engraving, dry point, aquatint and mezzotint. Artists exhibiting include: Cindy Back, Amze Emmons, David Fertig, Donald Forsythe, Carrie Scanga, Bill Scott, Evan Summer, Rochelle Toner, Shelly Thorstensen, and yours truely.

Another idiosyncratic aspect of library exhibits involves the display in cases rather than on austere white walls. Below are a few images of artwork in display cases. The following are works by artists I ran into at the opening.

Above are prints by Evan Summer who has been a long time Professor at Kutztown University. Evan often makes images of complex, geometrically inspired landscapes. I was surprised to see his prints on a gray paper. This particular gray reminded me of zinc plates that etchings are often made from. It is as if he is making prints of the print matrix.

Rochelle Toner exhibited a number of prints (seen above) that demonstrates her working process. She is especially adept at making a copper plate print dark through aquatint and then scraping and burnishing areas of the plate to bring out a range of values.

Amze Emmons work (seen above) draws from contemporary industrially produced objects. These are objects that we often take for granted such as containers for gasoline or cement dividers. Through his fluid use of line and and flat minimal coloring he highlights the beautiful geometry of these items.

P.S. for more information visit

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The City of Angels:

It is easy to generalize about the outsized dreams and excesses of the people who built Los Angeles and those who make it run. However, it is impossible to summarize a city of over ten million people.

Last week, I visited Los Angeles for the first time. I stayed in the city for most of five days, rented a car, and slept on two different couches. For the first two days, I was mostly downtown at the convention center for the College Art Association conference. I was surprised to find that the hustle and bustle of down town L.A. seemed similar to eastern cities. There were a lot more shops and eateries than I expected. I arrived on a Thursday and by Saturday I was exploring the art galleries in China Town with some friends. What I expected to find was large spaces and big egos but what I found was quite the opposite.

Most of the gallery owners seemed eager to talk about the work. Some of the people I met working in the galleries that day were among the friendliest I had ever met. I don't often feel like I get this kind of treatment in other cities I have visited. I think this kind of good behavior goes along way in convincing the larger public that art is not just for a select group of people but for anyone who has a mind and an eye to be curious. The art that I saw was also surprising to me; I saw a lot of humanism. Below are some pictures, captions, and highlights from my journey.

Above is work by Elizabeth Higgins O'Connor at David Salow Gallery.
The gallery was inhabited by wonderful sculptures of animal like creatures created out of stuffed animals and other fabrics. My friends and I marveled over the varied poses and the pathos that these creatures presented. One can see more of Elizabeth's work at

Painting by Joan Snyder

Another exhibit which stood out was Joan Snyder's exhibit at Solway Jones Gallery. Online images and reproductions do not do her work justice. Her work is among the best painterly abstractions I have seen lately. Ms. Snyder's vocabulary of mark and form is diverse. She often builds up paint in a sculptural way. Included in the paint are bits of different materials such as fabrics and dried debris from plants. These artifacts are barely noticeable in reproduction. The small bits that I found in her paintings were like little surprises and reminded me of the insects and little details, found only through close inspection, in dutch still life painting from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For more images visit:

Seen above is the L.A. County Museum of Art which underwent a grand expansion making it a first rate museum to visit. The new edition emphasizes modern and contemporary work.

One of the great advantages of being an artist is that you get to make friends with other artists and often see their work in their own space. While in L.A., I stayed with Dawson Weber who is a recent M.F.A graduate of Art Center. Dawson makes painterly abstractions which he contrasts with different systems and systematic thinking. Above is a picture of Dawson in front of his L.A. apartment. Below is an image of his works on torn Pantone colors. The Pantone color matching system is used by designers to determine how printing results will match design work.

Above is one of Dawson's paintings. To learn more about Dawson's work visit his site:

There never has to be a dull moment in L.A., but if one needs to slow down one can relax by the pool and there are a lot of pools in L.A. I was sad to leave the warm weather and return to a snow storm in Philadelphia. However, the snow does have its own charm.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Overwhelmington is a place within proximity of Wilmington, Delaware. If you find yourself in Overwhelmington and wish to retreat, head north by car on I-95 from wherever you are. If you are not near I-95 or if you do not have a car, head north by foot. If you think you are heading north but are not, keep going anyway. When you see a sign for a park or a nice safe place, exit and go for a 30 minute walk. Observe the flora and fauna. Notice the plants and animals. They are in a state of being, they will continue to be, and seem unaware of the possibility of not being at a future time. If after 30 minutes you are not out of Overwhelmington, I suggest a cup of green tea. If you do not believe that Overwhelmington exists, look at a drawing I made last year called "Walden, Sprawl, and All". The sky scrapers of Overwhelmington can be seen on the top right above the cabin.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Exhibit at H&F Fine Art

Mr. Kip will be showing his latest series of prints titled "Alasktic" at H&F Fine Arts in the Washington D.C. area.

Opening: March 7th 5-8 pm
Running time: March 5th-29th

“Alasktic” portrays the pleasure and the strain of travel on the mind and body. The series is comprised of fifteen prints produced between 2006 and 2008. The prints fit together to form a narrative about travel beginning in Mexico and ending in Alaska.

This project was initially inspired by Utagawa Hiroshige’s 1834 print series, “53 Stations on the Tokaido,” which depict scenes along the famous eastern sea road in Japan. For the contemporary viewer, Hiroshige’s prints function as a virtual trip allowing one to imagine what once was. Secondarily, the expeditions of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark inspired “Alasktic,” along with John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie and lyrics by Woody Guthrie.

The goal of this project was to create a pictorial and verbal overview of an imagined journey. The first and last prints in the series represent literal and figurative edges of the American territory.
H&F Address: 3311 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier, MD. 20712