Monthly Archives: April 2015

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #18, April 30, 2015

This week’s beer-themed painting was inspired by Henri Matisse (1869-1954). He is credited with many famous works and is known for his color and unique fluid draftsmanship. I have always been a fan of his work, mostly because of its rich color. I was lucky enough to see a version of The Dance, the piece that inspired this painting, on display at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. There are two of these in existence, one in Russia and one in NYC at the MoMA. Even though this painting is ridiculously simple, it has a flow and movement that makes is as important to view as any of the extremely detailed classical and Baroque pieces that are prevalent on the lower levels of the Hermitage Museum. This painting was done between 1909-1910, and is probably Matisse’s most famous one, aside from his portrait of his wife, the lady with the green stripe down her nose.

Matisse developed his style over a period of many years. Although he started out studying law, he fell in love with painting in his 20s, much to his father’s, a wealthy grain merchant, disapproval. Matisse is considered a leader of the Fauvist movement, a group of painters working in the 1920s that was dramatically influenced by color and painted in a way considered to be Neo-Impressionism. I have to say that, although the paintings are simple, the striking balance between color and form makes for impressive compositions that evoke thoughts and may require longer contemplation.

I put a pint in the middle of this painting to alter the composition, making the figures appear pixie-sized, or the pint keg-sized (your call), as well as creating a central focal point. Either way I feel it makes for a delightful play on beer and art, evoking a feeling of lightheartedness and celebration. I enjoyed looking at the color combination of this master’s work when I was executing the piece. I hope you enjoy looking at this delightfully simple piece, and that you savor a pint while doing so! I call this piece, The Dance Around a Pint.

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

Matisse dance around a pint beer painting by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #18 by Scott Clendaniel. April 30, 2015. The Dance Around A Pint. 11″x14″, oil on panel.


A Day Off!

Today we decided to take a day off from working in the studio, so we could test out our new home-brewing equipment that we pieced together from Craigslist, friends, and Arctic Brewing Supply.  On Saturday we’re going to brew with fellow brewers at the annual Brew-a-thon, hosted by the Great Northern Brewers Club.  This event takes place on the closest Saturday to National Homebrew Day (May 7th).  If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to brew, show up to this event (you don’t have to be a GNBC member).  Here are the deets:

Scott started brewing in high school, but took a few years off, and we started seriously brewing again in 2005.  We just finished the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) class, which taught us a lot more about beer and brewing.  So today we’re brewing a pale ale, a nice light beer that will be refreshing this summer while we’re building a cabin in McCarthy.  Work can wait one day, especially since we both worked on Saturday and Sunday.  Just another benefit of being self-employed.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #17, April 23, 2015

The Sistine Chapel ceiling mural is a fresco painting that was painted from 1508 until 1512 by Michelangelo.  Frescoes are large paintings utilized as architectural decoration often covering the entire walls.  The paint is laid into the plaster, or wet lime as it dries, which creates a painting that is an integral part of the wall.  The earliest known frescoes are from around 1500 BC, and can be found in the archeological sites on the Island of Crete.  The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was created nearly 3,000 years later.  Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is considered to be the pinnacle of Renaissance painting.  I sampled the famous scene where God is creating Adam and inserted beer into God’s hand.  I call this painting God’s Gift.  I have never been to the Sistine Chapel, but intend to get there sometime in my life.  Maria has been, and she was the instigator for this painting.  I found it difficult to emulate the style of Michelangelo, not only because he was a very gifted artist, but also because there is a difference in medium as well, and making my style of oils look like a plaster painting was interesting.  Not to mention, hands are very challenging subject matter… thanks Maria.  I hope you don’t find this painting offensive due to the change in its meaning, however I think our founding fathers would approve.  “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!”  -Benjamin Franklin

The original painting sold. You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Sistine Chapel God and Adam touch hands Michelangelo painting beer

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #17 by Scott Clendaniel. April 23, 2015. God’s Gift. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Why I Paint Tandem Bicycles

tandem bicycle art painting

Yellow Schwinn Tandem Bicycle. Oil on panel, 24″x12″.

Yesterday I finished another oil painting of a tandem bicycle.  I’ve lost track of how many tandem bike paintings I’ve done, but I think it’s around ten.  They are very special to me, because I think my green 1964 Schwinn tandem helped me get a girlfriend, who is now my wife.  When I graduated from high school, my grandmother sent me a nice graduation present, and the cash was burning a hole in my pocket.  One day I was walking down Spenard Road and saw a beautiful green Schwinn tandem parked next to a house.  So I knocked on the door and a man answered.  I asked him if the bike was for sale, but he said no, and slammed the door in my face.  A couple weeks later, I saw the bike, and decided to ask again.  This time a woman answered the door.  I asked her if she’d sell me the bike, and she said yes!  I can’t remember exactly how much money I gave her, but it was not much, considering how valuable that bike has been.  So I was riding it around with my pals, until a friend told me to find a girl who would ride the tandem with me, because he didn’t think I was sending the right message to the ladies by riding that bike around with guys all the time.  So one night, my friends came over to watch a movie, and one of them started looking through my high school year book, and saw that one girl had written a really nice message along with her phone number.  So he told me I’d be stupid not to call her.  I went upstairs right away and called her, and asked if she would like to go for a tandem bike ride.  She said she had always wanted to ride a tandem!  So we set up a date, and I came to get her on the tandem, riding solo.  We went for a nice long ride to the beach, and I smooched her there, and then let her drive the tandem on the ride back.  Apparently, that sealed the deal, because we got married five years later.  Six years ago we bought a new Cannondale tandem, and we rode it all the way from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast.  It was one of the best experiences of our lives!  We still have that green Schwinn, and we still take it out on short trips.  We’ll probably never get rid of it.  So that’s why I paint so many tandem bicycles.  They are just way too special!  Contact me if you’d like me to paint your tandem bike, or any bike for that matter.

Paintings and prints of tandem bicycles are for sale at my Etsy shop.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #16, April 16, 2015

Super Mario Brothers and beer sounds like a solid Friday night plan to me.  In 1985 Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Shizuka produced the fourth best-selling video game of all time with 40 million copies sold.  Although Tetris, Wii Sports and Grand Theft Auto have all sold more copies, I think that Super Mario Bros is more iconic.  I grew up playing this game, and it has been one of my favorites since I bought my first Nintendo with my paper route money.  One thing to keep in mind is there is a direct correlation between the amount of beer consumed and the quality of gaming performance.  This painting shows Mario about to hit the most amazing power up — a giant beer, so I call this piece Super Power Up.

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or commission an original at my Etsy shop.

Super Mario Brothers Video Game Painting Art with Beer

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #16 by Scott Clendaniel. April 16, 2015. Super Power Up. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

The Story Behind My Newest Large Painting – “Aspen Allure”

Last summer I sold one of my 8 ft x 4 ft paintings, View from the Hammock, which left a big empty wall in our condo.  My wife was sad to see it go, but I was excited about painting a new one.  I prefer to work on large paintings, but storage is an issue, so I have to wait until one sells, before making another one.  I built the birch panel support for this new one in our condo, which took up the entire living room.  Luckily, Maria was out of town!  I finished the edges with oak, and then coated the entire support with two coats of white primer, sanding between each coat.  I do this to smooth out the wood texture as much as possible.  Then I applied a coat of colonial red, and a final light layer of gold paint.  As soon as we moved into the new studio, I started painting!  I decided to paint from a photo I took in McCarthy at our neighbor’s cabin during a sunset, when the setting sun created a surreal glow in the dark aspen forest.  Then a customer who stopped by the studio suggested that I paint an owl, and I thought that would be a nice addition.  White owls have a lot of significance.  They represents wisdom, the ability to see past illusions, and are considered to be guides in the underworld.

Overall, I worked on this painting for about two months.  You are welcome to see it in my studio at 333 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 4.  The photos don’t really do it justice.  It will be part of my art show in June at the Loft at Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  The price is $4,800.  I released 500 limited-edition prints of this painting, and am selling them in my studio and online at my Etsy shop.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #15, April 9, 2015

This week’s beer painting is of Sockeye Red India Pale Ale — a beer that Anchorage has grown to love since 1995 when it was first brewed for Humpy’s Alaskan Alehouse by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  Mark Staples and Billy Opinsky teamed up 20 years ago to make a hop-forward red ale that is now classified as a Northwest style India Pale Ale.  I have been loving this beer since I discovered it over a decade ago.  Now available in cans, it is a lot easier to procure than buying it only at Humpy’s, like you used to have to in 1995.  “Determined and bitter, but amazingly balanced, Sockeye Red IPA is gnarly enough to take you hook, line and sinker.” – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Alaskans take salmon seriously, that is why Sockeye Red IPA is close to many Alaskans’ hearts.  It is a bold beer for bold people.  One of the things we bold Alaskans like to do is go fishing.  What do you do with a big fish harvest?  You can it!  This painting is a play on canning.  I placed the Sockeye Red IPA from an aluminum can into a canning Kerr jar.  If you go out fishing and catch 20 Sockeye Red salmon, you are going to have to throw one heck of a salmon bake, or invest in a second freezer, or dump everything you had, including the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to make freezer space.  The other option is to can the fish.  Jars are the way to go if you want to be eating this year’s salmon until you can harvest again next year, or even five years later.  It’s shelf stable, baby!  Even the best freezer bags will go funky in about 9 months, so Alaskans are big fans of the glass mason jar.  These jars are also great beer-drinking glasses, as they are true pints!  Have you noticed that the pint glasses at some bars are getting smaller and smaller?  Last time I measured, my “pint” glass held a measly 13 oz to the top!  If you get a Sockeye Red in a pint jar without any foam, you know you are getting a full pint.

Cheers to the upcoming fishing season, and to good brews to keep us happy on the beach!

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Beer Painting of Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #15 by Scott Clendaniel. April 9, 2015. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Lessons from the Life and Art Career of Rie Muñoz ~ by Maria Benner

Rie Muñoz

Rie Muñoz

Since I became the business manager for our art business, I started paying more attention to art careers of prominent Alaskan artists, in hopes of learning from their journeys. Sadly, one of my favorite artists, Rie Muñoz, recently passed away at the age of 93. I had seen her work several times, but had never met the artist, or known much about her until local papers published a brief account of her life. So I did a little more research about Rie, and was able to gleam a couple things about her that may be inspirational to aspiring artists.

She was devoted to art, and was a very productive artist, completing about 2,000 paintings, and filling 140 sketchbooks. Although she had worked as a teacher, a writer, a cartoonist, and a museum curator, and was a mother, she still found time to paint. A full-time job has a tendency to use up all creativity, leaving an artist tired and uninspired by the end of the day. If you want to eventually work as an artist full-time, keep making art, and showing it to the public, as much as you can. Rie was eventually able to live off her art, and having her son manage the business end of things freed her up to paint and travel more.

Rie was adventurous and independent, and traveled and painted with other artists. She traveled all over Alaska, and said that the only two places she never visited are Anaktuvuk Pass, and Kake. Traveling and meeting new people is the best way to find inspiration, so take the time to explore new places, and don’t forget to bring your sketchbook.

One of the reasons Rie was able to live off her art was because her work was distributed through prints, gift items like cards and coffee mugs, and book illustrations. Some artists are hesitant to turn their art into merchandise, because they don’t want to “sell out”, but if your goal is to make a living off your art, then selling an image more than once is a good way to do that. Rie’s paintings made people happy, and she made her art available to more people by making reproductions. Not everyone can afford an original piece of art, and many people are happy to purchase an image that they want to hang on their wall, or give to a friend, even if it’s not an original.

Rie’s advice to other artists is keep painting… and paint what you want. Sometimes the best advice is the simplest.


Rie Muñoz Celebrates 90 Years, Juneau Empire

Well-known Alaska Artist Rie Munoz Dies at 93, Anchorage Dispatch News

Rie Muñoz, Wikipedia

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #14, April 2, 2015

This week’s Thirsty Thursday painting is inspired by an artist known as the Mother of American Modernism, Georgia O’Keeffe. Her most recognizable works are oil paintings of New York skyscrapers from her early career, close ups of flowers from her mid career, and Southwest landscapes in her late career.  The most famous pieces of her long career (she died at the age of 98) are the large-scale flower paintings. People would compare the similarities in appearance between the flowers and the female genetalia. Fifty years later, in the 70’s, a group of feminist artists came to the same Freudian conclusions that critics did during the mid 1920’s. O’keeffe, however, denied that this was ever part of her intentions and refused to associate with these groups.  She painted a series of Hawaiian flowers and landscapes sponsored by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Foods), but her heart was really in the Southwest images she created. She purchased a property there in 1940 after spending part of every year there since 1929. She moved permanently to New Mexico in 1941 after the death of her husband Alfred Stieglitz (her main tie to NY), who was 20 years her elder. She lived out her days in New Mexico, and despite macular degeneration for the last ten years of her life, still continued to be a productive artist, making hand-built pottery and water color paintings until her death in 1986. She truly is an inspirational artist!

So I thought, “Why not represent my favorite ingredient in beer, the hop flower, in Georgia O’Keeffe style?”  So, I made a close-up image of the flowering hop with the Hop bines in the background. I call this one simply Hop Flower. I hope you like hops as much as I do!  Cheers!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

hop flower oil painting by scott clendaniel inspired by georgia o'keeffe

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #14 by Scott Clendaniel. April 2, 2015. Hop Flower. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

How to Find and Rent an Art Studio ~ by Maria Benner

Most artists dream of having an art studio, but finding the perfect space, not to mention paying for it, can be a challenge. We finally decided to get serious about moving Scott’s art studio and my work stations out of our small condo after several years of working at home. As the art business grew, work-related stuff encroached into our living space, making it look cluttered, no matter how hard we tried to use every nook and cranny. Scott was limited on the size of paintings he could make, but the final straw happened when a news reporter asked if she could interview Scott in his studio, and we had to say no, because the entire room was full of stuff, and pretty much blocked by an 8 ft x 4 ft painting support. So we started to look for a studio space seriously. Here are the steps that led to us moving into the perfect space about a month after we made the decision to do it.

  1. We contacted a commercial real estate broker and let him know exactly what our ideal studio should have, such as a sink, no carpet, ample natural light, close proximity to our home, about 400 square feet, and not too expensive. He sent us a list of four properties that were all warehouses. The smallest one was about 900 sq feet, and way above our budget. So we thought we would just have to wait until something better came along.
  2. We started telling everyone that we were looking for a studio. One day, as we were working at a craft fair inside the 4th Avenue Market Place, the property manager stopped by our booth, and during our chat we told him that we’re looking for a studio. This is how we found out about the space we ended up renting. It wasn’t even available for lease, but the property manager knew that it would be available in about a week. The room is 384 sq ft, with a sink, a full wall of windows, and a linoleum floor. The location is within a short bike ride, or a pleasant walk from our condo. We told him it was perfect!
  3. Then we talked to other tenants in the building and asked them about how well it’s managed, how much they pay in rent, whether they like it, etc. This is when I realized that the rent is negotiable.
  4. Next came the negotiations. I offered a price that was $45 lower per month than asking, based on what I had heard from other tenants. The offer was accepted, but then I found out about additional charges for janitorial and advertising. So I submitted another offer that was $25 lower than the first, in order to avoid paying those fees. The second offer was also accepted.
  5. The hardest part has been finding insurance. The lease requires the renter to have liability insurance naming the building owner as insured. I had to get several quotes, all of which were too high, because they were for way too much insurance that I didn’t require. We’re still waiting for a couple quotes, so that hasn’t been finalized, but we were allowed to move in while we’re looking for insurance, which will likely cost about $600 per year.
  6. On the day we signed the lease, we looked at the space closely, and made notes about existing damage spots, checked all the outlets, light fixtures, door locks, etc. Everything checked out, and we were able to move in that day.

So that’s how we found our studio. Working outside our home has increased our productivity, and now customers can come to the studio to pick up paintings, which looks more professional than our condo. We’re thinking about hosting painting classes in the studio for kids and adults, and the next time a reporter calls, we’ll gladly accept the interview in the studio.