Monthly Archives: August 2015

Thinking of painting trees as the season changes.

Fall is in the air, and some parts of Alaska are already covered with the first dusting of snow, and leaves are turning different shades of yellow and red.  This is my favorite time of year to take photos of trees, so I can paint them later in my studio.  We’re going to McCarthy for one last time this summer, and I plan on going for walks around the Boreal forest, collecting painting inspiration for the winter months.

Here’s a gallery of some of my tree paintings.  Most of the originals sold, but prints are available at my Etsy shop.  If there is an image that you’d rather have as an original, not a print, let me know what size you’d like, and I’ll paint a very similar version for you.

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Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #35, August 27, 2015

Let’s revisit René Magritte. I already sampled his famous Ceci n’est pas une pipe (this is not a pipe) piece by painting a pint glass instead of a pipe, and changing the name to “Ceci n’est pas une pint.” This week’s Thirsty Thursday beer painting is a parody of his self-portrait The Son of Man. This painting leaves a lot up to the interpreter as the apple, or beer pint in this case, completely obscures the face of Magritte.  I call this one The Pint of Man.

Magritte says this about the painting, “At least it hides the face partly well, so you have the apparent face, the apple hiding the visible, but hidden, the face of the person. It’s something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present. (In a radio interview with Jean Neyens (1965), cited in Torczyner, Magritte: Ideas and Images, trans. Richard Millen (New York: Harry N. Abrams), p.172.)

Were you thinking about beer goggles while reading the last paragraph? Because that’s what came to my mind. I think the beer pint is a nice addition to Magritte’s concept, because alcohol hides a bit from any social interaction, yet it seems to be readily available at most social times. Entrenched drug cultures often eliminate the stigma of a drug so much that the drug becomes a normal day-to-day habit, and is no longer acknowledged for what it is. I think that the beer pint set in the stage of The Son of Man is accurate to the original concept by Magritte, because the beer interchanges so well with the apple, a symbol for the fruit of good and evil. Those of us who indulge in beer know that it is good, but too much can be evil, and sometimes can lead to harmful aftereffects. Whether beer is good, or evil is debatable, however it can definitely add, or subtract from a conversation. Alcohol can add when there is nothing to talk about, but subtract when too much clouds the mind.

Cheers, and remember, “Moderation in all things… including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

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

The son of man beer pint magritte painting by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #35 by Scott Clendaniel. August 27, 2015. The Pint of Man. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #34, August 20, 2015

How often do I paint live in breweries? Not that often. I think there are still under ten paintings that I have managed to create in a tasting room. I recently made a trip to the Midwest of our lovely North American continent. I spent a few days in Chicago, enjoying the delicious beer there, as well as catching a Cubs game at Wrigley field. Maria enjoyed a Goose Island 312 during the game, I held out to sample a fresh IPA from the local GI taproom in Wrigleyville. After Chicago we left to Wisconsin for a wedding. I definitely enjoyed my share of Spotted Cow. Thanks Adam and Kara for getting two kegs of delicious New Glarus brew.

We figured that a trip to the Midwest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Michigan. Actually, my grandmother was born in Michigan so I have some extended roots there, and I definitely have friends who live in Michigan. First, we went to Grand Haven and enjoyed some Odd Side Ales, swam in Lake Michigan and explored the dunes. We then drove to Grand Rapids, known as Beer City with big hitters like Founders, Brewery Vivant, and Perrin. Not to mention Harmony, Rockford, B.O.B., and Mitten. Grand Rapids is a very beer-forward town. On our way there from Grand Haven we detoured on a special trip to Kalamazoo, MI to go to the world famous Bell’s Brewery, where I painted live for an afternoon at the Eccentric Cafe. The beer I painted is the double black IPA, called Uranus, part of the planet series. Brewed in homage to Gustav Holst, the composer best known for his musical suites entitled the Planets. The food was also really good and the service was excellent. I hope I get a chance to return to the Eccentric Cafe, it seemed like my kind of place. Great art was everywhere adorning the interior, including some amazing stained glass windows with relief sculptures, as well as mosaics on the floor. I finished this painting, and then got to drink the beer. Two more days of beer enjoyment in Grand Rapids completed out the trip, and I had a very full ten days in the Midwest!

The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.

Bell's Brewing beer painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #34 by Scott Clendaniel. August 20, 2015. Uranus Double Black IPA by Bell’s Brewing. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #33, August 13, 2015

What is so special about the Cyprus Citrus IPA by Hula Hops Brewing that made me decide to immortalize this bottle in oil paint?  First, it was brewed in Cyprus!  Second, I drank it in Alaska!  Nothing like a special hand-delivery from the eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea.  Thanks Sergios!  More surprising was how delicious this bottle-conditioned IPA was, considering its long journey.  Obviously, dry-hopped with Citra hops, this beer would give an IPA such as Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed a run for its money.  I think you can only get this beer in Nicosia.  It just warms my heart that IPA, an American-style beer, (really you can argue that IPA is from England, but just go there and try to find a good example of the brew) is being emulated in other countries.  I am glad that pilsners and American lager are taking a small hit in the world of what people are drinking.  Not just in the hip continental US, but in a country far from American cultural influences.  It was a pleasure to sip on this beer, and I am glad I had the chance.  Now Cyprus is on my radar, and when I looked at it on a map, I thought about the possibility of visiting the island.  If I ever make it there, I’ll bring my paint kit, as I do on every trip, so I can capture the beauty and culture of the Mediterranean.

The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.

Beer painting of cyprus citrus ipa by hula hops brewing

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #33 by Scott Clendaniel. August 13, 2015. Cyprus Citrus IPA by Hula Hops Brewing. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

A Trip of Firsts to the Midwest

Scott and I recently returned from a great trip to the Midwest where we experienced many firsts.  Our goal is to visit all 50 states, and we knocked four off the list on this trip: IL, WI, MI, and IN (only 26 to go).  The reason for the trip was a wedding of two good friends.  I officiated the ceremony, and Scott was a groomsman.  So here is a list of all the things that we experienced for the first time on this trip.

First time…
… going to an MLB game. We saw the Cubs play at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
… line dancing.
… swimming in Lake Michigan.
… seeing a skunk.
… eating a Cubano sandwich.
… eating Beignets.
… eating fried cheese curds.
… seeing and feeding mini horses.
… seeing a musical fountain show.
… screen-printing a t-shirt.  We visited a friend’s friends’ house where they have a small screen printing operation right in their living room, and Scott got to make his own shirt.  Their shirts are available for sale at their shop called Bad Mojo Design on Etsy.
… seeing a lightning storm from an airplane.
… seeing Northern Lights from an airplane.
… visiting these ten breweries: Goose Island, Half Acre, Piece Brewing, Revolution Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Founders Brewing, Bell’s Brewing (Scott painted live there), Three Floyds Brewing, Harmony Brewing and Perrin Brewing.

Everyone was really nice in the Midwest, and we enjoyed our time there.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #32, August 6, 2015

Holy Grail of beer?  Dom Perignon?  Tom Dalldorf is a bit on the dramatic side when describing this unique Belgian Double IPA by Anchorage Brewing Company.  He wrote the verbiage on the bottle.  Don’t get me wrong, I dig the beer.  It’s great, and I don’t doubt the 96 rating on Beer Advocate.  Actually, I think it deserves a higher score, but calling it the Holy Grail may be a bit of a hyperbole.  This beer is unique, and not what you would expect from a regular 9% IPA.  First off, it has Brettanomyces added, and second, it was aged in Chardonnay barrels, imparting a unique flavor that very few breweries come close to.  There is a reason it is 10 bucks, or more for a bottle of this caliber.  It takes extra effort, and triple fermentation to brew something this special.  I can totally see an aging monk thinking about this beer continually, going to the cold storage room to check on the barrel, just making sure it is safe.  Why is this monk so bitter?  100 IBUs from Citra and Apollo hops would cause many people to make the bitter beer face, but not as bitter as if you were chaste as well.  Imagine a lifetime of chastity, at least certain monks can enjoy the fermented juice of the barley.  Think of the cold storage room and the entry by the special abbey key leading to a very special place where warmth is only provided by consuming the brew within.  Don’t be bitter, give this brew a try.  Its unique, delicious flavor will have you wishing you bought a case!

The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.

beer painting of bitter monk ipa by anchorage brewing by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #32 by Scott Clendaniel. August 6, 2015. Bitter Monk IPA by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel.