Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #53, December 31, 2015

Today is the last Thirsty Thursday of the year! I hope you had a good time checking in on Thursdays. I won’t promise to post every week in 2016, but I’m not saying that I won’t. We do have some cool stuff planned, like our first Beer Art Road Show (BARS) that will happen in the Fall in California, where there is a plethora of world-class breweries to visit like Stone, Ballast Point, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and the list goes on. The last time I was in California was in 2009, and I had just completed the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall project. Now I am more aware of just how special California is for beer, whereas back in 2009 it was more known for wine.

So the last Thirsty Thursday beer painting for 2015 is of Sip of Sunshine IPA. This beer is so tasty! Lawson’s lives up to its name, it does make the “finest liquids”. I was surprised to read on the can that this beer is brewed by Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT. I wonder why it’s not brewed in Warren, Vermont, where LFL is located. Nevertheless, I feel lucky to get to try a fresh one all the way here in Anchorage, Alaska. A beer art fan in New Jersey mailed me this can. Although we get some seriously good IPAs here, none are 8% and served in a can. Bitter Monk by Anchorage Brewing is great, but at $10 for a 22 oz bottle, I only drink it occasionally. I wish the BARS tour was in Vermont in the near future, but since I was there in 2014, I guess I should go to Colorado first.

Cheers to the New Year, and stay tuned for more beer art in 2016!

Unfortunately, this painting is not available for sale, because Lawson’s Finest is the first brewery to send me a cease and desist notice for using an image of their beer in a painting.  You can read about it in this blog post.

Sip of Sunshine IPA by Lawson's Finest Beer Painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #53 by Scott Clendaniel. December 31, 2015. Sip of Sunshine IPA by Lawson’s Finest Liquids. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

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My 2015 Year in Review: Painting, Traveling and Building a Cabin

The year started out with a bang, having just finished the Year of Beer Paintings project in 2014. We awoke in Talkeetna, safe and warm in a nice cabin that we rented with friends. We returned to Anchorage on January 1st and released the first Thirsty Thursday beer-themed painting that night, which was a parody of Andy Warhol’s work. The next day we hung my art show at Midnight Sun Brewing, which consisted of the second half of the Year of Beer paintings, having shown the first half at the same venue in June. After surviving AK Beer Week, we flew to Sun Valley, Idaho for the annual family ski vacation. I finally breathed a sigh of relief from work.

Andy Warhol Craft Beer Painting Poster Scott Clendaniel Thirsty Thursday

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #1 by Scott Clendaniel. January 1st, 2015.

After releasing a new beer painting every day in 2014, I thought releasing one just on Thursdays would be a breeze, but I was surprised how quickly another Thursday would roll around. I managed to paint 53 beer-themed paintings, without skipping a single week. Most of them were beer parodies of famous paintings in history. Some of the noteworthy artists I emulated are Jackson Pollock, Gustav Klimt, Vincent Van Gogh, Matisse, and Mondrian, as well as many others. I found it interesting to spend time looking at art history paintings, and trying to find ones that translated best into beer art. After posting a couple of these parodies, I realized that my blog readers were learning about art history by admiring beer art!

I also started working on a children’s book called How to Draw Alaska Baby Animals. There will be 49 animals, because Alaska is the 49th state. The goal is to release it sometime next year. We’ll try to find a publisher, and expect the whole experience of releasing a book for the first time to be very educational.

In April we moved the studio out of our condo into a commercial space conveniently located on 4th Avenue, just a mile from our home. We have a corner unit with a large window that makes up a whole wall of the studio. Overall, we decided that the studio was a good move, because it generated enough revenue to keep it for at least another year. I was surprised that most people thought the studio was a gallery, or a store. So I kept having to explain the definition of a studio – a workspace where an artist creates art. I do invite people to stop by, but I don’t keep regular hours. I kind of like my privacy when I’m working on experimental stuff.

This year we made a big effort to get my art in front of more people. I had four art shows (three in Anchorage, and one in Juneau), and we also tried craft fairs, which were more successful than expected, so we’ll keep doing those.  Having the studio as a venue allowed us to have a holiday studio sale, which attracted quite a few people. I already have several art shows lined up for 2016. Gotta keep the train rolling!

Working at my booth at a craft fair!

Working at my booth at a craft fair!

The summer was a whirlwind, as usual. Dipnetting for salmon on the Kenai Peninsula is a must for Alaskan residents, and a great way to get fresh local. I made the best Salmon stock this year that Maria canned, and we’ve been making some legit chowders this winter!

Smoking the salmon harvest.

Smoking the salmon harvest.

In August we made our first trip to the Midwest for our friends’ wedding, and visited several breweries, including Three Floyds, Bell’s, Goose Island and Revolution, to name a few. Grand Rapids lived up to its fame as the beer city, being home to Founders, Brewery Vivant, Perrin, and many others. Chicago was probably the most interesting place of the whole trip. We saw the famous Picasso sculpture, ate some deep-dish pizza, and watched the Cubbies win against the Colorado Rockies. I liked the Midwest, but I’m glad I live in Alaska!

Painting live at the Eccentric Cafe at Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Painting live at the Eccentric Cafe at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Despite all the traveling, fishing, and painting, we managed to put a metal roof on the cabin in McCarthy. I can’t wait until I get back out there to finish up the project and move in. We just need to install five small windows, and a door. The little shack where we stayed while building the cabin will become my McCarthy studio.

The cabin is almost done!

The cabin is almost done!

In September we traveled to the Pacific Northwest and visited many friends and family. I had some epic beers throughout, but especially in Bend, a great bike ride on the Oregon coast, and we saw our first baseball game at Safeco Field. Once again, I was glad to come home to Alaska where there are fewer people, less traffic, and I know everybody here.

After that trip I started working on commissions and painted straight every day from November 1st to December 22. I made paintings of dogs, bikes, beers, planes, trucks and even a wedding in Barrow. The demand for commissions was definitely higher this year than last. I loved making people happy by creating paintings of their favorite places, and most cherished things, and realized what a special and personal experience commissioning a painting can be.

I’m sure I’m leaving out many interesting and important events that happened, but these are just the highlights that came to mind as I sat down to write this.  Thank you to all of you who support my art career! Happy New Year! Cheers to an epic 2016!!!

The Evolution of a Painting

About a month ago I stumbled on a photo online that caught my eye because of its striking colors, and the combination of blues, reds and yellows inspired me to create a painting using those colors. I researched other images online with similar colors, and then created a couple basic sketches of different compositions.

Sketch 1

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

Sketch 2

Then I painted a small study of each sketch to see what each one would look like as a painting.  These are only 12″x6″.

Small studies.

Small studies.

I decided for now to continue working on the composition of the Anchorage skyline, and painted a larger study of it that is 24″x12″.  I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to paint a larger version of the Sleeping Lady composition.  I’ll wait and see what feedback I get about it.

Larger study of Anchorage skyline composition. 24"x12".

Larger study of Anchorage skyline composition. 24″x12″.

Finally, I was ready to start working on the large support, which is 5 feet x 2.5 feet.  I spent about five hours a day for three days working on the final painting.  I wanted this to be dry for my upcoming art show at Midnight Sun Brewing on January 2nd, so I came into the studio on Christmas Eve to finish the painting.  Here is the gradual progression.

Progress on day 1.

Progress on day 1.

Day 2.

Day 2.

Day 2

Day 2.

Final result.

Final result.

Right now this painting is drying in my studio, and will be on display, and available for sale, at Midnight Sun Brewing from January 2nd – February 4th.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #52, December 24, 2015

Lightly snowing here in Anchorage, Alaska today on Christmas Eve. Beautiful, but cold. This week’s beer painting honors David Crewdson, a volunteer beer expert, who occasionally runs the Midnight Sun Brewing brewery tour. He called me one day in the summer of 2013, and said he had a dynamite idea that he would only tell me in person, and invited me on a brewery tour.  I was in McCarthy when he called me, and since I was already planning to head back to Anchorage anyway, and MSBC is one of my favorite hang out spots, I told him I’d be there. After the tour, which I have done about six times at MSBC and countless times at other breweries, Crewdson presented his idea.  He said simply with his arms waving excitedly, “Here’s the idea… Paint mountains in the beer foam, and call it Toast to Our Mountains!” I thought it was brilliant, and he said he didn’t want anything in return, because what good is a great idea if you can’t implement it yourself? So I put the concept to the test, making five original oil paintings that all varied, but all had at least one pint with foamy mountains, or the Anchorage skyline.  I sold the last one just a few weeks ago.  So I felt it would make a great Thirsty Thursday entry and painted a sixth Toast to our Mountains painting.  The mountains in the background are the Chugach Mountains, which tower over Anchorage, and the one in the pint is Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, which I can see from my studio on sunny days, even though it’s 133 miles from Anchorage as the crow flies.

So I propose a Toast to our Mountains, and to David Crewdson — a man of honor, and integrity, with a fine mind!

P.S.  I noticed that this year has 53 Thursdays, so stay tuned next week for a bonus, and last, Thirsty Thursday beer painting of 2015!

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

Bald Eagle and Alaska Mountains Beer Painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #52 by Scott Clendaniel. December 24, 2015. Toast to Our Mountains. 12″x24″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #51, December 17, 2015

How many cans of Focal Banger IPA fit in an X-mas stocking? I guess it depends on how hard you try to find cans of this luscious liquid. I bet you could put half a case in the right-sized sock! I think that Focal Banger tastes pretty awesome, and I know The Alchemist of Waterbury, Vermont knows how to keep their beer fresh. One of the critical aspects of keeping an IPA in its beautiful floral condition is a short storage period. Long shelf storage can destroy a bright and lovely IPA, so long story short, don’t horde this delectable nectar. It says, “Drink from the Can” directly on each beer, because this practice not only prevents oxidation, but also prevents light contamination. I can only imagine how good this beer tastes on top of a Vermont ski mountain! I hope you get to live out my fantasy and sneak a tall boy into your ski parka for a sip of afternoon delight before heading down to the base of the mountain where you might consume more during an Après-ski session!

Cheers to the Alchemist, turning water, malt, yeast, and hops into liquid gold!

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

Focal Banger IPA Beer Painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #51 by Scott Clendaniel. December 17, 2015. Focal Banger IPA by The Alchemist Brewery. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Give the Experience of Commissioning a Painting

We prefer to spend money on experiences, rather than on stuff: travel, concerts, ski lift tickets, etc.  I never thought that commissioning a painting could be an interesting and fulfilling experience, until I watched clients meet with Scott throughout the month to commission paintings as gifts for very special people in their lives.  Not only are you paying for an experience, you also get a custom oil painting in the end!  One person said her dad is really hard to find gifts for, but a painting of his wedding day was going to be a surprise, and a meaningful gift that he’ll treasure for a long time, and something that will be in the family for generations.  She photographed pictures at her dad’s house, and contacted family members to ask for certain photos.  Then she met with Scott at our studio, and told him the stories about her parents, and together they created a sketch for the painting.  When she saw the painting, her reaction was priceless!  Seeing all the details in one painting that was created just for her dad, stirred up some emotions.  Another person said she has never been able to surprise her husband with a gift, because he’s just really good at guessing what she bought him.  But, she said, this year he’ll never guess that she commissioned a painting of the view from their cabin.  Scott delivered the painting to the couple’s home last weekend, and his reaction was priceless.  He couldn’t believe the painting was of a view he knew so well.

One has to plan ahead for such a gift.  Photos must be gathered, and a lot of thought has to go into creating a quality piece.  So it’s too late to commission a piece for Christmas this year, however, you can GIVE someone the experience of commissioning a painting for themselves of their pet, cabin, car, bike, skis, favorite place, etc.  The person will visit our studio and talk to Scott about the concept, and in many cases, Scott can create a sketch on the spot.  Then Scott will send a photo of the complete painting, and once it’s dry, the painting can be picked up at the studio.  People who don’t live locally can also commission a painting by communicating and sending photos via e-mail.  Scott sends them a couple sketches with different options, and then we mail the completed piece.  Every painting is framed in a natural wood frame, and the hanging hardware is installed.  The way to give someone this experience is to purchase a gift certificate online at our Etsy shop.  Not bad for a last-minute gift idea!

Commissioned painting of view from cabin

View from the Cabin. Commissioned for Jim Lamb by Lisa. 1 ft x 2 ft, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #50, December 10, 2015

If you haven’t already heard of Banksy, he is a world-famous, English-based graffiti artist who has been working in illicit and underground artwork since 1992. Nobody knows his actual name. He really gained some major world recognition around 2004, and in 2006 he was consistently selling works of art for over $50,000. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t have to buy his canvases. Anyway, I sampled this image from Banksy for this week’s beer-themed painting of a man throwing a bunch of flowers, which is a large graffiti piece of art on the West Bank barrier. The beer obviously doesn’t have the same connotation, but I thought it was about as entertaining. I call this piece, “Honey, Get Me a Beer!” Maybe more domestic than political, I think it has similar impact. Don’t be going around throwing pints of beer at your significant other. I think it might be more damaging than telling them to bugger off instead.

Cheers to Bold art and Bold Beer!

The original painting sold. You can commission a similar one at my Etsy shop.

Banksy graffiti beer painting

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #50 by Scott Clendaniel. December 10, 2015. Beer Parody of Banksy’s Graffiti Art. Honey, Get Me a Beer! 12″x6″, oil on panel.