Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Presents

Joe’s Brown Craft Paper Christmas Packages

These packages aren't my art, but they are definitely craft art. Besides, it is Christmas, and I'm allowed to brag about my husband. If I told you that Joe, the expert package wrapper is doing our Christmas presents in craft paper you would probably think to yourself –

“Ugh, what is he thinking?”

Think again. These packages are sophisticated, and they show off the Christmas colors of the ribbons and other decorations beautifully. He has outdone all those self-help TV shows in which the ladies, and sometimes as well, gay men demonstrate their decorating ideas. That burst of brown and red on the top of the next package explodes like a Christmas fire cracker at the top of the wrapped bottle of 15-year-old scotch. Joe’s packages demonstrate once again the power of the “gay gene” when it comes to matters decorative.

As an artist, I of course have to put my two cents in. So, I'm adding some other possibilities - using cut fresh veggies like carrots, squash and potatoes with printing inks - to add patterns to the brown craft paper. Interestingly, the subtlety of these packages serves as a pleasant uplifting support placed round the bottom of the Christmas tree.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Heaven and Nature Sing

The 2013 Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida Christmas Concert series under the direction of Gordon Roberts begins tonight. Friday and Saturday performances, December 13, 14, and 20, 21 are sold out. However, the 7:30 P.M., Sunday, December 15th performance at Maurice Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami,
Coral Gables Campus is not. Tickets are still available at the Website,, or by phone, 305-271-7150.  I urge any reader within two hours driving time to come hear us.  Should you attend, I personally guarantee you will leave with the joy of the Christmas season filling your heart to overflow.

I am fortunate to sing with this marvelous chorus and these wonderful chorus brothers. We seem to grow in maturity and quality with each new program. New membership this year brings us to 150 voices strong, and I believe that our goal to become one of the preeminent men’s choruses in the United States is on its way to being accomplished. The achievement of that goal will go far to fulfill the philosophical vision of the founders – “To Inspire Audiences, Move Spirits, Open Minds, and Change Hearts Through the Quality of Our Music, The Power of Our Words, and The Sight of Our Joy.”


Graphic Design for GMCSF by Marines Mazzarri & Luis Espinoza
Photography by Ginny Dixon

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December Graphics

Because this is the first entry of December 2013 I am reviewing graphics from the past 6 Decembers. These are diverse. The first for 2008, my version of love between LGBT partners at a time when it seemed that same sex marriage (aka "gay marriage") would take many years, sort of like pushing a jagged bolder up an extremely steep and rocky mountainside state by state. Instead, in 2013 same sex marriage is a reality in 15 states and the District of Columbia. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t have to drag all the southern and some of the mid-western states kicking and screaming into the Twenty-first Century. The second December graphic, 2009, was my Website Christmas Card. The third, December 2010 spoke to my concern for middle and working class jobs having been outsourced to 3rd world nations by our super rich corporations, and to this day I say, “BUY USA” whenever it is possible. I selected the 2011 graphic from my political series of progressive/liberal artworks. It is a slam against FOX News, and the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision, January 21, 2010 that granted “personhood” to corporations and added to the very real possibility of a super rich corporate takeover of our democracy. Finally, I include an illustrative artwork from my series of mixed media distressed paintings titled “The LGBT Pictionary.” Fairy Dust has a strong graphic element because it - like all of these (32 to date) artworks - is a hard-edged square, axial balance composition.

Additionally, as it is almost Christmas and we are in the middle of Chanukah the surround to my graphics entry is part of my photo of our 2011 Christmas tree.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hunk Tower

We’ve just returned home from Fort Lauderdale, and I’m wondering what to do for a blog entry on this last day of the month. We have been so busy with The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida and catching up on work for two art shows with Arts United in Fort Lauderdale that I haven’t had much time to devote to this journal. So, I’ve decided to go back to some of the earliest prints I made in 2000 and 2001 using Adobe Photoshop.

Hunk Tower (21" x 17") digital print, August, 2001

The WWII Observation Towers on Cape Henlopen in Delaware, and a photo of a young hunk I saw on the Internet inspired “Hunk Tower.” The image of the hunk - truncated, made transparent and altered in other ways - inhabits the phallic symbol that is the tower. The print is part of a series of prints that were exhibited in a one-man show at The Blue Moon Restaurant in September of 2001. Because I had designated my photos of the two towers on North Shore as Tower #1 and #2 for the convenience of titling the artworks, and because I had put airplanes into most of the prints, many viewers interpreted the print series as being prescient. The fact that I made red blobs that looked like drops of blood in the prints probably didn't help matters much either. I, of course, being modest, and doubting that I had done any such thing said over and over again, “I had no thought of New York City the Trade Center Towers, and/or September 11th in mind when I made the Tower Series.” I would add that I put the planes in the images because, reclining on my beach towel, I often saw planes flying above Rehoboth Beach on rout between Boston, New York and other megalopolis cities as well as Miami and cities well to the south. Never the less, distancing myself from possible clairvoyance didn't help, and I sold quite a few of the prints. As part of that show there were also many over-sized pastel paintings of the towers based on my tower numbering system. These huge pastels showed the WWII Observation Towers under different weather conditions. They sold like hotcakes as well - which was amazing because they were the most expensive pastels I've sold to date. That show was probably more successful than any show I've had or taken part in since due in no small part to an accident of history and nomenclature.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Two Women, A Man and A Boat

Today’s blog entry is about process. It is about the way I use photography to help create my pastel paintings. The painting from 2 years ago was based on 4 photographs all of which I took with my digital camera. The photographs were the following: a picture of my husband, Joe standing on the beach, a picture of two women standing on the beach, a photo of clouds, and a photo of a boat. It is important to note that all of these photos come from my digital photo morgue - a categorized collection of photographs used to help in art production - that I keep on my computer and add to regularly. I used Adobe Photoshop to cut the people and boat from their particular photographs and then paste into the picture of Joe looking out at a calm south Florida ocean. I chose to reverse the image of the two women and have them look away from the boat and off the edge of the painting. I suppose that had to do with a philosophical notion that the artwork serves as a window into an alternate reality and that if the women are looking off the edge of the painting that suggests the extension of the artistic vision beyond the picture plain. I was relying on the strong triangulation between women, boat, and Joe to hold the viewer's attention on the picture plain, and I hope that worked. I include the individual photos and the photographic montage below.

There are some obvious differences between the painting and the photographic montage. First I moved the horizon up in the painting in order to achieve a more interesting division of space. Second, I moved the boat over so the triangle created by Joe, the two women and the boat is less obtuse. Third, my colors are much more blue and intense than those in the photographic montage. Forth, I’ve made more contrast in the colors of the painting in order to make the clouds more interesting. The added contrast helps me to achieve a glow in the water that is present to the eyes when I am at the beach, but that doesn’t show up very well on the photographs. Additionally, the way I work by making marks with the pastels creates an overall texture not present in the photograph.

The final photographic montage that I named "Two Women, a Boat and Joe."

By working with and continuously updating my morgue of digital photographs I am able to assemble images that I would never find in reality, images that sometimes speak to me of the calm spiritual nature I find within myself when I am at the beach. And, I get to work in the calm and cool space that is my well-lighted porch in Florida, or studio in Delaware with everything I need for production at hand. Change is the one constant we deal with in reality. By working with this process I can make a reality that becomes it’s own constant, never changing as I work, whether the artwork itself is peaceful, or tumultuous.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

LGBT Pictionary and Pastels

Artworks from the LGBT Pictionary and Pastel Seascapes by yours truly are Currently on Display at Stork's Bakery and Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

LGBT Pictionary and Pastels Exhibit

The exhibit was installed Monday, November 4, 2013 and will remain through Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Closet, The LGBT Pictionary (June 7, 2013) 8" x 8," 10" x 10" framed.

An exhibit of some of the small works from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pictionary and some of the pastel paintings is at Storks Bakery & Café in Fort Lauderdale, Florida through the New Year. Arts United of Fort Lauderdale sponsors the exhibit, and it includes 10 of the small works from the LGBT Pictionary. They are Amphierotic, Closet, Dyke, Faggot, Fairy Dust, Flannel Shirt Lesbian, Fruit, Pansy, Pink Triangle, and Poof. Two of the pastel paintings are included as well, and they are South Florida Sunrise #4, and Supermoon, March 19, 2011. All the artworks are available for purchase. The Pictionary originals, framed are $145.00 each, 3 for $375.00. Prints are available unframed at the extremely affordable price of $25.00 each. The Pastels are much more expensive, but priced reasonably for size and quality. South Florida Sunrise, $1500.00, framed, and Supermon, $400.00.

For anyone in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach Counties wishing to view the exhibit, my favorite time of day at Stork's Bakery and Cafe is mid to late morning. That way I can enjoy a cup of coffee and one of the delicious pastries made at Storks.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Graphics

November Graphics for the past 4 years 

 This is the 2nd in the series of Graphics from my blog. Looking back trhough the years I was amazed at the variety of graphic illustrations in The Art of John Bittinger Klomp.  Though the October review has more variety of color than the November there is never the less a great variety in shape and line, and I see a trend toward unity created by the constant use of the square format, patriotic colors, and similar font, Century Gothic.

The following outlines briefly the purpose of each of the graphics. First, the black square with the white speck held in a circular halo of shaded values was used to represent God, the universe, as well as nothing. "Vote Damn It" was my reaction to the lack of voting Democrats in the 2010 election which led to our Tea Party do nothing congress. The "Plutocratic Capitalism" piece voices in part my frustration that the Military/industrial/technological complex has managed to convince us as a society that it is a capitalist system despite the fact that the competitive aspect of capitalism died with "mom and pop" businesses in the last century, and that anything labeled "socialism" is bad. In 2012 and 2013 I have been working on my GLGB Pictionary of which "Gay" was one of the first words illustrated in the mixed media distressed painting technique.

During the next ten months I will make the graphic review the first entry every month.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Graphic Designs

October Graphics At The Art of John Bittinger Klomp

I often use illustrations and graphics in my blog. These often appear as addenda in the top or on the side of the blog. Sometimes they are part of an entry. And of course, much of the time the blog is about my fine artworks, so of necessity it includes illustrations of that fine art. Whenever possible I use my own graphics to make a point, or to illustrate an entry, and I think anyone viewing my journal would be hard pressed to find any artwork that isn’t my own. When an artwork is not mine, I make a point of that through notation. Most often my graphics are political, though sometimes they are made just to emphasize something I am writing about.

I’ve decided to run a series of entries that take a look at the graphics from the past and present. Today’s entry is an illustration of four graphics from past October entries.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Claude Monet: The Manneport

The Manneport, Claude Monet (1882) oil paint

In general, looking back at Impressionism from the perspective of the Post and Metamodern, the paintings are always too pretty for my taste. Having said that, I love the rough, dry painted surface texture in this painting, though it doesn't quite work for the water. Yes I can be critical of Monet's choices. He was a master - never the less - he was not perfect, as none of us are. I've had friends tell me I'm too critical of my own work - and hy not? If Monet could make choices that wern't optimum, and I can see them - I should certainly be critical of my own poor choices.

So, back to Manneport the rocks are incredible. And, of course, as always Monet's color is fabulous!

The Mini Critique is done.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby: Part X

It Is Finished!

“Gatsby” is completed and installed in the banquet facility at Meghan’s Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We drove the six panels to Lancaster last weekend. They were boxed and stacked in the back of our white Terrain.

Birthday Dinner at Characters

We had a birthday dinner Saturday evening at Characters in order to celebrate three birthdays, Joe’s, Millie’s, and yours truly. As always we enjoyed the world-class cuisine that Meghan and her souse-chef prepare. I had Meghan’s stuffed peppers. They were spicy/hot, stuffed with deliciously sweet/sour pulled pork and swimming in a marvelous brown gravy/sauce. They were so good that I thought about ordering a second batch. However, as I am the slowest eating bottomless-pit on the planet, I did not order them. It just wouldn’t have been fair to make my dinner companions watch me eat that second batch before we had our birthday cake.

Back to Gatsby

I put the six Gatsby panels together Saturday afternoon before dinner, and Meghan’s handy person, Beck hung it Sunday. Meghan has completely redecorated the banquet space since our wedding reception last year, and the first photo above shows how the painting looks in that huge room. The second is a close up of the painting. Beck and I have just admired her handy work, and my partner, Joe took our photo standing with the painting.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby: Part IX

The Final Section (C2R3) is Complete.

My color is so different in this image from the original Adobe Photoshop sketch! However, all the colors are from the same set of premixed colors used during the entire project, so I have to think that some of the fault lies within the digital photo. Actually, this photo was taken with a flash, and indoors. All the other photos were taken outdoors in the shade. It is amazing what a difference these things can make in color.

I will take one last set of photos of the entire painting when it is put together and installed in the Banquet facility at Characters Restaurant in Lancaster, PA. That set will be done with a tripod, no flash, lights out with only the light from the windows to illuminate it. The camera will be set for indoor light. Never the less, I imagine I will have problems with the ambient light in the space because that light comes from 4 floor to ceiling windows in the front of the late 19th century space. The space is quite large, and the windows do provide a lot of light, so I’m sure I will be able to work with camera and Photoshop to work out the difficulties. I can’t wait to see the painting installed.

Next entry will show the painting in its entirety though not at this stage installed at Characters Gastropub.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leonardo DeCaprio As Gatsby: Part VIII

Another in the series of blog entries in which I describe the process I am using to create an oversized portrait.

Square C1R3

Square C1R3, the lower right side of Gatsby’s mouth and face, actually the left side since I reversed DiCaprio’s head in Photoshop. This entire side of the head (Painting right/viewer left)is more detailed than the other side, though in order to make the two sides of the painting work together, I have begun to work a bit more detail into the other. Also I am working some of the green and blue from the viewer's right side into the left side. Additionally, looking at the thumbnail images on my desktop I realize that I must lighten an area to the left of the mouth in order to emphasize the lift of flesh in Gatsby’s smile.

One viewer made the comment, “It's amazing how much color goes into the painting of a face!” * I hadn’t really thought about the color since I made the color changes in the original small sketch on Photoshop. The changes were based on the fact that beneath the surface color of human flesh there is a variously colored blue-green and green layer. It is especially helpful to expose that layer more completely in the shadowed areas of the portrait one is creating in order to make the contours of the face recede. The masters knew this and often painted such a layer before painting the flesh colors over and/ or interspersing layers of blue and green within the layers of more natural color. It took the Impressionists and the Post Impressionists to expose this trick and paint intense blue and green passages of paint on the surface of the “fleshscape.” *2 It is interesting to note that I ended up with most of the blue and green on the left (sinister) side of DiCaprio’s visage, though (due to my reversal of his image) it is actually his right side.

Over all, I’m happy with this square (C1R3), and I think the changes I make in the future will be minimal, just the one noted above, and those necessary to make color passages line up exactly across the panel borders.


*Grant, Betsy, in Leonardo DiCaprio As Gatsby: Part VII, Posted 11:09 AM EDT, Friday, 09/21/13, viewed 10:21 AM EDT, Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

*2 Fleshscape is a word of my own making. I’m sure others have done so before me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Leonard DeCaprio as Gatsby: Part VII

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an oversized portrait.  

C2R2 finished

I should say it is almost finished. This square is the fourth square I worked on from the 5’ x 7 & ½ foot painting of Gatsby.I will post two images of C2R2. The first was taken on September 16th, and the second yesterday. Note the changes. The changes are subtle, mostly in the hue and value of colors.

These are due to looking at this square in relation to the surrounding squares above and to the left. I haven’t been able to compare it to C2R3 yet because that square isn’t far enough along to make the comparison.
1. Most of the hues have been adjusted to be greener and/or more orange.

2. The color transitions have been made smoother.

3. I had to change alignment around the edges so that the panel would line-up with the surrounding panels.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby: Part VI

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an oversized portrait.

This is the third square of six, column 2, row a. By looking at and discussing the progress of “Gatsby” I am learning what I must do to finish each section. For instance, immediately upon looking at the chart above, I see that I need to make the orange in DeCaprio’s forehead deeper, that is I must mix a color that has more of the orange hue plus a bit of the complementary color (blue) to dull it down.*

I am actually working 2 squares ahead of this one, but as I have written in the past, it is constantly necessary to check back to all the squares to make sure that each is working with the others, that colors and brush work agree across the artificial divisions of the picture plane. One of the most disconcerting aspects of working in these sections has been that the left side of the portrait is more detailed and more realistic than the right side of the portrait. When viewed as one the two sides work together. However when I am working on the individual sections this aspect of the portrait has proved to be terribly disconcerting. Viewed as separate abstract artworks, the brushing and color is so different as to make the three squares of column 2 appear to be entirely different from the three sharper and more heavily painted squares of column 1. I constantly have to reassure myself by returning to my original sketch in order to see that, “indeed the 2 columns do perform as one unit, not two separate pieces. Unfortunately, the necessity of dividing the portrait into these 6 separate parts because of the lack of studio space, and in order to ship the finished painting 140 miles has generated these difficulties. In other words the solution to these two problems has generated another – fortunately not insurmountable – problem.

* For the definition of "hue" and "complementary color," folow the links by clicking on the words.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sundance Auction 2013

We interrupt this blog to present a few pictures of Sundance Auction 2013

This was the best auction We've been involved in. Murray Archibald’s circus theme was spectacular! It is my understanding that we made $10,000.00 more than last year, all to benefit Camp Rehoboth and AIDS Delaware.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio as "Gatsby:" Part V

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an oversized portrait.

On August 14, 2013 I said, “the completed over-sized portrait will of necessity differ from the small Adobe Photoshop sketch I displayed in the August 5th blog entry. In order to demonstrate that variation from sketch to painting I will compare the first two completed panels to the first two squares of the sketch in a future blog entry.”

Today I am presenting that comparison, and I list some of the differences I see below.
1. The obvious difference is the painterly quality with very visible brushwork versus the fuzzy quality of the Photoshop sketch.
2. I also notice immediately that despite using the grid, my drawing is more angular than is the Photoshop sketch.
3. I have used much more blue in the painting than is in the Photoshop sketch.
4. The eye is slightly larger in my painting than it is in the sketch.
5. There are lines drawn with the brush at the edges of some of the shapes in the painting. An example is the line around the left edge of the iris.
6. I must do some work on the nostril in the painting.
7. There are fewer dull colors in the painting which tends to make it have a flatter appearance than does the Photoshop sketch
I am sure that the viewer will find many other differences. I would not mind seeing some of those observations here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio as “Gatsby:” Part IV

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I use to create an oversized acrylic portrait painting.

The second 30” square (column 1, row b) is almost finished. Once again, I must pause and begin work on the next 2 squares (column 2, row a and row b) in order to know exactly how to finish this square. The pause is necessary to make sure colors, brush strokes, and patches of color match across squares.

The square looks almost nonobjective though the shape of Gatsby's nose in the lower right side of the picture plane (as I face it) is malapropic.* It just looks wrong. I had to reexamine the original sketch repeatedly as I painted to make sure it was not incorrectly represented.

In the next entry I will compare the two finished painting sections to the original squared sketch in order to demonstrate how these diverge from the original miniature concept.* I promised to do so in the August 14th entry.


*malapropic is a word used to describe the misuse of similar words with different meanings in language. Never the less, Gatsby's nose looks as though it is an incorrectly used shape here, and somehow the sliding of meaning from words to images seemed appropriate in my own meta malapropic word usage.

*2 Back in ancient history, say about 1961, when I was a junior in High School the term(s) "squared" and "squaring" were used to signify the method of drafting a grid on top of a small sketch in order to enlarge it into a much larger grid on wall, ceiling, canvas or panel. Today it seems that the term used is always, "grid." I can find few references to the term squared or squaring except as these apply to algebra.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio As Gatsby: Part III

Another in a series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an over-sized portrait

The first panel of six is almost finished.

The 5 and foot by 7 & 1/2 foot painting must be transported almost 150 miles, so I have chosen to break it down into 6, 30-inch squares. The 6 sections will be assembled at the installation site at Characters Gastropub in Lancaster, PA.

Panel #1,a of “Gatsby” is almost finished. This panel is the easiest of the six to work on because the colors in the other panels will have to match this one, and the edges of each must align perfectly in order for the six panels to come together as one. I am mixing large batches of the major colors and bottling them so that I will not always have to remix colors, though I will have to make and blend color on the spot when creating transitional sequences. In order to see how to do the final strokes of paint in the first panel I need to start the second because each completed panel will affect the way I see all the others. In other words the completed over-sized portrait will of necessity differ from the small Adobe Photoshop sketch I displayed in the August 5th blog entry. In order to demonstrate that variation from sketch to painting I will compare the first two completed panels to the first two squares of the sketch in a future blog entry.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby

A series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an over-sized portrait

The Modified Image Based on the Original Still Shot From the Motion Picture

I played with the original still photo as shown in the blog entry, Monday, July 29, 2013, choosing a vertical format that included DiCaprio’s right eye, nose and mouth. Next I put that image into Adobe Photoshop and manipulated the exposure, contrast and color to arrive at an image with colors reminiscent of the Post Impressionist era. I have squared this image into six pieces. Each piece will be enlarged to 30 by 30 inches to make a painting that will be 5 feet wide by 7 and ½ feet high. I have also paired each piece with one other piece and squared each piece to form a grid 4 squares by 4 squares.

I have squared each 30-inch panel with 4 rows of 4 squares, each 7.5 inches. I have also sketched Leo’s right eye and eyebrow into the first square and begun painting. In the next blog entry I will discuss the technique used to paint this first square and the method through which I will match colors to the 5 other squares in the over-sized portrait.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait: Part II

Part II:  The second in a series about the creative process I use to make an iconic portrait of a character

Playing with pieces of the original images

I know I want to use just part of DiCaprio’s face though I want that new image to be recognizable as Leonardo DiCaprio. So, as step one in the creative process I looked for still shots from “Gatsby” and “J. Edgar.” Three of those I found are posted here.*

In step two I isolated pieces of the photographs that I liked. These are a few of the pieces of Leo that I cut from the photos.* Next, I will choose the image/images I want to work with. I’ve already discussed how I put some of these images together in my last entry dated July 22, 2013.

Image Credits

Image of Leonardo as Gatsby, photo not credited at Alt Film Guide, “Movie Review: Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio THE GREAT GATSBY 2013,” Updated: May 15, 2013, viewed Monday, 10:20 AM. EDT, July 29, 2013.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar Hoover in Warner Bros. Pictures’ J. Edgar (2011) at Aceshowbiz: The Ace In Entertainment Zone, © 2005-2013, viewed, 10:31 AM. EDT, Monday, July 29, 2013.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait

A series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an over-sized portrait

I will be presenting a log about the preparation for the actual artwork, an oversized portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio

Image #1

As part of the décor for the banquet room in our goddaughter’s Restaurant, Characters Gastropub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I’m beginning work on a new over sized portrait. The restaurant is decorated with many of my old Super Real powdered graphite and pencil drawings of motion picture characters from the 1980’s, as well as one 4’ x 10’ painting of Marilyn Monroe’s eyes. Now, Meghan has redone the banquet room and it is conspicuously without a single character.

I’ve spent several days thinking about the who/what/when/where of the new character, and after considering many of the male leads of the 1980’s to the present, I’ve decided on Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio makes the most sense to me because he has managed to graduate from the male ingénue teenager and twenty something heartthrob to a genuine male lead in his middle years. And, he has not done the typical “bang-bang-shoot-um-kill-um-blow-it-up-blood-&-guts” genre that is the staple 21st Century American Hollywood motion picture. Instead he has chosen vehicles that require more thought on the part of the viewer, often images that portray nuanced characters in our history, and/or are the subjects of great literature.

I also know that I can use only photographs that are under copyright. I do not want to go through a lengthy process of contact, rejection and perhaps receiving permission for use. So, I will alter the images through many creative processes that allow use because they are too far removed from the original. I have about 40 images I’ve been playing with, and I will put some of the resultant altered images on this blog in order to demonstrate some of the playfulness involved in the creative process of one particular artist, "yours truly."

Playful image #1 is the compilation of two images. I used one of DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, and another of him as “The Great Gatsby.” I put the two images into Photoshop and began removing chunks of each while layering them over top of the original complete images. I will also put these through other processes even though I’m quite sure I will not use the result for the actual painting. Though it has provided amusement it doesn’t portray either character very well. In fact, it is a bit frightening, which has nothing to do with the actual person, Leonardo DiCaprio. That being said, it is part of a process that will eventually result in the actual image I will use for the portrait.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spring Flowers

This fuchsia rhododendron bloomed for just one week in May. The blossoms were huge clusters 8 to 10 inches across, individual blooms about 4 inches across. I have named the color “impossibly pink.” The bush had languished for years, but this year it doubled in size and was covered with those unbelievable blossoms.

My photo is okay artistically, typical of the genre “pretty flower photos taken by amateur gardeners.” However, those blooms were one of Mother Nature’s magnificently perfect artistic creations.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rethinking, Refurbishing and Repurposing

The Big Question mark (June 30, 2013) by yours truly *

Okay, so this most recent outburst of productive activity is done, at least as far as production of so many works at once is concerned. I have another exhibition of the LGBT Pictionary to prepare for as promised by Art Serve in south Florida. But, I will give myself, and husband Joe a break. I’ve agreed with Joe to make only 4 works during the next 12 months. Of course one of those proposed is to be a Brobdingnagian portrait, 60” x 90” on six panels, but more of that when the work is actually in progress. I will make the 3 other works using either mixed media distressed paint or pastels, and one or more of them will be additions to the LGBT Pictionary.

Additionally, so much of what I see and read on the Internet is meaningless drivel, that which has some merit goes unnoticed and/or is criticized because it is not a monetary (reads) capitalist venture. So, I’m proposing to do fewer entries, perhaps as few as two a month, and more of those will be about Art in general instead of art by yours truly.*2  I do have an idea for another blog that I will link to this one, a sort of novel in installments, a fiction about a character that is like me a visual artist. However unlike me, the guy believes himself to be the second coming of Christ. No, that isn’t correct. Actually, he believes himself to be one of many Jesus of Nazareth reincarnations, the Christ of our many Western Christian Churches. It occurs to me that such a blog might possibly generate a great deal of anger and hate. Never the less, I also know that I am of very little importance, and that my production, visual and written is of little consequence. Based on that personal assessment, I may just do the deed; though this will be the only time I mention the possibility in The Art of John Bittinger Klomp. The link will just appear among the many others on the right side panel of the blog. In fact, since it is slightly tongue in cheek, I may use the "monetize" link on Blogger to set up advertisements - sort of like the moneychangers in the temple thing that so upset the real Jesus Christ in the actual ancient world.

I haven’t decided if I will revamp the visual appearance of this blog, but I may do that as well. Perhaps there will be fewer of the political images and more Art images. I have to decide if I can stand not writing about and or creating my graphic images about politics. Thus, the artwork with which I illustrate this entry, the “Big Question Mark.”


* This illustration can be copied and used. I have not made any copyright claims on it, though I always do on my paintings, pastels, and most photographs.

*2 Interestingly, this link - as well as many others in this entry - to Wikipedia connects to one of the most successful organizations on the Internet, Wikipedia, whose founder, Jimmy Wales - did or did not want to make money on the venture. However, he insisted and still insists that the venture be free of monetized capitalist venture. Instead, it must be an instrument of "The People." Damn, if that isn't a Marxist (BAD WORD) idea! Perhaps this last - though I am the only person to make this observation OUT LOUD - is why there has been so much critical comment about Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales by so many in and out of the various establishments.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes DOMA


My husband and I made fast tracks into Camp Rehoboth yesterday morning as soon as we heard of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike DOMA because I had read on facebook that Camp would be hosting an all day celebration. The celebration was made so special because we - along with so many other lesbian and gay couples - had crowned our 45-year long relationship with marriage in New York City in August 2012. The mixed media distressed painting above, “Same Sex Marriage,” includes a telescoped photo of our marriage ceremony with Reverend Pat Bumgardner at the Metropolitan Community Church in Manhattan. It is currently on display as part of the LGBT Pictionary show at Camp Rehoboth for the Gay Pride Month of June celebration. Joe and I feel as though the past year has been an extremely special year for us for two reasons. First, because of the work we put into creating this show. Joe put together twenty-five frames, and provided the environment conducive to the creation of thirty-two paintings over a nine-month period. Second, our marriage ceremony and the three celebrations we held with friends in various locations was conducted as one small part of the massive LGBT push for marriage equality in the United States. And now, as of June 26, 2013, for the first time in our forty-five years together we are viewed as equal to our heterosexual brothers and sisters in the eyes of our Federal government, if not by thirty-seven of the fifty states. Of course we still have far to go in order to secure equality in all the states. Never the less, this week we will take time out from that historic struggle for equality to celebrate. In fact, the song, “Celebrate,” by Kool and the Gang (1980) keeps playing over and over in my head.

Yes, Celebrate!

Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)

Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)

There's a party goin' on right here

A celebration to last throughout the years

So bring your good times
And your laughter too

We gonna celebrate our party with you

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lights! Camera! Action!

I leave talk of The LGBT Pictionary behind because last night, as part of June, Gay Pride Month my husband and I also attended the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida production Lights! Camera! Action!.

Last night I got to sit in the audience and listen to the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) sing in their June spectacular, Lights! Camera! Action!, Normally, I’m up on stage with the chorus. However, I haven’t been present for any of the rehearsals for this show. So, when we found that we would be here in south Florida for the summer concert we bought tickets immediately, a good thing because the two performances are sold out.*

As usual, the brotherhood was in full voice under the masterful direction of Gordon Roberts, and assistant director, Harold Dioquino. I especially enjoyed the Act I rendition of Yentl melodies (1981) arranged by director Roberts. Act II opened with the hysterically funny and scathing put down of Adolf Hitler from Mel Brooks motion picture (1968 & 2005) and Broadway musical (2001)The Producers. The featured “Tropical Wave” ensamble’s performance of “Alfie” from the motion picture of the same name (1966), and “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Puttin’ on the Ritz (1930) was amazing. Best performance of Act II goes to Brian Ricci’s solo in “Crazy World” from Victor Victoria (1982). Also worth mention was Roberts’ beautiful Piano accompaniment to the chorus in his arrangement of “Our Love Affair” from the melodramatic tearjerker of a motion picture An Affair to Remember (1957). We had a wonderful evening to remember, and I believe this chorus is destined to become one of the top choruses in the country.

*If you wish to attend tonight's performance, Saturday, June 22nd, 2013, you might check at the door 7:30 PM this evening, at Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Telephone: (954) 462-2004.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

LGBT Pictionary: June Pride Month, 2013

This is the final final entry about the show at Camp Rehoboth Community Center.

 Because I designed and created the announcement as well as the artworks I've decided to include that artwork as the final blog entry about the show since the show will run for another two weeks, through June 26, 2013. Take down is June 27th. However, I was given verbal commitment this past winter that The LGBT Pictionary will be on display at one of the ArtServe locations beginning the middle of November in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

We have sold 3 of the small pieces as of this date, and I have gotten 2 commissions as a result. Signed and numbered prints of the small works are also available unframed for $45.00 / $99.00 framed. The original small works are $145.00 framed. Larger works are priced accordingly and I welcome inquiries.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

LGBT Pictionary

The Grid of Small Works, The LGBT Pictionary, 24 words, each work is 10"x10" framed, $145.00 ea.

The show opened last evening, Second Saturday Art Night at Camp Rehoboth. The installation looks phenomenal in the space at Camp. Murray Archibald sent an image of the pieces he will use on the next Letters cover. The cover is gorgeous! Murray is such a marvelous designer and artist and I can’t wait to see this issue in print.

The four 16" x 16" works,Baby Dyke, Lesbos, Ex-Gay, and LGBT, $265.00 ea.

Should the reader be interested in reading more about the LGBT Pictionary he/she can go back through the past many months of entries that show individual works from the show, describe the purpose, methods/technique and philosophy behind the work.

The two 20"square artworks, Lipstick Lesbian and Queer, $475.00 ea.

I’ve included images of the Camp space and art on display. I am so pleased to be finished – a year of hard work, a new body of work – a relief and a pleasure at once.

Gay Pride, (30" x 30") June 2, 2013, $950.00

The Painting, Gay Pride looks a bit lost in the installation. It should be on a smaller wall, but I couldn't rearrange my work because some of the space in the gallery also contains excellent works by Michael Muller and Mary Ann Borden.