Thanks for visiting my News page! This is where you can find out what my current works-in-progress might be, and what is happening in my world of art.
January 7, 2021
I have been developing and practicing the Art of Socio-Political Abstractionism for four years now. Works have included “Fire and Fury”, “The End of Democracy in the National Interest?”, “No Chaos”, “Full Circle: An Identity Crisis”, “Out With the Old, In With the New”, “Desperately Seeking Mister Rogers”, “The Heart of the Presidency” , “The Top Topples” and so on. And, as we marched into the abyss, don’t forget “Heigh Ho. Heigh Ho, Into the Swamp We Go …”. Then there is the ultimate fear as we count down to January 20: “When Wisdom Fades as Knowledge Grows”.
To some, the attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday came as a “complete surprise”. To others, it was no surprise at all, but expected as a continuation and culmination of what we have been seeing and hearing since the presidential campaign of 2016 … incite, infuriate and inflame.
I have enjoyed these years of artistic endeavor. Today, I feel only sadness for all of us. I have warned of what was happening in our country for four years … and for what? Has anyone paid attention? Has my work had even the slightest impact on anyone’s thinking, provided any enlightenment, or done anything for the public good? I will probably never know.
November 9, 2020
In gaming, DOT has come to mean Damage Over Time to a character, and the outgoing President has certainly self-inflicted enough DOT to result in the new DOT (Defeat of ___). You may have noticed that nowhere on my web pages is a name ever used for the President … this really isn’t personal.
So now that the election is settled (in all minds but one), have I run out of dreams and ideas to express through Socio-Political Abstractionism? It appears that will not be the case.
Not only are there immediate post-election ideas to express (see Rage vs. The Blue Wall), but the razor-thin loss of the outgoing President is a signal that his rise to power had not been an aberration, but rather a signal from a large portion of the electorate. Since a huge “Blue Wave” has not occurred, what happens when someone new steps into the shoes of the outgoing President to scream new angers, the next wave of conspiracy theories, new imaginary hoaxes and paranoiac fears?
We saw what happens globally when rising nationalistic anger occurred in the 20th Century. How will a recurrence play out in the 21st Century? What must be done in the next four years to prevent a future disaster? That is the job of many, including this artist. I now set out on the journey for the next four years, with the same mission as before: to express concerns, artistically record events, and encourage honesty and decency in politics, among all those in all political parties.
October 17, 2020
My apologies for not posting this information more promptly, but two of my works are on display in the October 1 – November 3, 2020 pre-election online exhibition sponsored by Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, California.
You can access the exhibition at https://www.laslagunagallery.com/political-discord. The two works of mine being exhibited are my very recent “Full Circle: An Identity Crisis” and a work created previously called “The Heart of the Presidency”.
As always, please support the arts to the extent you feel comfortable, and please drop into Las Laguna Gallery if you are in the area. Above all else, Please Vote!
October 15, 2020
Artists must become accustomed to persevering through disappointment, and I learned today that none of my posters have been selected for the “Good Trouble / U Decide” exhibition in Washington DC. The competition has heavy, with reportedly 192 artists and more than 600 proposed posters competing to be one of the 35 posters that were selected. Nonetheless, three posters are in my front yard, encouraging people to vote whichever way they may choose. Please, vote!
October 5, 2020
Here we are, less than a month before the November 3 U.S. election. While I continue waiting to hear whether any of my proposed posters have been accepted for the “Good Trouble / U Decide” competition in Washington DC, I have set up a new “Vote!” web page. At the bottom of that page are three posters, similar to three of the seven that were entered into the competition. As they say, please crawl over broken glass if you need to, but be sure to vote on or before November 3.
September 26, 2020
My experience exhibiting at The Studio Door has been fabulous in all regards. For those who would like to experience my interview, which provides a great overview of me and my work, please visit You Tube at https://youtu.be/oUgBR2x7xws, or the “Video Walk Through” area of The Studio Door website at http://www.thestudiodoor.com where you can see many artist’s interviews. My thanks to everyone who has offered their encouragement and support, especially those who were able to come to The Studio Door in-person to see the Regional Invitational exhibition!
September 15, 2020 (updated September 26)
How far can the moral decline continue? Scientists are now being accused of “sedition” against the administration. And, indeed, science and facts are standing in the way of of propaganda, campaign rhetoric and election strategy. So, hopefully in time for Christmas, “Science … Bah! Humbug!” How does that look on canvas? As I think about this, I think about Quint’s monologue in Jaws, “The thing about a shark, it’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When it comes at you it doesn’t seem to be livin’… until he bites you, and those black eyes roll over white.” Although the blackness of a soul can represent lifelessness, it also can have a mesmerizing effect, and as one stares, the glitter seen or imagined within the blackness can be so entrancing … until you awaken to realize it’s too late.
September 14, 2020
For those of you out there who like to follow my activities on my News page (anybody?), I am happy to announce that the online gallery of “The Magazine of Contemporary Art” just launched this morning, and they selected my work “The End of Democracy in the National Interest?” as one of the works to showcase. If you have the time, here are the links.
September 12, 2020
As you may realize by now, I am not in this for the money, but for humanity. I became aware of the artist call sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Political Art in Washington DC for the exhibit titled “Good Trouble / U Decide” to honor the legacy of John Lewis while at the same time encouraging people to vote on November 3rd (if they haven’t already done so by then). Artists are encouraged to create posters using their artwork within one of eight templates. That forced me to learn how to take jpg images, alter them to superimpose text, and then convert the composite back into a jpg image. So, yesterday, I submitted five proposed posters into the competition that closes October 3. I encourage other artists to do the same.
Although I will not release images of the proposed posters since at this point they have not been selected, I am willing to divulge that the works upon which the proposals have been submitted for consideration include Dare to Say ‘Diversity’, No Chaos, When Wisdom Fades as Knowledge Grows, The End of Democracy in the National Interest? and Season of Darkness. I will be in suspense until I find out what they think of my work in Washington!
August 24, 2020
Good news keeps coming in …
In addition to the upcoming exhibition of The Blue Wave of 2020 (Version 2) at The Studio Door, I was just notified by The Magazine of Contemporary Art that The End of Democracy in the National Interest? has been selected to be displayed in their online gallery. I will be working on supplying them with some additional information as well as a picture of “the artist at work” … cool!
August 23, 2020
This news item will be updated later as more information becomes available, but meanwhile …
I am appreciative that Version 2 of The Blue Wave of 2020 has been selected to be included in the “Regional Invitational” exhibition, September 4 – 26, at The Studio Door in Hillcrest (a San Diego neighborhood). If you are sufficiently interested, this is one of those rare opportunities when one of my works will be available for purchase.
The Studio Door is a contemporary art gallery at http://www.thestudiodoor.com and is located at 3867 Fourth Avenue. Metered parking is available on the street or in the adjacent parking lot at 3835 Fourth Avenue.
I have also had the opportunity to share and discuss The Blue Wave of 2020 with the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild (SDMAAG), so being included in the upcoming exhibition is especially gratifying.
Especially during this time of Covid-19, art galleries are struggling to survive. Any support is appreciated, even your moral support of just showing up for the exhibition and talking about it with your friends. So, if you have the time, please come to The Studio Door to see The Blue Wave of 2020 and other works being exhibited, starting September 4. Also, The Blue Wave of 2020, as well as other works in the exhibition, is planned to be included in an online exhibition catalog.
Thanks, everyone, for your continued support and encouragement!
February 5, 2020
Issue Ten of the art magazine Murze is out today, everyone, so please check out http://www.murze.org, http://www.murze.org/artists and specifically http://www.murze.org/issueten/Rich-Sheaffer . An image (small as it may be) of my work “All Together Now … Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Into the Swamp We Go” is included. This represents my first international recognition and exposure! I would throw a party, but I’m too busy dreaming and painting …
January 31, 2020
At 2:42 PST (5:42 EST) on January 31 the news broke that the U.S. Senate had voted 51 to 49 to block witnesses and documents into the impeachment trial. That’s the U.S. Senate for you … consciously deciding to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil when it comes to a certain revered leader.
A 20″ x 24″ linen canvas is primed and ready for the paint … there is no need to wait for a final impeachment vote, for that is written in stone on January 31 when it was decided to not listen to witnesses but rather to ignore evidence and vote along party lines. This is how it works:
- First, you block witnesses from testifying and documentary evidence from being introduced;
- Then, you say “There is no compelling witness testimony and insufficient evidence presented here to prove that the president should be removed from office, so we must acquit.”
Clever. Very clever. [5:23 AM February 5 Update: By the way, I wrote that before the Senate vote, so you can come back later to see how accurate my prediction was.]
So, “The End of Democracy in the National Interest?” is underway today. Please see the news from January 29 for more details. Following is a color chart that I will be using for the first and subsequent originals. The first original uses only Payne’s Grey in the lower right, but I am considering using a blend for any subsequent versions.
January 31, 2020
I am honored and certainly pleased that an image of one of my works has been selected to be included in the art magazine Murze, Issue Ten, scheduled to be issued on February 5. With Murze (www.murze.org) being a British publication based in London, and distributed internationally to those interested in the arts, this represents my first international recognition. My work “All Together Now … Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Into the Swamp We Go”, is the work planned for inclusion. I guess it was a good idea after all to not wait to disclose the hidden mechanism until this work was selected for public exhibition (if ever). At least for now, my artist profile can be found at https://www.murze.org/issueten/Rich-Sheaffer .
Thanks to everyone (you know who you are) who kept pressuring me to create a website, which is now rapidly increasing the exposure of my art to the world. Issue Ten of Murze is a bit pricey at £20.00, but I will pick up a couple of copies to keep around the house.
January 29, 2020
How about this for a title? “The End of Democracy in the National Interest?”. All I see is black. Four blacks. The last four years? Four more years? Four attorneys that took the stand for the president? The four horsemen of the apocalypse? Whatever … the number four sticks in my mind, and I’m sure many are “fourlorned” at today’s news.
Today it was argued on behalf of the president “’I think I’m the greatest president that ever was, and if I’m not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly.’ That cannot be an impeachable offense.” This was in the context of pressuring for foreign interference in U.S. elections. Once one believes in the acceptability of a “Quid Pro Quo” and foreign interference in U.S. elections, and even believes in the acceptability of lying about it, then it is not a far reach to then believe that any form of election rigging or influencing is alright so long as the president believes it is in the national interest. For some reason, the character “Fearless Leader”, and the blind obedience of Boris & Natasha, all come to mind from the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. Also remember that the president actually does see himself as our “fearless leader”. Remember when he said … “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon” in regard to the Parkland, Florida school shooting. And of course after the 9/11 incident in Manhattan, talking to first responders, “… I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” As if.
January 20, 2020
For those of you out there who have anxiously been awaiting “Out With the Old, In With the New” (anybody?), in keeping with my prior statement “… he never knows from the onset how the final work will appear”, I re-imagined the final appearance this morning after working on this for many weeks, and now it’s done! All it took was getting up at 1:00 AM and finishing at 7:30, but it’s done! A preliminary image will be posted shortly, then a final image a couple of weeks from now after the UV archival coat is applied.
January 18, 2020
For anyone who may be interested in “Out With the Old, In With the New”, it has been a very long process which is now finally wrapping up. Some final touches are underway, and a preliminary image should be available within about a week! After thorough drying of the heavy acrylic paint (up to a couple of weeks more), a UV archival coat will be applied and a final image will be available on the Portfolio page. The description is there already! This work, as well as other recent works, will be offered for an upcoming exhibition.
November 17, 2019
I was watching TV this morning and the subject of the country being ripped apart was discussed. Why didn’t I think of that before, what was once a great country is now in a dark period, ripped apart, smashed and splintered! I’m making up for a creative block from which I suffered recently, so that makes five in the works.
November 16, 2019
Of course, today’s headline news refers to the “Center of the Swamp”. So, make that four in the works.
November 13, 2019
This is my current thinking in terms of titles of my current or future works-in-progress:
“When knowledge surpasses wisdom” or “When knowledge grows as wisdom fades”.
“Don’t think of it as air pollution and global warming, think of it as new real estate opportunities!”
I still like “Loss of Innocence”, although I don’t know yet have a vision of how that will look. So that makes three in the works … possibly.
November 10, 2019:
I woke up with a start, with a dream and a title: “Don’t think of it as global warming, think of it as a new real estate opportunity!” Of course it is.
November 5, 2019:
Now that “Blue Period – III” is finished and my website is up-and-running, I’m looking for fresh inspiration. I try to keep doing something new and different, maybe with a surprise embedded. I’ve spent months (on and off of course, mostly off) constructing a stretched canvas in the shape of an irregular quadrilateral. Apparently you can’t just pick up one off the shelves. That construction, of course, has been a learning process. I have no idea why I’m doing it, I’m just operating off the Field of Dreams principle of “if you build it … ” the idea will come? Maybe. And what would it be called? “Off Kilter?” “Out of Whack?” “Off Balance” or “Out of Balance”? “Loss of Innocence”? The canvas should be primed and ready in a week or so and then … what? Keep following the news (not my news, the actual news) and you might get a hint of what could be next.
November 3, 2019:
My Home page is back, and it’s even better than before! You can see how fast my website is changing just from today’s news that you see here!
November 3, 2019:
If you’ve been following my web page development, you will have seen changes day-by-day as I learn how to use WordPress. Today, I tried a new design … and wow, my home page information got wiped out! Other pages survived and were reformatted, but all of the information on my home page was instantly gone and not recoverable. So, Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Back to Work I Go …
November 3, 2019:
Blue Period – III is now up and running on the Portfolio page. Now for the next inspiration … from whom will it come? OK, we already have a clue. But what will it be? And how will I see it in a dream?
November 2, 2019:
The application of the UV archival spray is finished for “Blue Period III”, now on to a few other steps …
October 28, 2019:
I am just now finishing “Blue Period – III”. Not being entirely satisfied with the exhibition-worthiness of “Blue Period” (which was developed based on personal experience and never intended for exhibit) and “Blue Period – II” (which didn’t turn out well at all), I have made a third attempt and will go public with “Blue Period – III”. The UV archival spray is being applied now in very thin coats … then the hanging hardware … then the photo shoot …
The description will go something like this … The country has endured much through the 2016 presidential campaign, the loss of the candidate with the majority vote and the success of the candidate who won through the process of the Electoral College. And so it goes, that the People of the United States as a whole do not elect the President and Vice President, but the members of the Electoral College do.
In the past, we have seen that while many are disappointed when their candidate of choice is not elected, that is where it stops … disappointment, yet we pull together as a nation. It is different this time.
We have all experienced heartbreak during our lives. Usually, we are able to heal and carry on. But as a nation, our heart is ripped apart so badly … even extending to a proposal to re-write the poem of inscription on the Statue of Liberty … that we must question, will the heart of the nation be able to heal from all of the events of the past few years as an individual’s heart might?