Category Archives: Art Dept.

Bob Potts Kinetic Sculpture

Bob Potts is an artist in Trumansburg, New York. He contacted me in 2009 to document kinetic sculptures he’d made and post them, along with an earlier film which had been shot by Peter Carroll. The layout and the format were to match that previous film and the same musician, Peter Dodge, was to do the soundtrack. So my job was to light, shoot, and edit, which I did. I also designed his YouTube Channel which has thousands of subscribers. 
Bob is soft-spoken, intense and multi-talented. He’s a poster child for what a good video can do for an artist. Since he posted his work on YouTube his art career has taken off with shows all over the world and a gallery in Switzerland. The films we made were also featured on the website Colossal.

Related Images:

Fine Art Painting

After art school I stopped painting and focused on filmmaking for seven years or so, and ended up going to graduate school for film. I graduated from The American Film Institute with a degree in directing and, needing money, I quickly landed in the art department, where, among other things, I did a lot of scenic painting for rock videos, TV, commercials and film. When that work got slow I housepainted.

After computer and electronics-based film and art making the tactile quality of plaster and paint is like comfort food.

Big empty wall
Big Wall, Tiny Painting

After many years having my creativity “mediated” by machines that demand updates, bug fixes, and a maddening and endless search for technical know-how, I have started painting again, partly out of a desire for a more immediate and direct creative experience and partly because someone I owe a lot of money to had a big empty wall in his waiting room and a tiny little painting to put on it. 

The purpose of this post is to advertise this service to prospective clients. 

My first client agreed to consider a trade with the stipulation that he didn’t have to take my proposed large-scale painting if he didn’t like it. That seemed reasonable. Looking at his taste and with the direction of “abstract with texture, and pow colors,” I started with some photoshop mock-ups (below):

Through this process I established:

  1. That he didn’t like circles, or too much red.
  2.  That he wanted something bright.
  3.  That he kept coming back to a section of my second proposal (2 of 4) which, despairing of finding the right photoshop brush to do good paint splatter, I had pasted a Jackson Pollock painting into the mockup and threw some filters on it to make it match the floor.

So I decided on Jackson Pollock. It’s what I wanted to do anyway and the final result can be seen at the top of this page or the end of the slide show. The still image doesn’t do it justice. 

Having limited my filmmaking to art projects and regular clients, I have been looking for a new way to earn money. I have already begun doing house painting and carpentry, why not fine art–made to order? 

art department

Before moving to Trumansburg, I worked as a set dresser and propmaker in Los Angeles. These photos are (a tiny sample) of sets I dressed and destruction that I wrought for the TV show “The Middleman” as well as some stuff from “Dirty Habit,” and “Spacerex.”

Strictly speaking, I did not art direct the middle man. Rather I was part of a team of people among whom was an art director who was not me. I was the onset dresser, and worked the set during the actual production.