Strange Cousins From The West - July at Sierra Arts in Reno, NV. July 05, 2017 14:43
'Strange Cousins From The West' is a menagerie of curiosities curated by Joshua Coffy. This show is filled with the lively work of artists from all over the Bay Area. Catherine Moore, Maggie Hurley, Shane Izykowski, and Heather Robinson all join me in presenting their work at this point in their careers.
Interview in the Arc Gallery Newsletter. June 06, 2017 09:08
A Conversation with Joshua Coffy
by Sherri Cornett
The whimsical animals and nature scenes in Joshua Coffy's acrylic, prints and mixed media works have their roots in the small rural township of Tuscarawas, Ohio, where he and his two brothers could be found, almost daily, fishing, hunting, hiking and playing. Add in a captivation with Georgia O'Keefe's skull paintings, engendered from a move to New Mexico when he was thirteen and which inspired him to first take up painting, a fascination with scientific illustration and design, and his extensive photo reference library and we see the building blocks of his intriguing and detailed work.
SC: Joshua, let's start with something most viewers want to know from artists. What motivates you and how would you describe your art-making process, from inspiration to finished piece?
JC: It feels rare when the picture on my panel is exactly what I see in my head. I love chasing that. I am always striving to get better. I follow artists that work the hardest and are always challenging themselves.
I sketch less than most artists I know and am trying to change that. [laughter] Most of the time my paintings start with a phrase I scribble in my sketchbook, which often become the titles to those paintings. I let the phrase sit for a while and build stories around it. Once I settle on the idea, I look through my photo reference library, piece together something in photoshop and then start painting. Sometimes the idea phase takes way longer than the painting. Mostly, I am an acrylic painter. I also use a mixed media technique I call "paper inclusion", where I paste or collage various papers into my paintings and then paint the subject on top of that inclusion.
SC: Would you tell me about those subjects?
JC: I use animals to illustrate metaphors in my life. With animals, people are free to add in their own story. If I used human models, the connotations would change.
Last year, I staged a show based on predator/prey relationships to illustrate that this is not good vs. evil, but simply survival. Right now I am working on a series for the Myths and Legends show with another Arc artist Diane Hoffman at Secession Art and Design, 3235 Mission Street., which runs from May 30th -July 30th
SC: What would you like viewers to take away from experiencing your art?
JC: I like it when my subjects remind viewers of someone they know and when they make up their own stories and apply them to my illustrations. But, it is a thrill when I can clearly communicate the story I was trying to tell.
SC: How do you recharge your creativity?
JC: Lots of naps. [laughter] Walking in the woods, visits to the zoo, playing the ukulele and with my son. For my birthday, my wife and son bought me a membership to MOMA. It's AWESOME! And I also rather enjoy going to Burning Man.
SC: Would you tell me about a particularly meaningful or influential response to your art?
JC: I am the Co-Chairman of the Open Studios Committee of Artspan and love helping artists by giving workshops about art business and, through the Open Studios Mentor Team, assisting artists new to Open Studios get ready for their first participation. Artspan is a fantastic organization with year-round resources for San Francisco artists.
SC: And then there is the community of artist studios at Arc. What do you like about having a studio there?
JC: I have never been so in love with a workspace. I love splitting my studio with one of my favorite artists, Amy Ahlstrom. She works really hard and that keeps me on my toes. [laughter] Everyone here is a complete bad ass at what they do. It is awesome and I feel very welcomed. I can't wait until Fall Open Studios. It should be a blast.
SC: Any last words?
I feel fortunate that I get to do this for a living. Art and "dadding." [laughter] As a father, I am learning so much stuff weekly from my son. He has brought out a tenderness and playfulness in me, moving my art to a lighter place than in the past. Art is filled with ups and downs. I work harder than I ever did for any "job", but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Sherri Cornett is a curator, consultant and artist living in Billings, Montana. www.sherricornett.com
Joshua Coffy, Let Me Tell Your Story
'Myths & Legends' is coming June 9th! May 08, 2017 17:37
Big news of the month. Dianne Hoffman and I are creating a new show together. This time around we are chasing Myths and Legends.
Homecourt Advantage.....October 22nd and 23rd. September 12, 2016 11:57
Please join me for this show! Its going to be filled with paintings, drawings, and birdhouses. Come one out to the reception on the 23rd. Or if you like the Open Studio on the 22nd. Enjoy.
Dualities Show.....Coming to LA! May 03, 2016 00:50
A Letter to my Friends and Family... March 17, 2016 08:14
A Letter to My Friends and Family.
Thank YOU! Thank you for being there while i learned to paint better. Thank you for being there for the many days of incredible self doubt as an artist. For the last ten plus years I have been doing my best to make art and sell it to people and you have been there for me. Some of you bought art from me when me and my family were broke! You made sure we had bread and peanut butter. I have been asked to Live Paint at some really cool events and with some of my favorite local bands. I chased down BIG ideas, all while you were there watching my progress on facebook or my blog. I had years where I made paintings pretty much every day to end up giving them away. The Gift Prolific taught me that I can do big things one step at a time....you were with me that whole time. I have made so many friends over the years and my next big project was to quit my job and give the full-time gig a try and you were there right away to support me.
I started volunteering for ArtSpan and still do to this day. Volunteering for the SF Arts Non Profit has taught me so much. And helped advance things as well....My painting was chosen to be the cover of SF Open Studios guide and was plastered all over the city on buses and trains bringing my art to even more people. I have gone from being in lots of little group shows to staging my own solo shows.....and you all showed up every time. I have had huge print jobs come my way because of you and they paid tons of my bills. I have had big shows with artists that I know and respect. I got the chance to design and paint a 6000 square foot mural with artists that I respect very much....and that mural has graced the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle! That's something I will never get over. I have paintings all over the world...including a few in the Burning Man HQ.
All of these things were just dreams a few years ago. And none of them would have happened if it weren't for you supporting me at every single turn. Today is the first day of year 3 (full-time). I am prepping 2 huge solo shows. And you are with me now. I will do my best to continue to tell my story and have a great time.. Thank you for being with me every single day....in my head, my heart, and my life. Making paintings on Team Coffy. Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic day!
Weekend Sale! February 25, 2016 23:24
While the cat's away the mice will play! While I am not tending the store you can get 30% your whole order! Holy cow! I might lose in Vegas but you will win while I am gone. Enjoy!
Super Duper Birthday Sale! One Day Only! January 27, 2016 19:02
It's coming up......get ready!
Mini Documentary (4/365) January 05, 2016 01:30
So instead of creating a drawing today I posted a small 2 minute documentary of me working in my studio and prepping for my solos shows this year. I am considering creating a longer documentary showing the trials and tribulations of the artist's journey as they get ready for shows. I might be the only person to ever watch it but that would be ok too.
Anyway check out the link HERE.
Woody Guthrie Uke Tribute (3/365) January 03, 2016 20:37
I have been in a good amount of pain all day. And i had to force myself to sit and draw this....It's only Day 3. Oh man. hehe. Here ya go. This is my Uke Tribute to the incredible Woody Guthrie.
Cedar Waxwing (2/365) January 02, 2016 19:38
365 Days of creating. (1/365) January 01, 2016 20:12
Among all of the art I will be making this year I would like to chare with you a cute idea. I am going to be making something creative everyday. Most likely as a warm for my day job (painting)....I will draw something, make a song with the uke, dance, or make something. And I will share it here on the Undersong Blog. Enjoy. Here is today's drawing 'Spring is Coming...' (ink on paper)
December is upon us... November 30, 2015 21:02
As many of you know I have been dealing with some very serious health issues for the last 2 months. This has forced me to cancel many of my art shows and commitments. Which on the surface sounds like a bad thing....but in reality it has given me a chance to step back and balance things a little bit better than I was before. I don't have much planned until January when I will start working on 2 Solo Shows in 2016.
- July @ the Cactus Gallery in Los Angeles, 'Duality: Survival of Predator and Prey' Working Title)
- October @ STUDIO Gallery in San Francisco, 'Sentient' (Working Title)
I am planning to create roughly 30 pieces for each show. Which will keep me plenty busy. But I am very excited about each of these shows. I will be posting progress pics and some behind the scenes photos on the blog to keep you all in the loop.
Thanks so much for an amazing year 2015. The calendars are out and look amazing.....and so does 2016. I really appreciate all of your support. This whole art dream would be just a dream if you weren't here to play along. Thanks and talk to you soon.
Open Studios - Oct.31st and Nov.1st. - Your'e Invited September 29, 2015 11:04
Chillin Productions - Upcoming Show - Oct. 10th September 25, 2015 18:14
I am honored and excited to be a part of the Chillin Productions Show this year. Check it out
Front Page News! August 13, 2015 09:23
Upcoming Solo Show - Hotel Triton - Aug 27th Reception August 07, 2015 02:50
I have an upcoming Solo Show a the Hotel Triton near Union Square...(342 Grant Ave.) I am really proud of the new pieces I have in the show. And I am also sharing a few of my older and recent pieces. It's kind of a fun retrospective as some of the ideas have come full circle. Hence the title...'rEvolve'. I hope to see you all on Aug. 27th form 6-9pm. Let's hang out look at art and talk about whatever. Take care.
The Mural - Day 2 June 17, 2015 06:43
Big News #1 June 05, 2015 19:34
OK....I can finally announce this big thing. This week my design was selected for a mural on ArtSpan's Journal Building! We start painting in 9 days! the mural is approx. 6,000 Square feet. Looks like it is time to get over my fear of heights. WOOT! Thank you to ArtSpan and all the people that support me and my art. Let's rock this!
1540 Market Street. Near Van Ness....right next to the Happy Donut.
The design is based off of my painting Bird Song #2.
Reflected Spirits....is coming May 02, 2015 10:47
'Storybook' show by Warholian.com hosted by Modern Eden March 25, 2015 23:02
I am honored to be in this show! Please mark your calendars and come see it!
March Events... March 02, 2015 10:33
Here is a list of the art happenings in March
March 7th - Ukulele Gig - I will be playing a set of my originals and a few covers at Abura-Ya Japanese Pop Up. This is a fundraiser to protect the Mokelumne River. Songwriter Supper Details.
March 14th - Swim Season Show - An art show based on Adult Swim Cartoons will have an opening at the 63 Bluxome St Gallery in San Francisco. I have one piece in this show and plan on being in attendance. So stop in and hang out.
March 14th - Loteria Show - The Cactus Gallery in Los Angeles is hosting a show based on Loteria Cards for their Tenth Anniversary. I have one piece in the show but unfortunately will not be in attendance. But if you are in LA you should go check out this gallery. This is my first show with them.
March 15th - Studio Warming Party - Audrey Heller and I invite you to our studio for drinks, art, and uke music. 3-7pm. 2377 San Jose Ave. Also celebrating my 1 year anniversary of being a full time artist.
March 21st - Live painting at the Brick and Mortar with the Jeremy Jones Band.
March 28th - ArtSpan's Juried Benefit Auction - Assuming my piece gets finished and accepted I will be at this show as well. This could be your chance to pick up some great art and support my favorite Non Profit Group.
Also my prints are now available at Local Take and Artillery Art and Apparel in San Francisco...AND now at Collector in Berkeley! So please stop in and show these businesses your support!
Live Painting Tonight! February 20, 2015 08:35
Tonight I will be Live Painting at the Elbo Room in the Mission. I will start just after 8pm. I am there with my friend Karl's band The Greening. Come on out and see what happens.....See you there.
January Events January 25, 2015 14:48
The new site is up and running. Here are the last few events that I have in January.
- Thursday Jan. 29th - It's my Birthday!!!!
- Saturday Jan. 31st - I will be playing original songs and story telling at the 773 Cabrillo with my friend Blood And Dust.
Hope to see you out and about. Many more things to come.