New thoughts, figuring out new ways of deconstructing compositions and layering that leads to an impossible to photograph painting = another day in the office.
There's just something about the rocky coastlines here in California that draw me in, and they're either wonderfully caricatured or frustratingly impossible. This one started out the later but I tamed it to the former. A little cove down the street from my house - my favorite spot to tuck away on sunny days.
For a long time with my art I was concerned with subject matter. I didn't know what I wanted to paint, and over the years I've honed in on what I like: nature, mostly, architecture, and people, sometimes, but not in an academic realism sense. As you can see in my abstract limbs series I focus on representations of people and their suggested actions, asking you to look long enough to decode its imagery. Now I've come to the point where I know what I like to paint and I'm trying to push myself in technique. I've recognized I own a duality that, on the one side, causes me to obsess over accuracy, and on the other, an emotive side that wants things looser and more gestural. With each piece I've been working on lately I've been focusing on getting the grander image accurate and the details more instinctual. Trusting your gut is a terrifying business. Refining these two forces that pull in opposite directions is what I'll be working on this year, and here are a few of the pieces that have come of it so far.
Sometimes a commission comes my way by request of a passionate art collector who offers me the freedom to really stretch out and push the themes I've been working in - these are the types of requests I live for. I was asked for a mother daughter portrait in a dreamy format incorporating the abstract florals I've been using in my watercolor and limbs series (I've yet to come up with a name for this series. Working on it.) This watercolor portrait is the result and I couldn't be happier with it. If you're at all curious to see the stages of this painting I've been trying to update more progress shots of my work on my Instagram account. Click here to see.
It's been a while since I've had the time to dedicate to a lush piece. This one is titled "Natural State" & includes botanicals I chose because they're some of my favorites as opposed to their meaning - which is normally the way I compose these paintings.
In case you were curious:
monstera leaf, blue bird of paradise, zygopetalum orchid, winterberry, kiwi vine, clock vine, chocolate cosmos, foxglove, rubber plant, lunaria, fern curls, blue Himalayan poppy, maiden hair fern.
New paintings of old things, actually. Historic books and buildings, all the places my mind likes to tuck itself away.
So it's years overdue, but I've finally got the proper camera to clearly photograph my work - so this means, prints! I'm especially thrilled because now I can share with you my favorite paintings I've done. Click either of them to pick up the print in my online shop.
So I don't think I ever announced it here, but apart from my work as an artist I found the time to write a book. And by found the time I mean I rarely slept over the course of the past seven years it took to write, research (endlessly, exhaustively research) polish, and manage all the aspects of its printing from cover design and painting to overall layout. Easily the most labor intensive thing I've done in my life to date. If you're at all curious, you can learn more about it here. This is the cover illustration I did, sans text, and reading the story brings more depth of meaning to the painting. I hope you'll give it a look and a read. It's a good one for winter - just sayin.
So I've been back in California a few months but I feel like I've just gotten here as I'm only now finding time to create. Finally being able to get this painting onto canvas after thinking about it for a year and a half has been a relief.
Back to this. More coming this winter as I force myself into hibernation (my preferred state of being, to be honest.)
Trying to see it through the whole 30 days of inktober this time around. Here's the last week - didn't mean to, but I think I've hit on a theme here. Let's see where it goes?
If you want to follow along with my daily drawings, my Instagram is where it's at. (Where's day one you ask? Good question. You'll have to get to my Instagram to see the time lapse of it. It's a bit NSFW)
Sometimes it takes a bit of letting go. What I mean is, painting is what I'd like to be doing just about every second of my life, but sometimes you have to let life have its way with you. It's been insanely (and I mean, absolutely crazy) eventful and busy since we've gotten back to California a few months ago, and I'm just now starting to hit my stride with balancing everything. Which means being able to carve out more and more time for painting. Thank everything. You can follow me on Instagram (which I promise won't be so quiet from here on out) if you want to keep up with my new pieces. Here's a little progress shot of some fresh studio work.
It's been about seven years but I'm back in California and I'm pretty stoked about it. Sorry for the silence, the move was a three month long odyssey. So anyway, here's some new work.
Been about a year since I was totally bent on Brando's intense gaze. High time I got back to it.
One of the artists I adore the most is having an exhibit open this week at the Chrysler Museum, so of course that got me in the mood for a drawing. Under the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec.
There's just something about wheatpaste graffiti in a foreign city that I've always gravitated to. I especially love seeing the decline of these pieces and catching them in a final stage of their lives. This is the second piece in my "Death of Art" series where I document deteriorating graffiti that I think are almost more powerful having been acted upon by exterior forces. Street art seems to be the best and most honest reflection of our modern selves (in my opinion) and I like to record their mature portraits.
It's always a good thing when the first piece you finish in a new year turns out to be something you absolutely love.
What I really enjoy about this series is that, at quick glance, it's fairly innocuous. I give the suggestion, but your imagination has to do much of the work. It can be as provocative or tame as your attentions allow.
After a summer so hot there was really no way for me to get out and paint (I salute you who did, you're nuts) I'm finally able to start my plein air work again. Starting small with a little wildflower patch at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.
This series took a turn out of the meadows and into the tropical. Just in time for fall (my brain makes decisions even I don't understand.)