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.
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.
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.)
Sketchbook experimentation leads to new things. Rolling with it.
Sometimes (most times) I really miss the Aegean Sea. This is Livadia beach on Anti-Paros. Gouache watercolor on Cartiera Magnani paper.
Italy has a strong, well documented history of graffiti (my personal favorites being what can be found in ancient bath houses), and when I was last in Rome I guess I was really diggin' what all the modern artists had to say. I keep looking back to my time in Italy for inspiration and in doing so came across an entire stash of photos of Roman graffiti circa 2010. This one that I chose to paint, I just have so many questions. For starters, what the hell is happening here? Did the person who ripped it down dislike it simply because it was graffiti or because of the message? Who was the artist? What are those little flying heads all about? Guess I'll never know, but at least now I have a piece of a Roman wall hanging on my wall covered in another artists handiwork and that's enough for me.
Another plein air piece from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in preparation for an upcoming spring show. This one was a serious challenge with the composition and the tricky lighting that was changing so rapidly as I painted, but it was well worth the effort.
A fever dream of purple cacti. Missing the west coast a lot lately.
Memories of Italy happening on U.S. soil. Norfolk Botanical Gardens Renaissance terraces.
In deciding to continue experimenting with my style, I forgot that it means I'll never sleep again. This piece kept me up til 5am.
Can't decide on a title, I was going to go with "Faceplant" but I have a love/hate relationship with puns.
When your brain and your mouth can't agree on what's going on.
I can't remember the last time I was so excited for a new year! I've got a lot in the works, and one of the projects I started nearly at the stroke of midnight on the 31st of 2015 is this:
If I could realize this dream in large scale it would be that of a long wall stretching out of sight with carefully arranged canvases telling the small stories that a sprawling meadow keeps to itself.