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.)
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.
You make dozens of drawings of Marlon Brando's eyes. Because when things in life are not going your way there's nothing like a smoldering gaze to make things all better.
Haven't drawn in a while. It's making me happy so I'm rolling with it. These are a few of my favorites. Click any to enlarge. All are charcoal pencil on paper.
This piece was a big turning point for me in terms of subject matter, style, and personal honesty in my painting. It's by no means one I would consider a compositional success or my favorite piece, but it pushed me somewhere I needed to go. Despotiko is a small area of a small island in the middle of the Aegean Sea where you can see shards of sixth century BC pottery poking out of the ground. I visited there while studying art in Greece and there's something 'other' about this place on the planet. Some energy coupled with an absolutely gorgeous land/seascape that you can't help but respond to from a place deep within. It's stayed with me ever since I left and this is a piece that was a catalyst for me getting to a more meaningful place in my art. Despotiko is magic.
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.