Botanical Waters

San Diego waterfall plein air, oil on wood canvas, 2018. 

San Diego waterfall plein air, oil on wood canvas, 2018. 

 

A little plein air piece from a few weeks ago up at the San Diego botanical gardens. They have a really energetic and moody waterfall tucked in the hillside whose course and chatter I'm sure I wouldn't tire of even if I sat by it for days and weeks on end.

I'm currently in my studio wrapping up a piece from my main series of work, and although it's been stop and go for me over the past few months I'm looking to remedy that this week. Excited about it!

Lately

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.

"Camerieri in pausa fumo" Gouache on paper.

"Camerieri in pausa fumo"
Gouache on paper.

 
"When the Campaign is Won" acrylic on paper.

"When the Campaign is Won" acrylic on paper.

Meet the Hedonists

Meet the Hedonists. Watercolor on paper, 2017.

Meet the Hedonists. Watercolor on paper, 2017.

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.

Two Thousand & Seventeen

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.

"Silk Stockings" Watercolor, charcoal & ink on paper. 2017.  SOLD

"Silk Stockings" Watercolor, charcoal & ink on paper. 2017. SOLD

Back to the Wild

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.

"Wild" oil on canvas panel, 2016.

"Wild" oil on canvas panel, 2016.

Vietato

 

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.

Moonrise Over Despotiko

"Moonrise Over Despotiko" Acrylic & oil on canvas, 9x12". 2015.

"Moonrise Over Despotiko" Acrylic & oil on canvas, 9x12". 2015.

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. 

Late Afternoon Camellias

 

 

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.

 

"Late Afternoon Camellias" Oil on 12x12" canvas. 2016.

"Late Afternoon Camellias" Oil on 12x12" canvas. 2016.

Morning on the Terrace

"Morning on the Terrace" Oil on canvas. 2016.

"Morning on the Terrace" Oil on canvas. 2016.

 

 

Memories of Italy happening on U.S. soil. Norfolk Botanical Gardens Renaissance terraces.

Mind vs. Mouth

When your brain and your mouth can't agree on what's going on.

"Mind vs Mouth" Acrylic & oil on canvas board, 2016.

"Mind vs Mouth" Acrylic & oil on canvas board, 2016.

Twenty Sixteen

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:

"Wandering Meadow #1" Acrylic on 6 wood panels, 2015.  SOLD

"Wandering Meadow #1" Acrylic on 6 wood panels, 2015. SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2  SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2 SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2  SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2 SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2  SOLD

"Wandering Meadow" #2 SOLD

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.

In the Ancient Maze

Needed a break from all the holiday work to create for myself. Out came this little guy. I don't know why, but recently I'm very interested in revisiting my time spent in Venice. I guess I just miss that lovely, lively water.

"In the Ancient Maze" Gouache and acrylic on 5x7" pine panel. 2015.

"In the Ancient Maze" Gouache and acrylic on 5x7" pine panel. 2015.