Monday, March 28, 2016

"Faith" 6" x 8" Acrylic/Oil

Drawing in progress. I didn't have solid plans for this piece which is rare. I usually do a few concept sketches and get some reference material together before I even start the final drawing. I was tired of thinking and just wanted to go with the flow. I knew I wanted some random shapes at least so I began drawing. At one point I incorporated faces of creatures but it wasn't working. Then I tried some eyes but I tossed that idea as well.

Here's the final drawing before I later established a cross symbol idea as you'll see below.

I applied acrylic layers of yellow and brown. I didn't intend to turn it red but it happened. Seeing that color made me want to add a powerful symbol to contrast the flowing background. Eventually I decided on a cross. You can see the faint outline on the right photo. I thought it would appear more interesting if I brought the sides to a sharp point.

After a couple layers of oil here. I was still wondering how it was all going to end up.


I had no idea I'd be painting a cross. Considering I had no solid plans in the beginning I'm satisfied with the outcome. I finished it on Easter night and spent most of that weekend stuck in the studio but I got in some family time. Whether you believe in God or not is none of my concern. I'm not endorsing either side but having faith in anything that keeps you positively evolving in this crazy world isn't a bad thing. You have the freedom to choose what makes you happy. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Oblivion" 12" x 16" Acrylic/Oil - time and hope


Photographing my art is always a long process with getting the art level, angles with lighting, et cetera but it has to be done. Fortunately, I acquired the equipment bit by bit. I don't have to rely on others to do it for me now because I've learned enough over years of experimenting to take the task on myself. There's plenty of great information out there on the subject. It's a matter of working out what way works best for you.


Another time consuming issue is adjusting the image on my computer screen in Photoshop. Dealing with distortions, fixing the contrast, color, etc. so that the online image matches the original as best as possible. I'm no expert but I make it work.


Sketching up concepts, sometimes creating reference maquettes and doing research, taking photographs of reference models and surface prepping are all time consuming efforts before I even get started on the final drawing. Then it's spending a ton of time figuring out the painting process and.....varnishing.....framing the finished piece. I'm not even going to get into what's involved with creating prints. Also sharing online and writing on this blog, time consuming! You artists out there can relate.

I definitely want to share my art and have it positively affect the world but I often think I really should be playing guitar and singing for a living which I've been working at most of my life (along with the artwork). Although the music is time consuming as well, it's different. I still have high hopes that one day the sounds will permeate the Universe to aid others. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about creating art, just stating the time consuming facts. I have a limited amount of time and seemingly unlimited obligations. I have a beautiful wife, two angelic daughters, great friends and family; and I couldn't be happier creating music with the current band I'm in but unfortunately I only have 24 hours in one day. I appreciate and utilize every second.


Here's my finished second painting "Oblivion" for my upcoming gallery show in July. If you missed my first piece "Penniless" here's a link (it now has a frame and I'm really happy with how it turned out.)  Although I've decided to hang a couple older paintings and possibly a couple prints, I want to create as much new work as I can for the show.

The fragility of life has been the main focus lately in my work. I only have a certain amount of time here and who knows how long we humans will survive? I like to believe that we'll evolve into something that is unimaginable today, millions of years from now. If given the time it's inevitable that we will all exist in a different, better state, I hope. Perhaps our descendants will literally be able to manipulate parts of our Universe in a positive manner, allowing us to thrive lightyears from Earth? Until then, we'll have to deal with the spreading of negative beliefs, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, unscrupulous megalomaniacs, corruption, war, poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, undereducated and overstimulated youth, transfixed with devices fused to their eyeballs, reality TV. Unsocial social networks uniting yet dividing. The list goes on. I'm sure some of these problems will thin out or disappear in time. I suspect other troublesome issues will arise as we progress but will we ever get to a point of peace? It's not impossible.

 It's up to us as individuals to make a better society, a better world one by one. We cannot rely on disharmonious organizations, expecting them to give us what they think we need, exercising too much control over us. We need critical thinkers that question everything, leading to higher levels of intelligence, not  brainwashing propaganda. We need to distill the instilled falsehoods in us all, purify ourselves. We're evolving but stagnant, simultaneously devolving. There are present day people out there that probably still believe the World is flat! Will we survive or become extinct. Some remain oblivious to it all. I question, I search for truths, I have hope that we will free ourselves from the slavery caused by ignorance and that we'll grow and continue to burn bright.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Penniless" 12" x 16" Acrylic/Oil

This is my first painting of 2016. Since there is a penny in the piece I came up with an idea of attaching real pennies to the border. I'm satisfied with how it looks. It needs varnished and framed! I'll be completing some more pieces for my first solo gallery show at Gallery Denmark here in Columbus, OH. I believe the opening reception is set for Gallery Hop weekend, Sat. July 2nd? For anyone interested, I also have paintings and a few prints currently available for purchase at Ikon Images Gallery.  in Canton, OH. At Gallery Denmark I'll be hanging a couple older pieces but I'll also be creating new paintings. Some will be inspired by my experience in a hospital last year.

It was a very tough time. I wasn't feeling 100% and after a week I drove myself to an ER. I didn't really get answers and I had an important gig the next day so I pushed on and jammed. I wasn't missing out on the opportunity to open for a touring national act. Although I was sick, the show turned out great! Another week went by, it slowly got worse but I pushed harder since I had another gig set that I was NOT going to cancel. My guitar playing wasn't too bad but unfortunately, it was my worst vocal performance. I just had no power to sing like usual. Two days later, feeling horrible, my wife drove me to another ER and I had to stay for a week. I thought I lost 15 lbs. but thinking back, I realized I lost about 20 lbs. during that time before my second ER visit. Leaving out details to keep a long story short, I went through a lot in the hospital scared as hell thinking about everyone and everything. I was eventually diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Doctor wants me on medication for the rest of my life but hey, things could be worse! I have unaccomplished goals and I like to believe that life will only get better from here. I'm grateful for my wife and two daughters, the rest of my family, my friends and to everyone at the hospital.

Glad to say I'm living healthier, feeling fine and trying to enjoy every second. I've always appreciated simple things in life but I do so even more now. I certainly have a different perspective. People stress too much over small matters and can easily become so lost and materialistic, letting money and things control their lives. You can't buy back time spent with your family and friends. Trust me, I wish I had a receipt that I could exchange to experience the good times again of my past, a return policy to make right the wrongs; a time machine to talk to my Father again and visit my Grandparents that I didn't have a chance to grow up with, et cetera. What's truly important does not come with a price tag. Needless to say, I've been making an effort to spend a little more time with friends and family. Know that you are meaningful, be kind to one another, give more, take less, appreciate your time for tomorrow your life here could end. We are all precious and priceless. Hope you dig the painting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Skeleton Key Maquette

I decided to make a skeleton key maquette for reference. These are in progress photos. Stuck a piece of an old drum stick in it for stability. Damaged it in the process but fixed it up. Made some changes to it and will probably mess with it a bit more before hardening it in the oven, possibly painting it and then photographing it for reference.

Promowest/Greater Columbus Arts Council 30th anniversary contest


It's hard for me to remember to post stuff on my own blog sometimes with facebook and with what's been happening in my life. I won a contest with three other artists and here is the display on the A&R music bar downtown. It went up last September and I finally saw it while I was walking to a concert next door so I took a couple photos. It will be taken down next month. Some more details about it all here!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Learning from experimentation

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything. I'm guilty of focusing elsewhere. A while back I visited the Columbus Museum of Art by myself. Something I haven't done since my college days. I was inspired to do this piece after seeing some paintings that caught my attention by Paul-Henri Bourguignon (1906 - 1988). After thinking about it for a while I finally got to it.

I intended to use this canvas for something else down the road. All of my prep work to make it smooth was wasted because I ended up basically throwing paint on it. I studied a couple of Paul's paintings up close for a while. I'm not certain of his technique and I didn't bother researching. I suspect that he sometimes used a similar approach that I'm experimenting with for the first time in this video. I'm not here to copy his work or duplicate his technique exactly. That's not what I'm about. This is simply a release, a lesson in learning from experimentation.

I guess it would be similar to me trying to figure out how Jimi Hendrix got a particular sound and just experimenting with some equipment he possibly used and not playing his songs exactly, which can be damn near impossible anyways. I'm not huge on covering songs although, it can be a good learning experience. Don't get me wrong here, it's fun. I've done it but it's kind of like painting someone else's painting and maybe throwing in a couple different elements. Write your own songs, paint your own pieces, create your own dishes or whatever!

I know we're all influenced but ultimately, I'm interested in seeing how you're affected by it. Can you feel the energy that surrounds you, that's deep within you? Can you take the energy that you're apart of and focus it to create something original that inspires others in a positive way? Yes...you can.

My apologies if this video is pixelated. I used a high quality camera and the actual file is crispy but the uploaded version is showing up horrible on my computer. Not exactly sure why?


video



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Anticoagulant" 9" x 16" Oil


First time applying gesso with a palette knife on watercolor paper. I think I'd like it better on a different surface but it's the only thing I had in the studio to create a piece with at the time.
The final drawing. Not the most detailed but I knew I'd be basically throwing paint over it for the feel I wanted to achieve.
I have found through experimenting a couple times that it's not so easy painting with loose brush strokes. It takes a lot of focus and effort to make things look effortless. Painting in that free state of mind was my goal with this piece. Look at the blue in the middle of the top photo. That's one brush stroke, one. When I did that I knew that that was it. It was intense. Effortless effort. Can't say much for the rest of the painting. Lol!
One morning I awoke with a vision in my head. A bit foggy but similar to this. I wanted it to be a simple but strong design that hopefully no one has ever thought of creating. Originally I thought I could get it to work with simple shapes, triangles, circles, etc. My first attempt at this piece was a learning experience/failure so I threw the canvas aside. I still wanted simplicity in my second attempt. A dark mass, glowing eyes, two red lines running down a light back ground. Unfortunately the texture of the canvas doesn't show very well in the photo. The first bat creature I painted wanted to take you out for milk and cookies. This creature wants to suck your soul with whiskey. Think I achieved something here? The third and final painting in my "October series". Eventually they'll be up for sale, varnished, framed or unframed. Enjoy the rest of October!