I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing blogs. That’s ok, I like to think my work can speak for itself. That being said I hadn’t been producing that much work over the last year anyway, so, no excuses really.
Now, to be fair, we did put our house up for sale and went on a five month road trip to find the next place we wanted to live (if you are interested and are somehow unaware of our exploits you can read all about it here).
I was going to use that time to explore my work and try and find new inspiration in drawing. Well, it didn’t happen like I thought it would. I mean I did some work when we were in places for longer periods of time, but ultimately I didn’t produce anything that really made me feel productive or particularly creative.
So I wrote about my creative block on the above mentioned blog during our trip. That’s when I received an assignment from Elizabeth – an artist and teacher friend of mine (you can check out her stuff here). She thought I could use it as a way to jump start my creativity – I could just do the assignment and it would be new and different and it would potentially lead me back to my own creativity. I had a plan to follow and the assignment looked like this:
And I did it. All of it – the evidence is literally all over this blog post. Well… except for creating a return assignment. Nor did I do the extension on Daniel Spoerri – but I looked him up, and that counts for something. It all took me a few months to complete. I went in spurts of manic drawing and slow tracing to get it done. As it turns out I was the first to complete an assignment from Elizabeth – ever (brown-noser, teacher’s pet, etc., etc.).
It taught me a few things about myself and my creativity. I taught me that I need to actively search for inspiration through new artists (new to me anyway) and see what they are doing – explore more. It taught me that I work best with a project or a theme and it helps if there are a few external motivations to help me along. And it taught me that my friends are out there for help when I need it.
This is my first completed painting of 2014. I have already sold it. This was a commissioned piece that I just wrapped up this past week. I switched back to acrylics to paint this for my client as I was obligated to complete this in January. As it turns out I completed at a precipitous time for my client. All in all I am very happy with this painting and the commissioning of it went very smoothly.
I’ve completed the painting for my friends. To warm reception I might add. Also, a side note – I took this picture with my phone (it’s got more megapixles than my DSLR). So anyway I made if for them and this is why:
The first time you meet people they are usually a little reserved until you get to know them. Not Nick and not Stacie. I heard a lot right off the bat. That might scare most people, not me. It also helped that my wife had known them for quite some time before hand. Anyway I fell in love. In the most plutonic way possible (that is unless our respective spouses kick the bucket, Nick’s a sweet piece of A** and Stacie ain’t bad either). So anyway, after spending the evening and all night with them at their house on Whidbey Island I thought that of all the people I knew, they needed some love. The way I show affection is 1. I hang out with you (trust me, if I’m there I like you. A lot.) and 2. I make or paint them something (That’s right Amy, Anne , and Liz – I like you guys a lot.). The reason I chose Slaughterhouse-Five (the cover of the first edition Hardcover) was because it meant so much to Nick – I believe we talked for at least an hour about it. And Nick meant so much to Stacie. I was also pretty cool that I was able to present it to them while we were out for Stacie’s birthday.
I also wanted to mention for those of you interested that I added some small amount of bookish detail to the painting as well. So, first off, Acrylic paint dries in a matte finish. Not very lustrous. Also, when you complete a painting you are typically supposed to protect the image from damage by putting on a layer of medium that dries clear. You have options when it comes to the finish – Gloss, Matte, or semi-gloss (mixing equal measures of both gloss and matte mediums). To protect this fine image I first placed a layer of matte varnish to protect it. Then I went bak and added some gloss medium, but only to the areas of the painting that were in color. Just like older book covers used to be made. Anyway, I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with that idea. The sun was pretty strong when I too the photo, so you can’t really see the glossiness, but trust me it’s there…
Ok, so I’m almost finished with my current project. I cannot post full pictures yet as it is a surprise for someone, however here is a nonsensical image to take with you (also this was taken on my new phone – Nokia Lumina 920 [yellow of course]). Anywho, I should have it finished in the next couple of weeks. After this I will start sketches for Farm 3 and I will also be working on a new print. More to come on that later.
I think I really like printmaking. A lot. The type of work and the finished products are so astounding. Its a wonder I never tried this before! I think I will just have to balance my time between painting and printing. Also, here are a few links to some of my Seattle friends work, I think you’ll like them.
So I’ve been drawing pictures from magazines for years: Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated. As a result I’ve accumulated a stack of sketchbooks on my bookshelf. I thought I would use this as a place to post the ones I like best. Hope you enjoy!