My art space in my apartment. Gradually moving from just a corner to almost half the living room, yikes! I made that bit of “motivation” hanging on the wall there, finally put it up!
Lots of movement happening in my little art world! Been spending the majority of my time these days thinking about and executing ideas for a group show that I’m going to be in towards the end of August! Yes, finally taking some bigger steps at getting exposure. It has been equal parts exhilarating and scary! More than ever I’m having to consider what my artistic voice is and maintaining a healthy level of confidence about it. There is so much more I can say about that, but that is for a later post!
For now I just wanted to share some excitement about this influx of creative energy and progress. Don’t laugh at my measly setup above (or fine, laugh, I don’t care lol). It’s been seeing a lot of action lately, despite it being a way less than ideal art space. So to those of you out there that think you need to have some sort of fancy art studio in order to create…you don’t. At least not when you’re just starting out! Just use whatever you have, seriously. So many of us really have no real excuse to stay stagnant about producing work. You see my spot, I don’t even have tables!
In preparation for this August show, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of what’s gettin’ cooked up in “the lab.” So stay tuned for more updates and pics coming soon!
“One Thing’s For Sure”, 2013. Acrylic on canvas.
I just finished this painting earlier this week! I must admit that it took me a lot longer than I expected to finish it. This painting is a statement that I’m making about romance, inspired mainly by casual conversations with friends but also by what I’ve observed in society in general about romance. Sometimes all a person needs is some slick Game and all of the rules and turmoil go out of the window. Would love to know your thoughts on this one!
I talk about this painting a bit further in this here video:
I had a conversation recently with a friend about mermaids, the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale and how much we love them. I’m entering a design contest at my job and decided to use that encounter as inspiration. Here’s what I came up with:
I surprised myself with this one! Usually I work from a sketch first, but this time it was straight freehand on the computer using Adobe Illustrator. With a mouse and not a drawing tablet (because I don’t have one). There honestly was no real reason why I skipped the sketching step other than pure laziness.
It took me about maybe two 3 hour sessions to get it to this point. This might be the first of a few mermaid ideas I’ll work on, but probably the only digital piece. We’ll see though! It turned out better than I expected so I thought I should share it. I also think it’s worth noting that it even though my entry to the contest might not win, it felt really great to be productive and complete something – even if it wasn’t serious!
In Your Hand, acrylic on canvas board. 2012
This is the result of the what I made at my friend’s trunk show! It was an idea that came to my mind and I made it especially for the event. The painting was a raffle prize to a lucky attendee, and he was so happy to get it! It was a great feeling to see someone so excited to receive one of my paintings – a piece of me!
I’m still in a place where I’m inspired by flowers and attaching symbolism to that motif. Essentially the inspiration for this painting was inner beauty and self-awareness. I didn’t exactly realize it though when I had the idea though. The painting basically formed from the idea of merging blood veins with a flower stem, I liked the way that looked in my head. When I thought about that idea a little further it went to the concept of input/output, blood feeding a flower and the flower could have different outcomes. Maybe lifeless, just budding, closed/asleep, or open and beautiful. Then from there I had to consider where I wanted to take that. What was my input? What would my flower look like? I chose a lotus flower this time, which is becoming one of my new favorite flowers. Then chose a dark night sky with light emanating from the hand and flower. I like the idea of a bright, open flower in the dark. Under the stars, which I was trying to use to communicate the concept of something beyond ourselves and our worlds – for some that could mean God, or just the universe…something vast and ethereal. Then the flower in the hand in the foreground would be something like, staking a claim within all of that. That’s what it ended up meaning to me anyway, maybe it affects you differently. Maybe it’s just a pretty picture in the end?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Tonight at Tabaq Bistro in DC I’ll be doing a live painting for my good friend Tynise Nicole‘s trunk show! Stop by to meet us, shop the latest items from her amazing jewelry collection, and enjoy some refreshments and good company. Pictures will be posted soon, but I also hope to see you there!
I have a few days off this week, but the work doesn’t stop.
I spent most of the day working on this study for a larger painting that I want to do. I thought that I would practice the technique I learned in a painting class I took in the spring, where you set up the painting by over-exaggerating the colors in light and shadow and then paint your way out of it. The instructor called it a color study. I think the whole point is for me to achieve colors that look like actual skintones by the end of the painting, but so far when I’ve tried the technique I keep ending up with these rainbow tones. Doesn’t look bad though! But for the big one, I think I’m going to try to push the colors a bit further so I’ll end up with some colors that look a little less saturated and more like some skintones.
Here’s the progression:
I feel pretty good about this study. I was nervous about overworking it, so I just came to a safe stopping point and took note of areas that I thought were too red, too light, etc. This will be a good reference for when I go to make the official version!
Continued to lay down colors where I thought I was seeing them in the photo. I had to do some of my own modifications to maintain some dimension and visual interest to the form.
I exaggerated the color of the light and shadow areas, this helps to bring some luminescence to the painting. Sometimes this is the scary part!
Used a mixture of burnt sienna, black, and white diluted with turpenoid to lay out a relatively flat oil sketch. Decided to omit the hand for this small version. I don’t know why I did all those random values and details, they were just going to get covered up. lol
This was a picture I took with the camera on my phone (forgive me) one night when I was up really late and bored. Later I thought that it would be cool for a painting. I took it into photoshop and adjusted the image to improve the color information.
Anyone try this particular color study technique before? Feel free to leave feedback!
So here it is, after a few more tweaks and observations from Day 4 this is the final result of the figure study I did at the summer workshop I attended at Studio Incamminati:
Not too bad, considering how much I thought I was struggling with it. I definitely see where I can improve, but I’m not beating myself up as bad as I was earlier in the week. It was a great learning experience and I’m pretty happy that I took the time to attend this workshop. It wasn’t easy, I’ll say that! I’ve come away with a lot good feedback from the instructors and I trust their insight. Another big thing that seemed to be reinforced to me throughout this experience is that one just has to keep painting often, it has to be a part of the routine in some way. It’s really the only way to get better. I’m going to keep that in mind, and try my best to keep pushing myself as well as continue to encourage others!
Thanks for hanging in there with me, hopefully in the coming weeks you will get to see more products of this recent burst of productivity and motivation. Can’t wait!