Gummi Bear, Acrylic on Canvas Panel


I just shipped this one off to its new owner this week! A birthday gift for my stepmom, who requested that I just paint whatever I wanted. The only guideline she gave was that she didn’t want any cool colors, just a warm color scheme. It took me a while to figure out something that moved me. Then one day while eating some delicious mango gummi bears, I had found my subject. It also gave me an opportunity to practice a new texture with acrylic paint (oil is normally my medium of choice). I took the time to take a few pictures at the different stages, to show what I did.

No gummi bears were harmed during the creative process.

The subject!

Stage 1

Started with an old, unused background that happened to match the color scheme my stepmom wanted. Used chalk to create a rough outline of the gummi bear, using simple angles. Then began applying transparent washes of a primary yellow+titanium white+cadmium orange mix to illustrate the areas of light.

Stage 2

Then I started to use transparent washes of Burnt Sienna+Cadmium Orange to block in the shadows. You can see that I started to shape the feet – I was trying to do that so I’d remember where to paint them later, but I was completely off!

Stage 3

Started to get more heavy handed at this stage, using thicker amounts of my yellow mix to build up the lighter areas. For the midtones I still used the yellow mix, but with a little less water than before and blended with the brown mix. I used the paint flatly on the surfaces facing up (face, belly, hands), and roughly blended the sides and the rounder areas. I messed up on the feet, so I had to keep repainting over the mistakes to help bring it back to something I felt good about.

Stage 4

For the details, I took a lot of liberties with simplifying. I didn’t think I needed to keep the “A” on its chest, and I didn’t care for the face so I went rouge with it. I added way more highlights than I saw, to help emphasize the juiciness and gelatin nature of the candy. I wasn’t too concerned about it being “perfect”, I just wanted it to look like a cute gummi bear! So the parts that looked uneven or more transparent didn’t hurt the overall look too much. I started feeling really close to finishing here.


Done! I took some diluted cadmium red light and applied it to some of the creases and rounded areas of the bear to help activate the painting with more color and help give the illusion of the bear showing through to the background. Added a few more highlights where I saw fit. Also tried to save the feet that I messed up! All in all, I’m happy with it. Looks like a mango gummi bear to me!


In the Lab

My art space in my apartment. Gradually moving from just a corner to almost half the living room, yikes!

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”

“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:

Art Basel 2012 Pictures!

Finally! I’ve posted pictures from my visit to Art Basel Miami back in December. Trying to get all caught up by sifting through some of my backlog here.

I was only able to attend one day of Art Basel, and it definitely wasn’t enough! For those that don’t know, Art Basel is the biggest art event in the US and is held annually in Miami, FL. People from all social classes from around the world, even celebrities, gather together in South Beach to participate in the week-long celebration of art and creativity. If I ever go back again, I’ll be sure to try to stay a lot longer than just a couple of days, there’s way too much to see and experience out there! Here’s a taste of some of the things that I saw:

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For the full album, check it out on Purple Paintbrush’s Facebook page – Let me know what your favorite pieces are!

A New Piece!


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!

Figure Painting Workshop Pictures – Day 5

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!

Figure Painting Workshop Pictures – Day 4

Day 3 was a really tough one for me and the beginning of Day 4 was no different! I was struuuuuggling! But, fortunately I was able to get some help and attention from the instructors and I started to feel a little bit better about what I was doing. Honestly, I’m still not completely happy with this study but I DO think that I’m in a better spot than yesterday. Check out the pics: