Gummi Bear, Acrylic on Canvas Panel

finish

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.

Finished!

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!

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“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:

Jumped Ship

It’s been a long time since my last post, but I’m finally ready to start posting and sharing this year. Since this is my first entry of 2013 and it’s been so long since I last wrote, I thought I’d make this a more personal entry and take the time to get you caught up to speed with what’s going on with me. It’s ’bout to get real.

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I still miss my little friend. “Puddin” 05/1997-10/2012

The reason it’s been so long since my last entry was that I made a sudden decision back in November to move from the east coast to the west coast. With my cat passing away in October 2012, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, back to back trips around the country including a stop at Art Basel 2012 in December, and the exhausting tasks of preparing for a long-distance move, blogging was the last thing on my mind for the last few months. I had been wanting to make a move out west for a while and finally started saving up last year, but even when circumstances had cleared up for me to move I was still reluctant to pull the trigger for many reasons. Too many to get into in this post so you’ll have to ask me yourself! The increasing feelings of stagnancy, disappointment, and being uninspired became the main catalysts to making this move. So in mid-January I finally jumped that sinking ship and moved from the DC/MD/VA area to Reno, Nevada. Definitely wasn’t my first choice, I must admit! But basically I was able to make a job transfer so Reno was a compromise I had to make just to get the hell outta there at that point. Probably the most impulsive decision I made in a long time, but I was steadily feeling out of place where I was so this needed to happen. When it came down to it, I was more than ready to go. The move was low-risk but high-change and even though that plan wasn’t really what I envisioned, ultimately it was the right balance for me.

Here's a chunk of my life, didn't seem like a lot once it all arrived to the new place.

Here’s a chunk of my life, didn’t seem like a lot once it all arrived to the new place.

The first month or so was difficult! This is a new kind of isolation that I’m feeling. Continue reading

A New Piece!

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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!

Aniekan Udofia – The Villiage B-Boy

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Thanks to Twitter, I was able to hear about a solo show by an old college friend of mine, Aniekan Udofia. Filled with excitement, I HAD to make sure that I left work early to go catch him for the evening of his artist talk at the Lamont Bishop Gallery in DC 2 weeks ago. His show is titled “The Village B-Boy” and features several works of art inspired by the impact that hip hop music had in his life and on those around him while growing up in Nigeria.

I’ve always known Aniekan was an amazing artist, and as a passionate and motivated individual. I’ve seen some of his illustrations in popular hip hop magazines here and there over the years, so to see his work hanging in a solo snow was truly a treat! He said that with this body of work, he wanted to touch on something that hit closer to home. The overall response from the crowd was overwhelming positive. Aniekan’s pieces in the Villiage B-Boy show were mostly acrylic paintings, with many incorporating graphite, and spray paint into the work. He exhibited his dynamic skills with figures, each one so unique and conveying a piece of the story he tells about his early experiences with hip hop. The way he can compose a piece through rhythm and color is as lyrical as the songs from which he pulled inspiration. Ranging from smaller digestible canvases, to larger-scaled dramatic pieces, Aniekan evokes a world so vastly different from the streets where hip hop was born but he reaffirms the timeless message of how music is a language that we can all speak. It’s a connection that can span nations and eras of time.

If you haven’t made weekend plans yet, this should be a part of your itinerary. You definitely won’t be disappointed. On Friday (tomorrow) the Lamont Bishop Gallery will be hosting a closing reception from 6-8pm for Aniekan’s show. The final day of the art show is this Saturday March 3rd. So since this is the closing week, make it count and show your support for a rising DC-based artist!

To see more of Aniekan Udofia check out his Facebook page!

For more information about the Lamont Bishop Gallery:
LBG’s Facebook page
LBG on Twitter – @Lamont_Bishop
Located at 1314 9th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

And don’t forget you can holler at ME on twitter – @purplpaintbrush, and on Facebook!

Artists in Black History: Sam Gilliam

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

Sam Gilliam (b. 1933 – ) is one of the most important artists to know in the genres of Color Field painting and Abstract Expressionism. Associated with the Washington Color School, one of his biggest contributions was being the first … Continue reading