RESTLESS

by jbyron

Okay, new painting. Yay that. I’m back in the studio for a bit, not sure how long this time though. Making art, as crucial as it is for my sanity, is a money and time eater. Two things i don’t have. Alas, since i’ve been painting again, i’ve completed two and sold one so not too shabby i guess. As i get older, my ceiling for the perception of success gets increasingly lower. Anyway, the one you’re about to see is the one I sold; I’ll post the other one in a few days.

My cycle of creative pursuits is nearly always the same. I work in the studio for a few months, creating a solid body of work with a similar theme. Then I have a show and try to sell the work before leaving the studio to pursue something else – for example, last time, that “something else,” was my book which you can purchase or read about in the posts below this one. Working this way allows me to reset my brain, creating chapter breaks within my fine-art production – these breaks allow for me to come back to the studio with a new set of ideas so my work stays fresh and i don’t get bored. I mention this because for the first time in several years, this break method didn’t work. I came back to the studio with several ideas but no real direction. I wanted to try to create a body of work that would appeal to the art-buyers of the world without compromising my own style and interests. Finding that blurry line has been easier said than done. The first piece I did, the one you’re about to see, was a success. The imagery had enough of me in it that i was happy to sign my name to it while the subject was broad enough that i felt it would sell easily. However, i’ve found that line is not an easy one to walk while simultaneously keeping my interest.

Yesterday was an event here in my hometown called Blend of the Bayou – a nice little gig with food and drink and general merriment where local artists try to sell their digs to a crowd of mostly well-to-do types. Fine by me. In fact, this event is what sparked me to get back in the studio and what put me on the path to try to create some crowd-pleasers that still maintained my personal style. I intended to have more than one finished for the event, but as i mentioned above, walking that line wasn’t easy. The second piece i finished has a lot more of me in it – not entirely on purpose – which took it out of the running for Blend of the Bayou. And i don’t mean to segregate or stereotype, this is simply a case of knowing your audience. I’ll show the other piece at a gallery soon where a more diverse crowd will have a chance to see it. Moving on…

So, as usual – my backgrounds are semi-controlled, educated-accidents of chemical reactions and gravity. I work on the floor, not on an easel. I use my hands as much as i do brushes. And i use spray paint and wood stain in ways the manufacturers never intended. Also, i like using words in my paintings – always have, probably always will. Choosing the right word(s) isn’t always easy. But for this one, I was working with the idea of idle hands so the word “restless” just seemed like a natural fit. Plus it’s a word i just like – it defines me more than it should. Okay, before i turn this into a counseling session – here’s the background.

restless_bg

“REST” was done by scraping the wet yellows off, to show the dry oranges underneath, using stencils i cut out of old art-prints of mine that never sold. Was that the saddest thing you ever read? Two tears in a bucket. “Less” is straight-up orange spray paint (i know it doesn’t look orange in the photo but trust me). The top area, the blue, is made up of several things including chrome spray paint and even some oil paint. The darker spots are done by mixing in some wood stain. I’ve always liked the look of weathered textures – i’ve been perfecting this vibe for years – so background done. Time for the foreground, an illustration of hands that i originally planned to do in chalk but ended up doing in oil pastels. I’ve always loved drawing hands, mainly because it’s always been such a challenge. I did the following piece a few years ago:

gesticulibrary

You can get that badboy off society 6.

So, the hands – and the finished piece:

restless_painting

I’m happy with it. Hopefully the nice couple that bought it will find a good spot for it. It’s 36 X 48 inches for those interested. And speaking of society 6, if i can get a good quality photo of it, i may put it on there. I originally planned on doing several pieces with hands or other various body parts but i really only have one more planned to do, making it the shortest run of any themed work i’ve ever done. What can i say, i get… restless.

Until next time true-believers.

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