Say I Won’t

by jbyron

Hey kids. My studio life is not a constant thing. Due to my schedule, my life, my varied interests, i’m not always painting. In fact, sometimes i don’t even have a studio. When i’m not painting, i don’t rent the space. If I’m going to spend a year working on a book, as i did last year – then i don’t spend the money renting a space i know i won’t be using. Anyway, my point is, since getting back into the studio around April of this year, I haven’t really felt that thing. That thing that normally fuels my need for a creative outlet in the first place. Whatever that thing is. I’ve done 4 paintings since April and while i’ve liked them all, some more than others, i’ve yet to get into a groove this time. Each painting i’ve done looks nothing like the one that came before it. And while i’ve long accepted that i’m not a “series” artist, I’d still like it if my style would find some consistency. This new painting, which i think i finished last night, feels right. It was very experimental in how it came to be; while i had an endgame in mind, it took a lot of playing with controlled (happy) accidents to get me there. I enjoy painting the most when i’m not sure how to get to point B and i’m just throwing paint at the canvas… sometimes quite literally. I also like using a variety of mediums. If you’ve read this blog before, you may already know that i use wood stain a lot, mixed with my acrylics and spray paint. But lately, I’ve been using chalk, charcoal and pastels for my line work on top of the paint – which has been a success… i think. This painting has it all. And I’ve also been working bigger than i ever have before. This painting and my last one are both 4 feet, square. A fun size, although more fitting for museums than someone’s living room – which poses a problem when trying to sell the work… oh well. So here it is. It’s called “The ‘Say I Won’t’ Mask.”


Interestingly enough, while i finally feel like i may be hitting my stride – i’m about to attempt a series (I know) on local fire escapes. Don’t ask. Hopefully i’ll be posting those soon enough and you can see what i’m talking about. It will be a completely different direction. Because that’s what i do – i hit my stride only to change direction for no apparent reason. Artists. Am i right?

Anyhoo, about the painting. I hope you dig it. I dig it. I can see a lot of my influences in it from other artists like David Choe & Bask (2 artists worth looking up if you’re not familiar) as well as an overdue union of things i’ve been doing separately – like the use of text with a less controlled method of color application. There was a time when i hardly ever used brushes, everything was spray paint, while lately i rarely touch a can other than the stenciled letters and a few experiments under the surface. Here’s a detail:


A little blurry. Sorry. But gives you an idea of some of the little details within the piece. The above detail shot is probably around 80% from actual size. That’s Hot Stuff on her shoulder there. There’s also a Tex Avery inspired wolf in the upper left that you might could make out on the first photo. And there are a couple other things scattered about.

So that’s that. Not sure when i’ll post again. Starting on this fire escape thing next. I’ll hopefully be showing this painting at a gallery soon. Per usual, everything is for sale – if anyone’s interested, shouldn’t be that hard to track me down. Thanks for reading. – jbn