the blur between

enjoy.

Tag: abstract

STRUGGLE

Alrighty, new piece. A true mixed bag of ideas and mediums, which honestly is something i was trying to get away from as my ideas tend to go in a direction away from those with disposable incomes… alas, it’s hard to get away from who you are. Let’s take a moment and reflect on the wisdom of my words.

So as i mentioned on the last post, i’ve been trying to pursue my fine art in much the way i pursue my commercial work. Which is, i want to create pieces that people actually want to purchase without sacrificing my own style to get there. Am i selling out? Hell yes. Through my own observations, this meant creating pieces where the meaning was not quite so abstract, something more broad. Or even without meaning, something just pretty. Pretty is good right? What could be wrong with pretty? Point is, i find that most art buyers aren’t so interested in big ideas as much as they are work that just looks dope in their living rooms or kitchens. And i’m okay with that as long as i can inject the work with something that makes it uniquely mine. And it should be noted that i’m not knocking this art-buying mindset. I have a similar mindset when it comes to music – i just want something i can get down to, i don’t want to decipher the lyrics or learn about the bass player’s political interests.

However… that approach to making art… well, turns out it’s not easy.

So this piece, it’s not that. This piece is for those that want to ponder my choices for all eternity. For those that need to see something new every time they look at it. For those that want a conversation starter as much as they want to tie the room together. My people. Bask:

struggle_painting

There are ideas in this thing that go from nautical to criminal, i’d rather not go into the specifics. Why spoil it? Here are some detail shots that are closer to actual size, ’round 80%. The painting is 48 X36 inches. Enjoy:

struggle_detail3 struggle_detail1 struggle_detail2So this badboy will be on display at the next gallery crawl, still a month away, where i’ll also be selling copies of my book.

Hopefully i’ll see some of you fine folks there. Until then… thanks for reading.

RESTLESS

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.

DREGS

Been a bit of a gap since my last post. I’ve had a lot of freelance lately; logos and such. Once those are approved, i’ll post them so this blog will be more than just my flights of fancy, but actual commissioned work. Commissioned means money and money is the one thing that keeps me from my studio – good for paying bills, bad for my soul. A worthy tradeoff maybe. There are mouths to feed. Alas, i do have a new painting to show. And hopefully by next week, I’ll have another – that one, if successful, may be the last painting in this show i’ve been preparing for. We’ll see… in the meantime, this one is called DREGS.

dregs

You may remember this piece from a couple months back.

detainment

It shares the same concept and process. To simplify: a world of rich color (a metaphor for something i’m sure) interrupted by the mundane options or choices of reality. Hmm, i’m seeing a parallel now between this and my opening paragraph. Moving on…

The success of DREGS  – maybe “success” is the wrong word – the completion of DREGS is a bit of a surprise. I mean, that it was completed so easily. I’ve worked with the process of doing a figurative piece on top of an abstract before but normally, the abstract part is a bit hard to contain or control… happy-educated-accidents at best – but with this one, i was going to literally cut into the abstract part with the figurative part and i was certain that wasn’t going to go smoothly. Alas, it kinda did.

I used this goop designed to work as a cracking agent when combined with another goop. Only i didn’t use the second goop. Nor did i want cracks. I just used it as a liquid to flood all my colors on top of. This was sort of a spontaneous thing as i looked around my studio for things to add to the color palette. It dried slowly with a plasticine quality. Hopefully it won’t discolor over time as resins sometimes do. Actually, resin is what i would normally use for an idea like this but now i think that not using resin is why it worked. Once i lifted the stencil where the figure would eventually be, i was sure all the paint was going to flood in – it didn’t – had i used resin, being considerably heavier, it probably would have.

dregs_close

I work within the theme of innocence vs. angst – i always have – it wasn’t an intentional thing initially, it’s still not, but i see it in my pieces all the time. This piece has that in more of an abstract way – the innocence being the display of color on the right. It’s like when the wizard of oz changes from black and white – only with this piece, dorothy is still monotone even though her world is not. Like she’s aware its’ just a dream and her awareness won’t let her fully appreciate or cooperate within it. Sorry, got all philosophical there. Here’s a close shot of all that color followed by a side shot.

dregs_color dregs_side

Next week i’ll be sharing a piece that i’m doing on plexi glass – a first for me – it may be a fantastic disaster… stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

The Fire

I put my painting entitled “The Fire” up on Society 6 – you can find it here.

It shows a vastly better photo of it than I showed here on my blog a couple months back (which you can read about here if so inclined). Thanks to Brad Arender for the pic.

That’s all i got. Next week I’ll post some shots of some street work I’ve done recently.