I like to make big paintings. I like to have plenty of room to work. I like to be able to include a lot of texture and chaos while still painting realistically. I like to incorporate the smallest of details without feeling cramped. Also, big paintings just look impressive on the wall. If you are reading this, those statements are probably not news to you. However, big paintings take a lot of time, money, and energy to create. Big paintings are expensive. Big paintings need to go places with big walls.
The most common thing people say to me when they see my paintings–more often than mentioning the nudity, more often than questioning the strange use of text or bright colors–is the paintings are just too big for their walls. Open studios weekend is coming up at The Distillery (June 2nd) and I expect to be told that my paintings are too large… a lot.
So, I am making a regular sized painting. Here it is after a couple afternoons of work.
And, next to a big painting for scale.
Next up will be a sunbather in similar scale so, for everyone who asked for smaller paintings, here is your chance.
I have had a lot going on, preparing for shows and traveling but have still managed to get a good amount done on this piece. I have been trying keep posting daily shots on my Tumblr page whenever work on it so, go have a look at how it has progressed. Here it is as it stands now after about 12 days of work.
Been posting daily progress shots of my current portrait in progress on tumblr:
I have taken a bit of a break on this one to finish up work for upcoming shows but, I will be back on it soon. I have big plans for this piece so, follow along and see it come to life.
I have been spending a lot of time in the studio lately, working on a few new paintings. One of which is this portrait of my lovely friend, Christina Watka.
Turns out that I am not the only one working on a portrait of her. Christina is a talented girl who does beautiful installations and Eric Gulliver captured the process behind a recent installation on video. The video focuses on her collaboration with musician Andrew Halchak for a show at Voltage last fall. Check it out.
Just a quick post to show an update on this portrait before the weekend.
Originally I was planning on waiting until this painting was completely finished to post and update but – plans change. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to CNN about working with my friends at TurningArt. Since it looks like a fair amount of people are tracking me down after seeing the clip, I thought that I should post an update on the progress of the piece I was working on when the segment was filmed.
Check out the video on CNN:
And then, see the painting in its current state.
I still have some work to do on this piece but, I am pretty happy with how it is progressing. Check back soon to see the final piece as well as an update on this collaborative portrait.
I jumped into this new painting fairly quickly without any real plan as to where I wanted to take it. The model came by and we ended up with this image that I loved so I just went for it. Unfortunately, I now find myself halfway through the piece with a lot of questions to answer – or maybe the painting will just take me where it wants to be? Not sure about the yellow, not sure about the way the paint is hitting the canvas but, I still love the overall composition. I guess that is always part of creating, getting lost, choosing a direction and just going for it. I feel like this piece just needs more… maybe someone will come by Open Studios this Sunday and give me some good advice.
I have been in the studio this week working on another collaborative piece. In many of my paintings I have experimented with text elements in different ways but this time, I decided to approach it from a different direction. Generally, I will search around for some segment of text (often times taken from the writings of the talented models) to hijack for the paintings. Words will get swapped, sentences will be moved around, meanings will be distorted and played with and a sort of word collage will happen that will then be layered over the painted image.
This time I handed control of the text over to someone else. It was just dumb luck really, I was sitting in the studio, struggling over the phrase to use in this painting and got a call from a friend of mine – he said, “Hey we have a lot of friends that are working on some amazing projects… why don’t we collaborate more?” Perfect timing. I sent Mitchel Heard (who happens to be, among other things, a songwriter and poet) the image for this portrait that night and asked him to come up with a phrase or two. I was pretty interested in how this little experiment would work out, two (possibly conflicting) interpretations of the same image coming together into one piece. Whether I liked what he came up with or not, it was going to be featured prominently in this painting – fortunately he nailed it.
I won’t reveal the text he came up with yet but, here is a shot of the painting in progress after the first few days or work:
The sun is shining, the paint is flying and it is a good day in the studio. I am pushing forward on this piece, trying to increase the range of sharp to softer areas to really make this composition do what I want.
Here is a quick image of the first of the new set of mixed media pieces. I am planning on making 4 of these in various colors with slightly different treatments of the paint. Sending this first one over to Lot F Gallery for the show opening this Friday. Check it out.