Just a quick post to show an update on this portrait before the weekend.

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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:

Still trying to find the right title for this painting but, except for putting a final coat of blue on the background (to make it flat and even) and a few other finishing touches, I am calling it done. I plan on sending this one over to Lot F next week so, come on out to the opening on Friday the 3rd and check it out in person.

I have done a bunch of work on this piece since the last time I posted it. Still searching for a fitting title for this piece and I will need to refine the dark areas a bit more before it starts to look really good but, it is shaping up to be one of my best pieces yet (do I always say that?).

Here is a closer look at all the colors and details that are making up the skin tones and textures, you can see the areas that are more finished, and the areas that still need to be mellowed out with the final skin tones:

Really tried to pack as much as possible into the flesh (as usual) without going overboard. With this one nearing completion, I have set it aside temporarily to start a new diptych which will include a male face (finally). I had the models over to the studio for the first time a couple of weeks ago and the two panels are off too a good start. Should have the first preview of the progress on that piece posted later this week. I also have another screen print/oil paint, mixed media piece based on the same imagery in the works that should be ready in February. So, if you liked the last batch, start saving your pennies now because it will be another limited run, this time of 4 different colors/editions (CMYK).

Since my last piece, “Bored Nude” sold so quickly I decided to get back into the studio and start work on another sort of combination nude/portrait. I always enjoy pieces that sort of force you to make direct eye contact with the model while you invade these private moments so, I am keeping on the same path with this new painting. The image is similar to the ones I chose for the Kenji collaboration piece but, with a less harsh crop and a bit stranger of a viewpoint.

Decided to bring back some color into the background since the grey fall weather is moving in. It has been a slow start as I have been adjusting to working in the new studio but I think I have caught some momentum and should have a lot more progress to post soon.

Speaking of the Kenji collaboration piece, here is an up to date image, taken with an actual camera of that painting. I got the second panel from Kenji and I am pretty excited to get back to work on this one as well.

I am finally starting to feel at home in the new studio and the paint is starting to flow more easily again. Made a lot of progress on this painting. I originally started this to have a brand new painting for people to see at Open Studios but, as usual the painting just wants more time and attention so it will not quite be ready in time. In any case, here is the progress on this latest piece:

Speaking of Open Studios, I have decided to try out a Facebook deal for the event. Anyone who comes to Studio 405 to hang out for a while that check’s in at my artist page can take home a free art print. I will post some more details once I figure out exactly how it all works.

I have jumped back into my collaboration piece with Kenji with the intention of showing the first panel at the Distillery Gallery in South Boston this week in the “Make It Together” show. Here is the piece as it sits now, still painting away but, it’s starting to look pretty good:

So, come down to Southie this Thursday and enjoy a cold Narragansett and check it out (along with a lot of other cool collaboration pieces).

Click here to get details on the Distillery Gallery website or,
click here to check out the event on Facebook.

It feels like such a while since I have had a completed piece to finish. I have been trying to push these paintings further and pack more details into them and I am really happy with the results but, it has definitely made for longer time between updates.

Here is my latest piece which I think I will call, “Bored Nude” or something along those lines. I believe I have mentioned before that the image of this girl, sort of playfully giving me this bored – impatient look while I was fooling with the camera in the middle of the photo shoot really struck me. Just an unexpectedly great image hidden in the out takes.

These two pieces are getting so close to being finished. Just need to paint hair on them and refine some areas that need a bit more detail. Now back to work on the Portrait of Margaux.

I am sure that anyone reading this site will quickly realize that I like to play with text in my paintings. Fragments of stories or snippets of text litter my mind and always seem to find a way to fall onto my canvasses. So far I have always stuck with cutting stencils of a fairly run of the mill font (Garamond bold, for any design nerds following along), I tried to pick something that would not grab too much attention, an everyday typeface with just a little flair to keep it from falling to far into the background. The next painting will be different.

This time I am handing off the letter work to my friend (and Distillery neighbor) Kenji Nakayama. Kenji is a super talented stencil artist and, as luck would have it, he happens to have some serious skills when it comes to lettering and pinstriping. So, for this painting I started off by doing a fairly ghostly black and white underpainting, and then handed the panels off to Kenji. I have no idea what he will come up with but, I trust it will be great. Once he is done with it, he will hand it back to me and I will add the full color portrait right on top. Should turn out to be a pretty interesting painting.

Here is how the painting looks today, right before I dropped it off at Kenji’s studio (this is only one panel of the two, cropped to keep it rated G for facebook, click here to see the full painting).

It’s always scary to lose control of a painting in progress but, I am excited to see what comes back.