It has been an exciting summer at my studio, which has taken its toll on my artwork. I got married, did some traveling, enjoyed the small window of warm weather that Boston offers and now, I am refreshed, ready to hit the ground running in the lead up to Fall. With that in mind, its time for a summertime wrap-up post.

First things first, crucial thanks to a few people that helped make the wedding great. Nathan Fried-Lipski took amazing photographs of the event. Not only did he risk life and limb by laying down in the middle of Atlantic Ave (a very busy three lane road for those of you not familiar with Boston) to get the shot he wanted, he also went above and beyond the call of duty by helping keep Margaux sane and happy during the days stressful moments. I can not recommend him enough, everyone should head straight to his blog to take a look at a few photos from the day, and then go ahead and like his page on Facebook. Seriously, he is a great guy and a talented photographer.

Next up, Eli at Alabaster and Chess. He does custom tailored suits for a good price and had me looking better than I probably ever will again. Beyond that, he was also just a really great guy and super easy to do business with, which counts for a lot in my book.

If you want to live vicariously, you can check out some photos from my travels by following me on Instagram.

Okay. On to some art related news. I know I have been talking a lot about the Street Diamonds show but, that’s because it is good. Silva Naci pulled together a nice mix of artists and it really is worth seeing. You’ve already missed the closing party but there is still time to see the show. It will be up through September 7th so, head out to Fourth Wall Project and have a look.

Speaking of the Just Platinum Rings and Street Diamonds closing party, I am told ALLDAYEVERYDAY was there shooting video for an upcoming Cheryl Dunn documentary. It should come as no surprise that I happily ride the coattails of those above me so, I am interested to see what they do with the video they took Saturday night. Keep your eyes open for that and, maybe I will be in the background of some shots, lurking awkwardly behind people, trying to gauge their interest in my paintings.

On to some paintings. I have done a little editing on this piece and plan on dropping it off at Sloane Merrill Gallery tomorrow (there is a good change that a couple new pieces will follow closely behind). I really loved the idea of consistent using four panels for this entire series of paintings but, I have just never thought it worked right for this particular piece. So I have dropped one. It is now a triptych and, since Sloane Merrill is interested in selling paintings, they have convinced me to allow them to split up the series. I still hope to keep all three together but, if you have had your heart set on a single panel from this painting (I know there are some of you out there), this is your chance. Head over to the gallery before I change my mind…

And finally, here is a quick update on my latest, large scale, piece. I lost my way a little bit with this one but, the solution has finally come to me. There will be some moderate editing done on this piece—don’t get used to her red hair—but, it is still turning out to be a pretty good looking painting. Stay tuned for the completed image and, enjoy the final days of summer.

casey_progress_8-26-2013

When a new challenge catches my interest, I tend to get engulfed in it fairly quickly. Things will start out as a small side project but, before I know it, all other tasks are put on hold while I spend too much time analyzing every aspect of my new distraction. Looking at the paintings I have made in the last year or two, this pattern becomes plainly apparent. I started out making fairly loose, quick paintings playing with simple ideas. Before too long, the brush strokes started to shrink and those lose fluid strokes became the smaller and more detailed, almost pixelated patterns of my current pieces. I just couldn’t help myself, I got sucked deeped and deeped into the task of creating these pieces.

The same thing has been happening as I have had to approached promoting my shows and openings. Case in point, I have recently been tasked with organizing and promoting the annual Spring Open Studios event here in The Distillery. There is no reason this should be anything more than a simple job. But, I can’t seem to keep my mind off it. I have been talking to people about how they have approached similar events. I have been emailing blogs and newspapers trying to drum up publicity and, if I happen to succeed, I am obsessively tracking the response in traffic on the website. It has been an interesting task and, we will see this Sunday how I did. In the meantime, as an unexpected bonus of my attempts to promote Open Studios, I managed to land myself (my painting) on the cover of The Weekly Dig here in Boston. Which is a pretty fun perk.

Mirrors Eye View By Nick Ward On The Cover Of The Dig_7

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.

Jessica eyeliner portrait, painting in progress

And, next to a big painting for scale.

big painting small painting comparison

Next up will be a sunbather in similar scale so, for everyone who asked for smaller paintings, here is your chance.

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.

I just finished three new small-ish mixed media pieces.  I started out by sketching out a simple line drawing of the portrait, then scanned it in and used the sketch to create a halftone pattern for screen printing.  Then, printed the image on primed panels and went back into the image using my normal methods of painting.  Mixing the mechanical looking screen prints with some pixelated looking painting seemed like a good combination and, overall I am pretty happy with the results.  I am thinking about pushing this technique further by using more layers in the screen print but I need to mull the ideas over a little more before I make the leap.  In any case, would love to get some feedback on these pieces and, if you like them, head on over to Lot F where all three (one printed in red, one printed in blue, and one printed in black) are available for sale this month.

By the way, excuse the junky cell phone photo, sent the pieces out without getting a decent image… oops.

I recently sat down to talk with Carina Wine of Abstraks Magazine. After reading her profile of Adam O’day I knew I would be in good hands and the article did not disappoint. So head to abstraks.com or, click on the image below to go straight to issuu.com and read the feature (along with a great look at the Distillery Gallery) in the December 2011 issue of Abstraks.

If you want to read more, check out past interviews with Poets And Artists Magazine and with my friends from Papercut Fashion Magazine.

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.

It has been a while since I have made any progress on this piece but with Open Studios coming up soon, I had some motivation to bring it back out and try to finish it off. I have made quite a bit of progress in the last week and look forward to seeing it completed. This painting is quickly becoming one of the best in the make-up series (although I am not sure anything will ever be able to replace my all time favorite). I did not even intend to shoot photos of Amanda when I got the reference for this piece (I was there to shoot her roommate) but I am glad she popped in and volunteered because those photos have led to some great paintings.

Just a quick update with three new paintings that I am currently working on. Also getting ready to start a third large sunbather painting and looking for a model for another large scale nude. 2011 off too a good start!

Recently I had my friends from Papercut Magazine over to the studio to shoot photos for their cover. The shoot was a lot of fun and we all got to talking about and fashion and this crazy city that we all live in.


Click on any image to view the full size version on Flickr.

When it was time for the next issue, it seems they did not forget the little people and they revisited me in Studio 11 at The Distillery to sit down and talk again. Read the interview in this months Papercut.