Monday, December 14, 2009

Introverted Soundtrack

With last night's post I touched upon how I integrate sketches and photos, which of course is easier to show visually than just verbally explain. Here's a screen shot. A new composition is naturally occurring, because once photo references are added into their place other photos live within the same folder and spur recomposition and ideas for other compositions. It's all very organic and intuitive in a strange way for me. I guess after years of working with Photoshop and working as a graphic designer it's just second nature to use the Adobe suite to do art.

The interesting thing is the more I use my design tools to do art the more it becomes part of my process to do so and the richer my visual vocabulary grows.

"It's simply a matter of using the technology as it becomes available", Roger Waters. I honestly believe that if Caravaggio or Andy Warhol had the Adobe Suite available to them they would have used it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lots of eggs and lots of baskets

It's been super busy in the studio lately. I've been painting, sketching, designing silkscreens and burning them and lastly making prints. Above for starters is my studio table newly cleaned and reorganized (enjoy it while you can). I had to clear everything off to burn the What you need is just right behind you screen. Ironically, before the next batch of screens I came up with a more permanent place to burn screens. Next are the sketches for the next two really large canvases. I love sketching although I have to admit I have been relying on photos a lot lately. I like doing both. The sketch is the guide post for the composition and piecing several photos together to add to the details of clothing and realism; it just creates a wonderful painting in my mind. There are other times when the photo collages come first and then the painting diverges from that.

I recently purchased Inside the Painter's Studio by Joe Fig mainly to see how other artists organize and design their studios considering that I'm in the process of doing so. Joe Fig has a list of questions that touch upon the design of the studio, the artist's work habits, rationale for their work and advice for other artists. I'm amazed at how differently each painter works, but more amazed at the similarities. There are some things about me I just think are, well individual quarks and come to find out they're quarks shared by most of my artistic siblings as well. I was amazed at how many figurative painters share the same studio practice of using photo references as I do.

In regards to why I purchased the book. I figure if your remodeling your house you'd go out and buy books that showcase the style your into. I have those as well. I've settled on a barn structure so that I can have a high ceiling in the painting area and a sizable loft storage area above the printing, computer and music areas. It's going to be fantastic. I like the barn idea because it is - well a little Jackson Pollock. The nice thing about high ceilings is I can have indoor trees and lots of hanging plants. I am also in the process of rethinking my pallet table as a result of this book. For the time being though I'm sticking to using my huge flat file cabinet. I like throwing a drawer open to leaf through my various collage materials.

Above is the finished (I think) August Lied. I have chosen to put it to the side, because I'm at that dangerous point of over working it. I do feel the bottom with the figures is a bit rough, but as I went in to clean it up I started loosing the energy. Sometimes it is just better for a painter to leave a little bit of the work undone - just like it is for a writer to leave something unsaid.

Now for the prints. APA 105 was really just a spur of the moment mixture of two different screen prints that just works. The first printing of What you need is just right behind you is much the same. When I designed them they were meant to be much more planned. First off the collage surface of the canvas didn't prove conducive to being printed on. I carefully reprinted on top of the first pull and not liking the results flipped the canvas and did another pull with the thought of painting over the previous pulls. I mixed in elements of APA 105 and started in with a brush to glaze and fix areas and it worked.

Now I understand why Andy Warhol and others broke into series of works using the same screens. There are endless combinations, possibilities here and sometimes the screw up is just as good if not better than what you intended to do in the beginning.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting ready for the weekend

Work continues and I'm looking forward to the weekend. The first week back from a holiday is always so long, but mainly I like my weekends for working late into the nights.

Up above is the transparency for the What you need silkscreen. I was originally going to ink it, but I found getting the type crisp was nearly impossible. I figure a certain crispness will get lost when burning the screen so there is no need to help it along. I'm finding that my purchase earlier this year of a laser printer is just paying dividends upon dividends concerning my work flow. The next buy will be a digital SLR or hybrid camera. My little Power Shot has been a faithful companion and has produced the majority of the photographic fodder for my work, but I would really like to be able to be a little bit further away from the crowds and zoom in to get more discreet shots. The improved focus and resolution would be a great help as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Going into print

This is a sketch for one of the works for an upcoming show in Tempe. For this show I'm converting many of my recent paintings into a silkscreen print form along with some screen works from the get go. It's been a bit of a challenge altering my paradigm as a painter and converting my vision into print for raw canvases and t-shirts. Ironically, it's been a driving force behind the experimentations on canvas over the last month. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What you need is right behind you...

Gather your thoughts is moving along nicely. The title of this post that was collaged into the painting was inspired by breakfast at the Two Hippies Breakfast Joint this morning. When I was handed my food the girl at the counter promptly told me "What you need is right behind you" in reference to forks, knives, napkins and like. Don't know why, but the statement struck a chord. I just started thinking about how many times the answers to our life's big questions or solutions to our problems are in our past. Maybe we just have to remember back to how we handled things whether the results were good or bad when plotting our next move. In short the key to our future is in our own past.

I then started getting more philosophical about things, but I'll save that for another date.