Sunday, June 26, 2011

Productive Weekend

With two finished canvases this weekend has proved to be very productive.  I also delivered both works up to the Lanning Gallery in Sedona.  Thursday Afternoon top was the first started, but the last to be completed and Voices (bottom) was the last started and the first completed. It's funny how it works sometimes.  A bit of it was that Voices was a very all consuming painting that demanded my undivided attention.  It doesn't always work that way.

It was a nice trip up to Sedona. It's not as hot up there as it is down in Phoenix, so it was a nice break.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dancing through swords

It's been a rough week and it's reminded me of that tarot card where the figure is dancing with swords.  Back in college I painted a self portrait of myself blindfolded carefully weaving through suspended swords.  I of course was unaware of the tarot cards depicting swords.  It was just something that popped into my head upon waking in the middle of the night.

The studio has really come together.  Starting last Sunday with the purchase of a new easel, I have now mounted that easel and another to the wall and this was all followed my a reorganization of the studio as a whole.  Tonight I ran to Ikea and purchased runners to place beneath my easels to catch my paint splatter and drips.  The floor tarps were just collecting too much dust and looked bad after a while. What is nice about Ikea is you can get nice design without paying much.  You can also re-appropriate their products into other uses.

Work has continued on Voices.  I'm finally starting to feel satisfied with the central figure.  He has been a tough cookie to get just right. I thought I was going to put some color into him, but it just didn't feel right.  I'm getting close to being finished with this piece and then my focus will return back to Thursday Afternoon.  I should receive word on the color choice from the client in regards to the third bridge work.  My hope is to complete these two small works and start two others that I can dabble on while completing the commission.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

To Darn Hot Cont.

Voices is starting to get a little more finish to it.  Tomorrow morning I will be working with the central figure and working out to the other areas refining them more.  I will most likely complete Voices tomorrow, but I haven't worked much on Thursday Afternoon.  My delivery to the gallery will have to wait until next weekend. I admit my anxiousness to get these completed it out of the desire to have a bit of a road trip again.

I made myself a little heat sick today.  Working in the studio this evening I felt cold with the fan blowing on me with the temp. at 93 degrees.  I good indication that I pushed it a little too hard.

Too Darn Hot

Can't help but whine a little about the heat.  It's a nice 107 degrees in the studio today.  I took off and ran some errands when it hit 104 a little before lunch.  I'm pricing portable AC's since the portable evaporative cooler doesn't do much, but extend the studio's usage a little.  My main strategy is actually to toughen up and  make my body just get used to the heat. I started painting around 6am this morning when it was nice and cool.

Voices is going really well.  It's painting up like it's just been churning within me to get out.  I'm doing the hustle to get two new works up to the gallery tomorrow if at all possible.  I'm going to rest this afternoon and work late tonight.  I'm just so happy working in the studio.  Now that I'm getting into the rhythm producing work in there. Things are just happening with ease.  Ideas are just pouring into my skull and the outside of the sweat dripping into my eyes I can't think of a time I've been happier.  I guess the sweat is a small price to pay.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Started a new painting this week called Other Voices or Voices.  I haven't decided. The main figure seems to be walking nervously down the street looking around.  It's almost as if he has agoraphobia.  I was just sitting analyzing the piece and the two possible titles popped in my head.  It's nice when I don't have to sit around and struggle to come up with a title.

This week has been a week of updating.  I increased the RAM on my Mac and went ahead and upgraded from Tiger to Snow Leopard tonight.  It went really well without a hitch.  Apparently it's best to do a hard drive wipe before upgrading, but I hadn't received my new backup external hard drive, so I decided to manually back things up and just do the easy install.  I didn't want to chance loosing any of my art, source photos or music.  I'll do the hard drive wipe for speed at a latter date.

Updating your computer can be very nerve wracking, but I have to admit I apparently made a bigger deal about it than I should have.  I'm just used to updating Microsoft's operating system.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Work on Thursday Afternoon Continues

Work on Thursday Afternoon Continues.  I'm home sick with a touch of the stomach flu, so I've spent the morning just hanging out in the studio looking at my paintings and figuring out the next course of action.  I thought it would be good to document the progress of Sunday Morning and Evening.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Rush

I guess there's no need to rush things.  Thursday Afternoon is taking me down a new avenue that I haven't been.  I'm sure I could power through the painting, but to what end?  I'm going to just enjoy the ride.  I'll still head up to Sedona to drop the color sketches I'm working on, since I could use some time outside of Phoenix to clear my head. There's so much going on in my life it's been hard to not go a little stir crazy.  I've been just working and not letting the grass grow beneath my feet.  I could use some thinking time and I think best flying down the freeway going somewhere. Most of my vacations involve serious driving. Last year we drove all the way up to Portland Oregon and back down.  It was a blast, so we're going to do it again this year.

As soon as my left wrist heals from that bike accident a month ago I'm going to grab my mountain bike and go up north for a day.

The buildings are becoming more muted and played down.  In some cases I've simplified things down to no more than a blurry outline with only vague descriptive details.  It's a new approach I thought about two weeks ago that I'm just getting around to trying.  I really like the technique and it has a really nice aesthetic.

Thursday Afternoon on a Saturday Morning

Work continues on Thursday Afternoon.  I've been up since about 5:30 this morning working on the piece.  My hope is to have it completed for tomorrow's trip up to the gallery.  I'm going to be working on a third canvas for the commission and will be taking up a few color sketches on canvas to nail down the color scheme with the client.

I really like the color scheme that Thursday Afternoon is developing.  It's a little different.  I've mixed up a big batch of the base color, so that I can use it on two more figurative works in the same vein.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Days Past

I finished Days Past this morning shortly after the morning ritual of watering my bonsai  and my other plants.  The jump back and forth in temperature caused half of my bonsai's leaves to die off.  There are now a bunch of new leaves sprouting, but there are now some barren branches.  I guess in the future that will just give the little tree character.

I really like this piece with it's stormy sky.  Painting these two works of Portland's Bridges has me dreaming of Portland Oregon.  Being a desert rat who has grown up underneath sun bleached cloudless blue skies with heat waves radiating not only off the roadways, but the desert floor itself.  I find the grey moist clouds of Oregon and Washington so refreshing. I think that is why in my paintings I always paint weather filled skies rather than the typical blue skies everyone else seems to paint. Whenever it rains I run outside and stand with my eyes closed and my face turned up to the sky.  I love the rain. Whenever it rains while I'm at work I always wish I were in my studio painting with my doors flung open listening to the rain batter the roof. I admit partly because the humidity makes my acrylic paints mix beautifully and they don't require all the extenders to retard their drying. I give painting lessons to my friends up in Portland and sometimes find I have to work on multiple canvases due to the drying time in comparison to Arizona.

For me there's nothing more depressing than a sun bleached cloudless sky on a 110 degree day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Strange Days

Strange days really.  The weather has been kind to me.  It looks like it's going to be a mild June, which will help me paint out in the studio tremendously.  

Things that will be happening this summer and fall.  I will be launching a Cafe Press store that will sell print work by me.  Not lithographs of prints of the paintings, but actual print works with the same subject matter via t-shirts and poster prints.  Next I will be self-publishing a book of my works and a few books of my Mom's poems - illustrated with my works.  She made me promise to get her work published before she died and it's a promise I haven't followed through on.  Now that I know how to make it happen I will. But, wait there's more, but you'll have to wait to find out.

Also, I've just started a new piece 24x36 called Thursday Afternoon. It feels really strange to work on something so small after two months of pouring hours into two 50 x 70 inch paintings.