31 July 2010

Paint the County

From CountyLive:
"Close to 20 artists...set up their easels to “Paint The County” Saturday, July 31st in an inaugural event initiated by Arts on Main and sponsored by Black Prince Winery and the Prince Edward County Arts Council. All artists will be easily recognized as they paint in various locations wearing Paint the County T-shirt. All the artwork...will be at Black Prince Winery for a silent auction which ends on Aug. 1st at 4 pm.  All proceeds from the artwork, as well as $2 from all wine sold during the two days will go to the PEC Alternatives for Women."

A couple of weeks ago, the participating artists got together at the Black Prince to have our locations randomly selected. I got the Edward building and had a great time painting there from 10-4.

My setup in front of The Edward.

We didn't necessarily have to paint what we were assigned to; we could paint anything we wanted to and bring prepped pieces. I had started a new series of five birdies (the same ones in Big Birdies 2, but single ones and from different angles) and had only gotten to the orange acrylic underpainting phase, so I picked one and brought it. Below is the progression of BB Mono 2 over the six hours I was out there:








And the final painting:
BB Mono 2
18" x 14", oil on canvas, 2010, private collection


UPDATE (3/08/10):
Paint the County raised over $5,000 for Alternatives for Women. 44 of the 52 pieces of art donated for the cause were sold (including my little birdy above).


29 July 2010

Something About the Garden

Seven of my little bird paintings (oil on canvas) 
are part of a nice group show called 
"Something About the Garden
that opens tonight at The Academy Gallery in Bath:
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To get to the gallery, we took a nice ride on the Glenora Ferry:
Me and my Indian cousin, Amitesh Verma.
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The Academy Gallery is a renovated school
dating back to 1811.
My birds looked very nice in the space:
Artist in a montage of his paintings in situ.
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Nice view of the gardens:
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Even the bathroom was nice:

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We went to a chip truck afterwards for a nice treat:

Krista and Amitesh satisfy their munchies.
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The return ferry ride was particularly very nice:
Milé satisfies his munchies.
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We stopped by Lake on the Mountain
to catch the nice sunset:

22 July 2010

Without List 2

10" x 22.5", watercolour, 2000

More listlessness.
I kinda like that word: listlessness. All those hissing esses.

The model for this was Kim, our amazingly professional Assistant Director on Prime Business (a business news show). I painted this one some time (but I don't remember how long) after the first Without List, and as I said in that post, I still have several other photos of models sitting in chairs quite listlessly. Maybe I'll continue and make it a proper "series" one day. She also appears in CS (hotel) and CS (zulu).

The chair she was sitting in was already black, but I wanted to further draw attention to Kim and the emotion, so I made the background very dark as well.

Also, this is another watercolour I'm considering "translating" into an oil --that is, using the same photo ref and doing a larger oil painting from it, like I did with Fuel and Unravel Me.

UPDATE: that larger oil painting is The Fiercest Calm.




15 July 2010

Without List

15" x 22", watercolour, 2000, private collection


For this painting, I shot Aisha in the alley behind the building where we both worked (on a show called Prime Business (that lasted two years (1999-2001) before it was cancelled)).

I liked the graffiti and the different textures of brick all in the same place. I briefly considered incorporating my signature into the graffiti, but that might've been too obvious, huge, and dumb.
I used white ink for the tiny highlights on the wall and on her lips.

I made another painting with the same title (featuring another co-worker on the same show) sitting in a chair, listless. These were days when I was feeling quite listless (even though I was painting a lot) and I have photos of at least two other models I've shot in similar poses, waiting to be painted. Nowadays, my lists are endless, but the feelings of the past aren't forgotten and often need to be addressed.

08 July 2010

Rush and Tea

22" x 22", watercolour, 2001

The impetus behind this painting was a packet of Russian Tea a friend gave me some time before I painted this. Both reference photos were shot back in the '90s (the traffic shot is in Chicago underneath an elevated train track from my trip there in 1995).

Clever juxtaposition? Cheesy pun? You decide.


This is one of the early sketches in which I'm trying to figure out a good configuration for the separate images. This unmistakably reads as "rush and tea" vertically, but I think the inclusion of Sue's face makes the final painting more friendly and personal, especially since she's looking right at you.

01 July 2010

The Fuel Saga

Fuel 336" x 24", oil on canvas, 2010, private collection

Here's the last iteration of what's now become the "Fuel Saga". I originally painted this in watercolours (from my own photo reference) as
Fuel back in 1998. Then, in 2007, I was doing large abstract oil versions of my existing watercolours and Fuel became Having the Last Laugh. Then in 2009 I revisted my photo ref and did an oil version of it as Fuel 2, which sold during the Big Splash grand opening party of our Small Pond Arts.
Sketch based on my photo ref.

Now, I deliberately left the background of the watercolour Fuel blank white for the contrast, but the oil version got a deep red background because I liked the way red complimented and vibrated against the same model's green sweater in
mad. I painted Fuel 2 the same time I painted another oil translation of an earlier watercolour, Unravel Me 2, and gave them both the very same deep red background.

I submitted Fuel 2 as a sample piece in my application to the
Artevino show and it was in all of their promotional materials and it started getting a lot of attention, so when the painting sold, I felt I needed to still include it in the show somehow, so I repainted it using the same original 12-year-old reference photo. Viewed side by side, you can clearly see the differences (they were painted more than a year apart, too):
Clockwise from bottom left: Fuel, Fuel 2,
Fuel 3, Having the Last Laugh



Fuel 3 at an early stage

The orange is the acrylic underpainting over top the pencil lines. The light blue (oil) is an error in judgement and I shouldn't have put a light colour where a dark colour will eventually go (not a rule, per sé, but it looks better the other way 'round). The purple at the bottom is also acrylic and also an error (but this time, more of a moot point since it would become dark on dark with no real advantage of the purple). The squiggles in oil are yellow ochre, olive green, and cadmium red dark, and were squeezed out of the tubes like that so I could blend them directly on the canvas. The background became more intense, but not as interesting, as Fuel 2.