Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Wisp and a Flourish

Watercolor is really trendy. At least that's what my wife tells me. She says its in. I think that it is probably always kind of in. There is something to it, much like old Eastern brushwork pieces, that truly transcends an "other" from the individual painting. 

This week I got a new watercolor kit, thanks to my mom, still my biggest artist patron.  The set came with a number 6 brush which felt awfully large to me, but as I started to use it, I realized what a fine point it would hold and that by varying my pressures and angles I could start to get some of those "watercolor" strokes people talk about.   I mean those strokes that look completely like an accident, like you gave into the world in some sort of Buddhist awareness and just let your actions be. The strokes are surprisingly satisfying even if there is a certain level of awareness to making them. 

Here are my last two bugs which I was really able to let "be."

I also started a podcast where I begin to discuss the method behind making one of these bugs every week. It's really just giving voice to some of the inner monologue while you paint. You can catch that on my soundcloud:
Let me know what you think. 

Have a good Sunday, y'all. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Projects in the Mix

My world has become so full.  I am doing more design work and illustration than I've ever had before.  I have had at least three shows and a couple extra projects each year to work on and I now have a family to take care of and a son to raise.  I'm finally starting to feel okay with it.  This is it.  I'm living now.  Whatever that now is, I've got to live it.

I've been working on a watercolor of a bug every day this year.  Until about a week ago they were straight forward watercolors.  I've never used watercolor very much.  It was too unforgiving and I used a heavy hand.  I really just didn't have the patience.  Enter toddler.  I suddenly have so much more patience than I ever thought myself capable.  The watercolors have advanced though, and I knew that sooner or later I would find myself adding myself back into the project.  This past week I started adding some geometric elements into the pieces.  I really like them.  Here are a few of the best ones.

I have also started another small side project.  I've always collected a number of sketchbooks.  One of my favorit types is called Dept. de Poche.  I have a small square book that I've started making simple graphics of whatever imagery I'm into on a daily basis.  I've started thinking of them as Squares of Vitality.  I hope to fill the whole book with foundation pieces of my vitality.  Here's one of Mingus and some lettuce that is growing in my garden.

I hope this blogpost finds you well.  I'm wrestling with myself to get back into this space.  It used to be so good for me and I think that now more than ever it could be that outlet that I am not finding in other ways.


The Process Has Changed

It is easy to fall behind.  It is easy to feel as though you are not doing the things that you are supposed to be doing.  As creatives we have our studio practices, our own marketing through social media and snail media, pricing and selling, applications to shows, events, and jobs, and most of the time we also have a day job, families, and friends.  It is easy to fall behind.

I work a lot.  I work on lot on my brand and my work and I work especially hard to try to be the father and husband that I have hoped I could be for years.  This space has become next to dormant. There are several reasons; instagram, the lack of what seems a valid thing to say, and a shift in my daily necessities.  Before I had a family I could aimlessly work through my day, facing one challenge after another rather fluidly.  Now I live a more rigid life on a sometimes unforgiving schedule.  The fact remains that I still make the work.  I have just started posting it to instagram and I feel like I have less time to talk about it.  Then I think back to my older posts and realize that I never said much until graduate school came along and I determined that I couldn't write.  I determined that I couldn't write and then I started to try to write like everyone that I was forced to read in order to tread academic waters.

I teach now.  I would say that I do not speak this idiom, still.  One of the major reasons I have trouble posting here is that I expect too much out of what I write.  But don't people just want to see my paintings and sketches anyway?  I'm going to try to get myself back here with less expectation.  We'll see what happens.