Playing With Mixed Media

Abstract paintings have been something that I have enjoyed doing, especially in the last few years. I particularly enjoy figurative abstract art. It produces a type of freedom to let go, as well as results in a more exciting piece to view. Having never been one to use mixed media, I have preferred getting the look I was striving for with the paint alone. But the other day, while waiting for something, I pulled up a photo of a painting I had done, and started to play around with the photo editor on my phone. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. So I decided to share them with you here.

This first piece, so far, is my personal favorite. It also happens to be one that I did, after finally deciding that this painting was as finished and refined as it was going to get. (More on that later.)

Isaiah At The Waterfall

Although the painting itself was not as spontaneous as when I incorporate the abstract elements as I paint, I do really like the outcome. And using a computer editor, gave me the chance to add to, or completely change how I wanted it to look, which was kind of fun. Below are other versions of this painting as unfinished, and unrefined, with and without embellishments. When I do a portrait of a specific person, it will go through many changes to get to where I feel it represents the person, and I am satisfied with it, as you can see from the photos of this portrait.

The painting itself went through a lot more changes after this to get to where I was good with it.

Some of these changes may appear very subtle but they make all of the difference in capturing the spirit and personality of the subject. There were a lot more stages, but I thought I’d move on to the fun part, goofing around with my phone!

Some of the tools on the app could be taken pretty far, such as this bit, where I went overboard with pixalating it. But I thought it was kind of interesting.

I threw in just a few pixels on this one, and thought the overall effect was cool. Also this was still not a “finalized version” of the painting itself.

The next three images were manipulated on the final version. And although sometimes never completely satisfied, I have to know when to say, “done.”

I hope you are all well and safe, and join me next time! (PS I know I had mentioned that I might go over some of the tools that I use, in this post. I still hope to do that in the future.)

Juneteenth 2020 In Otown

This is a short post to catch up a bit and let you know what I’ve been working on, and here it is!

I have been asked to showcase a recent painting I have done at a Juneteenth celebration event in my town. I awoke with the idea for this painting, and felt almost compelled to do it. To have someone feel that it should be included in such an important event, is exciting and flattering. I am very happy with how it came out. There are times when I paint that I get lost in the process, and it almost feels as if I am being guided, and this is how working on this piece felt. It’s an incredible experience.

Below I have included some of the steps to the completion of this piece.

It is my objective to show my process whenever I can, but sometimes getting caught up in actually creating a piece, I don’t always get a chance to take photos. I did manage to get these few taken. I’ll try to get a few more for the next one!

Care for one another, and stay safe. I hope you join me next time!

Born Out Of Time

Is daydreaming a prerequisite of being an artist? So many I have known, and including myself tend to have this trait to one degree or another. For myself it is a necessary requirement of the job, letting my mind wander, and rest, gives me a clearer vision of what I want to do. As well as takes me on impossible flights of fancy, (which may not always be a good thing, ) but it is essential.

One thing I’ve always daydreamed about is being part of, what feels like to me, some of the more important times and births of genres in the history of art; The Renaissance, the time of the Impressionist, the Abstract painters of the 20th century, (I only missed that one by a few decades), as well as the coming of age of comic art. To have been included in one of these circles of great minds and talents would have been an incredible experience.

The era that I’ve always felt most drawn to, almost as if I had been there, was the time of the Impressionists. What an exciting, brave romantic time of a burgeoning artistic genre and group of artists to have been part of!

It was bold, and difficult. They were mocked, and bullied by fellow artists. The official royal salon did not accept them. It was most likely when the terrible lable of “starving artist” came to be, and most certainly was true in many cases. Because they were creating a new, often maligned artistic style, it was a constant struggle. Often even amongst themselves, the impressionist artist couldn’t always agree about what was “acceptable ” and what was just “too far”.

Yet, with all of that, how exciting it must have been! They were rebels, outsiders, but passionately believed in what they were doing. They fought for their art, sometimes living in drafty, damp quarters, with little food, (hence the “starving artist sobriquet “). Often in between sales, or the help of patrons, they lacked art supplies, making what they could and reusing canvases to paint new works.

This may all sound pretty rough, and I imagine it was. But there is that wistful charm about it. Somewhat like looking back on our own “glory days”, growing up. There was magic in the struggle. It makes us who we are. It made them who they were, and they were true to themselves.

I imagine, living in an attic studio in old Paris. Lead lined skylight covering most of the ceiling, pans catching the rain where it drips down from the old, cracked caulking. It’s chilly, but there is some warmth from the old stove in a corner. A large bank of lead lined windows, looking out over Paris. Easels, canvases, and brushes everywhere. And being too thin, but still young, strong and dreaming of people loving your work. Meeting up with other like minded painters, giddily talking about what you’re working on, and dreaming of what’s to come with this new way of painting. Complaining of the fools who don’t quite get it. Knowing, feeling to your bones that you’re on to something great. That all the hard times will be worth it. Maybe not knowing that these are the glory days, but maybe a little part of you hanging on for dear life to it, because it is “something “, something important. And it was.