I've posted almost nothing but my art on ATS, and I figured I would pay it back with a bit about how I create (since times seem dark and hopeless to
I am almost entirely self taught and primarily use oil on canvas, but wood panels are also a great surface. I consider myself an abstractionist with
heavy expressionist tendencies. So I allow myself to loosen up if I'm not already inspired, which means 2 beers later I am behind the easel. I use a
pencil held close to my fingers and very rapidly and fluidly start laying down lines and curves to create a balanced composition. This usually only
takes 2-8 minutes. I then refine the lines I like best and start to "wire" the lines together to make overall shapes. This takes about 15-30
minutes. When I am close I get out my thick liner brush and some thin black acrylic paint and start committing to some of the best shapes. The line
process is one of the most fun and important processes to me, because things become figurative and change quickly, and it's where the real expression
starts to take shape.
When I finally get some shapes that speak to me I let the acrylic dry (15 minutes) then switch to oils and start adding heavy colors to the shapes
that speak the loudest first. Mostly just a think wash to lay down the basic color. I come back later and add darker tones to edges and tons of
texturework, which is a heavy part of my abstract style. But mostly I focus on what colors go where. Similar to music, with colorful art it is
sometimes about what color you DON'T use that matters. Some of my best pieces that sold immediately are selective palette works. Browns with golds
and orange are sellers, so are gold and yellows together. But my gallery mate said this to me and it makes sense, "my best work all uses EVERY color,
its just tricky to sneak them all in subtle like so you cant tell". I'm not as subtle, so I actively omit several colors typically.
Here is a montage I created of a piece I just finished from black lines all the way to textured final piece.
Even after I had black lines down and was creating colors, the work keeps telling me to change and add/remove elements to make a happily balanced
piece that oozes with life. It's ALL about creating an artistic lifeform on canvas for me. I will sometimes go back over every inch of the canvas
focusing on 3" squares and making sure that small area is tight, colorful and alive. I am recently getting much better at titling my work thanks to
my father who is a prolific and established poet. Without this essential step many artists just have nice work with no 'hook', no subliminal
suggestion to process what they see. It should be clever, but more than clever it needs to be engaging and pertinent to the piece itself, it should
add substance to what you already know is good. Like a menu at a 4 star restaurant, it coaxes your mouth into understanding the flavors that exist in
something you havent even tasted yet.
Here is the final work (or at least I consider it 98% complete) and will be in my show next month.
"Filling the goblet" - 2016, oil on canvas - 16" x 20"
I have every intention of framing this piece as well, since framing done right makes great work irresistible. Also frame stores tend to have tons of
affordable frames in 11x14, 16x20, and 18x24 and it's always in your best interest to learn how to do it yourself, also its FUN!
The body of work I've created over the past 20+ years is finally paying off, I'm getting shows in small venues constantly, and establishing myself
at light speed. The next work is polishing the tech end (QR codes, instagram tagging/promoting, web design) and shopping for better paying gallery
I hope you all enjoy your artistic journeys in what ever form they take, and don't ever give up if it feels right.
Thanks for reading and taking a look!