Friday, September 21, 2012

More Recent Bookworm, 2005-2011

Well, This is where my whole painting hobby really started. This is several years after I had done the last of my pieces back in high school. I picked things back up maybe 5 or 6 years ago. I was living with another artist buddy of mine, one Jon Shepard, and we really got to bounce a lot of things off of one another. So without a whole bunch of unnecessary rambling, here goes...

This first one is one of my favorite drawings. It is water-based pastel on pastel paper, then sealed with varnish or whatever you use for pastel. Fixative, yeh. That's the ticket. I had this friend online and she had this picture up, and I thought it was so awesome I asked her if I could do a drawing of it. She agreed, so here it is.

The time stamp says 2005, so this would have been the last 'drawing' I did before I started painting. I simply call this 'Shannon' after the person who let me use her image. I was pretty damned happy with the turnout, especially the eyes. The drawing is not actually yellow. This was taken with my first digital camera I ever bought...I think a 2 mp or something. Maybe even less, it was horrible. Anyway, at that point in time, I was getting pretty decent at drawing, so I created this and thought it was time to move on to tougher things....finally. It only took me 25 years of life, haha!
Shannon, 2005

So this is really where my painting began. First are a couple of progressions of this one. I call it "Guardians of the Floodgate" and is one of my first 'straight from the brain' pieces. I wanted my first real painting to be totally original, so the only visual aids I used were images of textiles I could find to create the clothing. The clothes themselves are designed off this sculpture I once had of Guan Yu from Chinese mythology. I believe he was an actual person, but there was a certain deification that took place which turns the man into a legend, gnaw mean? He is considered 'the protector' in Chinese culture. I'm pretty sure that is why you find statues of this guy in so many Chinese establishments. I thought it would be cool if he had a female twin and viiiii-ola! 

As you can see, this first pic is very early, and I'm not sure if you can tell with the crappy photo, but this guy looked waaaaayyyyy too Western for him to serve my purposes. The final face wasn't all that much better, but at least it fit better.

This closeup shows the central area in a bit more detail.

Here is the final draft. Not bad, but deng it took a long time. I was so slow when I started. This one was like a year-and-a-half, though I went through a lot of growing pains with my technique and I moved during its painting, which always makes me artistically disoriented until I get used to my space. So anyway, it could have been worse.
Guardians of the Floodgate
Acrylic on canvas, 2006
Original: Unavailable
Giclee reproductions:Available
Lithographs: Available

This next picture is the start of my second or third go at painting. This one is of a photo of a model from Glasgow by the name of Debbie Attwell (used by permission). I call this one Raido (the symbol on her earring). If you are not familiar with runes, this one refers to a journey or 'riding'.

The basic concept is that of a woman who is leaving 'blue skies' shown in the background to wander into this treacherous wood (which I totally effed up, but it does serve its purpose) and going down a road that looks like an upside-down carrot. Despite that, this one generally is the one I get the most emotive reactions from.
Raido, 2007
Acrylic on masonite
Original: Available
Giclees: available

This next one is a painting I did to pay for my master level Reiki training (thank you Mary!), so I really enjoyed painting this. It looks so peaceful in real life...the picture just sucks. It is acrylic on canvas. Not really sure what else to say. When I'm at my friends house, I have to look at it for a few minutes, because I love it so much. The title, She Painted Fire, is a reference to an Agalloch song, "She Painted Fire Across the Skyline." I thought it was a fitting description of both the painting, and the Reiki theme I was going for.

She Painted Fire, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
Original: Unavailable
Giclee: Available

This next one is called "Last Supper" about the last meal dragons had before they left the realm. I called this the cursed canvas because there are actually 3 paintings beneath this one. There was this huge spot on the canvas that I couldn't get paint to stick on, and it kept getting ruined, then I'd gesso over it again, then repaint, then gesso. This guy took a LONG time to complete because of that, but I'm so stubborn headed that I refused to let the canvas beat me!

Anyway, the last time I gessoed over, the guy on the left sort of 'appeared' so I just started building around him. That is why this painting looks clustered and unbalanced, something I've been taking steps to avoid in future paintings.

I'm overall fairly happy with this one, though the cheap ass canvas has started to warp, so I may have to remount it. I probably will, actually. Either way, I'm very pleased with parts, and meh, so-so on others.
Last Supper, 2009
Acrylic on Canvas
Original: Available

This next one I call rama jama. I wanted to draw a picture of a crocodile drummer, but this thing just never turned out the way I wanted, and will likely get painted over. I'm not sure. If someone really likes it I may sell it, but I was just so bummed with the flatness of it and considering the time I've invested, this guy will likely end up on the easel once again (now that I've improved and can paint in oil!) Deng, looking at it again right now I just get totally bummed out. Bleh!

I actually have a drawing that was so bad that I kept it. It was a pastel for a friend who wanted me do draw a naked lady for him. It started out well enough, but I missed the dimensions from her upper to lower body and with pastel, it's kind of hard to go back at that point, so I drew an effed up scary face  sticking out this lizard tongue on it and started over. The second go around was super, super awesome, but no pictures and I think he just let it get destroyed in the garage or threw it away. Arg! Anyway, this painting reminds me a little of that experience.
RamaJama, 2009
Acrylic on Canvas, 36x48
Original: Available, maybe

This was a quick one-nighter I did. I was going to a meet and greet with the band Opeth, and I wanted to have something cool to sign, not just another lame-ass vinyl LP or something, so I painted a superfast copy of their album, Morningrise, and added a touch of my own flair and took it for them to sign. These guys were soooo stoked on it. I mean it wasn't all that good, and granted there was only one guy from that album still in the band, but they still thought it was cool.
Morningrise, 2010
Acrylic on canvas
Original: It's mine sucka!

Just some 'flowers' I gave to my mom for mothers day. I've actually done a few of these for her. I love 'em! (Love you too Mom, yay)

This next one was yet another quickie. I had purchased these new additives I wanted to play around with, so I busted this guy out in like a couple of days, a week tops. Actually at the time, this ended up having a more personal flavor than I originally intended, but thats a good thing! It's always nice to have a piece with some character.

I was actually a little disappointed later that I didn't do the face a little better, because I ended up liking the concept more than the throw away quickie treatment it got, but still, not bad. The additives in this one are this gloss gel that is used to give paint a fluid texture and a gloss sheen, as well as this pumice stuff that gives you this great 'stucco' look. The pumice says only for acrylics, but the stuff works just fine in oils too. Its more of a pain in the butt with oil because it doesn't stick as easily, but if you're patient, it works ok. You'll see in a later post once I start getting into my more recent oil paintings.

Outside the Lair, 2010
Acrylic on canvas
original: Available

More Flowers, 2011

More Flowers, 2012

That about does it for the time being. I have a few more acrylics to get up on here, but I have to take photos of them first and get all that together. I will update this blog as I go, but the next one will be of my oil paintings. That one I will probably work harder on as I have better progression drawings and a lot more technique notes to go off.

This post was more of a history so you can see how I progressed up to my current abilities.

Thanks for looking.

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