This Saturday I'm showing a painting at the Hive Gallery & studios www.thehivegallery.com. A small plein air urban landscape at Echo Park and Montana. It's a 12 by 12 color study made in preparation for a larger painting. Viva Manet! affordably priced! It's the painting in the previous blog entry.
The Hive Gallery
opening: Saturday, February 3rd, 8pm to 1am
729 So. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90014
-up to 40 artists -live performances and painting -video projection/s -DJs-
$5 suggested donation at the door, pay lot across the street ($5-$10)
I hope to see you all there. ^_^
Monday, January 29, 2007
I've been looking at reproductions of drawings and paintings by Poussin and Veronese for some things to say in class about drawing and composition and painting. I found these two paintings by Poussin where he used a mirror opposite of a figure grouping from an early composition in a later painting. Cool stuff! -~- Also, I started the Echo Park hill painting in studio today. I want to get a few of the major elements placed before I bring it back to the location. At this stage it is all acrylic and deliberately kept VERY low detail, but still true placement of all the elements from the original plein air drawing. A light grid was drawn over a small print-out of the drawing and a corresponding grid drawn on the 2 by 4 foot canvas for fast and accurate freehand redrawing -~- finally here's a pic I took from drawing on location.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I've been hooked on Echo Park lately, drawing and painting here and there, getting lost in my car and taking pictures. Here's a few pics of some recent work. I really like the hills and architecture in Echo Park... very Los Angeles. These sketches are all done on location. Bus stops are great places to sit and draw.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Here's a couple pics of the Santa Anita composition I'm working on. The races have started so the place is exciting again! I went with my sketchbook and did a drawing of the center ring where all the action happens. I also took a bunch of random photos which I cut and pasted and composed in photoshop over the drawing so I could get a nice feeling of the crowds and movement. The first photo is the sketchbook drawing of the overall environs and then with the people composed in. The next photo is the first stage of the painting, a freehanded underdrawing to arrive at the overall placement. The last photo is how the painting looks now. I went over the preliminary drawing in acrylic with a limited palette of white, burnt umber, deep violet, and ultramarine blue. I like how it looks so far, nice and sunny! The blue and the burnt umber neutralize to a greenish black and then the deep violet is just enough red to counteract as well as enhance the slight green. I think if you used a raw umber as well as the burnt, you could suggest even more color, especially in the greens and yellows. I plan to take this to the racetrack soon and go over in oil en plein air for even greater realism and truth in color.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I got a cool mystery art partner! I like what they painted. Here’s a photo of what I got back from my partner at the BBQ pickup. Nicely done! The overall composition is much improved! - Each panel was identified with a random famous court case so that Jonny would know who’s who, but no one else would. I finally found out what our identifying court case “Roth v. United States” is about; it explains why “Balzac”, “Flaubert”, and “James Joyce” were painted on the panel. I especially knew that I wanted a sexy pose on the piece when I saw the work that my partner did with the innocent image of the girl and her doll. I think it turns out interesting for the overall composition and also the ‘concept’ behind the court case since it’s about free speech and obsenity. Here’s a pic of how the panel looks now and some shots of model Karreen, a theatre design major in my drawing class at Cal State LA. I think it needs to get much more x-rated!! AHAHA. If I can raunch out my partner then maybe they'll censor my painting!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I'm in this new collaborative show titled "joint custody" where artists are grouped in pairs who never meet and share one canvas or board or whatever surface. They each paint on it for four days, then trade surreptitiously through the gallery organizing the show, then paint, then trade, etc four times. At the end of all that there's a group show of all the pieces and everyone meets their mystery partners. Along the way you have to document the progress.
I'm on B team so I get the panel second and last. I wanted to take it out to a bus stop and paint portraits there, but I chickened out. So to stay in the right spirit but not be SO crazy, I took the panel to my friend Antrese's house and painted a quick portrait of her from life, half-hour, loosey-goosey, acrylic, as close to how I pictured I'd do it in public.
After finishing that painting, I got my confidence up because it turned out nice, so I thought to go and paint at one of the pocket parks in Glendale where the old Armenian men hang out and play cards and chat. I was still kinda nervous but I just went and parked and set up and there I was. I walked over and asked a group of men if they'd like to sit for a 20 minute portrait and I showed them the painting and told them I'd pay them $5 but they said "No English" and kindly brushed me off. So I walked back to my easel, faced it the other way and painted them from a distance. They didn't mind which was nice of them, and then when some of their friends came up and looked at the progress, they loved it and said it looked just like Vartan, and gave compliments! So then they didn't mind at all and welcomed me back! Nice!
This morning before teaching I did a xerox-transfer of a photo of Manet in the moon shape circle because a) he's one of my Heros and b) it's a silly pun (manet in the moon. get it?) . Then tonight I scrawled "Manet" on the panel and painted out some of the letters my partner stencilled on, so now it reads "balz au joy"... "balls with joy"... kinda sorta describes Manet!! Tomorrow I drop off the panel for my mystery partner to have at it for 4 days... I'll keep you posted.
Of course I brought my sketchbook and forgot my camera so I took a couple pics with Airom's and this was the best one. There was a good crowd of people there; I love how in this photo, no one is actually looking at the paintings. In reality though, the folks in attendance were very appreciative of the installation as a whole and also of the paintings individually. A good number of them sold at the opening and between now and the closing reception there is surely going to be more. It was a success and now I've begun work on the next group show, Joint Custody which I'll write about later...
Monday, January 8, 2007
Here are some composite pictures of the installation so far. We started around 1pm and stopped around 7pm. It's going surprisingly smooth and so far it's looking good; it looks even better than we imagined; the color and value blends are working great! And we still have the rest of the week to finish so we're ahead of schedule. Remember those 63 little images I wrote about earlier? Here's a pic of them all finished and in their particular arrangement that I titled "spectrum_girl". They have all been dispersed and intermingled to create a new and greater whole! A different gestalt!
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Well, actually my painting of her got into the 96th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition held by the California Art Club. The Artists Gala Preview Reception is April 28th at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. So Many Capitol Letters I Can Hardly Stand It! AHAHAH! actually these days I don’t get overly excited about such shows, but it’s always nice to be in them! And they do a pretty swanky job with the catalog and the promotion and the reception so it’s a cool event.
The painting that got in is titled “Lellani with oranges”, 36 by 30, oil on canvas. It started with Lellani, who was house sitting at the time, calling me and saying “The light’s perfect! Come over and draw me!” which I was delighted to do! The drawing and the color study, done over two days, felt very sudden and excitingly rushed, but I think the painting feels very still which is how I remembered the moment later. Here are some pictures of the drawing, the color study, the painting in progress, the painting done and a detail.
Friday, January 5, 2007
I'm in a collaborative installation show in January; I've been posting pics of some of the work in progress so I thought to mention the opening. The artists are Airom Bleicher, Courtney Reid, Jim Holyoak, and myself. It's called micro-gestalt and it involves each artist painting 125 or so mini paintings, between 3.5 and 4 inches square. For the show we are going the bring them all together, mix them all up and re-arrange them according to a particular color/value arrangement regardless of the image. I think it'll turn out cool! I've been posting pics of some of my pieces I'm doing for it. In addition there are about 50 other mini "life" paintings that I've done which are tiny nudes and still lives and landscapes and cityscapes all done from life and on location. They'll be interesting to pop in here and there, little moments of realism
The reception is Saturday the 13th of January from 6pm to 9pm at Orphanage gallery. Their address is 1903 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles 90027 and their website is www.orphanage-art.com . If you go to "shows" and click "upcoming", the flyer is there.
I hope you are all having a Happy New Year and maybe will see you all at the show...
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Since I like putting my artworks online, but my website is a pain in the ass, I find that places like myspace and now this blog are an easier way to show others what I do for fun and (little) profit. (see ID card below )
So while I’m going to put new artworks up as they roll off my easel, I’m also from time to time going to post a past drawing or painting that is “old” to me but I’m sure “new” to 99.9999% of the world. Also this way I can give a little of what’s the story behind the images.
Between let’s say 1999 and 2004, I was interested in and pursued painting the nude, but at that time had a serious aversion to the academic or nostalgic or “art school” nude. You can see examples of what I’m talking about in any copy of any "contemporary traditional realism" art magazine. They are boringly conceived and boringly painted and I wanted my motif to be more “real” and modern (I’m always the realist but not always “realistic”) So I thought, where can anyone go right now and find nudity? I started to draw and paint in two particular strip clubs dance clubs (Venus Faire and Paris House).
I also began to look for people over the internet. Back before craigslist wasn’t overrun with so much anger and spammers phishing for e-mail addresses, I posted ads in strictly platonic, men seeking women, casual encounters and the like, stating I was an artist looking for regular people willing or interested to pose for me. If they wanted it I would pay them $20 an hour for their time, I wanted to draw them in their home or apartment, they would only get as nude as they were comfortable, and there would be no photography. I got a number of responses, met many people over coffee, did a bunch of drawings and a number of good (or at least interesting) paintings from the whole experiment. Part of the interest for me was definately the uniqueness of the circumstances that the drawings originated from, and also that it was new and exciting for the people modeling.
These are a couple of drawings from craigslist... The woman sitting on her bed was Holland and the other two are of Amy, a close up and a wider composition with one of her cats, Butter. I ended up making a couple paintings of the latter which are rather unique. I always thought that the compostion was something of a take on Titian and Manet because of the cat.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
I've been having fun repainting the acrylic underpaintings in oil. I've been trying to not over fuss them and paint them very broadly. So far so good and I think the value/color arrangement is turning out great. Here's a couple of pics to look at: one shows a detail of the paintings to see the looseness and the other shows the 54 that I've repainted.
As I look back at my work, there's always been periods where I go through a very analytical and super-saturated period with color or value. I'll either nerd out and paint greyscales or get completely fauve with the pigments! This series of paintings is satisfying the color lust I'm presently in.