Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday December 19

Hey there boys and girls, I have one painting that is a work in progress, and here it is. Maybe I should just call it done and move on? Not sure. Some parts of it I really dig, but some not so much. Don't know.

Also of note-- I graduated college yesterday! Instead of a picture of me wearing a silly-looking cap and gown, here is a picture of me like 12 hours and 7 beers later.

Monday, December 13, 2010

End of Semester Painting Blowout!

Hello, Inter-Net friends. I have been all kinds of busy lately, what with the end of the semester/my undergraduate schooling coming to an end! Like many of my contemporaries at the School of Art at BGSU, I will be participating in the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition which opens March of this coming year. More information can be had here:
I am still unsure of whether to show my figurative or my landscape work for the exhibition, but I get a feeling the answer will become more obvious to me as the time draws near. Anyway, here are five new acrylic landscapes I have been working on for Dennis's class. They are each almost entirely finished, but I tend to get the impulse to tweak each further by just a little bit so don't consider this absolute.
South of The Spot
24" x 49"

22" x 42"
West Monroe
22" x 42"
22" x 42"
Edge of Uptown
22" x 42"

I am pretty satisfied with all of these. I will most likely continue to go back in and add some fine small details in ink and that will be that. I will continue to make more paintings like this, only I think I'd like to work even larger! Dennis thinks its the natural progression for my paintings and I can't help but agree. The only obstacles are logistical ones-- simply, I need a larger car to move them! Been thinking about getting a cheap, seriously shitty van or truck with the sole purpose in mind of moving paintings and things.

Also been considering submitting my work for consideration in the Hudson Gallery in Downtown Sylvania
Its a very nice gallery space, located in the Northwest Toledo suburb of Sylvania, where I was born. Some of my reference material used in my paintings (both bodies of work) are photographs taken right by the Hudson gallery, even! Still considering it though, as I'm not entirely sure my paintings quite fit with the aesthetic the Hudson appeals to.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time for some video fun

Hey you crazy cats, I don't have any relevant art-related things to post right now, so I thought I would link a couple old videos that you really shouldn't ever see.

This first one was filmed sometime around April of 2009, for a video editing project in a class I was taking. The, uh, "scope" of the film is very much the kind of hackneyed crap that would be produced when I have complete creative control over that sort of thing. I decided it was going to be a "cover" of that old Sears air conditioning commercial everyone saw during the 90s. You know the one, "Hotter?" "Like yesterday." "Yesterday? Yesterday you said you'd call Sears." "I"ll call today." "You call now." "I'll call now" and so on. My take on it is darker, but also, more stupid. I think I must have watched Taxi Driver or some Robert DeNiro flick the night before we filmed this. Anyway, just watch.

The second video you have the singular pleasure of viewing is entitled Super Hi Fi Kung Fu Action 2. This is the second installment of what was really a project that lasted throughout all of high school. Filmed in 2004, over several short filming sessions scheduled over a period of a few months. As such, and as we were/are indeed amateurs, the inconsistencies in this video are comically bad.
As for a little background on the "story" of this video, there isn't much to tell. During high school, a few friends and I were way big into old shitty kung fu movies, so we thought we'd try our hand at making our own shitty kung fu movies. In keeping with that aesthetic, we intentionally filmed most the video without audio, then dubbed over each character's dialogue with a different person. This ensured an astute level of shittiness, but we unwittingly raised said level to the realm of the profound by way of our inexcusably bad flow and cuts throughout this eleven minute feature. The flow is so bad that we, at one point, had to hault filming for more than a month because I injured myself while choreographing a particularly stupid move late in the video. That change in time is indicated in the film by the short clip of leaves falling inexplicably between 2 shots meant to be part of one scene. Anyway, I think that's all I have to say about this one for now, so just watch it, if you feel so inclined.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Current Figure Stuff

Hey internet pals. I keep alluding to a supposed body of work that deals with the figure instead of landscape, and here are some examples of said work!

These are 2 kind of smallish acrylics on just regular illustration board. Also used some india ink for the black outlines you see here and there. I consider both of these to be just studies. Still experimenting with finding a balance of all the aesthetic devices that capture my fancy-- Impasto, glazing, and detailed linework.

All my reference photos are taken in a bar, or similar low-light or oddly-lit location. I spoke about this in my previous post, if you want to know more about that.

Expect to see more work like this in the future, because I'm definitely enjoying it!

15" x 20"

20" x 28"

Also, for no reason at all, listen to this song that's been in my head for awhile now-- La Llorona by Beirut

Friday, November 5, 2010

Reference Photos

Most of the paintings I put on this blog have been my landscapes, but I do want it to be known that I am working on two bodies of work at the same time. The other is figurative. I was inspired to do figure painting after many trips to the bars with my friends on Friday nights. I find the way bar lighting is cast upon people to be very attractive. Most the light in the bar is from neon signs on the wall and windows; there is rarely an actual traditional light fixture on in this place. Anyways, I really dig that, and have been working on some acrylic paintings based off pictures I take in bars or bar-like settings. Here's a few reference pictures to ones I'm working on. Check back later when I have some actual paintings uploaded.

My buddy "Tip Top" Tommy Steele

Yep, these 2 are of me.

I don't know if this is really relevant, but a lot of the time when I'm working on these types of paintings, I have a couple specific songs playing either in my head or on the stereo. They're both by David Bowie, from his album Young Americans. I suppose really the whole album is suitable for listening to when I work, but the following two songs in particular really do it for me:


I think when I listen to these songs, it puts me in a different mood and for some reason it makes my brush strokes a lot more confident.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Current Works

Hey there buckaroos, look where I've been spending a lot of my time:

That's right, painting until very late on a Saturday night! As you can see, I like to work on several paintings at one time. Chalk it up to too little attention, too much energy, or whatever theory you have. Anyway, here's a closer look at the individual paintings.

This is the absolute most recent one. Got inspired to try depicting a more urban landscape after a recent trip to Columbus and then a trip to Detroit last Saturday. I feel this painting is largely a success, and I am content with where it's at.

This one weighs noticeably more than the others due to all the paint I layered onto the foreground via an impasto technique. It was originally a sort of pthalo blue, but I decided to push it to be more about an exchange between olive and terracotta colors.

This one actually progressed very linearly from start to finish with really no major snags. I think this was my first time using solely a palette knife to render an entire building, but I am pleased with its outcome. I did, however, add on some black line with a pen afterwards in keeping with my own stylistic tendencies.

This was one of the more troublesome paintings of the lot. My reference for this was actually set at night, and I am inexperienced painting landscapes without any natural light. Composition also became a problem, but this was not apparent to me until well after I started it. In the end, though, I feel confident about my remedy to its composition and believe this work to be at a good place.

This is the first of these paintings that I started, but I was very unhappy with it at one point. I got too literal with the linework and ended up letting this one sit for a few weeks while I progress the others along. When I did pick this one up again, I decided to push the yellow and alizarin, letting those colors partially obscure the too-tight linework. That being settled, I am now very pleased with this one!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Sweetest Skull"

Been awhile since I posted last! I am alive and doing very well. Busy as hell but that's the way I like it! Been doing a lot of painting and drawing, and definitely growing while I do it. Concurrently working on two different bodies of work-- one is still the large-format abstracted landscapes reminiscent of the Fauves, and the other is actually figurative. I use acrylic for both, and I have to say its been working out pretty well! I am getting more bold and skilled with acrylic, which is exciting because I am really not as crazy about watercolor as I was a few years ago. Haven't had the chance to document any of my works done so far this semester, but I did manage to quickly scan in this drawing. Drew this in a really short period of time upon realizing today is Sweetest Day. I fucking KNOW this just screams cliche' in at least 4 ways, kids, but don't go busting my chops over it.
Also, for anyone living not too far around Detroit, there is going to be an opening at the Klein Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan (approx. 20 minutes north of Detroit), featuring work by Alyssa Monks, who does some sweet-ass figurative work. The opening is this Saturday (October 23) at 5 pm. Here's the Klein gallery's website, it shows Monks' work as well as all the info you need if you're interested in going.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Paintings

As indicated in my last post, a whopping forty minutes ago, here are some more recent landscape paintings. They are newer than the painting in my previous post, and are closer to what I am moving towards. More elements of drawing in all of these, in addition to the loose application of paint, be it heavy-handed at times.

"Waterville 01"
"Southwyck Ruins 01"

"Interstate 75 01"

Derr time for some Art with a capital A

Thought I would finally photograph a large painting I made during the late Spring of 2010. Its approximate size is 48" x 54". This was made during a class, and I feel this is the direction all my painting is headed-- abstract expressionism. This one is only a few months old, but I have made several newer ones since. With regards to my painting, it will continue in this vein of abstracted representation. I chose to paint the often overlooked, everyday grain that makes up a vast portion of American, and in particular, the Midwestern Identity. This painting doesn't represent that thought enough, but soon I will upload newer paintings that help solidify that notion. However, this painting does represent thoroughly the type of style I will render this theme in.

Acrylic on Canvas

Saturday, July 24, 2010

But anyways, I think its a bunch of bullshit.

I can't sleep, so I was rootin' around my folders of crappy sorta-recent art and found these eeerrrrrm....humdingers. Here, you look at 'em.

Anyone who plays Gang Garrison Zwei, sometimes nonchalantly referred to as "Team for Tress 2" probably recognizes the Soldier here. There was a propaganda-making contest for it at the end of last year and this was my entry.

Here is three minutes of Photoshop. A project for a digital arts class. That guy on the left there is the notorious "Tip Top" Tommy Steele, you've probably heard of him before, he's kind of a big deal.

Another project made for that digital arts class. This was done around the fall of 2009, so it is kinda old, man. This piece in particular has to do with my own memories.

Fartin' Around with Books

As my ineloquent headline implies, I made a (very) short book recently. The project was for a class on bookmaking and the scope of said project was... to make a book. You following me here, reader-guy? Time for some pictures.

Here is the outside of the book. Simple soft-spine binding method. Titled "Home" but I kind of came up with that just on the fly and scribbled it on there in pen about a minute before I handed it in.

Page one, if you aren't counting end sheets. Although this is kind of an end sheet. Wraps around so the last image in the book is also this type of silhouette thing.

Page two. Guess who.

Text reads "I don't really have a Home." The more I look at it, I think this could be my favorite page. Originally it was my least favorite.

Text reads "Lived in apartments most my life." This is actually my least-favored page in the entire thing. Too much rendering here. The entire book was set on the notion of rendering as little as possible to give it this kind of disparate, lonely feel. Why? Because I had like a day and a half to make this thing from start to finish.

"Once you move out, someone else moves in. Can't go back. Its not Home."

"But maybe I consider places where I have memories to be home. Like school."
E.L. Bowsher High School in Toledo, Ohio. Demolished.

"Or a favorite mall."
Southwyck Mall, that is. South end of Toledo, built in the early seventies. I lived half a mile away from it during my high school years, and spent every Saturday there with my friends, pretty much the entire time I was in high school.

"But those places got demolished." Interesting video (not mine) shows the mall at the beginning of its demolition:

"Oh well. This city is still home."

This is another favorite of mine from this whole project.

"In fact..."

"It probably looks a lot like your home."

That's it, man. I left part of the end paper in this one just so you can see it.

So, I didn't have much time at all to work on this project because of the limited time frame we were given. I was well-aware of this fact and thus chose to keep all the illustrations minimal. In my opinion, this aesthetic choice meshes well with the overall isolated feeling the theme of the book seems to impart.

This book really doesn't contain a story of any sort. I don't know how to categorize it, other than just an illustrated experience. The subject matter is one I've been leaning towards more and more in my paintings-- under-appreciated landscapes, typically the result of suburban growth and industrial decay. However, at the end of the book, I make acknowledgement of globalization, which, admittedly, was a choice I made out of simply not really knowing where to go with the "story." For that, I am a little ashamed and I think it makes the book read like a brief, illustrated foray into a schizophrenic's reminiscence.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Just like the title reads, you guys.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Here are a bunch of assholes I work with

Spawning out of an utter lack of ideas, I decided to draw some of my co-workers for a class assignment. These are all real people, if cartoonish (in real life, I mean).
Ol' Todd here is a crusty old man-- a feature I feel I represent accurately in this illustration. In other words, there is a layer of "shit-stain brown" somewhere in every part of this drawing. Todd is not quite "all there" so dealing with him leaves one confused and frustrated overall, and I am no exception.
This is Eddie. He is a fierce little guy. I think he, too, may be suffering by some form of dementia, at least that's what my manager speculates. Ed is crazy and I don't like to be around him. He's also very, very short. I mean he's literally about a foot tall.

Zach here is uh....well....there's not really anything wrong with him, clinically. He's an okay kid, and I hope he never reads this. However, I think that he, or perhaps more accurately, his existence, is funny. Hi Zach!!
Daniel isn't technically a co-worker, but he used to work as a security guard (and I use that term laxly) at the place where I work. Daniel is best described as "A real son-of-a-bitch." I liked the old guy, but he was fuckin' nuts, by no stretch of the imagination. Also, he would waste on average ten minutes of my time every day I saw him, just talking about a bunch of bullshit that nobody not suffering from senility could possibly give a rat's ass about. For instance, I was privileged to hear about his cunning strategy of keeping a vacuum cleaner on every floor of his house to maximize productivity easily 4 or 5 times in the brief period I knew him. Anyway, he got canned and I haven't seen him much since.

Political Car-toons

Hey kids, I'm going to try my hand at political cartoons! I feel that I've got some real insight on the world of politics, so I thought I'd shed some light on a few current issues. Enjoy!!
I know Watergate happened almost 100 years ago, but I felt it was relevant enough to make this satire. Many experts have nicknamed Watergate as "Nixon's Watergate."
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Just inexcusable.

That's all the fun for this post, internet friends. I am shamed beyond cognitive thought. Goodbye.