Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Recent(ish) Paintings

Autumn, Composition in Gold, 2019, oil on line mounted on panel, 8 x 6 inches

These  paintings are not really recent since I finished them a while back, but they are the last paintings I've done.  Drawing and sketching has taken over my practice, something I'm trying to change this year.  I miss paint, the smell of it, the way it feels when I move it around with fingers, and mostly I miss painting outdoors.  This winter coming up with compositions in my sketchbook has kept me busy, but I'm happy to have taken that approach into painting.  The piece above is from imagination, very much like the sketches, the one challenging aspect though was dealing with color and imagining that.  I had fun creating this little landscape, so much so that I have begun three more.   
Nellie's Lawn, Rainy Day, 2018, oil on linen, 11 x 15 inches

These two paintings of Nellie's Lawn in Prospect Park are from the end of summer last year, and both were begun in Plein Air on the same day.  I'm looking forward to going back there this spring and summer, I have to make a bigger effort this year.  Last year my summer was overrun (no pun intended) by running.  I have been training for multiple races and half marathons, all which are leading to the full NYC Marathon this coming November.   
Nellie's Lawn, Rainy Day No. 2, 2018, oil on linen, 11 x 15 inches 

I figured running would take a good chunk of time away form my artwork, what I didn't know is that it was going to take over my whole life!  I'm not mad about it though, I set myself a goal and I'm finding a lot more about myself while going through this new phase of my life. 

Friday, March 01, 2019

Moleskine Sketchbook 5, Part 2

Recently I've been obsessing over fountain pens, and it isn't good since these beauties can cost you a pretty penny.  Unlike plastic disposable pens hanging in their carded packaging in drug stores or stationary stores, fountain pens come in a variety of materials, sizes and shapes.  There is a type for every personality or for whatever mood you may be in any given day of the year.  My favorite pen is this wood, cigar shaped Jean Pierre Lepine.  That touch of gold is also classic, and the walnut ink I chose for it makes this pen even more special.  I used this pen for this drawing of my favorite boots on the night before they were put out on the curb.  It was hard for me to part with these boots but they had seen better days, and for me to keep them with me I did a little portrait of them.
I have been mixing it up with my sketches, trying new pens, or mixing media.  For this drawing I thought it would be great to use to colors of pens.  I had something else in mind when I thought of  it, the final sketch turned out too dark, but I still like it.  There's something unsettling about this one, don't you think?

It's always better when you do it in the sheets...drawing that is!  Nothing beats a good morning drawing session in bed while the sun floods the room with light.  What else can top this?  A cup of coffee perhaps, or an aromatic tea?  Either one works, as long as I'm wrapped up in my covers and on fluffy pillows...now that is living!

Out of bed and on the go, that's how this drawing came about.  This one is a little strange, maybe the density and darkness of the forest is what makes me feel uneasy when I look at it.

If a Micron pen and a gel pen got together and had a love child what would you get?  This Pentel Hybrid Technica would be that child and it will bring you so much joy.  Ok, maybe that was a little over dramatic, but this pen in all reality is great.  Love how it glides and that it comes in different points.  This sketch was created while I had another one, of a tree in Central Park, I had done.  Over the years I have explored the park in different ways, while doing plein air painting and recently as a runner.  Images of little pockets of the park keep coming to mind as I sketch.  It may not be an accurate representation of a specific place in Central Park but the idea of it finds it way into this drawing. 
More sketches and other works coming soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Drawing and More Drawing

Recently I have been busy drawing, finishing old stuff and starting new ones.  Shortly after taking the photo of this sanguine tree in progress it took a slight turn and looks a little different than what I anticipated.  Soon I will  be posting the finished drawing, so do come back and check it out.
I also worked on this small commission of a baby portrait with a fountain pen.  I must say I surprised myself as to how well it turned out.  Portraits can be hard and to do them with just pen, no pencil under drawing, can definitely make things more difficult.  I accepted the challenge and I'm very happy with it.
Not so long ago I was talking to a friend, and he thought that it would be a great idea to come up with a monochromatic watercolor palette that cold be used for sketching on the go.  He made his own with three or four colors by attaching them to an Altoids tin, I must say he is into something neat.  That left me with the desire to come up with my own set, of course found it hard to stick to just three colors, so I came up with my own watercolor box of twelve earth and neutral colors.
It didn't take long for me to put this new set to use.  I began laying some light gestural washes to get a sketch going.  At first I was not so sure as to what I had done, I thought I had ruined a couple of good pages of my sketchbook.
A day after the paper was completely dry I began doing some pen work on top of the watercolor.  I used some of the color puddle marks to create shapes and connect them.  The mix of the sepia and walnut tones together made sense and I began to envision what the final sketch might look like.
Recently I purchased a set of neutral color pencils that I thought might be a good thing for me to explore.  At first I thought they might be pastel pencils but as began working with them I could tell that they were something else.  There was a silkyness to them, and as I looked closely at the box and dug through all my drawing materials it turned out that they were colored pencils, and I already owned a much larger set which I've had with me since I was in high school.  I have not worked with colored pencils since then, I found them to be unforgiving.  Maybe I was pressing too hard, I may have been using them incorrectly.  This time I'm softly layering the color, letting the pencil barely caress the paper, which is the way I have been drawing in the last ten years.
I loved these pencils so much, especially this warm grey, that I began another drawing.  So far so good...I'm loving this misty effect I'm achieving.  I will be posting soon some of these finished drawings, so please do come back ya hear!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Recent(ish) Monotypes

A Stone Wall, 2018, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inches

I have not done a lot of monotypes in recent months, reason why I consider these prints done in December as recent.  In all transparency, I began this blog post in January and left it as a draft because I was going to go back and edit it…yeah that worked out great.

A Stone Wall, 2018, monotype (ghost print), image 6 x 8 inches, 8 1/2 x 11 inches

I have mentioned in the past that my sketchbook is an important part of my monotype process.  Within the pages of my Moleskine you can see many thumbnail sketches of ideas that I may turn into prints.  Can you recognize the top sketch on the sketchbook page above?  That image is the print(s) at the top of this post…it's interesting to see the original idea next to it's final stage, and to see how different media can effect the feel of the same subject.   

Moonlight Reflection, 2018, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inches 

Nocturnes have been a big part of my monotypes, perhaps because the color of the ink and the process of making these images lend themselves to the creation of dark and moody landscapes.  One of the things I learned long ago from a colleague is that you should never fight your materials, and that advice is wise and true.  

Moonlight Reflection, 2018, monotype (ghost print), image 6 x 8 inches, sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inches 

This ghost print came out nicely, it's almost like a foggy moon lit version of the first print.  Sometimes the ghost prints can take on their own personalities and make the same landscape feel like a different image all together.  

The sketch for the nocturne above is the one at the bottom of this sketchbook page.  Sometimes I'm able to replicate the sketches faithfully, sometimes the ink on the copper plate can cause things to change a little from the original idea, again it's all part of the process, you can't fight with your work too much.  They are like children, you can try to guide them as much as you can for them to become what you want them to be but in the end they will turn out as they are meant to.  This nocturne  on the other hand did not give me any problems during its upbringing and came out just as I intended.

Arbolado XVII, 2018, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches

I always finish my printing session freestyling on the plate.   No I'm not rapping, I'm just going with the flow and let my hand do it's thing and let one move follow the other naturally.  These type of images area a great way to end my printing nights, especially if I have been working from a sketch.  Trying to follow my drawings and replicate them can add a small level of stress as well as slowing things down.

Arbolado XVII, 2018, monotype (ghost print), image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches

Free flowing allows me to release some of the tension and ends the printing session on a high note.  In the end, art making is supposed to be a happy thing, and this process brings the fun back into it.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

"Sketchbook Vol 1" the Opening, Part 2

Sketchbook by Guno Park

Happy Monday to you! Hope every one is having a great start to their week staying warm, and if you are somewhere warm then I'm very jealous.

I would like to share with you today some photos from opening night of Sketchbook Vol 1, which took place on Saturday Jan. 19.  Can't believe how fast time is flying by.  It was such a fun afternoon, and the crowd was steady during the full four hours. 

Sketchbook by Marshal Jones

There was so much to see within the pages of each sketchbook, and visitors were loving it all.  I had to wait until the very end of the evening to be able to go through some of the books and take some quick snap shots.

This young lady and a group of us were drooling over Vi Luong's sketches, the amount of detail and precision he can get in the small spaces he works in is jut incredible.  Each line was perfectly calculated, something that would make most of us go crazy while doing it, but it seem like for Vi this might just be the most relaxing thing he can do.

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

I was also very happy to see Paul Heaston's sketchbook.  I have been following his work on Instagram for a long time and was very excited when I found out we would be in the same show together.  He really is phenomenal.

Sketchbook by Evan Kitson

Evan Kitson's sketchbook was like looking at da Vinci's notebooks with all of its' writing and anatomical drawings.  Sketchbooks are a very private thing to artists, and out of the lot on display at Sugarlift, this one is the most personal.

Sketchbook by Marshal Jones

Marshal Jones is another incredible artists who I have had the chance to see his work in New York at multiple shows.  Can this guy paint flesh or what? .

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

Sketchbook by Guno Park

Anther very talented artist I have been following on Instagram for years is Guno Park, a draftsman like no other.  His sketchbooks are a treat, like the fold out books with continuous scenes of subway stations, trains, and riders (see the first image above).  Guno not only is capable of capturing the likeness of his NYC subjects with a few dashes of his pen, but he can also capture their soul and humanity, not a simple feat to do. 

Sketchbook by Vi Luong

I mentioned Vi Luong's sketchbook earlier, this image is a closer look at one of his drawings.  Now do you see what I was talking about?  Even his writing is precise!

Sketchbook by Ted Schmidt

Closing out this post with Ted Schmidt, who I have never had the chance to meet or even see his work in person.  I was aware of his paintings when I was in high school, back then Artists Magazine had done a story on him and I thought his work was extraordinary.  I wanted to study with him right then and there but I was only 16/17 and was confined to the walls of that school until graduation.  Also I was in Connecticut, which for a young person with no car or licence, NYC is worlds away.  It's nice to have come full circle though and to have been included in the same show with him has been an honor.

Sketchbook Vol 1 will view on view until Feb. 8 by appointment only.  Contact Sugarlift to see this exhibition.

Monday, January 21, 2019

"Sketchbook Vol 1" the Opening

This weekend was the opening reception of Sketchbook Vol 1 at Sugarlift in Long Island City, NY.  The show was a success, there was a big turnout during the four hours the gallery was open Saturday afternoon and visitors enjoyed going trough our sketchbooks.  There was a lot to be inspired by in the room and you could feel the excitement with every page turned.  Below are a few images of my work in the exhibition.

There is some buzz around this exhibit, Sotheby's will be publishing an article linking this show to their Old Master Drawings auction which will be happening soon.  Other articles are also in the works, so make sure to check back for those links.
 In the meantime here's a link to a write up that was just posted online.  Two images of my sketchbook made the cut.

Cultura Inquieta also wrote about the show, if you can read Spanish knock yourself out and click on the link to see that piece.

Colossal also published a short w\rite up, click on the link to view. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Sketchbook Vol. 1" an Exhibition

 Luis Colan 

I am very happy to announce that I have been included in a group show with an amazing group of artists, some of whom I've been following on Instagram for quite some time.  Sketchbook Vol. 1 is presented by Sugarlift and curated by Dina Brodsky.  
 David Morales

To most artists a sketchbook can be very personal, it is the space where ideas and random thoughts can be jotted down.  Inspirational quotes laid down in ink to help overcome problems and doubts that may arise during working session in the studio.  And of course the sketchbook is the place where the first lines are set for future art works. 

 Diana Corvelle

This exhibition is a good chance to flip through the pages of these artists' books and get a glance of their working minds.

 Dina Brodsky

Visitors will be provided gloves to handle the sketchbooks and will have the opportunity to learn more about how this tool is used in the process of art making during a Q&A with the artists. 

 Evan Kitson

There will also be a pop-up event in Union Square with exhibiting artists drawing in a life size sketchbook.

 Guno Park

Opening reception Sat., January 19 2:00 - 6:00 PM
On view through Feb. 8 by appointment 
Sugarlift LIC: 43-01 22nd Street, 2nd Floor Suite 264, Long Island City, NY 11101

 Nicolas V. Sanchez

Fri Jan 18, 4:00-6:00 PM: Pop-up event in Union Square (south west corner), in case of rain even will take place on the underpass of Union Square train station, between 16th & 14th street.

Sat Jan 19, 2:00-6:00 PM: Opening reception with artists talks by Dina Brodsky (2:30 PM), Guno Park (3:30 PM), Joshua Henderson (4:30 PM)

Sun Jan 20-Fri Feb 8: Exhibition on view by appointment.

 Paul Heaston

Paul Heaston