Sunday, July 31, 2011

Updating Images

Maintaining a website or blog can be hard, time consuming work! Perhaps this is the reason why my official website hasn't been touched since it was launched in 2006; it makes me cringe every time I look at the outdated, poor images. Updating this blog has been a long project as well. Through the years I have been learning how to understand HTML, or at least recognize the things that need to be changed and substitute it with a different code. I'm always getting new ideas to keep this blog fresh, and so I've changed the banner and the side menu among other things. Tonight I decided to update images of my work, which means that I had to go through all the entries that had finished pieces since 2006. This little assignment I gave myself tonight took a good chunk of my painting time. Regardless, I feel better now that I have updated a lot of images of my work, colors look better and the details can be better appreciated. If you have time, please have a look through the archive, specially the first few entries of 2006 which show my early still lifes in a much better light. Thank you for reading and for following this blog!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend in Woodstock

Woodstock Morning, 2011, oil on linen, 8 x 8 inches

I was in Woodstock, NY, this past weekend with a group of friends. This is our second year doing a three to four day getaway trip to the country, something we call "Gamping". If you're wondering what that means, the word is a composite of two, which are gay & camping. Yes, gay boys enjoy the outdoors just like every one else, but we also like to travel in style and to have all the comforts of a five star hotel wherever we go. Last year was Rhinebeck, NY, the town where Chelsea Clinton was married, this year the city boys descended upon the land of hippies and rock & roll. The two paintings featured in this blog post were completed in one day, both of them showing the view of the back of the house we rented, from above and bellow.

Woodstock in the Afternoon, 2011, oil on linen, 10 x 8 inches
The first painting, Woodstock Morning, was a fun three hours of work. I enjoyed every minute of it, everything seemed to be working for me. The second painting was not so fun! I've always known that painting scenes with dense foliage can be difficult, reason why I stay away from them. On this particular afternoon though, I felt a bit daring and decided to place myself in an area full of trees and leaves, and there's was no way of making out what was near or far from me. Light was more difficult to handle as well, there were areas where the afternoon sun would hit some leaves and make them scream with color. The same sun would also wash out some colors and it all turned into a golden grey haze. Woodstock in the Afternoon is the result of that difficult area and time of day. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I see it as a learning experience.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

City Life at Salmagundi

I am pleased to announce that one of my small plein air paintings, Astoria Park, will be part of an exhibition called City Life at the Salmagundi Art Club through August 5, 2011. Reception and award ceremony will take place on Thursday July 28 from 6-8pm in the lower gallery. If you are in the area please come out and support New York artists and the Salmagundi Club. City Life is open to the public at no charge.
Info: 47 5th Ave., NYC (between 12th & 11th streets) 212.255.7740
Lower Gallery, July 18-August 5
Viewing Hours: Mon-Fri 1-6pm; Sat & Sun 1-5pm
Reception & Awards: Thursday, July 28, 6:00-8:00 pm

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Painting: Poet's Walk, Rhinebeck

Poet's Walk, Rhinebeck, 2011, oil on linen, 14 x 14 inches
If you haven't been to Poet's Walk Park in Rhinebeck, NY, well you are missing out big time. This 120 acre park, designed by Hans Jacob Ehlers in 1849, has a hiking trail that takes you through meadows, dense forest areas, and offers great vistas of the Hudson River. The name pretty much says it all, it is a great source of inspiration that not only poets and painters can benefit from. More paintings to come.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pier 54 Ventilation Tower, Sunset

Pier 54 Ventilation Tower, Sunset, 2011, oil on linen, 10 x 8 inches
It's been a while since I've gone out doors to paint, and on Sunday my desire to enjoy some sun and warm air by the water was raging. After work I walked down to Pier 54 right off Canal Street and the West Side Highway, I had some vague idea of what I wanted to paint but I wasn't sure if it would work out. To my luck I found a nice patch of grass with a good view and out of the way of all the Sunday afternoon runners. I love plein air painting, there's something peaceful about it even when you're painting in the middle of the city. What I could do without though are people who like to hover over me while I paint, and on Sunday it was no different. A few little kids, a young woman, and an old lady later I had a nice little painting going.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Self Portrait

Self Portrait, 2011, graphite in moleskine sketchbook
This drawing came out of pure boredom, which to me shouldn't exist because one can always be busy doing something! In my years of painting and drawing, the number of self portraits have been very limited, mostly because it feels strange looking in a mirror for so long...I tend to start criticizing myself and it ends up bad. I need to shave, I need a haircut, my skin looks so bad, ewww what's up with the dark outlines under my eyes, and the worst of all...I need to lift under my chin! That's just the start of it all, but criticism aside I was able to complete this small drawing in my moleskine sketchbook. I'm still debating about turning this into a painting, mostly insecure about it because I look a little angry in this. I guess we'll see what comes of this in the future.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Drawings from Colorado

Colorado Sketch 1, 2011, ball point pen in moleskine sketchbook
My recent trip to Colorado was packed with fun activities and lots of driving, this didn't keep me from getting a few sketches done. All three of these drawings were accomplished while on the move from the back seat of a Subaru Outback. I have sketched in moving trains before, but sketching in a moving car presented a greater challenge. The ride is bumpier and unexpected turns can take the pen gliding across the page making unwanted marks. The drawing above is the first one, reason why it's a bit more rough. Here I was trying to get used to the movement of the car, all while trying to capture the landscape before we passed it. Talk about speedy hands!
Colorado Sketch 2, 2011, ball point pen in moleskine sketchbook
The second drawing, above, is more detailed and better resolved. I had to capture the big shapes of the mountains and clouds first before missing the scene. Then I looked out the window closely and made mental notes of where there were trees and what parts were bare land. I continued working on the finer details of the landscape, by now it seems like I had better control of the pen while the car was moving.
Colorado Sketch 3, 2011, ball point pen in moleskine sketchbook
This drawing was also a quick one but the good thing was that by now we had come to a full stop. I am planning on turning this sketch into a painting, since I feel that in color this landscape was very pretty. I had set a day aside to do so painting, but it turned out impossible, not because of time constrains but because the paints I had bought were the cheapest and worse kind I have ever worked with. Let's just say I learned my lesson and I will never buy this British company's paint ever again.