Friday, April 27, 2012

New Website Live

I am very happy to inform you that my new website is live, is up, is running, is set, is done and done...you get my drift! I don't know what took me so long to update it, but better late than never right? Check it out and tell me what you think. www.luiscolan.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why Beauty Matters


I came across this video on another blog, it was actually the Peruvian Figurative Society, a group of Peruvian painters who focus on contemporary realism. To my surprise this video is in English, and for close to an hour I sat in my studio watching and feeling inspired and moved. We live in a society that values the ugly, fast, and cheap. We have lost ourselves and beauty has become a taboo subject, at least in art. This video will show you that beauty is a human need and that it hasn't been lost, we have just closed our eyes to it. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grisaille of Jarod

I finished working on the grisalle, or underpainting of Jarod's new portrait. So far so good, the scary part will be adding color which at first always tends to look a bit messy. I'm hopping to achieve dramatic  chiaroscuro with this painting, something a bit like Caravaggio, not that I'm close to his amazing genius, but you never get anywhere without trying. Cross your fingers for me and lets hope I get through this painting with flying colors, no pun intended.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Four Burners Going at Once

I've always wondered what it would like to be a chef, it was at some point the career path I wanted to follow. I knew that working in a kitchen was hectic with different moving parts going at once, no matter if it was a chill neighborhood restaurant, or some big critically acclaimed New York City restaurant. You see that kind of rush in television shows about chefs, but I could never empathize with them since I've never been in that situation. Well looking around my studio today I feel like my kitchen is cranking out dishes and all my burners are full! Four burners have been going at full capacity since last summer and things are simmering but nothing is fully cooked through! Will they ever be? I ask self. Will I finish this work that has been going on for months or will I get bored with them and leave them unfinished?
I'm not sure what's going on in my head, only that I have lots of ideas and desires and I can't seem to prioritize. The large landscape above was begun on the eve of hurricane Irene. Just like her big bad self the desire to accomplish my biggest landscape yet took over me, and just like Irene it came and went quickly and uneventfully! I'm still working on it slowly when I get a little of that desire every now and then. The tromp l'oiel of roses above also started the same way. I haven't lost interest in them, the main reason why I have been working so slowly on this painting is because I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to do it right. I'm looking at other tromp l'oiel artists and their talent makes me feel most times minuscule. It'll get done, I know for sure, but when?
Then we move on to Jarod's portrait. Again started with a sudden urge to capture him, but after so many layers of paint and corrections I think I lost the spontaneity I was after. Now I'm just trying to get through it, and I have come to the part of painting the sweater which I'm having difficulty understanding both in color and detail. Again I say, I'll get done!
This is the most recent addition to the pots on the stove, I only started working on this last night, and so far it has come along way in a few short hours (I have done more work to this since I took a photo earlier today). I have a vision for this, so far it's coming along effortlessly, let's hope it stays that way until I finish it. Now that I've given myself a headache I think I'll go paint some more. Till next time, cheers!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

New Plein Air: Triborough Bridge


Triborough Bridge, 2012, oil on linen, 9 x 16 inches
Recently the weather became warm, and in one of those days when temperatures reached the high sixties I took myself out of the studio for the first plein air session of the year. Too bad that with this crazy weather consistency is too much to ask for, a day after I started this painting temperatures dropped bringing us back to winter. Now what's that all about mother nature? Since I don't do so well in the cold I was forced to finish the details of this painting in the studio.
The Triborough Bridge has been a big part of my life while living in NYC. It is through this bridge that I have driven through many times to get to my parents' home in Connecticut. This is also same bridge that stands tall above the running track in Astoria Park, where I go for a run a few times a week in the summer. This bridge has always been looming above me, there was even a time when my apartment was located near the foot of the bridge, everyday I would walk by it to and from work as it rose majestically above buildings and trees. It was only natural that at some point I would paint it as it extends over the East River, connecting Astoria, Manhattan and the Bronx.