Monday, July 31, 2017
Saturday was a day of monotype printing. I can't believe I haven't touched a press since May, that's the longest period of time I've gone without printing in three years.
I've missed working on montypes, especially at Rob's studio. The light is right, the music is going, and I get to drink tea while trying to make some magic happen.
I always get asked how I obtain some of my marks, there's no magical tool, just some hog bristle brushes of different shapes. The brush above is a da Vinci brush for plein air painting, series 7707, size 6. The bristles are long and flexible enough that they create the long grass effect when you swipe upwards.
The first couple of prints and their ghosts chilling on the leather couch. I love this shot!
Above is a short video of how I use a clay shaper/paint eraser to wipe away areas that need harder edges. Eventually I go over some of the areas with a soft synthetic bush to soften them. This tool is perfect for drawing, in this case the texture of tree trunks.
Above I'm working on another plate, getting that grass effect with da Vinci plein air brush series 7407, filbert. After years of use this brush no longer looks like a filbert, it has now turned into a bright, which just like the round helps to create grass effects.
This is the moment of truth, putting the plate through the press and crossing your fingers hoping that the print will turn out alright. Sometimes the paper doesn't absorb all the ink you get very light spots, sometimes the opposite happens when it absorbs too much and it prints extremely dark causing the loss of details. In this case, I was very pleased with the outcome. The prints from this session will be posted next week, come back and check them out.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
So far it has been a busy summer. I feel like I have a lot of different things cooking, at a slow simmer, and the final meal is a long way ahead. The good thing is that I'm working and hoping a couple of projects lead to bigger things.
Tad Spurgeon's book Living Craft. I have not been this excited to receive in book in the mail for a long time the way I was with this one. I have been following Tad's work for more than ten years, back when I used to work for Kremer Pigments. He shopped with us then, maybe he still does, and that's how I came across his website. Years of hard work and research have gone into this book which will help the painter interested in art materials and painting practices that have been part of the craft for centuries; the stuff that modern art schools have no clue about. The reason why I mention this purchase is because I felt I needed a little guidance, it's been a while since I've dealt with raw art materials and I thought he would be a good way to get reacquainted with this part of my past. And why do I need to brush up (hehehe no pun intended) on oil painting techniques? Well I will be teaching an oil painting workshop with Kremer Pigments NYC, date still remains to be determined but I am getting myself ready for it. Funny how we have come full circle.
Remember the Christmas card commission I wrote about recently? That's still under way. I think we are on revision number 7, or is it 8? I don't know, I'm beginning to lose count, but the good news is that were are getting very close to completing the project. That's if the clients don't change their minds again. The good thing about this commission is that it got me back into watercolor, I forget how beautiful it can be, so much so that I enrolled in a watercolor making class with Kremer Pigments which will take place tomorrow. I can't wait!!! I will be documenting the whole thing so make sure to check back in the next couple of days.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Cemagi Beach, Sunset, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 11 x 14 inches
I know I have neglected this blog for a long time, but I never realized just how much until I went through it today and noticed that I had not posted paintings from the end of last year. Instagram is what I update almost daily, it seems it's easier and faster for everyone. Also, does anyone still read blogs? It almost seems like a thing of the long past, but here I am updating in hopes that it does reach a few people.
Cemagi Beach, Morning Light, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 11 x 14 inches
Last October I had the luck of visiting Bali, a place that was not in my list of places to see but it was an invitation I could not refuse. Of course I brought my paints with me, I traveled over 24 hours to get there for a two week visit, how could I not?
Cemagi Beach Rocks, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
Jet lag in this trip was a blessing, I woke up between five and six in the morning for the first week, allowing me to go out and catch the morning light. Our property was right on the beach, which was only accessible in the morning when the tide was low. Around 1pm. the ocean would claim this beach and waves would come crashing against the walls.
Bali Sunset, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
Later in the afternoon the ocean would recede again revealing new formations on the dark brown sand. Painting in Bali was a nice change, I was forced to use a different color palette to reflect the earthy tones of the place.
Pura Dalem Segara II, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 11 x 14 inches
Temples were every where, and this is not an exaggeration. Every building, private or commercial, either had a temple attached or some sort of altar, all filled with offerings of flowers and food. The structures are very intricate there, a feast for the eyes that at times turned overwhelming. This temple was located at the back of the property where our group stayed. This is the second painting of this temple, the first one I never got to finish because it was much more intricate. At some point I have to finish it using photos I took of the place.
September Afternoon in Cold Spring, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 14 x 11 inches
In September a small group of us took a little weekend getaway to Cold Spring, NY. I love being in the country side of the North East. The light is different, and when the sun goes down everything seems magical. The leaves in the trees begin to become alive, and as the gentle summer breeze sweeps through and the trees put on a fluttering show. Life goals - get a house Upstate and paint all day!
A Creek in Cold Spring, 2016, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
2016 was a busy year, I'm not sure if I had mentioned it before but I got married in July. The months leading up to the big day were busy with planning, all while working my full time job and keeping up with my artwork. This year things have calmed down a little but time is flying by, I'm working on paintings, drawings, and prints, but somehow it feels like I don't have enough to show for it. Time to get serious and make more art! More to come very soon.