Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A little lost...

...but thats the idea right?

Bold? is it bold to fail? I made some decisions to break away from a formula that obviously wasn't working. Last minute additions to my pieces proved somewhat risky, throwing a Haefling face down in the paint on the last day could have ruined the little I actually had going on. In that piece in particular I adhered too much to the photoshopped collage of images I had compiled. I started off with my formulaic background and then said screw it, I cant stand the lack of conversation between the acrylic action painting and the oil figurative work. I need to stop this shit. This was extremely hard because I had become so comfortable with something and to push it away was liberating but also putting me in the dark. Now where do I go??

I still used safe routes in the next piece, employing the use of a distinctly different language in the background, incorporating blueprints that literally lent to the idea of facade and our building up of walls to keep folk out. I personally found this piece more successful than the previous work but at the same time it wasn't enough, not in the visual sense but in the painterly sense. I chose an illustrative escape on this one, outlining some forms which I cant stress enough is like cheating. something about showing something for crit that is obviously unfinished drives me nuts, so i tend to make moves last second that actually hinder the integrity of the work as a whole far more than the unfinished areas.

I know I want to work with the figure in relationship to a more abstract idea and literal paint application, but currently my stuff looks like just any figure painting, in the portrait (which I wish I didnt have to call it that) it does read too much as a self portrait. this was completely unintentional, at the same time, we are our best models. I keep thinking I can use myself as reference and then render my features differently, I cant stray far enough from the image at hand. This proves a huge roadblock in my work.

I still wish I could work on 18 foot walls, If i had the opportunity to just paint on the studio walls I think I would enjoy that much more, Id have the opportunity to break away from some of the safe routes I take in terms of paint application and formula. The scale would force me to work quicker and with larger brushes. I hate working a foot away from my paintings cramped in the corner of my bedroom. the size would demand much better rendering on my part and proper proportions would be key. One day...

sometimes... flat, muddy, erie, dark, boring, ethereal, true, moist, cold, confusing,

approach... careful, contemplative, sure, at times unsure, visceral, comfortable, forced, timid, quick, tame.... ugghhhhhh

I work too fast in relation to my idea, my idea demands more clear portrayal at the same time if I continue working at the speed I do, maybe just a shit load more paint would take it to that point, the one that makes it look like I know what I am doing.

We all employ defense mechanism to keep ourselves in these little boxes. we may present ourselves in a carefree manner but we all have our secrets, our cover-ups. i go again with this facade word. we all have them where is our essence why is society such a huge impact on our appearance, our expression of emotion, our relationships with others? Even in the application or production of Paintings or art in general, far too many folk are directly referencing society and common culture...why is this?? why can't we reach a point where we are creating something new. as hard as I try my work looks just like the next guys, though these days I feel I at least reference a more classic or formal approach...too bad this is frowned upon.

Currently I have been leaning toward the deconstruction of plane, shape, and color. I am super intrigued by the Leipzig painters, incorporating the flat yet form taking planes with my figurative work seems like it could be new something refreshing and helpful to expressing my intentions. David Schnell to name the one most influential in relation to where I see myself going with the abstraction and deconstruction of things. this guy kills it, knocks it out the box...

With the very last piece I finally started experimenting, employing Richter techniques with a squeegee, though hesitant to use a bunch of pigment, I got a feel for the general application process and potential moments that could occur. I didnt take it far enough, and the plane breakdown I experimented with the boats never made it to the level I had anticipated, but I believe I am on the right track, I just need to stop being so fucking scared and paint. simple. paint. The figure in that piece does get closer to the level Id like to achieve, and I am actually somewhat pleased with that. On the other hand I need to work with more than one figure, with a larger scale and play with the shadows and lighting far more. blahhh

current events??? I dont care for this war bullshit, theres no way my work could ever pull troops out of iraq or take away planes from the towers, I cant go back in time and prevent ethnocide to the natives or stop global warming single handedly. I can evoke a feeling inside oneself that may prove true to many, that we are inside ourselves, we are all far too abstract in how we present ourselves. timelessness, introversion, hidden emotions, lies, the act of preventing oneself from opening up to someone else or inviting people in is something that will never end. It is also something that we see as a huge trigger in war and relations between countries and cultures as a whole. The age old "don't judge a book by it's cover" is disregarded every day by entities larger than ourselves. We cannot communicate nor do we understand these bodies of people elsewhere so we interject for our own righteous selfish reasons, because we think we have a solution. no solution comes from one direction, it is the melding of it all that produces answers. if only the ice caps melting covered everyone in paint...

Monday, April 26, 2010

"As for Fraleigh’s work, perhaps I’ve seen too much painting but this stuff is straight out of early 70’s Fem painting, with too many practitioners to mention (Joan Semmel), some doing it well and some not. Seems there’s always a problem when trying to combine different tacks that you don’t go far enough with ether. I’d like to see the abstract or the figurative elements pushed further, made tougher. There are analogies between the forms of the poured paint and body shapes and functions but why not geometric abstraction too, or some othre body parts besides the face? "

None of the suggested artists i could locate on the NYC blog, so I went with the artist Angela Fraleigh, a painter that explores the same clashing of realms and paint handling. Above is a critique posted on the blog about Fraleigh's work. I find the words that state "the problem with trying to combine different tacks is that you don't go far enough with either. This rings very true to my work as well as hers. The constant need to combine abstract and figurative work leaves me with a huge equation that usually ends up disastrous.

"I don't think a figure awash in a wilderness of paint is sustainable as a career.
Unless that paint is exquisite.
Is it?"

This comment also serves as a delivering blow of what i knew was inevitable. A very true statement and i dont even do enough action painting in the background and i believe she starts with he figure work and then splashes copious amounts of paint on the canvas and then moves it around in a therapeutic fashion that distorts what portions of the figure remain visible. to the contrary i paint the painterly and abstract layer as my prepped background and then slap the figures on the surface in some plane defying manner that leaves them flat and separated from the space, which I enjoy the frustration and awkwardness to that space but people must beg for more. I feel if i had all the time in the world to pursue this problem i could get both facets to a very legible state. right now i am falling very short...

Friday, April 16, 2010

My god i suck at what i do and found someone that does it wayyyy better. introduction, this is an irish artist by the name of Chloe Early, damn she's got bars!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I chose to focus on mainly Michael Borremans. His figures are slaves to the space they inhibit. some of these figures are merely busts, they begin above the waist almost stuck in concrete. the compositional perspective is precise and believable yet obtrusive and discomforting which i love! again I need to focus on the lighting of my figures and shadows... shadows are a hugh issue when it comes to my work, I usually use shitty photographic resources and the shadows need to be created themselves. Borremans also uses really believable color palette that reads as both realistic yet aged and nostalgic. If I could incorporate his placement of figure in awkward spaces and emerging from planes into the abstract and turbulent atmosphere I create, I believe my intentions may be more apparent.
Matthew Greene employs a similar paint application technique to that of mine. The many layered backgrounds the interact with the forms create a movement that I long to achieve. I need to push my figures into theses spaces rather than plop them directly on the surface. I wish i had the guts to paint with very opaque whites and leave them that way. His saturation is toned down so much it evokes and erie sickly aura. negative space also plays a key role in his work, I tend to fall off the deep end when it comes to expressing hypergraphia. i clutter my spaces when simplicity should be just as driving as the overall idea itself. I want to achieve something similar to that of Greene's disappearing methods, where the forms wash into the background color.

Monday, April 12, 2010

contemporary glance

Tim Gardner portrays figures in their personal space. his pieces are very literal and seem like they are painted directly from photographs of friends. I do enjoy the facial expression and the correlation to their surroundings. In another of his works there is a horizontal figure immersed in a sea of bear bottles. The vulnerability is definitely present.
Atul Dodiya paints roll top doors int he streets of india as well as canvas and paper works. He deals with the same space and figure relationship and evokes emotional response. sometimes literal and sometimes rather metaphorical, Dodiya produces very charged works and can access the viewer almost immediately. This is something I have been struggling with recently. How do I clearly present my issue and have it be abstract and legible at the same time? I enjoy Dodiya's use of complementary hues.

"I attempt to create an atmosphere outside time, a space where time has been cancelled."
-Michael Borremans

immediately i am drawn to Borremans content. the anchoring of his figures and the metaphor of this ambiguous space and the figures relation to that space intrigues me. he has a loose but very representational stroke. He works in oil watercolor and ink which, for the most part, resembles my three key mediums. i really appreciate his clear definition of this made up space. i lack imperative boundary and plane distinction. I need to decipher more clearly between the imaginary and the actuality.

Matthew Greene Builds beautiful atmospheric perspective in his work. The washes and layering in the background is far more effective than my own. the conversation between the forms and figures to that of the awkward space is rather beautiful in all it's jumbled fragmented mess. I really need to work on leaving pieces unfinished. the way his figures drop back int0 the space and disappear flippantly is very indicative of a vulnerability and loss within oneself. the layers signify this facade idea i have juggled. I need to loosen up, i need to not be constrained by the initial canvas prep, it should have no effect on what comes next!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wood Panel Spring Break Underpainting

So again I started with the more organic action painting, splatter, abstraction. very therapeutic process that enables me to release any potential for "artist block." After prepping the canvas in this manner I moved on to locating large areas of color, lights and shadows. I am again working from a crappy polaroid photo so a flash and distorted tones prove an obstacle again. I start out very flat again, isolation certain ambiguous planes.

adding some saturated tones and laying down second coats.

this photograph was taken at night so it appears much you can see more rendering of piano, block, figure and birds has occurred. More shadows on the figure. must create some sort of horizon line to push depth.
detail of some of the texture in the block.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I encountered many obstacles in this piece. I wanted to be playful with the whacky illusion of space in a dimensionless atmosphere. Based on a lot of the critique papers I was able to acknowledge that the intent was not achieved. I realized I was painting the figures much too flat and spent the majority of my time pushing them back into this imaginary space. when it came to rendering the wall and conduit, a more cartoonish, loose, and incomplete effect occurred. this piece is still very unfinished especially in these aspects. the flaking wall was intentional but I can understand why it reads as "not thought out." overall I am kind of disappointed in the final presentation of this piece and hope to work out the issues in the next piece

finally achieving some sort of depth, working past the flatness and pushing figures back in space. This proves rather difficult since I am working from a flash Polaroid photograph with real poor form definition. mostly guess work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Some folk I really need to study!

David Kassan has been a recent influence, I finally remembered his name and was able to grab a bunch of shots. These are great, this guy is crazy goodSean Cheetham another contemporary oil painter that wrestles with figure and space

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Definition. still no where near pleasing me. I started the raw umber underpainting and worked it completely out on the canvas three times. Every attempt I would wipe out and start over with the intention of rendering the figures smaller in their space. I feel limited on this canvas and wish I could work as large as I am on a much larger surface.
letting it flow
first color after underpainting, kind of garbage
bleach out
Canvas prep
Sutro Island

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hung Liu Has inspired my work. The way in which she applies the paint in a very drippy manner and yet still achieves detail and form is rather fascinating.Her subject matter almost always incorporates figure and a made up space.
I know there is a point in which we must stray from the mainstream uber famous artists like Klimt but there is a part of me that will never let go of his work. That and I am also influenced by Egon Schiele who was mentored by Klimt. Again the focus on the figure and the interaction with a made up space is very key.
David Choe's work has a lot of the same elements as mine. layering is rather apparent and shape scribbling often adorns his background. something about lines that aren't too straight or too rendered gets me going.
Gail introduced me to Zak Smith. His work is similar and influential to mine in that he works from photos of friends and images he has taken. Because he leaves the figures black and white, the background acts more as a design and intricate shape work than just the documentation of their space.

All of these artists capture emotional expression in their own way, all of which are unique and all of which are effective. I failed to mention Jenny Saville, Robert Bechtle, Lautrec, Cassatt, and most importantly the artists I encounter everyday, my roommate is a huge influence as well as some artist I practice collaborative pieces with. I am also influenced by the books I read. More often than not, the passages from a Haruki Murakami book will inspire me to paint.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

some poor shots of some of the stuff at the Greenhouse in West portal. Mr. Love has stuff there too so check it (that just bought me a slap in the face). It is only up for another week so hurry

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three Studies

Some of my studies frustrated me, I used the same methods of production for all of them, spending what now seems like far too long on the initial pencil sketches that drive the washes. Towards the end the washes became more transparent and far less layered.

I should have used multimedia to envision some of my ideas rather than the same process over and over.

I hope to take these studies and produce works that are loosely driven by the background and more so by the subject matter. I hope to keep the recurring space with in space idea and evoke a multitude of potential emotions and ideas about the space within.

Space Within A Space

The initial idea behind the thirty studies we have been working on in studio has evolved as I progressed through the series. As I started the series I originally intended to deal with human emotion and the spacial relation to the figures and how surroundings can evoke different emotion and connotation. I was initially searching for vulnerability, but as I have moved forward the idea of personality as a defense mechanism drove my ideas. Who are these people, what is the importance of their settings? how are their physical expressions and placement perceived? all the photos I work from are my own. The subjects are friends or myself. I know these people and I know when their guards are up. It is quite lovely to be able to capture those vulnerable or fraudulent moments in expression. I love experiencing the moments in which the people I am close to are lost in thought, sad, depressed, stressed, anxious, secretive, inquisitive, angry, tough, weak.... the list continues. I also found that my organic nature in producing these layered abstract backgrounds really lends a whole other dimension to my idea. their emotions are suspended in an intangible world of thought and writing, shapes, math, vectors. there is so much happening around them and yet they are still. I like to think the floating words and shapes are the very items that depict the subject's thought, their aura.