Saturday, January 16, 2016

Define Ideal.

School is awesome.
Here are some photos.
sketchbook sketch.

sketchbook animal anatomy studies.

 sketchbook anatomy studies.

 Plein Air Trip

Plein Air Trip.

 Plein Air Trip.

Guests at Safehouse Atelier; S. Assael and S. Hess come out and draw w/ the crew.

 The damage done for my part. 

 Painting class.

Gouache copy of E.Payne.

Gouache study. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

13 Days of Art


So i'm having a 13 Days of Art Sale, all the pieces are on 25% Markdown from their original price.

Here's a little bit about each one;
1) This was painted over a 1-2 hour period in 2014 in Malibu.  I tend to like plein air painting in the morning  or at night time, this one took place in the morning.  I'm particularly fond of grays and foggy days so this piece was really exciting to me.  Eventually, i would like to do a large seascape with the same general idea.  It's on my to-do list. Maybe i'll see a mermaid.

2) Dude.  This drawing took approximately 90 hours.  It's my first cast study and i still don't know how i feel about it, I really enjoyed he process though.  It's so fun.  So really, this is my first piece after my fundraiser and my studying full time at Safehouse Atelier, my first 'academic' drawing, and the longest i have ever worked on a piece, by far.  A milestone.  Kinda great if you think about it.

3) When i got back from travelling abroad... jeez, was it two years ago??  Nah, it was last year, i went on a painting frenzy.  I was so inspired.  This is one of the small studies i did for a new collection based on my travels.  I was visiting Florence, Italy at the time and decided to stay in a small town close by called Carmignano.  It was really incredible.  Olive trees everywhere, great food, great people, great runs, fireflies, italian, art.

4) Yup.  This little guy is based on the same place as part of the same series.  I painted both of these studies in... 2014.

5) This is a paint study i did while i lived in Chatsworth, CA.  2013.  It was a great place.  I rented a room, great roomates, the owner of the house was... interesting.  The morning runs in the mountains were priceless.  I ended up getting kicked out because i wanted the owner to provide me with some necessities so i could take better care of her doggies, they spent most of their time with me since my studio was located there as well.  My good friend Samantha is the model.  She's terrific.

6) Ahhhh, Vegas.  I have a large version of this painting, 30"x40".  It's a part of my private collection.  It was my first large painting and it really started the beginning of an adventure i would have never in my life imagined possible.  Insane.  Anyhow, this was painted in 2010? 2011 maybe.  A good friend of mine posed for this one, it was her birthday and a bunch of friends went to Vegas to celebrate.  We had a fantastic time.. but really, i wouldn't care if i ever landed in Vegas again.  Too full of facades, gambling and a bunch of other stuff i don't care for.  I dug drinking in the streets though. That was cool. And my company was awesome.  One of the nights we went dancing i ended up dancing the nail right off my big toe.  It took awhile to grow back.  So i don't end this on a gross note, I was invited to some posh nude pool party. I didn't go.

7) Yeaaa, This is another study from my abroad series.  The collection is called 'Wanderess'.  Now you see how much i was inspired.  I have to go do this again.  The light in the room was classic, the room, rustic, it had such a glamour, worn and old world feel to it.  Antique furniture, the window overlooking the small city, lined with flowers, sounds of nature and a nice summer breeze.  I miss that place.  Painted in 2015... actually, for my solo show earlier this year.

8) This is a still life i painted in 2014.  There were occasions when i came across fresh flowers inside the house.  I loved painting them.  They were beyond gorgeous.

9) Some oldies.  I think this was painted in 2010 or early 2011.  Right at the very beginning of my journey when i choose to become a fine artist.  Shooting the ref for this was fun... my roomate at the time took photos and i got to hang from the ceiling with a rope.  It hurt. I had a mark on my ankle for months.

10) Another super old one.  2010.  Again, right at the beginning of my journey... thought i'd do a self portrait with a chain.  I won a sessions scholarship from LAAFA with this one.

11) This is one of my favorites.  It's been published in what? 2, 3, 4 books?  I dunno.  I think i also painted this one in 2010.  Part of the 'black and white' series.

12) This was painted in 2011.  I was going through an interesting cycle where i was adapting to life as a fine artist.  I was a commercial/entertainment artist before, the lifestyle change was beyond a 360, it crossed dimensions.  I changed alot in the past 5 years.  More then i could have ever known.  I was very confident back then, i could conquer the world.  Then the world ate me alive. I think i'm still in the digestive track.
*random note; i had food poisoning today.
13) a surprise.

Thanks for your time.  Cheers, and Happy Holidays!

@ the Getty Villa.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Dreams may come

It's been a crazy year.

First and foremost i would like to thank everyone.  You’ve been an enormous part of my recovery effort and have given me the ability to continue to pursue and study quality art.  The importance of that cannot be undermined. You've made the impossible breathe.

The fundraiser was a success.  
I just started attending Safehouse Atelier fulltime.  

I'm studying; alla prima portrait, cast drawing, linear perspective, long pose figure drawing, figure construction, plein air painting, personal portfolio development, and art theory/philosophy I.  Sooooo, my week is busy.  I work on the weekends.

There are some topics i wanted to tackle but at this point i have to get some more of these commissions shipped.  Raincheck.  Enjoy some photos. Behind the scenes stuff.

Thank you.

My first 'official' cast study.

Linear Perspective 

The new recruits.

Alla Prima painting session.

Dobskys work in progress.  Insane. In an awesome kinda way.

Painting/portfolio development with Shawn. 

Hurtado giving a Plein Air demo.

Ramon with his friend Teresa taking a tour of the Atelier. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Model and an Artist walk into a room...

So. I'm a professional artist, a student of art, a booker, and a model.

I have a little perspective. But mind you, it's my perspective. You're welcome to disagree, i'm not some huge pro passing wisdom, or gas.  Just... exploring the subject.

The issue of art models and artists has been raised alot recently so i'm going to discuss it.  If for any other reason because i'm procrastinating going on a run in a 101 degree weather.  Sounds reasonable.

 1; as a model you have to have a consistent look. That takes maintaining a certain lifestyle often requiring time and a financial investment. It would be annoying having to erase an entire 5 week drawing because your model decided it would be a great time to gain 20lbs and get a sex change.
2; it takes time to get ready and drive to a gig. 1-2, sometimes 3hrs, then you drive back. That's gas, time, and plenty of l.a. traffic fun.
3; holding a pose is harder then it looks, both quick and long.  You do have to consider how fit you are,  what your body can handle, what looks good, where the light is, where your center of gravity is, how/where your weight is being distributed, how well you can hold your balance, what surface you're on, what parts of your body are more sensitive and likely to fall asleep, and a good memory for long pose as you are responsible for looking as close as possible to the initial idea.  You have to consider bloodflow, pain, and discomfort threshold and you probably need to learn how to calm and focus your mind.  Meanwhile, you are being studied and talked about.
4; costume models need to invest considerable money into costumes, and time to get ready for work. They also need to have some acting ability for certain gigs as poses will need to reflect different mindsets/ character/ situations. Consider, you don't really want your favorite gangster pretending he's the little mermaid.
5: when an artist requests a pose, models need to know when to say no.  To do that you need to know what you can handle and what you consider appropriate.

6; Note. Arrive on time. take short breaks at appropriate intervals. If your pose is causing you alot of pain, speak to the one in charge.  Permanent physical injuries do occur.  Stretch, and start as simple as possible. That's usually enough.

1; we understand models are not a statues.  We have photos for that.
2; we love having our models as muses.
3; not all artists have good intentions.
4; when making artwork, we need the model to stay as still as they can so we can accurately observe the form and analyze the light.  Chasing a pose is not our idea of a fun workout.
5; we expect the model to be professional.  We hire them to pose, not talk. Socializing is fun, but remember artists love to create, that's why they pay models.  I acknowledge some Venues differ.
6; artists have the nasty habit of being broke, and sometimes weird.  Take that into consideration and be respectful.

7; Note; If a model is in pain because of the pose let them take longer breaks/shorter sessions, or alter parts of the pose after a certain time period. Be understanding. It takes alot of time to become good at knowing how your body reacts in different situations.  Sometimes it's counter intuitive.

Models tend to charge for photos. It's part of the business. It's how we can make a profit and how the quality of our work is rewarded.

Artists sometimes use the photos they purchase. The benefit to taking a photo is that you get to create and finish your project.  Some artists even sell the finished piece generating a profit.

When models take photos of artwork they don't make a profit.  Normally, it's kept as a record because we like the artwork.  At times it will be posted in mass media, that's good marketing for the model and the artist and in such cases models should get artist consent.  Models are not making giclees from these photos, which are normally not of great quality, and it would be illegal anyhow.  So the artist has a right to sew for copyright infringement.
Hence, it's pretty illogical for an artist to charge a model for a photo.

Another factor models need to be aware of when selling their photos is that sometimes the artist will in fact print multiple copies (for others to use as reference), send out copies of the photos or even publish it in social media.   If you want to protect yourself have them sign a contract.

Selling photos to sculptors vs. painters/draftsman.  A painter will normally take one photo as reference.  A sculptor will take like 50.   As a model you should charge the same (or at least in the same ballpark) for both.  (if it's one pose, meaning one project).   You are selling reference to finish a project.  The needs of the medium are different and i think that's important to take into account.

Lastly, at times a teacher will request to only book a model when their photos are free of charge. They want their students to understand and keep studying after the session is over without giving up their weekly food money.  This is not a disrespect to the model, it's a circumstance and condition. You don't have to take the gig, but don't talk smack about it.

Photoshoots for artists are different.  There are lots of different poses and i tend to charge the same for artists as i do for photographers, per hr.

I'm certain i haven't dealt with everything in this entree. It's a start.

 Drawing by Bilmes.
Painting by Richard.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The education extravaganza;

Pratt, the expensive, formal college experience.
After highschool i attended an art college.  Pratt Institute in NYC.  It's got a great reputation, great campus, and it costs a ton of money. Secret to success?  You wish. So I applied and received scholarships, grants, financial aid and loans, taken out by my mother and i, and I graduated with a degree in Illustration, but it was not the education i was seeking. Quality art education at that time was hidden under a rock at the bottom of the ocean in a giant shell and so was the definition of what 'quality' art was.  I just knew i wasn't seeing it. As a result i bounced around a multitude of departments and almost decided art was not the direction i was going... until i stumbled on traditional animation.  Oh. And that was fun. Not being from the film department i had to fight my way into the classes, but i got in, and eventually, got my animated short 'Sin', played with the best of the rest of the film majors at their showdown, which i know my not being in the department raised some hairs.  I got to hear about it. The amazing thing was i didn't find out what a 'cycle' was till the very end of my short film.  I kept asking and no one would give me the answer, as though the answer was so basic that they thought it was a joke.  Knowing what a cycle was would have saved me alot of time. That's all i gotta say.
 That year I was also selected to be in the 'best of' for Pratt Institute Show at Hammerstein Ballroom.   My art was strong in it's language, but not in its execution.   I left New York to pursue a career in L.A.

I got a studio job in L.A. Learned alot. Got promoted. Got a tan.

I became an independent contractor.  Gained alot of clients. Earned a living. Started traveling more.

I became a fine artist.  Started traveling monthly because stable housing was an issue.

I'm not going to go into the complete story of how i became a fine artist, or my crazy experience of trying to become one these past five years.  Just know, it's been very eventful.  Kinda like if a tornado hit a room and left, and then you look at the mess and think; that's what figuring out how the fine art thing goes looks like.  By the way, the room was packed with stuff. Which quite literally i had to get rid of.  But that's another story.

The most relevant part of the current ordeal is that I ended up taking an oil painting class, and it felt right. This new world of fine art was beautiful; images composed an executed in a manner which required great skill and intuitiveness.  I was exposed to artwork so rich you could look at it for hours and still, you would not be done, in person they held vitality which breathed through the seams,  they were immortal. I wanted to create that.  I slowly took on less and less work through my business and became more and more focused on becoming a fine artist... and slowly figuring out that i  had to learn how to draw first.  I thought my drive and dedication could pull me through (self-taught alternative)... it didn't, in fact, i met some wrong people on that road.   Taking a class here and there did not provide sufficient practice.   I had to juggle too many balls at once not knowing how any of them worked.  When I did begin finding out how they worked, it became more complex.   You need the information, the time, the practice, repetition, guidance and patience to be successful as a student of art, let alone a successful artist.

There is a video i recommend watching if you're looking to study art ;

Education holds the key to everyones future.  I hope to be able to aid in that process because i would hate to see anyone else go through the same experience as i.  Financial means should not be the limit to the education you can be provided with before you make a career.

Education won't guarantee survival as an artist.  After you learn to produce great work there is a whole other ball game waiting for you, and you'll have to succeed and survive.  But at least you'll have quality, and that's a big step in the right direction.

To check out my Indiegogo campaign and listen to part of my story, please check out the link below and donate if you can.  Thank you.

Me at a recent show. 'Huicho!' at Kwon Fong Gallery.

Upcoming show i'm participating in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Dream of an artist

I've put up an IndieGOGO campaign in an attempt to fund my education.
Please check it out.

also feel free to check out my site; There are paintings there which have already been sold or are being sold at Abend Gallery.

my facebook;

my instagram;

I've composed a reward system.  Here is the artwork available;
-If the artwork is unframed you may choose to have it framed prior to shipping with extra charge.
-If you would like to discuss an alternate option for a donation feel free to contact me.

$50-Tiny Painting (little secrets collection)
Tiny painting; 3x1.75 painting or tiny commission or 5"x8" drawing

 3"x1.75"  (or so) original paintings.  framed and unframed.

3"x5" Zorn copy

$100-original sketch
(these are examples, not for sale)

$300-Small Plein Air Painting; 7"x5"
sargent copy, 'Capri girl', 8”x4”, oils unframed

sargent  copy, 'head of capri girl',  6”x4”, oils unframed

schmid copy, 6”x4”, oils, unframed

Fechin copy/wife, 5”x7”, unframed

Fechin copy/wife/bl, 6”x8”, unframed

some examples of my plein air;

Some painting studies.

vegas study     5”x7”, oils, unframed

-little paint study with final painting to the right (large version available for sale @Abend Gallery, called 'Carmignano')

$500-Small-Med Painting; 
tuscany study, 6”x12”x oils, unframed 
chatsworth study  8”x10”, oils unframed

Repin copy ; Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin, 8”x10”, oils unframed

Repin copy; 'Portrait of V.V.Stasov',  9”x12”, oils, unframed

red, 10x8, oils, framed
blue, 10x8”, oils, framed
white, 12”x12”, oils, framed

green pot,  8”x12”, oils, framed

boots,  9x11.5 oils, framed

self portrait front,  8”x10”, oils, unframed

black and white sm quickstudy collection; 8”x10”, unframed

portrait with chain bw  9”x12, unframed

upside down -10”x16”, oils, framed

cast study,  14"x11", oils, framed

Model bw,  11”x14”, oils, unframed
portrait drawing-  18”x12”, pen n ink, framed

male back bw copy;  9”x12” oils, unframed

bouguereau bw copy,  9x12” , oils, unframed

drawingof girl w/ glasses  15”x8”, pen n ink, framed

drawing of woman with hat  18”x12”, pen n ink, framed

$1000-Med Painting;

Persephones box,  28”x14”, oils framed
Room in Tuscany, 12x16, oils unframed

Brullov copy,  20”x10”, oils, unframed


Atwater -, 36”x12”, oils framed

chatsworth, 20”x16”, oils, unframed

Portrait with earrings, 16”x12”, oils, framed

Thousand Oaks-16”x20”, oils, unframed

Reseda, 20"x16", oils, framed

Redondo Beach- 16”x20”, oils framed

France 30”x15”, oils, framed

Molino, IT-  30”x15”, oils, unframed

Repin Copy, 'Portrait of Baroness Varvara Ivanova Hildenbrandt', 36”x14”, oils, unframed

Los Angeles 24”x18”, oils, framed

Arizona, 30”x40” oils, framed

$10,000-Lifesize painting or commission. 

Malibu, 72”32”, oils, framed

$25,000- a large multiperson commission, to completed after graduation (2 years)

$50,000-really large commission painting to be completed post graduation. (2 years)

The Battle Ground; Self Taught vs an Institute.
In an institute, there is the camaraderie.  In a class, you can learn a great deal from your peers as well as the teachers themselves.  A class environment allows a group to provide encouragement, critiques and debate philosophy, art, history and beyond.  As a niche evolves, the shared experiences build the foundation for not only further artistic exploration, but the friendships needed to provide each other support down the road. 
Conversely, fill in the blank.  In a self taught course an individual is more likely to implement a chaotic strategy to their education, re-inventing the wheel on a daily basis.  You don’t even need a wheel… what are you doing inventing one… we have sub particle transport systems. Furthermore there may be great gaps in the knowledge of fundamental principles that prevent steady artistic growth.  Developing a successful curriculum takes experience and knowledge of what leads to the desired outcome. Time practicing a concept is also necessary till it becomes second nature.  In a full time program, you're spared the pain staking task of location scouting and availability and are instead provided with all the resources necessary allowing the student to focus on the task at hand.  It’s a big deal.
Finally, teach me.  With a successful curriculum in place, an educator is ever present, guiding the way through difficult terrain,  providing solutions to missteps, and planning strategies to further attain educational goals. Swords not included.
I’m going to take a moment to say… Harry Potter wouldn’t have made it very far without an education… I know there are many of you HP fans out there.  It would have been a very different story.   The president wouldn't be where he is either.  WIthout education, our choices become limited and our successes fewer.