Monday, June 22, 2015

What is left is right what is right is damaged.

I've had the good fortune this week to meet with a collector and we had a wonderful dinner and exchanged our thoughts on many topics. By the end of the night she purchased a painting of mine.  I'm very fortunate to truly enjoy the company of the collectors I've gotten to meet, they feel like friends who happen to like the work I do.  Anyhow, I'm going to touch base upon one of the topics discussed which is the subject matter of what I enjoy painting and my current process. 

I love painting my landscapes and still lives, however, those are not my forte so I don't publicize them much.  The body of my work evolves people.  My obsessions range from topic to topic and my fascination with key individuals in selected fields inspire me to create. One of my ongoing interests has been dancers.  I've drawn them a good deal but I cannot create a body of work based solely on observation. I'm big on knowing and experiencing the world someone comes from, I love my research and I think the production of a work of art is a lot richer for it.  It's fun for me.  You get to know your subject beyond presentation and get to feel for their story; battles, wins, loses, psychological and physical quirks.  It's an appreciation for the human experience.  Also, the more I gain the acquaintance of and respect an individual the harder I work at making the work better and pushing myself to the max.  You feel as though you have to do it justice and I can't do that unless I push myself to do the best job I'm capable of .   In the end, the painting really takes on a life of its own.  

In a world where our existence is based so much upon the fabricated, experiencing something genuine and capturing it in art is a slice of truth.  I need that honesty in what I create.

I'll now attempt to tackle the tornado which took place this week. 

I still have not received my Russian visa.  I've stopped studying the language for the most part because of my partial loss in faith that I'll actually have the opportunity to study abroad and because of the enormous amount of stuff I have to I get done.  

This weeks task was finishing 4 paintings for an upcoming gallery show.   This was a hard for many reasons; i've moved twice, i've modeled,  and i've been dealing with a myriad of injuries, my leg, so I couldn't run and let out stress/energy for over a week, and mid week  my right arm went partially numb... And stayed that way.  Meaning... Mobility was not easy as it became swollen and felt like I was lifting a horse every time I moved it.  While this sounds impressive the fact that it was an empty tea cup takes my gold medal away.  I had to paint with my left hand. The emotional arm is regaining strength but is not yet at 100.  Big lazy.

 My computer also called it quits on life.  I guess this means that humans may outlive machines... But we all know that's not gonna happen.  When machines manufacture machines I doubt they are going to make it out of jello (unless it's synthesized jello).  Bugs eat that stuff.

'From Brasil',
'Do Brasil' -portuguese
oil on panel

Monday, June 15, 2015

obssesive patterns

This past week has been mostly dedicated to commission work (and modeling).  I received a commission from a wonderful lady in New York to draw 3 portraits.  It has been a pleasure working with her and i'm very fortunate.

That said, I will now go into the process i currently go through.  First, I get the expectations, dates and numbers on the clear. I draw up thumbnails exploring various compositions, shapes/value relationships and I let the customer pick one/give feedback and then pay.  I then do a nearly finished drawing giving a better idea of what the final product will look like (pencil)... very time consuming but necessary, specially when you're working with pen and ink... there are very few revisions that can be done with this medium and none of them involve taking away or correcting.  So at this stage I take some final notes from the customer before i head into the final product.
After approval I start the final drawing.  I use a specific kind of paper which is  very delicate, so god forbid i get it dirty, bend it, rip it, put tape on it, etc.  Even the pen sometimes causes acts of violence on the surface.  It's rice paper, and it's textured, so i also have to know how the drawing is going to look on the paper so that a big chunk of texture doesn't fall in the middle of a portrait... better leave that stuff floating around the sides.  Obviously the surface the drawing paper itself lies on top of matters as well, whether its hard or slightly padded, smooth, etc will give the pen park a different flow.  The pen itself needs to have even pressure throughout lest it 'bleed'... which, if it's abad bleed  you'd have to start a new drawing.  Ill also mention that inevitably an error will occur, i've never had a 'perfect' drawing.  The trick to getting around those is making it look intentional.  Most of the time you can pull it off... sometimes you can't.  I once had a drawing i was working on for a show, it was fairly large and difficult... it was... what... 40"x15" or something... i was touching things up at the end and i think i heard someone calling me, or something attracted my attention and i left the pen on the paper for a second too long... there was a blot.  I spent alot of hours trying to correct the error, changing the compositon, value arrangement, markmaking (the blot was not the type of language i was using) and finally... the drawing got trashed.  So it happens.  Lastly i'll mention that not all references are created equal.  I've mostly received ok references, but sometimes they really tilt more on the direction of not... when even upon request the client cannot provide a better alternative i sometimes find myself combining two or three references to get the portrait i need.

 These drawings don't take hours, they take days/weeks to finish because it is a slow build of of very fine lines.  The repitition of the pattern alone takes hours of focus since i try to get it somewhat evenly spaced and pressured.  The correct drawing has to be there, and also the pen has to be in it's ideal state of ink.. meaning, new pens show up with stronger lines, older pens you can get away with finer ones and are more sensitive to pressure. They all bleed if you don't take care.

Anyhow... back on point. When the commission is finished (if its a couple at once i wait until they are all done, so i can feel free to touch up others as i finish some to make sure they feel like a unit and a sort of communication is going on between them) i send final pix, hopefully get an approval then ship it off to its new owner.  (i added this in a rush just now... i'll organize it properly later.)

  For what it's worth, the final product does look really nice and i'm super excited to see what i'll end up doing with this medium in terms of pattern, application, process etc.  I know i'm barely at the tip of the iceberg with these.

 I'm not posting the current drawings since they are commissions, when all is done i'll ask permission.

 Another word.... I do not have a big name and am starting in my career... if i charged hourly for the amount of work that is going into these i'd get less then a dollar an hr.   Whether that's right or wrong at this point is irrelevant, it's important that i'm at least getting my art moving and getting paid for it... people don't know how much work goes into these... they wouldn't be willing to pay for it. Specially if you're just starting out.

Thought number two... As i wait for my russian student visa and details.  I'm considering where else i may travel, and how to continue making ends meet in other countries for temporary stays.   I will always have to regroup in Cali and New York... but meanwhile, i can still linger, search and discover and make great art... whether it sells or not is another question.

My goal, as an artist, is to perfect my craft and always work as honestly as i can and to the best of my ability.  My direction in life is one of endless study and travel.

No photos today again, i'm using a friends computer.  Gotta go.

Monday, June 8, 2015

On again

So it's been a pretty long while since i've posted.  I really didn't think anyone would care but i've been receiving a surprising amount of requests to continue on with my posts.  So back up and running by random demand.  I don't have the internet at home so posting is actually a pain in the ass... or Starbucks heaven since they have wifi.

Anyhow, i'll admit to enjoying writing these since it gives me time to reflect on weeks which pass.   Long story short, these are good.

I'm not going to write a novel trying to catch up with lost time... But i will give a brief update as to what's happened in the past couple months, or something.

The roadtrip back to l.a. was fantastic, I think it lasted 2-3 weeks, I got gallery representation, i'm currently working with Abend gallery in Colorado.  I'm looking to go to school and get my masters at Repin Academy in Russia, I'm waiting for the invitation/visa to come in the mail so i can move forward with it (after much work i finally got to apply and got accepted, i'll go into the reasons and process some other time.. it's a long story and yes i'm learning the language).  I've made a short film (4mins) which i'm hesitating to release and i've been modeling alot  to pay bills. I've been in some incredible exhibitions with some incredible artists, namely, the CAC Gold Medal Show and the 'On location in Malibu' show.  I'm continuing to dance tango when time allows and still running,   I traded digital concept illustration work to have a programmer redesign my website and i've been approached by California Art Club to have a video documentary done on me (a series including other artists)... we'll see if that happens.  I've been also healing from a bad back injury with no health insurance.

Lastly i'll mention something funny about being in business and being a woman.  (similar situations may happen to men but not as often).  I'll get asked on business outings or coffee whatever and they'll be dates in disguise.  Opportunities will be offered,  real or faux, but after i put my little feminist foot down and mention something is unprofessional business conduct and no i will not go to the cinema with you the opportunities will vanish.  I can take a little flirting, but there is a line and clearly all lines are not created equal.

Before i keep going i'm going to stop.  That's enough writing.  Just wanted to put it out there that i'm alive and kicking.

Meanwhile, here are some great podcasts i've been listening to;
Russian rulers podcast (history)
Podcast-Suggested Donation (art)
The Partially Examined Life (philosophy)
Inquiring Minds (Science)
This American Life (people)
TED radio hour (people)

I had Americas Test Kitchen too but since i've stopped being all fancy with my culinary endeavors i've put that on hold.

No photos today, i'm using a friends computer and i have to go.  Check out my Facebook or Instagram.  Cheers.