Sketchaday

The artwork-a-day concept has been on my radar for the last three years. I originally learned about it in through an art magazine. The article described an oil-painter who challenged himself to produce an oil-painting a day. He then offered these small-scale renderings through a blog site and ultimately found quite a market for himself while his reputation grew. Recently, another friend of mine began doing a sketch-a-day for his blog. The thought intrigued me, but not to the point where I wanted to commit a piece every day to post online. Never the less, the idea loomed in the back of my mind.

Last week, I found myself frustrated over my inability to effectively draw a specific concept I was thinking. I tried to think of a solution as this problem has been affecting me in little ways over the last few months. I soon realized, with my time in the studio recently diminished, I have been focusing all my limited sessions solely on painting which apparently has been at the expense of other aspects of my art. My work is more than simply applying pigment to a surface; it’s about being deliberate where I put it. To achieve the level of detail I intended for my work, I needed to refine my hand/eye coordination. It then became obvious I needed to find a way to employ hand/eye coordination exercises into my daily routine. That’s when I thought a sketch per day might worth while.

So, for the past week, I've made it a point to sketch at least one page’s worth of material; a sort of art journal I suppose. There, I’ve been conceiving ideas and polishing others as I prepare for new works. More importantly, I’ve been trying to employ more still-lifes into my observations. The consistency and nature of these exercises are really helping me improve my drafting skills. I believe this will translate well on the new cradle boards I’ve been developing. Who knows, if I come up with something worthwhile, I may even post it. Stay tuned...

New Release

I just finished a series of five paintings as part of my Interludes series. This is work envisioned from my trip earlier this year to Chicago for The Artist Project. At the event, I had an epiphany that clearly revealed where I needed to direct my work, creatively speaking. The feeling crystalized over the duration of the event as I was surrounded by the works of peers, masters, and other progressive thinking people within the industry. I was so anxious to move forward on this vision that I actually spent time redoing some of my other musicians when I got back home to better reflect this new style (i.e. the image to the left, "12th Street Rag".

With this new set of paintings, I am leaving behind, for now, the jazz musicians of my past efforts to concentrate on the instruments alone (see image right). The new work is a celebration of their beauty through an exploration of shape and contour with implications of sound and energy. I also see possibilities with the juxtaposition of several instruments together on the same canvas through the interplay of form. Together, they work to create harmony in song. My aim is to capture this concept visually. With all of these elements in mind, I refer to this series of five as my first Album. The album title suggesting a cohesive effort of work within a series, in addition to my affection for music and the musical process.

If you visit my Interludes Gallery, you will find these five paintings under the title of "Album 1"; I think you'll find it obvious from the thumbnails which paintings fall under this category. Currently, I am working on six new works for my second Album and am thrilled with how they are shaping up. More to come soon.

For The Record

Whilst I was painting the other day, I was enjoying a playlist of CDs by Beck that I had set up in chronological order. Usually, when I'm painting, I tend to favor a particular artist for about a month, recharging me through their musical catalog which, in turn, serves as an inspiration for my art. I like hearing the progression of an artist and how they evolve over each release through changes and refinement of their sound. I pondered the career of a musical artist- as they come up new material, record it and ultimately release it onto an album- and I thought how much my process has become like this.

First, I'll come up with some ideas- stories that represent a specific time in my life, either technically, conceptually or visually. After the canvasses have been prepared and their perfect white surfaces reflect the glow of my studio lights, I can see the possibility of perfection and delve into the process of my craft. The series of paintings are worked together for one to three months at a time. Over this period of time as each painting progresses, it teaches me something that I can apply to another work and helps maintain the harmony of the bigger picture- the overall "sound" for my upcoming release of new material.

This is such a larger concept than I had originally envisioned for this blog and I'm torn between blowing it out into a novel... but I think for now, it has served its purpose and I'll look to write more about it in the future.