What’s the biggest barrier for new art collectors? I’ve been thinking about this for many years as I’ve continued to paint, create and illustrate.
For seasoned art collectors, the act of buying original art and prints is second nature. After the first purchase, the next one becomes much less intimidating. The value of owning art supports the buying process.
For new, or first time buyers, the process is unfamiliar. I’d like to put the art purchasing process into a familiar, approachable framework that people are familiar with. I’m also adding value to work that can be reproduced and sold at affordable prices, while still maintaining a one-of-a-kind effect.
Four weeks out from my heart surgery, I dove into acrylic and watercolor work on paper. I was still a month or two away from returning to work, but my energy was increasing. The previous paintings I worked on were all on the iPad, and didn’t require and setup, paper or real paint. I didn’t get as far with these hand-painted pieces, but the one I did finish gave me a great sense of balance and satisfaction (scroll to the bottom for that).
Just as I started the digital paintings with carefully laid out patterns, I chose to start these with a geometric grid. A former mentor of mine named George Walker taught me the technique of drawing transparent paint on with custom brushes and guides. I used the ruler on my drafting table to get the background lines painted on.
Simplicity is a great place to start from, but also easily crosses into complication. These paintings became slow moving after a pretty vigorous start. In other words, still in progress. Work that is geometric in nature seems to require a bit more consideration in the finishing stages as any small move stands out. This is opposed to more gesture and color-rich work which often can be finished in a creative storm.
I managed to finish one painting and put the rest of the project into hibernation…
I’ve spent the last 5 months recovering from open heart surgery. My art and design work have played a critical role in my recovery. When faced with life or death situations, there are a wide range of visual imagery that come to mind. Everything from empowering, light filled environments to dark, mysterious and menacing motifs. I made a conscious decision to follow the path that was most comforting and healing to me.
The first drawings and designs that I did during my recovery at home, were geometric and colorful. A neutral balance of shape and tone; not overly excited or rich in movement. A few of these designs are complete and are linked and embedded here. There are a roughly 6 of these designs that I feel confident in publishing here and should eventually add to the storefront.
The geometric “drawings” were a little more than digital coloring books that I made myself. In this case, they are based on tesselations that I found online. I added the tesselation pattern as a layer in my drawing and applied color one small shape at a time. This worked well as I was just a few weeks out of the surgery and my mobility was extremely limited. As I said, I did not finish them all right away as they are time consuming and very demanding in terms of focus and patience.
Eventually, I wanted to add some more emotion and colorful movement to my digital paintings. I started by painting behind the pattern layers, which was in essence, painting “blind”. I discovered that removing the pattern layers (which blocked my final painting) was a moment of sheer luck. A few of the paintings completed this way are examples of what I would strive for in abstract colorfield painting. Very satisfied with the results.
I was at this point, 4 weeks out from my surgery, that I dove into actual acrylic and watercolor work on paper.
The wallpaper media I like is inkjet printable. I can print my own designs on wide format Epson printers. The thing I like about the inkjet media is that it is repositionable and removable. So, there is no need for wallpaper paste and no requirement to lay it down perfectly the first time.
My first two test prints shown below, are each 2 panels of 2 x 2 feet. I wanted to test the alignment and it was a success.
My first designs were lifted from 70’s motifs. Repeating crescents that give the look of fish scales. Also, stylized flowers.
The immediate feedback of my first test prints has been great. If you like it, check out the video below.
I’m really enjoying the creative process. It’s a way to create an entire installation or change the mood of a room.
I have a collection of watercolor brushes that have been sitting for too long. Since most of my recent work has been done on iPad, the traditional tools have been underutilized.
As I cleaned up my watercolor studio and pulled out a work in progress from months ago, I was pleasantly surprised as what a work horse the Japanese brush has been. Because it is bigger than the usual brushes I use, I didn’t think it would provide the detail that was required. That was a misconception. The brush ends in a fine point which is very flexible. It can also be loaded with a lot more paint than my smaller brushes.
The end result is a highly detailed tool that does not need to be recharged with paint every 10 seconds. The Japanese brush lasts and lasts.
This is a digital test painting for a series of work… The concept here is to capture the look of water is it splashes around a swimmer. The picture you see here seems to be a fairly reasonable attempt.
This is inherently an abstract concept. Nearly impossible to capture is this unique swimmers perspective. Also so many different types of light that can enter into a pool causing intricate reflections.