Monday, October 26, 2009

Snow Bunting

Thanks Diahn for sharing this wicked awesome frame template! This is a Snow Bunting (also the latest etsy addition) and he really enjoys being fancy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

30 Sketches Project: Numero 3

Its on! 30 Sketches Project III, prepare to dance because I've got some serious sketching to do and I am taking no prisoners! The 30 Sketches Projects are my commitment to sketch, document, and post a sketch everyday for, you guessed it, 30 days. Swing by to watch my progress or to see past projects.

The little Pearl-spotted Owlet above is the first study in this series. It, along with the other 29 sketches will be for sale at the Indie Chic @ 10th Street art fair on Dec. 5th. I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Newbies

Birds and wallpaper...yes, but in a different way. This particular painting is for the mighty xArt group's project numero cinco. This month's challenge: include a mirror(s) into our pieces.

This is a perfectly fitting topic due to my most recent artistic dilemma. I've really been struggling with self-portraits. Its hard to convey how I look without incorporating how I think I look. For this piece I wanted the idea of two objects mirroring one another but having different reflections.

Here is a third ornament to add to the Learning to Draw in Fives series. I am surprised at how much I am enjoying working on something so nonbird-like and so small (this is on a 5x7" piece of masonite).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ode to the Cowboy Hat

As you may or may not know the annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibition opened at the Phoenix Art Museum, which also happens to be my place of employment. Now, "cowboy art" is generally not one of my favorite genres but this particular collection of artist's works evokes a wicked sense of nostalgia for having spent most of my life living in Texas. I have always appreciated how the cowboy hat is extremely unique to its wearer. A true cowboy would never wear a cowboy hat straight from the box...oh no. There is much steaming and forming involved to get the right effect. This series will be included in the Learning to Draw in Fives series. It is my tribute to the much celebrated cowboy hat and those who wear them proudly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Merry Christmas Numero Dos

So its looking like the Christmas ornaments are making their way into the Learning to Draw in Fives series. I have some great gold frames that will work well with them. Once I nail them into the frames, I will coat them in resin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Merry Christmas

I've had these amazing vintage Christmas ornaments to use for reference for a holiday inspired series. Not sure if the series will happen but I enjoyed working on this little 5x7" study. My version is a bit janky but it just proves that it was not made from a machine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Mexico Doorways

I fell in love with the doorways in New Mexico. These images came from photos I took on a recent trip which included stops in Taos, Sante Fe, and Albuquerque. These are small 10x8" studies done on gessoed masonite board. I started with a foundation of graphite and gouache, then oil for the basic colors. Next I worked with charcoal and pastel which I then sprayed with a clear fixative. Lastly, I went in with white and black acrylic paint for contrast and a final layer of pastels. Whew!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sorry No Pictures, Just Words

For almost 2 years I rode an amazing wave of inspiration. I can honestly say that I could not have worked any harder than I did during that time because I didn’t know exactly how long it would last. I’ll lovingly call the body of work produced in that period my “Posing Poultry Paintings”.

It was an abrupt realization which initially caused a deep sense of sadness. After finishing, Greater Adjutant on Barcelona Chair, I just didn’t want to paint birds anymore. I knew that if I did, it would only be out of obligation to the series. Feeling that two years of living with a solid foundation and absolute direction was coming to an end was stressful. I felt lost.

But no need to fret any further, word on the street is that this is a natural occurrence. This particular ride may be over but now I see that there is an entire park filled with other rides.

During this time:

I had my first solo show
graduated with a BFA
sold some work
made lots of mistakes
made lots of friends
got a peek at the business side of art
struggled with finding balance between art and “life”
was constantly humbled
found the want to improve my drawing skills
had the absolute joy of having the director of Phoenix Art Museum come to a show because he wanted to
gained confidence
learned the importance of art not only to me but within a community

Through all of these amazingly wonderful experiences I realized two very important things. First, even at 33 years of age, I am an infant in the art world. I don’t know shit about shit. And that is alright.


Secondly, I discovered my love of drawing. I am driven to improve and experiment with the medium. When dissecting why I had the want to explore drawing, my goal was to bridge the gap between my drawings and paintings. I thought that was its purpose. But as I am writing this, I realize that it’s not the style or technique that is to merge…it’s the subject matter. The birds are the bridge.

It is time for my paintings to mean something else. For some odd reason I have chosen birds, or they have chosen me, to use as a vehicle for improving my skills. The feeling of loss is lightened knowing that my “bird phase” is not over; it is just shifting from oils to pencils and charcoal.

I am by no means saying that I am now a master painter; I just need to paint for a different reason. I guess the need to paint is more important than improving technically.

With all of this in mind, I've begun my next project: Learning to Draw in Fives. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


To keep the studio from becoming a total disaster, I tape down a 24x36" sheet of butcher paper on my drawing table. I can get a little wild with the pastels and charcoal, so every few weeks I put down a fresh sheet. It starts out like this...

Then it turns into something like this. (Note the new drawing bins). At this point there is something very delicious about this paper's condition...MUST...DRAW..ON..IT...

There is no way I could throw out such a lovely sheet of butcher paper. So now I use these sheets for quick studies. A warm-up sketch if you will.