Friday, February 27, 2009

Acrylic Spheres

I shot these for the new portfolio but ended up not including them. These are some of my earliest paintings (I believe 2006). I remember wanting to paint but not having a clue about subject matter so I tried this.

Purple Sphere and Blue Sphere
acrylic on canvas panels
14" x 18"

New web site

I've been busy the last few weeks looking for work and applying for jobs... hence the absence from the blog. I launched a new portfolio site for myself this morning. I've been out of the loop in terms of web design for a number of years so it took considerable time to reacquaint myself with the process. I'm fairly happy with it but I'd like to find a better way to present the thumbnails. But that's the nice thing about web sites... they're always a work in progress. Feedback, as always, is appreciated.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Old Bull Lee

An old friend of mine dropped by the house today to pick up an "Old Bull Lee" print (thanks Mike!). Made me realize I've been ignoring my linos... both on the blog and on the cutting bench. I should really get back at those.

Old Bull Lee is the name used by Keroac when referring to William S. Burroughs in "On The Road". I was a big fan of the beat poets at one point in my life so they tend to show up in my work now and then. The original series has since sold but there are still a few proofs left in the shop.

Old Bull Lee
2 colour reduction linocut
4" x 6"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Townie Crow

I've been picking at this one over the last few days. It's based on a photo I outright stole from Townie Bastard's blog. Not something I make a practice of but I didn't think he'd mind.

I wasn't terribly pleased with the outcome but I'm glad it's finished. I read a great quote somewhere the other day that every artist has a thousand bad paintings in them so the sooner you get them out of the way, the sooner you can get to the good stuff. I know I've got a ways to go but I'm hoping that's not a precise number....

Townie Crow
watercolour, ink
10.5" x 4.5"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Exploseph Joseph

Here's a little diddy I did for Janet: a portrait of our boy, Joey. (Can you tell we don't have kids?) He's not nearly as exploseph as he once was but every now and then he bounds about like a puppy, forgetting that he's an old man with bad hips and foggy eyes. 

I was pretty pleased with it... it's a good likeness I think. There's a few flubs but I'm trying not to focus on them.  I did a rough sketch then did the watercolour background. After that I inked it. I do love crosshatching. I'm a little impatient with it but sometimes that adds to the energy of the piece. Other times it just looks sloppy but I think it worked here. I'm a big admirer of artists like Edward Gorey. And in the Newfoundland scene, Boyd Chubbs.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cupid revisited

This is the same cupid cartoon I posted last month but I spent a little more time stylizing it before submitting it to NL Press. It started as a rough pencil sketch then outlined with pen and ink. Everything else (colour, etc) was completed in Photoshop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Paint Paint Evolution

Art's funny. 

Not funny ha-ha, as my father would say, but funny strange.

Most of my finished pieces had a distinct end goal and a fairly good road map to get there. Sure there's some deviation along the way... that's part of the process. But most ended up pretty much as I imagined.

This little bugger, however, went way off track and I have no idea if it's a good thing or a bad thing. While it has certainly been enjoyable to work on, I'm a little perturbed because I thought I was prepping a background for a much more complex piece but my gut is giving me a cease and desist order before I've even begun working on the primary subject.

If this were a design project on my Mac, I'd confidently explore the outer reaches knowing that I can undo everything at any moment. Not so much in painting.

I think I'll put it aside, let it dry and when I'm feeling more courageous, I'll let loose with the oil and see if the subject I had in mind is worth doing. If I decide soon enough that it's not, I can always wipe it away.

Briefly on the evolution: I started with a heavy coat of cheap, white acrylic applied with a paint knife (I wanted to cover up some flaws on the canvas). Then a thin uneven coat of Yellow Ochre Light Hue. Then I threw some water at it. Dried it with a hair drier. Stenciled small, varied bird silhouettes all over the canvas with the same paint but varied densities. When dry, another thin coat, this time with Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue. (The smaller image above is a detail.)

So that's where it stands. It'll hang unsigned on my basement wall until I decide whether or not it's finished.

Opinions anyone?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

David Levine

This week some friends of mine bought me a calendar and reintroduced me to an illustrator I'd seen many times in the past but never took the time to really get to know. He's worth knowing.


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