Friday, August 22, 2014

Ice Ice Baby

Hello everyone!

It's been a really fun week, I have to say.  I just finished Abbey's portrait, and no sooner than I did that, she and her parents challenged me to the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness after first taking on the challenge themselves.  So I accepted, and here is the video of me doing it!

Well, speaking of ice... Right after I did this, I ran over to drop off some paintings for the Raytown Artists Association show, which is taking place today and tomorrow (8/22-23).  And wouldn't you know it, my painting Icy Stare has taken the 1st Place award in the Oil Painting category!

So that tops off a great week for me in the art/ice world.  Stay tuned for more news very soon.  I have received a new commission this week as well.  And it gave me an idea that could expand and turn into a regular thing pretty soon.. This is one of the ideas I had floating around in my head this week, and I'm prepared to turn it into a reality.  Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First look at a Portrait of Abbey


So I mentioned a little while ago about Abbey, my beloved little sister in the youth group at church, and this week I finished her portrait that I've been praying for and working hard on for the past few weeks.  And today, I'm going to give everyone a first-glance at it.  Abbey has already seen a picture of the full thing, and she'll also be the first to see it in person.  As for the rest of you, this is all you get for now.  But I can tell you it turned out great, and I'm thankful God blessed it as He did.

Let me start with materials... First, I painted it on a really nice linen canvas.  It had a more textured weave than some of your other typical linen canvases, so I really loved that.  And of course, I used primarily my favorite Williamsburg oils, with the exception of a few colors that included Michael Harding's Crimson Lake and Daniel Smith's Lapis Lazuli.
I'll be honest, it had a tough beginning.  I had to brush away two failed attempts at an underpainting.  But thankfully, third time was a charm.  From there, it was just a fun painting to do.  If you know my work well, you might notice I got a little bolder with color and texture particularly in the background.  This is my first attempt at borrowing a thing or two from one of my favorite contemporary painters Shane Wolf, who incorporates a kind of syncretism in his work by combining elements of abstract painting in with the representational realism of his figures. 
I've done a lot of paintings, just in 2014 alone.  From all the new paintings I included at the Gamber Center to the plein air landscapes I'm starting to get into, I've lost count of how many I've completed this year.  But I know this portrait is easily among my favorite of all time.  Can't wait to show it to everyone!
Okay, like I said, this is all you get for now.  I will have the full image coming up soon.  In the meantime, more projects are on their way.  I have two ideas in my mind right now... They aren't just ideas for two individual paintings, but two ideas for major, multi-painting projects.  If I go through with them and they are successful, they will hopefully keep me VERY busy for the remainder of 2014... and beyond.
More to come soon!

Monday, August 18, 2014

RAA Invitational 8/22-23

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to extend an invitation to the Raytown Artists Association Invitational Show, which is coming up this weekend, August 22nd and 23rd at St. Paul's Church of the Nazarene in KC Missouri. 

I have 3 paintings showing, and hopefully you'll like them!  One of which is making its show debut, so you won't want to miss it.

That's all I wanted to post today.  But hold onto your seats.  I just finished a very special portrait today, and you'll get to see it very soon! 

More to come...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

News from the Studio 8/12/14

Hi art lovers,

So I just finished a crazy awesome week with my favorite little brothers and sisters from the youth group at my church.  It was our 2nd annual Youth Week, in which we had an entire 7 days of activities that involved kickball, a service project, an amazing race, a Royals game, and a whole lot of pudding.  So I was busy for the past week doing that, and it was great!

On one particular night, we went over to IHOP for a late breakfast for dinner.  And I had a lot of coffee.  So I decided to do a whole painting from start to finish as soon as I got home.  I was up until around 2am working on it, and here is the result:

I am also happy to announce that I will be heading back to the Raytown Artists Association Invitational next week.  The show will take place at St. Paul's Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City on August 22-23.  Last year, I managed to take the Best of Show award for "Autorretrato", and hopefully something good will come out of this year's show as well.  I'll be showing 3 paintings, including my Best of Show winner from this year's Blue Springs show, "Give Me a Sign."

Well, getting back to my youth group at church.  I've been volunteering with this group for 5 years, and I simply can't get enough of them.  In my last post, I signed off by mentioning a new project, and how I am putting the highest of expectations on myself for it.  There is a sweet young woman named Abbey in this youth group, who has grown up before my very eyes, and I affectionately call my little sister.  I've been involved in youth ministry as a professional and a volunteer for 10 years, and Abbey is one of maybe 2 or 3 that I have seen go all the way from a 7th grade Confirmation student to now a senior in high school without missing a single beat, and remaining a faithful and loyal participant in her youth group.  As you can imagine, such dedication and commitment to a church family is a rare thing for a lot of young people these days. 
So I decided I wanted to do a portrait of Abbey.  I've done 2 drawings and a color study in oil as preparation for the final piece.  Here are a few glimpses of those:

The last one is a first look at the underpainting of the final piece.  I worked for about 8 hours yesterday getting it just right so I can move on to the first layer of color soon.  Hopefully now that the really hard part of it is done, the rest will go really well.  Lord, bless this painting.

As it turns out, this may not be the only instance that I'll be doing a portrait for someone in our youth group.  In the case of Abbey's portrait, no one has commissioned me or is paying me to do it.  It's simply a project out of my own heart.  But over the weekend, a parent of another youth group member inquired about a special project for one of her sons.  And it sounded pretty awesome to me! 

More to come later!

Friday, August 1, 2014

News from the studio 8/1/14

So news from the studio...

The latest issue of Lee's Summit Lifestyle magazine is out, and it features a Q&A article with me.  If you aren't subscribed to the magazine, no worries.  Here is the online article:

Just gives a little background on me, and some insights on what inspires me as a painter.

Lately, I've been finally getting into a little plein air painting.  I've done only a couple so far, but they were really fun and challenging.  Definitely something I can really get into once the weather cools off a bit, especially when the fall colors start to form.  But here are the ones I've done so far.

In addition, I've had a couple of other projects going.  I'm trying to get some still life skills improved, and so I've done a few more rose studies.  I'm a bit stuck on how I want to paint them... if they should be well detailed or shorthand.  Here's a little glimpse..

Still working things out with that.  Anyway, here's another recent piece called "White Hat."  Kind of a random portrait, but something I love painting is a figure or object in the shadows with little bits of it (or in this case, her) peeking out into the light.  The illusion of depth via light and shadow is a powerful thing if you can pull it off as a painter.

That's about all for now.  Like I said, I have a couple of other projects going right now... one of them I'm really really hoping to pull off well.  Let's just say I am placing some very high standards and expectations on myself for this piece.  So it's going to take a little time. 
More to come soon...