Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bunnycutlet Presents 7 Artists @ Cotton Candy Machine

Bunnycutlet Presents 7 Artists show opened with great success - Sad that it's over but it was a blast! Special thanks to Liz of Bunnycutlet and the folks at The Cotton Candy Maching for an amazing show. Here's just a couple full reveal images from the exhibit.  Wish you coulda been there!

Out of the Red (6 x 8 ")

Hope is a Thing with Feathers (6 x 8")

We Sit in the Mud and Reach for the Stars (16x20")

This below is a layout for the wall.  you can really see the color and light story that runs through all the pieces as a group. It's on of my favorite things about working like this and makes seeing the work in person a special, one-time only experience.

(original post 1/14/15)

Bunnycutlet is back! Well, it never really left, this is the second show since the closing of the physical space on Roebling and it's definitely one to get excited about - showcasing 7 outstanding artists at the awesome and gracious Cotton Candy Machine gallery space. I'm a big fan of all the artists involved and  and honored to be a part of it.  Hope to see some of your faces there...

Since I can't do full reveals until after the opening on FRIDAY - for a little pre-show treat I'm going to share some of my research, inspiration, sketches, and general making-of for this exhibit. You know, for all two of you who care about that sort of thing :)

First, colors!
 I wanted to incorporate deep blue grey-winter skies, silver, and mud with pops of a little sickly green and hot cadmium red-orange. I desaturated these a bit for my color layout (below) because I wanted to do something more illusive and tonal for this series and ended up with some very mirage-like imagery.  Seriously, in certain light, the images seem to disappear altogether.  Sort of like that disorientation that all-grey-all-day winter days can do to you... My reference has more golden pops than I ended up using in my final series but it was a great springboard.
Here's the sketches laid out over some of the reference for color blocking. As you can see both color and layout have changed quite a bit since my first stab at it.

Next - textures!

 I wanted to incorporate some knit patters into the series.  Some of the research I came up with on this was awe-inspiring and it's certainly a theme I'd like to revisit when I have more time. I ended up using the knits patterns pretty sparingly in the end - you can see them in the mud, on a spine, and then mostly it evolved into braided hair.

The refined sketches before being transferred to their panels

For the small, 3 painting set I was inspired by the owl you see there in the reference below.  His eyes look like windows into the cosmos O_O It was love at first sight. Ironic because apparently he is blind. I was taken with the idea of the blind predator and moved forward with that, incorporating a fox, a snake, and an owl. I chose the fox image below as reference because I felt the snow on the black of the ears looked like stars.
If you made it this far, you get to see all the animal paintings NOW! Yay, you!

Now, REJECTED! These poor little sketches never made it past the doodle stage.  I still see potential in them though and who knows, maybe they'll turn up sometime down the road.... Oh yes, and that one little painting that just didn't quite fit in with the grouping so, it gets nixed!

 Poor, little rejects.

That's all for now, I'll update this post after the opening!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tiny Trifecta

Tiny Trifecta @ The Cotton Candy Machine

Tiny Trifecta opened this past Saturday to great enthusiasm and success! Incredible turnout for astounding work from reknowned artists! YUP. So thrilled to have been a part of it. Most of you have probably seen my final images through my instagram account or other promotions so instead of just final images, I'm taking another stab at showing you guys some of the process of creation.  The process here includes some reference I used, color mock-ups, tight sketches, and steb-by-step painting progress images. Hope you enjoy! ( My pieces are sold out but remaining pieces from the show become available online Tuesday June 17th - check it out! )

My contributions to the show! Largest piece 5 x 5 in. All acrylic on wood panel

These are some excerpts from my brainstorming drawings that best represent the final images. You can see the seeds of ideas here if not practically the final pieces.

Tightening those sketches, planning for the board dimensions & color placements
This is a painfully rough, digital color mock-up.  I even collaged in some of the reference to save some time.  I just modified the color and light of it as needed to meet my needs.

Step-by-step progress of "Summer Daze" 4 x 4 in. Acrylic on wood panel
"Over the Lake" tight sketch & friends (Little ghostie and maggot peeking in there... :) )

Another rough color mock-up.  Again I chopped up and tweaked and pasted my reference materials right into the mock-up. It's sloppy but time efficient.  Mostly, I can already see what I want in my mind, this is just for a reminder.

Step-by-step progress of "Over the Lake" 5 x 5 in Acrylic on Wood Panel

This piece was much simpler in imagery so really it was just about building layers and playing boldly with color.

Fun with reference! Use the universe and web-i-verse to bring your concepts to life.  I find that using reference allows me to take a simple idea and really flesh it out; give it new depth, meaning, texture, context. The idea is a seed, reference (or what I call "Researchpiration") is the Miracle Gro.

Rainbow cake! My absolute favorite treat :D And inspiration for the lip colors I used in "Sweet Talkin' Son of a Bitch" above

"Over the Lake" reference/inspiration. The color in this wasn't what I wanted but the overall mood of it was spot on.

More inspiration for SOB lips.  I added a crystal to the tooth in homage.
Clearly reference for "Summer Daze"! I really wanted a floral motif but I wanted much more dynamic color. This was great reference for variety of texture and scale in the floral arrangement.

A detail of "Summer Daze" - just to have a nice look at these eensy flowers and buds
 Final pieces...

 Some palette making, background blocking-in, and drawing transferring! Exciting stuff I know... All part of the process though.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vagaries at Stranger Factory

"Vagaries" opened this past Friday June 6th, 2014 at Stranger Factory in Albuquerque, NM. Here's a little run down of some of my pieces from the show as well as some details, works-in-progress shots,  and process images. Enjoy!
*(To purchase any of the works, please contact Stranger Factory - use this link to shop the show!)
 *(For links to any of the reference images here please refer to my Pinterest / Reasearchspiration board )

So here's the spread of the larger puzzle of paintings. Below are some images about my process of getting to this - color decisions, arrangements, and image placements.  All play an integral part in how the paintings are viewed.  The only way to see the work as it was intended is to attend the gallery exhibiting it, however, each piece is a self contained composition and therefore a stand-alone piece!

And here we have THIS! After paints and colors are selected and mixed, the arrangement of the boards is next. All of this is often completed before I've established any of my images for the exhibit.

I just love these! The backgrounds before images are painted on.  Someday I would like to leave whole sections of my arrangements raw like this.

Below are some images I collected that contained the colors and tone that helped me to select my palette for the backgrounds you just saw. Sometimes it's the light I want to capture or the stark contrast of rich-to-muted tones. These images each had elements I wanted to apply.  I wanted to work from really hot, hard colors to ethereal light and finally to cool and earthen. This is the order I used.

After I've arranged my reference and chosen the palette I want to use. I'll sometimes go through and eyedrop the most important blocks of color that I want to convey and then I make one of these little charts.  This is an excellent tool for when I begin to mix my colors.

More reference comes to life... I knew I was going to be using some oceanic and nautical themes in these pieces.  Much of my reference came from searches on cephalopods, nautilus shells, barnacles, hot water oceanic vents, and an encyclopedia of knots, which was just such an amazing and fun tool to use.

There's whole image searches full of ink-in-water images. Delicious stuff.

This was the early sketch for the piece below.  I had kept the ink more minimal as it isn't the main character of the piece. However, as you'll see below, I couldn't help myself and added more!

I already use a lot of hair and "ribbons" in my work, this was a nice compliment to that.

^See above for the beautiful, inspirational reference for this piece^

And again, this time from the shell and from the eye of the eel monster.
Ps. I know that Nautilus do not actually ink, stop being so literal - sheesh ;)

Great book!

This image uses actual "Strangle Knots" from the encyclopedia

The Hercules Knot

The Zeppelin Knot