I recently found out (Saturday) that three of my entries into the AIACV/Sparrow Gallery show entitled ArtXArchitects were selected for exhibition!
The show will run from April 1st through May 3rd, with the official Launch and Second Saturday reception from 6pm-9pm on Saturday April 11th. the Sparrow Gallery is located at 2418 K Street in Sacramento, CA.
The three paintings chosen for exhibition are below:
I am deeply honored to have these three pieces selected for the show, I continue to work relentlessly on my art and my ability to translate what I see into something beautiful, interesting, and thought provoking. Please visit the gallery and support our local art scene. All of the pieces on display were created by architects and were curated by the owner of the Sparrow Gallery; I know it will be a show that should not be missed.
With some coaxing from friends I decided to enter a commissioned exhibition through the AIACV. The exhibit will take place from April 1st through May 3rd with the main opening on April 11th. I had to submit (5) pieces for consideration, I decided to split between my acrylic works and my recent watercolor pieces. I am a little nervous, going after my first commissioned show, but hopefully it will go well.
Wish me luck!
If you've followed my artwork, you know I tend to vacillate between a number of subjects and styles. From Figurative to Abstract, from Local Color to Imagined Color, Still-Life to Cityscape. I haven't decided what my "thing" is yet. This creates quite a challenge for setting up shows; however, I think it is necessary for me to explore every avenue of my creative spirit.
This brings me to an important concept I've been considering lately: The idea that an artist should be prolific and unrelenting in their exploration of creativity.
I call this, Churn.
perhaps a better way to explain this is to compare this concept to a cherry tree which puts out thousands of blooms every year of which only a few that happen to get pollinated, to produce a handful of cherries and then to produce an even smaller number of viable seeds which grow to cherry saplings and further carry on the species.
In my short career as an artist, I find that I produce three times the number of paintings that will ever see the public view, or gallery walls. If you look through my sketch books you'll see the many attempts at common subjects (muses), for instance Maker's Mark, Art Tools, Sacramento City Hall, Condiments, Hydrants and cups of coffee. Through this process of exploration, I hope to produce work that inspires you, to see the world from another angle, to slow down, to consider your impacts on this world. Because this exploration is lengthy and arduous it is necessary to price my pieces accordingly, in order to support my journey. If you see my works up and around, consider the tens if not hundreds of times I have painted that piece, and am not satisfied with the results. If you are buying a piece of my work, you are getting the absolute best representation and distillation of my creative process.
Last night I had the opportunity to attend a 'beer dinner' held at BJs with my wife, Mikelynn and my cousin Melissa. At first I thought it would just be a four course meal paired with various beers from Rogue at one of their regular tables. I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into a 'classroom' type setup with long tables all facing the front of the room. We quickly shuffled to a table toward the back and the program began! A nice gentleman by the name of Jeremy walked us through each beer and food pairing, describing the beer and giving us background on the brewery and why they chose to pair with their various dishes; All-in-all, we had quite an enjoyable evening. I was working on finishing up a painting I had started at lunch that day and was feeling fairly pleased with my progress.
The meal progressed and as I continued work on my painting I started to get an 'itch'. I felt like I was swaying into a very 'literal' frame of mind. Usually when this happens I like to shake things up by painting something abstract or a little more loose. I excused myself from the table to change my water in the bathroom and passed a great example of a loose abstract painting on the way. I snapped a quick photo and went back to the table with a mission!
I didn't realize it then, but it had been exactly a month to the day since I created my first piece in the "One for the 'Keep" series. I decided it was time to create another piece that I could give away to someone who has given me a little joy that day. This day the painting went to Jeremy, he did such a good job entertaining and enlightening on the various beers and plates that made their way onto our table. I started feverishly working on the painting and had to ask for a couple of free refills on my beer to complete it, but at the end of the night...I think it was successful. Jeremy was very happy to get the piece, I think it caught him off guard but I think he was happy. It was a very fulfilling experience, one I'll definitely repeat in the future!
I experienced an interesting revelation recently; I was driving in my car and the stereo signal went to static, then completely disappeared. Now this shouldn't seem that odd for those who can remember when we all had bunny ears on our TVs and a wire that hung off the wall for our alarm clock radio. However, for me it came as a bit of a shock; It took me a day or so to figure out that somehow my antennae was busted off the front fender. Now, I don't know if this was something that happened on accident or if I have made someone mad, no matter, it is gone now. I have been pretty busy at work and just didn't feel like getting under the car or under the hood to figure out how to fix the issue. It has been a week now, and I've noticed something:
We have certain 'habits' that we instinctually do without even thinking. For me, one of my habits is getting in the car and turning on some kind of noise (NPR, Radio, Etc.). This doesn't seem that strange, until I started to recognize that I ALWAYS have some kind of noise, it's like I need it. I always have my headphones in, the Spotify or the Radio on around the house, and now that I've been without the radio in the car, when there is just silence, I seem to give myself permission to actively reflect, to pay attention to the rest of my senses and even look at things differently.
You're asking yourself, how does this tie to my art? Often when I am out painting in public I will have a headphone in, trying to tune some of the distractions out with....more distraction (the Irony has been duly noted). When I have my best painting sessions it is usually when I have immersed myself in the environment, either at a restaurant, pub, street corner, or at home while staring at a still life setup on my kitchen table.
Now that I have shared this observation with you, I'd like to challenge you to see what type of habits you have in your life, and what happens when you consciously decide to abstain from them? Leave your comments below, or on Facebook!
Recently most of my work has been focused around preparing for my first solo show (in May) while sipping coffee at Temple Coffee near Cesar Chavez park. I'm going to start tuning in to that environment and I'm sure I'll find some surprises.
Over the last few years It has become clear that art is a practiced skill. While I believe everyone is born a natural artist, it seems that about 4th grade they seem to separate those that 'think like artists' from everyone else. All of the students that don't think like artists are told that they should just leave the creative work up to the people that are natural at it. I think I was one of those kids that was separated as a 'natural' artist, which worked for me because I was always drawing and doodling something. I didn't take well to 'formal art instruction' and didn't pursue that during junior high and high school, and thus I lost a lot of my abilities.
I have learned in the time since high school that art isn't 'natural'. It is something you have to work for every single day. I picked up the sketching/painting relatively recently (2010-sh) and have been very serious about it for the last 3 or so years. It has been important for me to set aside at least one hour a day to sketch. Often times when I am out getting coffee or eating at a restaurant.
Here is a piece I recently started while getting coffee before work one morning. There is still a bit of work left to do on it, but It is definitely coming along, this is practice, this is art.
So much of my work is done in public, sometimes at a restaurant, sometimes on a street corner. Often times I meet very interesting people passing by. Everyone has a story, some have been artists in the past, some are trying to get into art, some are just interesting folks walking by. This evening I had a very interesting idea: What if they could take a little piece of my work with them?
Tonight I started a series of paintings that have an unlimited potential to bring a little happiness to the people I interact with. This series is called "One for the 'keep". As part of this project, I'll give a piece of work to someone who has taken an interest in what I do, this evening I gave a piece to the bartender(s) at Mojo's. I spent about 3 hours, painting 5 pieces and taking up space at the bar, I felt it necessary to share something more than the tips....so I left a small painting. I hope it brings them some joy. Who knows, maybe someday it will be worth something.
The title is a little bit of humor, but a lot of truth! As I am 3/4 of the way through my 16th sketch book I have realized that my persistence and dedication are beginning to pay off. This last week I attended the Yolo Arts / Historic Downtown Woodland Business District Mixer event; I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the First Friday schedule for this year is every bit as robust as it was last year. After the event I went over to Mojo's for a celebratory beer and after some discussion with Christy Hayes (owner of Mojo's) I scheduled my SECOND art show. You heard that correctly, I will have another Show, this one will be solo. I was blow away last year at the support and good comments at my group show at the First Bank building with Ron and Beth Caceres. It really feels like I am taking the next step with my art, going from something that was a hobby to something I can really show to the world and be proud of.
My First Solo art show will open on March 1st (First Friday) and will remain up through most of the month. I will be featuring many new works (painted for the show) and many of my favorite works. I will show both large format, acrylic works and smaller, framed watercolor works.
If you would like to purchase any of the pieces in the show, or would like to book me for a show, please use the contact buttons below!
Living near the Historic Downtown of Woodland has definite advantages. Often times I try to make it downtown during the day and have a cup of coffee and get a little sketching in. Sunday was one of those days when I had a little time to visit some of my favorite places.
Started at a local coffee house called Common Grounds which has good coffee and a decent layout. I worked on a warm-up sketch which I hoped would never see the light of day, but in the interest of showing all the struggles an artist goes through I'll post a photo here.
My next target was another building that I have sketched a few times. Something keeps drawing me back to it. I have been drawn to the entry of the Porter Building, and specifically the large scroll and bountiful harvest detail above the main door to the stairs.
My first step in sketching is trying to find the right proportions of the overall figure and make sure everything is going to fit on the paper. Unfortunately, most of the time I get stuck in the details and just have to 'hope' it all turns out ok.
Here is a slideshow to show you the progress of the image. Overall I am happy with the results, although I really struggled with it until about the 2 hr mark. Hopefully that is something I can get used to.
As New Year's Eve quickly approaches, and while rearranging my book shelf where all of my sketchbooks reside, I was drawn to revisit my efforts to create art and express my ideas in the year 2014. One of my favorite things about watercolor/Sketch is that I can do it almost anywhere. I typically carry my kit with me and if I can get a spare moment I'll try to get a sketch in. Through this rigor I have noticed that my art is coming to me easier; everyone knows the old saying "practice makes perfect" and I feel that has been a driving factor for me in 2014. Here are a few sketches from book 12, which is one of the latest I've posted. I should be able to get the next 3 books up (I'm just starting book 16) before the end of the year.
while cleaning out my bookcase and reorganizing I found a few cool statistics:
in 2014 I created:
22 - 9" x 12" paintings
12 - 6" x 9" paintings
6 - 6" x 8" paintings
8 - Sketch Books (roughly 20 pages each)
Acrylic: (finished paintings)
Singularity, 30 x 42
Vice I, 24 x 36
Gentrification, 24 x 36
Tower, 24 x 36
Reflecting on the work from the last year, each piece brings me right back to the moment I was creating it and the feelings I was trying to express through the painting. None of this work would be possible without the group of people supporting me, encouraging me, and at times putting up with my attitude when a painting isn't working. I am so hopeful and optimistic for what 2015 brings for me, my family, and my art. I will continue to post work and photos as well as future shows.
I hope each and every one that reads this post has an amazing 2015.