Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Have You Ever....

Progression of concept Sketches
...Heard of the photography rule that the first hundred frames or so that you capture should be automatically thrown out?

My photography teacher told the class that on the first day when I was learning the basics about my sparkly new DSLR.  The reason you follow this rule is because there is a period at the beginning of a photography session where you are constantly making adjustments.  Whether it be positioning of the subject, angle of the camera or simply tinkering with the settings to allow that perfect amount of light through for your "money shot".  

When you pull up your session in Lightbox to compare your photographs, it's obvious to see the differences from the first frame and the last.  I was informed that whether you were a professional or a dabbler, this rule always applied. 

I feel like this rule has some crossover into fine art.  Not that I'm stating you should throw out your first hundred drawings or anything. 

Don't do that;  that's absurd.  

All I'm saying is this:
All paintings come from drawings but not all drawings can be paintings. 
This is how I interpret the photography rule into my Fine Art.  Its easy to think that an artist puts a pencil to a piece of paper and what comes out is an automatic template for a masterpiece.  While some artists have a knack for that, or follow a principle to just "go with it", this does not exist with me.  Especially when I'm creating something different.  

Working with real life, it's easy to use a reference photograph and paint from that.  When working with imagination, you have to work out the kinks first.

Because of this, the process from drawing to painting is a bit longer.  My ideas tend to evolve on their own.  My sketch goes through many changes before it becomes a concept worthy of paint.   

Another reason why I like tracing paper. 

And also, my imagination is weird

Like,  whhaaatttt...??

"Sea Dreams" Concept Sketch
You can even see from my series of concept sketches (the finals I'm happy with) how my ideas changed over time.  The first concept sketch (on the left in the above photo), I simply started drawing the woman with her long hair because the line work fascinated me.  While lost in the lines an errant thought crossed my mind that they sort of looked like waves and thus nautical elements found their way in.  Once done, though, I was still feeling drawn to the lines, thus the next two sketches formed. 

About halfway through the second concept, the series idea formed, "Sweet Dreams".  I couldn't possibly end at two sketches if I were to paint them.  I have this weird thing where it needs to be odd numbers to complete a "set".  

After the third was completed, my obsession with line work just wouldn't leave me alone.  Then I saw this photograph of a goat and loved the way the photograph captured his horns. 

My inner artist was pointing and shouting: 

"This one!  We must use this one!"

She's pushy. 

Towards the end of my sketch a face appeared, like the goat morphed into a person or the person was morphing into a goat. All I know was the horns came out pretty damn fine. (I told you my imagination is weird)  I figured at this point, I was obviously continuing the dreams series.  This meant I needed a fifth concept to round out my set.  Weird quirk strikes again!

Two more ideas popped into my head around the time that I really examined my sketches as a whole.  Something didn't feel right about all of them together.  

I moved forward with the fifth concept, my mind trying to figure out what the variant was and why it wasn't working together.  

Fifth concept finished and BOOM.  I realized it. 

You probably already see the disparity between the five.  The first three have a defining theme that holds them together.  They are whimsical.  Sleeping figures with dreamlike elements pushing at their minds.  Simple.

The last two lack those elements.  
Goat Totem Concept Sketch
Crow Totem Concept Sketch
So a second series has been born.  With my ideas for another concept, and looking at all five of the sketches together, It's clear my subconscious has been subtly leading me down another track.

A track that explores totems and spirit animals. 

Also, I love twisting reality wherever I can in my artwork it seems.  

YAY imagination!


Monday, February 8, 2016

New Year, New Directions...

2016 Progress Wall

...And perhaps a new way of thinking. (viewing?)

I think I read somewhere that the state of your room is a reflection of the state of your mind.  I'm not sure if its accurate, but viewing things through that filter makes it hard not to see a correlation.

Behold, "the state of my mind":

I'm pretty sure over the holidays, this looked a little worse.  Either way, it's not the most flattering "reflection of my mind" or even my Studio in the physical sense.  I wouldn't even say this is controlled chaos.  That would imply that I knew where everything was at any given point, and that isn't true.  

Simply put, I'm lazy

A lot of you probably claim to know that already...


In fairness, I work on a few projects simultaneously, and often times the supplies I use for one end up overlapping into the another one.  Because of this, things never make it back to their proper places.  I know organization is key when a lot of stuff, like supplies, are involved.  Hopefully once we get around to transforming my studio over, we will remedy that with spaces to fit things.  

Err, fit things neatly. 

But in the meantime, there is still the small matter of "the state of my mind" to deal with... 


It probably won't stay like this for long, but it makes me feel better for now.  De-cluttered and organized, I can move forward with my work.  

Speaking of my work you probably noticed the photo of my wall above.  I've started tacking my completed and works-in-progress to my wall (as shown at the top of the page) for this year.  I thought it would be interesting to see the evolution of my work from beginning to end of the year.  As an added bonus, I'm hoping this will help hold me accountable for keeping on track.

I find it hard to focus sometimes.  

Damn you Pinterest!

Anyhoo, I'm off to paint some more.  Enjoy your week!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If You Know Me...

Concept Sketch for Sweet Dreams Series

...Then you know that I love nap-time.  



So much so, I was worried something serious was wrong with me a while back and did the whole string of tests and everything. Guys, GUYS, the sleep study is insane.  Especially the narcolepsy testing afterwards. Gah.  I could have punched someone in the throat.   

The prognosis was basically the docs didn't know either.  I was given some generic reason right after I was told that the brain and sleep were like the final frontier of study, and basically they didn't know a whole lot.  


Either way, I just basically need more sleep than everyone else.  


I was thinking about this when an idea popped up for a series of paintings.  I previewed the concept for one of these paintings in my last blog post.  Above is another concept.  

I'm calling it the "Sweet Dreams" series.  

What do people dream about when they fall asleep?  Whether it be a cat nap or turning in for the night?

I rarely remember my dreams after sleep but Mike often does, and it's so interesting what the mind can conjure up while asleep.  I know I can train myself to remember them eventually - sleep journals and the like - but that seems like a lot of work.  I'm sure I would get bored with it after a couple of times.

That's just my personality type.  It's probably why my Studio space is still a mess, despite the promise to myself to organize.  I always have a couple different projects open at one time so I don't get bored. 

Maybe as part of my grand plan to complete more original works this year, I can convince Mike to tell me his more outrageously interesting dreams and I can try to illustrate them.  I should warn you guys if this happens there will be lots of evil robots and laser swords, I'm sure. 

For now, I've started painting one of the three concepts for this series so stay tuned for those to crop up in the shop.

I hope you enjoy this bit of whimsy as much as I am!