Friday, November 28, 2008

Photo Fridays: Obama + Oven

Since I skipped posting last week for Photo Friday's, I'm posting two images this week. Both are images taken right around the time of the U.S. election.

The first photo is a shot I took at an Obama rally in Highland, Indiana on Halloween night. About 40,000 people showed up to hear the future president speak.

This second photo is a shot of an old oven from a friend's apartment. I took it while I watched the results roll in on election night. Out with the old, in with the new...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Finished Painting: Bubblegum Blue

Bubblegum Blue, acrylic on canvas panel, 14x18, 2008
This afternoon, I finished this abstract portrait after only a second painting session. Check out the difference from last week when I first started it. Amazing what a few more layers of color and some details can do.

I'm mostly happy with the way it turned out -- the brushstrokes and color harmonies give it an overall positive feeling. The one thing I'm not thrilled about though is some of the texture. It was painted over an older painting that had a dot pattern, so some areas are a little more lumpy than I would like. That said, I really like how the texture of the hair turned out -- almost like of layers of bubblegum, inspiring the name of the piece.

I think "Bubblegum Blue" is also a little bit of a jump from my usual abstract portraits. It has somewhat of a realistic and three-dimensional quality to it, but at the same time retains my cartoon-esque style. I'm usually able to get a more 3-D look when I sketch with pencil or charcoal on paper, and so I'm trying to bring that quality to my portrait paintings.

Now that it's finished, I'll pick up a frame for it and add a protective varnish when I'm back in the studio in a couple days.

Work in Progress: Charcoal Sketch

This is a sketch with charcoal and acrylic on canvas paper -- just playing around with some ideas and some new angles for composition.

There originally was a female profile in the lower left looking up. I'll likely either paint over this or actually enhance this image with layers of paint. I might even add the female profile back in -- I like the idea of starting to add more than one figure to a painting -- something I haven't done much of. Drawing and composing this way also gives me some freedom and allows for some looseness to flow into the composition.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo Fridays: Chunk of the Berlin Wall

Chunk of the Berlin Wall, photograph, 2008

This photograph is a piece of the Berlin Wall installed under the Western Avenue El Station in Chicago. The neighborhood, called Lincoln Square, is the old German enclave in Chicago and that's why it ended up in this location. People probably walk by every day on their way to work and don't even realize the little chunk of history in their midst.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Works in Progress: blue hair + the tourist

The studio has turned cold. A week ago, it was 70 degrees and I painted with the windows open. Today, we had a high temperature of 40 degrees. I started two new paintings while trying to stay warm this afternoon.
blue hair, acrylic on canvas panel, 2008 work in progress

the tourist, acrylic on canvas, 2008 work in progress

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photo Fridays: Seattle Skyline Over the Puget Sound

Seattle Skyline Over the Puget Sound, digitally enhanced photograph, 2008

Taken in summer of 2008 on a trip to Seattle with my wife. This shot was from a ferry coming back from Bainbridge Island. Our hotel, The Edgewater, is in the foreground which we found on Hotwire after leaving another hotel after being physically threatened by a hostile guest.
Another story for another time...