Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Abstract paintings - off to a new home!

Special thanks to Amy, the owner of The Writers WorkSpace in Chicago and her husband Lee. They made my day today by buying two abstract paintings (shown below) that have been on display at WWS.

I'm excited that they will be owned by someone who truly supports the arts. For over 5 years, WWS has been a place for local writers to work and for local artists to exhibit their work. I'm happy to be a part of it and hope that the writers get some inspiration from my art or, at the very least, just enjoy looking at it.

Fire on the Mountain, acrylic and sheet music on canvas, 24x24, 2006

Green Beach Ball, acrylic on canvas, 24x24, 2001

West Loop Cityscape - commission painting finished

I'm excited to say that the West Loop Cityscape custom commission painting is finished, delivered and hung (photos below)! Special thanks to Chicago collectors Julie and Dale!

This was a really good commission process and I think it's one of my best cityscape paintings. There are some things that helped me get it to what the collectors wanted but also what I had envisioned.
  • The collectors letting me shoot photos of the skyline from their balcony. Also, being able to see where they would be hanging the painting.
  • Walking around the West Loop neighborhood and shooting photos.
  • A little on-site sketching.
  • Lots of preliminary sketches in the studio.
  • Studio visits from fellow CAB artists who always give great constructive feedback.
  • Having the collectors over to my studio to view work in progress.
  • Lots of coffee and music for the long painting sessions.
Here are a couple photos of the painting in its new home (paired nicely with my Chicago River aerial landscape painting).

West Loop Cityscape, acrylic on canvas, 24x48, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Commission Painting (detail)

The commission painting is essentially done. I'll be meeting the collectors later this week for final review and approval. All that will be left is to varnish it. Below is a detailed view of the middle section of the painting.

West Loop Cityscape (detail), acrylic on canvas, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Water tank studies

Lately, one of the first things I do at the studio is make a paint pen drawing to loosen up. Specifically, I've been doing studies of water tanks in black and white. First, I prime the mat board surface with some gesso and tinted with a little paint. Once the paint dries, it's ready for me to draw on.

I've been creating the water tank studies based on photographs that I took in Chicago, New York, Portland and Minneapolis. Once it's a little warmer, I'll head outside and draw some water tanks in person. Here's a photo of what I've done so far:

water tank studies, acrylic and oil paint pen on mat board

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Show of Screen Prints - Scot's Bar

I started working with an art rep recently to have my work placed in different venues. The first show is now up at Scot's Bar in Ravenswood, just off of the Montrose Brown Line stop.

I'm showing a mix of my screen prints featuring rooftop water tanks. There are several pieces from each series included in the show:

Rooftop water tanks are a unique architectural feature in cities - especially Chicago and New York. They are a link to our industrial past and a disappearing element of the cityscape. Due to the decline of these structures, I've been making it a point to photograph them when I see them. These photos are then used for reference in my cityscape paintings or as the main focal point of my screen prints. 

My screen prints are created using multiple layers of ink and paint. I like to work quickly, so screen printing lets me create many images at once. They are created as part of a series, but each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind. I enjoy the multifaceted process of screen printing and the experimental nature of the medium that sometimes leads to happy accidents, contributing to the unique quality of the print.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Video view of West Loop commission painting

I'm about 75% done with the West Loop Cityscape commission painting. I shot this video to give a closer view of the details, colors and texture. Today and added many more layers and introduced some purples and blues that didn't exist previously. For some of the details, I used conté crayons which give some of the marks a sketch-like quality.

West Loop Cityscape
, acrylic on canvas, 2012