Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Oracle - process

Here are the early stages of The Oracle, (see below) which at this point remains strictly a digital sketch. It will likely become a painting at some time in the future.

This was drawn after waking up (halfway) in the middle of the night. Photoshop, Wacom Intuos tablet.

Half of it was selected, copied, flopped, and moved to the other side.

180 degree rotation

Further development-- the other half of the first sketch was copied, flopped, moved, and rotated, and added on top.

Drawn on top of the above sketch, in several layers in Photoshop.

Colored in Photoshop.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Oracle - digital sketch

This is my most recent project; just finished it today.

Jacobi, The Oracle, digital/Photoshop

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Diane Kramer is the BEST!

Diane Kramer spent most of second semester as "artist-in-residence" at Arts Academy in the Woods, where I teach art to high school kids. When I first learned that we might have someone joining us in this capacity, I have to admit to initially having had a bit of uncertainty about the situation. Happily, it turned out to be a GREAT experience! Painter, sculptor, photographer, and mixed-media artist, Diane is extremely prolific, cranking out a LOT of really high-quality art. She divided her time between the classroom and working in her studio.

Kramer, Inside the Wall

Art student Nya H.

Kramer, Spirit Warriors, work in progress

"Rooted in intuition", as she says, there is a real magic to her work. She combines oil paint with the most mundane items-- pieces of bark, random bits of wood, cloth, string, small bits of hardware, etc.-- more personal items are included as well-- all ever so seamlessly, into work that is incredibly rich visually and endlessly intriguing from an intellectual and emotional standpoint.

Spirit Warrrior close-up

That's just a bit about her art. As great as all of that was, even better than that was Diane herself-- endlessly giving, caring, and yes loving. She put heart and soul into sharing as much of herself as my students and I were willing to receive. And not just my students-- lots of other kids, non-art students, routinely visited Diane in her studio up on the second floor.

Visual Art students

Art students "feeling the power"!

For me personally, Diane was a complete joy to work with. She was filled with enthusiasm, but never the least bit intrusive. In fact, she fit in so well, wherever she could, that she was a tremendous help to me in more ways than I can go into in a few short paragraphs.

Diane quickly became a part of all of our lives, and a part of her will be with all of us, always. Thank you, Diane, from the bottom of my heart. You are the BEST!

You can see Diane's journey at our school on her blog, STUDIOKRAMER, and be sure to check out her website, where you can see a bunch of her work in a wide range of media.

Kramer, untitled

Kramer, The Dream

We will miss you, and you had better come back for a visit once in a while-- OR ELSE!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hidden Currents of the Deep

Hidden Currents of the Deep is my most recent painting. Below you can see the progression of this piece from start to finish, including various stages of sketches.

(click on images for a larger view)

Hidden Currents of the Deep, 24" x 30", acrylic on canvas board, 2012.

As with my other recent paintings, I'm trying to develop my work with as little conscious thought as possible, attempting to connect with the hidden currents of the deep waters of my unconscious mind. The result of this is that although I may have at least some sense of what these paintings are about, they are in large part a mystery to me. This is what I find so intriguing about this way of working, and what has been the main driving force in the production of my art over the last few years.

Sequence of Sketches

The first sketch was done with Prismacolor sticks on newsprint. I'm using a method I refer to as "blind ambidextrous symmetrical drawing"; meaning that I draw with both hands, eyes closed, in a more or less symmetrical manner. This is the part where I attempt to be as unconscious as possible of what my hands are doing.

The drawing is photographed and brought into Photoshop, where the right side is selected, copied, and flipped to make the drawing totally symmetrical. I stare at this for some time, and wait for things to begin to reveal themselves to me. I then proceed and develop the drawing, using a custom "brush" (in Photoshop) and a Wacom Intuos tablet. It goes through several stages, and then gets colored. I attempt to work very freely and intuitively throughout this whole process.

Sequence of Painting

The sketch is printed and, using a grid, the drawing is started with pencil on the canvas board. The pencil is then painted over with black, and a transparent red goes over the whole thing. Various shades of blue are added. Finally, all that remains is a large number of hours of meticulous detailed rendering.

What I'm finding these days is that although in a conceptual sense I've moved a LONG way away from my commercial illustration days, I'm still using a lot of the painting chops that I developed during that period of time. So, in a way, it's kind of like the best of both worlds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In the art room at school (why I like my job)

Here are some pics that I took today in the art room. I have some really cool kids this year; I enjoy being at school every day (well most days, anyway). It's almost not even like work a lot of the time. I had a particularly fun day today, and decided to share a bit of what I see every day.

Angela and Annie wearing their fur suit heads that they made.

Iris, Anthony, J, Trey, Haylie, Crystal




Iris on Trey's folder


artist unknown... this was left on one of the tables recently

Anthony, signed and tagged

I borrowed one of Anthony's markers and tried some tags of my own.

At the end of a long day...

This towel dispenser has been painted about 800 times, at least! Current image by unknown artist, Anthony, and RJ.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Figure drawings by my high school students

Follow this link to our class blog to see a large number of very nice drawings by my students--click here. Here are a few drawings as a teaser:

(click on drawings for a larger view)