Category Archives: Painting

A True Story of Revision

A few months ago I went toThe Contemporary in Atlanta and had a critique with the curator Stuart Horodner. The linked article/story is wonderful by the way, some perspective on his personality as well. He’s a very kind yet honest person, someone I hope to get to know better before I leave Atlanta. I didn’t realize the full extent of how much I missed being critiqued until I went. That’s not saying that I wanted someone to lick my butt and tell me I was wonderful. I wanted someone to tell me the truth and that’s what I got.

I took a disk with some files from college and then some of the cellular self portrait series that I had been working on.

I was super excited, schweaty and nervous. He walked in the room and asked me “So what do you want out of this?” I said “I want a critique” I suppose he gets more than a few people wanting career advice and questions like “Should I go to grad shool?” Which, how can you really answer that question for someone? He said “ok” and looked at my images and told me after some hmms. and some clicking back and forth between, that my cellular series was “cold”. I agreed. It was cold, compared to the other stuff I had done.

Let me clear something up, because it’s something that’s been bothering me. I have a problem with being an artist. I don’t feel like I’m serious enough. I told Stuart that. I told him the cellular series was my attempt at formalism, because I would be taken more seriously. He looked at me like I was crazy and basically said bullshit. He told me to paint what I loved, do what I wanted, be true to what I did, and I would be taken seriously. Which is obvious but not obvious in the world of art crap. If you’ve never seen Art School Confidential, it will give you a funny/sad perspective. OMGWTFTRIANGLES!!! John Malkovitch is an art professor stuck forever on the profundity of triangles. Pure formalism which can be forever discussed and analyzed from every possible direction but is devoid of any real content or meaning.

So anyway, I took my info. home and sat on it. I thought about how I could improve on the cellular self portrait series, I didn’t want to throw it to the side and forget about it. It had good bones. Finally I figured it out. Add animals. They’ll add the story, and that’s really what I’m interested in. I like looking at a painting and seeing a story. I really don’t want to listen to some stuck up asshat in a scarf and t-shirt expound on something that’s not even visually interesting to begin with. So:

Lemmings and plant cells, a work in progress. They’ll continue throughout the painting like a factory assembly line of funny, cuteness. Gives me that satisfied gut smiling feeling when I look at it. Feels like me, so it truly is a self portrait now.

Thanks Stuart!

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Latest Pet/Person Portrait

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Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

A few months ago I participated in The Canvas Project. Last night I flew into Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta and decided to take some pictures of the show. Coincidentally the curators at Art House Co-op decided to post their pictures of the show today. As the pictures that they took are much better, I’ll just link to them. Here

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Virus

Cellular Self Portrait: Viral

Close-up top left corner

Close-up top left corner

Close-up bottom section

Close-up bottom section

An individual gets sick, the virus spreads, populations bottleneck, immunities are formed, the viruses evolve and the cycle starts again. Viruses contribute to massive extinctions and help to bring about the conditions for new species to fill in the gaps where the sick species have fallen. It’s part of the history of the earth. It’s part of me.

And of course there’s the whole Agent Smith thing.

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Background Checks

I completed 3 new backgrounds for my self portrait series.

IMGP2083

From left to right when completed they will be: Reproduction-Asexual, Virus, and Reproduction-Sexual.

These will be some of the works in the Cellular section of the self portraits. While I’m working on these I’ve been sketching some of the System section of the series. The System section will include definitions of self such as: Political, Religion, and Electric. When the series is complete, which may take a while, it will consist of many “definitions”. There will also be potential for “subsection” within the definitions. These definitions of self will then be filed under “topics” that fall beneath the central heading of “self portrait”. The organization of the material leads to many different possibilities, in production, display, and viewing.

It’s very exciting to have the conceptual material for so much production. I’ll keep posting my progress. Make sure to check the portfolio sections of the site for completed works. There will soon be 2 new headings to the homepage, so that I can separate the pet portraits from the self portraits.

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Simultaneous Contrast

I was painting these sections, in my portrait of Fang, the other day.

IMGP2077

I started to really pay attention to how my perception of the browns changed from palette to canvas. Even though I had just mixed the brown, I was really noticing how when placed next to each other, the tones were pronounced. On the plate isolated it was not evident, but in comparison I was able to easily perceive the presence of more orange, green, yellow..etc. I wondered if it was just a mental thing, like a need to classify a color on viewing, or if it was an actual eye thing. I did a couple Google searches and came up with an answer.

Simultaneous Contrast is the term for the experience.
It’s actually an eye thing. Simplified: different wavelengths of light, when next to each other, cause the cones in your eye to become fatigued. This sways your perception of the color. It gets a little confusing when you start reading about light color vs. the color you see, because light color combines totally differently. Interesting?

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Step 3 Painting Process: Finito el Krumo

Krum is done. I documented the progress of painting the beastie. You can see the changes as it progresses.


It’s good to be flexible while you’re working. I realized pretty early that his rear leg was too low. It’s better to pay attention to positioning and not be afraid to just paint over stuff as you go.

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