Happy New Year everyone! Here’s a piece that I’ve been working on for the last year and a half. I decided this morning that I think I’m finally done. Better images to come, the highlights are too washed out here, they don’t show all the colors that are truly there, far to bright on the photograph, but I was too excited to wait to post this. The actual piece is much quieter and more centered in midtones and darks with a few radiant highlights. I was glazing it this morning with Raw Umber, Paynes Gray, and Ultramarine, and it finally achieved the look of being moonlit which I’ve been seeking. When it dries I can get some better shots. Let me know what you think!
It has been a busy year of teaching, working, and enjoying the outdoors of Austin. I’ve been teaching classes for the Austin Museum of Art in Old Masters Painting, Portfolio Prep, Teen Painting and Intro. Encaustic. Click this link to see a student portfolio of my teen classes.
Currently, I have a few drawings and paintings which I am working on. They are all long term projects which I’ve been adding layers to bit by bit since the end of 2010; a series of drawings soon to become part of an elaborate encaustic painting on a long sculpted sheet of metal; other drawings soon to be layered in encaustic and glazed over. The details below are from an oil painting I have been building up using old masters techniques for the last 10 months.
Details of a work in progress
This piece will be on view at Atelier6000, in Bend, Oregon from March 1st to the 31st. The exhibition “The Stolen Image” is based around artists that use a transfer techniques in their work. This piece is an encaustic monoprint on steel of one of my recent drawings. If your going to Oregon stop in and check it out!
The Suffolk Art Center in Suffolk, VA is putting on a show titled Abstracts: Borrowed from Reality with the help from curators Pam Rogers and Trudi Van Dyke. The show will feature a number of artists who recently exhibited at the DC Art Center aswell as 6 of my own works, including the piece above Medias. The show will open on March 9th and run to April 15th.
More good news: my piece Chauliodus sloani was recently purchased at the Torpedo Factory Art Centers Patron Show Auction. My work was on donation and all proceeds go to benefit the Torpedo Factory Art Center in my home town Alexandria, VA! Thanks to those that purchased works and for supporting the arts!
My new series is about the final voyage of the whaleship Essex and its demise by ramming of an angry sperm whale leading to a harrowing 89 day, 2500 mile drift by whaleboat. Accounts from the few survivors have inspired sections of the whale attack in Melville’s, Moby Dick, and cannibalism in Edgar Allen Poe’s Narrative of Author Gordon Pym.
To me the voyage and tragedy represent a different era of American history. One that is built primarily on the quest for whale oil. Aside from the obvious romanticism of man at sea and the hardships thereof, the dubious task of taking down so large a mammal by hand relates humankinds ability to willingly enter into stupendous circumstances and risk everything. Harpooning a whale could take the better part of the day, with the whole whaleboat team rowing for miles upon miles to kill the whale and then haul it back to the boat for processing. That of course is if the whale didn’t rend their boat to splinters and send them all awash with a flick of its tail. Whaling was a primal enterprise and truly, few lines of work were as dangerous or as grizzly. These whale crews were also explorers, escaped convicts and slaves, outcasts, and men searching for themselves at sea. Their trade put them not only at risk of the elements, but presented enormous strain on their bodies, psyche, and thus their futures.
My series is not about glorifying the hunt or the killing of these whales, but it is about the idea of setting yourself adrift and truly pursuing something. I am interested in thinking about what these people experienced not in the eye of the whale or moment of the hunt, but in the world and sea around them as they drift the vast oceans and brave the unknown and volatile environment so far from the comforts of land. The pieces focus on place, in fact specific points on the map, and distinct moments as I see them through the eyes of those who may have traveled before me. They are not based on photographs and internet queries, but narratives and course plotting’s of travels past and of ideas of an invented ocean that perhaps my history as a human knows better than my own eyes.
This series is still being built and the ideas around the pieces must to have room to grow and evolve, but for now this is the path I have laid out to navigate.
These two pieces are going to be shown in a juried exhibition in Bend, Oregon at Atelier 6000, through the month of February! Their show Survey Charts, Maps, Ledgers, Navigation, is a great fit for my new series of paintings following the last voyage of the Whale Ship Essex.
These are the first in a series of paintings based on the route of the whale ship Essex before its disastrous sinking by an aggressive sperm whale off the western coast of South America. If you have google earth check out this virtual tour of their path. I made a quick video of how the supports were made for these two new paintings.
(Couldn’t resist those cheesy apple sound bites!)
My latest projects:
- A handmade canoe paddle to enjoy all the beautiful waterways of Texas Hill Country. Made of epoxy laminated Ash and Spanish Cedar, the finished product will be glassed for strength and to bring out the natural character in the wood.
- A new painting which draws from Turner and Albert Pinkham Ryder. I am continuing to expand on my narratives about exploration and the sea while pushing ideas about interdisciplinary mediums. This paper on panel piece will have many different layers from a grisaille underpainting, oil painting surface, encaustic, printmaking techniques and many glazes both encaustic and old master.
Keep an eye on later posts to see how they progress!
I’ve been busy making work at the TFAA (Virginia studio), having a blast and putting in long hours. I just hung work at the DCAC for their Wallmountables show. The opening was Friday and the show was a lot of fun to see. Artists from all across the spectrum showed their work (Four year olds to local emerging artists to the pros). I also ran into an old friend Kim Burke. She is part of a DC art collective that runs an blog Bored of Trade and also showed one of her new sculptures. Below are some shots and some new works both finished and in progress.
To day is a pool and BBQ day, tomorrow….back to the studio for another week of art making! More posts of new work to come! Enjoy the week and be sure to check out The Mountain and the Sea for their DEFY monday post!