Tag Archives: art

Aleah (Stranger #5)

Aleah Painting
Aleah (Stranger #5)
Acrylic on Canvas

Will (Stranger #3)

WillPainting.jpgWill (Stranger #3)
Acrylic on Canvas

Lindsey (Stranger #90)

Lindsey Stranger painting

Lindsey (Stranger #90)
Acrylic on Canvas

Sasha (Stranger #83)

SashaPaintingFINALSasha (Stranger #83)
Acrylic on Canvas

I used the Zorn limited palette for this one — basically just two colors — Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red (along with Mars Black and Titanium White).  If you’re wondering how the green was produced, the Mars Black has a blue bias, so when it’s mixed with Yellow Ochre, you get a limited range of greens.

Tyler (Stranger #62)

I used a small palette knife for most of this painting and am very happy with the result.  I feel like I’m inching ever closer to the style I want to achieve.  This painting required a looseness of mind that doesn’t come natural to me.  I still have the urge to “paint within the lines” and make everything look as realistic as possible.

TylerPaintingLowRes.jpgTyler (Stranger #62)
Acrylic on Canvas

Ben (Stranger #69)

My 100 Strangers project actually began as a way for me to find original subjects to paint portraits of.  However, I got so consumed with the project that I ended up not painting for a year.  Now that it’s finished, I have at least 100 potential portraits to paint.  This is my second stranger painting.
Ben (Stranger #69)
Acrylic on Canvas

Jay (Stranger #96)

It’s been exactly a year since I last painting something.  I did this stranger portrait yesterday as a way of brushing off the cobwebs.  It’s amazing how much you forget in just a year.  I’m hoping to ramp back up and create some more work soon.

JayPaintingLowRes.jpgJay (Stranger #96)
Acrylic on Canvas


Stranger 73/100 – Joél

Stranger-73–Joel.jpgStranger 73/100 – Joél

“Love more. That’s a universal message that I think people just need to hear and to practice.”

Meet Joél.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “To find your passion and go after it and don’t be scared to take a risk. Take the risks, make the jump, make the connections, meet new people. Do the things that you’re afraid to do.”

What are your biggest challenges right now? “My biggest challenge right now is balancing this corporate career that I’ve built over the last ten, twelve years, maintaining it as well as balancing my creativity, being and artist and not suppressing that art and not suppressing my passion. Being able to fulfill both at the same time. It’s not easy.”

I asked Joél about the conundrum of working a full time job and doing art on the side vs. pursuing art full time. “I like to be able to do what I want when I need to do it. As a citizen in this society, everything costs. To be an artist costs… if it doesn’t cost you, it’s going to cost someone else. So, I figure why not me absorb the cost and I can do things at my own pace. I can do things on my own time. I can do things at will if I have my own resources and if I have my own assets. And I won’t need sponsorships and I won’t need to wait for the go.”

And you won’t need to sell out or compromise your art… “Exactly. It’s a balance that I’ve come to be comfortable with. I’m totally fine with not being a starving artist. I’m totally fine being the working artist who has an office job and I have my fashion line.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “In then years I see myself successfully running my fashion line… maybe not at a global scale, but like just successfully running it. Producing stuff that people want, producing stuff that I want and just making my impact in a small way. And even if I’m still working corporate, it’s a win-win situation for me.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it way? “I would tell people to just love more. Love more. Simply that. Love more. That’s a universal message that I think people just need to hear and to practice.”

Technical Notes: It was a bright day, so we moved to a shadier area to avoid any harsh lighting. I used a reflector to brighten up Joél‘s face.

Stranger 70/100 – Julio

Stranger-70–Julio.jpgStranger 70/100 – Julio

“Turn off your tech, and go outside and make love.”

Meet Julio.

“I’m currently an artist in residence at the McColl Center.”

What kind of art do you do? “My background is in illustration, and I’m self taught. As I come across new techniques and new materials, I typically work with other artists who have the skillsets to manipulate those materials to the specifications of my drawings.”

“I’m very much into pre-Columbian art… Mayan specifically. So I had this idea — what would Mayans have done if they had different techniques or tools or materials ? What if they were up north and they needed a headdress and could knit? What would their Mayan headdress look like? And so I met someone who does really good knitting and they were able to make my design.”

“A lot of the stuff I do is kind of identity-based I guess. So like looking into my Latin heritage. This other project I’m doing is based on Day of the Dead.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “My biggest challenge would be figuring out how to make the balance… do you work the corporate job and do the art? I’m getting married next year, and I’d like to have kids. Talking with some of the artists it’s like how do you support kids and live the life? How do you not sell out? Like does it even matter? So that’s the biggest challenge, but I think most people go through that in one way or another.”

What’s the difference between good art and bad art? “I’m not a good person to ask. I don’t like a lot of art. It’s like porn — you know it when you see it.”

Does art have to say something? Does art have to make a statement? Or can it just be what it is? “Good art usually does.”

Does it have to be intentional? “No, sometimes you can just have a little mistake you know? But I think it should say something even if it’s just to piss people off just for the sake of pissing people off and pushing buttons. Even at that level, you have enough thought to know the other side.”

If you could put up a billboard in Charlotte, what would it say? “Turn off your tech, and go outside and make love.”

Technical Notes: We were in a shady area, so I used a small reflector to bounce some light from below. I bumped up the color temperature a few notches to give the portrait a warmer feel.


Self Portrait #4

Self Portrait #4
Acrylic on Canvas

I started this painting by squirting paint straight onto the canvas and loosely spreading it around with a palette knife.  Working from a black and white photo, I initially just focused on getting the values (lightness and darkness) right in the flesh tones.  Then I mixed up some various desaturated colors and worked them into the face until an interesting balance was achieved.

I’m very happy with the final result, but the truth is that I didn’t like the way it looked until the very last brush stroke.  This one took about 9 hours.

Notes for the next painting:
1) Keep resisting the urge to blend paint…  Let the brush strokes show.
2) Consider using even less saturated colors and maybe a more limited palette.
3) Use smaller brushes (and brush strokes) for the detail areas.
4) Use glazing liquid to add more layers of brush strokes for more depth.
5) Lower the lighting in the studio.  This painting came out a little darker than I would have wanted possibly because the canvas was too brightly lit during the painting process.