Tag Archives: art

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

SelfPortrait4Painting
Self Portrait #4
12″x16″
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.

Jimi Hendrix

JimiHendrixPainting.jpg
Jimi Hendrix
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

I’ve been very motivated lately and just completed my fourth painting in two weeks. My stay-wet palette has allowed me to reuse the same paint for all four paintings although, after two weeks, some of the paint was feeling a little tacky. I’ll start with fresh mixes on the next one.

I approached this painting with a similar process as my Tom Waits and Thelonious Monk portraits — alternating between realistic skin tones and more colorful hues. Like the other portraits, I found that a simple solid background makes the face pop. I added some paint splatters using Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna. I got a little carried away especially with the dark Burnt Sienna on some of the lighter parts of the face. I ended up tapping out some of the excess splatters on the nose, cheek and chin. This one took about 11 hours.

Tom Waits

TomWaitsPainting
Tom Waits
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

I painted this portrait of Tom Waits from a black and white reference photo using just the value information.  The skin tones were left over from my John Taylor portrait, and I created some new mixes for the more colorful skin tones.  The face colors were desaturated by mixing 1 part color and slightly less than 1 part neutral grey.  I used a large and medium flat brush for most of the painting.  This one took about 8 hours.

A short video showing the different stages of the portrait:

John Taylor

JohnTaylorPainting
John Taylor
11”x14″
Acrylic on Canvas

My goal for this practice portrait was to loosen up and not sweat the details. I painted most of it with a large flat brush and resisted the urge to smooth out all of the transitions. I think the painting has a more relaxed look as a result. This one took about 8 hours to complete.

Anthony Green

AnthonyGreenPainting
Anthony Green
11”x14”
Acrylic on Canvas

I’ve been working hard on my process lately. Identifying the shortcomings in my previous paintings and brainstorming solutions. This portrait is the culmination of everything I’ve learned so far. Question going forward: Is it worth the excruciating effort required to achieve realism or would it be better (and more enjoyable) to loosen up and let the brush strokes show? I’m leaning towards the latter…

A short video showing the different stages of the portrait: