Its so cyclical

I kept the theme of last week going, working with acrylic and trying to ride the momentum of that feel good studio stuff. After painting Subterranean I wanted to dive right into the next painting, and I created Super Flora. I am really enjoying the viscus nature of the paint, it feels different from my watercolors, but similar at the same time. Like with watercolor my emphasis is always on color, and the immediate satisfaction of mixing color. The difference is that with the acrylics I can just paint over the areas I am annoyed with. Sometimes my color choices just aren't harmonious- often times that occurs when I should just go outside for a hike rather than stay in the studio- a constant battle especially when I have deadlines. I find that if I am making bad color choices or I can't make connections in my painting (its usually immediately obvious) its better if I go outside and take the day off, coming back fresh the next day. Sometimes it means just organizing all the files on my hard drive instead of painting cause there is always something productive I could do to be a better small business owner. Since I work a full time job, there isn't always a next day in the studio for a day or two, so its hard for me to make the decision to step away. With watercolor that can sometimes mean ruining a painting by just overworking it, or working on it on an off day. With acrylic it means I can just paint over the portion I messed up.

Super Flora on the left, and Subterranean on the right. Each measures 16x20 inches.

Super Flora on the left, and Subterranean on the right. Each measures 16x20 inches.

That being said, I am not stopping my watercolors, I am actually still using them, but in a more controlled and planned way. My painting for the upcoming show at Spoke Art in New York for their annual Bad Dads show is an example of that. I really love watercolor and I am not giving it up, I am just allowing myself the room to experiment so I can figure out new ways of working.  Sometimes allowing for that freedom feels very wild- and other times it feels like exactly what I need.

My painting for Bad Dads is going to be based on his movie Moonrise Kingdom- its a big map of the island but I want it to feel very flat and also not to scale- very graphic and whimsical like viewing Wes Andersons movies- but also retain some of my aesthetic by using watercolor and gouache. I started out with graphite sketches of the landmarks and important/fun details. Then I did a small watercolor painting just to get an idea of material and how it will all look, and then I moved into a large 22 x 30 version but it was on cold press and I didn't feel like the texture was what I was looking for in this painting, I was liking the original small version better than the new large one, so I set the cold press aside and began again, bringing down the scale a bit and going back to hot press paper. I am really excited about the results so far and I can't wait to start working in the landmark details in gouache.

Next week Im finishing up my preparations for SF Zine Fest, and I'll have more to tell you about my new Zine of the Month Club Subscription series.

You can see a bit of the difference between the hot press (top) and cold press (bottom) or maybe you can't and Im just losing my mind!

You can see a bit of the difference between the hot press (top) and cold press (bottom) or maybe you can't and Im just losing my mind!

Werk

Its been a good week, I already blew it and am posting my blog post on Tuesday instead of Sunday but whatcha gonna do. I think I mentioned it before but I also have a full time job, and these last few weeks I've been working more than normal. Recently, because of that, when I do get some free time all I want to do is sit down and work on the projects I've been dreaming about. Which I did end up doing this week! Some weeks, or months I feel very directionless, this usually happens after completing a show, and I completed two in June. So I'm just starting to get back in the groove of making things I'm excited about. Since completing those two shows I have mainly been working in my sketchbooks, and making a lot of garbage- which is a good thing! Junk making is necessary. I have some acrylic paintings on panel that Ive been getting excited about, the cool thing about working with the acrylic paintings is that I can work through composition and the intentionality of my image while still remaining loose- cause I can just cover it all up if I hate it or want to change it. 

Subterranean, Acrylic on Panel, 16x20 inches- available through Panorama Gallery in Oakland

Subterranean, Acrylic on Panel, 16x20 inches- available through Panorama Gallery in Oakland

I have also enjoyed taking those things from my sketchbooks and translating them into small drawings using india ink washes. That form of creating loosely and then editing, and then re editing has been very straightforward and satisfying. There's a natural progression and it makes sense to me- I don't have to come up with something 'genius' out of the blue, instead I have material that I am pulling from. 

You can see the original graphite sketches that inspired the ink drawings here

You can see the original graphite sketches that inspired the ink drawings here

So anyway, I completed Subterranean- the acrylic painting above, and that will be at Panorama Framing in Oakland on the 2nd of September. Very excited about that show, my friend Hall from college is the curator and she's got a badass group of people showing. I also finished up 2 new zines, and created 4 new prints that will be available at my table at SF Zine Fest on Sept. 4th. I'm really excited about that- zine fest will be cool and very different for me. I am considering taking up Eleni Kalorkoti's challenge of a new zine a month- and possibly a years subscription option for people. I think making these little zines helped me to get loose, let go of the notion of the 'perfect idea' and pull my aesthetic together. It would hard to do one zine a month but I also think it would be a good challenge. I'm just trying to figure out how to create the subscription option. Anyway I have a ton of work to get back to right now. I'll post again next week with all sorts of crazy new ideas and thoughts.