I haven't been able to give up oil painting despite cold weather. Early January in Maryland produced a wave of immobilizing cold, putting us in 10 degree weather all day long. The possibility of art seemed dismal.
Oil painting indoors is a bad idea because of all of the solvent fumes. Environmental obstacles abounding, I just couldn't stay away from painting. So, I found a way to set up a very cold outdoor studio on the patio.
I've decided to be more honest with the world around me and just start painting more people, places and things that I find to be great. One problem with being an artist is being enraptured by everything around you, yet, the social world doesn't want you to love everything.
I just want to capture our world while it is here and while everything is going up on Instagram, passing through our lives, and then evaporating from our consciousness. So I've started asking friends and family if I can paint photos of them that they have posted online.
Here is a painting of my cousin, Madeline. I was with Madeline on the day she was born, and it has been amazing to watch her grow up, right behind me, into a wonderful person.
I'm planning to paint all of my friends and family members who say yes when I ask them, very slowly. Opting in is key - I don't want to represent anyone in a way that they see as unfit or unbeautiful.
On the other side of the studio, indoors, I'm working with inner relationships on Clip Studio Paint and Procreate. I go into my process on these a bit more on Patreon, just because I figure it isn't something everybody wants or needs to read.
I was thinking about the scope of the infinite within the human mind lately, and how we can't ever really understand everything within us. But what if we could, and what if we could close the loop on our own infinity? That's where the above work came from.
All of these deep idea pieces are either standalones or conceptualizations for comics I am working on. If you see me post them on Facebook sorry about my dumb jokes. It appears I can't help myself. Sometimes you just have to laugh.
In the piece above, I was trying to figure out what to do with this valkyrie-like person I had drawn. She looked so cool and awesome, and at first I had her opening a door or flying through space, but none of it looked right. I realized she was like a champion, a winner, but there is no winning moment without a kind of doom. Okay, I also was lying in bed listening to Youtube music playlists while making this one, and The Final Countdown started playing, and right away I knew I had to put her on stage with confetti, and that she was the freakin best, ect, ect.
This month I drew a few more realistic figures too, and as I was drawing the piece above, at first I had the woman's figure lying on a bed with pillows. The bedsheets were blue, and then I thought, "The sheets looks like a waterfall... what if she is actually a waterfall" and from there I began working with the waterfall as the personality of the figure. Ever the Youtube fanatic, I rewatched the TLC video for "Waterfalls" - seriously we used to listen to this song all the time in middle school. While I was rewatching this video for the first time since watching it on Total Request Live, I thought "What if this woman in the drawing isn't chasing waterfalls. What if she is the waterfall." That is where this piece came from.
In drawing the figure above, I started drawing and realized... she looks so relaxed, but also like she has worked hard. She looks like she deserves something good. Maybe she is relaxing underneath palm fronds on a desert island. And then I thought, no, there is someone else with her, some kind of spirit, but it isn't clear what kind of spirit it is. They are separated, yet together. So, I began drawing the gray figure within the prism.