Jumping to a commission
Jumping from one project to another is always a challenge especially when the one you're working on is unfinished. I've been putting in a lot of hours to complete the illustration I was working on when I was hired for a commission. The new artwork is for a hotel project and the brief is very specific. Its crazy shifting between complete freedom and tight parameters. The only thing the two artworks have in common is that they're both complex in nature.
The brief provided me with the size and orientation (30x60in) and indicated that the artwork has to be an interpretation of something I previously created titled 'Oddball' but in shades of blue. There were multiple challenges I faced trying to replicate the painting but with a different mood, orientation and palette. 'Oddball' was created on a square canvas so the first difficulty I faced was to restructure the composition. This new canvas is narrower and far taller so automatically my gut told me to go vertical instead of horizontal. Then came the darkness of the blues and the fact that I was unsure if I could add more color. This was followed by the actually dots I had to create (what color I would use, how transparent would they be, how large they would be and most importantly, where they would go). Here are both paintings side by side.
a little darker
I've been watching this tv show called Westworld on HBO and it is absolutely INSANE (in a good way). It almost hits genius. Anyhow, my next piece which is yet to be named is inspired by the concept of the show. The piece is far darker than any other I have previously created and there's a sense of fragility juxtaposed with violence. I don't know how to describe it but its violent despite the calmness in the artwork. The portrait of the woman dressed in intricate lace against a flat background for now. The torso of the woman, however, is a mannequin and her shoulders are shaped as such. Here's what the piece looks like as of now and I shall post updates shortly.
She, mixed media, 48x48in, 2017
And she's done! I'm soooo excited about her. It took me all day to arrange those flowers around her, and trying to figure out if she needed more geometry. I decided to go wit texture instead :) Take a look.
Painting this lady was quite a trip. There was an aura I wanted to create around her, which was darker and moodier without actually creating a high contrast piece. Pastels are something that draw me in but I want to somehow create a pastel collection of my own in tones of gray so finding skin tones that would reflect that was a challenge. Her silver hair worked well for me and color of the mouth. I think it ties in well together and sets off the warmth in the skull just right. I'm now toying with the background a little to see how to recreate her fairytale. Here's what the piece looks like right now.
The piece I completed yesterday led me to the start of a mini-series named Mapping Mindscapes, where I want to explore the the role and strength of feisty women in their own dreamscapes. I haven't mapped out the approach yet, and kind of just want to take it one day at a time but Maps was definitely the start of it. I'm just working on the ram skull helmet that would be worn by the protagonist in my next piece. Here's the work in progress so far.
I've simultaneously started drawing out the portrait of the woman wearing this skull. My gut tells me to go with her bare body but a cape of some sort would be great for texture. Lets see how it plays out :) Here's the drawing so far.
Craving for figurative
So there were a bunch of abstract pieces that I've been working on and they can be viewed in my gallery but I'm going to fast forward a couple of weeks and talk about this amazing day yesterday. For those of you who have been reading my journal for a little while can probably tell how restless I am. I get these cravings and then impulsively act on them in my art and I know that sometimes I don't leave breadcrumbs and my work is often chaotic and doesn't really consistent in style but I've come to terms with the fact that this chaos and constant shift in focus is who I am as an artist.
Yesterday, I had this crazy craving for figurative as I haven't really drawn in a while, and to top it off my brand new Moleskin iPad portfolio was delivered. I set it up and couldn't resist drawing a little. But that wasn't it. I started thinking about the digital layering I was doing a few years ago, and thought maybe I could have a taste of it again. :) I ended up using Mind.Land.Sea. as an accomplice to welcoming this lady into the family. Here's what she looks like :) I call her Maps.
Back on track!
The past few days have been PHENOMENAL. I've been working like a demon and I can feel this amazing energy inside. The work has mostly been about layering and messing about with composition. I've always felt like I need to work more towards improving my compositions. They need to have more of a presence in the artworks. At the moment, the work is so much about color, which is nice at times but it still needs much more to engage the viewer. Working on paper has helped me so much because the amount of color I put on the paper is so limited that I've had to push myself to explore other ways to create a complete and comprehensive piece. That ultimately led me to 'building' something other than color on the surface. Experimenting has always been fun but this time, the challenges that I'm facing because of the surface I'm working with makes it all the more fun. The restraint you have to show, the abruptness and even helplessness you experience at times with paper is something else. Here are a couple of pieces I worked on. Titled 'Tastes Like Ice Cream' and 'Granulated'. Acrylic, Ink and Watercolor on Paper. 18x24in
The New year
It's been so long since I've last written down anything about my work, and to be honest, it's been over 3 months since I last held a brush or had paint on my hands. Boy have I missed it.
I've been traveling for the past month so its been difficult to get any work done but I got my hands on some fun watercolors and this amazing mixed media paper, which has been such a treat. I forgot what it was like to wrestle with paper, and how unpredictably it reacts to you. The way it takes pressure, water, paint load is amazingly different from other surfaces, and most importantly, it teaches me not to take anything for granted. I can't think of a better way to dive back into art.
I started the year with a blue piece. Something funny I realized recently: every time I'm uncertain about what it is I want to paint and am trying to play it safe, I have a tendency to gravitate towards blues. It made me laugh. If I were to be honest, I wasn't too happy about the way the piece worked out. Not impressed with the composition and overall it looks exactly like the way I feel about it: safe and boring with poor composition. Here's the development of the piece. Short journey. Thankfully. :)