prismatic

Yellowstone is, let's keep it real, one of the best places if not the best place in America. Everyone knows it's great but if you haven't been there, know that it's 10 times better than you think. It is like nothing you have ever experienced. I am doing a whole series on Yellowstone so I am going to talk piece by piece about the inspiration from the park in each painting. 

So I'm gonna talk about the grand prismatic spring for a second here. It is huge. There are paths to see it from a higher ground to get a larger view of it but I really preferred it from the boardwalk point of view. There are so many small areas of beauty, it of course is amazing and beautiful as a whole but when you are up close and personal with it you get to see that it has so many more colors and it such a delicate feel. In the fields leading up to the spring the water flow on-top the mud has caused the bacteria to form these windy trails that look like arteries almost. I love when you see biology within other biology, it gives you a sense that we are connected to the natural world, because we truly are.

Midway geyser basin is the stop you need to make in Yellowstone, if you are doing a one day trip driving through this is the place to stop, not old faithful. In this one stop alone you get to see 2 gigantic springs [grand prismatic and the dormant excelsior geyser] and the incredible turquoise pool, which I will also be featuring a piece on. 

For this painting I wanted to focus on the edge of the bacteria line, where the vibrant colors are beginning to pop, and there are mounds of clay/dirt. I had a lot of fun time making this, abstract pieces are always interesting to play around with new methods of blending and application. I wish it had turned out a little less peach and more orange but I really love this piece. 

year of the bison

We all know that bison are the ish. 

I met a ton in the Dakotas and Wyoming, but it seems the ones I get to encounter close up [not that close though, I'm not about to selfie with a bison] are bulls going through rut looking a mess like this. 

 If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

Not that I have anything against grumpy drooly bulls, I just wanted to paint a sweet one. When I think of bison I want to nuzzle my face in their fluffy fur on their forehead. Knowing that I can't do that in real life [apart from the goring and death factor they kinda have a smell and are covered in nast] tears apart at my soul. 

Most of the bison I saw were in Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Yellowstone did have a lot as well but at TRNP they were bam right there and we lucked out and got to see an entire herd in motion both times I've been there. I would love to do a whole series on TRNP as well [I am already working on a Yellowstone one] because there is such cool stuff there and I feel like nobody knows about it. The Dakotas have so much just incredible stuff and I think it gets overshadowed by the tourist traps. Spearfish Canyon is one of the best scenic drives in the country, and you probably would never know about it unless someone told you, so here I'm telling you. If you go to Rapid City skip deadwood drive up 14 to Spearfish, stop in Lead at the bakery, and you can either go to Devil's Tower or back to RC.  

Anyways, back to the painting, I found it hard to get depth in the fur since they are so dark brown but overall I am happy with how he looks. I wanted him to be peaking out from behind some spruce, because I saw a ton shading themselves in the trees and I like giving animals a more [for lack of a better word] cute feel, although I have contemplated recently to do a series of grumpy animals. 

*clap*clap*clap*clap deep in the heart of zion

I got the chance to visit Zion National Park last month and it was pretty incredible. 

Somehow we were able to make it there the week before the shuttle system began, and thank god man. It was actually some sweet-ass driving in Zion. They really have their roads on point. Most mountainous national parks have some moderate to difficult driving on the way to and within the parks [not that I'm complaining I totally get why they have roads like that] but Zion was a dream for driving, in fact all the mountain roads and highways in Utah and Nevada were nice, god what life must be like without winter potholes. 

There was about a billion and a half people parked by Angel's Landing, and it had just poured pretty hard so I wasn't about to walk up slippery rock dropoff holding a wet chain, so we chose to do the Emerald Pools Trail. [which I highly recommend] Also, may I say the place smells so good. They got some fresh breeze/crisp juniper/light sage/cedary type of thing going on in the air, and I was digging it. Anyways, there's 3 emerald pools, you can hike all the way to the top waterfall to see the upper one, we didn't make it since rain was closing in, but it was still an incredible hike with cool sights. 

Most of Zion is accessible from the canyon floor, which gives you a really cool play on light and shadow from the bottom perspective. The rock gets 'dyed' from water run off and turns an indigo shade in certain places. I was there during winter, and even without the greenery of leaves there was still TONS of color in Zion, which lends itself nicely to painting aesthetics for a winter season artwork.  

As far as the painting is concerned it didn't really capture what I was going for. The rockfaces in  Zion are so drippy gooey dark blue and black on top of the vibrant red rock. But in paint its hard to walk that line without it getting muddy and unreadable. It's even difficult to photograph in person. The mountains have an iridescent quality and from the canyon dark and shadow can deceive the camera. Obviously most mountains or any nature scene doesn't live up to the reality of seeing it in person but Zion has this on a whole 'nother level. I'll consider this a practice and attempt another in future, but for now I am pleased how this turned out.  

Why website? Why now? Why no use complete sentences?

[caution: slight animosity ahead, it only lasts the first 2 paragraphs I promise]

You may be asking yourself what's the point of starting this blog/website now? 

Like so many of us, upon my arrival to college I was told to let the dream die of becoming a professional artist since its not a real job. [truer words cannot be said] I was talked into majoring in my University's experimental new major of "DIVAS" [Digital Imaging Animation & Sound] since it would combine my love of art with a degree that would lend to an "actual" career. 

It turns out real jobs suck. 

But what is adulthood if not discovering you made enormously expensive mistakes because you were forced to make gigantic life decisions at the age of 17 on the whim of suggestions from people paid into tricking you into a lifetime of debt. Dress it up anyway you like but that's what it is.

Bitterness aside, I realized I don't want a real job. I want to make quality stuff for quality people, and that's about as far as you can get from any "real job" I've had. To quote Leopold Bloom "There's a lot more to me than there is to me!" 

Art lives deep down in my core, and I bet it does for you too if you're crazy enough to be reading this. It's like the first time you see a mountain, and you feel it, you feel it almost in your spine, you feel just a primordial umph within you. You know that this [the mountain] is important and all that other fleeting stuff is blown out of the water by how incredible and simple it truly is. Yeah, so art is pretty much like that...  

Problem is now that I've seen a couple mountains and painted a couple paintings I'm hooked on that umph feeling. I want you to have that umph feeling, and I want to make it my life's work to capture that feeling in any way I can down on canvas and paper to share with people so that they can even for a brief time have their fleeting stuff blown away into the distance. 

I may be late to the game attempting to start my pilgrimage as an artist, but I know it's what I'm passionate about and I know it's what I'm good at. 

Bonjour

Greetings! This is my first post for my new art blog website. You can expect to find posts with stories about my artwork and travels of course but also a high probability of an occasional movie rant as well. Hope you all enjoy while I bare my soul into the empty void, and by you all I mean anyone who accidentally came by this page.