mountain

i met you in the summer

So last Friday was my first gallery showing. It was a pretty small show and at a city community center art display showcase, but the show was so sweet and really touching. It was in honor of a local artist that passed over a year ago, Anthony Caponi. Tony built an art park that I worked at just after college during my graphics career. When submitting artwork to be considered for the show you were asked to include a short essay about how Caponi influenced you, whether that be through his art, the park, or knowing him in person. I wrote about my time working there and what it meant to me not knowing that if chosen to show that the story would be printed alongside the artwork on display. So seeing my story and everyone else's stories on display was really exposing at first but also very sweet. There was so many touching stories about how one man's art really reached so many people on more than just a visual aesthetics level.

I had a couple guests that came out for the show and that was incredibly sweet of them to come. So a big thank you to them.

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

So next month I am doing my first outdoor show. It not a solely art dedicated show, its a festival that has crafts and food vendors as well but it more art leaning than your regular run of the mill arts & crafts fair. It is a 2 day festival called Night Market which surprise takes place at night. It seems really fun and I am excited about it. I do have a pinch of nerves/fear of not selling anything but I am hopeful that I can gain some audience and reach more people. 

I've been trying to fit in art more often because I can see improvement the more often I work at it, which duh but seeing actual improvement is a real motivator. 

I really love doing the women and wildlife/nature drawings. I find them super fun to make and relaxing I love how they look. Now, whether or not they are something that appeals to people remains to be unseen. 

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

Fish are incredibly fun to draw. I am so into doing almost cartoon-like animals and women. I can see areas I need to tighten up, but I for sure don't want to head towards realism. I like graphic look to art. Big bold lines and colors, like I wish drawing tattoo flash was an art path I could take. 

I have been playing around with the idea of making travel artwork. I obviously already have a heavy North American landscape and wildlife influence but taking the work and marketing it as travel art. I don't know I need to formulate the idea a little further. I want to make some of my landscapes into postcards. We'll see how it turns out.

I am also excited to try more oil paintings. I finished 2 last month and they were fun and challenging but I really liked working in the medium. It makes you slow down, which is a good thing. 

my little salmon guy

my little salmon guy

colorado scene

colorado scene

Now the first painting I will say plays more to oil's strengths, the landscape I think I tried to approach it like I do acrylics and that's why it isn't as new feeling. With oils it feels like you have to think bigger picture than you do with acrylics. With acrylics I can lay one layer down in the background and work my way forward and its almost like you have to work opposite in oils. Which can lead to cool things like the sunset for the salmon. 

I need to play around with it more, I am always too worried about wasting or ruining a painting but I really need to be okay with making mistakes to learn so I can improve my skillset. Which duh, but it's one of those things you know it but until you do it you don't really KNOW it. 

*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.