"Old Mill" Fall Landscape Finished!

I’m very happy to have finished my latest fall landscape featuring Crystal Mill! This piece was a great exercise in clearly rendering a foreground, middle ground and background while creating a strong focal point. This location makes for a great image because of the interesting structure of the mill and the way it fits so nicely into the surrounding landscape

 
 

While creating this piece I really enjoyed jumping around to different spots of the painting to add details and colors. I have gotten so used to rendering figures that its nice to just focus on a landscape and have fun with the slow and steady process.

This 12”x16” oil painting is available for $170. Click HERE to purchase!

New Fall Landscape in the Works!

So I am currently putting the finishing touches on my new fall landscape of Crystal Mill so here is a fun time-lapse showing the first stages of creation! I have always admired this iconic Colorado scene and am happy to render it in my own way. The final product will be up on my website soon in my Landscape section!

Autumn Landscape Painting!

This piece initially started as a landscape study of Mt. Sneffels but quickly showed some potential to be a finished product that demanded more time and attention. This piece became an excellent exercise in managing color and portraying distance. The warm fall colors in the foreground serve as an interesting contrast to the cold textured colors in the distance. For the snow on the mountain I used my palette knife to create some rough rock-like textures.

Update: This painting has been sold!

 
 

Here is a fun picture of the painting with the actual palette of paints I used!

 
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New Landscape Study!

Hello! So I just finished my newest landscape study! I use the term study because I am hoping to use this same landscape reference for a Terra Human piece soon! And creating a small study like this helps me understand the landscape on it’s own without a human. It’s been a while since I have painted clouds so I really enjoyed the challenging process and the final result. I have always loved the challenge of illustrating clouds and I love the dynamic quality they can add to a composition.

This 12”x16” study is available for $100. Click HERE to purchase!

New Painting!

I’m very happy to have just finished this piece titled “When We Fall.” The process for this painting was difficult primarily because of the head/face that is slightly tilted downward. I didn’t quite notice this detail at first so in my first two tries of rendering her face I made her head at the wrong angle so the facial features just didn’t look right.

1st Attempt

2nd Attempt

As you can see in my first and second attempts I was not only misinterpreting the angle of the face but I was also wrong with the size. What I finally realized (far right image) is that because the head is tilted down, the eye-line and other facial features should be much lower on the face and you should see more of the top of her head. And this tilt would also make here ears slightly higher than her eyes.

 
 

I don’t enjoy starting over sections of a painting, but I’m realizing more and more how necessary it can be to create the image I’m visualizing in a convincing way. I’m very happy with how this piece turned out and it’s nice to see my hard work paying off!

Male Figures in Art

When I started to paint figures I rendered them in very abstract ways as to avoid difficult details and show the human form in a creative and unique way. Most of these figures were so abstract that there was no obvious gender for the viewer to recognize. But as I developed my skills and started to render humans in a more realistic style I didn’t hesitate to balance my male and female forms. This is to say, that I made an instinctual decision to paint just as many men as I did women. This made a lot of sense to me because I felt like both forms were inherently beautiful and each had many stories to tell through raw physicality. But in my experience viewing art in person in galleries and on social media the majority of other figure painting artists seem to focus solely on the female form. This is a broad generalization of course but it does beg the question of why?

Many artist seem to capitalize on the inherent sexuality of the female form while adding a hint of mystery and aloofness that can captivate the viewer. I can also understand that the female form can have a natural vulnerability to it that can be enhanced through a painting. But this is exactly my point. I feel that the male form is (for the most part) avoided in artist renderings because people aren’t comfortable seeing the image of a man in a vulnerable state. There are thousands of artistic images of women in poses that show vulnerability, sensitivity and openness to the viewer. But these qualities are not traditionally associated with a man so they are not portrayed as frequently in art.

Not that I see myself as a rebel but I do have a strong appreciation for the male form and I think it has a lot to say to a viewer. In my paintings of men I want to show the inherent strength in the form while also showing emotional vulnerability and self contemplation. I hope to continue to illustrate both sexes as multidimensional beings who are both complex and beautiful.

 
 

New Painting Style

So I've been experimenting with a new style that I am hoping will stick! This style consists of loose brush strokes, geometric stylization and an emphasis on texture. I am hoping to primarily apply this style to my Terra Human series because I think it will fit nicely and can portray the emotions and humanism that are inherent in a figure.

In my exploration of this new style I have decided to recreate my original small painting titled "Sensitive." The concept of this piece is very personal to me and I feel like I can really do the image justice by making it bigger and more emotive. The photo below is a progress picture of me working on this piece. I am already really excited about the look of it and I cannot wait to see where it goes!

My Favorites from Life Drawing

At the beginning of this summer in Los Alamos I found a flyer for weekly life drawing sessions hosted a the local art center. So throughout the summer I've been trying to go as frequently as I can to sharpen my skills and meet some fellow creatives.

These life drawing sessions have been a real treat for me for a few reasons. The other people in the class were welcoming and not afraid to hide their quirks. And I loved being able to practice rendering figures and working with a medium other than oil paint.

Here are a few of my favorite drawings that I have created so far. These drawings are results of different time limits that we were restricted by. The time limits varied from 30 seconds to 15 minutes.

New Sketch Ideas!

Hi guys, I thought I would share some new sketches that I created! Im not always great at practicing and putting ideas in my sketchbook but when I do I really enjoy it. It's nice to have the freedom to try ideas and not feel the pressure to make a finished product that people will love. And it's really exciting when I preliminary sketch can turn into an awesome finished painting.

 
 

New Painting Finished!

The sunrise in this piece was based off a photo I took in Yellowstone National Park during our road trip last summer. The sun had just peaked over the trees and was shrouded in mist from the river below. 

I think my favorite thing about this piece and the original scene if the mood. The mist and the water below the figure make it feel so quiet and serene. As if these scene takes place before all the birds and animals are awake and you feel secluded and safe.

Like most of my other Terra Human paintings, this piece started with the figure and from there I added the background nature components. I enjoy starting with the figure because I want to human to be the focus of the image and I usually spend most of my time working on the figure and adding detail.

Here is the photoshopped version that I created before the painting. I can see some difference that we choices that I made and some that were mistakes. Once I am finished with a piece I always see things that I can change and adjust but sometimes you need to just allow a painting to exist for what it is and try to improve on the next one.

New Commissioned Paintings!

A few months ago I was very happy to be contacted by a friend asking for two custom paintings as a surprise birthday present for his girlfriend (my very close friend). I really enjoyed working on this project for a few reasons. The first reason being that I couldn't wait to see the reaction on my friend's face when she saw the paintings. The second being this was my first official pet portrait and I was excited to render her very cute dog. And the third and very significant reason I enjoyed this project was that the client had put so much thought into this idea and trusted me to execute it well.

I love to have very emotionally driven commissions because it increases my investment in the project and makes me remember why I created art when I was a child, to make people happy.

Landscape Creation Process


 
Nelly Print.jpg
 

Framed Thoughts

When getting "Trapped in Light"  framed, I was forced to think about it’s concept more and more and I started to really understand how much it related to me. This concept of being in a societal spotlight has always been something I have been aware of. from a young age I have been a performer in someways, I always wanted to impress people with my athletic or artistic skills to that I could get their approval. This search for other people’s approval led me to develop my skills more and more so that I could constantly impress.

Now this is something that I am acutely aware of and try to understand, but I think it is crucial for me to be aware of the origin of my artistic passion. The origin being a search for other peoples approval, the origin being a performance for others. In my current work I really try to strike a balance between what I want and what others want but this is a very difficult like to walk. Because in someway you always have to have your consumer in mind if you want to sell any art at all. The art that I create cannot be just for me because I want other people to experience it and understand it as well. 

Painting Outdoors!

Painting ouside in the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the Jemez National Recreation Area brought me back to my childhood! The experience of being surrounded by nature with nothing but my thoughts and actions brought me back to a simpler way of thinking. I was able to breath and see things for what they were. 

Normally when I paint in my studio space I am surrounded by my technology which serve as portals to social media, videos, conversations and distractions from the actual act of observation. So this outdoor experience refreshed me and got me to focus up on what was important in that single moment.

I hope to have many more outdoor painting excursions this summer so that I can further my skill and learn to live in the moment and be fully present in nature.

 
 
 
 

Arrived in New Mexico!

 
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Katy and I have arrived in New Mexico! And I can already tell that the dynamic landscapes here will be a huge inspiration for my work this summer. At the moment I am finishing up two commissioned paintings so once they are done I will jump into some new projects featuring the surrounding landscapes.

A huge artistic inspiration for me is how nature makes me feel. When I am immersed in a natural setting I have this odd combination of feeling alone yet comforted. I can feel the lively presence of nature around me and its humbling power while being separated from people.

I feel as if I have an ongoing relationship with nature and when I am experienceing it I fell rejuvenated and reacquainted.