Mixed Media

I guess the smartphone will do!

According to my 'plan', I was supposed to finish this painting this weekend. Guess not! At least I already knew it. I had estimated to take 6 weeks (two sessions per week) to paint each project, but with school and all I just could not meet the deadline. The California Poppies are just gonna have to wait. Like I said before, I'd rather just submit one strong piece.

Picture taken with my phone. A little blurry, for sure.

As for documenting the project, I started to take pictures with my phone. It's not the fanciest or the most apt for the job, but it will have to do for a while. The pictures are grainy and there is no flash, so avoiding blurry pictures is a challenge. Maybe I'll keep it simple for the next couple of paintings and not update as often.

I will have a busier schedule starting Fall, though. So it's very possible I won't paint at all until next year and this camera incident won't even be a problem. Scary thought, but what are you gonna do?

Once this is done, the painting will finally start looking complete!

The Matilija Poppy painting is looking great. I am working on the yellow stems and pistil right now. After that, I will define some more leaves and contours and I will be pretty much done. I'm so looking forward to finish this painting!

Close Ups Update (I lost count)...

Well, this painting is just as time consuming as I thought it would be! This is where experience kicks in. I have to stay focused and visualize the finished piece. If I let its still "halfway cooked" look get to me, I'd start to freak out. You know, that is the recipe for artistic frustration (along with constant streams of rejection, but we ain't talking about that now). Look at that, after all there IS an upside from getting older...

Teaser detail. The whole thing is looking good, I promise.

Right at this stage, I like to indulge into some detail painting. For this work, I chose to bring some of the background bulbs and leaves to an almost finished state. This helps me visualize the finished piece better.

In the end, you would think the hardest part is to mimic the Matilija Poppy's delicate and intricate nature, but it all comes down to the environment. The whole, in this project in particular, will be more than the sum of its parts.

And for the sad news, it's looking like this will be the only new work I'll be submitting for the juried show. Time just has not been on my side. I would rather invest more time into making this painting even stronger.

Another project in progress...

The ADD kicked in and I needed to paint something else while waiting for the flowers to dry. Well, not really. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by a daunting task, so taking a little "break" from it is always good.

I believe in letting works mature, not physically, but internally. As soon as I feel the need to rethink paths and maybe approach the painting differently, I know it is time for a break. I have done many works in my time and I am always updating my process, looking for a way to get a better result. So this is something I came up with to avoid the feeling of hitting the wall and getting stuck.

Oh, those beach paintings keep popping up!

I also try to include my contemporary project in my working schedule as much as possible. This work in particular is part of something much bigger. There are actually five of these I'm working on at the same time.

Yes, wearing different hats can sometimes backfire and be even more overwhelming, but as an artist you have to learn how to put stuff on hold and pick it up on the fly when you come back. Life does not care if you are inspired, you will still have to leave and go do time consuming stuff every day. So, you better be prepared to get back to business, quickly.

I actually had to drop a class to keep up with this painting schedule, a very important class I might add. But I'm a man on a mission and I can't be stopped. Well, at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Close Ups Update

This is the part where I get really antsy. I can visualize the finished piece already yet I can't get rush things! Patience and determination are key in this stage of the project.

After working some volume on the petals, I decided to start bringing some color to the work. The idea is to gradually bring the foliage to life while working the Poppy's overall appearance. After these many layers of color, I need to watch my details and make sure I'm not losing them. Once I have achieved a more elaborated background, I will start incorporating the surrounding green overtones into the flower.

 This painting is about 30% done

Of course, that is easier said than done. I am glad I had a couple of sessions this week to work on this, though. I definitely got a lot done and I'm just a tad behind schedule... I am also painting something completely different that I hope to share in the near future. It is a part of my recent contemporary endeavors, something I'm putting together in the hopes of a future show. Well, at least that's the plan!

Now, back to painting!