Archive for the ‘ acrylic ’ Category

New Small Works, (Small Works Progress Administration) 2017

We’re already a couple weeks into the new year, I haven’t updated, but I have been busy.

I have started a new set of the Small Works Progress Administration (small paintings in acrylic and mixed media). That in the parenthesis there is something of a change in of itself: I discovered I really enjoy working in mixed media by doing a project for a friend. Previous series of small works had been in acrylic paint only, but this set includes acrylic paint, graphite, and marker, on gessoed cardboard. This new series will sell for $25 each. (dimensions are approximately 5″ x 9″, though these are hand-made items and their sizes vary)

The older small works can be seen here: http://wp.me/p2c9SR-bl

 

A couple new, enjoy:

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Bacteriophage, mixed media on cardboard, $25

 

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Combat boots, mixed media on cardboard, $25.

Putting newer stuff to the top now. I managed a few pieces this evening. I returned to images I have treated before in other places, some images come from cabinet photos, others are from my own 35mm photography of the area in which I live, and sometimes still life of random objects around my apartment:

 

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from cabinet photo, mixed media on cardboard $25

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still life of skull and small statuette, mixed media on cardboard $25

 

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Cabinet photo, mixed media on cardboard. $25

 

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Two versions of the same cabinet photo together, mixed media, $25.

 

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Entrance to St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Watervliet, N.Y. demolished) from on of my 35mm photos of the church. $25

Here are the first three of the new series, keep checking back as more will be going up soon.

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1868 Holy Bible, mixed media on gessoed cardboard

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Decorative Skull, mixed media on gessoed cardboard

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Polyhedron Die (D-20) mixed media on gessoed carboard $25

I have always been fascinated with skeleton keys. As an adult I have a small collection of them I buy in antique shops. Here are three studies of a couple keys I own, one is decorative, the other was bought at an antique shop.

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Skeleton Key (3 of 3) mixed media on gessoed cardboard. $25

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Skeleton Key (2 of 3) mixed media on gessoed cardboard $25

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Skeleton Key (1 of 3) mixed media on cardboard $25

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Skeleton Keys all three together on my easel. If someone wants to buy these as a set, I will sell them together at a discount.

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The Class

For those that didn’t know, I have spent the last several weeks teaching an art class within the Capital District Psychiatric Center. My goal is to get funding to expand a program that makes fine art classes a part of mental health treatment both inside and outside the hospital in the city I live in: Albany, NY.

Again for those who didn’t know: this is a goal for me, because I know when I was inpatient in CDPC, art groups were important to me as a way to rebuild my life in the hard times I was having. The art groups were something I looked forward to each day when I was inpatient. AsĀ  teacher, I want to use art to help troubled people do what I did: get out of the hospital and live better lives outside of the mental health system. Mentally ill people can live full lives, hold jobs, and stay well. We can and do recover. I feel like art can help mentally ill people do that, and I am not alone in that belief.

In that spirit, I’d like to show some of the in-class demonstrations I have done. These are sketches and things I did during the class, demonstrating for my students, art techniques and skills.

It’s my hope that my students not only develop their own skill, but find ways to make art a part of thier lives once they are back living in the community –professionally, or non-professionally.

Art is important. I know from looking around my classroom, art is important to helping struggling people heal.

Some images:

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Bulletin board of my student’s work

 

[update] 5/21

This past week the class has been working with mannikins (croquis) I was able to purchase with the grant money I received. The class has really latched on to drawing with croquis. This past week, I have been encourage students to pose the croquis and talk about an incident in their lives. The class has a two-fold purpose of not only teaching art, but as an informal part of the students therapy and recover from significant mental illness (all students are currently admitted on an in-patient basis). There are two images from this (my in-class demonstrations):

croquis/figure study charcoal sketch on paper

croquis/figure study charcoal sketch on paper

 

The first sketch: a student described a family member who had overcome addiction.

 

Croquis/figure study charcoal on paper

Croquis/figure study charcoal on paper

 

The pose is meant to describe a student’s experience during a recent depressive episode.

 

[update]

Adding some new works, older sketches and works are towards the bottom of the post.

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Acrylic on paper, student prompt was to represent what “trouble” meant to them, based on a podcast from “This Modern Life”. Related to a San Francisco cafe whose proprietor struggles with Schizo-effective disorder.

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Fayette Michigan, abandoned town and now a historical site. Watercolor on paper.

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Lake Michigan, near Escanaba, Michigan. Watercolor on paper.

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Sketch, charcoal on paper. Portraits.

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Oil Pastel on paper. Prompt for this was encouraging students to depict “Safe Spaces”

[…]

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Sketching architecture, reproduction of Van Gogh’s House at Arles.

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Architectural study, perspective example. In this case a very quick study of the corner of Clinton and N. Pearl St. In-class example.

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Study, landscape, another Van Gogh reproduction.

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Study of Paul Klee’s “The Red Balloon,” from a lesson on using color and abstraction/ non-representational drawing.

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Architectural study, from the book “Hudson Valley Ruins.”

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Portrait, study. From a lesson about composition and placement of facial features.

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Studies: faces and facial features.

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Study, portraiture, faces and facial features.

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Placement of facial features and composition.

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Manet’s work “The Old Musician” has been a recurrent theme in my sketching. In this case, the “dread-locked cow-girl” is based off a figure in the Manet piece, and swaps the gender of a figure from Manet’s work.

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Study, dog

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Study, infant.

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Study, tree trunk.

First, a figure study. Study of a child playing, including an illustrated armature (left). In class demonstration.

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Reproduction, Paul Cezanne. Working on landscapes, explanation of horizon line. Oil pastel on paper.

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“Years Later, I Stopped Looking for Places to Hide From Her”: Session 1

I started a new work today. The image comes from this sketch, which is a pencil drawing I did from a photo by photographer Clifford Richards of the Steven and Harriette Meyers House. The Meyer’s Residence was once a stop on the underground Railroad, and a local organization is currently fundraising to renovate the house and make it a historical site and cultural center. It is located on Livingston Ave in Albany:

Here is my beginning sketch (with my prompt for the larger piece, which I will talk about in a moment):

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Now, I have always believed that as an artist, one needs to find a way to connect to the emotional content of the work you are creating. Since pre Civil war as an era of history is a little beyond the scope of my experience, I used a prompt to get me thinking about the piece. The title refers to a period in my early twenties when I had to withdraw from school to tend to my health. At the same time, a pretty serious relationship had ended, and my former fiancee had made some pretty wild accusations about my behavior. As a result of that I developed a strangely specific anxiety about meeting my former partner in public places. I began mistaking almost any petite girl with dark hair that bore a passing resemblance for my former partner. Agoraphobia, if you call it that, or any related phobia of that sort is pretty balls. Panic attacks suck.

The prompt may be about a pretty dismal time in my life, but it’s hopeful, because it suggests that that fear passed with time.

Anyway, before the picture of my first session with the piece: I needed to let the first coat of paint dry before I continued to build the colors. I made the pitch of the stairs less steep, and opened up the fore-ground (see original sketch). I hope to continue to work on this piece throughout the week. If I make some progress, I’ll share it here:

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The work is large, acrylic on canvas. It is very much a work in progress.

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So, session two. I am building the colors and darkening the painting. I feel like the contrast has to be made even greater. Here is the work after session two:

 

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More recent works

Here is some of the recent work I have been doing:

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Not the best image, admittedly from the camera, but I liked this one. One of the other assistants in the class I teach brought in the subject for this still life from her day job –which is for a company that installs sprinkler systems, or something of the sort. Occasionally, they have to replace rubber tubing that is overgrown by tree roots, which is what this is.

I like that people tell me it looks like a heart that is pierced by something, or a dead animal or skull of some sort. It was a pretty challenging subject for painting. It’s acrylic on paper.

Recently, I began working on the sketch for another idea. At Trinity Institution where I teach the weekly class, there is a series of photos of the Steven and Harriet Meyers residence. The Meyers house was once an Albany stop on the underground railroad, owned by a prominent abolitionist. The house is currently being restored to be used as a historic site. The photos of the house under restoration are all compelling, but I decided to do a pencil treatment of the following picture as a warm up to a possible larger, complete work or treatment of the subject.

Here is my (unfinished) pencil sketch so far:

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The photograph was one that I found compelling because it shows the basement staircase –the basement being place that logically would hide the presence of people not wanting to be found. The photo was compelling as well because the area of greatest light is beyond the door-frame, and the walls beyond them darken into near total darkness at the bottom of the page. It was a very well-shot photograph (when I think to I will update this with the photographer’s name).

I apologize the photograph is not very clear, it seems the next thing I may need to buy is a compact digital camera to replace my trusty Kodak Easyshare. It seems to be on its way out.

A couple weeks ago, The art class I am a part of hosted an art contest held as part of the launch of a community walking path in the Arbor Hill neighborhood. I spent most of the day handing out pencils and paper to young kids in the neighborhood, and encouraging their efforts in the contest. As I was set up, I did a quick line drawing of a tree on the property.

Ultimately, I took the rough drawing home, and finished it in pencil. Still not happy with the result, I layered the painting with thin layers of water color paint. So the piece is mixed media, on a rather large sheet of paper.

Here it is before the water color: 111_2988

And here is the finished (essentially, there is one problem I may want to correct before sale) piece:

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Arbor Hill Tree, pencil and watercolor on paper. Inquire about sale and dimensions.

And a couple recent sketches:

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