From Sketch to Show!

Howdy!

I thought it would be fun to show you the progression of a piece entitled “Relish” that was accepted into the group show “Creamsicle” at Art on 30th! 

I alway enjoy when an artist shares their whole process - from inspiration to final piece so here’s my attempt at showing you my process.

Below is the finished piece, Relish!

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The first step to this painting was the inspiration, And sometimes inspiration strikes right outside my front door! This is one of my favorite views and is the first sign of summer! The purple jacaranda tree, the bright yellow flowers, the orange yellow green vibrant fire sticks and the bright blue sky. I love the entire field of vision and when you put your eyes out of focus, you just see globs of color. 

the “Creamsicle” show theme was all about artwork that celebrates summer and/or uses the color cream so what better way for me to commemorate the first sign of summer than with a painting that captures it!

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Once I knew I wanted to capture this view somehow in a painting, I thought about what kind of aerial views would work well and also celebrate San Diego summer. I snapped a picture of pacific beach / mission bay from the airplane a while back that I’ve always wanted to use for its land formations and waterways. I knew it would be the perfect backdrop.

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The next step I took was to narrow in on my color palette and composition. I set my sketchbook up outside and simply looked at the colors in my front yard. Then proceeded to paint the colors I found in the “wild” and liked how the colors came together. 

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Ready to go with my new idea, I printed up the saturated, black and white photo at staples. I pasted the photo onto my previously constructed wood panel with modge podge and gel medium. I bought a “San Diego from Above” book from my local used books store, Blue Stocking. I decided to use the ocean images as my collages. 

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And now for some color! Most of my paintings, I start with blue. It's soothing, calming and I feel like I can breathe just a bit before launching into the larger composition. It acts as the life source of my paintings like water is to our bodies, plants and natural landscapes. 

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After I lay down the blue, I start to lay out the composition with the plantlife I've chosen to paint. Then I proceed to pull in the landscape and this is where it gets really fun! This part is all about playing with color, composition and perspective. As much fun as this part of the painting process is, it can also be extremely frustrating when it just doesn't feel right and I risk overworking my painting. It's all a part of the painting dance.  I think I'm growing in letting the process just happen verses get frustrated when I'm frustrated. 

After the ups and downs, I always find a flow and can see the finished result so it's all about finishing it off!

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Once I feel like the painting is complete, I finish off all the little details that make it gallery ready. I ended up painting the sides of my panel white, and taped the sides so I could make the edges crisp and professional. This is where the super detailed side of my comes out - very different from when I'm free flowing and painting big bold strokes!

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And here it is hung up at the show! I really loved how it looked with the entire show. All the other paintings were beautiful and so summery!

The show itself was so fun. I had a lot of my community here in San Diego show up as well as my sister and mom. There was pizza, wine, popsicle cookies and other yummy treats. I got to meet some other artists and felt so happy to be in that space. I'm excited for more events here!

Oh and I also matched my painting 🤪.

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Overall an incredible evening and it's fun to see the whole process from start to finish!

Somethin's brewin'

When I think of new work, I usually think in terms of a series – how the pieces will all interact with each other. I like to dream on a large scale so the following "first sketches" are ideas I am developing for two separate shows. This process allows me to create within the framework of a bigger picture - a reason behind the individual pieces. 

I usually wouldn't publish this online, but I think it's an important to understand how I go about developing new work. The vision, concept and big picture thinking comes first, then it's all about execution. It's fun to see what shifts throughout the process but also how the original vision comes to life. 

Next series: The Poeima Chronicles 
The next series I want to develop is called "The Poeima Chronicles". This series' purpose is all about creating art rapid fire. I am going to focus on 7 greek words, their meanings, the visions and feelings they invoke in me. My plan is to search for aerial views that speak to me through the word meaning, then go to the cactus garden near my house and pick out plants that also seem like that word to me. I want to create about 3-4 paintings per word. The goal is to explore my mediums,  expression and word meditation.

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Bigger vision show: Hold it in Your Hands
The next series is all based on my Kauai trip. I am calling the working title "Hold it in your hands". I view this as painting and installation. Large overgrown trees with the aerial views I captured from the helicopter ride I took over Kauai. The goal is lush, wildness, paintings taller and wider than any human being. Also....no phones or cameras allowed. I've been struck by the new "instagram art" trend where museums, restaurants and public spaces are specifically creating work for our social media obsessed culture. There is something fundamentally wrong about that....Still working that out but this show would be entirely technology free. You will have to sit with the work, you, yourself - a forced presence. Of course there are layers of irony in all of it but, I'm excited to see what it's all about and how people respond.

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Kauai 2018 - Sketches

 Overgrown plants on top of plants on top of more plants. LUSH!

Overgrown plants on top of plants on top of more plants. LUSH!

 Hideaways Beach

Hideaways Beach

 Hideaways Beach

Hideaways Beach

 The view from the Kiahuna Plantation beach

The view from the Kiahuna Plantation beach

 The view from our condo

The view from our condo

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 That's me! On a rock! Sketching at a favorite beach, Hideaways. 

That's me! On a rock! Sketching at a favorite beach, Hideaways. 

Kauai 2018 - By air

Kauai is one of the most beautiful, lush and dynamic places on the planet, yet you can drive around the entire island in two hours. It houses one of the wettest place on earth, Mt. Waialeale, and it's got plant life you can't see anywhere else! Over the last three years, Mark and I have been lucky enough to kayak the Nepali coastline, hike the Kalalau trail, explore the nooks and crannies of the inner jungle and discover its secret beaches. With all this traversing across the island, one of my ultimate bucket list items was to fly in a helicopter over Kauai - to see this stunning landscape from above. This past trip to Kauai, I got the opportunity to do so with my dad, grandpa and my sister's father in law, Joe! This helicopter trip has provided me endless amounts of material for my art and not some priceless memories with dad, grandpa and Joe. I'm beyond grateful to have been able to capture such a captivating beauty. Mahalo, Kauai! 

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