The Messenger

The Messenger, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30"

The Messenger, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″

This turtle has been wanting to be painted for a while. I started this piece a little over a month ago. As some of you may know, I had an accident around that time. I was walking my dog on a pedestrian trail near my house when I slipped on a patch of ice and broke my ankle. This is why I haven’t posted in a while.

Source images of red sea turtles have been taped up on my art room wall well before my accident. I’ve had a long time to think about him. When I first filled in his outline on the canvas I felt like I was in over my head, but I got into a great painting zone and after half the night, I was happy with how he turned out. I’m really enjoying a totemic approach to animals these days.

In terms of process, as an experiment while making this piece, I took progress photos every time I took a break. This turned out to be a great technique for me, since I changed my mind a few times about the way I painted the sky as well as the peak. It was by looking back at previous images that I was able to determine what I really wanted.

It’s kind of amazing how many hours went into this piece. In the past I might have been more frustrated at the time it took to create. Now however, with more experience, I am no longer as impatient with my work. That’s something great that’s come to me through this accident – patience. I hope I don’t lose sight of it when I’m walking again.

Hope you enjoy.

Yellow Morning

Yellow Morning, 2’x4′, Acrylic on OSB

I finished this piece today. It’s been on my easel for the past month. This piece came very easily after a couple weeks of sketching. It was born out of a poem I wrote a few weeks ago after sketching at Horse Palace. The poem was a memory of visiting the horses at Union Park (racetrack near my house in Marabella) with my Dad. It’s been a very fun painting to work on. I made a new brush to make some of the effects I wanted.  

Hope you enjoy it. 

Tlalocelot – Tiger of the Feilds

36 x 48″, Conté on Wood

Tlalocelot is the Mexican Aztec name given to the ocelot. It translates to mean Tiger of the fields. I have been working on it for the past month and finished it earlier this week. This is the largest piece I have done in Conté and the first that I have done on wood. However, I have a stack of the same size and texture of boards lined up for the rest of the animal series I am doing. The boards that I chose have a lot of texture to them, but the effect does not totally comes across in the picture (it’s better in real obviously).

When I started doing this piece I had no idea how to approach it. Coming to the point of drawing it felt a bit like pursuing the cat – and for anyone who’s ever pursued a cat, it isn’t easy. One night during Savasana after a great practice, when I had totally surrendered my pursuit, I had this lovely moment of imagination / vision. This feral beauty (mr ocelot) slinked up to me and laid down on my chest. He looked at me with those omniscient eyes and silent magnificence. The feeling was full, exultant and I think I might have laughed out loud. After that the drawing came easier. I believe the message the ocelot brought to me after all was the power of surrender.

In Yoga today the teacher was telling us about balancing steadiness with sweetness in our poses and our breath. I find that that applies to my whole life. When I attempt to make art of any kind it’s that balance that I have to create in order to get through the self doubt and the burden of expectations. Another image came to me today that will probably follow into my next piece / animal investigation. The next animal I think is the horse.

I hope you enjoy the work. Comments / criticism much appreciated.