Time is fleeting

Time is fleeting

Time is fleeting. I say that a lot to my daughters, normally it’s when they are avoiding doing a task, i.e. anything. However, there are 24 hours in a day, the pressure to get things done in time can be enormous or it can feel like there is plenty of time to get things done. Time management, though, is the biggest hurdle. For most that is the reason for feeling one way or the other.

Everyone has things or tasks, that they don’t want to do. So, procrastination begins to ensue. The idea of having plenty of time to finish it comes into your mind. But time is always fleeting. As time goes on the point occurs when you feel the pressure that there is never enough time. In fact, there was plenty, it just was spent doing the things you wanted to do, not what needed to be done. When, if you had prioritized and put those tasks first, there would bs no pressure.

What if you have multiple jobs? That is when time management is key to success. I have three jobs, if I don’t follow a timeline to get work done then I’ll never go anywhere. Normally my least favorite tasks are done first putting a limit on the amount of time that I will devote to them. That in turn makes me focus more, to make sure it’s done within the time I’ve allocated. I know what you’re saying but what if you don’t finish, then I move on to the next task and finish it up with extra time with that I have left from then. If you work with purpose, with a plan, you will always have enough time.


The developing stages

The developing stages

The developing stages for this series of portrait paintings on which I’m currently working begins with an interview process. First is a recorded interview. This is really just for personal use to help me create a portrait that involves imagery that reflects this person and, to a degree, who they are beyond external attributes. Some of the questions I might ask are, “Who did they most admire growing up? What’s your top five musical artists? How old do you feel?” Yeah, these are kind of basic questions, but they really lead up to the spontaneous questions that arrive through simply talking. That’s really where you get a better feel for an individual. This allows me to come to an idea of what I want to portray. Next, I’ll take reference shots of the person I’m interviewing and then sort through them in order to find the image that is most representational of that person. This is the skeleton of the piece from which I can build a composition around. Then, listening back to the interview as I draw on a piece of paper, I try to work out and sort the imagery from the interview to be able to combine it with the photo reference. I’ll take it into a digital format like Photoshop or Procreate and play with it there, which allows me to readjust things, without having to redraw them. I’ll also sometimes collage photos in there. I print the image back off to draw on top of it. This time is a seesaw, going back and forth from drawing from hand to digital until I get the reference that I want. Arriving at a sketch for the beginning stages of a painting.


To Art School or Not.

To Art School or Not.

I recently was asked the question, “If you had it all to do over again, would you go to art school or would you do it on your own?” This came from a kid in high school who’s trying to figure out what path to take in life, I’m guessing. I told him for myself I wouldn’t change much because I did learn a lot from some amazing artists; I would just probably change my approach. By that I mean I would do a lot more networking – finding the teachers that I could get the most knowledge from in technique and the business side. Going to college also allowed me to live in a different state. For me Baltimore was the perfect place to be. I could hop on a train and be in D.C., Philly, or New York easily. This allowed me to experience more places and their cultures.  I also made long life friends who helped me grow as a person. At the end of it I walked away with a degree that has helped me get jobs to pay the bills, but I also walked away with a debt.


The thing is everything that I got to experience in art school you can experience without art school with the exception of earning a degree. You can meet other artists, learn from them and grow as an artist yourself. There is also YouTube, you can learn a lot of techniques from there. The growth of the internet has allowed you access to many tools to further your career. It kind of even the playing field to a degree. You also don’t have to go to school in order to travel and see what’s out in the world. However, you do need to be highly motivated and able to impose structure upon yourself. I have artist friends who chose this route.


It is just really the road you want to take, or you feel you need to take to advance yourself. At the end of the day you will only go as far as you allow yourself to go.



The Grey

The Grey

The grey area of life. Most things in life have a grey area; it’s not clear cut, black or white. Even history tends to omit many details that shaped it not to mention it is often sculpted by the victor and doesn’t include the other side’s perspective. This can be seen in the everyday experiences of the people you interact with daily.  This has always been fascinating to me. I want to know what makes a person who they are and the events that shaped them. The events of life that determine who they are to themselves are the most important and how the world perceives them. Do they see themselves as the hero, the villain, etc., and does the world see them differently than they see themselves?

Perception can be a funny thing in that manner. A person may be seen as good and successful because of their perfection, where they live, or how they look after and treat others. That same person may only see themselves as a failure and a horrible human being. But why? It’s those events that others may not have seen but that impacted the individual and shaped their view of themselves. Others come to a conclusion based of what the know or think they know about that person without ever knowing the full picture. But can they ever?

Personally, I’d say, “No.” However that’s what makes people interesting. No matter how well you know someone, or think you know them, you can never fully. That’s the beautiful thing about being human. Each of us has a unique mystery about ourselves, that can never be fully grasped by ourselves or others. At the same time that’s what divides us and unites us.





What makes a person a person? I mean at their core it’s a really question them nature versus nurture. So the question remains how does this apply to the artist and their art? What are they trying to say or understand? Why their process is going the direction its going and where did it all start?

I believe this is where I am at this point in my process. Yeah you can go on about that I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid but I think that’s kind of redundant. I think more unless you’re looking for milestones that really set you off in your journey as an artist. So those points would be for I would really seem to overlap in my early childhood. Remember seeing my mom doodle that she says these elaborate patterns were got the time. They were never really develop into anything of a visual language like a flower or cloud or a tree. I just remember being captivated by the marks as they crept across the page often never filling them.

Then the next two seem to really go hand-in-hand my grandfather used to have all these crazy masks from different parts of the world apparently it was something that my grandmother and he enjoyed collecting. Somewhere incredibly carved others were sometimes like leather stretch overframe but they all were unique in their own way and seem to have a spirit a life of their own, a representation of the god or deity personality.

Next were these Kachina dolls that my Elementary art teacher brought in. They were elaborately decorated. Somewhere holding what looks like weapons with what seemed to be fur, while others were carved out of wood with small details added to them like feathers or small patches of cloth. At the time you know I remember thinking of them as almost ancient superheroes and like what these the creatures were like, you know what they represent, you know who were they?
I found myself asking that same question all the as I looked at portraits of people, whether it be photographs or paintings you know who were these people. However I do remember looking at a lot of painters depicting scenes, how they would make it feel warm and inviting or cool and empty, you know just setting a mood. Sargent was really good at that.

The more think about it, I did that also when just people I encountered whether that be kids are adults like why are they the way they are. You see the funny part was I never really felt like I fit in and I think that’s a natural feeling for most people. But through that is raised the question of why a person is the way they are? I mean it was the same question I asked about the masks and that Kachina. Which led to the concept of the current work and I’m working on now. Trying to display a link between what is made a person who they are up until that moment in their life making the portrait of narrative of a portion of their life.
What seemed to be a very straightforward answer to what I was trying to say through my work really only came about maybe 3 years ago. How can I display and a person’s emotions while you invoking elements of their past that make them who they are in some aspect of their life.


You are your work

You are your work

Mark making is a term used to describe the different lines, patterns, and textures we create in a piece of art. It applies to any art material on any surface, not only paint on canvas or pencil on paper.

Contrast is the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.

Depth is a dimension taken through an object or body of material, usually downward from an upper surface, horizontally inward from an outer surface, or from top to bottom of something regarded as one of several layers.

You can say these is a lot of expression of an artist personality. This happened to come up in a conversation that I was having with a fellow artist. To give you a better context of how this came about was we were actually talking  about different artists work. Their color selections, composition and of course Mark making.

The mark making it’s really you how you build form, depth, contrast or lack thereof you know in the a piece whether it’s representational, abstract, etc.
With certain artists you can tell if they’re calculating meaning did they come up with a formula or structure to begin their work and carry it through to the finish product. Approaching each work as an architect, making a blueprint  to follow so that the piece as very little deviation from the concept.  Showing there patients to understand the task at hand and come up with a method make it structured. While others Thrive off passion and a looser structure and go with the flow and allowing the task dictate there actions. Attacking their piece, creating of a blurred concept and allowing the work to dictate it’s self to completion.  While many are somewhere in the middle, with varying degrees.

These comparisons are often a reflection of the artist within their personal life, not necessarily negatively or positively just how their life is structured or they structure for themselves. Simply put some people fly by the seat of there pants, while other plan for the journey.

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