Saturday, April 30, 2011

Painting with an Airman

"Take a painting lesson from the airman. He doesn't have a formal education in art, but he does have permission from the united states Gov. to carry a paint brush. Any one and every should and can create. Laugh, cry, enjoy! The arts doesn't have to always be so serious."

Take it with a grain of salt, I am pushing for creative freedom, something ive only recently been able to enjoy as an artist. Clients and life will suck the fun outta of the job, but i love'em anyway! I guess over all I just want to release some of the weirdness trapped inside

Friday, April 29, 2011

The 1933 federal arts endowment and the black tail prairie dog of the great plains

As I view this painting I created years ago, it reminds me to never regret and to learn from my mistakes. With the fear mongering presented by the news about the failing economy, and the prairie dogs emerging from their underground winter homes scattered around base, triggered a random correlation within my mind. This story shows how closely things are related, how I should learn from my mistakes, and how I should keep creating no matter what.

"The 1933 federal arts endowment and the black tail prairie dog of the great plains." By Roahun

How cruel of me to fill this prairie dogs hole. I stood before her, with her beady lil black eyes set far apart on the head. I bet she could spot me from clear across the field. Ive been curious about these small animals for some time, so I did what every self respecting young scholar does, hit up wikipedia! First article that came up, "the decline of the prairie dog, and its ecosystem." Apparently the prairie dogs are an important part of the ecosystem of the great plains, BTW the area that grows the majority our of food! Reading even deeper, it states that around the time of the great depression the dust bowl occurred as well. The dust bowl is directly related to the destruction of the prairie ecosystem from over farming. The prairie dog being a very important contributer to this ecosystem was forcefully killed because of its large numbers, and destructive behavior. The prairie dog helped replenish the soil with water and nutrients. With out the dogs, the the soil would be harshly effected especially with the intense agriculture taking place.

The banking system is tied directly into this problem as well.

With the advent of new consumerism, and the extension of the first ever lines of credit, people were able to buy cars on credit, houses on loans, and even radios in installments. New banks opened to take advantage of this credit sweep, and the federal reserve was busy keeping bank reserve full. But wages were still meager compared to the debt accumulating. The fed was reaching its maximum lending limit as well.

Governmental policy had not changed very much to accommodate these new changes, and this would be part of weak link in the chain of events that caused the recession, eventually turning into the depression.

As the Dust Bowl started its effect, small rural banks failed due to the farmers defaulting on loans. Speculators pulled money from banks in fear of loosing to a bank failure. The federal reserve reached its lending limit to early, so bank reserves couldn't be replenished. Large banks closed lending because of the chaos in the Fed and small banks. The prices of food comodities started to rise due to a decrese in supply. house holds couldn't afford to pay for food and their new lifestyle, because credit was either withdrawn or the interest tripled. With a decline in spending, business slowed and jobs were lost due to reduction in consumption. The government had no policies in place to deal with the failing banks and businesses, so no bail outs followed. Banks failed, companies failed, jobs lost, lively hoods lost, food was short, prices were high, and the government seemed to do nothing. So many systems failing at once crippled our society. This failure not only showed the interconnectedness of the economy, but also proved as a lesson in power and responsibility. Everyone had to hold fast in poverty until the government and the fed could revamp policy (sound familiar?). And somehow the little prairie dog played a big part in this whole process. And this very process sparked the new deal for the arts and kept a lot of us out of poverty ourselves!

As stated on the NARA website: " The New Deal arts projects provided work for jobless artists, but they also had a larger mission: to promote American art and culture and to give more Americans access to what President Franklin Roosevelt described as "an abundant life." The projects saved thousands of artists from poverty and despair and enabled Americans all across the country to see an original painting for the first time, attend their first professional live theater, or take their first music or drawing class. " National Archives and Records Administration 2011

Before this, the arts were reserved for those who had money. It was a status symbol to enjoy the arts, to see a real painting in a public museum. Today art can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere. So as you sit there painting away, remember how easy it is to loose. As an artist I must understand the history of how things became, to understand what they will become.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Evolution: visions of color and shape.

It was a long and hard road to become the artist I am today. The transition was complicated because I had to many ideas. The nights were long because I could not sleep until I figured "it" out. I didn’t stay up and paint all night like some, or become a deranged lunatic, wandering the streets looking for truth and meaning. I simply lived my life, and dealt with the growing pains. I went through phases and periods in which I had to learn different aspects. I had to sit alone with my self, and get closer to my individuality. I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t go to school for art, I didn’t have a clue. All I had was visions of colors and shapes.

I started out my art and design path with clothing and graffiti style painting. I grew up inside a box of my minds creation. I had no idea about music, fashion, or the world for that matter. When I look back at it, I think that my work was directly linked to my state of mind. While I always had ability to create, I was never passionate about anything to make the effort. Money became the first factor, which I pursed when I was introduced to art and fashion. I approached design problems from an analytical standpoint because of the nature of the art; it was about function not just form. I was less concerned with content, or message, and more interested in style and color. This helped me develop a stylized method of painting. It grew and I completed over 1000 different designs. I received a sense of satisfaction from this, but it just wasn’t enough.

Paint on decorative fabric:

The search goes on. I’m back in that place of unrest and my satisfaction is decreasing. I was seeing a lot of colors, and feeling the need to be grand. In this paintings you can see bold color combination that seem to never end. I tried to include any and every combination that I could find. It was honestly uncontrolled energy, and misdirection. The painting is grand, and consumed me as I stood facing it. The idea of the painting can only be presented with words, HIP-HOP! But the painting its self could mean anything. Where am I to go next, what am I to do to make sense of this? This conglomerate of colors and words!

Giant mural exploring color combinations

Color and random objects, exploring color, material, and objects.

I have all ways had a fascination with the human face, so naturally it was the next transformation. What is it about the human face that is so complex but yet delicate. Learning to paint is a laborious task. The details transcend just line and formal geometric shapes. The face is organic and deep. The changes in shape create an entire new person. I wanted the colors and shapes I saw to mean more, to have an identity. I wanted to explore the most basic aspects of the face. So I started off with black and white.

Henry Kissinger study, BW on huge vinyl canvas:

Then there was color! Wild and untamed color. Wide stokes and hard shadows. Colors contrary to the original image. It was almost as if I had a mental imbalance that would not allow me to paint in the "normal" color range. Every time I tried I would almost feel overwhelmed by the urge to include more! The main thing is, I was able to communicate the intensity of the mans face. The passion began to burn within me to go further every time I would view this painting.

Old man on board with frame

Lets try to control that color and form. In this painting, the internal structure is more controlled, the colors transitions are less intense, and the painting its self is more human.

But it isn’t enough I need more! I need to feel life and energy. I need this painting to grow on its own even if I have to sacrifice some control. Even with painting free form, live, and in front of an audience I still had restrictions. I managed to solve each problem as it came. I built a fold up display that was 6 feet tall. This allowed me keep a large size while being portable. I experimented with different materials to create favorable condition to maximize my performance. But, there were unsolved problems starting out! The thing is, to move colors that fast you must have an extreme understanding of your subject and your materials. So I had to start off with black and white again! It was a new era in my path to become. It was like the grinder, where your talent is born in the fire of instant judgment and competition. I never imagined the whirlwind that would come from this step.

Black and white live painting on vinyl canvas.

When I finally made an attempt at color, I had to recall my ability to process color and shape quickly. The key was memory and layers. I had to remember anywhere from 3 to 10 different color and layer positions at the same time. And I had to recall these position fast to complete a painting in the time. The energy was intense, and the results were undeniable. I was performing mental acrobatics in painting on a weekly basis, and for some time was satisfied. The response to the paintings was tremendous. But as time went on, the urges came back, and yet again I was not satisfied, and even more lost and confused.

Color live painting

I wanted to extend the concept beyond the normal usage. The predictable placement of colors, the familiar painted face, etc. These forms are the foundations of painting, but yet they were restricted. Was there a way to paint life I ask? Can I paint in free form and have all the familiar aspects that come along with it. That began my tour with body art.

Free form body painting

Why was I limiting my self to just body? How about the body into the canvas? It seemed right to perform these operations together.

More complex in its execution, causing a further exploration of the subject. Still missing something. Time passes...

Even more complex completed canvas, along with completed body

Combing faces, free flowing colors, words, and concepts from my earlier work. I was curious about the outcome of live painting on decorative fabrics with elaborate backgrounds, and various textures. Starting first in the black and white. Finally, I was breaking from my confusion, and starting to gain light. I have been free form painting, body painting, Dealing with fashion and decor, color/shape, and random objects. But yet, I am still encountering problems dealing with design and execution.

This is the hybrid form of everything from the past. This painting, this simple painting includes so much you wouldn’t believe. I realize the journey that I have been traveling exposed me to each and every process for a reason. I wouldn’t have known how to combine these concepts in a functional manner if it had not been for years of working with them. I have a deeper understand of how the creative process works because of this journey. I can see with clarity, my future work and how I will create it.

The only way I am able to accomplish anything is through growth and self-actualization. This process evolved more than just my art; it evolved me, mentally and physically. I grew up within my work, and now I have a mature concept that was born of the experiences of the past. This is a chronological timeline of work that demonstrates how much it really takes to identify a style that communicates what you want. I feel as if I have traveled to the shore of my imagination and style, where confusion is behind me and an endless ocean of progress is ahead. I feel empowered to create as I want, and the confusion that I use to feel no longer restricts me. I can look past the world of influence, judgment, and games finally to create and communicate as I see. What I have in store next goes to the next level, the place where we began our life’s work.