Archive for August, 2013

New Wave

August 14, 2013



Color Palette

August 13, 2013


I was recently asked about the color palette I use while painting. I thought it would be a good post for the blog. Here’s what I told this person:

Thanks for writing! I’m really excited to hear that my artwork has inspired you to paint! I think that could be one of the best things someone could tell me.

Many painters have a well thought out color palette that they use on a regular basis. By creating those parameters for themselves, they essentially create within a box. This gives their art continuity. They’re able to in their own way master certain aspects of those colors. I’ve always envied artists who can stick to their guns like that. I lack that sort of discipline. I don’t have a well thought out palette. When I visit the art store I say, “ooh, that’s a cool color!”, and usually buy accordingly. I do use certain colors more regularly than others, and I’d be happy to share those with you. My brand of choice is Gamblin oil paints. I think it’s a quality brand, better than most, but maybe not as good as some others. Some brands and pigments are too expensive for me as well. I use Winsor and Newton’s Liquin as my medium. Many people think I use paint pens, but I don’t. I use script, pinstripe, and numerous other brushes. 

I try to buy artist grade paint whenever possible. It has a higher pigment load. I find student grade frustrating on many levels. I sometimes use student grade to initially coat my wood surface. Since most of my artwork is labor intensive line work, the higher pigment load helps me not have to repeat my lines as much. The colors I use frequently are all of the Gamblin Radiant colors, Brown Pink, Ultramarine Blue, Olive Green, Cobalt Teal and Violet, Burnt Umber, Permanent Green Light, Quinacridone Magenta, and Cadmium Red and Yellow. According to the label, the Cadmium colors give you cancer in California, so I wouldn’t use them there…just kidding.

Color is very dynamic, and for me it’s probably the most interesting part of being an painter. I don’t claim to have any mastery of it, and I still learn a lot every time I experiment with it. 

2369 Miles, 2369 Art Conversations, and 23,690 “Sick”

August 7, 2013

swamisThis last month I ventured down south for two art shows. The first was a solo show at Bliss 101 in Encinitas. The second was the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Months of preparation went into these two events. Fortunately, all that work paid off!

I seem to be developing a bit of a fan base in the Encinitas area, largely due to my art presence at Bliss 101. The night of my solo show had a great turnout, with many art buyers! Bliss had one of it’s best opening nights ever, and so did I. I honestly don’t expect that there are people out there who like my art, want to buy it, or want to meet me in person. I’m just a guy in a box, from Oregon, who likes to see what happens when I put paint on wood. There’s obviously more meaning to it than that, but that’s a simplified reason of why I do it. I had great talks about art with people interested in learning more. Yes, they were partaking in the complimentary wine, and I had some beers, but it was still good chats. To me, it feels nice when you see that what you’re doing is inspiring others. Maybe they’ll become painters, or already are, or maybe you somehow tap into something deep inside them. Whatever it was, there was good mojo that night, and people caught me in rare form…publicly talking about art and painting.

Next was the U.S. Open of Surf. This is an event that I’ve followed since I was a little kid. So when I was asked if I’d like to participate in it, I said yes. I had an art tent on the beach for the NINE day event. I really don’t recommend trying to pull this off on your own, like I did. It was a marathon, and like a marathon you need to think through your strategy and pace yourself. This meant, no late nights, eat right, learn to conserve your conversations, and most importantly, I treated my neighbors well so that they’d watch my booth when I needed a toilet break. I was always peppy after that.

I think my art presence added a bit of soul to an event that was mostly about advertising brands. I’m not trying to say I’m above what these bigger brands are doing. I also sell things, so therefore I am in a sense a brand. Spreading the word about what I make was a reason why I was there. Art has the ability to touch people in a deeper way than some of the cheap freebies that were being given away. Age, gender, and race were irrelevent. It was just people taking in art, and that’s a nice feeling. Hipsters still don’t care about what I’m creating though…oh well.

When thousands of people a day are passing by your artwork, you begin to notice common themes. For instance, if a person said the word “sick” in reference to my artwork, 99.999% of the time they weren’t any sort of buyer. Yes, mostly it was teenagers saying this, but there were definitely older people saying it as well. In regards to my need to conserve conversations, this was a red flag that I could go back to what I was doing before they entered my tent. I wasn’t rude to them, I understand it was a complement, I just felt the need to pace myself over the nine days. I repeated myself my art blurb probably on an average of once every three minutes, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I felt like Bill Murray on Groundhog Day, except my new day started at the end of my blurb. When it was all said and done, I met a bunch of great people from around the world, but the people that made the biggest impression on me were the Huntington Beach locals. They had very encouraging things to say to me, and have a lot of grace for the throngs of people that come out of the woodwork for that event.

I also have a newfound respect for the 100’s of people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to basically build a small city on the beach for this event. It makes me sad that a few dumb people felt the need to destroy what wasn’t theirs, and that becomes what most media outlets choose to focus on.

The further I get down the road of being an artist, the more I realize I can’t do this alone. I’m so thankful for all the people that come by my side and believe and encourage what I do for a living. Sometimes it’s friends and family who’ve supported me since the beginning, and other times it’s new acquaintances who blow me away with their generosity. You all are making me strive to be a better person. Thanks!