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These images are from an abstract painting workshop I taught last weekend in Palo Alto. This workshop focused on creating multi-dimensional paintings using the concept of layering. The first image is an example of a class exercise that focused on the importance of value in painting. The second image displays a variety of classroom exercises that were painted during the weekend. There are some examples of when students added one color to a monochromatic palette and other examples focused on learning the color wheel by painting with an analogous color palette and the split complimentary color. My next round of classes and workshops begin in October. My time away from the classroom will consist of working on my portfolio, working on my website as well as attending multiple Bay Area figure drawing workshops.

Art Journal

My July has been exceptionally productive. Just this morning I submitted a proposal for a Bay Area public works project and have a one other to finish by the mid-August deadline. Open Studios is right around the corner so I went to the frame store yesterday and bought some small basic black frames. Organizing inventory has really helped me determine which works on paper are ready for framing. The smaller pieces I have decided to frame myself that is if the test piece looks professional.

Tomorrow, I will be living painting at an event in Oakland. My good friend and artist Michael Azgour and I were talking last weekend and discussing composition ideas for this event. It felt great to talk shop sort of speak and bounce some ideas around. After careful consideration I have decided to paint a figure on a 40”x30” canvas. Originally, I planned on painting on a much larger surface. However, I have a plan on how I want the painting to evolve over the evening and this size makes that possible. A video clip of this event will be posted to this blog eventually.

My agenda for August is as follows: Organize studio, purchase shelving unit, finish the 5 pieces that are more than 90% complete, and have another figurative photo shoot with my fabulous friends who have agreed to model for me.

Overcoming Fustration: A Creative Exercise

Finding the right balance of confidence can be a challenge for most artists. It is through those times where frustration kicks in and your master piece is about to be thrown in the trash a creative epiphany can arise. This unique moment of self discovery becomes the welcomed friend to help you out of your mood.

I was once asked what keeps me motivated. Many thoughts flashed in and out of my consciousness. My first thought was to blurt out that this is my destiny. Although, I feel that way that really didn’t connect my painting to the viewer. Painting makes me feel whole and it is this constant internal dialogue to create that helps me strive.

The moment you feel like you want to give up on your work try the following exercise. I have shared this exercise with friends as well as students and I hope this helps you as it has helped them. The first thing you want to do if you find your self about to chuck your art in the trash is take a 5-10 minute break. This can entail reading a chapter in a book, cleaning your art supplies, paying your bills or just meditating. This technique of separation will help separate your self from those moments of negative thinking. After your stress level starts to decrease sit down and really look at what you are creating. I know you are probably saying to your self. “Yah, I was looking at it and it wasn’t working out.” Believe me I have had those moments as well. Leave your emotions towards your work in the past. Just sit and really look with a non objective eye and start to ask yourself the following questions. How dynamic is the composition? Is there a color that needs to be changed? How is the value? Is it all midtone can there be some more dark or light value added? Is there enough variety?

By just taking a few minutes to evaluate your work you will begin to change your creative energy to something positive. Remember not every piece of art is going to win an award and not everyone is going to be a great fan. You create for you and the rest of the world only gets to experience a little window into soul.