Commissions- New Challenges


With the show being pushed back to August 2022, I’ve had time to take on some big projects. Below is a six foot long version of the Phipps:

These are taking a lot of time. Some of that is because babies are not sleeping and some of that is the cold. The garage is cold and it feels bad to go down there and grind- I like it, but by the time I’m done I want to take a hot shower. With the weather turning, hopefully that will mean less of a battle with painting.

The Phipps isn’t the kind of thing I usually paint- I mean, what pristine building. It’s fun, though, to do something new and challenging. I went to town on the lines, and worked to get the light right, shining from the same direction. The flowers and doors under the dome are moderately improvised- I adjusted them for perspective from another photo.

The tree is a new idea. I blocked out the foliage after creating a scale skeleton of how the tree looked without leaves. The foliage chunks were then textured by paint. Usually I texture with wood and highlight with paint, so this way of doing things represents a new dynamic- I’m not sure how widely I can apply what worked there, but it’s kind of intriguing. My painting strokes have leveled up and I need to start trusting that ability more- I can compound action with strokes/wood.

Another commission I finished:

The idea here was to do knotweed again, but this time to block it out more intentionally and make fully sculptured flowers. I think it worked- especially the purple flowers are doing something. I think the amount of effort it took to sculpt is a thing I need to pay attention to. The way I sculpt is such a time sink, it might not be worth it to do it, really. I am trying to broaden my buildings/portraits repertoire into other compelling area. Still life someday? I just might.

I’m working now on a truck sculpture which is, again, a time sink because it’s a sculpture. I’m not sure if people are into the car sculptures yet. So far, I think I’ve run into building people who don’t love my portraits and portrait people who don’t really care about the buildings . Hopefully there are car sculpture people out there too. It’s unclear how some of the newer, more complex subjects I’ve been looking at are going to be received. Is there an audience for Grocery Knight and King Fear? When I have people see my work, they are still jumping at the buildings. I hope I can develop paintings that have a punch while still growing the complexity of what I’m saying. I’d like to make semi-decorative dynamic paintings; still fun to look at, but much more than “Here’s a thing”.

I get why people love “here’s a thing”. I know I do. I just…have done it a bunch. I was doing buildings almost a decade ago now.

Anyway, I’ll post pictures of the truck once it gets closer to being finished. I think it’ll be great.

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