A New Chapter Begins

A new chapter in the ongoing saga of my painting career began today.
I installed nine original paintings and a shelf featuring digital prints of lots of previous and new paintings!

Shortly after moving to Swannanoa last April (2016), I found out about ZaPow Illustration Gallery in Downtown Asheville. After contacting the gallery and sending samples of my work, they agreed to let me show art on a rented wall space beginning in August 2016. I jumped at the chance to be a part of the gallery and painted as much as possible to get ready for my chance to show.

August 2016 finally came around and I was able to show; had some sales and was filled with the hope of maybe selling art for a living from the relatively successful start. Then, in October 2016, we got the news that the landlord had drastically raised the rent on the gallery in anticipation of a new hotel being built next door (comments deleted, opinions repressed). Long story short: ZaPow Gallery was going to close down, move, and reopen into a better arrangement for all involved.

Today (4.29.17) is symbolic of a lot of things, especially new beginnings. ZaPow Gallery is actually reopening. Art is beginning to fill the walls again, and a community of people is beginning to get together. Events will be attended, ideas will be shared, classes will be held! A lot of potential is being actualized. Exciting times indeed! Official Grand Opening date forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Iceberg WIP

Here’s a photo of a work in progress! It’s gone through a lot of drastic changes since I first made the panel, perhaps a decade ago. I’m adopting a painting strategy of “beginning before I’m ready.” I feel like there’s a quantum effect with paintings, when they come together – sometimes after years of sitting in the basement behind stacks of other abandoned paintings. It’s a weird, paradoxical combination of “killing your darlings” and never giving up.
The celestial background was created with a mix of acrylic and watercolor techniques and the reckless abandon of not worrying about the surface having a smooth finish. There’s plenty of brushstrokes layered on top of each other, with the top coat hiding a bunch of previous paintings and random bits of dust and tiny wood particles trapped deep in the finish. The more layers are added, the more it becomes like archaeology.
I have some additional features in mind that may change this image drastically.

 

Pancakes

Pancakes
Acrylic on panel 8″ x 6.5″ perma-framed.
I’ll post a pic of the framed and finished piece later today. Also, prints available soon. Stay tuned for more food paintings!

Lego Astronaut Painting!

Here’s an animated gif I made to show how I painted this Lego Astronaut painting! I’m working on a custom frame for the finished painting, and I’m also planning to make prints of this one in the coming weeks. More pics soon!

Blue Plate Special 2016

Blue Plate Special_96

I just finished repainting one of my favorite paintings, “Blue Plate Special.” I sold the first one before I was able to document it in a high resolution Photoshop file. At the time I hadn’t started selling digital prints of my artwork, so I didn’t realize I would someday want to have a high res photo of it. I purposely tried to paint it from memory, with a few changes so it wouldn’t just be a copy of the first painting. This one has a few subtle differences in color and composition. Prints are available online from my Society6.com shop, and the original will soon be for sale at ZaPow Gallery in Asheville along with digital print options.

Octopus Diver

Octopus DiverAn octopus wears the abandoned helm of a deep sea diver and sprawls across the sea floor, messing with an anchor connected to a sunken ship. Other octopi see him and think it’s hilarious that he’s pretending to be a human.

Prints are available via my society6 store, and soon from this site directly. I’m really excited to be having digital prints made of all the paintings I currently have in the studio. I plan to sell prints and the originals at ZaPow Gallery starting in August!

Space Kitty

Space Kitten“Space Kitty” is a white kitten hanging out on the moon wearing a jetpack and a glass orb astronaut helmet. A Ball of copper/orange colored yarn floats around the kitten’s feet. The idea for this painting came from Edward, my oldest cat. He came to us when he was about eight months old, so we didn’t get the chance to see him as a kitten. Considering how he acts, I imagine he’s from outer space.

Space Kitty and several other new paintings are available as prints via my new Shop page.

This painting is also the first one I’ve added to my profile at deviantart.com: AdAstraExplodius.

Starfall

Starfall_600h“Starfall” is a surreal landscape depicting a moonlit waterfall made of stars. As a river of stars fall into the depths, they all combine into a glowing blue mist, illuminating tiny floating islands inhabited by naturally occurring bonsai trees. Approximately 12″w x 25″h Acrylic on Panel.

Clockwork Owl

Clockwork OwlI recently finished this Clockwork Owl – my first pyrography project. I wanted to get into pyrography because the medium has always attracted me and it’s versatile. Pyrography can be done on many different substrates, like wood, bone, leather, almost anything that changes state when heat is applied to it. It’s best to choose a substrate that doesn’t melt, off-gas anything dangerous when burned, or damage the heated tip of the woodburning tool. I also did a few small experiments and found that it doesn’t work well at all to burn into acrylic paint. It works better to plan to apply paint after the woodburning is completed.

I woodburned this Clockwork Owl into a pine board and added some color accents with acrylic paint. It takes some patience because moving the wooburning tool too fast over the wood cools it down and makes it not burn as well. I also ended up straining a tendon in my thumb, but nothing a little ibuprofen and 24 hours couldn’t take care of… Woodburning uses a different set of muscles than drawing, at least the way I did it. Hopefully, with more practice I will learn to some techniques that will make it easier. I really enjoy the challenge of attempting to work in new media.