acrylic

New Artwork: Guardian

This toad, who I named Reginald, was one of the guardians of my porch this summer and fall. His presence was so regal and dutiful that I felt he required a portrait. He posed for it with the resigned tolerance and grace befitting of a conscientious public servant.

This is Guardian, acrylic on basswood panel, 16x20x1.5”.

New Artwork: Dreamedary

When I began to paint Camelflage, I actually had envisioned a “white on white” concept. However, that painting rapidly began to change direction and I liked where it was going so I let it ride and am happy with how it turned out. I still wanted to paint my original idea, though, so I ordered the same panel size again for continuity and mirrored the camel for a little variation.

This is Dreamedary, acrylic on basswood panel, 12x12x1.5”.

New Artwork: Convergence

Here's a new painting I just finished; I started it during my La Pedrada de Noemi residency, but I didn't get a chance to finish it there so I've been working on it since arriving back home.  It's actually the first painting I began while on residency, so given that you might wonder why it took so long to complete - the answer is that the support is an aluminum panel, and I've never worked on aluminum before.  What I wanted to do on the aluminum kind of clashed with what the aluminum wanted me to do with it, so we had a prolonged battle.  I didn't want to prime or even sand the aluminum, because I feel like the whole point of painting on aluminum is the luminosity of the material.  But not priming it meant that the paint wouldn't evenly stick.  I feel like I eventually came out the victor, though!

The painting is acrylic on aluminum panel, 18x14", and is titled Convergence.  It features a luna moth (Actias luna) atop a barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo).

La Pedrada de Noemi Artwork 5

And another one - I've done a piece on a very similar frog in relief before (The Slightest Disturbance), and now here's a painting from a different angle of a marsh frog, Rana ridibunda and/or Pelophylax ridibundus, from the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo.  This piece is acrylic on gessobord, 5x7", and is titled Comfort Zone.

La Pedrada de Noemi Artwork 3

This piece is rather quiet, even though it features a loud subject - the Ornate Wrasse, Thalassoma pavo.  I am particularly pleased with the background, which is in keeping with my overall style but also references the refraction patterns of the ocean.  I also think this painting shows that though the Ornate Wrasse is brightly colored, it can blend in surprisingly well.

It is acrylic on pastelbord, 9x12", and I'm still wrestling with the title.

La Pedrada de Noemi Artwork 2

This acrylic on gessobord is quite small - only 5x7" - and purposefully awkward.  To me it's simultaneously uncomfortable and amusing.  The subject is a redlip or horseface blenny, Ophioblennius atlanticus.  I'm titling it Stage Left.  This painting also uses iridescent gold in both the background and the eyes, so it too is more arresting in person than in photo.

La Pedrada de Noemi Artwork 1

Here's the first finished piece of artwork from my residency!  It features two Canary damselfish, Similiparma lurida and/or Abudefduf luridus.  There are a lot of this species in the Zoco Negro where I went snorkeling and had my scuba diving "baptism."  The males are territorial, and this species is occasionally called sergeant major (though the name more commonly applies to a different damselfish species).  I've decided to name this painting Reconnaissance.  It is acrylic on pastelbord, 11x14", and looks even nicer in person because the water and the eyes of the fish have iridescent silver and gold paint on them, respectively, and so they shine intensely depending on viewer angle and interior light levels.

Intercambiador ACART Residency Journal 12 - New Artwork!

Seriously, I've been really hard at work here creating lots of new artwork!  

I went to see the Zoo Aquarium de Madrid a couple weeks ago, mostly because I remember it being huge from when I visited it ten years ago and with unusual access to some of the animals like the giraffes, bears, and wallabies.  They've tightened up some of their security since, though I still saw patrons feeding peanuts to lemurs and bears despite the signage (I saw that ten years ago too, but also saw a wallaby with an entire bagel and giraffes also being fed peanuts by the crowd!), and it still seemed big but not quite as huge as it did when I was younger.

I typically don't paint zoo animals; I prefer to paint animals that are local and/or native to the places I'm inhabiting, and I also don't think I get very unique perspectives on many zoo inhabitants unless the zoo is one of the few that has surprisingly close access to the animals.  However, this time around despite less access than I remember (though still on the more access side of zoos), a giant anteater had escaped from his enclosure and was having the time of his life in the green space between his enclosure and the public walkways.  There was still a small fence between him and the walkways, but honestly, the fence he escaped from was much more difficult to surmount so while he could've escaped full-stop, I believe he just preferred the green space to that of his desert-themed enclosure.  If I'd wanted to, I could've touched him, but I didn't - both because I'm a good zoo visitor, and also because he was a fighter!  Peahens, unaware of his escape, were pecking around happily when he ran over and began repeatedly charging them.  He did that until they hid behind some bushes and then he happily commenced wandering around the green space, digging and eating in the grass.  I watched him for a while and then went off to other parts of the zoo; I returned a few hours later and he somehow got his girlfriend out as well!  I think the Zoo must know they can escape, but I'm honestly surprised it's allowed since unwise guests could really cause a problem quite easily with the anteaters...

Watching him enjoy himself so much (and having an exceptional amount of access to him), it felt like I actually did get a real glimpse into his character.  I left wanting a souvenir of the experience, and in my mind there's no better souvenir than painting him.

Dominion, acrylic on canvas, 25x39 3/4".

Intercambiador ACART Residency Journal 11 - New Artwork!

I really like how this piece turned out.  A number of people have asked me about the background/paper, and yes, I did paint the background as well including the darker spots - the paper started off white.  But no, I didn't handmake the paper, though it is artesanal!  I bought it at Jeco here in Madrid.

The Ninth Hour, acrylic on paper, 11 3/8 x 15".

Intercambiador ACART Residency Journal 9 - New Artwork!

This painting of two sparrows I'm not completely happy with; I started the piece out with a composition I liked, but then some parts of it got away from me and I had to tear the paper down in size to correct it.  Tearing it down fixed those issues, but now the scale of the sparrows in relation to the overall paper size is out of whack to me.  So it goes sometimes - I think if I float mat it with a very large mat of maybe 2-3" it might turn out alright in the end.  In Their Own Minds, acrylic on textured paper, 18 1/8 x 13 3/4".

Intercambiador ACART Residency Journal 6 - New Artwork!

Here's my second fox kit painting.  I'm titling it Nativity in part due to the suggested mountainscape in the background which mirrors the homeland of this particular fox kit.  This piece is also acrylic on canvas and is approximately 22.5 x 32".

Intercambiador ACART Residency Journal 5 - New Artwork!

Here's my first painting featuring a fox kit I met while in Portugal.  City Solstice, acrylic on canvas, 14 5/8 x 22 5/8".  I'm not 100% certain, but given the very thin margin I left, I think I'll be framing it (ugh, the cost though!).