Bringing it All Back Home

It’s been difficult getting back into the swing of things after focusing most of my attention on work, life, and the Art Crawl for the past few weeks.

I’m pleased to report that the Crawl was a success this time around.  I painted five 20-minute watercolor portraits for visitors.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, so they may never make it to this blog unless I can get the owners to send me photos.

A patron also bought The Rabbit King among a slew of other small, unframed pieces that went home with various visitors.

Meanwhile, my year’s tenure as the president of Old Town Artists came to an end with our annual meeting, which has been liberating.  I think it’s a common thing to want to get more involved in your artistic community (in this case, the co-op).

However, for me, it made it very difficult to get in a creative frame of mind when it was time to actually make art – especially when I was actually at the studio itself.  Instead, worries about what the studio needed, or some issue that needed attention would linger in my thoughts and get in the way of working.  I’d feel guilty about focusing on my own work at the neglect of the needs of the ‘greater group’, but then I’d feel guilty about not producing as much art.  Someday, I’ll surely need to confront this urge to feel guilt head-on, but for now, the fact that it’s no longer my responsibility to worry has helped.  Have other readers experienced anything similar?

Also, my membership in the co-op is set to end in January, and I’ve decided not to renew.  Through the turmoil noted above, and over the course of the past year, more and more of my art-making has been taking place at home.  I’ve set up a little studio area in my basement which is quite cozy, if a bit cold.

As I recall, the reason I sought studio space and joined the co-op in the first place was due the difficulties I was facing with conjuring the muse while at home. Time has proven that I’m now capable of carrying on on my own.  So bit by bit, art supplies have been migrating back home.

Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to lately.


It’s a digital piece that branched off from another portrait (not of me).  One technique I like to use to push my boundaries a bit is to isolate random layers in Photoshop, and then arbitrarily apply the ‘paint bucket’ tool to fill wide swathes of space with color.

In the case of this picture, titled “Aztk,” the entire background and what was once a head, all have been completely merged with a single plane of sandstone-y color.  The linework that defined the borders of the face was erased, and the layers containing most of the skin tones and hair also were discarded.  What’s left is an intriguing glimpse of something not fully of this world.

What does it ‘mean’?  I’m not completely sure that I know.  Whether or not it connotes any measure of artistic success, I do have to admit that this picture mesmerizes me.

Till next time.

This entry was published on October 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm. It’s filed under Bold Color, Digital Drawing, Figures, Portraits, Style, The Artistic Process and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Bringing it All Back Home

  1. Gabriel, this is how I imagine my thoughts to look when I’m not sure where I want to be or what I want to do… snippets of ideas are thrown into the mix, but nothing clearly defined!
    It looks as though you’ve been thinking as well. I like the name, Aztk… it generates a random energy!

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