Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This is an under painting that I did this week. It if my first attempt at a portrait in over a year and half almost, so with that being said, I am pretty stoked with how it is turning out. I have obviously figured some things out over the last year and half as far as how to handle my brush, and I feel like I have pretty good grasp on value at this point. This is the first of many paintings that I am doing more or less to serve as practice for portrait painting in the future. I am going to paint portraits of all those whom I feel are "artists" in some way. They are not all going to be fine artists but will include actors, singers, songwriters, directors, writers, musicians, etc. Pretty much anyone whom I deem a true artist who has influenced me in some way will be included in this series. I don't have any particular number in mind as far as the series goes. Like I said, it's more for practice than anything else.
The person in the painting is Jean Michel Basquiat. He was a prominent figure in the art scene in New York in the 70's made famous by his unique graffiti art and clever tagging that he signed under the name SAMO. It's pretty amazing what he was able to accomplish for the art world and the way his work challenged what was accepted as "art" at the time. He was befriended by Warhol and rose to fame at a lightning pace for someone so young. I think he was an insanely gifted individual who was definitely in the right place at the right time to make a splash with his work. He definitely counts under my description of an "artist" and add to the fact that he was extremely unique in appearance as well, I chose him to be first in my series. More to come!
I did this painting in Midway for the Plein Air Paradise competition. I'm surprised with how much I enjoy this painting. It was painted over the top of a failed painting from the day before and I only had about 2 hours to do the whole thing before I had to turn all my paintings for the competition in. I did this one completely with a knife and it kind of ended up with a gritty and loose quality which I love. Probably my favorite from that week for sure.