Constructive Criticism

I graduated college six years ago this month. The thing I miss about art school is honest critique from my piers. My time at the Savannah College of Art Design taught me that you can never see your painting as others do. Honest critique is pivotal for the growth of an artist.

As time goes by, I make more connections within the art world. In this grown up art world, constructive criticism is frowned upon. This is something I often forget. My biggest social blunders come from discussing a painting with its creator. I mean no harm with my comments. Just the opposite, a painting that demands critique is a painting I adore. College taught me that the only improvement comes from understanding weakness. How am I supposed to improve if everyone is too afraid to offend by speaking the truth? Feedback is something I crave, so it is something I give freely. One day, I will meet an artist who will crit my work freely. In return I will give the helpful criticism SCAD taught me to dish out. Until then, I should learn to shut my big, fat mouth.

Crit Me. Watercolor and ink on cotton paper. 6″ x 5.5″ (15.2cm x 14cm).

Unframed: $250.00

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NYC OWS

I’ve just returned from New York city. Already, I miss it.

Up until now, my paintings of the Occupy Wall Street movement have been from photographs. It is not very fulfilling to paint from photographs. I went to New York so I could paint from life. And I painted a lot.

#OWS. Watercolor and ink on paper. 6″ x 7″.

Unframed: $200.00

It was shocking how many people at the demonstration were not protesting. It seemed there were more journalists and people taking pictures then there were occupiers. That was a common theme in New York. New Yorkers seems to prefer recording and observing life more than participating. The following sketch is of the back of a CNN reporter. Her lights were bright, and her cameras never stopped running.

It was tough to get a good painting spot in the hectic, protesting park. There were marches and performance art, reporters and giant puppets. The landscape was ever changing. The people occupying Wall Street were constantly cleaning. They moved tents to scrub the sidewalk. There was a whole crew of people in masks that did nothing but wander the park and sweep. When I was there, the square smelled more like Pine-Sol than a corner of New York.

The last painting I completed of those standing  for the 99% is a little more abstract than my usual watercolors. I wanted to capture the constant motion, the idea that there is something happening here.

What It Is. Watercolor and ink on paper. 6″ x 5.5″.

Unframed: $200.00

The 99%

I’m painting the New York protesters, but I’m not painting the words on their signs. The Occupy Wall Street movement has no spokesperson. There are no slogans or catch phrases. The beauty of the occupation lies with its inability to be marketed. It does not matter to me what the signs say. These paintings are about the people.

Louder Than Words. Watercolor and ink on paper. 6″ x 5.5″.

Unframed: $200.00

Taste the Rain(bow) (wow)

Skittles is a dog. Skittles has owners. Said owners wanted me to paint Skittles. Maybe next week.

Abstraction of Skittles. Watercolor and ink on paper. 4.5″ x 6″.

Unframed: $150.00

Corner Store

Below is last night’s weekly Ocean City painting.


Jazzy Drugs. Watercolor and ink on paper. 5″ x 7″

Unframed: $200

Evenings Along Asbury

Last night was the first Evenings Along Asbury of the summer. Besides great community events, every Wednesday throughout the summer there is a plein air event in Ocean City. Through this paint out I have met fantastic local artists like Ryan Simmons, Chuck Law, and Martini.

As an artist, most of what I create is done in solitude. Evenings Along Asbury gives me a chance to work adjacent to other painters for an entire season. Needless to say, I look forward to it all year. It is refreshing to see the downtown come together for the sake of the arts.

The following piece was painted last night between 5 and 7:30 pm. It won third place in the first Ocean City Fine Arts paint out of 2011.

Sunset. Watercolor and Ink on paper. 7″ x 6″ (17.8 cm x 15.2 cm).

Unframed: $200.00


A Series

Artemisia Gentileschi, the great Baroque artist, found the repetition of subject matter cathartic. Claude Monet, the visionary Impressionist, thought a subject could not be understood until it was painted multiple times. Andy Warhol, the renowned Pop artist, believed the more you make, the more you can sell.

In the spirit of the prolific artists that came before me, here are two more depictions of my mangled little foot.

Lingerie. Watercolor and ink on paper. 6″ x 5″.

Unframed: $200.00

A Setup. Ink on paper. 6″ x 5″.

Unframed: $100.00

Mural at The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Complex

The mural at The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Complex in Atlantic City, NJ is the largest I’ve ever painted. It is approximately sixty feet long and ten feet high. Due to its dimensions, photographing the piece was particularly difficult.

This is my second mural in conjunction with Stockton’s Center for Community Schools. The mural was made possible by the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the Noyes Museum of Art, Lowe’s, and the Atlantic County Board of Education. Special thanks to the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey for aiding in the research process. The mural depicts Black history of Atlantic City. Sarah Spencer Washington, Jacob Lawrence, Art Dorrington, Johanna Leseign, John Henry “Pop” Lloyd, and James Usry are some of the figures included in the work.



Detail of Sarah Spencer Washington and Pop Lloyd:

Two eighth graders assisting with painting of Ms. America and the Convention Center:

Me, working during the early stages of the mural:


Click to enlarge images.

Drawing Distraction

This drawing is being posted as a distraction from the fact that I haven’t updated in almost a month. It is not that I have not been making art. I have been painting every day. I’ve been painting so much that updating my blog has not been a priority. Soon, within a week or two, I will be posting pictures of the largest painting I’ve ever created. It is a sixty foot mural, and it is almost complete. Until then, here is an ink drawing of a kitchen stove.

 

Color Challenge, Orange and Blue

This was my first week participating in a Color Combo Challenge. The colors were “tropical orange and blue.”  Below is a watercolor self portrait created to meet the color requirements.

Tropical Orange and Blue. Watercolor and ink on paper. 6″ x 5″.

Unframed: $200.00

On another note, this is the last week to see my works over at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery in Hammonton, New Jersey. Don’t miss it!

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