My latest work is a mask inspired by my ancestral Yoruba tribe from West Africa. I wanted to represent the model of an elongated and oval shaped face, as this is commonly seen on traditional masks from the region.
Here you can see an up close and angled perspective of the nose bridge of the mask. The area is raised slightly to show a break in the surface of the face.
The method of this painting further explores my current practice of singular images against a black negative space. For this blog post, I felt that it was beneficial to take photos of the side angles and above/below vantage points to fully emphasize the immense texture in this piece.
A side view reveals a crevice of texture that was created when I applied some very grainy pieces to the face surface. I did this to add drama to the piece, and to represent the tribal scars of warfare that this mask would traditionally represent.
The eyes are a deep vacant black with glowing gold specks that are raised and have texture. My initial response was that seemed “spooky” but I think it was necessary to have gold floating over top of a black area for the eyes; as it allows the eyes to have their own space and stand out.
If looking closely, you can see a faint outline of lips protruding from the surface. I tried my best but I often get impatient when I have a good idea that I am excited about. Adding lips to emphasize the African features was one of these ideas. The next time I attempt to make a mask like this, I would like to spend more time on smoother corners and more pronounced features.
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My latest work is an acrylic relief painting that is heavy in texture. There is so much texture that my work is part sculpture, as the object emerges from the canvas surface.
The concept follows the theme of my last few pieces; which is to show singular symbols against a black background. As the golden image floats through the darkness, it is representative of an echo from unknown depths coming outward. I say “echo” because it is difficult to determine what becomes of a feeling or thought once it is released into the universe. Perhaps on some level (collective consciousness, spiritual, or what have you), we communicate with symbols that carry deep personal meanings.
Upon looking closer, one can detect the relief caused by the use of texture. Using my palate knife, I sculpted the division of the planet’s rings from the body of the sphere. It was also difficult to make a decision as to whether or not it was proper to paint black lines to further divide the rings from the planet.
If I could change anything about this piece, it would be the unevenness caused by the division of the planet’s ring against the sphere body of the planet. I find it distracting.
When naming this piece, I wanted to avoid the obvious choice by calling it “Saturn”. To accomplish this, I researched other planets in our solar system with rings and learned that the planet Uranus has rings! The brightest of the 13 rings of Uranus is named Epsilon, and so voila!; the name of this golden planetoid painting was chosen.
This last shot is altered; brightness levels have been reduced, while contrast has been increased. This allows the blackness of the background to really offset the gold multi faceted sphere surface and it’s rings.
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My latest work has two parts. I spent twice the usual amount of time to paint these two pieces at the same time. My goal here was to use the same colour scheme to carry across two landscapes.
In the end, I created “Terror Beach” (right) and “Call out to the Universe” (left).
When set side by side, the sweeping brush strokes seem to begin in the lower right hand corner and fly out to the left.
The dripping violet that emerges from the conical horizon in “Terror Beach” creates an eerie setting. There is a ghostly apparition of a sun or moon above the mountains that does little to illuminate the texture rich darkness that encroaches from the eastern skyline. And yet, somehow, there is a mysterious shape below the waters that edge the mountainous horizon.
“Call Out to the Universe” has a similar mysterious message; begging the question of who calls out to whom in the vast emptiness? An unfamiliar object is answering the call.
This recent work was a thrill for me. I enjoyed the story telling aspect as much as creating the actual painting itself.
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Lately, I have been working with a lot of pastel greens and examining how they interact with deep cerulean blue in my acrylic technique.
When I say “lately” I’m specifically talking about the past few days since summer has arrived here in Southern Ontario, Canada.
Although my initial entry into the art world began with my desire to create large artists canvas at infinitesimally cheaper costs than retail; I have become preoccupied with smaller pieces (6″ x 12″) in a rectangular shape.
By the end of July, I am hoping to have enough pieces that I am proud of enough to put forward as part of my portfolio. Portfolio + confidence are my goals as an artists for the summer of 2016.
For this piece, I wanted to use colours and techniques that I have previously explored earlier in the year.
I started with blue and added reds and blacks to change colour values in addition to performing swirling techniques that allowed for a nice marbling effect. I think that the photo (taken with my iPad) does not truly give justice to the beautiful details of this piece. If you click on the photo, you will have an enlarged view- but until I upgrade my camera arsenal to take better photos, you will have to take my word for it.
On an aside- I had a wonderful Cannon point and shoot digital camera that was a lovely gift for my graduation many years ago- however the screen broke in such a way that I cannot see what the lens has in its view, nor can I confirm that I have taken a good photo because I can only see half of the image due to the large crack in the screen.
To aggravate matters, the camera has a “touch screen” interface, making it impossible to look through an analog viewfinder or to use most of the features. Basically, I can take photos with that camera, but it is largely a guessing game to wait and see what “develops” after removing the SD card to review the photos.
Quel dommage! It causes such a headache for me that I would rather use my large and cumbersome iPad to capture images than to use my broken point and shoot. I will eventually replace it, but I am told that the end of the year is the best time to buy such items, and I have my eye on an SLR camera as my passion to create art grows.