Downtown Grand Rapids calls once again. McKay Tower, I’ve missed you.
I’m very honored to announce that I have a full feature article in the Fall issue of the Acrylic Artist Magazine. And to add to the excitement, one of my paintings made the cover. As you can imagine, I’m still on cloud nine about all of this!
It was very enjoyable and eye-opening to hear my interviewer’s perspective on my art, including the title of the article, “Shadow Lover.” Jennifer Smith, Managing Editor of the magazine, was a pure joy to work with! We ended up going with a Q&A format. If you’d like to order this issue of the magazine, you can use this link for either a downloadable copy, or to have the magazine mailed to you.
The article helps explain Jennifer’s choice of “Shadow Lover” to describe me/my paintings. One of the components, to give you a clue, is that I’m allergic to the sun, which gives me an appreciation for shade, above and beyond what most people probably experience. So when I paint that luscious edge between the shaded and sunlit sides of a building or structure, I’m actually quite attracted to, and comforted by, the shaded side. At one of the recent receptions at LaFontsee Galleries (where I’m represented), a fellow artist expressed to me her appreciation for the proportion of shade to sun I used on “Little Shed on the Prairie” (shown below). As an instructor at a local art institute, she tries to get that concept through to her students: that it’s not all about the bright colors. The contrasting presence of the shade is what makes the light look so good!
Watch my future blog posts for notice about a two-part online article Jennifer Smith is publishing regarding my style of painting, and some tips from me, including how to overcome one of the greatest challenges of acrylic: its fast-drying quality.
Also, I will soon be posting a new page on this website, just for the purpose of discussing some of the tricks I’ve learned in my experience with acrylic. If you’re an artist who is new to acrylics, I think you’ll discover some great information.
Chicago, as seen from the north side, looking south. From the summer of 2015. The sun would soon be setting in the west, and we were on our way home, after a wonderful visit with our son.
There are plenty of paintings I’ve abstracted in the past, where I ignore the reality in order to gain a desired result. However, there are certain boundaries I don’t cross concerning lighting. I usually stay consistent with the light’s effects from one object to the next in order to express something that is believable to the eyes.
I broke those rules a little on this painting to get some contrasts I wanted. You could say I created a bit of an unreality.
I snapped this photo during my last expedition to downtown Grand Rapids. The photo originally included the street and a bunch of other “noise.” But I often crop like crazy to get to what I really want: for me, it was these wires. In real life, there were about three times as many wires as what I painted.
Sometimes I’ll have a photo I love for the longest time and never paint it. I’ll keep telling myself, “It works in the photo, but you’ll never make that work as a painting.” Lately I’ve been taking those risky photos and just going for it. This is one of them, and I can’t put into words how happy this one made me feel when it was done. I was hoping to catch the feeling of that strange hazy lighting, where everything was grayed out, except for the occasional sharp lights catching a few of the edges.