Friday, March 2, 2012


Painting sketches - acrylic. Approx. 12" x 8" each, 4-5 hours per painting.  

Lots of good change in my life these days. I just finished a six-month stint of working on Other Peoples' Projects, and am finally back into my own world of ideas. I brought some acrylic paints and a sketchbook full of heavy-weight paper with me on this trip, and I'm starting to fill the pages with painting-studies (see above). It's nice to be limited to the few paints I brought, and the smaller sheets of the book. Parameters stimulate creativity.

The sketches are also a joyful rediscovery of acrylic paints. I usually paint with watercolours or oils, and haven't touched acrylics in over a decade. Acrylics are really nice because they dry so fast. It's literally laying down layers of coloured plastic. They're less transparent, so you don't get deep, complex layers of colour like you do with oils unless you mix the paint with another medium (which I didn't bring.)

The paintings are quick, and are intended more for practice than for serious. I stop working on them whenever I feel like it - I don't push myself to make it perfect. This process makes me realize that none of my work should be serious. Everything is just practice, really - there is no Final Masterpiece to strive for. Maybe I shouldn't push my work as far as I usually do. Perhaps I should move on as soon as it gets tired and not worry about striving for perfection, which is impossible anyways.

I intend to apply those same ideas to my larger paintings and animations. When I think about the painters and artists who have influenced me the most, the one thing they have in common is a large volume of work that completely feels rough and exploratory. Every piece is practice, nothing more.

Colours of slowly-dying palms whose roots are being washed away by the ocean. An earthquake destroyed a large offshore reef here, a decade ago, and the beaches have been eroding dramatically since then. 

On top of the painting, I'm easing back into my own animation. I've learned a lot of great new animation tools over the past half-year, but I'm very excited to get back to pushing the boundaries of my own little area of animation-land.