Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Higbee 6 x 6 Show

No Billy Crystal or Ricky Gervais, but Randy Higbee certainly put on an Awards Show last night. I think it's got to be the first of it's kind on Facebook. Instead of just posting all of the winners in his 6 x 6 Show he rolled out each winner one by one creating a bit of suspense. For those of you who don't know Randy or this show; it's an open with the only requirement being that the work be done at 6" square. Randy then takes each piece and frames them using his stock. He is the King of Frames after all. 297 artists entered a total of 1174 works of which 500 were accepted. I was happily surprised to find that my painting "1st Avenue at Noon" was selected as one of the award winners. It was one of only two watercolors to receive an honor and it's especially nice to share that distinction with my friend Tom Schaller who's work Venice Afternoon 2 was the other watercolor to receive an award.

It's a real treat to be included in this group let alone win an award. Some of the top artists in the country submitted to this show and the calibre of work is stunning to say the least. Currently the only way to see the show if you're not in Costa Mesa, CA is via Randy's Facebook page, but I expect that will change soon. If there is a web link posted I will update this.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Experimenting with loose / fast technique.

Over the last few days I've made a renewed discovery. Arches 140 lb. cold press paper. I've used it before and always returned to it's 300lb bigger brother,  but this time I really noticed the difference in the two surfaces. The 140 lb. is much more conducive to fast brush strokes and more gestural style. The 300 lb. is an extremely absorbent paper and draws on your wash like a sponge. I've always enjoyed it for the control it allows, but if you're looking to splash the color around, it can stifle a fluid style by drawing too much moisture out of the brush and limiting the range of a single stroke. I happened on this by chance on Friday as I set out to do an image with a real disregard for detail focusing more on the larger shapes and construction of the overall composition. Coming from the 300 it was like walking out onto a skating rink in tennis shoes. Lot's of movement, very little control in the sense I'm used to, and pure fun. I quickly ran through 3 images and although I'm still getting my bearings with this surface I'm having more fun than I have in a while.

Sunlit Corner NYC #1
14" x 10.5"

Sunlit Corner NYC #2
14" x 8.5"