Tuesday, November 24, 2009

just because....

Green Texture 2009

I really like the way that this is turning out. My admission to the crowds is that I'm realizing how much I like working in this style, but I'd never tell to any of my other paintings. ;)

Time to get off the procrastination horse and pack my suitcase!

-Josh Grabowski

progress shots that progressively blur.

There is a little bit of bad and good news here. First some bad news: since I just couldn't seems to speed-dry the oils fast enough, not all six that I set out to finish over the weekend will be done in time. Now, some good news: the roses are coming along beautifully. Some more background work (which is debatable) and some final color glazing will be sure to finish these pieces off. Below is a picture of the "home and gardens" piece. Not 100% complete at this stage and although this picture was taken with a regular digital camera, apparently my horribly shaky hands leave me with yet another blurry F-ing picture. Total FML type shit here, I'm tellin ya! Even though the pictures are to be recording the progress, they are progressively blurring. Thanks bartender, I'll have another round.

Three Red Roses - still not done, bear with me folks!

Tomorrow I'm takin a little plane ride back to the midwest. Lucky me! Land of beer and cheese awaits me!

-Josh Grabowski

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Study of Roses

Today has been the great start to a weekend saturated with art, more directly my art. If the universe aligns and my hard work and commitment leave completed pieces in my hands, art sales could come through which would make me a very happy boy! (all the more reason to keep goin!) Below are two rose pieces that I have worked on today. You'll notice the left piece is a little different than what was posted earlier with a few minor changes. The piece on the right is the newest to join the bunch and has the most work left to go.

Photobucket Photobucket

Another that I like to think of as my "home and gardens" piece is posted below. For some reason I feel like this is just something that you would find in one of those types of magazines... or in someone's bathroom. (note: anyone with floral print bathroom/office/bedroom/etc looking to "jazz it up" with some fresh oil paintings, let me know!) Still toying with the idea of changing the green area of the picture to a deep maroon color, but not sure. I like the way that all three of these paintings form a link between each other, especially when you can see them all at once like this.


If for whatever reason clicking on the image doesn't make it larger, you can click here: top left - top right - bottom or visit my blog directly.

Thanks for checking me out everyone! :-P

-Josh Grabowski

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Painting Filled Saturday Continues

Texture Work In Progress

Here you'll see the second texture piece which accompanies the first wide piece I posted earlier today. Now I have a "tall" and "wide" painting, otherwise known as a portrait and a landscape piece that could jump start the body of work needed for a "lights on water" series? Either way, things are going great. Lots of paint out right now but the air has been at the mediums all day and most of the night yesterday making it heavier and thicker than normal. When this happens, the paint begins to form a gel almost, somewhere equivalent to painting with semi-dry rubber cement... it's not the most ideal situation. Better put the unusable paints aside and keep on pushin' out these pieces. Deadline is approaching quickly!! :)

-Josh Grabowski

-in case you didn't notice, these pictures were taken with a digital camera, not my phone... much better quality!

Bringing Back Color and Texture

After realizing how much I missed colors while working strictly in black and white I decided to jump head first into my arsenal of pigments! With six primed surfaces (each waiting patiently for me to return back to them), it seemed like a good idea to get creative. These six paintings have many more painting sessions ahead. On that note... headed back to my new babies now.

This piece will be done in the style very similar to Lights on Water (blog title image). This piece is a 12"x24" oil painting on hardboard. All the recent pieces that I am working on share a lot of the same color palettes and all being mixed with Galkyd Lite to promote drying within 24 hours for thinly applied layers.

green texture - work in progress

note from the studio: red oil paint on hands and under nails is very hard to completely remove! forget about it if you get any of it on your clothes! slowly but surely each article of my clothing is going to have some amount of paint on them. occupational hazard.

here comes # two

Red Rose - Work in Progress

In relation to the title, this picture is obviously just like my previous rose study... making this completely "original" title: rose study #2. Much more work left with this piece including adding another leaf, color glazing, (and a vase?). Not sure exactly what I want the final piece to look like but excited with each step of the way to completion. Look forward to the final product coming within the next couple days.

I'm going to say that this is one of 6 pieces I hope to finish before Tuesday of next week. Maybe writing it down will get my brush back in my hand and painting! I hope to write about each piece as they progress throughout the weekend to entertain you all with something nice to look at! :)

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a post for post sake

Lemon study

I've been working on a couple piece all at once since I'm working in oils and successively layering the paint. I'm sure that I'll blog a little about each piece later on. Since I seem to have lost my camera in my move, I've been taking pictures of my work with my cell phone. The pictures aren't great, but not too bad. Colors seem washed out and blurry, but it gets the job done. Maybe you are one of the select few to have received a picture mail or two from me already in which case you know what I am talking about.

Anyways, not in much of a "blog" mood right now, but thought it'd be nice to post something. The image above is just a colored pencil study I made the other day of the lemons that had grown on the tree in the backyard. YES! The backyard. Not too many lemon trees around Kenosha, WI...especially this time of year! The colors are very rich and fun! Maybe I should bust out the list from highschool of the 40 aspects that we had to submit; there were actually some pretty creative things on there (anyone reading this who had Mrs. Wells as an art teacher, they know exactly what I am talking about, and for all of you who don't, you're not missing out on much).

side note: coming back to WI in a week. time for jackets! it's going to be a cold ride from the airport though!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Parks and Running

Not really too much art related news here, but today I just got a brand new pair of running shoes. BIG NEWS! I'm overly excited and felt it absolutely necessary to christen the shoes with a nice 10-miler through the park. Over my past couple running trips, I've paid special attention to the park trails, trees, and landscaping. Since the park that I recently painted in the "skyline piece" went so well, I feel especially drawn to the intricacies of the elaborate pathways running through these parks (pun intended). Maybe a start to a series of works involving parks? Too early to tell, but I can promise that I will keep posting my recent stuff.

I recently put up more artwork (nothing new, but rather items that would ship easier if a sale was made) on my page from Artbreak.com. After only a couple days, there is more comments and hype coming in from it. Exciting. Inspiring! Entertaining! HA! Take a look if you feel inclined to do so, but don't expect anything too special just yet: http://www.artbreak.com/joshgrabowski. I have to credit Artbreak with a successful sale earlier this summer, so to any other artists, this is a simple FREE site you can utilize to get your name out there and possibly make some sales in the mean time! Lots of great artwork to browse on the site too!

My personal mental note for the day: Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running!

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Skyline FRAMED!

After many hours spent planning, painting, material researching and purchasing, PATIENCE, and creative flow... I am please to present the final product from my recent skyline commission:

Click the image or here to view it larger. The frame was the new fun thing for me on this project, since it was my first official custom framework job. I finally signed it, varnished it, and let it dry. WORDS OF CAUTION: Arizona is VERY windy and the air is VERY dusty... WET PAINT SURFACES BEWARE! After a trip to ACE Hardware to pick up some final materials, this bad boy was set in place and ready to hang on the wall! Since this piece is a little bulky with the thick black frame being so large, I triple wired the hooks for three times the strength. Not much else to write about this piece right now other than it's done and the client LOVES IT! More paintings to come soon.

-Josh Grabowski

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quotes and Brain Cell Loss

Another quote from my current favorite book, Letters to Young Artist, by Anna Deavere Smith:

"As an artist, you are a student of the human condition. There is no syllabus. You can go to school and seek structure, some technique, some advise. Ultimately you must make your own course description, you must discover your own book list, you must make your work regimen, your own discipline. You can work as hard as you like. Or not. You can use the time, or not. You can use the world - as much or as little as you like.

Your job is not defined. There is no bar exam for you to pass; there is no oath for you to take. Nonetheless, you have a large responsibility and possibility if you would like to take it.

Are you becoming an artist because you want the world to look at you? Or are you becoming an artist because you would like to use your ability to attract attention - and the ability to get people to look at your work - in order to cause them to see themselves and the world differently through you?"

I'm not even kidding you, this book is fantastic. AWESOME! Not to mention the list of references in the back of the book for artists: it's a gold mine in itself. I have read and purchased some amazing art books within the past year, and this one will most definitely be gracing my collection soon.

Chicago skyline frame is complete, minus the hanging hardware. Some words of caution for you all: spray-polyurethane smells absolutely disgusting! Be ready to lose some brain cells on this one people! The actual painting needs a few finishing touches, a couple coats of high gloss varnish, and placement into it's final resting place. As the final piece comes together, I will post pictures for you all to see (and be jealous that it is not hanging in your living room, therefore commissioning me to make one for you...maybe wishful thinking?). Next commission work is in line and the order for supplies has been compiled. Subject matter: race car! Should be an exciting change from the norm!

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Perspective with a Heavy Dose of Inspiration

Here we go again... more on my recent creations! First I would like to say that I'm not thrilled about the lighting here in the above image, but it is 3AM and no sunlight, which gives a much better light for pictures of artwork (something I learned from my wonderful highschool art teacher, Mrs. Nancy Wells). Secondly, I would normally say that you can simply click on the image above to see it larger, but it's come to my attention that those of you reading this on any other site than direct from my blog (ie. email, facebook, etc.) this link doesn't always work. In any case, you can also see a larger version by clicking here. The painting is coming along wonderfully and despite some misjudged timeframes, it is about one session away from completion! The composition here really moves the eye through the piece which can be difficult with such a wide piece. After working hours at a time on a particular piece, simple composition mistakes are hard to find or recognize; however, another little trick I've learned from Mrs. Wells is to look at your piece in the mirror which will give you an entirely different perspective making it easier to spot mistakes you might have otherwise looked over. I've horizontally flipped the image through some editing software on my computer which you can take a look at here. What my initial reaction to seeing my skyline creation this way is: a. I LOVE the depth that is shown in the detail of the park in the distance! b. maybe there is too much dark space where the cast shadow from the row of trees falls... but what do I do to fix it? Currently I'm at a loss on the magical fix-it remedy, but maybe a couple of days with the piece facing the wall will refresh my perspective and allow me to come back at it with a new idea? I'm absolutely open to any suggestions! Another thing I am considering is placing people throughout the park. Risky, since I'm not sure if I really wanted to focus on that aspect, not to mention that the original photograph this picture was inspired from shows NO people in it whatsoever. Park lamps that were in the big brother (as I'm calling it) are also on the list of upcoming tasks. Finally, the frame will be put together tomorrow night and painted. The projected idea for this is going to be a 5.5 inch thick black border that will have a nice 2.5" depth to it. This is going to look sharp encasing this piece! SHARP! You can guarantee the quality of it will be just as wonderful as anything else I have made in the past (special thanks to my stepdad Dave for teaching me the ropes of handmade, quality woodwork), also you can look for pictures posted when the final product is ready for hanging.

Creativity flows uncontrollably sometimes and you need to be there ready to make it materialize. Fortunately, right now I am completely ready and willing to act on it and hopefully that shows in my next couple art ventures. I know that as an artist I can not expect to wait for a fit of inspiration, which I am not, but when that feeling really clicks inside it feels like nothing can stop you. The feeling is real, and any artist reading this could most definitely agree that "unstoppable TOP OF THE WORLD feeling" is not only unexplainable, but intoxicating leaving you wanting more, much more. Successful consistent production of artwork is exciting and makes you want to create more! The more work you produce the more insights and breakthrough you'll have. BAM! Suddenly, more inspiration! This inspirational flow will produce better paintings... and the process is endless. What could be better than a life spent actively pursuing your own unique inspired vision? Keep the creative wheel turning, my friends.

side note: the time, once again is 3AM. I don't intentionally mean to be making this pattern we have here... I guess this just must be my prime-time baby!
-Josh Grabowski

Monday, October 19, 2009

missing the beautiful colors

After a seemingly LLOONNGG week of working in black and white acrylic, I am completely ready to bust out some color work. If you know what Alizarin Crimson looks like from the brush smoothed over a fresh white canvas or board, you'd know the feeling I'm talking about (which happens to be my current favorite color to date, indanthrene blue mixed with a bit of cerulean blue is also amazing, vibrant, cool... any insight on what yours is?). Tonight happens to be another night that I am painting, painting, painting and stopping to realize IT'S 3AM AGAIN! Where does the time go? Especially when working on fine details across a 5ft. surface... it seems like the amount of work I accomplished in this session is next to none, until the next day when I return back to the studio and admire the detail work that I won't have to do! Not much to write about here other than the fact that I am ready to retire the B&W acrylics for while; also makes it easier that I've purposely not kept much acrylic material around the studio. A simple strategic move on my end to get myself used to painting exclusively in oils (at least for now)... if I want to paint, it looks like I need to work in oils... well it's not a question of if I want to paint, it's rather when the pain of not creating overwhelms the pain of creating. Could be a little artsy of a statement and maybe not understood by everyone, but honest nonetheless. For fear of letting my artistic and sleepy mind spill all over my blog, I'll turn in for the night. With that, goodnight my friends.

side note: I find myself using "..." quite often. Don't judge my writing, I'm not a writer!

-Josh Grabowski

Saturday, October 17, 2009


If you get me painting, there is little that will stop me. Last night I pumped out a painting session until 3 am after everyone had already gone to bed (absolutely NOT uncommon for me since I seem to be most productive late at night... fewer distractions, more ME time). It's funny, I will specifically think to put on music or turn on a movie in the background but once I sit back down, I can not justify getting back up to do anything but continue painting! CDs will stop playing and it will be an hour before I even consider putting another one on let alone realize that it even had stopped. Sometimes I even have a conscious awareness that I would like to turn something on to cut the silence, but in all honesty, silence is a virtue. Right? All is well though, the skyline painting is going great and is definitely on track for being finished either later tonight or tomorrow. After that, the fun really starts and I get to construct the custom frame job that I have in mind for this piece. Originally my design called for lighting similar to my Lights On Water painting as it really gives the piece a very sophisticated, museum-quality display; however, it will all come down to what the framework will allow and what the client wants. Pictures will soon be following this post! :)

On a side note, acrylic paint dries SO quickly! I had almost forgot after spending so much time with oils. Not to mention the fact that it calls for the absolute easiest, most available method of diluting/cleaning... H2O. Clean up is a breeze and it doesn't smell nearly as potent as any chemicals needed for oil painting (even though I have come to enjoy the smells, they can still be a little harmful to your brain cells unless you have good ventilation and air circulation... is that why I like it?).

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicago Skyline pt. 2

I thought it would be good to share with you all some progress shots of a recent "commission piece." I can't really share much more information about this piece's final resting place just yet but i can tell you a little about my work. For those of you who are familiar with this painting's big brother... YES, this is a rendition of the original and still done in the same medium of black and white acrylics; however, this little bugger is created on masonite board rather than stretched canvas. The width is a considerable 3 feet less and the height dropped a foot as well. You will notice all the details in the buildings coming together much more fluidly than in the first edition. The contrast and brightness needs a little attention, but as the label reads, this is still a WORK-IN-PROGRESS. By clicking on the image, you can view a larger version. Enjoy everyone. As always, I welcome your comments and questions! Just do it... don't hesitate. You must have an opinion, if not just a simple reaction.

Have a wonderful day! :)
-Josh Grabowski

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Primed Boards

Recently I spent some time prepping some masonite boards as a suitable ground for painting with a new wallet-friendly primer I picked up. I was a little nervous about the results of this material... would it hold the paint? would it work with both acrylic and oil? Well, the results are in... and this painter is satisfied! Today I spent almost a solid 8 hours in the "painting zone" and am very happy with the way things are turning out. I'll be sure to post more information about the work that comes from my next couple sessions as I plan to finish a piece here within the next couple days pending on how much time I can throw at it.

Another thing I would like to mention is the list of books I've found at the local library:
1. Portraits from Life in 29 Steps - John Howard Sanden
2. Encyclopaedia of Oil Painting - Frederick Palmer
3. The Fine Artist's Career Guide - Daniel Grant
4. Letters to a Young Artist - Anna Deavere Smith

There were a total of 10 that I walked out of the library with on my initial visit to the oil painting section, but 6 of them didn't make the first cut and were returned shortly after. The first book on the list above has great step-by-step information and pictures showing the process of painting portraits in a single session; I have been searching for a book like this for what seems like AGES! Who'd have known that there it was, printed in 1999, waiting for me at the library here in Arizona. Anyways, book #2 is a nice reference guide that I haven't cracked into much but thought it useful to keep around for a little while. The same would apply for #3. The thing that sells me on this title is the table of contents. It would seem that a lot of the chapters hold some valuable information that I would like to read about, we'll see. The book standing out the most to me is #4 "Letters to a Young Artist." Anna writes in a way that keeps you wanting more. She is a playwright and actress writing to young, up-and-coming artist about the trials and tribulations experienced first-hand through her incredible journey on the creative path. I could write about all the amazing things that I have read so far (not even half way into the book yet!), but it wouldn't do justice to the amazing influence this little sucker packs! If you are an artist and want to read a nice book about being an artist... get this! Total gem!

On another note, I just watched Atonement. Visually beautiful, and a great storyline. Get this as well. You might even be able to get it for free at the library while you're checking out one of the books i mentioned, I DID! :) Turns out the library here is my new favorite place supplying me with all these amazing things. Go get your library cards kids!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Online Art Order

Thought of posting a little art-related material about my current adventures in online-art-supply-ordering... As of today, I have yet to make my first online purchase of art supplies, but that is all about to change. This past Christmas I received two gift cards for Blick Art Stores. While living in Chicago this seemed like the best idea since there were two major stores (HUGE! kid in a candy store type feeling) both downtown and in a neighborhood a bit further north. Since then, I have in fact moved... with the closest store around 350 miles away it would appear that it might make more sense to place my order online. The site promotes free shipping on orders over $200, which any artist would know is easy to rack up quickly. 15 tabs in my browser later, I am overwhelmed with online art supplies! I'm particularly finding it hard to order brushes not knowing exactly what they feel/look like other than a description and picture. Trusting a description and picture is like a drive through any tourist spot trying to find "THE BEST HOT DOG," because you could take your pick of about 16 possible impostors. Conveniently, I remember most of the brands/types of brushes I have purchase in the past but I'm trying some new ones... hit or a miss? We'll have to wait and see.

-Josh Grabowski

the way i'm feeling after a couple hours on this site. somebody save me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Newest Commission Piece

This is the newest piece that I was commissioned for. It now holds a residency with my other "Yellow Rose" piece in a private collection currently in Downers Grove, IL. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT ERIC! :) For those of you that would like to pay close attention to detail, you can see a picture of the backside here (originally took this picture for myself to reference the way I framed the picture and attached the hanging hardware). You might notice the style of this painting was inspired from the Autumn painting I created a couple months earlier for About.com's monthly painting project. Heavy paint and palette knifes create an interesting texture for the leaves. Eventually when the piece is dry enough, I like to run my fingers (VERY CAREFULLY) across the surface; visual and physical appeal! This piece came around after a recent sale on a website, comparable to eBay but tailored to artists, Artbreak.com. You can take a look at my personal page here. Since the sale of my work went so well on this site, I plan to post more material on my page in hopes to keep the art sales going!
Hoping everyone is well! Now GO! Be creative everyone, it feels wonderful!
-Josh Grabowski

Monday, August 31, 2009

Breaking Through The Silence

I have been putting off writing another blog post for the longest time at this point (take a look at the most recent activity on my page... you'll notice the last post was months ago!). After sitting myself down and telling myself I would post some new material numerous times I have decided TO JUST DO IT (nike plug). Keep an eye out for some new stuff I will be putting together and posting.

ps. recently found two very inspiring twin sister artists. I would encourage everyone to check out their site using the following link: http://www.caroleandclaire.com/index2.php?v=v1

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Feeling Great!

After letting the paint dry a bit on the yellow rose, I added another couple of glazes. Since the last picture of the rose was a little blurry and the quality wasn't the best, I thought that I would post another.
yellow rose - progress shot
After working on this little project, I feel GREAT! One of my greatest "art finds" recently is About.com's Painting site. This website is an invaluable resource to any painter! One of the interesting features that I found is the Monthly Painting Projects. For the month of March, the project was to create a painting portraying the "essence of a season" using only a palette knife, no brushes. I chose to portray autumn/fall because I love the colors of the leaves (NOT THE TEMPURATURE!). Take a look at my results!
March Painting Project
My painting for the March project on About.com's Painitng site.
I am heading to my easel now to work more on the italian staircase piece. Stay tuned for the results of tonight's work!
-Josh Grabowski

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Yellow Rose

Well folks, as promised from yesterday's posting... here is the rose that I am working on. It isn't dry enough for me to put the final glazing layers on it, but it is getting close! This little project has been fun for me and I feel recharged! Stay tuned for more artwork, coming soon!
-Josh Grabowski
yellow rose - progress shot

The yellow rose from yesterday's post. :)
Sorry the photo is so blurry. I couldn't seem to keep the camera still!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slump Schmump... forgiddabowdit

While coming out of a huge creative slump I am trying to remember that the only way my artowrk is going to be created, either good OR bad, is by simply creating. A good way to get over any drought in artistic productivity is to give yourself "assignments" or just simply spend time in your studio milling around. An art project that I decided to take on was simply painting a rose that was waiting for my arrival back to MI this week (it smells amazing and seemed to bloom for days and days); the original rose is pink, but I am painting it yellow instead. Since I know that I can create a painting of a flower this is just like the first post about the lighthouse that I had made for my grandma's Christmas present, and as well a jump start to my creative flow. While I have been working on this small/quick project I remember how much I really do like spending the necessary time with my brushes and pigments (not that there was much question in weither or not I enjoyed painting)! I feel like I can NOT put down the brush all over again... I don't want to walk away from the painting! Feeling good and on the right direction to get momentum again, I thought I would make a simple post letting everyone know they can expect more artwork up soon.
On another note, who is excited for tax returns? Fortunately, I do not owe anything this year and I am due a refund! Yay for IRS tax refunding!

-Josh Grabowski
the palette I have been using the past two days

This is the palette that I have been using the past two days for the painting of the rose. I hope to finish it tomorrow and have it posted!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Stairway

So, it has officially been over a week since my last post! I know, I know, I am sorry! Trust me, I feel worse about it than you do! Anyways, for this post, I thought that I would share a painting that most of my family and friends are familiar with since it has been a long, long process finishing this piece. One reason for the lengthy process is that most of the piece has been made with very thin oil glazes using galkyd lite (as I have mentioned in previous posts). I started this painting a while back as a submission for a gallery review (which didn't end in my favor, but it was a great experince). Months and months later, I keep telling myself "since it's almost complete, I am going to finish it," and well... NOW I AM! Most of you would recognize this painting about 15 layers back, so take a second look if you remember it!

-Josh Grabowski
The Stairway
First Progress Shot I TookProgress Shot

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...the marketplace...

This work-in-progress painting is a 24"x48" acrylic on masonite board. I plan to eventually paint in oil colors and use the acrylics as a very detailed underpainting. Acrylics have a very fast dry time and are much easier to use  (this could be merely  an opinion, but I think that many artists would agree with me) without hassle of difficult clean up and the you can use the easiest, most-available medium of all: water. The best part about using water-based acrylics as an underpainting is that oil paints can be applied on top of them with ease, but the same does not apply with acrylics on top of oils... remember last time you tried to mix oil and water? Probably didn't work out the best, right?!
-Josh Grabowski
A special thanks needs to go to my good friend Stacey Marek for the picture where this painting has originated. Thank you for sharing your pictures from your trip! They have been so very helpful!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More On Textures

Since the last post was about my experimenting with textures in oil paints, I thought it was nessecary to include some others that I made around the same time using the same concept. The two paintings below were made at the same time using a palette knife instead of a paint brush. The paint was applied directly without any use of oil mediums. I would say that these paintings are completed very quickly and expressively allowing for the viewer to see whatever they would like. In this case, the idea is so abstract, you might actually see only yellows and reds whereas with the "Lights On the Water" painting, the viewer might see something other than just abstracted colors.
-Josh Grabowski

Lights On the Water

Josh Grabowski Art

If you didn't already know, the image behind the title of my blog is actually a painting of mine as well. I created it while studying texture, dry times, and color placement with oil paints. The stretched canvas is 25"x48" and has an additional board attached to the top with three recessed under-cabinet lights to help create a dramatic effect on the extreme texture of this painting. Since the harsh lighting reflected off of the wet paint so beautifully, I wanted to capture this after the paint had dried and placed a high gloss finish over the top. Most people see this painting and immediately think that it must be lights reflecting off of water and floating flowers; however, that was not exactly the original intention, even though I will agree that it does! Currently, this painting helps decorate the office at my mother's house.

-Josh Grabowski

Oldies... but Goodies!

Starting from the top left, 18"x24" acrylic on stretched canvas, 8"x11" oil pastel on paper, 18"x24" acrylic on canvas board.

The pictures above are projects from art classes through highschool. Most of these pictures hold a special meaning to me. The first picture (top left) is actually the very first canvas that I had ever stretched! From doing that simple painting, I learned so much that I apply to my work now. The assignment was to paint something that had background, middleground and foreground using only our fingers. I did a lot of research in the library during art classes to find images that inspired me. The next picture (top right) is from a set of 4: graphite on paper, oil pastel on paper, white & black contrast, and chalk on paper. This original image was a Covergirl advertisement. The final image and most meaningful (bottom) was done in my spare time but used in class. This was made at home one night when my best friend and I painted leisurely since we were both very "artsy" students. We went on later to actually spray-paint the all of the walls of his mom's basement with scenes from hawaiian sunsets to dolphins to a giant face of a tiger. Total Blast! When I take the time to look back at the previous artwork of my life, I am reminded that this has always been something that simply came very natural to me. I never seemed to find it hard or considered it to be "work" but found it to be the best way possible to keep myself entertained by doing the most innate thing I know.

-Josh Grabowski

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Elephant In the Room

This 24"x48" oil painting is the first piece and inspiration to my series of paintings involving elephants. Other works of this series are in-progress right now and will be sure to post them as soon as I can.

This painting is a great example of an idea that took shape of something unplanned. As you can see from the original concept painting to the most recent picture, much has changed. As with the Rio skyline, this one starts in a magenta underpainting for the warmth of the proceeding paint layers. Allowing for a painting to take shape, rather than follow a set outline, can bring forth the life within my art.
Stay tuned for more elephants! :-D

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rio de Janeiro Cityscape Progress Shots

I first became interested in "Rio" when I was doing initial research of cityscape images strong enough to create a dramatic painting. While this location is obviously beautiful enough on its own, the city structures and buildings make this piece of Brazil sparkle. The giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain, has recently been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. I myself have not actually seen this wonderful example of one of the man-made marvels this world has to offer, but would love to make it there someday.

Rio de Janeiro - Most Recent Progress Shot
work-in-progress no.5
work-in-progress no.4
work-in-progress no.3
work-in-progress no.2
work-in-progress no.1
Anyways, the paintings on the left are simple progress shots of the 24"x48" oil painting panel that I am currently working on. As you can see in the bottom picture, the entire board is painted with a thin layer of, in this case, Magenta acrylic paint to warm the proceeding colors laid on top of it. Each shot progressively above shows the work of multiple thinned layers of oil colors using a combination of galkyd lite and turpenoid. In between each session, the painting is allowed ample time to dry. In person, the colors are able to shine through each other making it much more luminous than any picture I will be capable of posting online. I guess to get the full effect of my paintings, you will just have to come to a showing (lets all keep our fingers crossed that is sooner than later).

-Josh Grabowski

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oil Painting Medium Toubles

Artist Oil Paint Mediums
This is a picture from my studio of some of the oil mediums that I have been using.

One of the hardest things that I have faced over the course of my art adventures has been the science and art of oil mediums. I have been trying to make my own and experiment with recipes that I come across online. I recently found a book online that I plan to get sent via Amazon or Google, "Formulas for Painters." In it, author Robert Massey lists over 200 recipes for sizes, grounds, glazes, paints, varnishes, fixatives, and adhesives for a wide range of art mediums. Thanks to the wonderful technology that Google brings us, I am able to preview about 20-30 some-odd pages using Google Book Search. I feel that this book should bring me some invaluable information and recipes on whipping up some useful things to use in my studio. If by some chance I catch a reader that knows something that I don't about this subject, please contact me; otherwise, I will continue my search and experimenting on my own. I will be posting more about my recent works within the next couple days.

-Josh Grabowski

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finished Lighthouse

lighthouse finale
Put in many more hours while watching a couple movies and listening to some good music today on the lighthouse and finally came to a point that I can be happy with calling it, "the finished piece." This makes it, the first painting completed by myself in 2009 (hold the applause til later). After this picture was taken, I applied a generous coat of galkyd lite as a simple, fast-drying varnish that will have a high gloss to it. I plan to place this canvas board in a frame underneath glass as an added form of protection, but the varnish layer really makes the colors pop. This painting will soon be going to the personal collection of my grandmother as soon as I can make it back home and there is a little less snow and the temperature is at least back above freezing... *lets keep our fingers crossed!* Speaking of cold, there are icicles outside of the living room window that connect the gutters to the deck. Pretty cool! I will continue to enjoy them from the comfort of my pajamas & slippers... indoors... in the warmth. :)

-Josh Grabowski

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let Me Break The Ice

To finally get my blog started, I thought I would post a little bit about the painting I had started for my grandmother's Christmas present. It is a simple acrylic on canvas-board, 16inx22in.

Okay, now that the ice has been broken, I will explain a little bit about this blog and the reason behind getting it started: While being away from family and friends, I am always having a problem keeping everyone updated on the latest and greatest of my works. SOLUTION: enter stage left new Josh Grabowski Art blog for family and friends reading/viewing pleasure. I will be trying my hardest to update this at the very least once a week if not everyday with a new photo of something I am currently working on or something that I have previously done. I welcome (actually encourage) all of your comments and/or questions about anything on here as I share things of the past, present, and future. After endless searching through other artist's blogs for examples of "the perfect blog" and which format to follow, I have decided that with this new format of recording my progress via technology publicly I will create the best format for myself in time just by simply doing it... Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new blog, be sure to check back often!

-Josh Grabowski