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