Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wallpaper Duty

I'm sure that laying actual wallpaper with such an elaborate design would be much easier, but probably less gratifying than the end result from working magic with my paint brush (I'm sure I have no business messing around with adhesives and whatever else it takes to put up wallpaper anyways). Today started in a great position with the main design elements blocked in and dry from previous painting sessions - all I had to do was spend 6 1/2 hours painting in the details, and voila!

A little more about the painting:
This still life was inspired from real lemonade freshly squeezed from lemons grown here locally in AZ. Michael and I were walking along picking lemons and grapefruits from the fruit treats in the neighborhood and we spotted the best lemon tree around... many problems arose: water flooding the ground around the tree (which posed no problem for Michael and his braveness), branches that jump out at you from no where (leaving battle wounds on Michael... bless his heart for sacrificing himself for the good of my art and our lemonade drinking pleasure), and seems on the bag we used ripping apart carrying 20 lbs of lemons the size of two fists each back home to introduce them to our new friend... the juicer. After making a mess and enjoying the smell of citrus in the air, the peels just seemed as though they were begging to be painted. Digital camera and shadow box to the rescue! Piecing the idea together and settling into my new studio, I created the design, transfered it to canvas and began working. Three weekends of painting later, I have progressed far enough into the piece to share my work so far. Keep in mind that the only part that is "done" is the background... backward to foreword is how I'm working the painting (in other words, now that the background is done, everything that is "in front" of it will be painted in next). I love the still life so far and can't wait to finish it soon! :)

-Joshua Grabowski

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feeling Good

Today is a great day. Feeling great in the studio, just wanted to make a little post wishing everyone a great day just the same. Getting ready to paint a blue sky and some sand huts... don't ask, you'll understand as I progress through the piece a little further and post it up. So many good things are brewing, I'll share more soon!

Enjoy your Thursday! Good moods are contagious... spread the word!

-Joshua Grabowski

Monday, May 24, 2010

Raw Sienna

Tinting canvases today for a warmer color base. Turpenoid, raw sienna oil paint, and a nice sized brush will do the trick... all I have to do is wait for the base to dry and I'll be on my way to completing the commission piece. :)

Traffic to my blog is looking up, which could possibly mean that it is about time to get my "real" art site up and running. Look for [at least] two brand new finished large paintings by the 6th! Smooth sailing folks!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Canvas

Occasionally, a new blank canvas can be intimidating. All that possibility, virtually limitless within the confines of your materials and your own imagination. Sometimes, that feeling of intimidation can completely be wiped away when you know what you are going to be working on ahead of time. Starting a commission piece is a great example of this, I already have the image and can basically envision the painting in it's completed state before I've even put the bristles to the canvas. 36" x 48" of canvas are ready for me in my studio, better not keep it waiting! Progress will follow soon. I've set some ambitious completion dates for myself on this piece in particular, looking forward to meeting my goals! :) 

-Joshua Grabowski

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The smell of oils.

For those of you that might not know first hand, oil paints have a very distinct smell, unpleasant to some and a fond and meaningful aroma to others. I happen to fall into the "others" category which also just so happens to be overly convenient for me since the profession I chose to follow requires me to use paints... see definition of artist: oil painter. Today marked the first stab at oils with my newest still life creation and the color I mixed up is a beauty! I have a long way to go, mostly because of the elaborate involvement of the subject matter and textures and patterns I'm attempting... but I always love art that challenges me. I'm not ready to share visual progress just yet for this piece, so I will some pictures another day, but in the mean time you can take a look of this fun little pic of my paints that I used today: phthalo blue, viridian, titanium white - all diluted with turpenoid. I got out some galkyd lite (amber colored liquid) and didn't even use it... but before you pass judgement on my wasteful action, rest assured that I sealed it up in a "medium jar" for use another day. ;)

what a fun, artistic little picture we have here! the paint color shown above turned out a little more blue than it actually is though... it's more of a turquoise.

-Joshua Grabowski

Monday, May 17, 2010

Untitled 1, 2, 3... part of my previous large body of work created over the previous winter months that I've only shared a small portion of so far. These three paintings form a triptych, which by definition is a work of art that is divided into three sections. Each stands alone at 7ft tall by 3ft wide for a total width of around 9ft depending on the spacing between the pieces. The colors used here are also in every other painting within my "Reflections" series. They were my favorite pieces from the whole collection... but as the proud artist of this great work, I can not discredit the others, which are all strong and great in their own individual ways. Currently these pieces reside in WI but I have eventual big plans for these, as well as the rest of the series,  with a confidently higher price tag than what I am used to. Below I've included some of the pictures of the construction and painting process of these beauties. Custom HTML by yours truly should allow you to click on any of the images to view them in your full browser window. Enjoy, everyone! Questions as well as comments are (as always) encouraged and welcomed! :)

-Joshua Grabowski

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Space w/ GREAT Potential

To keep everyone in the loop of the things going on in my art life (read: "life"), I thought I would post a little something about the new space I have been creating my newest pieces at. In the land of sunny Arizona, there are plenty of opportunities around for artists to gain exposure, which one is the "right place" is different for everyone and sometimes can take many attempts to find what truly works. Originally I was skeptical about moving my things into my current studio, but after the first official week (tomorrow is the 5th day there!) I have found that the exposure is going to really be a great thing. SWAP$MART is the name of the business harboring my working space, available to the public Friday through Sunday for all your artistic needs! Within the first weekend, I have spoken to many people interested in what I am creating and handed out plenty of fliers directing people to back to my work. Commissions are coming in from every direction and should keep me plenty busy! During the days there, I sit and put on my headphones and paint my little heart out and pause for the occasional interested potential client looking to buy some of my stuff on the walls, get a price quote on a new piece, or just talk about art (which I always love to do!)

Keep a look out for progress on my new "lemonade" painting (not sure of the title just yet), and newest set-in-stone commission Star Wars piece... not my typical subject matter, and I love that about it! Anakin Skywalker, you pose no painting threat to me! Also talks of portrait work... portfolio expansion, I think so! AWESOME!

side-note: speaking of "sunny AZ" we are looking at 100's next week... that's another AWESOME!

-Joshua Grabowski

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Artist Necessity

Thanks to a special "art connection," I was introduced to this book in the form of a gift! When I recently had hours and hours of time to fill on both airplanes and airport terminal waiting, I dove head first into this golden token of art knowledge. Any artist, no matter your craft, should read this book if a career in art is the goal in mind. Personally, coming from the painting side of things, I feel that this book spoke to me directly. An easy read with so much information on what to do and where to do it, and with a price tag that will most certainly not break the bank it is a no brainer... go get your copy now of How to Survive and Prosper As An Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul by Caroll Michels!


-Joshua Grabowski

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bell Peppers

Somehow time passes so easily between posts on here! I thought I'd share another still life piece. In the mean time I have taken a little trip back to WI, gotten settled into a new studio space, and just been enjoying life. As work progresses, I will always be sure to share the new stuff! Currently I am working on another still life (as well as other projects that pop up). This new still life piece is a little bit "graduated" from the simplistic compositions that I've previously been posting, much more elaborate and carefully planned. Use your imaginations until I share the progress and think, "lemons!"

Delicious! I love bell peppers! Especially of the mexican stuffed variety, and even more so when they are made by my mom!