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SS: 004 Saturday in the Studio

Hello readers,

In the last post I wrote about how I start developing my ideas for a painting. At the end of the post I hinted at more information on how I begin working with images. I will be posting a blog about the next part in that topic sometime this week or next weekend at the latest.

Its in the last hour of the day on this Saturday night 1/30/16 and I'm hoping to squeeze this post in before the day ends.

Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point I've been working almost full time at a screen printing business in Stevens Point and two hours a week at a new school called Point of Discovery. Finding the time and motivation usually isn't too much of a problem for me during the weekends. However, without heating and poor insulation in the studio room I rent I've had to resist putting hours into painting at the studio. But I've managed this past week to still produce and begin some new works that I'm quite excited about.

Now if you follow me on Instagram you probably already have a clear idea of what I've been up to. As a student I had annual opportunities to show my work at various venues on campus. Now that I can no longer partake is some of these shows I've had mixed feelings about what to do with these newer small bodies of work I've made recently.

I have a few ideas for pop-up style shows I'd love to setup this spring and summer. As far as gallery representation goes, I can't say that I have a strong desire to committ to a gallery relationship at this given moment. Not that I don't want to produce work to show at a gallery. Or work towards a solo show and group shows. One reason I don't feel ready to seek out a gallery is because I don't feel like I've settled or understood the message in my work yet. I feel like this is still developing, which is fine. I also feel pretty young and early in my career so I think that taking a short amount of time (one year or less) to keep experimenting with my paintings and pushing the risks in my work is a great thing to do right now. I'm also liking the idea of being able to sell work however I can. Through shows, on my own, or in a public space. I do believe that having professional representation is important for me as a working artist, I hope I can say that within the next two years I'll have a gallery that wants to exhibit my work.

Anyways, I'm hoping that helps describe why my art has been changing a lot over the past year. When I look online at artists I follow I often think about how consistent their artwork is from piece to piece. I start to think about how much they seem to have "figured out". This usually makes me question the strength of the body of artwork I've made in the past couple of months. It's safe to say that, from the artist, I feel like I'm making the artwork that I'm supposed to be making right now. Even if it feels scattered at times.

In the studio today I continued working from watercolor sketches that I painted during the week. Getting in at 11 am was wonderful. I split my efforts between a new 10" x 10" painting of my mother as a child and a large painting of four figures who are distant relatives on my mother's side of the family.

So here is the watercolor sketch of my mother when she was a youngling. Not sure how old she is. Part of me also has doubts that this is her, might be my aunt. In this painting I wanted there not to be a lot of defnition in the face making it more difficult to actually recognize a person. I think I did this because it would make it easier for someone else to see someone they know in this face. Also I think its the young/naive spirit of a child that I think is rather interesting in the dull expression.

So the loose rendering translated easily into the oil painting. Working from a watercolor painting helps me keep my oil paintings quick and gestural. You really cant create a successful reproduction of a watercolor painting with oil paints. The difference in drying time makes it very difficult in my opinion. Recreating the first painting wasn't my intention anyways, more so I was trying to add weight to the image throug oils and give the face a little more life. I'm happy with what came out of the first go at it, but I don't think that I will be leaving this subject matter any time soon! Family is just too relevant at all times in life that I couldn't see myself wanting to painting any other subjects.

At the moment and being away from the studio, this is the only image I have (taken from Instagram) of the other painting I worked on tonight. This canvas has been on my wall for 2 months I'd say and the surface has gone through some MAJOR changes and frustrations. But that's what has made the painting even greater in my eyes. This reveresed depiction of the painting you're seeing is a moment in the life of one painting. The yellow and dark black colors were influenced by earlier decisions and paintings that came before them. The composition is the result of failed ideas and attempts that didn't satisfy me in that particular moment. I can't say what the painting means to me yet, partially because I'm still figuring it out. My recent work has been helping me discover that I really like to paint and draw a focus on one being or subject. I don't have much of an interest in depicting scenes that tell the whole story. I think this discovery is really important for me to learn because it may help me see the connections between what I've made so far.

Also this painting has reinspired me to work closer with color and purpose of color in painting.

I videotaped my process behind the portrait of my mother tonight and have put together a timelapse video on YouTube. Copy and paste or click this link to check it out :

Next weekend is ArtsBash, an annual event held at the Noel Fine Arts Center, and I am beyond excited to attend for the fourth year in a row. I donated two drawings that I hope will sell to provide money for student scholarships. The drawings I donated are the ones pictured below.

The night before Arts Bash I was invited to do some live painting for their donor's banquet. Each year those who donate money for the Arts Bash scholarships are treated to a formal dinner. I'm a bit nervous but also very excited to share my art with those who love and appreciate the arts and are willing to help keep the arts alive firsthand. Being an artist could be a very lonely and boring life if it wasn't for those who appreciate and support what we do! I'll be sure to post what I paint for them in one of my future blogs or through social media.

Thanks again for reading and I'm always interested in feedback or in ideas for topics to discuss. My email is if you'd like to reach out to me.


- Hector

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