February 23, 2017


That's right Daryl is back from hunting and has granted me with a temporary studio space! While he was using the toy hauler for the week I was painting outdoors and in the basement, both were very suitable places for art making. Living in someone else's house and trying to produce an amount of art that I'm proud of has been a challenge and an experience I'm grateful for. It's given me an appreciation for space and time needed to be a working artist. Without either life would be very difficult right now.

So here's a short glimpse at the progress I've made in my latest paintings! Hope you enjoy! Don't forget to check up on what's available in my Etsy Shop! I've been framing most of my plein air studies with repurposed frames I've found at Goodwill's and they look great if you ask me!

Speaking of plein air painting, after I finish posting this I'll be packing up my corolla and driving up to Sedona for the next few days. Camping and plein air painting will fill my schedule and hopefully p...

February 19, 2017

Good afternoon my dear friends,

I returned from a cold and rainy 8K morning race in Lost Dutchman State Park today. Running is not my favorite form of exercise, but thanks to Megan's Christmas present for me it kept me in good health! Thousands of runners attended despite the ill weather to challenge their strengths in a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 8K Trail Run, 2 Mile and 1 Mile races. The only downside I found in this experience was my wet shirt rubbing against my chest, I now have chapped nipples. And no it does not feel as funny as it sounds! 

So anywho, lets slow it down and talk about walking.

Thursday and Friday this last week I attended the art walks of Scottsdale and Chandler, Arizona. Scottsdale has a weekly walk every Thursday from 6-9. Chandler's was Friday from 7-10. 

On Wednesday I emailed the group in charge of Chandler's walk who granted me a place in the event. I felt a little more comfortable knowing I would have my own assigned area for paintin...

February 16, 2017

In case you haven't seen my latest video watch it now! If you've already seen it, watch it again :) 

When I decided to make a video that would feature a dialogue I wasn't sure what the content would be. I sat in front of my camera and talked for almost 20 minutes, and shot a variety of clips showing progress of the painting. 

I use Adobe Premiere Elements for editing most of my videos, otherwise it's Windows Movie Maker. Creating and sharing videos has been a hobby of mine for nearly 10 years! I've been obsessed with YouTube since that time and have learned much about painting that way. Having the option to find very specific material to watch also attracted me more so than TV or watching movies. 

As I was editing this video somewhere along the line I settled on sharing the ideas of the painting and a short backstory for new viewers. This video will hopefully work well to introduce my artwork to new audiences. 

A series of videos I had been making for YouTube followed the making of Soul Lo...

February 12, 2017

Welcome back!

Sorry if I don't look happy to see you. I was focusing my camera before filming my gouache painting video. Posing for a timer over and over gets tiring if I smile. Nonetheless, thank you for joining me for another Studio Session!

I just returned from a painting trip to Canyon Lake this morning where I completed one piece from the first section of Boulder Creek Trail. This was my first trip to Canyon Lake and the third destination for hiking since I've lived in Arizona. Megan and I woke up at 6:30 and left by 7:45 to drive an hour to the lake. The last few miles of the drive were stunning. Yellow mountain peaks stuck out in between red walls of canyon. If I return here I'll have to get dropped off at one of the resting stops leading into the canyon. 

As I setup my easel I thought, "Hey why don't I take a few photos of me setting up gear!" I grabbed my camera from my bag and turned it on. The screen didn't turn on. Great is my camera busted? Wait. I opened the battery clip and...

February 8, 2017

Here are a few progressions of what was on the easel today! 

Painting II 

 Painting III 

 While I worked on these I posted to my Instagram story, follow me to keep up with future painting adventures @acuna.art 

Right before I was going to pack up and leave I thought I should snap a few more photos of the paintings. Sure enough, a gust of wind blew the pad over and the paper fell to the sandy ground. The paintings still look the same but now there dusted with tiny rubble. Not exactly the surface quality I was looking for...

After these studies dry I'll figure out a way to frame them. I'm starting to acquire enough paintings to put on a small show. All I need is a venue! The Phoenix area is dense with businesses both small and chain. Over the next two weeks I have a mental note to find a few interesting venues that draw the audience I think may enjoy my work. Stay tuned to see if anything comes of these landscapes. 

As always it's a pleasure to share my journey with you and...

February 7, 2017


Welcome back to another Studio Session. Today I'll share a look at three recent canvases I built, stretched, gessoed, and began painting on. Building canvases is a process that I've slowly understood and still have yet to perfect. The time and cost of building my own stretchers saves me a large sum of money that can go to oil paint and framing! 

Here's what things looked like when I started gessoing them. I have three canvases at the following sizes 36" x 36", 40" x 40", 48" x 36". I made a fourth at 12" x 24" but haven't decided what to paint on it, so it's sitting against the wall until summoned. 

You can see the three large canvases drying in between coats of gesso here. Typically oil painters try to apply 2-3 coats of gesso before using oil mediums. The 5 gallon bucket is filled with water to rinse my gesso brush which otherwise would dry out and become completely useless. I have two separate gallons of gesso one is the student grade and the other is artist. I bought the artist...

February 2, 2017

Hi readers,

A few weeks have passed since I've shared a Studio Sessions post with you. Like the years before, I try to reorganize my social art presence as a resolution during these first few months of the new year. While I haven't posted every week; I've kept quite busy working on new paintings, creating videos, hosting collaborations, applying to graduate programs and painting publicly. My time in Arizona has been inconsistent thus far which has made my rhythm difficult to find. But hey that's not necessarily a bad thing right?

Last year was my first year without school since I was in kindergarten. I spent a lot of time contemplating the work I was doing compared to what I felt like I should be doing. Being an artist is a career that can have many high and low moments at unpredictable times. I think being surrounded by groups of people who work in a traditional lifestyle creates short moments of doubt in my decisions. However, at the end of the day I'm very hopeful and optimistic about...

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