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Improved working conditions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I couldn't really keep crouching around on the ground like a monkey forever. Aside from the various injuries I was beginning to suffer in my neck and back, painting large pieces that way was just impractical. I've always tried to stay within my current limitations until it's absolutely necessary to break out of them. In fact, I painted with only house paint on crappy canvases for a long time until I finally felt ready to "graduate" to better materials. That was another handy tip from Ray Friesz, who's advice I realize now was crucial in getting me to paint anything to begin with. If I had purchased fancy paints and fancy equipment at the beginning, they would have sat in a corner until I felt prepared and educated enough to use them, which, of course, would have been never.

Not that I'm saying a piece of plywood set on top of an empty TV box is fancy equipment, mind you. But it's a start. Maybe one day I'll get a lamp too.

Aurora

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

(combined UV and normal light)

This is a little 12x16 side-project I did at Christmas. It had been so many different things by that point, I couldn't even remember what inspired the design. I was determined to finish it, just so I could stop thinking about it. One day, I decided to paint it black and start a new idea. I'd never done a painting in one day before. I was doing it more as a holiday activity than anything else. I had been reading up on solar flares and the resulting auroras a lot that month, and it was really affecting my wintery visions. (I'm such a science geek.)

One of the strongest mental images I have from that wonderful blizzard in Big Bear I was in a couple of years ago was how bright the night was because of the snow. The whole world for miles around was glowing blue, and the moonlight was nearly blinding. Snow is magical.

Interestingly, my paintings are very bright and colorful right now, and I'm wanting to experiment with more "light." I'm using really bold, contrasting colors. I like experiencing how the season is affecting my inspiration. It makes me feel like an artist.

Restart.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Occasionally, after I've been working on a painting for a while, I get the urge to just erase everything and start over. I try not to do this too often, as it makes all the work I've already done a complete waste of energy. Sometimes though, it becomes obvious that whatever inspiration I started with has long since passed, and it's not going to do anyone any good to keep trying to save it. Inevitably, the painting becomes a dark, muddy, mass of nothing. So, I like to paint it all white again, which gives me a new start.

This is the set of 4 12x12's that I began a few months ago. I'm already happier with them.

My Inner Mandala

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


(from dumpr)
[photo used was of Thin Space (2006) under UV light.]

Also: Painting is incredibly difficult with a sore, weak neck. Especially now that I have a schedule, and various things I need to accomplish. It's hard for me to stop, even for 2 days. I keep doing little bits. (It's like heroin.)

I'm thinking of adding some yoga to my painting regime, which will benefit both my physical strength and mental clarity. Creativity can only be enhanced and improved under these conditions.

Karma Juice

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I have another gig scheduled! I will be hanging my work at Karma Juice in Dana Point, CA. I must complete these 6 small paintings within the next two weeks to hang there.

Small ones are so much fun! They look great as a set, but can be sold individually as well.

Details regarding the artist reception will follow. How fun! A juice party!

I will be there, sipping an acai smoothie.

Wetcanvas.com

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I received some comments on Luminary from the nice people over at Wetcanvas.

Luminary . 4ft x 5ft . 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007




[*Shown in normal light (first), normal and UV light combined (2nd), UV only (3rd), and no light/glow (last). Made with candle wax and acrylic paint.]

This painting is so big, I couldn't transport it in my car if I wanted to. I loved working on it. My color-mixing skills are progressing. It is essentially the same design as "Summer!" from last year, although it's much improved. (Summer! is not for sale.) My goal with this painting was to make color the focus. I really wanted to show "edges" (of color) and feature many intricate layers of paint.

It didn't feel like "summer" this time though, perhaps because it was painted in February. So, I named it something else.

It looks gorgeous with both regular and UV lights on together, making the colors seem to light up from within. I'm thrilled that I was finally able to capture the "glow" in a picture, something I should be able to reproduce with each new painting now. Because of the size of this piece, the gloss effect works beautifully, like large, smooth panes of glass. It's difficult to see in the image, but the edges of the painting (including the sides) are purple, which really makes the oranges and yellows stand out.

This painting was made in part with the help of Arcade Fire's 2004 album, Funeral, which I listened to about 87 times while creating it. Many thanks go out to their wonderfully inspiring tunes.

Unless it sells beforehand, this piece will serve as the first of two 4ft x 5ft paintings which will hang in the gallery in Laguna this July.

http://www.shaylamaddox.com