Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dalai Lama painting on scroll

An inspiration to paint a piece of the Dalai Lama. 2×4 on a linen it is my personal interpretation of an amazing human being. I have read his writings and I am incredibly awed by his wisdom and experience. Much Respect.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Chiaroscuro Portrait in Charcoal

Portrait of Classmate 18 x 24 Charcoal on paper.
18 x 24 charcoal on paper
Last week I finished my first semester in Graduate School at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. AMAZING! I am totally inspired to take my technique to the next level. This piece is the final project for one of my classes with instructor Zack Zdrale,
The 6 hour class was beautifully challenging and I would love to do more work in this style now that I am comfortable with charcoal.

Painting live at the Westin St Francis for New Years!

8×8 foot acrylic painted live for Pacific Arts Collective by 5 amazing artists
For new years I joined up with some amazing artists to blow the minds of thousands of party goers.. The black tie festivities were at the glamorous Westin St Francis Hotel at Union Square in San Francisco. My good friends the notorious Cripe Brothers work with a group called the Pacific Art Collective doing live art for many occasions. I have heard tale of the 2007 new years party and it is an honor to be asked by these two guys to paint with them this year. The three of us were also stoked to be joined by the amazing Erin Hamilton and Carmen Olsen. Five really prolific artists on one canvas for five hours, you know something good is going to happen.
We had had a meeting the day before in Casey’s lab and the idea was set on what the five of us artists would do on this 8×8 piece of looming blank wood. We arrived at the St Francis to find the canvas’ ready to be painted, they stood in a giant ball room. The panels are a good size and are a great way to see the size of the room in comparison.
Getting to the Saint Francis  to see blank 8×8 foot canvas’ to paintI stand ready to rock with my talented cohorts in front of the freshly primed canvas.’
The party was a 3000 person affair, open bar, fashion show, multi-roomed maze of crazy folks in a beautiful huge hotel ballroom. We unpacked and at around half passed eight we got started with our concept.
2-the-first-clusters-start-to-form.jpg The amalgamation starts to take shape in black and white.
Our concept was to illustrate a biomorphic creature made of from a multitude of body parts of many animals but to maintain the shape of a recognizable animal contour. In other words to have the head(s) in the top left then the legs,wings, legs, all the way to the tail. You get the picture. I love this part of doing a piece with multiple people. It is when the piece looks the most chaotic but the marks are the most carefully layed down to create a good composition. With five people the piece was quickly laid out and the black line work quickly took the shape of a great beast.
Forest get in photo
4-everyone-working-everywhere.JPG Reaching high and painting low we are all enjoying this fully.
We are going at it at a fast pace. On the other canvas is Damon Soule, his piece morphed through the evening. I have been a fan of his work for a long time and it was a pleasure to see him in action.
Erin droppin the Gold! Erin is the first to drop the gold on some big blinging tusks, Casey works from a sketch he had previously brainstormed. The piece is starting to get smaller details, textures and bold fills. I really love the way that all of our marks blend together really cohesive and seamless. That is what really excites me about working with other artists on one piece.
6-the-color-starts.JPG Erin is the first to pull out the paint brushes and get bold with color. We had decided on the effective main color scheme of browns, oranges and yellows for the animal, the piece is evolving at an exciting rate. The colors are quick to show volume and depth within the creature.
7-casey-takes-a-long-hard-look.JPGCasey takes an important minute to step back and check the masterpiece, he is not the only one in amazement. All night there were hundreds of people bubbling over the barriers to see the artists in action.
8-more-yellow.JPG All arms at work bringing in the yellow to make the animal pop. Notice that happy little bird rocking out!
9-tyler-making-details-that-matter.JPG Tyler putting in some detail.
11-i-had-to-get-in-the-action.JPGThe whole team hard at work.
By this time we are a few hours into the piece and the crowd is roaring with well dressed belligerent energy. The piece is coming together quite well.
12-putting-in-the-details.JPGThe colors are looking great. The creature is an indescribable behemoth of wings, heads, horns, and hoves.
13-the-talent-erin-hamilton-carmen-olsen-casey-cripe-forest-stearns-tyler-cripe.JPG The Fantastic Five, a sure shot success, posing in front of the finished piece, Word…….
Erin Hamilton, Carmen Olsen, Casey Cripe, Forest Stearns, Tyler Cripe.