This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in Kilgogh, an art exhibition & wine tasting event on Friday followed by an all day festival Saturday. The event takes place in my in-laws small town of Kilgore, Texas. This is the second year it has been held and the first year that they have also had the Saturday festival. For the exhibition each artist was asked to submit a new piece of artwork with the theme of “Expressions of Kilgore”, to be interpreted by each however one would like. The submitted artwork would then be judged and auctioned off, the proceeds going towards the town and the restoration of some beautiful historic theaters. If you’re curious about the town here is a bit of background on it and lots of images to place yourself there.
I was asked by the Kilgore News Herald (link to their photos of the events) to write up how I create my art and so I’ve included my process for you to read here as well.
In preparation for the event I began painting a new painting, now titled “Humble Beginnings”. Like most of my paintings I begin with a word list, or free association list, jotting down ideas as they come. Words like “oil derricks”, “city of stars” and “historic” were only a few of the dozens that came to mind. Having captured Kilgore in photographs and visited several times I already had a feel for what I wanted to create.
Once I’ve immersed myself in word ideas I move on to thumbnailing, the fun part. Working in Photoshop I start in back & white and convert all of my ideas into mini paintings. The point is to get out as many of those ideas as possible and in as much variety. You can’t go wrong here and so I don’t hold back. Here are some examples of my thumbnails.
Anson’s mom was here at the time I began working. We spent several relaxing days together while Anson was at work, me painting while she read and caught up on many emails. With her help I was able to choose a thumbnail. Once chosen I still like to work very small. Sometimes this may mean working with a small file or with a larger one but zoomed out. This keeps me focused on the larger picture without getting in to the details too quickly. I add color to my mini painting and proceed from there.
The process of painting just happens as most of the work has already been done in creating the thumbnail. I build up the image gradually, starting with very big brush strokes and working equally all over the canvas. Brush strokes fall in place a lot like they would with real paints and I often mix paints on the canvas for that same effect. As I mentioned before I use Photoshop and an Intuos 5 tablet to paint. Painting digitally has just come naturally. In high school I began experimenting in Photoshop, manipulating and combining images to create realistic works of art and gradually became more interested in illustrations and painting as well. As recent as last year I’ve taken up painting full time and more seriously.
Once finished and printed here in Japan it was brought back with Anson’s mom. She carried it back along with several dozen other prints for the show. There she framed it and had it submitted.
My sister-in-laws Aimee & Mariah represented me there for both days. They did such a wonderful job of setting up and selling. I found out that I had been chosen for best in show while on the train up to Tokyo for a show here the same day. Quite the busy day and a great way to start it too!