Anonymous said: Lets say you have been trying very hard to make artwork for at least 8 years now and you aren't really seeing much improvement in the final artwork and when you go to make something really incredible, you get a physical feeling in your chest that there is this ball of light stuck behind an iron door that is bolted shut and that light is all of your personal voice just lodged at the base of your throat. What would be the first step you would would take to getting that door inside unlocked?
I’m developing a book on creativity, currently, with tutorials and demos on ideation, and personal voice development. I will cover a lot of these questions through my Legendeer Workshop, as well.
In short, you need to frame your search in terms of a question, or a riddle, if that better suits. You will not “discover” your personal voice simply by painting more, or waiting for the materials to reveal something to you. You need to be seeking something very specific, that equates to a marriage of two or more disconnected things. Start simply and try to marry two techniques, materials, themes, ideas, etc. This will relate directly to your technical process only. Other fundamental elements of design, content, color, etc. will all require there own process, but in the beginning, simply focus on one consistent subject matter, and dismiss all of the other formal elements. These are studies in which you are trying to frame your preferences, and develop something of distinction in your work. While the individual components need not be original, the final outcome should be authentic, as it is infused with your intent, your choices, preferences, and most importantly, your experiences. This will take some time, and multiple pieces, but after quite a bit of trial and error, you will find an exciting way to marry these two seemingly disparate elements, and you will have answered the original question that you made with the inquiry of your work.
Relate this to the Scientific method, and it may become more clear.
All the best,
Legendeer. Live to tell the story.
Provo, Utah inspired work.
Fellow artists, you may want to share this bit of information regarding shipping large artwork overseas:
Shipping an exhibition of large artwork overseas for a quarter of the cost:
I’m currently in Oslo, Norway- preparing for a solo exhibition blankspacegallery that opens on October 3rd. I’ve been working on paintings for the past several years that are increasingly larger, and that are being created on a variety of supports- canvas, hardboard, and paper. With dimensions of upwards of 8’ x 6’, the logistics have presented some real problems.
Air Freighting and shipping the work was estimated between $1500- $3000 for two packages- 1 crate at 4’ x 3’ x 12” (largest painting on hardboard at 3’ x 4’) and one shipping tube at 6’ x 6” x 6” (large canvas rolled up w/o supports). One month’s advance notice wasn’t enough time to ship by sea. In addition, the shipping companies were requesting specific paperwork, with the possibility of paying a VAT tax (Value added tax) of 24- 30%. Tally this up with what the gallery would have to pay upon return for any unsold items, and the entire prospect seemed rather improbable, if not impossible.
My girl solved this problem for me. She mentioned the prospect of claiming the parcels as oversized baggage. At first, I dismissed the idea, thinking the items too big to ship on the same flight I was taking. As I looked into options, though, I soon realized that the airline (United Airlines) had some limitations, but they exceeded what I thought allowable. On United Airlines, oversized baggage is considered anything over 64 linear inches (l + w + h), while oversized baggage is accommodated up to 115 linear inches. The weight restrictions start at 50 pounds and go up to 100 pounds. For each overage, you will pay $200 for an extra bag/oversized fee.
We did a dry-run on the Wednesday before I left to see if the packages would fit. The dimensions were close, but the Skycap pulled someone in off the ramp to measure, and it all did. United proved to be very helpful through all of this.
In short, both packages were sent from Virginia, United States to Oslo, Norway for $600 total. Here is the breakdown:
Shipping tube WITH stretcher supports- 96” + 8” + 8”= 112” total linear inches @ 34 pounds- included stapler, screws, staples, laser level, etc.
Box with large painting (36” x 48”), 30 prints, two medium paintings on hardboard, 6 illustrations on board, one smallish painting on canvas, and disassembled pine stripping- $200 (overage on size) + $200 (overage on weight at 64 pounds)=
TOTAL COST OF SHIPPING: $600 + $64 (supplies)= $664
In addition, I was able to precut and ship all wooden supports for display, I was afforded an extra 2-3 weeks to paint the work, and there was no additional tax or charge.
It was a risk, as the work was uninsured- that was the only downside. I packaged it a neatly as I could and rolled the dice.
The boxes showed up- a bit worse for wear, but intact and for less than a quarter of the price that was previously proposed.
I’m attaching reference shots of the packaging materials, included work and costs of supplies for clarification.
1 @Flambeau Bazuka Brand Telescoping Salt Water fishing tube from Walmart - $50
1 Telescoping Flat Screen TV box from The Home Depot @ $14
Additionally, I highly recommend producing large works on heavy canvas that can be rolled, and connecting the stretcher bars without glue (screws only)- for ease of disassembling and assembling.
Hoping this information helps some of you dealing with similar stresses and looking forward to seeing you at the exhibition.
Anonymous said: hi there-- your work is fantastic! I normally work with acrylics, but really admire your work in oil. I was wondering how often you use acrylics and about your opinion as to whether or not adding retarder makes for a similar effect to oil paints? I understand that there are some obvious differences, but right now my problem with acrylic paint is that some of my value changes are too sharp because of how quickly the paint dries. Thanks
Yeah, acrylics are problematic in the difference between “live value” and “dead value” after they dry (my terms, not industry terms). I’ve developed a method that allows you to paint directly into gouache with acrylics so that it more closely resembles wet-into-wet oil painting in that your color mixes on your piece, not on your palette. Step 1: Full pencil value drawing. Step 2: Use a light midtone acrylic (I like unbleached titanium white, Liquitex heavy body, diluted with water) to both fix the drawing, and define a midtone value in one step. I apply gouache or watercolor liberally in areas that I want to be warm or cool (generally only two colors that are complimentary, i.e. orange and blue). Step 3: Once the gouache is dry, I paint the same midtone acrylic back into the gouache which turns the color either warm or cool, dependent upon the temperature of the gouache. The acyrlics still dry darker, but they are changing in value and hue in front of you, not off to the side. Step 4: Redefine darks.
Nothing supplants oils, but this is a process I’ve developed over the years that gives me some favorable results. Hoping this helps!
The color version of my artwork for Monstrous Opimism— In Memory of Kerry Talbott. Prints available soon to raise money for Kerry’s family.
A short trailer from my Legendeer Program. Art informed by adventure.
Making art isn’t a monologue, it’s a dialogue between your materials and your intent. Really, it’s more of a scream in your face yelling match, that gets a little too honest sometimes.
The new Legendeer Challenge has been posted. Accepting submissions through Sunday, June 8th, 12pm EST.
Post completed challenges to the Legendeer Facebook group; home to a community of illustrators, designers, art directors, climbers, runners, athletes, outdoorsmen (people), writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and professionals who find common ground through Story.
This summer, think of it as a curriculum for your sketchbook.
Legendeer, life is story.