RECENT GROWLER PROJECTS

Greetings from the Complicated Art Man.  It's that Fall-ish time of the year here in Central Florida.  I took most of the summer off from art projects and it's getting to be that time again for new ones.

Hurricane Irma really did some significant damage here in the Orlando area and several trees were blown over.  I picked up a couple of wood stumps and decided to give them new life.  Those art projects are currently in their infancy stages and I will post about them when they're finished.

In the meantime, I've had a couple of growler bottles I've been working on and finally have finished them.  I decided to go with a Florida seascape theme for both.  After a recent trip to St Augustine, I was fortunate enough to catch the sunrise on the way back home.  I caught a few shots of the sunrise over the Atlantic and have been pondering on them for a bit.  After a couple of sketches in my journal, I was finally ready to do up the growlers.

HERE'S BOTH OF THEM

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Once again I took to the "lazy Susan" technique.  I started off by priming the bottle with a couple of coats of flat black spray paint.  If you have never tried painting on a bottle without priming it, good luck getting the paint to stick.  I use a lot of wet on wet technique and it doesn't work without first priming the bottle.  I like to go with the flat black base because it really makes the colors pop once you begin blending.

It takes a hot minute to figure out how to handle the growler while painting on it, without smearing the paint.  For that, you'll just have to figure out which way works best for you.

One of these growlers is going to end up at my friend's restaurant in St. Augustine, Brewz N Dawgz. The owner Roger Lim, was gracious enough to gift me a growler.  This will be the temporary home for the growler, until it makes its way to a permanent home.

I'm excited to start my next projects which will be painted on wood, cut from the stumps that I saved from Hurricane Irma. I will keep you posted.

Until next time,

Keep It Complicated...

THE GROWLER PROJECT

Greetings! I work as a resort pool bartender in Orlando. That's my bread and butter.

Recently, a co worker asked me to paint a growler for her. I was actually shocked that she asked me to do a painting for her.  Nonetheless, I was honored to paint the growler and accepted the challenge.

The growler was from a brewery in Ocala Florida and it was a 64 oz bottle. 

As I started to prep the bottle for painting, I realized that the main challenge was going to be painting on top of the round shape of the Growler.  When I started to sand it down, I realized I wasn't going to able to paint on it properly.

I was going to need to be able to move the bottle around without touching/handling it. Basically,  I needed to be able to move it from side to side, without any hinderances.  

My neurons were firing quickly, as I was already in a creative state of mind. I grabbed a lazy Susan from the pantry. The Susan allowed me the flexibility I needed to paint on the growler freely. You'll see below how this technique worked.

SANDED DOWN GROWLER 

SANDED DOWN GROWLER 

A big part of the prepping process was the fact that paint doesn't stick to glass so easily... I had two main stages of prep. 

1: Sand the bottle surface down with 60 grit sandpaper.  

2: Primer the bottle with flat black spray paint. Two coats.  I chose black so that the colors would pop really nice.  Now I was ready to paint my masterpiece. LOL. 

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The finishing touches to the painting was the "FLORIDA ROOM/WINDOW EFFECT.

As I was painting the growler and moving it around from side to side, I started to understand clearly that this was an art piece that begged to be "looked" at.  That's when I came up with the idea of adding the windows effect.  I think it really made a difference and I was amazed at the change in perspective.

The real finishing touch came with the clear coat of gloss. I used Rustoleum's cystal clear gloss. It gives it a super nice luster and a protective coat over the paint.  And this project will need the protection.

Painting on glass is very tricky.  The paint can chip off at any given time, after it dries.  That is why you should not try to handle the bottle with your hands.  It will be impossible at some points not to do so, so you just have to be careful.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.  If you have any comments, feel free.  Or drop me a line via the contact form.

PEACE OUT---

C.A.M.

STRETCHED OUT CANVAS? NO PROB

Traveling with your artwork, can make pieces vulnerable to getting damaged. When I came back home from my last show, I realized one piece had leaned into another, causing the canvas to stretch. This can also happen if your artwork isn't stored properly. 

I came up with an idea to cut the canvas off of the stretcher, and paste it on to a wood board I had previously custom cut myself. I took the idea one step further and decided to "create" a little.  

Here's the work from beginning to end. 

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Original piece

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This was a good experiment and I didn't have to throw away the painting.  I have to put a few finishing touches on the wood board and then I'll be satisfied with the end result...

Good luck and keep on painting

Your Uncle Alfresco... A.K.A. THE COMPLICATED ART MAN.

THREE OF A DIFFERENT KIND

Greetings and salutations from the Complicated Art Man.  It's another spectacular spring day here in Orlando.  High of 65 and a little chill in the air.

I wanted to share with you three different versions of a painting that I recently did.

I temporarily have named the painting "Moody Lake".   I was inspired by a picture someone posted on Instagram.  The picture was taken somewhere in the Northeast.  Connecticut, If I'm not mistaken.

This first version was painted on an 8" x 10" canvas.  I really enjoyed painting this piece, but I wanted to go somewhere a little "darker".  I envisioned this piece, but more hypnotic or dream like.  So I went for it.

MOODY LAKE

This is the second evolution of Moody Lake.  You can definitely tell the difference right away.  the sky is darker and stormy looking.  Is it a snow storm, or a rain storm coming?  Who knows, who cares. 

MOODY LAKE 2

The trees were done with a broken stroke technique.  I used a script liner brush.  I kept the paint really wet and thinned it out with water.  This technique let the paint flow like ink, allowing me to paint very freely.  I also used the same technique for the "aire/atmosphere" using different hues of blue. I was going for a "dream like" feel on this version.  I feel as if I achieved what I set out to do here.  I still wanted to go deeper. Something was telling me I could go "darker and more mysterious."  That led me to a version three.

MOOD LAKE 2 FRAMED.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE A FRAME MAKES

SLITHERING MOORISE

ENTER VERSION THREE: SLITHERING MOONRISE.  Keeping in theme with the second version, I kept this version dreamlike, hypnotic, and moody.  I added the full moon after going out during the full moon, to one of my favorite spots in Winter Park.  A B O BAR.

While tipping back a cold beverage and enjoying some peel and eat shrimp, (A B O has some of the best peel and eats I've had in Otown, JUST SAYIN.) I noticed the full moon doing full moon like things behind some trees.  I decided that I would add the full moon to this version.  So I did.

The full moon reflections came out "slithery" on the lake... Hence the title: SLITHERING MOONRISE.  This really is a "dark & moody" piece.  The picture shown is the best picture I've been able to capture.  The sun was setting and it really lit up the painting, something nice.  This painting needs to be around the right amount of lighting, to pop.

KEEP CREATING & HAPPY PAINTINGS YA'LL-

YOUR UNCLE ALFRESCO.

LITTLE BIG ECON STATE FORREST (ORLANDO, FL)

One of my favorite places in Orlando is the Little Big Econ (Econlockhatchee River) State Forest in Geneva, Florida (EAST ORLANDO)

I mountain bike and trail hike there often.  Recently, I stopped to enjoy the view and noticed a how great it was from the trails. The palms & trees really jumped out at me from this vantage point.

LITTLE BIG ECON RIVER TRAIL

I've ridden through this part of the forest countless times.  I guess this time, I just saw something different.  I decided I wanted to paint this scene.

So, sticking with my current phase of "minimalist palette", I started with a black and white theme.  I decided to add color, but in limited amounts... I used color mostly for the sky, and used different hues of yellows, browns, greys for the "bluffs" and water reflections.  I wanted to keep my version dark and moody... As if it was right around sunrise.

ECON RIVER TRAIL BLUFFS

Isn't it amazing how the painting changes in different lighting?

The bluffs (dirt walls) were done with the paint knife.  The knife puts out some great texture and gives the painting an awesome 3-D effect.  I just love the way the colors all blend together and the paint breaks off where it wants to.  It's truly organic.  You just have to trust the knife and let go.  I was very satisfied with the reflections.  It was tricky keeping the canvas wet.  I started this painting off with a dry canvas.  I added a slow medium as I went along, for blending purposes and the reflections.

Colors I used were: black, white, alizarin crimson, yellow, yellow ochre, hooker green, and pthalo (thalo) blue.

HAPPY PAINTING YA'LL!

FRAMING MY OWN ARTWORK

It's an incredibly beautiful day here in Otown (Orlando).  I got up early today to make some more frames for some of my pieces. I'm now using Birch wood. Originally, I started making frames with pre cut pine strips.  The cost per foot was outrageous.  Making the switch to Birch was a no brainer.  It's much lighter and the grain pattern is stunning.  It really pops out when you add the stain.

I recently went to Home depot and bought a whole sheet of Birch plywood.  I cut my own strips for the frames using my table saw.  It's way more cost effective and with the leftover wood, I cut some custom frames for future "wood" paintings. 

LOT OF FRAMED PIECES

These paintings in the pic above are all framed and ready to be hung.  

Framing your own artwork is a strong selling point, especially since most people don't want to deal with having to frame a painting themselves.

Once I got my framing formula down, the task got much easier.  It's like anything else: Practice makes perfect.  I can make two frames in about 2 hours.  Cut, squared, glued, nailed, and ready for staining.  Not too shabby.  

I highly suggest buying "pre stain wood conditioner" by Minwax.  It penetrates the grain nicely and prevents blotching.  Also, it will save you having to apply multiple coats of stain.  Two should be plenty.  Remember to sand prior, and in between stains.

Here's a few more pics of my framed and soon to be framed artwork.

The Journey Home and Moody Lake

SLITHERING MOONRISE AND HAVASU WATERFALL

With these last two pieces framed, I'll be ready for the Wine and Art Walk in New Smyrna Beach next weekend march 25th.  

HAPPY PAINTING AND KEEP[ CREATING YA'LL

C.A.M

TOUCH OF BLUE 1 & 2

I hope everyone enjoyed their Superbowl Sunday.  That Patriots comeback and Falcons meltdown was definitely one for the ages.

My plan Sunday was to go to the Mt. Dora Arts Festival. I got up early on Sunday and got involved in this painting.  The original idea came from a real picture posted on Instagram.  It caught my attention because it was a black and white.  I decided to make my painted version of it with touches of blue values.

I kept my palette to a minimum using only black, white, pthalo blue, and a touch of pthalo green. The canvas was an 8 x 10. My idea was to start with a smaller painting, then take the idea and work it onto a bigger canvas.  

TOUCH OF BLUE 1

The latter version I wanted to make more subdued, with a dreamy like feel and mood. I did expand the palette a bit, adding purplish hues.  I mixed pthalo blue and  alizarin crimson for the purple values.

TOUCH OF BLUE 2

The result was what I was going for.  I had some really cool jazz music playing and it got me into this "free" broken stroke zone.  That's when I added the flecks for an atmospheric feel.

I still want to do another version going for a full hypnotic theme.  I'll shoot for that later this week.

By the way, I never did make it to Mount Dora... Oh well.

Have a great week.

Uncle Alfresco

PALM TREES ARE IN THE MIX THIS WEEK

LATE POST FROM JANUARY:

So unfortunately my Mother had an accident at home this week. She broke the femur in one leg & the tibia in the other. Thankfully, surgery went well & she is now in rehab.  To my social media friends, thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and healing vibes.

I made a painting for her, so she can keep it in her rehab room. It was a landscape theme with lush palm trees and water reflecting from a pond. 

Her healing painting inspired me to paint another similar painting that I can share with you. 

I kept the palette limited, once again, keeping with my current trend of a minimal color selection. Mostly black & white with shades of green, and some browns. I'm really enjoying this style of limiting one's color selection. I can't emphasize enough how it's teaching me discipline in painting, as well as another form of a painting technique.

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Happy painting everyone.

C.A.M. 

Your Uncle Alfresco

ANOTHER BLACK & WHITE PIECE, FAREWELL 2016

Greetings & Salutations from the Complicated Art Man. 

So I've been perusing the social media feeds last couple of days & most people are ready to part ways with 2016. The proverbial, "bye bye 2016, had enough of you", or "F YOU, 2016, I'm done with you. Bring on 2017."

I myself have to say that  2016 was a fantastic year. It started off with a breakup, and a concussion from a mountain biking accident at Snowhill Trail in Oviedo, so I guess it was all uphill from their.

I went into a creative frenzy all the way up till June, then took the Summer off from painting.

I tried to get get back into the groove in October, but it was a slow return. I finally found myself back in my creative zone in early November. It's been superb!  

I have been experimenting with black & white values lately & I have to say that I'm loving the limited palette style. Kind of minimalistic.  

I find myself tempted to add color to this creative process, but I have to resist the temptation & wait for the end result. It is quite rewarding. I've mentioned it before and I still compare this type of painting to an "exercise" in discipline. I highly recommend the limited palette technique. Try it sometime. It's also a good way to ease yourself back into painting, if you haven't painted in awhile. 

So, with that said, "Bring on 2017, cuz I'm ready for you!! 

Good luck ya'll & happy painting. 

Happy New Year from your Uncle Alfresco, A.K.A The Complicated Art Man. 

 

 

ENTER THE WATERFALL PHASE

Hi ya'll.  Hope the Holiday season has been kind to you.

Back in May I was in Vegas and took some photos with some friends at the Flamingo. The Flamingo waterfall in the wildlife habitat was the first one I ever painted. 

FLAMINGO WILDLIFE HABITAT WATERFALL

Recently, it seems that I have entered my waterfall phase.  Here's a couple of them.

BLACK AND WHITE LANDSCAPE WATERFALL, WITH HINTS OF COLOR.

BLACK AND WHITE LANDSCAPE WATERFALL, WITH HINTS OF COLOR.

FULL MOON RISING AND WATERFALL

FULL MOON RISING AND WATERFALL

I'm really into this phase at the moment...  This was my first painting with a moon in it... That I can remember. This painting also gave me an idea for a "full moon" painting.  Onto the next...

I used the paint knife for the trees as well as the rock/stone wall.  I really enjoy using the paint knife. It really is incredible what you can do with it. So long everyone.

Merry Christmas from your Uncle Alfresco!

DECEMBER PROJECTS, ART EXERCISES & EXPERIMENTS, & NEW PIECES

Happy Holidays.  Hope everyone out there is having a great Winter.  I'm slowly getting back into my painting groove.  I started by making a couple of frames for some pieces to wet my whistle.

Then, I did some random sketching while out at bars/coffee shops.  I find that sketching gets my desire to paint going again.

Third and most importantly, I did some painting exercises to get my mechanics and techniques back. In my opinion, painting exercises provide a way to "paint" without any expectations. It's great to splatter some paint on a canvas and just let the brushes go nuts.  When you don't set out to paint your greatest masterpiece, how can you go wrong?  

It really is amazing what a frame does to your artwork.  I bought some 1 1/4" pine trim at Home Depot and stained it with different stain combos.  The one on the right has a purple dye, tint job.  It's actually a concentrated "bordeaux" tint, and the company is called TransTint.  They are out of Cleveland, Ohio. They have many colors of tints.  It's not cheap though.  The upside is you will have some awesome and uniquely colored frames, that practically no one for hundreds of miles will have.

It's a really cool dye to work with, you just add a few drops of water and you are good to go.  

Purple Flower Abstract in custom strained frame.

Tres Palmas Y Tormenta (Hollywood Beach, Florida) in custom strained frame.

An experiment in Black, White, and Red.  This next piece started off as a painting exercise, using a limited palette. When it started to turn into a painting, I listened to that inner voice and kept going.  That's the same voice we have to learn to listen to when it says STOP, or TAKE A BREAK...GO CHANGE YOUR WATER BUCKET & STEP AWAY...

I did paint this piece on a practice canvas.  If you look closely, you can see some green on the right side edge, in the middle.

I used the knife technique for the water lines/edges as well as the rocks.  I really enjoy using the knife.  It gives the painting a 3d layer of texture that almost brings it to "life".  I find that practicing with a limited palette is a great way to put you into a super creative state.  It kind of forces you to find as many different values as you can with the limited color palette.  It's kind of a discipline exercise as well.  You will find yourself wanting to use more colors...Don't do it... stick with the exercise.

An experiment/exercise with different values of ONLY RED, BLACK & WHITE.

My intention with this next sunset piece was to learn how to manipulate acrylic paints to appear more like oil paints.  I used a retarder medium from Liquitex, as well as Bob Ross's Liquid Clear to slow down the drying time.  The Liquid Clear was my missing ingredient.  Liquid Clear slows the drying time significantly and allows for maximum blending opportunities.

***The LQ will have an adverse effect on the acrylic. It will "crack" the acrylic and give your painting a "frescoed" look, very aged look. I didn't expect this, so I had mixed emotions about it at first. I used it to my advantage & went with it. ***

Once you work with it a few times you can start to see how the acrylic paints start to behave more like oil. You only have to use thin coat of the Clear to prime the canvas. The key word is "thin" coat of the Clear.  A little Liquid Clear goes a long way.  All joking aside, it never hurts to peep some of the Bob Ross videos on You Tube.

SIDENOTE: Your painting will take A LOT longer to dry than normal.  I suggest the hair dryer technique or just be patient.  Give it at least 48 hours.  You can always hold your masterpiece at an angle to look for glistening areas that would indicate it is still wet.  I waited five days before I added a coat of clear gloss medium to "finish" this piece.

This next painting is an experiment with a very limited palette.  Black & White ONLY, on a black canvas. The idea is to let this "BASE" painting completely dry, and then come back over it with colors.  It is probably a good idea to let it dry for at least 24 hours.  Then come back over the entire painting with a thin coat of the Liquid Clear, and start adding the colors you want to use. I will give it 48 hours to dry, due to the fact that I used the paint knife technique on most of the trees. There is alot of texture on the trees.  

I am conflicted as to whether or not to add the color scheme.  I may leave the piece as is, and make another piece similar to this one. Adding the colors to the latter piece.  TO BE CONTINUED.

DEEP FORREST AND RIVER. DIFFERENT VALUES AND FLAVORS OF ONLY BLACK AND WHITE.

GOOD LUCK from your Uncle ALFRESCO!!

IT's BEEN A WHILE

So I took the Summer off from painting...Here is a sketch I did today. A tree in Winter Park Florida drew my inspiration... To Be Continued...

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Repairing a Ripped/Torn Canvas Pt. 2

A while ago I posted a blog on how to repair a damaged canvas.  The following images show the results of my repairs.

I added some paint and "vibed" off of what I had already created.  

I learned a couple of things throughout this process:

1 How to save a damaged piece of artwork.

2 Not to freak out when something like this happens.

Peace out ya'll!

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REPAIRING A RIPPED/TORN CANVAS: PT 1

THE FOLLOWING BLOG IS ON HOW TO REPAIR A CANVAS AND "SAVE" YOUR PAINTING....

KEEP IN MIND THESE ARE SMALLER RIPS/TEARS-----

***YOU WILL HAVE TO PAINT OVER RIPS/TEARS TO MAKE THE MASTERPIECE (LOL) LOOK NORMAL AGAIN***

USE YOUR CREATIVITY TO BRING YOUR PIECE BACK TO LIFE...  I DON'T RECOMMEND TRYING TO "MATCH COLORS/PATTERNS" TO FIX THE DAMAGED AREAS. THAT MAY DRIVE YOU INSANE.

 IT'S TIME TO GET CREATIVE!!!  THINK OUT OF THE BOX, MODERN ART-ISH.... SPLATTER SOME COLOR AND GO WITH IT.

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Recently I was setting up my artwork prior to a craftshow.  It was a windy afternoon in Orlando.  Some of my pieces fell off my lattice rack.  When I went to pick two of the pieces up, I discovered TWO...not ONE...BUT TWO of my 8 x 10's had been ripped.  A 16 x 20 had fallen on top of them.  

I was disappointed, but I didn't freak out.  I remembered having to repair a brand new canvas a couple of months ago.

This is how I repaired both canvas.

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FIRST: I CUT SOME PIECES OF CANVAS FROM THE BACKSIDE, TO "PATCH UP" THE TEAR FROM THE BACKSIDE.

SECOND: I USED GLUE TO SECURE THE PATCHING PIECES OF CANVAS.

THIRD: I USED PAINTER'S TAPE TO SECURE THE PATCHING PIECES OF CANVAS, UNTIL THE GLUE CURED.

FOURTH: USE A PAINTER'S "MODELING PASTE" TO FILL IN THE GAPS ON THE FRONT SIDE OF CANVAS.  ARTIST'S LOFT MAKES A GOOD ONE. YOU CAN FIND IT AT MICHAEL'S WITH THE ACRYLIC PAINTS. YOU CAN USE A PAINTING KNIFE TO FILL IN THE GAPS WITH THE PASTE.

FIFTH: FIGURE OUT A GAME PLAN ON HOW TO MASK RIP/TEARS THAT WILL GIVE YOUR MASTERPIECE A FINISHED LOOK.

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I think the most important lesson I learned from this experience was, that I DIDN'T FREAK OUT.

I simply, put the damaged pieces to the side, and finished setting up my tent for the show.

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I'm not sure how I will exactly "paint" over the rips...I do have a couple of ideas....

That will be PART 2 of this blog.

PEACE OUT YA'LL

WATERFALL @ THE FLAMINGO IN VEGAS

I recently visited Vegas for a friend's wedding. That's about the fifth time I've been there in my adult life. My first visit was as a child with my family. I was probably five or six, and we stayed at Circus Circus.  

For My recent trip I stayed at the Luxor. That was my second time there. I love the Fact that I can say I have slept inside of a pyramid. I also love symbols and the Luxor is teeming with symbology and an Obelisk to boot. Super pagan.

I met up with my friends at the Flamingo, and we took a stroll through the wildlife habitat. It's truly a paradise in the desert and a hidden jem nestled just off of the noisy and sometimes ab- noxious strip.

I saw this cool waterfall and caught some inspiration in Vegas. Inspiration is everywhere if you just look. 

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When I got back I was excited to paint my interpretation of the "Flamingo Waterfall". 

This was it...  I wanted the waterfall to be more intense. I used the palette knife for the rocks.  They have lots of texture. 

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The Wildlife Sanctuary at the Flamingo is free and even has a bar to boot.  

The highlight at the Sanctuary is a flock of Chilean Flamingos.  Maybe I should add one. Hmmmm.

Peace out ya'll

C.A.M.