Usually I don’t like to write a lot and prefer to show the paintings I produce instead. But I think the decision I’ve made over the last months is worth a few lines. Earlier this year I got an invitation to participate in the “The Moleskine Project”. I have always dreamt of painting a piece for this show and being able to put my work on the same wall as other artists like Shawn Barber and Henrik Uldalen.
Despite this being a dream come true, my first thought was to decline the invitation. During the last 10+ years I have painted almost exclusively on a digital canvas and I’ve never learnt to paint with traditional mediums (I tried to paint in oils 2 years ago, but was not satisfied with the results and soon returned back to my screen). I was afraid to leave my comfort zone and produce a piece on a Moleskine with real pigments and was certain I couldn’t even come close to the high standard of the other artists’ work.
First I tried to come up with a good drawing for the show. I like to do some pencil work from time to time, but the results weren’t good enough and I wouldn’t send them in. I watched some videos on Youtube from Casey Baugh and David Kassan, took my brushes and oil tubes out of my drawer and started again. Maybe I just couldn’t say no to the big opportunity to hang next to a Kim Cogan piece.
It helped a lot to try some different primers and gessos and I finally got a little more comfortable with the mediums. To work with oils feels so much more real and honest to me that I decided to keep working on it and put my Wacom aside.
I know I have a lot of catching-up to do but I think it will improve the quality of my work. For the first time I’m able to produce original artwork for an exhibition and I don’t have to send in prints any longer. This feels really great.
The amélie piece was the the second oil painting (after the Moleskine piece) I produced for a group show and both paintings have already been sold. I don’t want to brag about this, but it is very satisfying and gives me some kind of reassurance about this decision. It feels right.
I would like to thank Ken Harman (Spoke Art Founder) for the trust in my work and for the opportunity to contribute to the great shows he puts together. This means a lot. Without this push I wouldn’t have made this decision right now. Another person to thank is Zach Tutor. I’m pretty sure that without him posting my stuff on Supersonic, my art wouldn’t be out there.
I think this is the most meaningful decision in my art career and even though I’m not the youngest in this business anymore I’m looking forward to the beautiful struggle ahead of me.