|Each month we will feature a new artist that uses the Trekell line of brushes!
Jay Alders - http://jayalders.com/
A painting of mine generally goes through various phases:
The Conceptualization - A free flowing sketching process.
Sometimes with a ballpoint pen in some random location, sometimes
crayons when hanging out with my nieces, sometimes on my couch with
pastels. Whenever it happens. As the idea radiates through me, I work
out the lines, shapes, angles and flow of the piece. Sometimes
(usually) this goes nowhere. Hence, I have tons of sketchbooks of
thoughts. I once read advice to overcome writer's block and it advised
to "write for the trash can". I try and do the same artistically. But
when a drawing is meant to pursue to the next level, I know it.
The Final Sketch - This is like the blue print. I go back
into the pencil or pen sketch and rework the lines, make it work better
visually, try out different angles, as if I was shooting a photo of the
imaginary scene. Make it as final as possible.
The Panel - At this point or sometimes before hand, I will
create a wood panel to size. This process for me is the painter's
version of shaping a board. It's an intimate process, for which this
blank slate shall soon hold the visual manifestation of the energy in
my mind. It involves cutting the panel and supporting beams, sanding
and applying gesso several times and toning the panel with a neutral
shade of brown, gray or earth tone. My current piece I am working on is
for a surfboard model I am coming out with, so I decided to paint it
virtually to scale.
Finalize it - I then sketch the finalized drawing on to the panel and rework and tweak out the details.
The Underpainting - This leads me to the monochromatic
underpainting, working out the tones and shadows, light source,
reflected lights, highlights and accents. I try and make the painting
pretty refined in this stage to prepare it for further layers.I use many techniques of the Old Masters, usually working from
background to foreground. I'll introduce the mid-tones and initial
semi-opaque colors followed by multiple transparent glazes of colors,
letting each layer dry completely before reworking it and gradually working in the darks and opaque lights and fine details.
Depending on what I am painting, I will work wet into wet, or dry brush
colors to blend them smoothly, sometimes I will allow brush strokes to
show, other times, I enjoy blending more thoroughly. The painting
dictates to me what needs to be done. I try and utilize any technique
as needed. I have been experimenting with various oil mediums for
years. Choosing the right type of oils and in what combination really
impacts the way a painting will look. It's not always an exact science,
I try and paint most of these middle stages by feel and intuition and
try to be one with the painting. It sounds hokey, but it's true.
I also will often paint with the panel being upside down. Since I
paint by feel, it helps me have the painting make sense. If I am not
focused on what it is always but rather make sure that the light,
shadows, tones and colors all work. Painting with the piece upside down
flips your perspective around, literally. I also will look at the piece
in a mirror a lot for the same purpose.
Emotionally, it's a roller coaster for me. Doing a new painting is
similar to being in a relationship. It's that initial excitement and
intrigue, the passion, the mystery, the analyzing, the over thinking,
the comfort, the frustrations, the mental anguish and confusion. I go
through insecure phases where I feel completely hopeless and then go
through this extreme euphoria where I feel like I am in the painting
and it's all coming together. I have moments where I view the painting
as an engineer or scientist and then go to the trance state where I am
a mere witness to my own brush.
When it all comes together and the painting is done, I am relieved,
exhausted and completely stoked and ready for the next one. It is a
true lesson in patience and taking a couple weeks' break afterwards is
usually needed to recover from the ride I was just on.
I know that I could easily take short cuts and produce 10 times as
many paintings if I was not so particular but artists are remembered
for the work we create, not the time it took to create it.
(Interview courtesy of Club of the Waves)
Solitube Right Past the Light
Left Behind the Wall
Lying by Moonlight
Leaning Towards Love