Grab-n-Go go go go go!

My new group show is going to be great!  So Many awesome artists bringing all styles to O-Town!  I’m working on some mixed media pieces on paper - should be something different and exciting … (I may even bring out a large painting and let it go at the $100 or less price.)   I’ll post some images of my submissions soon.  Check back here, in the next week!  Until then, here’s the show information:

Neon Forest Proudly Presents:
“THE GRAB-N-GO SHOW”
A group show featuring works of art for $100 or less

Opening Reception December 11th 2010

Featuring the artwork of:

Mildred, Pacolli, Sergie Loobkoff, Jeremy Kennedy, Blake Marquis, Mat Curran, Dres13, Scott Donald, Sean Hartman, Dustin Orlando, Grayson Castro, Chris Musina, Scott Lefavor, Jeff Dekal, Plinio Pinto, Brandon Mclean, Jay Bellichi aka 53, Dennis Hansbury, Johanna O’Donnell, Alex Yanes, Jason Cullison, Adrian Halpern, John Mulder, Sarah Blacksher, L2 Design, Anna Bond, Will Gay, and more…

The exhibit features up to 100 individual pieces of art, all being sold for $100 or less. The buyer is allowed to grab the art they purchase and take it with them that same night… hence Grab-n-Go! This event is a fantastic and low cost way to give original art as a gift or to start a collection of your own.

Doors open at 7:00pm – Midnight
No Cover! All Ages Welcomed
More Details Coming Soon!

For more info contact the gallery at info@neonforestgallery.com or by phone at 321-217-1675

Neon Forest Gallery

1741 S Orange Avenue Orlando
Orlando, FL

Mimicry of Life, or Improbable Paintings of Birds on Geologic Phenomena

It occurs to me that I haven’t yet posted this painting that I finished some time before going on last month’s trip to L.A.  This painting came about in a rather unusual way - unusual for me, anyway.  As I was perusing (read: wasting time on) Facebook, I came across a post from a gallerist/owner of one of my favorite art galleries.  In the post, he basically threw out to the wind his desire for a painting of a parakeet on a crystal.  Now, I’m not going to wax on about the state of the economy, but suffice it say that it was a tasty little thing to see, all things considered.  I thought about it for about a second and decided to attempt to impress this gallerist and possibly make a sale in the process.  Perhaps it was a smart, even savvy way to go about getting attention of those from whom I need it most.  But it was probably more of a long-shot type of thing.  (I won’t use the word desperation, because that tastes funny on my lips.)  Anyway, I decided to do it and I jumped in head first with a few sketches finished that same night.  I posted back to the gallerist on FB that he should expect something from me ‘ASAP.’  All right!  I’m in!  …naive, yes, I know.  I knew it then, too.  But I made a play and stuck to it.  The next day, I went out to a pet store and took my own photographs of parakeets as the ones I was finding on the web just didn’t suit my vision.  In the mean time, little did I know, the gallerist made a deal with another artist to do the painting.  I decided quickly that I wasn’t going to lose the opportunity to create a talking point with this gallery owner - commission or no.  So, I jumped out of my abstract comfort zone and found my love of birds again.  Birds as subject matter is not new for me, but this felt new and good.  Now, I know that many artists will only talk about their passions and following only the North Star of pure inspiration, but this came from a slightly different place.  This was short worded, ‘want,’ on a social networking site.  Nothing more.  I did not conceive this vision, but I felt comfortable that in the end I had made it my own.  And as a ’show-off’ piece, made to shout out my name, as it were, I gave it no less attention or scrutiny or passion and energy than any other of my paintings.  I am pleased with it.  While I did not get a commission, I did open a door.  That’s why I called it, ‘Mimicry of Life,’ because that’s how life works out sometimes.

Please take a second to click through the pics, (click each one, they get bigger.)

The horror is over… or is it?

WWA gallery didn’t fail to please!  Located in the heart of the self-proclaimed uber artsy Culver City, CA, the gallery is a growing hot spot for emerging artists and established players in the contemporary art world.  I was excited to be invited out again; this time to the Horrorwood show.  I put my best work to date out in front.  The show was packed with great and engaging works.  I met up with some great friends and made some new ones.  Being a part of an art community is very comforting and inspiring.  There is a collective surge forward in thinking and design.  I’m glad to be a part of it.

HORRORWOOD OPENING NIGHT, video by Jessica Ward

My painting (see previous posts ‘horrorwood is so on, totally’ and ‘the-creature-lives!!1!’) is still available and on view at the gallery.  Contact the gallery directly if you are interested in purchasing and adding this work to your collection.  This piece is a marked departure from previous works and is as much about the human condition as it is about a horror movie character.  I’m happy to answer any questions about it and would love to see it go to a good collection.

All the works from the show can be seen on the WWA gallery website.  Take a minute to check them out HERE.

Thanks to Stephanie, Dave and Rob of Industrial Squid for the continued support and to Debbie for the amazing space to show in!  See you all soon!

HORRORWOOD is so on. Totally.

I’ve just sent off my newest painting/s – a diptych called, “The World in Mirror.”  It’ll be shown to the public for the first time at the upcoming group show, “Horrorwood,” at Culver City’s awesome contemporary art spot, WWA gallery.  It’ll be my second showing in California, having shown at WWA earlier this year.  The previous show was a success on many levels; I sold one of my favorite paintings on the opening night. I hope that the new showing will be just as successful. As before, I am going to attend the opening night. I have always believed that whenever it is possible, an artist should make an effort to connect to the people that support and attend galleries and their openings. Plus it is always nice to have someone tell you they like your work and shake your hand. The gallery is big and has a lot of open space, so I hope the public will come out and pack it in!

The theme of this show is horror movie characters and situations. I think it will prove to be very interesting as the array of talented artists bring their personal visions to the horror universe. I have shown before with some of the artists involved, and I know that their works will be great.  I’m looking forward to meeting the other artists and seeing their work, too. My piece for this show is a bit of departure from previous works, but I am very pleased with the new direction, too.

"The World in Mirror," acrylic on canvas, diptych, 16 x 20 each; 39 x 22 OAD, 2010.

"The World in Mirror," acrylic on canvas, diptych, 16 x 20 each; 39 x 22 OAD, 2010.

To start, the obvious thing to say about the painting is that it is two paintings.  I decided on a diptych format after having an inspiration to compose the piece in mirror reverse. I thought it would be a challenging way to see the piece and interesting to compose.  In addition, it helped me convey the juxtaposition of reality and the surreal as I dealt with the subject of my piece, the Creature.  I wanted to show the Creature as a sort of horrible proto-human; a monstrous configuration of psychological demons.  A way of showing what we might have been in a more primordial time. Around that imagined creature, I put the real world; a world that is populated with true primordial monsters – the alligator and crocodile. They are truly terrifying even if they shy away from the Creature. To further drive home the monster aspect and to introduce an air of freakishness and curiosity, I painted the large reptiles as albinos. Albino alligators and crocodiles are generally unable to survive in the wild because they can’t hide and stalk prey.  In my painted world, they must survive only due to the grace of the Creature. An unsettling relationship when you really think about it.  It seems that they are part of the few that can survive around the Creature.  This is portrayed by the nonchalant way the horrible monster ferries the human skull through the water. Is it an amulet of sorts, or a prize to keep, or even a revered object that connects the creature to a future that has otherwise passed by?  I also liked the idea that the skull in its hand showed the past had destroyed, but clung to the future. Speaking on that relationship between past and future, human and almost human, I built the Creature’s body over a human skeleton.  I painted a skeleton onto the canvas, (a few times, I might add…) in the spots were the Creature would be painted.  I wanted the body of the monster to show the skeletal frame clearly. I wanted it to confuse the point as to whether this was a monster or something more closely related to humans.  That, to me, was the scariest thing to contemplate . I think the skeletal underpainting is most evident in the Creature’s sunken eyes and skull-like face.  Its scaly pectoral plates cling to a rib cage and the body is long, thin and gaunt.  It’s a terrifying thing to behold and I feel that it is miles from the (sometimes hokey) 1954 movie monster in the original, “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”  I wanted my monster to pay homage to the original gill-man, but to depart into a stylized version with some exaggerated features, (the skull-like face, the long torso and limbs, the bright colors framed in blue moonlight, the red orb-like eyeballs.)  In addition to referencing the original Creature’s looks, I quoted from the movie when I painted the two sides. The left side is a Swamp, a reference to the original shooting location for the underwater scenes.  Plus, I live in Florida and swamps are kinda everywhere!  It was easier to imagine.   Anyway, the right side is the Amazon, a reference to the location as told by the original movie’s location.  So, I played up the differences with specific details for each side. In the Swamp there is an alligator and a Coral snake, cypress trees and palmettos; in the Amazon there is a crocodile and a Green Mamba, mangrove trees and shrubs. I wanted the landscape to be sparse and seemingly empty. It felt creepier to me. So, I distilled the composition down the essential elements – just enough to tell the story while leaving enough void in which the story can reverberate.  The final elements I used to tie the whole piece to together, (as if two mirror images were not cohesive enough…,) were the floating orbs.  I have often painted spheres throughout my body of work.  I use them in varying ways: for movement, depth, rhythm, and even emotion.  Here, they were used as a focal point, (the gator and croc are staring at the point of origin of the orbs - a point that is actually between the canvases…,) and to fill the environment with mystery and the un-real.

Hey, I’m as deep as the next artist. I just don’t talk about it too much. Besides, I truly believe that a viewer’s interpretation is the right one for him or her. So, I thought I’d share a little more about this painting and some of my thoughts as I was making it. I hope you like it.

I’m really looking forward to showing it in less than 2 weeks! It’ll be a whirlwind trip to L.A., but I hope to make the most of it and come back: less one awesome piece and with one more happy collector!

horrorwood-invite-banner

The show runs through December 4th.  Contact me at jason@studioconstantine.com or the gallery at WWAgallery.com with questions or comments about the work.

The Creature lives….!!!1!

I am furiously finishing up my contribution to my upcoming group show in California - HORRORWOOD!  Just in time for Halloween, a horror movie themed show approaches Culver City.  Doom is in the air!

horrorwoodbanner

My contribution will be a diptych about the gill-man known as the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  My Creature will inhabit two worlds: the swamp and the amazon.  He’s a mirror on the monster that humanity can be and his worlds show the monsters that are.

Here’s a little preview of the in-progress work:

the world in mirror...

the world in mirror...

in progress

in progress

in progress - albino alligator detail

in progress - albino alligator detail

in progress - albino crocodile detail

in progress - albino crocodile detail

So, I wanted to wait a while before posting about this painting.  I think these early images of the painting are interesting enough to share.  I’ve had a lot of challenges and fun with this piece.  I’ll wait a little to post more - so just consider this a small preview of the general direction of the painting.

I’ll post the finished piece just before it goes off to California.  I hope you check back to see it!

Some details about the Horrorwood show:

Opens at: WWA gallery, 9517 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, on Friday, October 15th from 7-10pm.  Contact the gallery by phone at: 310.836.4992 OR by email at: stephanie@wwagallery.com

More info here: http://www.wwagallery.com

Artist Include:

David Ball, Jana Brike, Mark Bryan, Danielle Buerli, William Buzzell, Julian Callos, David Chung, Sean Clauretie, JAW Cooper, Dave Correia, Jeremy Cross, Jason Cullison, Jessica LL Dalva, James “Jimbot” Demski, Matt Duffin/Flannery Grace Horan, Mickey M Edtinger, Heeryoung Hong, Charlie Immer, Ben Kehoe, Jacob Livengood, David MacDowell, Jon MacNair, Apricot Mantle, Lily Mae Martin, Annie Owens, Cristina Paulos, Chris Roth, KRK Ryden, Johnny Sampson, Nigel Sanders, Zachary Schoenbaum, Steve Seeley, Dylan Sisson, MomTried Myles Smutney, Sarah “Sae” Soh, Ric Stultz, Bryce Takara, Paul Torres, Ted von Heiland, Jessica Ward, Peat Wollaeger

Check out the ad in Juxtapoz Magazine, issue #117

New painting just finished - “Space Magic”

"Space Magic," acrylic, spraypaint and paper collage on wood, 36" dia., 2010

"Space Magic," acrylic, spraypaint and paper collage on wood, 36" dia., 2010

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

"Space Magic," detail

I’m fascinated with layers.  This round canvas offered me a challenge in producing balance and depth.  I also got a chance to explore some collage.  I was inspired when my young daughter asked me about stars.  She wanted to know why they sparkled and whether or not they are close to us.  After explaining (the best I could) the science of space and stars, I concluded by calling it all, ’space magic.’  It’s not that I don’t think she grasps exploding stars and the great distance it takes for their light to get to us, (although, the distance was hard to relate to her,) it’s the fact that she readily believes it’s magical.  That’s what made it stick in my mind.  She has a great sense of wonderment and believes - to some extent as all kids do, in alternate realities filled with magic and imagination.  I love it.

Now showing Sundays at the Orlando Farmers Market, at Lake Eola

Sundays at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando, from 10am-4pm

Sundays at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando, from 10am-4pm

So, I’ve decided to take the Icons out again - this time to the Orlando Farmers Market at Lake Eola, in downtown Orlando.  You can find me there on Sundays from 10am-4pm.  I will have the Icons, (you can see my some of my selection on the gallery page,) and some other special pieces.  The single tile Icons are $25 each or 3 for $60.  I will have larger paintings from $75 and up.  I am more than happy to take on custom Icons, if you have a special symbol or idea you’d like to see in that form - just let me know.  Depending on the size of the custom order, most pieces will be ready for pick-up at the following week’s market

I hope to see you out there!

I’m at the Neon Forest Art Bazaar on Sundays!

neon-forest-art-bazaar

JOIN ME THIS SUNDAY & EVERY SUNDAY THERE AFTER FROM NOON-6:00pm FOR

THE NEON FOREST ARTS & CRAFTS BAZAAR

AT 1737-1741 SOUTH ORANGE AVENUE 32806

The Neon Forest Arts and Crafts Bazaar every Sunday for the rest of the summer!

There’s  a nice group of vendors rounded up and feature everything from arts & crafts, to re-worked vintage, independent fashion labels, jewelry, pottery, food and more!
There is also music, photo booths, live painting by local area talent, water balloon’s, raffles and giveaways.

Current Vendors Include:
A Rare Bird. ETOILE Boutique. Vintage & Studs. Bleu’s Doll Party, Lucy Furs. Lucky Diva. LURE Design. Jason Cullison Fine Art. UCF Print Collective and more!

This week we will feature:
DJ Sets by: CUB & Friends

A Full Bar with Beer, Mimosa’s, Bloody Mary’s and more! by 57 WEST

Plus several food vendors will be on site providing non alcoholic drinks, veggie goods, popsicles, and flavored ice!

About the Bazaar:
We are looking for creative people that would like to showcase and sell their goods and services on a regular basis. We have 20 10ftx10ft spaces available to the right vendors. Become part of the Bazaar and help us make this one of the most unique and most talked about weekly bazaars in central Florida!

Our parking lot holds up to 200 people, and we will allow entry / access to our on site Art Gallery every week so that vendors and patrons can get out the sun, use the restroom, and see the art we have on exhibit!

All of the marketing materials will be designed and paid for by us, plus we will create an entire brand identity around the bazaar, with tons of web presence and local publication presence to help us collectively spread the word.

Registration is still open for new vendors!  If this sounds like something you would like to be part of then please email info@neonforestgallery.com or call 321-217-1675, you can download the registration form from our website by clicking here

http://neonforestgallery.com/

We’re looking forward to hearing from all you creative individuals here in Orlando. Lets put our creative heads together and make something cool happen every weekend!  It takes everyone’s participation to build a strong artistic community.  Come out and get involved!

“Looking good, Billy Ray!” “Feeling good, Louis!”

After my much beleaguered attempt at printing earlier this week, I decided to get myself a press.  Being the way I am, (that’s read:  an impetuous pain in the ass,) I had to have one immediately.  No catalog ordering, no traveling a ba-jillion miles to go get it…. no, no, I had to have it right away.  So, I call all over and quickly realize, that I can’t have it right away.  So there.  (arrgghh!!1!)  Feeling a little frustrated and antsy about the whole project, I made a few final phone calls.  The last call (isn’t it always the last one…) produced results!  A local printer has a full-size professional style press waiting around for the end-of-days in his back room, and I can have it!  So psyched now- it’s like a total mood reversal; a mainline double espresso to the soul!  Apparently the thing is huge and weighs a ton, because the guy told me to bring a truck and a low trailer to take it away!  I was a little speechless when he told me that; then he casually mentioned that it is solid cast iron.  o_O!  It’s in pieces, but worked up ’til the day they took it apart for storage.  So, I’m getting ready to go see it and figure a way to start getting it home…

Speaking of home: now, I have to redesign my garage into a functioning workshop and not just a stencil and materials and general junk catch-all!  I’ve started redesigning the space and will be putting up shelves and racks and bringing back to life my old drafting desk/worktop.  I’ll have a space for the wood-working tools (table saw, routers and sanders etc), a place for casting with racks for drying, a place for the printing press, and a place for large paintings!

Now, I’m doing all of this in the midst of going after one of the most intricate and elaborate projects I’ve ever thought of… stupid or driven, I haven’t decided yet.  The long-term benefits are obvious: I live so far away from things that having all the resources I could need in my projects at my fingertips is great.  It frees me up to do what I want.  And, I’m gunning for short-term benefits, too:  Starting in mid-July, I will be taking part in the Sunday Art Bazaars at new Orlando gallery, Neon Forest.  I’ll be bringing out my ‘Icons’ paintings (the ones on the gallery page and some new ones…!) and will be trying out some of my print ideas, too (….printing press, anyone…?)

So, watch out for the details of the Art Bazaar and for my my further escapades in garage architecture and design.

He was wearing my Harvard tie. Can you believe it? My Harvard tie. Like oh, sure he went to Harvard.

Setting my sights on Miami

So, I brought my family to Miami for the monthly Design District Gallery Walk.  Having never done it before, I figured we’d go and stumble through it no matter what; just get the feel for it and try to figure it out as we go.  While the Design District’s website is pretty, it is also a little vague on info for the walk…. at least until the day of.  Regardless, we went at it figuring that everyone would be either happily zipping between galleries or doing the zombie shuffle and we’d just join into the flow.  It was kind of to my expectation -but no zombies.  We headed toward Michael’s Genuine restaurant.  It’s in the heart of it and they have $3 valet… “yes, of course we are going to the restaurant, Mr. Valet…”  We had thought we’d eat there, but as we got going through the galleries we got further  and further away.  Next time we will have a better plan, knowing what we know now.

There were lots of galleries, (although, more interior design/shopping which is cool, too) and most of them were within a few minutes of each other.  the first stand-out space was: 101/exhibit.  The gallery was large and the space was free-flowing.  It seemed like maybe 10 artists showing; whatever the number, there was a very diverse group.  A little bit edgy and dark, the art was generally large and very impressive.  Although, I overheard some people questioning that a particular painting was, “still up?”  Either they loved it and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been sold already, or they had seen it there for a while (more likely given that the piece was enormous, expensive and extremely dark and intense).  Whatever the case, I liked nearly everything I saw; the show was curated very well.

After that, we experienced a number of good galleries with such a diverse range of styles and techniques on display, that it would take me many, many more words than I am prepared to offer up to fully describe what we saw… so, the highlights only.  Avant Gallery is as much design house as it is gallery space.  I kind of like that when it works well; this one does.  My favorite pieces were commentary on social media and ‘digital’ living in the age of email, Facebook, and blogging, (hmmmm…).  The artist, Alejandro Vigilante was in attendance and seemed very pleased to know that I ‘got’ his work.  Nice guy and really cool concept.

The last truly stand-out space was the Spinello Gallery.  Filled to the brim with hipsters and FTW cool-kids, I really liked the energy of the place.  Even my 5 year old daughter liked this one…  The show was a solo shot for Kris Knight’s “A Deadly Nightshade.”  Super impressive work: really intense portraits of young, radiant faces in Bacchus-like revelry.  The show was really well presented and my personal highlight was the smallish canvas of a bat hanging upside-down, it was only found by looking up and seeing it near the rafters of the gallery.  An interesting placement and shows the out-of-the-box thinking that the gallery uses.  A simple idea, but very telling, I thought.

There were other great galleries and I’m very much looking forward to next month’s offerings.  I hope to get a good feel for the galleries and their aesthetics; form some relationships and build on that.  I’m no longer ignoring the cultural powerhouse at my doorstep; I’ll see you soon, Miami.