Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kickstarter Projet

If I haven't seen you in awhile, sorry, I have been in the studio.
I launched a Kickstarter project a few weeks ago.  Kickstarter is a backer-based grant program for artists and designers to complete their work when other funding is unavailable.  My project is a series paintings that I have been working on for 5 years, and I am finally ready to complete it.  Knowing me you have heard me talk about them at great length, since my artwork and the artwork of others is all I ever speak of.  This new work is honestly the best I have ever painted to date.  The paintings look exactly as I had seen them in my mind when I first came to their compositional and philosophical ideas in 2006. 
This series of paintings titled "BitTorrent" is the end of a search within my work that I had started unknowingly in 2002 with my "Bowling Alley" series of paintings.  It is not the end of my painting life.  It is the beginning of my life as a professional oil painter, one that’s defined day job is painting.  I have spent the last 15 years, and every dollar I have ever earned on oil painting.  My dedication to my craft has never weaned, it as never hit a block I couldn't overcome, it has never stopped.  Knowing me you know how often I paint.  I am always painting.
For my Kickstarter to succeed I truly need financial backers that believe in the achievement of my work and are willing to take a chance on it's future success.  I need this funding so that I will be able to complete my series of paintings.  There are many good reasons why I need financial backers, but all of them are irrelevant if you do not believe in or enjoy my work.  If you do enjoy my work, if you can see it's accomplishment, and you can recognize why investing in my work is a good choice, then please become a backer.
I will continue to paint regardless of funding.  The difference you can make by becoming a backer is time.  Under my current circumstances it will take me the next five years to be able to afford to complete my series.  With you behind me, I will complete my work in less than a year.  I desperately need new paint brushes, linen to paint on and oil paint.  I am only looking to fund  half of what I need through the Kickstarter program.
Take a moment to look at my website, my blog, and then take some time with my Kickstarter page and become a financial backer if you can.  Pass it along to your friends that would be interested in my work.  The rewards for becoming a backer are each works of art on different tiers of affordability.  The success of my Kickstarter project is dependent on your belief in me as an artist.  
Thank you for your time and consideration.  I sincerely believe in my work as an artist, and I hope you do as well.
Adam M. Considine

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Studio Visit Magazine

A few weeks ago I received my acceptance letter from Studio Visit Magazine, saying that I will be featured in issue 15 or 16 coming out this fall.  I'm pretty excited about this and I plan on buying a few issues myself.  When it comes out I will definitely post some pics of the mag.

I have had a few publications in my life, but this is by far the best.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The paint palette I designed.

Continuing with my series of posts about my studio equipment...

Sometime in 2005 when I had decided to take on the study of my new ideas within compositional oil painting; I found that having a dedicated paint table as my all in one palette, brush cleaner, and tool holder was essential to doing what I wanted to.
My grandfather (he was an engineer whose speciality was designing machines to solve problems for the creation of  products and meet needs of those working on the products, and he was good.) and I threw together a few designs, and finally we found this one.  
To make this we cannibalized and combined several different pieces of furniture together.  I would like to call this type of furniture building "Frankenstein Furniture"

It is made from cut oak, a piece of my great grandmothers kitchen table, cvc pipe, canning jars, epoxy, braid nails, a piece of a lamp table, and some hardware from home depot.  Then some oil based brush on paint (which changes from series of works to series of works but ill talk about that later on) and some linseed oil rubbed into the top and we have a good solid palette table for the oil painter.

It is a simple design, at the height that matches my easel chair.  I can reach it with ease while sitting in front of my easel.  As you can see here, its not really that tall.  Standing at 24" tall

It has a 3/4 inch thick oak top.  I keep my paint colors separated and organized just as the color wheel.  It allows me to mix my oil colors quickly and without mistakes.  Which leads us to the color of the table itself.  Right now the table is painted black.  I need my mind to be trained toward darks below lights and the kind of depth that cartoons or screen prints have, solid colors of varying grades of color to elude to depth and light source.  Before the repainting of black the table was neon green because I was working with colors in complement to neon green.  I have had this table painted so many colors its surface is getting pretty thick, but its necessary for me to unconsciously work my oil color.  I believe that the color I surround myself with influences my work, just as the color of my palette table influences my work.

After a session of painting I clean up the top some and put all my brushes used that day into one of the canning jars.  
The canning jars are perfect for this because the top is open, and threaded for the glass.  I used epoxy to get the top rings in place.  Then I used 4 braid nails on the inside lip of each top to secure it further and avoid it from ever popping out of place from use.
The canning jars just twist up into the table and stay there firmly.  There are 6 jars, one for each basic color of the color wheel. (Blue, red, yellow, orange, violet, and green)  Each jar is evenly spaced from one another.

I can remove them and take them up to the house to clean my brushes in the sink.  That very simple feature makes it so I can clean my brushes with ease.  Lest be honest we all hate cleaning brushes and having to transport them around is a pain and messy.  really oil paint is like leprosy, once its on one thing its on everything.  So this idea helped me keep my brushes clean.

I have some cvc pipes that I cut up to match my palette knives, scrapers, and other random tools that I use.  Sometimes, when I am working on something complicated and using an extra large amount of brushes at once I'll use these for keeping my brushes separate from one another as I am working.  

A small hook for my tube roller.

From these picture you can see that there is paint all over the sides.  After a session of painting, when I have to clean my brushes off I just start wiping them on stuff.  I just do that i always have and I'm not really sure why.  I guess its like marking your territory or something primitive, either way there is paint on everything its kinda annoying.  
So to stop from ruining my things, I only wipe my brushes on my palette tables or painting chair, or painting couch. (yes, I have a painting couch and it rules.  Seriously ever painted in the comfort of a couch, you should its like going to a spa with out the smug -opulence and art all in one.)

I wipe them off in a very specific pattern on my palette table, following the color wheel and matching the layout of color on the palette top.  I find it useful to always be surrounded by the color wheel in as many different ways as possible.

When I have finished a set of paintings, normally three works, I will sand the top off then repaint the rest of it to whatever color I am trying to put into my subconscious to work with.  
Currently i am working on another palette table for Phillip Hoffman.  He has very special needs as an oil painter just as I do, so we designed a palette table for his needs.  I will put up a post about that when we are finished with it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers day.

I would like to just for a moment show some respect to my mother and her mother.

My Mom Barbara, is pretty cool, as all our mothers are.  She has supported my decisions to become an artist every step of the way.  She sent me to art camp in the summer (at the arts high school), put me into programs at school that would develop my talents, bought me art supplies when I needed them, and worked a crappy job she didn't like to pay for everything.  Mom has gone farther than that, she taught me how to run a business, how to earn a living with my artwork, and how to plan for tomorrow and still accomplish what i want to today.  Without the guidance of my mother I wouldn't be a professional oil painter.

Her mother, Virginia, is a landscape and wildlife oil painter.  I spent the majority of my youth at my grandparents place.  And although I vaguely remember, family constantly tells me of how I would ask her to draw pictures for me all day every day.  I would ask her to draw an animal, or car or tree or whatever came to mind and she would draw it out for me on the table.  I started doing this to her as soon as i could form words and apparently went on from until I was 6.  Then I got into her art supplies.  Grandma taught me how to use oil paint, let me paint with her, and watched the Bob Ross painting show on PBS with me.

I have always been painting for as long as I can remember.  I have been able to do so because of these two...

...Mom, Grandma, I love ya both.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The glazing wall easel I designed.

A few years ago I built a glazing easel with my grandfather Greg.  We designed it simply to just meet my needs exactly, and then we added some flare.  

Glazing is a technique I use in oil painting where I apply a very thin layer of oil-color to the entire surface of my painting in order to change the value of the color slightly and smothly.  It is an extremely useful technique for transitioning from one color to another where the change becomes almost undetectable.  At times it can seam as if all the layers of thin oil are visible at the same time, as they give off a blended appearance.  There is a lot of blending in my work, and within each glaze, as I work mainly in opaque colors.  Traditionally its a transparent layer, but I go both ways and spice it up with an opaque set And transparent set of colors.  I start out laying small amounts of the opaque colors, then after the opaques have dried  I hit it up with the transparent pigments, and back to the opaques...
...over and over and over until I am satisfied with the results.  
I do this, I just do.  Glazing makes my work look as if it were glowing, and reduces the chances of the oil paint from cracking from age in the future.

In order for me to glaze an oil painting properly, or as I want to, I need my painting to not move an inch, not a wiggle. Glazing is a vigorous process for me. i use enough force behind the brush to move the painting if it isn't secured tightly.  So together Pop and I built this easel.  It is perfectly balanced, and solid.  Once installed, its not going anywhere and neither is the work once its fastened down.
The easel is 75" tall, and can hold a 63" tall painting edge easily.  In this picture it is bolted to a support system I framed a window with in the studio.  The support system can be replaced and adjusted if I need to, but its a lot of work to do that so I like set it up once and leave it.  The easel is made from cedar, milled aluminum, and some tightening knobs we bought from the hardware store.  Everything is made by us except the tightener knobs.

the top support is 32" long...
 the bottom support is 45" long...

This knob sits under the bottom support and is useless at the moment.  When the easel is used with the back riser it lets me raise the bottom of the easel as high as 8 feet.  That lets me move the easel up and out of the way when I am done working on it.
Back riser...
When we built this we decided that it would be great if the entire easel wold be able to adjust vertically at the same height as the total height of the easel itself.  We built a second runner beam and when mounted the entire easel so it can slide up and out of the way leaving you with the extra wall space to work with.  It helps to protect the work of art between glazes as it drys.  You need 15 feet or more to really use this feature and at the moment I only have 10 feet of wall-space.

 This is Flare, it was an unnecessary design element that made the easel look good.  The angles of the outer edges of the supports don't add the the function of the easel at all.

When I said that this easel was perfectly balanced, I meant it.  This is a picture of a large painting just resting on 1/2 of the bottom support.  As you can see the painting is a full inch away from the easel.
Top support...
Bottom support...
Even though its not tightened down with the top support, I could leave my painting there indefinitely and it would never move.  It does not lean forward or backward, the painting just rests wherever you place it.  That is perfect balance.  

Here it is with an unfinished oil painting on it.  The painting is 48" x 36" and this piece has gone through no less than 20 (more like 25, i just cant remember at this point since I have been working on this thing for months now.) separate glazes.  You can see how comfortable the work sits on the easel.

I will more than likely edit this post as it sits here over the next day or two.  There is a great deal to say about this simple easel and i didn't get to it all tonight.  I really enjoy designing my tools as i can tailor them exactly to my needs.