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On the back streets of dirty jersey.

I'll add more flicks in a bit but this year we painted where we did the first time we came out 9 years ago.

Progress shots

I should do another progression post from start to finish. In the mean time here's just a few while I finish this piece. 

Just some things

I'm the worst with updating things.

Process Shots. Figurehead Cinco

I haven't done one of these in a while (nor have i updated this blog on the regular.. blame life and battlestar galactica) so this was purdy fun to do.


I like figureheads. For those that don't know the figurehead is the statue at the front of old sailing ships. For Economic and maneuverability reasons many countries stopped using them, it was too much weight on the prow of the ship.

In some countries they were said to be the Guardians of the sailors, and if anything was to happen to the crew of the ship, the figurehead would guide them into the afterlife.. for ships that didn't have a figurehead, the belief was that the sailors, with no guide to the next world, would roam the seas forever as lost souls.

My series of figurehead paintings is a personification of the statue. What happens once they lead them to the afterlife? where, after such a burden to the souls of the sailors, did they go? rotted away with sunken ships, broken apart to be kindling ? So in that comes the despair and the pain, the broken pieces from turbulent seas, the decayed remains, strapped to the front of a ship to bring peace to those that died a horrible death.


So, back to some lightheartedness :D.

I started this out with a sketch, Ive been pretty fond of using blue lead lately so i went ahead with it here too, i normally use a lighter pencil (4h) but this worked out great. I took a figure drawing sketch i had and redid it as this.


 I always add some its and bits once i feel that i have the final sketch down, you can see where the hair curves down i added some shapes along with dividing the hair at the top of the head down a bit more. I do this so that i can come in with different colors to give texture and depth to what would just be one big shape / color.


I think, just like many other artist, i have a certain way of doing things, i know many folks that will pace back and forth until their time is right to create, some that will have to bathe beforehand, and me, i have to clean and have my space as clean as possible and everything laid out that i feel i  might use, after that then it's a go for some paint, also this is a pretty horrific and anxiety ridden time, should i paint it? will it be the right color the first go? how will this material act with my paint, how will the paint react to the graphite? so many questions. 


 I shoot down the colors that i think i'll be using and mix them to where i think they should be, the issue with this, is that im colorblind, so depending on the light that i have, a peach can look like a green and a pink can look like a grey, it's wierd, so using color for me is always a 50/50 chance of it looking horrible and me hating it.



At about this point i always stop with the color for now, i like to have a base and then come in with a rapido-graph pen and start to put the basic linework down. I also like to cover as much of the pencil lines that i can and come back in with paint to clean up the ones i can't get to with the ink. I also like to come in and crosshatch with a rapido and either do a light coat of acrylic to work the shadows or leave it above the paint layer to do the same.



After i get the rapidograph lines down i like to come in with a tiny tiny brush, i always use different sizes depending on the size of the work im doing. i leave the majority of the rapidograph lines alone but do like to thicken up the edge lines and anywhere that the shadow needs to be a solid shape instead of crosshatching. 
 This is a prime example of the difference that regular small lines have vs broader lines, the top of the arm above the cut looks like it's choppy in the picture directly after this text, but in the one below it you can see how thickening up the lines makes the shadow pop off a bit better and gives it a more "finished" look.





  I would normally always leave the backgrounds white, but recenly ive been adding more and more color, this also is another anxiety driven moment, you can cover up the background with white if you mess it up but it will never be untouched canvas white.


 At this point the figure is mostly done, i'll always come back in and add a thicker line here or there or chang a highlight but at this point i do nothing with the body color or anything that can alter it beyond repair.

The following is the end result. I added some Smoke / steam to it to add some movement.

 Details of the back and hair.

Details of the head, i like to add little highlights here and there, they are easily missed the most of the time unless you're looking for it but it gives it a great look i feel.

And this again is the end product.

Figurehead Cinco.


Free Drawing

When i was in school i remember not being able to sit down without having to doodle, i probably would not have finished school if i didnt have a blank sheet of paper with me all the time, i couldn't sit still but being able to sketch while i did work def helped me out, and i thank all my teachers that let me do that for me to be able to actually learn. Saying that, now that im an adult (what?) responsibility and being busy take up most of my time / attention, and with commissions and gallery shows i sometimes have to revert back to that original stress reliever, a blank sheet of paper and my free drawing. Of coarse a blank sheet of paper is now photoshop + tablet, but the action is still the same. I love to free-draw, just letting the lines determine what comes out. I've been on an old 90's hip hop cartoon kick lately and this is what happens.....






Hey that's me!


It's always fascinating when i find things like this online, i support and will always support local hip hop so im down with the use of this. You don't see graffiti much in hip hop / rap videos so it's nice that they used our walls for it.

The funny part is we were listening to Death metal while we painted this.


Las Calles Hablan

Recently i was asked to be a part of a Panel Speaking on Street art and Graffiti at the Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C. As part of the Spain Arts and Culture (http://www.spainculture.us) screening of the Barcelona Street Art Documentary "Las Calles Hablan.

Much Thanks to Katrine from "Mapping Barcelona Street Art"  for having me and Kelly Towles for the shout. 

The documentary is currently available online, but if it is showing in your city i suggest you go and see it with a group of folks, especially if there will be a panel.


I have my own feelings of what "Street Art" is, specifically, it encompasses everything from the smallest tag to the largest mural. The issue i have with the recent explosion of "street art" is that it does not look at the origins of it, and tries to lump it together with the Graffiti Culture / Lifestyle, which as i said on the panel (when the question of my opinion on street art vs graffiti ) is incredibly hard to understand if you have never been a part of it before. And the only reason it is important now as a form of art to mainstream audiences is that there is a monetary value to it now. There's a lot more opinions i have on this and it is never ending and open to evolve as well.


Here is the Documentary, there's some really cool stuff in there. . ..

Las Calles Hablan from justininbcn on Vimeo.

My Mind Spray

A little video me and my homie put together from a painting sesh a few months ago, that there american pitbull terrier is the gawd himself known as Tony The Tank. 

MYMINDSPRAY from OneEightyone on Vimeo.

Trees and Fabrics and Colors and Ideas

First Part: So about 10 or so years ago i was working for an organization that taught english as a second language, there was this teacher there and i really don't remember where she was from, she had a very very thick east european accent and that's about as far as i get in determining what her nationality was,  it never occured to me to ask her. Anyways, we would talk about art every now and again and one day she comes in and gives me a book of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, mind you, i was young and i didnt really understand what i was looking at, i watched a video of them a little later on that week while i was looking at all the prints in this book and understood maybe about 4% more then what i understood at the initial introduction of their art, which was zilch, nada, moot, nothing. But, ever since ive known who they were and followed what they did. I remember when the gates happened in new york and i felt that it wasnt as captivating as their other installations, most notably for me their "VALLEY" installation.

Second Part: Fast forward about 10 years and i like to go hiking, a lot. i like being in the woods and being able to just walk with my dog Tony The Tank and forget about most things, there's a push i feel to be doing something at all times of the day to feel human and sometimes, i like to escape that, so i go into the woods and mountains a lot.

Third Part: Im colorblind, i can see colors mind you, i am not "everything is gray" colorblind, i just have a hard time differentiating different colors. When i walk in the woods, mountains, etc, most of the time everything looks brown to me, blues look grey to me and it's a big tunnel of sepia sometimes. However, i can see red like noones business.. unless it's paired with green and then i can't really tell. It's strange, it's wierd and because nature doesn't have broad black lines i find it hard to guess what colors im actually looking at.

So taking all that, i decided to go into the woods and have some fun, i enjoyed the shapes with fabric idea, and also because it's such an unnatural color (unnatural to me) that it stands out as it's own object. What exactly is it that invokes emotion? It is nothing but a piece of cloth however it speaks volumes. The human mind is something fierce and strange, and complex, and simple.