Blackbird Cafe: New Works

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Creating artwork is one of my favorite things to do. It's much different than working on a concept for a new brand or photographing a family or some food. Drawing, sketching and painting trigger different parts of my brain in its own special way. I recently completed a group of paintings for a show at Blackbird Cafe. A local (Valparaiso) coffee shop that is right across the street from my work. I frequent there often and I have always wanted to show some art there. I was in one time a couple months ago and asked for the person in charge of the art section. Daniel is one of the owners and was gracious and willing to let me hang some pieces in the shop. This gave me a deadline and the something to aim for. I knew what I wanted to do I just had to do it. 

As time passed and weeks turned to days I felt confident I would be done on time, even though I hadn't lifted one finger towards my artwork. 

So I got home after work the day before the artwork was due and here's what happened. 

 I first sanded down all of the cut outs that I had from some random pieces of wood. 

I first sanded down all of the cut outs that I had from some random pieces of wood. 

 Huge thanks to my buddy Jose, for letting me borrow his sander. I love this thing. 

Huge thanks to my buddy Jose, for letting me borrow his sander. I love this thing. 

 Once all of the pieces were sanded (and after dinner) I got started putting down a base coat.

Once all of the pieces were sanded (and after dinner) I got started putting down a base coat.

 Once the base coat was done I let all the pieces dry. These two pieces were cut out of a piece of wood I found in an alley in downtown Chesterton. I actually used this piece on a food shoot for a client but then decided to cut it up. I didn't paint these white because I loved the texture. 

Once the base coat was done I let all the pieces dry. These two pieces were cut out of a piece of wood I found in an alley in downtown Chesterton. I actually used this piece on a food shoot for a client but then decided to cut it up. I didn't paint these white because I loved the texture. 

 I had some old sketches to guide me. 

I had some old sketches to guide me. 

 Don't let the lack of materials stop you from creating or don't feel like you need fancy stuff. I used white ceiling paint as my base and a good ol' roller. Dixie cups take the place of a palette and some random paint I've collected over the years I use for color.

Don't let the lack of materials stop you from creating or don't feel like you need fancy stuff. I used white ceiling paint as my base and a good ol' roller. Dixie cups take the place of a palette and some random paint I've collected over the years I use for color.

 See nothing to fancy here. 

See nothing to fancy here. 

 After the base coat was dry, I sketch things out and started filling them in with color. 

After the base coat was dry, I sketch things out and started filling them in with color. 

 After a few hours I was done with a couple of them. I set them up to dry and moved on to the larger pieces. The process is long but the night started to fly by.

After a few hours I was done with a couple of them. I set them up to dry and moved on to the larger pieces. The process is long but the night started to fly by.

 Dry baby, dry! 

Dry baby, dry! 

 My wife, Lisa, was a trooper, she sat with me for a couple hours after she put the kids to bed. She kept me company and we had beautiful weather. She sat so long that she eventually fell asleep. I had to power through - at this point it was midnight. 

My wife, Lisa, was a trooper, she sat with me for a couple hours after she put the kids to bed. She kept me company and we had beautiful weather. She sat so long that she eventually fell asleep. I had to power through - at this point it was midnight. 

 Go to bed sleepy head, lol. 

Go to bed sleepy head, lol. 

 Once the color is dry I started outlining. This is the fun part when you get to see it all come alive. After hours and hours prep work, the pieces start to take shape and come alive. I use a super thick acrylic ink marker. The black is rich and very dark. 

Once the color is dry I started outlining. This is the fun part when you get to see it all come alive. After hours and hours prep work, the pieces start to take shape and come alive. I use a super thick acrylic ink marker. The black is rich and very dark. 

 Different wood takes on different attributes when I pull the same marker over them. I love to watch what will happen. Even at 1a.m. its a fun processes. I repeat this until all the pieces are finished. 

Different wood takes on different attributes when I pull the same marker over them. I love to watch what will happen. Even at 1a.m. its a fun processes. I repeat this until all the pieces are finished. 

 Here are some finished ones. I'm really digging the color on these. The super muted tone have me feeling some type of way. 

Here are some finished ones. I'm really digging the color on these. The super muted tone have me feeling some type of way. 

That's my process, nothing fancy or glamours just good old fashion hard work. After I was done painting all of them I had to add the hardware to hang them and clean up. 3 a.m. I was finally done. 

These pieces are all for sale and will be hanging at Blackbird Cafe in Valparaiso during the month of October. Stop in and check them out. 

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