Here in the U.S.A. the four-year cycle has come to an end, and the name-calling of the past few months is finally over. Aah the relief… But a day before the election, a serious family tragedy struck, making the whole political event seem trivial, or at least anti-climactic, so my “creative time” would seem to be somewhat stifled for at least a few more weeks. I’ve heard it said that “life is a series of interruptions interrupted by interruptions”. Boy does that seem accurate right now.
Latter October and early November were not wasted by me, though.
is the result of lots and lots of sketching and geometric preparation. Most of the creation process is documented in this stop-motion video:
It’s a little jumpy and quite fuzzy, but it gets the point across… You certainly get the idea
Following the making of the video, I added a detail that makes a big impact: The canvas that I used is meant to be displayed without a frame, “gallery wrap”. But I decided to frame it, using a “floater frame” designed for thin canvasses. The result is a nearly sculptural effect and is quite striking.
For everyone in the United States, I wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
For everyone in the Southern Hemisphere, ENJOY YOUR SPRING!
For everyone, period, ENJOY YOUR LIFE! (As a rule, you only get one chance at it.)
This past month has been somewhat unproductive for me, from an art-output point of view.
With a housemate being injured and requiring knee-replacement surgery, I’ve been the only one capable of doing yardwork, going downstairs to do laundry, etc… And cleaning out the storage room across the hall from the bathroom so that the post-surgical person can hobble to the john took a lot of time (and resulted in a major overwhelm of that laundry).
So, sad to say, I’ve done no painting due to immediate concerns. Sorry. No excuse, just life.
What I have been doing, artistically speaking, is coming up with ideas and making sketches and studies. In fact, I already have one mask traced out and ready to cut into shape, a project I’ve had to do in myriad snippets of available time.
I guess it’s good to take a little time out from production and get a little inspiration. I’ll be working on a flood of paintings soon.
Autumn is finally here in the Northern Hemisphere. (Well, actually, as I write this, we have a week of yet, but you get the point…) Also “finally here” is some documentation of my process, in the form of a stop-motion animated video.
There’s no “coffee-stain drip” involved here, just brushwork. In case it’s too fast (though I think you can pause it at any point), let me describe briefly: After choosing a subject and making a few preliminary sketches or studies, I make a paper mask and use it only to define a few very specific lines or areas thatare critical to be “just so”. In this case, the subject is the Cape of Good Hope and surrounds atthe southern tip of Africa. Once the defining paint is somewhat dry, the “true” artwork begins
For the ocean I used nearly-standard “bathymetric” (sea depth) colors. The shapes there don’t represent any real depth data, they simply lead the eye towards the Cape of Good Hope itself and give moton to their space on the canvas. For the land I brushed color into shapes much less swoopy and which hint atthe semi-desert near The Cape.
I chose colors inspired by the beautiful King Protea flower, which grows in the wild only in that area, unique in all
I’ll make another video soon of the creation of another painting, but without so much of my sloppy studio visible!
S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 has been and still is a rich mix of output and introspection for me.
Joey Favino exhibition atThe Grind August 2016
Firstly, my artwork is on display during the entire month of August at THE GRIND coffeehouse here in Cedar City,Utah. Come on in for a great atmospher filled with great people (and great art)! Also, I’ll be demonstrating my paintig technique in front of THE GRIND on Friday, 26 August.
Did I mention their WONDERFUL coffee ?
Secondly, I see now that I am an “old school” climber: I’ve been at camp for a couple of months, specifically at the Beaver High Adventure Base, a BSA (Boy Scouts of America) camp here in Utah, working as a climbing instructor.
My co-workers are all two-to-three (gulp) decades (gulp) younger than me. Their climbing style is very dynamic and gymnastic, and the dificult routes that thwart me are their starting point. Youth is clearly a big part of that, but… My explorations of places beyond our established climbing area seem to both confound and delight them. The exploratory aspect that seems to be integral to nearly all of my climbing (and often seems to be more fulfilling than the “it-looked-good-from-a-distance” rock) seems to be missing. Our very approaches to the activity seem to be opposite: The young “rock jocks” want technical difficulty, even if the “problem” is just a boulder, meanwhile; I don’t care if a feature is an easy climb – If it’s a few hundred feet up and very exposed, I want to climb it.
To each his/her own, I suppose.
I, with my old-school climbing ethic, was utterly delighted when a young scout tied-in to the rope, assessed the rock for a few seconds, chose his “line”, and stuck to it, unceremoniously, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk. Maybe that’s just the way they do things in South Asia (his home until recently, judging by his very heavy accent).
Such was and is a thing of beauty. It’s what we used to call “climbing”.
Thirdly, my latest painting is tentatively called, simply, “Isla Robinson Crusoe”
This is the picture as it appears lit by a light bulb on the cieling.
“Robinson Crusoe Island” is part of the Juan Fernandez archipelago off the coast of Chile in the Pacific ocean. It is so named because it is the island where Alexander Selkirk was abandoned, stranded forfour years all alone in the early 1700s. His story is commonly cited as the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s classic novel Robinson Crusoe.
A very informative and entertaining article about Mr. Selkirk can be found here .
This is the painting as it appears lit by the camera’s flash.
This is probably the “busiest” composition I’ve ever painted. Judicious use of metellic and “interference” paints enhance the hypnotic aspects of the piece. The orange-to-green shape repeated seven ties is the island itself. The violet-through-blue swirls between and beyond are not really “ocean currents” or anything else, though they do become quite vine-like towards the bottom.
Something else entirely?
– – – SEE YOU AT THE GRIND ! – – –
I dropped the ball this month and forgot to post anything at all! Now that it’s way past my bedtime and the JFWOA Newsletter gets sent out in an hour, I’ll just give a very brief update. (The “real skinny” will be provided over the next couple of weeks.)
Various issues and circumstances have kept me from doing much painting this past month, hence no illustrations or photographs in this newsletter. Suffice to say that the very pale background of my current work was pounced upon by a cat, so I painted a very sparse and stark piece over it to incorporate and conceal the ripples and near-folds caused by the feline. It’s certainly not my best work, but fellow alpinists will appreciate “Camp VI”. Meanwhile, the intended composition is coming along, very slowly and “organically” or “osmotically”: Inspiration cannot be rushed or forced (although it can be “nudged”, but that’s for another blog or newsletter).
Untill next time, all I can say is “keep checking my site”, www.jfwoa.com – Joey Favino’s WORLD Of Art
A new twist on Japonism.
“Japonisme” (Americanized to “Japanism”), just in case you don’t know, is an art movement that took hold in the late ninteenth century. As the name implies, it is the incorporation or emulation of Japanese styles and subjects into Western art. While some pieces deal with Japanese subjects (kimonos and gardens and the like), most simply use the traditional Japanese composition method of being minimally ornate and creating spacial tension through the use of a lot of implied line and implied form. (As text-booky as that description is, it’s about the most “human” description that I could come up with.) One of my favorite examples is “Arrangement In Black And Gray”, by American expatriate James Whistler. Yes, that’s the painting’s true title, and, yes, that’s the artist’s mother pictured.
Just look at how very deliberately the sparse piece is arranged. Cover any one shape in the composition and the whole piece loses its delicate balance.
But enough with that. This is one of the few that I sketched-out in its entirety before starting to paint. Now, I ran this by a friend whos wife is from Japan, just to make sure that it could not be mispercieved as being not “politically correct”. It seems that she got a giggle from me even thinking that way! So this is my new twist on the movement.
Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is blocky yet swoopy, especially at its southern end where it meets the island of Honshu, but seems awkwardly unbalanced by itself. By multiplying it by seven , or by shichi in Japanese, the shape became vibrant and almost pulsating, and by filling the spaces between the seven with (almost) contour lines, a nearly electric, “too-much-vibration” effect was achieved. (Please note that the only element of “pure Japonisme” in the finished painting is the delicate unfinished contour fragment furthest from Hakkaido’s western shore.)
The ring of dancing Hokkaidos needed to be calmed and countered, in both form and color. I decided on a central red circle with rays, hinting at the old flag of Imperial Japan, an intentional spoof. In keeping with the rest of the composition, the “flag” was made to have seven rays in stead of eight, and were painted a silver-gray color, though the “rising son” itself remains red.
But, alas, ’twas without a title? I previewed it to a select few and asked for suggestions. The strongest contender was “Camillia”, and with a little bit of padding, so it is:
“HOKKAIDO CAMILIA x SHICHI”
A little drop of water isn’t much. Add a touch of something, though, and it becomes a tool like nothing else:
Add a little gravity, and as long as time is not a big constraint, if the drop of the drip is long enough, it’ll generate enough force to rinse your plate or your hands or your paintbrush quite well. That’s also the way to use the absolutely smallest amount of water to get the job done (although it takes a VERY long time to do so drop-by-drop).
Add a little bit of paint, and something else happens… The “coffee-stain technique” ! Just like a drop of coffee, the non-water component of the splatter migrates towards the edge… Over time.
By leaving a drip circular, a globular efect is created. By letting the drip get “half dry” and adding some fresh color or water towards one side, an irregular blob is created, never quite symmetrical, giving a sense of motion to the shape. By letting all that dry and then adding more drops, again and again, an effervescent effect can be achieved.
When the touch of added pigment is white… Snowflakes! (And by varying the exact tipe and amount of white pigment, as well as drop size, a strangely realistic gust or blizzard or light flurry is the result.)
All from a little drop… DRIP !
Joey’s Work To Be Featured At ROCK AND SNOW !
An opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago, and I’m just tickled:
Beginning in late October, my artwork featuring the THE GUNKS
the Shawangunk Mountains, upstate New York) will be on display at
ROCK AND SNOW
in New Paltz, NY. Wow!
If you’re not a climber you might not know of The Gunks.
They’re not the biggest cliffs in the world, but they’re frequently referred to as the best.
The unique and particularly tactile rock (stratified rthoquartzite conglomerate, to be specific)
draws eager climbers of all skill levels, literally from around the globe.
If you’re a “gunkster”, you know that Rock And Snow is THE gear and apparel store there,
in business since 1970… In the climbing community, it’s the little store with the big reputation.
A quite-well-deserved reputation.
If you’re in the area don’t be afraid to drop in, even if you don’t climb. The good folks there
can tell you all about what’s happening and what to see in the groovy little village of New Paltz,
as well as all around the central Hudson Valley and the Catskills.
(Here’s your chance to see my work on the East Coast, too!)
They’re all on this site in the SHAWANGUNKS gallery!
“Peek-A-Boo (Worth The Approach)”
THE NEW FEW
In the past month I’ve completed some more “quasimaps”. A little more information about each one can be found by clicking on each image.
Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Carlsbad California
That’s about it ’till next month. Hey, maybe there’ll be climbable ice in November…
Another one of Joey’s silly little political stray thoughts:
I doubt that it’s the case, but what if, down the road, it is discovered that Iran never did have A-bombs under development? What if they made it look as though that’s what they were doing, but were only doing so to frenzy the rest of the world, particularly the U.S.A., for the sake of making them all eat crow years down the line (and expend a lot of time and energy right now)?
It’s a strategy that’s so risky as to be almost impossible, butIran is historically known as an counter-intuitive strategist. Again, I doubt it, but still…
A fourfold of niceties has befallen me this month:
First, my art is on display at The Grind coffehouse in Cedar City, UT, during the entire month of September.
It’s my first one-person show and I’m so excited by having the opportunity to show my work to tourists from around the world! (Between Cedar City’s world-famous Shakespeare Festival and its proximity to several truly awesome National Parks, the extended summer season here is full of people from all over.) Come on in for great scenery – inside and out – and great coffe and refreshments!
These next three are all interrelated:
– Some of my work is now available through FLOOTIE.COM, a wonderful online resource for artists, based in Spokane, Washington.
– A blogger of note, Marie Kazalia, who is associated with Flootie, has written a very nice blog about me and my art.
It’s quite flattering and insightful.
My latest piece, “Newman Lake”, was inspired by the fact that Flootie is based in Spokane. The lake is located just outside that city, and its whimsical shoreline seemed to demand “my treatment”.
With a vague sketch as a guide, I began by just painting the water.
Some emphasizing of the interior space,
along with some defining of the outside edges,
and it was starting to look a little organic.
Some nearly-white striping, reminiscent of leaves or flower petals, solidified the “floral” approach.
With the finishing touches of contrasting orange “stems” and “buds”, and slightly iridescent border, which gives the image a somewhat “sephia” look, another “quazimap” was born!
“Newman Lake” 24″x24″
Until next month…
Keep your colors bright and your pallette full!
– Joey Favino