When it comes to using gunpowder as a medium, I get asked a TON of questions. I thought I’d just take a few minutes to share a few of the stories behind some of these pieces and also share a bit about the events.
It was a little over a year ago when I creating my first gunpowder painting and I couldn’t wait to drive over the The Sacramento Fine Arts Center and give all my new art friends a demo in the parking lot. Now that I think about it, I’m having a little deja vu since I’ve agreed to give another demo for the Second Saturday Reception (although, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a larger crowd). For those of you who weren’t there, “Gunpowder Crow” was my first series. The one you see to your right was in the show “Art Where the Wild Things Are” and auctioned off live during the gala at The Effie Yeaw Nature Center. It was an AMAZING event! The current “Gunpowder Crow” that’s hanging at SFAC is actually the VERY first gunpowder painting I created on canvas. I love the rawness and unfinished edges where the flames exploded out the sides, showing the ends of the stencil.
Speaking of Effie Yeaw Nature Center‘s Gala, I also got the opportunity to do some demos at the center among the plain air painters. I chose some local nature themed pieces ahead of time and lugged all of my supplies to the parking lot. Many fear what they don’t know but I know what guidelines I have to follow, especially in public. That being said, I found a secluded spot to create a few pieces in the parking lot before I approached the employees and got their blessing to come out of hiding.
This guy got a TON of attention at the nature center and so did “Egret” (not pictured). Since it’s impossible to make any two look alike (gunpowder can be a bit unpredictable and a bit impossible to control), I created only a few of each and sold several that night. They actually thought they lost one of my cubs so I ran out to the parking lot and gave the valet guys a demo during the gala. When I returned with a completed piece, they had found the one they thought they lost. It still sold!
Being a board member with Northern California Artists, I was presented with the opportunity to have a booth for the Curtis Park Home & Garden Tour, where I would be able to display and sell some of my gunpowder and smoke bomb pieces. I did some research and found that these were homes built in the 1920s so, I decided that I would put together a series of iconic figures from that time period. I had a LOT of fun and made a LOT of art. Since it was before my time (and I’m TERRIBLE with dates), I hit the web to find the most memorable everything from that time period. I learned a lot and I enjoyed it. I learned about the first phone. I decided to create a piece and (after the event) I liked it so much I entered it in the California State Fair and won a Merit Award. It’s pictured on the left in case you missed it. Along with “Call Me Maybe?”, some others in the series that I decided to include in the show:
“Babe Ruth”, “Bluecasso”, and “Great Gatsby” are pictured above. There’s also “Model T”, “Bonnie & Clyde” and “Peek-a-boo Charlie” (Chaplin) on the walls, but let’s leave some for the show.
You know, it’s funny how you get interested in something and just can’t let it go until it lets go of you… Or maybe it’s just me? That’s kind of what happened with “Lion Fish”.
I tried SO many times to get this guy right and I felt like I was struggling. I drew him and painted him and researched photos and watched videos until… Well, look to the left. I LOVE him! I love how he’s abstract just enough. Not everyone catches it, but I think that’s what makes him more interesting.
As an artist, I’m always pushing my limits and challenging myself to do more and to do it better. I was looking through my camera roll for some inspiration and came across a picture I took mid-stride AS I was running over the Tower Bridge during the Shamrock Run (gimme a break; there was free beer at the end — sorry Grandma). I loved the angle it was taken and I decided it would be perfect as a smoke bomb and gunpowder piece. Exhibit right. Once I’d completed this piece, I decided I wanted to do a few more Sac Famous pieces. I created “Sacramento Skyline” (featured image) and “California Flag” (not pictured). I love it here and was motivated to show my appreciation for all that California has to offer.
The Rest of the Shows and the Demo
So, I’ve shown you about half of my show. If you want to see the rest of my show and the two other shows that are up during the entire month of November, you’ll have to go to the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. If you would like to see my next demo, it’ll be at the same place on the Second Saturday of November at 6:30PM. Come early; there’s food and wine! Oh, and while you’re there, stop in at the Gift Shop; be sure to look for the wine bottle rings I have for sale in there!