Friday, December 12, 2008

The birth . . . my first paintings.

I've been really busy lately, currently working on a few illustrations for KING magazine as well as some other paintings . . . on top of that I critique students work every week for Schoolism. It might be a bit before I can share some of that work here on my blog and I haven't had much time for extra sketching . . . so I decided to share a bit about my beginnings.

I have two daughters, Isabeau who is five and Ava who is nearly two. Before Isabeau was born, I was working as an illustrator but not really sure how to get where I wanted to go. I was always going into book stores and finding caricature and illustration work in magazines that I really liked and telling myself I'm going to need to compete with these people if I ever want to make it. I knew that the one thing these artists could do and I couldn't, was paint. I had always been afraid, I think I thought I would be horrible and just wouldn't get it . . . painting is something I still work hard at, and something that I now understand will be an area that I can always improve in. My Dad once told me that you need to do a few hundred bad paintings to begin to get it, or to do one good one. That may be a bit extreme, but it is true that in order to become better you must get the "bad ones" out of the way.

Anyways, to explain this Owen Wilson painting . . . .

I was interviewed recently by the ISCA for winning The Gold Nosey and the story of my Owen Wilson painting came up. I thought it would be a good thing to share here.

Five years ago, the night my wife Kat went into labor I did my first "real" painting. Up until that point, I had only messed around with paints, but mostly did pen and ink with watercolor washes, tried out some airbrushing, and did a lot of color pencil work. To make a long story short, my wife started to have contractions and was in a seperate room with her friend going over the breathing and all that "fun" stuff. I was in another room and I began to panic. All of a sudden it was really happening, this was for real. There's really a baby coming! And I FREAKED! I started worrying about anything and everything you can imagine . . . will I be a good father, do I know anything at all? What do I know, what can I tell this kid . . . etc . . . Then I started to freak out about my art, and started to think about all these other artists out there who inspire me, thinking about how all of them can paint and I can't. Then I realized, I'm never going to make it as an artist if I can't paint . . . I'm going to be a father, and I can't even PAINT!

So with my wife huffing and puffing away with her friend, I grabbed some watercolors and did my first real painting, no other mediums to cover up my mistakes, just raw and honest watercolor. And that's what this Owen Wilson painting is, my first "real" painting. And I haven't stopped ever since. My wife's contractions died down just as I was finishing this painting . . . an hour or so later it happened for real, and the next morning my beautiful girl Isabeau was born!

This Nelly painting was done a bit after the Owen Painting, you see, I had to build up enough courage to work with acrylics. With this painting I watered down the acrylics until they felt like watercolors . . . from there I built everything up until it was opaque.

So there you have it, my first paintings, or "real" paintings, as in I was trying to "really" paint!


wendeebee said...

Jason your insight and honesty are very inspiring to me. It's just so weird how I can identify with he same fears or insecurities that you describe. I have unopened tubes of paint, that have since outlived their shelf life because I am so afraid of them, yet I can hear them taunting me like cookies in the cupboard. I really need to get back to it... so today I will shut off the monitors and try and do something. As always, thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Tinh Do said...

I try, Thank You So Much.