Friday, 30 December 2016

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

CARRIE FISHER ( 1956 - 2016 )

With a childhood interest in comicbooks, then Pop Art, movies and film design, you might have gathered that I'm not only a sci-fi buff, but also an avid reader of Hollywood biographies. A week ago, before she was even taken ill, I got Carrie Fisher's book 'Wishful Drinking', thinking that this smaller volume would be a good starter before I purchase her latest blockbuster, 'The Princess Diarist'. 'Wishful Drinking' is based on her one-woman show, and packed with quotes and one-liners.

Describing a story recounted by 'Greg' ( a 'gay Republican' friend, who used to share an office with Barack Obama's predecessor, George W Bush ), he apparently revealed that W had a 'gift' for breaking wind on command... 

''When Greg was expecting people for a meeting, W would come in and fart in the office, and then run, leaving Greg in the midst of it. Like someone in a cloud of marijuana smoke. The people Greg was meeting with would, of course, come in and find Greg surrounded by this awful smell. 

It's not too dissimilar to what President Bush has done to the country.''


- From 'Wishful Drinking',  which premiered at the Geffen Theatre, Los Angeles, 2006.

Monday, 26 December 2016

GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS ABSTRACT

Last night, on Christmas Eve, I started to design a digital Christmas card to send out. Nothing commercial, just something I send to friends and family. By around 2am Christmas morning I completely ran out of steam, and thought, I need to be asleep or Christmas Day will be a write-off. This is the first time I've failed to get any kind of card done.

Today, while the turkey was roasting, I opened the files and tried to salvage something from all the fragments, and still couldn't come up with anything.

However...these 'fragments' do look rather beautiful in their own right, so I'm putting them out there as a late Xmas gift to you. Enjoy the holidays!


Below: 2D vector line sketches with layering effects.




Friday, 23 December 2016

HOMMAGE À PICASSO ET BRAQUE AVEC CHEVRONS

I was going to leave this off the blog, but having looked at it again, I've decided I really like it. It's a structure that I can only see in my mind's eye: The repeated towns and villages as depicted by Picasso and Braque, and decades later seen at the fantastic PIONEERING CUBISM exhibition, circa 1990, in NYC at the MOMA. This is my version... made with chevrons.


EXPERIMENTAL WORK #5

Below: Chevrons I, 2D Digital Line Drawing.


Below: Chevrons II, 2D Digital Line Drawing.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

DIGITAL STRUCTURES #1

Emulating my postcard art in the digital realm has an unforeseen side-effect: It is actually very difficult to look at. Still, there are properties here that can be put to good use in future art. 

Below: Structures 01, 2D Digital Line Drawing, Detail.



Below: Structures 01, 2D Digital Line Drawing, Full.



Below: Detail.




Tuesday, 20 December 2016

EXPERIMENTAL WORK #4

Still getting a feel for the software.

Below: Grey Structure II, 2D digital line drawing.


Below: Deconstructed, recoloured and with added texture.



Sunday, 18 December 2016

EXPERIMENTAL WORK #3

Still exploring vector drawing, creating random shapes and then stretching and distorting them. Decided to take this one apart, and then stopped when it suddenly began to resemble a 1980s album cover. 

Below: 80s Album Cover 2D Digital Line Drawing.




In the second piece I'm beginning to explore the perrception of depth within the 2D shapes.

Below: 80s Album Cover Remixed 2D Digital Line Drawing.




In the third, all colours have been removed to expose the actual lines that make up that version of picture.

Below: 80s Album Cover Remixed 2 2D Digital Line Drawing.



Friday, 16 December 2016

EXPERIMENTAL WORK #2

The intention was to emulate my postcard line drawings with nice clean vectors ( which can be enlarged without losing quality ). Inevitably, the different medium ( digital ) presents its own set of opportunities and tangents, and you end up deviating from the original idea but inventing a new one, instead.


Below: Grey Structure, 2D Digital Line Drawing.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

HARD ROCK, SOFT FURNISHINGS

In the USA, the good folks at Valley Forge Fabrics, alongside relatively new company WeaveUp, contacted me after they saw the potential for fabric pattern design in my geometric art. They have been busy promoting my work since, and you can read an interview they did with me here.





Friday, 9 December 2016

GRAPHIC EXPERIMENT

In a departure from my hand-drawn postcards, I'm reacquainting myself with vector drawing today.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

'BALANCE' : FINAL GROUP SHOW OF 2016, AT CUSTARD FACTORY

For myself and many of my colleagues, this was our final exhibition of 2016, at a beautiful space at the Custard Factory complex, Digbeth, Birmingham. I took these pictures soon after the install. Show curated by The Daphne Francis Gallery.





Below: My two contributions, now titled 'Encryption' and 'Stealth'.*




*Formerly referred to as Untitled Painting A and Untitled Painting C.


Below: Art by Zarina Keyani and Paris Christodoulou




Below: Painting by Zarina Keyani




Below: My art ( far left ) and Zarina Keyani




Below: Art by Jeannie Brown ( left x 3 ), and Paul Newman




For inquiries, please go to Daphne Francis Gallery website.

Monday, 28 November 2016

NEXT SHOW: DIGBETH FIRST FRIDAY!

Here's the current piece ( previously referred to on this blog as 'Work In Progress 'C'' ). I was going to make some adjustments today, but having seen it in the bright light of the studio, I'm going to leave it alone. For now...

Harsh sunlight and a good angle is the best way to view my paintings...maybe the best way would be to hold them in your hands and read them like a book..?


See it on December 2nd at The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham.

Exhibiting as part of the Daphne Francis Gallery group show 'Balance'.


Below: As yet Untitled Acrylic-on-Canvas, 50cm x 75cm, Nov 2016



Friday, 25 November 2016

STARS AND STRIPES

While you wait for me to finish all the new pieces, please enjoy these from my back catalogue. In fact, I forgot how great they look. It'll be handy for me to have these at the front of my blog, so that I can refer to them while working on the current ones. 















Thursday, 24 November 2016

UPDATE 24 / 11 / 2016

Having three paintings all simultaneously 'in progress' is about as confusing for you as it is for me, so I have retrospectively gone back through my blog and renamed them 'A', 'B', and 'C' to avoid any confusion. This will also help to put them into some kind of order or chronology ( 'A' being the one that was started first ). Any further additions will follow this convention. ;)

WORK IN PROGRESS 'C' : 24 / 11 / 2016 - DETAIL

To see the earlier iterations of this, scroll down to the 11th & 10th November blog entries.


Full size: 50cm x 75cm, Acrylic on Canvas.




Including this, I have a total of three 'in progress' paintings. The other two are currently on display so I won't get to finish them until I get them back.




You'll notice I've changed the scale on the blocks and bars of this piece. Everything is bigger, which means there will be less art on the surface of the canvas. You can still see the 'histories' underneath, but over time some of these details will gradually be over-written.






Friday, 18 November 2016

FROM THE USA? LET'S DO STUFF!

Every day, I get approximately 300 page-views from the US, by far my biggest audience. If you are an artist, agent, curator, buyer, or design company, get in touch, especially if you are on the East Coast. I visit on a regular basis. You'll find my contact email, below.

Below: Mural Design, BPN Architects Summer Show, Birmingham UK, Aug 2016




Superhighway Chair & fabric by Valley Forge Fabrics / WeaveUp, USA, July 2015




Polygraph Nudes Artwork for NORA Apartments, Orlando, Jan 2015





 Electronique Shoes for Bucketfeet, Chicago, Summer 2015



- Alexi

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

CARBON-BASED LIFEFORMS: THOUGHTS ON LIFE-DRAWING

I was partially pleased with these drawings when I did them back in September. For the most part, the face came out really well - I always feel satisfied to capture the model's likeness - even though that's never really the point of life-drawing.

I'm also happy about the poses and the lighting of the body.




 '90% observation, 10% drawing'


Life-drawing is usually about reconnecting with your basic skills, and making sure you haven't gone rusty. It's about the power of the observation. My main complaint with art courses that don't have life-drawing classes, is that if you can't adequately render your own species, then your powers of observation and your ability to record the world around you could be stunted somewhat. The best thing that I was ever taught, was that life-drawing is '90% observation, 10% drawing'.




Life-drawing classes always seem to take place at night, when the powers of concentration are at their lowest. It was the same when I was at college: You're tired, hungry, the light quality is not good. 

As an adult, to get around this, I always draw with my wrong hand - in other words - my non-dominant hand, in order to keep myself awake. This usually results in a kind of spontaneity that I would never get by using my regular hand. It's like someone else has done the drawing, which is really interesting.




In these pictures, the thing I'm least happy about are the model's hands, which are usually one of my strong points. It's obvious that in this session, I was not able to use the charcoal - which is the bluntest of instruments - to clearly delineate the fingers. In my defence, some were very fast poses ( eg. two or three minutes ), so you didn't have the luxury of tinkering. With charcoal, it's very easy to attempt to make corrections, at the risk of turning the whole area into a smudged mess. So it encourages the artist to show some restraint.















It's amazing how elegant the strokes can appear when using a delicate and brittle medium such as charcoal:


As far as art-making goes, my personal philosophy is: Be as abstract and as out-there as you like, but try to also have the core skills on which to build

Friday, 11 November 2016

'BEAUTIFUL WALL' - WORK IN PROGRESS 'C' : 11 / 11 / 2016


Detail ( below ), showing the use of different surface textures.



I am going to title the current iteration this painting - which is still a work in progress - 'HOMAGE TO BARRAGAN', after my favourite Mexican architect.

People have speculated that the 'Beautiful Wall' that Trump intends to build along the Mexican border, should be painted pink ( see FastCo's article ). This would be in honour of Luis Barragan, an architect known for his clean, modernist designs and bright colours.

Again, I have to stress that this painting ( see below, and also the previous blog entry ) will NOT look anything like this in a few days, because I've decided it needs a drastic and complete overhaul / revision. However, that does not mean that I won't be doing a proper 'Homage to Barragan' at some point. It just won't be this one.

The same goes for the two other works in progress ( see 22nd August & 25th October ). All three still need to be re-edited and remixed until I'm happy with the results.

So until I get around to an appropriate tribute to the great architect Barragan, enjoy the pictures below, and the bright, Latin American colours.

Below: Current ( temporary ) composition, 50cm x 75cm Acrylic On Canvas, Nov 2016.





Detail ( below ).