Abdicate

Abdicate
17" x 14", oil on Bristol board, 2020

This painting is based on photo reference I shot in the late '90s and used as part of my Operation: Waterstorm project from 1998 (see below). I challenged myself to paint one watercolour per week for the entire year (I ended up painting 63 in total). I had a suspicion that painting regularly would improve my skills and it turned out to be true; the only way to get better at something is to keep doing it (it's also important to be mindful throughout and learn from your mistakes; the improvement is cumulative, but there will be some duds along the way).

This current project (which, uncharacteristically, for me doesn't have a name) is very similar, even in its origin: on New Year's Eve, 2019, I decided to paint as many pictures in 2020 (and beyond) as I could, all the while filming myself and then uploading time lapse videos to my YouTube channel. As of this posting, I've done 14 paintings (and videos) which puts me at just over a painting per week on average (I have a bathroom renovation and pandemic to contend with, or there would be a few more by now).

As with the watercolour project from 1998, I'm finding some improvement in my paintings (so far, just oils, but I'll eventually paint some watercolours because I still love that medium very much). I'm trying some new techniques and Bristol board is an interesting surface to paint on.

Mad
22" x 15", watercolour, 1998.

This was the first time I used this reference image...but not the last: I abstracted it in Photoshop, then painted that image in oils nearly a decade later (below).

Easy as Pie
40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2007
private collection

Of course, this wouldn't be the last time I use this photo reference; after Abdicate, I'll be using it in a larger oil painting to be done in the next couple of months (and there'll be a time lapse video for that, as well).

Meanwhile, here's the time lapse video of Abdicate's creation:





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