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Paintings that Glow

The creation of an unintentional, intentional signature.

Why do I do this?

The purpose of my pieces are to reflect everyday feelings and emotions, which I do mostly through the use of color. These are my (and your) moments of introspection. To think, to feel, is timeless. However, feelings are always changing. I wanted to carry this idea within my pieces. The artwork will look a certain way in different types of lighting (light and dark), just like how feelings change when someone sits with their thoughts or has the influence of someone else's perspective.

Utilizing phosphorescent paints and fluorescent paints have become an essential part of the creation process. At first, this method was unintentional. When I initially thought about how I wanted to reflect feelings, I decided it was best to do so with bright colors. Last year, while browsing the art store for some new acrylics, I thought that the brightest paints happened to be the fluorescent ones. So, I ended up just buying them. What I didn't realize at first was that the paints were actually reflective in UV lighting. I only discovered it when I wanted to charge my glow in the dark paintings. Then, I realized that this was the perfect way to accomplish what I wanted to do. The pieces are both literal and figurative - where the composition figuratively reflected emotion, while simultaneously, literally reflecting light.

I have to make sure that I am leaving room in the composition to add bright colors. Almost all of my pieces (unless it is a commission piece with a strict colorway) light up under UV lighting and some glow in the dark as well. At first, I wanted this to be a surprise to people when they put their paintings in their homes. Soon, I realized that its probably going to take forever for the collector to notice this, as not everyone has access to UV back lighting.

Down below, I have a slideshow showing some of my pieces under UV in my studio.

Materials I Use

Alright, I won't gatekeep. After a good amount of research, I found a glow paint that works very well. I also use different types of fluorescent paints as well and I will list them down below.

Alright. You know the deal...

If you're looking to get art supplies, I highly recommend jerry's artarama. It is a discounted art store, and if you sign up at the store for the free member discount card you'll receive 10% off every purchase. So, go ahead and take advantage of that. This is not an ad by the way.

(p.s. Jerry's Artarama please sponsor me, I beg you!!!)

Also, another store I like to get supplies from is Hobby Lobby. When you visit in store, they always have sales on specific art brands. Keep a lookout online for their weekly ad's they always have their specials posted on there.

(p.s. Hobby Lobby if you want to sponsor me, I will be down for that!) 👀

Anyways, here's my favorite fluorescent paints I usually use:

  1. United Nuclear - UltraGlow Paint

  2. Montana Cans - Acrylic Spray Paint

  3. Golden - High Flow Acrylics

  4. Lukas Cryl - Acrylic Paint

  5. Amsterdam - Acrylic Paint

The Show

On Sunday, November 28th - I had a small studio gallery night, where I displayed my most recent collection, DRIFT. This series features 8 pieces in total, utilizing bubbles to embody a person having certain emotions throughout the story. The original piece (DRIFT) was actually completed at the beginning of the year. It was sitting in my studio, so I eventually decided that I wanted to expand that piece into a series. I had the pieces lined up on the walls of my studio. Once everyone got a good look at the paintings, I shut off the lights so that people were able to see the paintings lit up under UV backlighting. Visit my Instagram to see more pictures of the pieces.

Here's the order and titles of the DRIFT Collection.

  1. Drift

  2. Sync

  3. Autopilot

  4. Teleport

  5. Burst

  6. Inflate

  7. Clarity

  8. Transcend

Drift is a visual timeline of what it’s like to be “lost” in your early adulthood (18-30). You’re stuck between knowing what you’ve learned from childhood - from an influencer’s point of view (influencer: parents, family, friends, peers) to discovering what the world is like within your own point of view. You’re finding what actually works, and what doesn’t. This is one of your most experimental stages of life. This series illustrates acceptance of the past, enjoyment of the present, and comfortability with not knowing or (knowing) how your future will turn out to be. This is a celebration of experimentation…not knowing what you want your life to be, so you try everything. No matter where life takes you… your most important task is to actively work on trying to change yourself into a better human.

Creation Process

The first piece of the collection, DRIFT was actually created earlier in the year, in January. It's been sitting in my studio for so long. Since I had just finished the USING YOUR WORDS series, an idea popped into my head. Since Drift wasn't selling, I thought to myself, "hmm what if I expanded this piece and make a bubble series, would people be interested in this one?" I wasn't sure, but I did it anyways. I wanted to challenge myself, and make a small series. I decided that 8 was good number, considering how my last series was 6 pieces. Slowly but surely, I want to get better at pushing my ideas out and creating art much faster. So, little by little, my collections will consist more pieces of art. If I can push out about 10 pieces per month, that's roughly 120 pieces of artwork within a year. The best way for me to do this, is by challenging myself to make a collection each month.

To create this collection, I approached the creation process using these beginning steps.

  1. Choosing the background colors for each piece and color scheme

  2. Brainstorming what feelings I wanted to evoke for the series

  3. Keeping in mind what I wanted the collection to be about (in this case everything stemmed from the yellow DRIFT artwork.

  4. Brainstorming what elements (from the first piece) I wanted each pieces to have

  5. Sitting with my thoughts (unfortunately this was the worst part)

I literally had to keep DRIFT in front of me while I created the other pieces. I wanted to make sure that each piece was unique, but also look like they were united. All of the canvases were built by scratch except for Clarity and Transcend (store bought canvases). I put the frames together, stretched the canvas, and then added gesso to the canvases. After they both dried off, I painted the background colors. I used ultramarine blue for Autopilot, and for Sync I used turquoise and a purple color that I mixed (ultramarine blue, turquoise, white, and a dash of dark magenta).

Painting process simplified:

  1. Paint background color

  2. Make random brushstrokes with both brushes and palette knives (not really random though)

  3. Use fluid acrylics for liquid effects

  4. Paint bubbles within pieces

  5. Paint in the dark to make sure colors look good

  6. Spray paint different areas for intensity

  7. go back in with acrylic markers and small brush for added details

I spent the most time creating Sync compared to the other pieces. I made this collection in about two weeks. Out of the two weeks, I spent maybe 4 days painting Sync. For Sync, I created this piece with my fluid acylics and spraying water. I then, added the bubbles in the areas I thought made the most sense. Then, I added bright yellow and orange stripes around some bubbles. These stripes were an element that I took from the DRIFT piece. So each of the other pieces have a technique that I grabbed from Drift, and figured that's how the pieces would look united, aside from the bubbles. Some pieces have stripes, others have dots, others have the drips.

That's all folks! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to drop them down below! I'd love to know what you think. (Comment section works now that I've fixed it).

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