April 18, 2012

James O'Brien

Deep in the Void by James O'Brien
I asked one of our current exhibitors, James O'Brien to speak to me about his process of his work in landscape painting. He currently has 8 paintings at artstream and they are all causing quite a stir. Here are his words on process:

I want the painting and the viewer to have an experience together. My goal is to convey to the viewer a philosophy embedded in the art—for the viewer to see how natural light can reveal new truths within the objects it affects, bringing into focus an unexamined life. Our surroundings hold a hidden key to our emotions and by documenting the relationships of light values and focusing on the space, I can convey an emotion to the viewer in a carefully calculated composition. 

When painting landscapes, I begin with hundreds of thumbnails, each sketch conveying a different point-of-view or idea. I attack the canvas with aggressive and energetic brushstrokes. I don’t worry about color or the placement of anything, but attempt to capture the level of intensity or tranquility surging in the moment. When painting a mountain, my goal is to get the mountain on the canvas, capturing it the way it is; strong, tall, mighty—accessing it’s mountainness. In studying both traditional and contemporary landscapes, I observe the way light reveals and disguises the world around us. 
After grounding the canvas with a primitive feeling, I begin to construct the skeletal structure of the image, allowing the brushstroke to flow with the composition—building mark upon mark—until finally achieving a satisfactory image. 

For me it’s the visual relationships between objects that are most interesting and not, necessarily, the objects themselves. Visual cavities allow light to be perceived as if it is a divine energy full of life, communicating the secrets of sight—it can be a source of obscurity too, instilling darkness, confusion, and fear. Values of light imbue the viewer with emotion and reveal a world beyond time. By studying light’s soft and harsh qualities I create fantastic locations for the viewer to explore and bear witness to a wholly new perspective of life. 

-James Michael O’Brien 

April 12, 2012

Making art in the studio

mask making!
starting very young ...

large scale ink drawings
Some scenes from the studio these past few days - it's been productive and fun -- we have been working on some lessons from Art Lab for Kids and some new ones which we will have to snap some shots of to show! Getting ready for summer with our new classes/camps/workshops ready to be unveiled tomorrow! Stay in the loop and get our newsletter right here...

April 09, 2012

Molly Grant Bags

Molly Grant Bags by artstreamstudios
Molly Grant Bags, a photo by artstreamstudios on Flickr.

Yes! She's back! The wonderful unsinkable Molly Grant and her delish leather bags of all sorts. They start at the tiny wristlet and Chicklet style and move up to her calfskin braided drop bag. Come in and "feel the goods" with these beauties!

April 02, 2012

Monster making at RiverRun Bookstore!

A few shots from Saturday's book signing and workshop over in Portsmouth at RiverRun Bookstore. We had a full house making a taking home monsters from Lab 31 in Art Lab for Kids.  Tom was a wonderful host and the entire stock of books was gobbled up! Don't worry though - Tom assured me that more were on the way. What a fun morning at my favorite independent bookstore