Friday, January 21, 2011

99 Paintings: Hiatus

Day: 82 "Zombie Killer": 
I have reevaluated the pace of this awesome artistic endeavor and have found that, despite how excellent it has been and how much I have grown, trying to do a painting a day has been detrimental, instead of instrumental, to my achieving certain goals that need to take precedence right now. I’m by no means done, but I need to slow down.

My 99 Paintings project has been an interesting and exciting experiment. It has fed my creativity and achieved some of the goals I have set for myself. However, it has fallen short for other goals and is ultimately not worth continuing in the same way as this time.

I’ve had a chance to play with paint again and try some new approaches and color schemes. Most of all, I’ve grow as a photo montage artist and have some new samples for my portfolio. I also have a new body of work that I own and can build off of.

Just like a business venture, you try something, evaluate its progress, and make adjustments as you see fit. It’s time for an adjustment.

The project has reignited my passion for making art, and I am far from stopping. The daily commitment is what has to change. Instead of helping my goals, it has been hindering them. One of which, is my number one goal to work on my novel every day. I found that I was not writing, just so I can get a painting done each day. Worrying about a painting a day has also taken valuable time away from job hunting in new markets, private commissions I have booked, exercising, and time with my honey.

I am so grateful to all of you who have been following the series, made comments, given me encouragement, and bought some of the art.

The paintings I’ve done so far are still for sale: as are other goodies at my website, including my book Blood Rituals: The Art of Tom Baxa.

I have agonized over this decision, but for now I think the right choice is to step back and focus on some other critical goals. I do intend on filling up the 99 slots though, just on an extended timeline. I zig and I zag and I keep moving forward. - Tom

Thursday, January 20, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 46

Day: 46 "Stain of Sorrow": 
I have seen a lot of photoshop images with this look and I wanted to figure out how they were done.  This was a little art lesson for myself.  It's a simple image, but I like the tone.  - Tom

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 45

Day: 45 "Embryonic Wave": 
Photo montage is so different than oil painting in that a finished piece seems to be a culmination of accidents that you let happen, then reel in and refine.  In that regard, it's pretty damn fun.  As with my other montage pieces, I started out with a completly different plan in mind.  Then I laid down a texture and all these vibrant colors appeared and I was drawn in by them.  Then as I laid in more textures, the deep blue element came into play and I emphasised it in the hair. 

I continue to love the "shredded" look that is achieved when you use the wand tool in PS select.  I'm also enjoying how photos of seemingly unrelated things work to allude to an object like hair or (hehe) placenta.  Case in point - the main fetus guy is a photo of a fetus, but the other two are a curly pastry.  Yum.  -- Tom

Monday, January 17, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 43

Day: 43 "Red Inversion": 
I wanted to continue exploring a black on black type pallette.  I took the same sketch from Day 40: Dream Ghost and did it in a predominately black color scheme.  I applied the same kind of almost negative approach as I did with that painting with red instead of white and the effect is pretty striking.  In some ways the painting reminds me of a black light glow and a negative effect.  It also reminded me a little bit of Peter Max, but I'm not sure why. - Tom

99 Paintings in 99 Days for $99 Project:  Tom Baxa has challenged himself to do a painting a day for 99 consecutive days and post them on and his Deadspeak blog.  Each 8x10 painting will be sold for $99, and prints for $9.99.  Baxa will be exploring different subject matters and mediums, including digital, and experimenting with artistic expression.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 42

Day: 42 "I Deprive Myself": 
Another black on black painting featuring a bondage mask.  It's difficult to capture the subtleties of the painting with my simple photographic set up and with reduced jpgs.  Go to my site to see it bigger.  This one doesn't have as much punch as yesterday's painting because here is no strong light source. -- Tom

Saturday, January 15, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 41

Day: 41 "I Don't Want To Be": 
There are many philosophies about the practice of bondage, from mildly playful to sexually gratifying to a means to altered states of consciousness.  For the most part, I find it a disturbing and extreme solution.  I imagine most practitioners as having a broken sense of self worth and need to punish themselves emotionally. 

I felt the stark lighting and posture of the head to perfectly convey this viewpoint.  On a technical note: I've been wanting to explore some low light, black on black type paintings involving leather and latex and chrome.  I'll likely do more.  - Tom

Friday, January 14, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 40

Day: 40 "Dream Ghost": 
Today I did something different.  I decided to mimic the color effects created in the digital piece I did for Day 23 - Digital Haze (see below).  The effects were created in photoshop and resulted in a way of coloring that follows form, but is contrary to form, and is almost negative, but not really.  I could not have come up with this scheme on my own, so I wanted to explore what I have learned from photoshop image making. - Tom

Here's the sketch of a "normal" woman that I started with.

Here's the Digital Haze girl without the tech in mouth.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 39

Day: 39 "Mummy 02": 
Another creepy mummy actually based on a real mummy.  Doing a painting like this is fun, but it also teaches me new ways of representing dead flesh - perfect for a monster a zombie or a mummy (duh)!  Without seeing it in life, you'd never think our skin casings would do the things it does post mortem.  Pretty wild. - Tom

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 38

Day: 38 "Mummy 01": 
True life mummies offer some amazing distortions in their dried flesh.  Always a fun topic for a painting.  On a personal note, I've been finding it extremely taxing to produce a painting a day in addition to other goals I am trying to achieve.  One of the main reasons for this undertaking was to allow me the freedom to work on my novel each day.  So far, the painting thru posting process has made it difficult to find time to write.  I'm not giving up yet!  Tomorrow I WILL be writing in the morning. - Tom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 37

Day: 37 "In the Desert": 
Kinda sketchy today.  I laid down a wash of oil and it was drying pretty quickly, so the paint was going on different than I normally work.  So I tried to run with it, taking an add and remove and re-add approach/process to applying the paint.  It could be an interesting way to work for certain effects.  (Again hard to see the nuances in a jpg).  I also tried to alter the anatomy slightly to give it a little bit of an 'off ' feeling.  Not a very successful piece in any reguard.  But that's bound to happen. - Tom

Sunday, January 9, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 35

Day: 35 "Rot Mouth Skull": 
My girl Susie is a painter too.  She's what I call a scrubber.  She uses very little paint on her brush and likes to scrub pigment into the canvas.  I was attempting to use that approach here.  First off, this is a really bad photo today - sorry about that.  But I found that a slicker gessoed board, like I like to use, is not as conducive to the scrubbing or scumbling method.  A bit more absorbant and textural surface like canvas works better.  I did get some nice results by working very thin though.  Remember to brush your teeth kiddies, or you'll end up like this poor fellow. - Tom

Saturday, January 8, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 34

Day: 34 "Jacked In": 
Another photo montage piece.  My original concept was to have a slug wrapped in all kinds of leather bindings and studded collars.  I started down that road and it was kinda ridiculous.  I was actually quite scared - things were not coming together.  But I've done enough pieces of art to TRUST that it would.  And it did.  Laying in texture fields for the background and over the whole image helps solidify things a lot and lays a foundation for a more cohesive piece.

I spent a lot of time compositing a slug that was a bit different and looked real.  Then when I laid the wires in, the cyber element appeared and made it cool.  I put the wires in at first because I was going to have the slug suspened from the ceiling and the sides, but after these messy wires went in, I didn't feel the need to do a realistic hanging from hooks thing.  Believe it or not, I did very little manipulation or addition to the two scramble wire textures.  They just suddenly fit on the slug form perfectly. 

I love love love how the wires on his "face" feel like a gasmask, a torture device, a jacking in rig, a medical suction device, and and insect's proboscis all at the same time.  Is this thinking slug there by choice or by capture? - Tom

Friday, January 7, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 33

Day: 33 "Jelly Overlord": 
Taking a que from yesterday's jellyfish painting, I wanted to create a jellyfish creature and use the same color scheme.  Somehow the colors seeme false on the creature, as if the painting of a real life animal gave the colors credibility.  Maybe I didn't achieve the enough translucency to the character to indicate that it was a yellow light that was making him glow and not his skin color.  It's still purdy tho'.  - Tom

Thursday, January 6, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 32

Day: 32 "Jellyfish 01": 
I saw an amazing photo of jellyfish quite a while back and have wanted to paint them ever since.  Now was my chance.  I was blown away by how saturated the yellows and reds were on the jelly underwater (obviously due to a man-made light source for photography), but striking just the same.  Jellyfish are awesome to paint because you can be so free and loose with all the undulating "guts" and tentacles.  - Tom

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 31

Day: 31 "Red Four": 
Pushing some paint around again.  I wanted to have a warm light on this character's face.  I just started painting, and this is what came out.   - Tom 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 30

Day: 30 "Fungal Spore Skull": 
Another creepy skull.  I let the spatter fungal spray take on a life of it's own, and I rendered the teeth and jaw a bit more. -  Tom

Monday, January 3, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 29

Day: 29 "In the Negative": 
After the complex and more calculated effort with the digital pieces from the last two days, I wanted to smash some paint around.  I challenged myself to paint a face in negative, without trying too hard or worrying about preciseness.  I just let loose.  As it stands, it looks kinda cool.  I put it in photoshop and inverted it, making it positive, and it's pretty messed up.  Oh well, a neat little experiment. - Tom

Sunday, January 2, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 28

Day: 28 "BreeShanti": 
I decided to continue on with my original plan for a photo montage piece that lead to yesterday's Madonnagoth discovery.  I'm adding to my repertoire of types of book covers I can do with this piece.  It is common in the book trade to have simple covers with a photo of an attractive person with some simple elements and textures added for thematic reasons and to add a little spice.  Neither this person nor her costume exist in real life.  This piece is fully composited from bits and pieces.  My goal is to make it hold together, fool the eye, and not read as photos plunked together. -- Tom

Saturday, January 1, 2011

99 Paintings: DAY 27

Day: 27 "Madonnagoth": 
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised while working on this latest photo montage piece.  I was well on my way to achieving a certain look that I was going for, when I stumbled on a whole new look as I was laying in background textures.  I did a difference layer with one of the textures and all of a sudden I got this awesome flakey gold leaf feel happening.  A normal photo became a chipped cloisonne blue and gold Madonna.