The Prince

The Prince, mixed media.

Producing a portrait is a task I take very seriously. I have created hundreds over my career many for the big publishers (Time, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated) and each one is a challenge. The first goal for me is to capture the spirit of the person. I want the likeness to ring true, but the soul must be present in the art for it to be successful. I generally like to meet the person, make sketches and take my own photographic reference. Then the materials take over and may be a fusion of drawing, painting, digital elements.
 
You can see many of my portraits in, The Art of Greg Spalenka book and more at this link.
 
The art you see above is a recent commissioned portrait of Anna Melcher with her spirit guide. What was different and touching about creating this artwork is that the choice was made to focus on the power of this very real presence in Anna's life.
 
The extra challenge here is that there were no pictures of this leopard entity so there was much sketching and finding reference that would reflect its beauty and regal qualities. We explored ideas of Anna being close to this spirit in a tangible way, which I really liked (below), but she wanted to let her guide take center stage.
 
 
The next step was to capture the feeling of this kingly force of nature, without coming across to patriarchal. The crown he wears was refined a few times. Below was one version.
 
 
The final portrait has a magical, very storybook quality to it... almost Pre-Raphaelite like.
In the world of ubiquitous smart phone photographs there is something refreshing and yet timeless about slowing down to appreciate a life made into art. I thank Anna for the opportunity to render her likeness in such a unique and special manner. 

Fearless Painting

Painting can be intimidating until you are ready to let loose and approach it with a fearless attitude.

I am teaching two classes, EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING TECHNIQUE I and II that will take the mystery out of making art with paint whether it is abstract or representational. Explore art techniques utilizing acrylic paints, coffee, oil paints and more. Demonstrations, with emphasis on student experimentation.
We will use different techniques and processes to push the potential of these materials to create unique imagery and effects.

I used most of these techniques for many of my illustration commissions.


EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING TECHNIQUE I: Thursday, July 2, 12PM - 3PM

EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING TECHNIQUE II and Friday, July 3, 12PM - 3PM

Materials List will be supplied.

Know Thyself

 

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom."

 -Socrates

*****

Before Apollo the son of Zeus was venerated at the temple of Delphi, before Zeus sent two eagles east and west to find the navel of the world... Gaia was the mother of all. She was the heart and womb of creation.

In 1500 BC, the Temple of Delphi reigned atop the sacred mountain peak of Parnassus in ancient Greece. The primary religion at the time was devoted to the Earth Goddess, Gaia. Legends tell us that inside the inner temple was the Hestia or hearth where an eternal flame burned. Here priestesses would bathe and drink from the sacred springs, inhale the fumes of burning laurel leaves and sit in meditation to enter a visionary trance to ascertain the deeper mysteries of reality and prophesize future events.

Amongst the ruins of this wondrous Goddess-based civilization is an ancient Greek inscription prescribing its reader to “Know Thyself.” The Oracles at Delphi were part of that tribe.

We are all part of tribes. Your family, friends, school, society, business, and government are all tribes. They keep order within the group, they breed a commonality, and they induce a sense of security. There are also rules that dictate what is acceptable in these societies. You have felt these rules from the time you were born. First, they begin in your family with their customs and perceptions of the world. Then they are supported by your relatives, reflected in friends, school, society, and work. This support system has its advantages, especially during our elementary and middle schools years, but as we become teenagers our individuality blossoms (even if we feel timid or insecure), yearning to break out and push the boundaries of our potential. Stepping into our confidence and standing our ground can be daunting, especially if we have family, relatives, friends, or teachers pointing our paths in another direction.

Knowing who you are and what you stand for is a reflection of a deep soul imprint.

I created the Know Thyself workshop to be a transformational journey that reflects your unique purpose. It is a meta-physical journey. Meta (from the Greek meta- μετά- meaning "after" or "beyond") is a prefix meaning more comprehensive or transcending. Symbolically you will mirror the oracles of the past. The deep experiences of your life will offer clues to Knowing Thyself, and manifesting an empowered future.

Check HERE to learn more and for dates and times.