I recently sold one of my favourite pieces of the latest set, called "Dyadic". It is a painting of two phone booths, representing urban decay and the passage of time.
I approached this piece as the beginning of a fresh set of city art works. I had previously created a few urban-inspired pieces as an experiment. When I realized that I loved making them, and that people were also excited to view them, I decided to create this work that treats them as a pair (the term "Dyadic" refers to dualities, relationships between two objects, etc). View it here: www.jonshawpaintings.com
As with other works of the same series, I started with an ink drawing. I remember really enjoying making this drawing. I did some of the drawing at a coffee shop near my house with my friend Beth. This was a significant day because at some point walking to/from that coffee shop I lost my wallet and somebody took it..we later found the contents (except cash and credit cards, of course) discarded in a bush.
The drawing took a few days, as this is a 2' x 3' piece, and therefore has more content to fill. It was really awesome seeing it take shape though. I really love that part in the process when I can work on my pieces from anywhere - such as in public venues or with friends. Makes the work hold more memories and connections to people and places.
As I worked on this piece one thought was about how great it felt to be working on a larger drawing. Now that my most recent show is up and I have more time to explore new projects, I would like to work on something quite large (in the 4' range).
The first stages of painting were as fun as always. I apply very loose pools of paint and let them dry flat. I work very spontaneously at this stage, often working from a loose colour scheme I've picked beforehand. The colours look somewhat disjointed at this stage, but its really interesting to see it like this.
This piece was the first time I focused on the addition of stickers, graffiti and other remnants on the phone booth. As time goes on, urban objects such as these phone booths age, decay and collect evidence of time and people gone by. I am very interested in the addition of these components because they are extremely fun to photograph around the city, interpret, and recreate in my paintings.
One neat other new addition began in this painting, and became a mainstay in future pieces. I began dropping very light paint blobs on top of lighter highlight areas, to break up the visual plane. I discovered that if I blot them dry when they are half wet/half dry, that I get a really amazing effect where the paint stains an outer ring of colour, and the middle becomes quite transparent. I find that with this subject matter, it adds a whole extra layer of texture and visual appeal.
You can see this work and the rest of the series on my site: www.jonshawpaintings.com