My most recent artwork translates influences from Spanish art

My newest painting “Sketches of Spain” Translates influences from Spanish art. I sketched some ideas of your typical iconography. However, at this point I sought to move into a purely abstract direction. This was done knowing my next painting would be more figurative (the painting I created of Anthony Bourdain). There are some hints of these ideas that appear in the painting. Some more obvious than others.

I made a conscious decision to lean more into abstraction with this painting. Some icons get more “lost in abstraction” than other icons. The sketching process of this painting was a lot of fun, so expect to see more material from this painting in the future in one manner or another.

My first painting was taken from a photo I took when I studied in Spain

When I was 18, I traveled with a study abroad company called Learning Programs International. I visited the Prado, A castle filled with Goya paintings, as well as a number of Gaudi’s architecture. Guell Park in Barcelona and the Sangrada Familia were particular favorites of mine.
I had the fortunate pleasure of traveling to Madrid, Barcelona, Santander, Toledo, and Portugal. I lived in Salamanca and studied at the University of Salamanca.

Some of my favorite influences come from Spanish artists.

There is a whole list of Spanish artists that I have enjoyed for many Years. From Goya to Picasso, there’s a vast group of artistic wealth that Spain has produced.
Pablo Picasso is probably my favorite of all of these artists. There’s a fantastic TV series that was released in 2018 by National Geographic that covers not only his life, but how his art was created.

I recently got to see a collection of Dali’s Paintings at the Meadow’s museum

Dali’s “Poetics of the Small” is currently showing at the Meadows museum at SMU through December 9th. I will be publishing a review on my Patreon page.

I love Dali’s work because it both embodied and acted as an antithesis to certain aspects of Spanish painters. Where Picasso embodied the super serious machismo archetype of art in the country, Dali was fun and playful. There were certainly intense moments in his work, but it always invited the viewer into a fascinating world. There was always a slight wink and a nod in his artwork.

I visited just after the exhibit opened. These paintings were very small, but extremely detailed. It has inspired me to work a little smaller, and revisit icons and concepts from previous paintings.

There are many ideas in this new painting that may warrant re examination in smaller works.

Many paintings I have created in the past had great ideas that could use further iteration. I tend to pack a lot of ideas in my abstracts, and sometimes the visual interpretation of those ideas get pushed or pulled depending on what’s best for the painting overall, visually. This painting had some interesting concepts that I really want to explore in more detail. I want to elaborate upon them. I had a great drawing of a gestural representation of a flamenco dancer melded with a skeleton. Skulls and death imagery are very prominent in Spanish culture, especially given their countries history of revolution and war. There’s something really fascinating about the combination of a fascination between life and death that is so pertinent in Spanish history. I think ideas like this definitely deserve a second look.
This elaboration will also allow me to create works that can travel across the country. I have had a few conversations with representatives in other parts of the country as of late. However, transporting large works across the country is very expensive. So this may be a practical way to bridge that gap.

From here on out, I’ll move between abstraction, and figurative representation

I have ventured into figurative mixed media paintings recently. This doesn’t mean I am looking to abandon my abstract leanings entirely. This painting has been immediately preceded by a portrait of Anthony Bourdain, which you will get an update on next month. So from now moving forward, I will move between abstract and figurative painting to have a more dynamic creative output.

To conclude, I had a lot of fun venturing down memory lane with this painting. I look to explore culture and life around the world in future paintings. I have certainly done so in the past. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next month’s update!

-Jason