This project is a surrealistic artist's road trip from Maine to California, combining the captivating beauty of America's natural landscapes and a unique, for-the-viewers/by-the-viewers, crowd-generated painting concept that will guide the design of 6 psychedelic/expressionistic, plein air paintings. The contributor's portraits, ideas, thoughts, random interests, personal stories, and insights will help to structure the paintings' design. I will artfully knit all of the components of the road trip, my perspective, and the contributor's stories into 6 colorful, contemporary pieces.
Each painting will be 36 x 48 inches and done in acrylic paint as it is the fastest, most effective medium for this style of painting. I will plein air paint landscapes at these 6 locations: Mount Desert Island, Maine (already done, shown above); New York City, NY; Farms outside Savannah, Georgia; Houston and surrounding Texas scenery; Grand Canyon and the Southwestern Desert landscape; and Sequoia Forests near San Fransisco, California, between January 2016 and April 2016. The contribution period will already be over by then, and I will have mapped out the general idea for each piece before painting it on location, with the added contributors' ideas, portraits, and input.
I decided to jump ahead and begin the series to show viewers what they can expect by painting the first location, Mount Desert Island, Maine, using stories from my personal life (shown at the top). Due to the fact I had to begin before I could get additional input from the donors, the first piece I based on myself. All the scenes are undoubtably reminiscent of coastal Maine- the thrashing waves and white caps, the lighthouses' stretching light beams, the granite beaches, wildlife and flora that thrive on land, varying trees of different colored foliage, the spiritual colors of a harvest blood moon, and of course the central focus of Cadillac Mountain and the Mount Desert Island horizon (as seen from Mount Desert Narrows). All of these combine to throw the audience into a mid-summer's day in Maine- walking along the rocky beaches as orange and pink colors pepper the sky. The theme beyond the landscape in this painting is the idea of community and love. For my entire life I've had an extremely supportive family that has always encouraged me to reach further and keep going with your dreams. Even coming from a family with little to nothing extra to give, I've always found a way (through my family, friends, or my own sheer persistence) to continue on my journey to become a professional artist. I feel like after 10+ years of commitment I'm starting to really get there. The glowing fire in the upper right hand corner not only symbolizes the Sun (to add in a dualism with the Moon, opposite of it), but also the central fire of passion; the source of creation; the muse. This is where I believe my ideas come from. From that guiding point I've felt my hand pulled in different directions as I piece together what constitutes my art and my style. Not to say someone is literally painting for me, but that there is an undeniable urgency deep down inside me to paint- This is symbolized in the hand stretching out of the source of creation, painting a familiar scene on a canvas that is being held up by groups of people. What that stands for is the countless people who have supported, shared, liked, received and bought my artwork over the years. They are the reason I am able to keep going and push forward. The appreciation of my time and hard work really helps drive and motivate me more. On the shore you'll see a sprawling grassy hill similar to the ones found at music festivals where my artwork originally was able to flourish. I've grown up side-by-side with local musicians, all in the same boat as me as we struggle to assemble art that has relevance with other people. I sold my first few major pieces at these types of events, and along with friends, family, and my girlfriend (the faces represented in the bottom right hand corner) I was able to build up a network of steady commissions. There are also a few other hidden images in this piece- a portrait of mine interwoven into the fibers of the grass near the center of the piece that represents my connectedness with the forces of nature, as well as a shark above the mountain range to represent the hidden dangers always lurking in every day.
This painting was very metaphorical for the actual Kickstarter and this period of my life I'm in. I'm a developing contemporary artist, moving from a local-level, aspiring for a larger audience having already put in years into Maine, displaying the love, support, and beauty my state has to offer. With this Kickstarter campaign I would like your help to paint the rest of our country, and finish this series!
I'm asking for $6800 as I'll be needing five more 36 x 48 canvases, all of the paint and supplies, time, and the travel expenses to complete this project. If there is any additional money, it will be used to put up a show of the series in California.
If you donate you $10 or up, you will receive ink drawings similar to the ones pictured below...
If you donate $25 or more you will receive a print of any one of the 6 paintings that culminate from this road trip series. If you donate $50 ore more you will get 3 of those prints of your choosing, as well as the option to get yourself, a person you know or a celebrity painted into one of the six paintings. If you donate $100 or more, you can choose a theme, idea, motif, or story of any type to be used to model the overall concept of each painting! The donors will LITERALLY be part of the creative process, something I think both the artist and the donor can enjoy. For $500 you can receive any painting worth that price or less from my large inventory of over 100 original acrylic paintings (Some examples below)...
Finally, for $1000 you can OWN one of the 6 paintings for yourself, to display anywhere at your leisure- These paintings will be beautiful plein air landscapes, molded and sculpted by you, the crowd, and painted out by me.
I already have time, years of practice, and some money set aside for this idea, and only with a larger budget can I get this idea off the ground. I'm hoping to expand my audience and explore plein air painting further in locations I previously couldn't have, but only with YOUR help can I do that!
Risks and challenges
I'm very experienced with meeting deadlines and delivering my art when it's needed, I also have over 10+ years of painting experience that will help to smooth the design stage of this project out. So the art part will be the natural part for me- I've been doodling and mixing together ideas on paper and canvas with friends for as long as I've had pencils. The real problem I could potentially face will be the road trip part of it. I've traveled a lot in my life though, up and down the East Coast and into the South, but never this exact route, and I've never gone west. It will also be January 2016 when I leave Maine (the dead of winter), so I will need to make it fairly quickly from Maine to the South, with only one stop to paint, in NYC. This is part of the reason it was chosen as a southern-state road trip, as this will be the middle of the Winter in the North. Though if you have ever been to Maine in the Winter you will understand if you can make it through these winters, you can make it anywhere. Therefore, I don't expect much travel issues once I get to Savannah, as it's then just a straight shot in warmer weather to the West Coast. The plein air aspect of this project will also present some problems as it could be cold, potentially rainy, windy, or obstructive in some other way. Though, as a veteran artist, I know to "work with what you got," and how to overcome outdoor painting obstacles. I'll have a tent cover for any rainy days, and I certainly know how to dress for the weather being a Mainer! The first painting of the series is already done, and so it won't present any problems on the first leg of the journey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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