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Filtering by Tag: acrylic paint

Off the Easel-Latest Painting

Tony Luongo

“Near or Far” 48”x36” Acrylic on canvas

“Near or Far” 48”x36” Acrylic on canvas

I had been looking at the work of artist-illustrator Gerard DuBois. His illustrations are amazing. Besides the obvious awesomeness of his problem solving and ideas, and I really enjoy the texture in his work.

I had this large canvas I had just bought and was going to try to incorporate elements of his  style especially the texture. I’ve done a few painting of stylized trees and they’ve sold. So I decided to start with that in mind and go from there. If, as I went on this journey the tree no longer worked then it would be abandoned and I would go with what came to me.

I wanted subtle color, flat texture, which I achieved initially, but then I needed this painting to say something. What should I say? What should it say? I’ve been working on a series of paintings featuring stylized trees, with an object painted more realistically (ie: “Cardinal” 40”x30” oil and acrylic on canvas).

“Cardinal” 40”x30” oil and acrylic on canvas

“Cardinal” 40”x30” oil and acrylic on canvas

My kiddos built little wooden birdhouses and we had them hanging on a branch in the yard over the winter. When we came out to see them in the spring the snow and wind had taken its toll. One of the houses had crash down to the earth below and cracked it’s painted Crayola blue roof. This was on my mind as I was working so I added a realistic depiction of that birdhouse. With it contrasting rendering with the flat, textured, graphic, tree, sky and ground I feel it adds an interesting narrative.

The visual tension created by the birdhouse “resting” on the horizon is to make the viewer ask themselves, is the birdhouse attached to the tree or is it off in the distance resting on the horizon nowhere near the tree? If it is attached to the tree, is it hanging from the strong branch or the tiny twig just waiting to break?

Maybe this tree represents a family tree, or a family. Maybe the house symbolizes a home or someone’s heart. How close is their home to their immediate family in relationship to their extended family. Are they close? Is their home and family connected or are separated by miles of bitterness, resentment or just distance.

A Portrait of a Portrait

Tony Luongo

Each are 12"x16" Acrylic on Illustration board

Each are 12"x16" Acrylic on Illustration board

Portraits that I create are not photos that I then take into Photoshop and apply a filter, then color it in with paint on a canvas. In order to create these works of art, that you will smile at every time you walk by, I have spent decades practicing and hours and hours working in my studio. Sometimes fighting with demons of doubt. "I can’t do this." "Why do I think I can?" Then all of a sudden, through perseverance, faith and hard work, I make a mark and shivers run through my body. I’ve done it.

11"x14" Charcoal on paper

11"x14" Charcoal on paper

This reminds me of a great little story I heard about Pablo Picasso. I'm not sure if it true or just a fun little tale.

A woman came up to him at a park while he was sitting on a bench sketching. She was so excited.

“You’re him. You're Pablo Picasso.”

He humbly nodded.

           “Would you draw a portrait of me,” she asked him. “I’m such a huge fan and would be so honored.”

He said OK and she sat down. He then got his charcoal and paper and just looked at her. For 20 minutes he just stared at her without touching his supplies. Then as if snapping out of a trance he grabbed his charcoal made one careful gesture on his paper and proclaimed he had finished. The lady looked at it and was amazed. She was so amazed.

“It looks just like me. You captured my very soul. I love it. How much do I owe you?”

“That will be $5000.”

“What?”, she exclaimed in astonishment. “It only took you 20 minutes.”

“No ma'am, It’s taken years of practicing to be able to make that mark.”