Lazy Dog by Travis Sennett

A lazy drawing on a lazy day. I've spent most of the day at the computer working on the website and social media stuff. It blows my mind how much goes into setting up a cohesive 1 man show. Honestly, in retrospect, I might have paid someone to do it for me. I'm glad I've done it though because I've certainly gained a lot of know-how. In the future, if I have someone rebuild my website at least I'll have a basic idea of what they're talking about.

On that note... The Facebook page is up and running. I sorted out my Mailchimp subscription so you can get email notifications for new posts. I made my Instagram account a business account. I started a Twitter account for all you twitterers out there. What else? Idk, I'm pooped.

How has everyone's weekend been? Leave a comment below and head over to the subscribe page if you'd like to stay updated!

Class is in Session by Travis Sennett

I just got back from my first class with Steve Carpenter at his Art Center.  I haven't been so excited for something in a very long time! The class is general painting. My aim is to learn how to use oil paints and hopefully pick up some of Steve's skill set.

 

For the first piece, I chose the Andre the Giant look-alike statue along the wall. First I drew the head and then Steve came by to give me a few pointers. Show me that the eyes were a bit too big and I had to bring in the jaw a bit. Then, Steve helped me frame the piece. That's why there are all the lines around the head. After deciding how I wanted to frame ot on the canvas, we applied fixative and used the lightbox to transfer the piece to the canvas. Pictured above is the preliminary drawing after applying fixative and transferring (a bit out of focus, whoops).

Next week I will finish the drawing on the canvas and then begin painting. I CAN'T WAIT to get started with the paints!! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!!

Tireless Time-lapse by Travis Sennett

Here is my first time-lapse video. This is pretty much a test run at creating a time-lapse. From what I can tell, these are the things I need to do for next time: Get better lighting, figure out what music to use ahead of time (I'm pretty sure I can't use that Tom Waits song and will be changing it tomorrow), not start at 9 pm, take some test shots prior to running the time-lapse capture. What else? I don't know, I'm sure there's more.

I've been working on the drawing and the video for the last 20 hours straight, so I'm going to let the video do the talking for itself! As always, questions, comments, compliments and outright insults are all encouraged! Thanks!

@travbombs

p.s. Prints are for sale HERE in my Etsy store. Thanks a bunch in advance, if you decide to purchase one! You're supporting me in doing what I love. Because of that, I have created a coupon for 10% off = BLOGLOVE ... AAAAND, because you've read this far, I'll let you in on a little secret.... If you purchase something, you'll get another "Thank You" Coupon that is much better than the first one, and good for a year on any piece available for sale. Peace out girl scout! 

A Turning Point? by Travis Sennett

My parents had been watching Vera (my dog, for those of you that don't already know) for the weekend. I wanted some uninterrupted time to work on some art and other things. After work on Monday I went to their house to pick her up. While I was there I sat on the couch next to my Dad and we chatted about this and that. I was hungry so got up and walked into the kitchen. I asked my dad, "Have you eaten dinner yet?" He responded that no, he hadn't had much and said we could go out to get a bite to eat.

Lately, I've been having the desire to be more involved with my family. My twenties were a time of chaos and, although there were incredible experiences, a lot of it amounts to very little personal growth and an unintentional distancing of myself from my family. I wouldn't change any of it. Well, okay, maybe a little. But who wouldn't? So, I said yes to go out and get a bite to eat. Previously, I might have said yes out of a feeling of obligation. Now, though, I get excited at the thought of spending time with him.

During dinner the conversation was nothing extraordinary. We talked about quadcopters, travel plans, the holidays, work, and all sorts of stuff in between. The topic of my art came up eventually. For reasons that I'm still unsure of after all these years, I was unable to talk as enthusiastically about it to him as I would to anyone else. Maybe it's a worry about feeling like a fraud, or that he may think that it is a futile endeavor. So, I mustered up some courage and I said to him, "Sometimes I get so anxious because I worry that I'm being delusional, or a fraud. (paraphrased)."  He responded with, "Everybody feels that way sometimes."

A part of me, the immature part of me, immediately wanted to jump on the defense. I mean, of course I already know that but it doesn't make those feelings any less significant to me! The other part of me realized that there was nothing to be defensive about. He is helping me by trying to relate. So, I continued, "I know, but it's hard to shake it sometimes".

At that moment my Dad gave me such a smile of empathy and understanding. He then went on to describe how he got an "internship", for lack of a better term, at a computer repair shop when he was in his early 40's. The shop didn't pay him, and he didn't ask to be paid. But, eventually, the owner felt that my Dad deserved to be paid a small hourly wage for his time.

After telling me this he said to me, "You should find some part time work. That's how I got started." He was referring to his start in a career in computer support, post-retirement from 22 years as a detective. He has always been a computer tinkerer in his free time. He is a techie in his own right, and ahead of most others in his age group. That is his thing, among being a father, husband, brother, son, and uncle and friend. All of which he is wonderful at. That is his passion. That and the outdoors, but who the fuck doesn't love a good camping trip?! Now he was advising me to pursue my passion, after years of floundering without a purpose.

Oh man, did that light a fire under my ass or what! It's no secret that sons look for validation from their fathers, and I'm no different. When my Dad told me that, it was like getting the green light for something I didn't think I needed permission for. I've always been too stubborn to ask for help, despite needing it time and again. Having help always proves to be so much more efficient for growth. It doesn't make a person's achievements any less significant. 

With my newly lit ass fire I went to the world wide web and started searching the Rochester area for studios, galleries, and the like. I was looking for an established artist that might want an extra set of hands for a couple of hours a week. The first place I looked to was The Hungerford (http://thehungerford.com/). I found on there an artist by the name of Alan Singer (www.singerarts.com). He is an exceptional artist, blogger and educator. He seemed to be just the person I was looking for. Yesterday I sent him a rather nervous, timid, but honest email. I told him that I was a beginner, but I was looking for a mentor of sorts. I wanted to get into the art world and not just sit in my spare bedroom/studio and dream about it while I haphazardly attempted to teach myself. 

I wasn't expecting much. In fact, I wasn't really even expecting a response. Last night, much to my surprise and to the detriment of my ability to sleep, I got a response! I read it and Alan was very kind and accommodating. He suggested I try to see if I can audit a college course. He also gave me the contact information for Steve Carpenter, of www.stevecarpenterartcenter.com . Steve's art center offers several courses and open sessions for artists.

I know that this isn't exactly what I was looking for, but that's the point! I got something better than what I was looking for. I went searching for a mentor that might be willing to let me shadow for a couple hours a week; where i'd probably just be in the way most of the time. Instead, I found an excellent resource for live human figures to draw and paint, a community to join, and an instructor to help guide me on my path! I'm so incredibly excited and appreciative to my Dad, to Alan Singer, and to everybody else that has encouraged me a long the way. This is just the start, but it feels like a turn in the right direction!

Anatomy Lesson - Torso by Travis Sennett

 Torso lesson - rib cage and pelvis

Torso lesson - rib cage and pelvis

I completed a lesson on the torso this evening. That is very trying on the patience. The relationship of the ribs with respect to each other and the three dimensional shape of the figure is a very difficult thing to imagine. Superimposing it on a light figure was interesting, and helpful. I can see how forming these relationships helps with drawing a figure from memory. I can tell this is something that is going to take a lot of repetition to retain. I'm definitely going to revisit this lesson after I get through the entire body.

I need to be more careful about smudging too. Thankfully, this isn't a final piece.

Skull 2.💀 by Travis Sennett

Spent a little more time on this one. I have a ways to go to get where I'd like to be. For the purpose of learning the significant anatomical parts of the skull, I'm happy with it. I'm going to do some drawings from memory now and see how they come out.

 Skull 2.💀 

Skull 2.💀 

Anatomy Lessons - Skull by Travis Sennett

Anatomy - Skull - December 15, 2016

Today I did my first anatomy lesson. I have been dying to start this for quite a while. I made myself stick out the more fundamental steps first, as to not short change myself. The point of this is to familiarize myself with the underlying structure of the human body. This allows more dynamic drawings and paintings. I skipped on the detail for this one since that wasn't the goal an I wasn't happy with my paper choice. I went with mixed media thinking that if it came out well maybe I would finish it with other mediums. If you have any pointers, point away! I think I'm going to do this one more time on smoother paper before moving on to more body parts...

Tottenham Hotspur - Work In Progress by Travis Sennett

About a year ago I made a deal. A fellow artist and myself agreed to each do a painting of an interest of the other's and then trade them. He followed through almost immediately.  I was riddled with self doubt.

 

PsychedelicBreakfast painted for me a representation of a campfire, and it is awesome! It has been hanging in my kitchen since the day I received it. As soon as I got it I felt inadequate. I thought, "I can't match this". Still, I tried, and the harder I tried the less satisfied I was. I was trying to be creative, trying to outdo myself. My expectations were too high. So, I gave up. Then the messages came in.

 

"Hey Trav! Hope all is well man! How's the painting coming along?" 

 

Not good. But did I tell him I was having trouble? No. At first I just acted like I was making progress, but I wasn't really making any significant progress. I was just digging the hole deeper. Eventually I pretended like he/it didn't exist. Like it would just go away. 

 

Eventually PsychedelicBreakfast stopped asking. His last message was the first to show some resentment, and rightfully so. "What's up Travis... are you ever going to send a painting man? If not, could you please return my painting? You should have my address. Hope all is well with you. PsychedelicBreakfast."

 

What an ASSHOLE, I am! In one short message PsychedelicBreakfast summed up the the thing that I have disliked about myself the most for quite a while. An inability to finish something that i start, to stick it out when the going gets tough, to admit when I'm in over my head, and to follow through on something that someone is expecting from me. The part that struck me the most was, "Hope all is well with you." PsychedelicBreakfast has offered these well wishes before, but something about it this time showed some actual concern. He told me, politely, that despite being fucked over he still didn't wish me any Ill will. 

 

So, I stewed over my incompetency for some time. Feeling like a piece of shit, like a disappointment. Eventually, I realized that there was a solution. A painfully obvious solution. Finish a painting for PsychedelicBreakfast. Fourty Six days after his last message I responded. I admitted that I had no excuse, that I would finish a painting for him, and that I was sorry. PsychedelicBreakfast, unsurprisingly, was forgiving, kind, and encouraging. He even apologized for being rude in the last message! Can you believe that shit?! Obviously I told him he did not owe me an apology.

 

This experience has taught me a great deal about myself and about the kindness of others. I will do my very best not to take advantage of that kindness again. I will not agree to something if I can not follow through. If I agree to something I will follow through to the best of my ability and not let my self-doubt and insecurities get the better of me. 

So, I started over, and am in the final stages of the painting. Currently typing this while waiting for a glaze to dry so I can add a few more layers and get it to PsychedelicBreakfast before Christmas. If you read this far, thank you! I don't mean to be somber or overly introspective. I just feel that part of being better at following through is to admit my mistakes, openly. To PsychedelicBreakfast, if you ever read this, thanks! As small as it may seem to some, it really changed my perspective a ton.

PyschedelicBreakfast's favorite soccer team, Tottenham Hotspur's, stadium. WIP

Constructive Criticism by Travis Sennett

"It's A Start", Revisited

Upon receiving some constructive criticism from an artist whom I respect and with a great deal more experience than me I decided to revisit this piece. He suggested i blend the dark areas and then lay down more tone on top of them so that I could get a greater ranger of values. While doing that I decided to hone in some of the details and try to sharpen up the image.

I suffer from a common issue with new artists, being hasty. The urge to finish a piece overtakes the desire to fully finish it. Lesson learned, hopefully ;) Let me know what you think, can you tell a difference from the previous post?

Back From A Walk by Travis Sennett

My first blog post! I thought the day would never come.

On Friday I took Vera for a walk and said to myself, "Alright, this is the weekend I publish my website." We got home, full of motivation. I kicked off my shoes, ran upstairs, and started hammering away on the keyboard. Then I thought, "I should chip away at a drawing while I do this", so I could take breaks from each. I went downstairs and looked for interesting things to draw. Let me tell you, not much in the way of "interesting" to draw in this house. Then I tripped over my shoes for the bazillionth time, and inspiration struck. Rare, I know. Well, 6 days later I have a bare bone webpage, and a drawing of some stinky shoes.  It's a Start.

"It's A Start" - Original is Graphite on Bristol Board, 11x14 inches.

Original is for sale. $150

This is a limited edition, museum quality, giclée print of my drawing "It's A Start". 100 will be printed as they are ordered and then it's done. These will be signed on the front, by hand, numbered on the back with the date printed and a handwritten note. 

8x10: $20

11x14: $25

As this is my FIRST Etsy post, I am offering a 25% off coupon until December 31st. Use FIRSTPOSTPROMO to receive the discount.

Prints can be purchased on my Etsy page