Saturday, August 11, 2012

In the interrim

While filming I'm afraid that I'm not exactly able to keep this updated as often as I'd like to.
I'll have many stories when I return, but unfortunately must put this procedure on hold while I am away and simply upload the photos to the facebook group.
Thanks so much everyone for helping to be a part of this amazing project! I promise to have everyones journal done very soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Ala

Ala is one of the best storytellers I've ever met.
He is fascinating, crafting stories from everything from his song choices, (he had multiple stories for almost every song) to his colours and even his poses.  The entire time I was painting him was delightful as within moments he was cracking jokes. He's one of the few people who have come in and totally owned the space he was residing it. He wasn't challenging me, the process or the space, but he was aware of it all and gracious enough to let it happen. It was a strange but enjoyable dynamic.

He is a fascinating individual that I am so glad has come into my life.
I was so glad when I finally got him to come by and be a part of it. Plus, we both love the Tug of War era Carly Rae, and a fondness for Cory Lee.
According to Ala, Cory was one of his three major influences in his life. So if you're reading this Cory, you got a fan boy!
I'm not really sure how much else there is to say about Ala. His beauty as a person is undeniable both inside and out.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Brittanie

So I haven't done this before, but I really wanted to for this piece.

Now there are several paintings that I've done that I love. This was easily one of them. My immediate reaction after I finished it was "Wow... I did that?"

I guess a part of this goes back to my own personal insecurities (which I speak of in detail HERE), but when I finished this, I really felt like I had made something special. Something awesome. Something I could REALLY be proud of.

NOW, maybe I should take this back to the beginning.

Look! It's Brittanie!
She works with me at the Hot Oven and we generally get along famously. We've only had a few shifts together, but this girl has already kicked into the mode of surrogate little sister.
We joke. We laugh. Mostly that's about it.

Anyhow when I told her about my project she jumped at the chance and actually pitched me an idea.

"So, do you think you could do something like starry night?"
For serious? For true?
I don't think I can properly express how excited I was at the prospect of doing this piece.
Van Gogh has long been one of my major artistic influences. His use of colour and form are incredible and I LOVE working with new material.

So obviously the colours were picked for us and we just had to find a suitable playlist. Turns out she loves Red Hot Chili Peppers so we had a good base to start from. I had to introduce her to Petty Victories because that's just what friends do, and I added Tonight Tonight to the list simply because the song fits beautifully in with the painting style.

Combine this with an extremely photogenic model and we had our shot in a matter of minutes. I am in love with this painting and am so glad that I got to have this experience with Brittanie. She's a really amazing person and I'm so glad that I've got to meet her.

Is the picture an exact replica of Starry Night? Of course not. No one can copy his genius in twenty minutes. But working with what I had, I have to say I am so proud, not only of Brittanie but of myself for being able to do something so close to the original in so short a period of time.

I could go into paragraphs upon paragraphs about this piece so maybe it's best I end it here. But I am SO thankful and proud of this piece and this canvas. Thanks for letting me be your big bro for a day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Ari

I think Ari was one my more pleasant surprises.
We met briefly at one of Libby and Cassie's wild parties. He was an interesting guy, and shortly thereafter he asked to be painted.

I really enjoyed everything about the experience. He was one of those quiet, cool guys you see and instantly know there's more to this guy than you thought.
Pictured: Dark and Mysterious
Turns out I was right!

Ari and I talked about many things during his session from school, to his life growing up in Bulgaria, to his schooling and the girls he was dating. He was a wealth of interesting information, and even though I could tell he was nervous at the beginning, as the painting continued he began to relax more and more. Before long it felt more like I was talking to a friend. Or more likely a bro. I now understand bromance.

 Musically he chose excellent songs. And a good and interesting variety of indie, rock and even a Reggae tribute to Radiohead. Lots of Killers too. We had some good talks about them.

His colour choices of orange and black ended creating an almost tiger like pattern on his face, and especially on his left shoulder which I really liked. It fit really well with his character which was a nice, fun element. I enjoyed contrasting a bit of the blue which I thought contrasted nicely with the orange.
Overall I was extremely pleased with how the picture came out and am really glad to have got the chance to work with him.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Adam

So in painting Adam, I had some cheats that make this picture a little bit more planned than the other ones.

I know Adam since he is room mates with Matt R. (You can see his excellent portrait HERE) and was pleasantly surprised when he volunteered to be a part of the project. We didn't know each other well so I was really looking forward to the experience.

What made his canvas so unusual was how the paint reacted to his skin. The gold and silver were applied in a thin coat all over, but it's so translucent that you can hardly see it! I managed to work around that easily enough however and ended up with  rather dynamic photo.

Our music tastes are quite different which is something I found amusing. It was interesting to force someone out of their regular music choices by making them consider and listen to a project. We of course managed to find some common ground.

The reason I found this such an unusual canvas was simply because in the initial batch there wasn't a picture that was useable so we went back and retook a variety of photos from the same angle. I like to think it's not cheating since I made the project, but a small part of me still feels guilty about it. That being said, I really enjoyed how it turned out. Especially the big bold pop-art style pop outs on his chest and face.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Amba

It's always interesting co-workers... but it's especially interesting painting co-workers you don't know extremely well yet.
I've been at my new job for over a month now. And there are good days. And there are bad days... And though the staff is large, I feel like I've started to get to know a few of them pretty well.
One of them is Amba.
She's one of the shift leaders there, and I find that we get along pretty well at work so it was nice to have her come and sit for me so she could see me in my natural environment.
Or as natural an environment as you find in a man's apartment. She had to comment on the messiness of my room, DESPITE the fact that I'd cleaned most of it. Just gotta work on my clothes mountain.
So even though I'd painted a lot of my old Second Cup co-workers, it was a very different environment there with a very different group of people.
How would someone from the new neighbourhood react to being painted?
Although I'm sure Amba isn't indicative of the entire population of Bloor West, I was looking forward to painting someone from my new environment.
What I wasn't expecting was for her to be a freaking model.
 The biggest surprise of the process was how her colours turned out. I really enjoyed the unique patterns that emerged on her face and the colour combination, while a tertiary colour palate (Which we all know how I feel about)was easy to work with and complimented her very well. I think the saving grace there was the white and pink which created a beautiful contrast.

The biggest shock from this came after the painting... Seriously. This girl can model.
It was a delight painting her and I am hoping that changing jobs will bring me a boasting of new models. Here's hoping!