Even today as I look at the painting ‘Eb’ I can feel the frustration as if it was yesterday rather than eleven years ago.
I have been fortunate to have had an incredible working relationship with the folks over at Createx Colors. They are one of the few paint companies that have always included the needs of airbrush artists in the products that they have made. Back in the early 2000’s they began looking into launching a line of paints specifically meant for fine artists and illustrators. This paint would be offered in a more traditional array of artists colors and have a lighter consistency than the main line of paint that was currently available. I got a set of the early version to try out during development. As with any new paint or airbrush, I work through an entire painting with that new product to get a really solid feel for the good and bad characteristics. This painting was to be of a saxophone from a series of reference photos I had taken a while ago but never used.
The challenge and frustration came immediately as I realized that this version of the new paint was difficult to spray. Some colors were better than others but all were difficult. Despite this, in order to really understand the line of paint and to give accurate feedback, I was going to keep going with the painting. The struggle taught me some valuable techniques for overcoming stubborn materials. Those techniques would have never been realized if I had stayed in my comfort zone. ‘Eb’ turned out to be one of those paintings that started in frustration but really became one of my favorites. It eventually went on to win the Artist’s Magazine award at the National Association of Acrylic Painters Show in Florida.
With the years of experience in manufacturing paints that Createx had and using the feedback of artists, they went on to create one of the best multi-surface, multi-discipline paints every introduced into the market. The Wicked and Illustration paint lines are incredible and allows me to take the techniques I have learned and amplifies them. Years later, I revisited the saxophone painting idea with ‘Crosswind’ using the new paint.