Friday, January 30, 2009

"Green Pear on Red Floral Cloth"

Watercolor on watercolor paper - 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" (SOLD)

I love painting pears and I love the color green! Needless to say, this fruit still life was a delight to paint for me.

I'm a member of the Illinois Artisans and my artwork is on display and for sale at their Chicago gallery in the Loop (in the James R. Thompson Center).

Once framed, this painting is headed for the Loop location to hopefully find a good home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who's your daddy?

My Dad would've turned 75 today. He died three-and-a-half years ago from a heart attack.

I was looking through some of his things and wanted to share this with everyone. It's from one of his visas to enter France. After leaving (former) Yugoslavia I know he traveled to and stayed at several countries before finally arriving in America.

He was 30 at the time of this picture. Trying to make it like everyone else. I always thought he looked handsome in this photo.

My dad had big plans and was a go-getter. He started his own construction business here and was always hardworking. And since I'll be turning 30 in April, trying to turn my art into a career, well, I thought it would be nice to have a little bit of Daddy here in my blog for inspiration.

He certainly wasn't the easiest person to live with and I definitely had my issues with him. I felt since he wasn't a good father that I could be mean to him. That he deserved it. I treated that man like trash towards the later part of his life. Shame.

Wonder if before turning 30 he wondered if he'd make it too.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Frida Kahlo is feelin' blue....."

If you read my previous post, I mentioned my best friend's birthday was last month.

Here is one of the gifts I gave her.

She absolutely loves Frida Kahlo! Frida Kahlo was a famous Mexican painter who became known for her very personal self portraits....basically putting herself into her art.

I really wanted something original though. A standard print or postcard just would not do!

So I went to a copy shop and made a two color copy (not a full color) of one of Frida's strongest paintings found in an art book.

My friend loves blue jewel tones, so I made a black and cyan colored copy and voila! original blue Frida by Dean!!

The colors came out beautifully and once framed, the one-of-a-kind "blue Frida" made a great gift!

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Out of the darkness"

Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper - 3 3/4" x 4 3/4" (NFS)

My best friend's birthday was late last month in December. I wasn't able to meet up with her though until last week. Finally, I could give my friend her belated b-day gifts.

She loves butterflies, art, and the color blue, so naturally I made this original birthday card just for her!

I wanted the small painting to be dramatic and soft at the same time. Splatters of paint were added for depth and give the butterfly an almost glowing, magical quality. Love that the light blue wings pops against the black background.

My friend, like myself, suffers from bouts of depression, so I wrote the following message on the inside of the card:

"Fly out of the darkness by using the shining light from within and set yourself free."

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Exploding Doughnut?

No, it's not a sparking firecracker ready to go off in a Krispy Kreme. It refers to a series of spreadsheet charts used in Microsoft Excel. Who knew it would become a wake-up call for me?

Drawing and painting. Pretty much my life. After graduating from college I was officially an Artist....or so I thought. I wasn't sure what to do next and before you knew it I fell away from art. That's when the dead-end jobs started. You need money, right?

Time passed. Non-creative jobs came and went, one after the other. I found myself slowly dying from the inside out.

You give and give, do extra work, and volunteer at places you don't want to be at only to try advancing up at positions you don't even want. Stuck, trapped, and drowning.

November 12, 2008. There I was in an Intermediate Excel class hoping the extra skill would pump up my resume. Four hours into that class, being bored as hell, the instructor showed everyone how to modify pie and doughnut charts by "exploding" them.

Damn, I thought, I'd rather be painting right now.

So Exploding Doughnut represents just that. Working 9 to 5 jobs that aren't in your field of interest but that you keep because your passion doesn't pay the bills. Losing yourself, your desire, and trying to get it all back along the way.

Reclaiming your dreams and becoming who you were truly born to be.

Welcome to my journey.....

--Dean Grey