The Nocturne... by SCAPE Martinez

I like to paint big, and I still like to paint at night.

I like to paint big, and I still like to paint at night.

... for as long as I can remember, I've had a fascination with the night. Like many kids, I am sure, I'd look at the night sky and try to figure out where the stars were aligned, so I could figure out the constellations, or just make up my own when I could locate the Big Dipper. On occasion I'd see a shooter star, and I was told that you should make a wish immediately after seeing one... I'd often wish to be an astronaut so I could catch said shooting star. Or maybe an astrologer, so I could discover a planet, or even a new star!... Staring at the night sky oddly enough allowed me to "see"... I could sit on our apartment front porch and look over the streetlights and there would be a little pocket in the sky where the city lights wouldn't interfere and I could actually see the stars. Or maybe I'd sneak away, climb through the window and sneak over to the playground, climb the monkey bars and perch myself on top to try and catch a shooting star, so I could make a wish... maybe one day I could just be "something"...

... fast forward years and years, and the fascination grew to a connection. Obviously, as I became active in the street, the idea of the night was creative and exciting and visceral. Crouched behind bushes, listening, waiting for the right time to run and hit up a spot, listening... your other senses come to life, you see everything different...

... fast forward a few more years,...and I recognize that I relish the night. I come alive at night, all of my creative juices flow easily, much easier than during the day... there is an openness and freedom when I walk outside with paint in my hands... the night air is crisp, it is quiet, I can "hear" the night, I can hear myself, my thoughts, and as I am alone, I feel so connected.

At night, you see shadows, and I think somehow these shadows migrated into my artwork, somewhere in my subconscious, sometimes at night, you see things that are not there, but you think they are, and alas, at night you see things that are there, but hope they weren't...

I learned that I was a "nocturne"... I am a "composition appropriate to the night", yeah that's me... this holds true to this day, that after the world goes to bed, my mind, and my spirit awaken, they fly, they soar, they create art, they create something that when you wake up, you say "HEY! that wasn't there yesterday!"... and for that, you're welcome.

Enter... GREEN! by SCAPE Martinez

Last year at around this time,…

I had this idea of declaring a color, a single color, that I would focus on for the course of that calendar year. Last year, that color was PURPLE. I actually considered extending the time to work with that color, as I feel that I’ve not fully explored the underlying properties of The Color Purple. But, in the bigger picture is time to move on, and to move on to a new color.

That color, for 2017,.. is that mysterious color between blue and yellow. It is the color GREEN!

I want to explore it, fully, all its properties and interactions... What does it sound like? What does it look like? What can it feel like? Or how does it interplay with other colors? What are its properties that I can equally explore and you can experience?

In one capacity, the color green is one that is largely missing from my previous work. You might see more a turquoise and certain lime greens, but as a whole, “Green”, isn’t really there. I wonder out loud, why that is? I know that I’ve historically gravitated toward blues, pinks, and reds, but actual greens not so much, so I am going to put myself in a green box!

So now, what about “GREEN”?

I am a big student of understanding the psychological properties of colors. How colors affect your moods and thinking. For example, walking into a blue room versus walking into a red room and how you feel when you are there...

But about that “GREEN”…

GREEN is a color that has a lot of depth,... it can drift effortlessly close to yellow or veer all the way to blue. It also can play with your eye and sensibilities with the colors you pair it with. From a psychological place, GREEN brings about the sense of “Balance”. Green is in the center of the color spectrum, which is not a random curiosity, it is in fact more important that most recognize.

GREEN is also connected to nature, literally and in metaphor, it is connected to growth. And because of that connection, on an instinctive level, it implies the presence of water, or the color “BLUE”. Also, in this era, GREEN brings about the idea of peace and environmental awareness, it can also can bring about the feeling of restoration and rest.

The idea of a large scale meditative painting in infinite layers of green for example, comes to mind. Redefining that meditative space with my art sounds appealing to me.

The color GREEN is also associated with MONEY and SUCCESS, and oddly enough with ALIEN LIFE. So you can see from a metaphoric point of view, that I have a lot to work with!

GREEN can promote creativity, which aligns with my purpose in my work. It has explicit spiritual connections, as green is the color of the Heart Chakra, bridging the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is the Sacred Color in Islam, and it is found throughout ancient Scriptures in various capacities and meanings. And lastly, in the world of precious stones, GREEN is the color of Emeralds,... you can insert your metaphor on that, right here.

So there it is, GREEN is out there. Maybe, take a few minutes from your day and look how GREEN is placed in your world.

In the end, GREEN is a healing color, a color of growth and rejuvenation, and for me on a deep personal level, after 2015 and 2016, I can use a year of rejuvenation!...

Come and get "into the box" with me, and lets see where it goes!

 

 

Quantum Entanglements,... 2013 by SCAPE Martinez

A slice of "Quantum", from 2013, East Palo Alto, CA.

A slice of "Quantum", from 2013, East Palo Alto, CA.

A slice of "Quantum", from 2013, East Palo Alto, CA.

A slice of "Quantum", from 2013, East Palo Alto, CA.

The complete piece, "Quantum", from 2013, East Palo Alto, CA.

Something New... "Purple Heart"... by SCAPE Martinez

Creativity and inspiration can come in the oddest ways, and at the strangest times,.. here is one...

In the studio cleaning... I stared at this pile of canvas scraps, you know, those pieces that get thrown away because they were either trimmed off when stretching a canvas, or pieces of canvas that just were not good enough... your basic "garbage pile".... stuff that you never even looked twice at, because it was "garbage".

I stared at the pile and I thought, "wow, I like how that looks", there is something there... don't know what, but something... I muttered to myself, "when is something, something, or when is it nothing?"...

I pulled a few scraps out of the pile, and admired the movement of color on a few of them, but these were little pieces of scraps, what can I do with them?... I walked away, tossing the scraps on the floor, let me ruminate on this, something will come from it... I need coffee...

Later, in the studio, in the flurry of automatic creating and moving to that internal instruction, in the midst of purples and reds, I had an epiphany... "remember those hearts?"... um, "What hearts?"... "those hearts"... and suddenly the idea crystallized... get a sheet of wood and cut out the shape of a heart, you're good with that jigsaw, so create a heart shaped frame, and "stretch" these scrap pieces across it and see what it looks like... might be "something", might be "nothing"...

I found a metaphor here,... a heart, made from items that were normally thrown away, now put together to form something beautiful... fill in the blanks as you see fit... street cred be damned...

"Purple Heart", 24 x 24 mixed media and various canvases on wood. 2016

Something New,... Sharing "GIFTS"... by SCAPE Martinez

I normally don't do figurative works, and when I do, I rarely share them as I choose to walk down that abstract pathway.

This work is the beginning of sharing a small area of my brain, where I want to investigate some notions of what is "popular". I've always felt that modern graffiti/street art is the new pop art, I wanted to explore a little, and this is a segment of that exploration.

I wonder out loud why a person or a thing is popular?.. is it organic? is it because of marketing? is it a combination? and the reaction from people when a popular thing is placed in front of them? I am fascinated by these things...

I also wanted to exercise my hands, meaning, that I actually like to draw, draw letters, doodles, etc, and these images are a part of that love affair, they are drawings, and paintings, using pencil, charcoal sticks, watercolors, and even spraypaint make an appearance. The images are based on photographs that I worked over in Photoshop and drawn by hand on high quality paper, they are pretty large, and in the end I want to explore that idea of the repeating image, that hand rendered one is the original, the others (soon to come) will be replications of the central image, and there will be more on that later.

"GIFTS", Pencil, charcoal, inks, and spraypaint on watercolor paper, 26x40 2016

 

I chose her because of the striking image. I poured over the idea of "popular", who is popular, what is popular?... what does it look like? who does it look like? and to whom?... I found her image striking, and quite frankly the darkness of the hair is something one can get lost in. So i began to look at the image more from aesthetic reasons, and a way of "seeing" if that makes sense. I chose the title "GIFTS", as I feel volumes can be written about Amy Winehouse and her exceptional gifts, as well as her wounds and how ther are tied together... And I must reiterate that this is the first revealed excursion in this lane, it will morph and change and grow,... but at it's base there lies the question of "what is popular, and why?...

Enjoy!

Snapshot from the Studio... by SCAPE Martinez

Layers upon layers, working in the Lab...

My Art Studio has many, many names.. sometimes it's called "The Trap",.. sometimes it's called "The House of Hits", or even "The Laboratory of Liquid Dreams"... but whatever I may call it on that day, it still is a sacred space... for me anyways. I'd like to think that whenever someone enters the space that they would feel it too, feel that the atmosphere is different, I know some of you may think that I might be putting too much on it, or I am making too big of a thing, I guess this post is not for you...

When I am there, I am not "really" there... I am there in the physical, but in every other capacity, I am "someplace else"... and I can't explain it... I sense everything differently, time goes at a different pace. I hear with my heart, I touch with my mind, all the wires are crisscross.

It is a paradox, to be explicitly present and absorbed in the moment and create art. But that sense is a physical one and truly exhausting one, because existentially, in some way, you feel apart. I like to say "communicating with planets", or "doing what you're being told what to do"... like you are getting out of the way, your flesh gets out of the way, and try to allow something else to grow, to emanate, come into being... I liken it to turning on a water faucet,... all I do is turn the knob, the "water" comes out freely, I need to just let it go and capture what I can, but it comes from someplace else, and goes someplace else...

I've often felt that my artwork are more a physical picture of deeper philosophical and spiritual concepts... if that makes sense...

Snapshot from the Studio by SCAPE Martinez

In the trap, putting in the work...

Snapshot from the Studio...
An extra, extra prolific few days in the Laboratory. I was pondering many thoughts and questions,... chasing the proverbial "dragon's tail",.. looking for that rush, chasing that perfect aesthetic, the perfect movement, the perfect gesture.... with all the creative thoughts rushing in my spirit, I wondered "when does Nothing become Something, and when does that Something become Nothing?"... Because I can be a whirling dervish of movement, but seemingly without singular focus, just intention, it doesn't make sense in the moment, because in the moment I'm like "put red on this, purple on that, turn this, cut that, splash black on there, green here..." answering to all the prompts in my head, that seem to try to capture snippets of the Universe, and it only makes sense AFTER...

Enter: the Color PURPLE for 2016! by SCAPE Martinez

I have always, always tried to challenge myself.

The idea being that I'd like to put myself in a box, and try to get out of it. As a child, I would do this in a very literal way, but we won't go there right now.. sigh... In many ways, I am sure that is a metaphor for other things in my existence, but creatively speaking, I like to challenge myself by putting certain restraints on me and then finding solutions to them.

For example, years ago, when I was active in the street, one thing that I would do is give myself a certain palette of colors to use, a very restrictive palette, or a palette of what we would call "garbage colors", the palest of blues combined with a earthy moss green, coupled with a watered down "nuclear yellow",.. color combinations that would just not work... the idea being, you better make it work, either by focusing on letter styles, or color techniques... the challenge was always to get better, to challenge the norm, and to maybe discover something new.

The one thing I discovered with all those icky colors, I always made them work, discovering that hey, you know what?... It's not the color choices, but how one uses them is what is important...

So now here we are in the beginning of the new year 2016, and I am consciously thinking about a new way to challenge myself, and how it can bring about new and unexpected results.

I am going to choose a single color, a single hue, that will be the predominant focus for that calendar year. It will be about that color, and all it's characteristics, it's hues, it's tints, it's properties,... everything about it, how it's spelled, the letters, the shapes, what comes to mind when you speak it. Tangible, intangible, solid and abstract,.. the unwrapping of that color...

For 2016... that color is PURPLE!

Now some may ask "Dude, why purple?"... and I will summarily respond, why not?...

The color purple is a choice based on a symbolic reaction to where I feel I am in this juncture in my journey... it is not something that I pulled from a proverbial hat, it was felt out, not thought out, but felt out... I had my antennae raised up high, and what came down was a snippet of red and blue, intermingled to create "purple".... I swished it around for a while... and I agreed with the note from On High.

The color purple is a snapshot... it's a snapshot of an expression, a series of moods that I find myself in, and an attitude.

In case you were wondering here are a few attributes of Purple:

  • It's a color that people love or hate.
  • Purple is the hardest color for the human eye to discern.
  • It is rare in nature.
  • It symbolizes royalty and...
  • Dignity
  • Spirituality
  • Creativity

Purple is the color of the imagination, it can be creative and individual or immature and impractical, and I am arguably revealing a bit too much about myself in that attribute.

Purple is also a color of introspection and I think that is where this road leads... it is a color that allows us to get into our deeper thoughts, it assists those that are seeking the meaning of life and spiritual fulfillment.

So let's see where this goes, as the challenge is made, the paint is mixed, the spraypaint is ordered!

2016... LET'S GO!...