Art on Paper Adventure

I’m posting this a week late, but I made my way to Art on Paper this year. The selection of works was underwhelming, but there were definitely pieces that were interesting, from a few pencil drawings by Alex Katz or this very reserved piece by Samuel Stabler:



Alex Katz drawings, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a book—they’re (clearly) hard to photograph. You can see how Katz kept his painted tonal values so close in range, assuming he referenced the drawing as a way to depict light in the painting. 


Peach, Plum, Pear

“Peach, Plum, Pear.” Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

“Peach, Plum, Pear.” Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

The last few days I’ve found myself in a minor depression, mostly over the state of the country. I don’t think I can express my thoughts without writing something cliche, so I won’t.

Painting today was a result of pulling decaying produce out of my fridge and thinking about what the Dutch and Flemish still life painters must have smelled when their setups started to rot. 

It’s too bad that abstract principles don’t give off a pungent odor when they’ve gone sour.  

Birthday Boy

"Birthday Boy." Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

"Birthday Boy." Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

Valtentine’s Day is Kyle’s birthday and Kyle’s dad’s birthday. I’ve always found it interesting and odd that birthdays run in families. Maybe it’s just the families I know.

When I was working on this painting, I thought a lot about how to paint a nose, or how to suggest a nose or an eye. I think sometimes light can seem like an easy thing to look for and to capture when painting, but it can also ruin the effect of the shape or the color of you’re trying too hard to portray contrast.  

For me, painting is much more fun when contrast isn’t the main point (though might still be a part of the work). 

PS: This is my first daily painting blog, hopefully one of many to come.

Gwyn, Lord

A year and a half ago, my brother drove to Brooklyn from Dallas to relocate. My sister-in-law, who is an avid animal rescuer, was also staying with us. We had four people in a 750-square-foot apartment. Only a day after my brother arrived, we found a stray black kitten a few blocks from our apartment as we were walking to dinner. We had two cats already, but no space is too small for a third says the crazy cat people.

My sister-in-law scooped the kitten up and demanded we help it. We took it to a rescue, but there weren't any medications present to at least get rid of the cat's gooey eyes, and furthermore, they had no space. We put the kitten in our tiny bathroom (so as not to infect our other cats) and took it to an emergency vet the next day. The kitten was very sick with worms and a host of other fun and terrible diseases, but at that point we'd already given him a name after the Dark Soul's boss: Gwyn, Lord of Cinder.

We thought it was an apt title.

A note about the painting: It's done from memory. I tried to just paint what I knew of the cat, as a black shape with furrowed yellow eyes. He loves our kitchen area, most likely so he can scavenge for food, so I just painted him in his natural environment. Trash cat.

"Gwyn, Lord." Oil on Canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

"Gwyn, Lord." Oil on Canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018