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Day 2 to Vote Justin Jay McIntosh for Best 2D Artist of 2016

http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/best-of-indy-2016-is-here/BestOf?oid=4122143It is another day that you can go to http://www.nuvo.net/india…/best-of-indy-2016-is-here/BestOf… and vote for the best of Indy. And if you can, please vote for Justin Jay McIntosh for "Best Local 2-D Artist". It will really help, and I would greatly appreciate it.

Below is a piece of writing I did a few years ago about the first major piece I attempted to paint after graduation from Indiana University. In relation to yesterdays painting post, this is the piece I decided to cut people out of my work in order to work on the backgrounds of my art. It was around the same time I was getting into craft beer, and my next major piece was the start of the series of Bar, Brewery, and Beer related work that I am still doing to this day.

Something I did not write about below, when I was half way done with this piece, I became really frustrated with the blue kiosk on the left hand side of the painting. I must have painted and scraped off that section about 10 times. I placed the piece in a closet for a few months to get out of my head. When I finally went back to the piece, I realized I was worried about nothing and it looked good.

"My work in early college primarily focused on the human figure in various positions. The person would take up most of the space within the frame of the artwork, and the background would be overly simplified. With this being the main focus of these images, the pieces started to become more closed off than I wanted them to be. I decreased the size and importance of the figure, becoming more interested in the area around the figure at the same time. The experimentation continued to adapt, and it eventually developed into a series of works that I am still working on and adapting. This painting is the latest in a series that illustrates unique views of expansive interior locations containing figures interacting with the space.

When thinking about locations out in public that would fit this series, one of my first thoughts was the shopping mall. Malls are magnificent spaces that contain long corridors and unique architecture. Most of the time, these spaces are overlooked due to the concentration on shopping. People are running in and out of the different stores, concentrating more on their next purchase or the other people around them. The shopping centers of my youth were the places to go for social interaction, assortment of cheep food, and nearly anything that you wanted to buy. Bright lights and large store front would draw the spectator in for the next acquisition. Rest areas allowed the visitor to catch a breath before continuing.

This painting is of a stack of overlapping escalators that can be found at the Circle Center Mall in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. When I first arrived at the location to do some shopping, I was motivated. This mall had many areas that were visually compelling to me. I chose this view because of the out of the ordinary structure and the five levels of the shopping center that can be viewed from this location. I had not done a large painting for some time, and I wanted a challenge. I found this location visually complex and interesting. The intertwining cool and warm colors of the location were subtle but distinctive. This was a result of the multiple natural light sources that became more artificial in the areas lower levels. I also was drawn in by the chaotic repetition of the escalators, the variety of angles, and the challenge of representing the space on a flat canvas. I also could not pull away from how malls have changed from my youthful memories.

As I got older, it became sad to see the amount of shoppers at these places dwindling, and stores in the malls are changing all the time or leaving all together. Even though many ideas are in the painting, it is meant to represent barrenness. Store fronts are purposely not shown because they can be generic and interchangeable. The people in the painting are not carrying bought goods because these locations are required for shopping thanks to internet access. And besides the escalators, the levels of the complex are empty of human life, but most of the life in the painting is intended to show optimism. The young man at the lower level is looking back on where he came from, and the figure at the top is sharing the location with his child while guiding off the moving escalator. They are not rushing the moment. I even see the people stuck at points of their lives because I see memories of moments in my life within each of the escalator riders.

The lower, empty levels are my times in high school. They are empty of life because I did not really know what art was yet, but the young man at the top of the lowest double escalator is a symbol of how I felt at the start of college. I was looking back on my time at Valparaiso High School, realizing that I was changing and so was my artwork. The work I was doing in high school was not as sophisticated as each piece that would follow. I had arrived at the level of college education. My taste developed and my understanding continued to grow at a fast rate. Artist I looked at before were new again, and I could explain why I saw them that way. Even though there were some hard times in those four and a half years of college, I felt my work continued to get better. By the time I graduated, I was doing work I was genuinely proud of.

Times got tough after college was over. This painting was stared after a disheartening period in my artistic life. Just before moving to Indianapolis and starting on my art career, I had graduated from college and was preparing for the adventure ahead of me. My college art studio was being used for storage of my materials rather than production of new pieces. This ended up being a mistake. When I was able to get back to the studio in order to pack up my supplies, I found the door wide open, paints stolen, and work destroyed. Supplies that I have been gathering for 5 years were gone. I was left with empty oil paint tubes and remnants of work I once did. This was devastating, and it is represented by the man in the center of the painting. He is moving to a lower level in his life, just like I felt was happening to me. Instead of moving forward in life, I was forced back to a place where I did not want to be. The path was there, but starting over was difficult. And depression kept me from doing art for a long time.

At the time, I was examining my past, stuck in the present, and avoiding the future. I was not consistently doing art, and I did not know what I wanted to do next. Excuses were adding up, but none of them were worth the breath. There was a fight going on between finishing this painting and my lack of motivation. It was not until we moved into our newly built home that I became inspired to complete this partly finished work. Thanks to the several days of consecutive painting, everything began to feel familiar but new at the same time. Instead of jumping to a moment I thought I was ready for career wise, I arrived at a place that would better suite my professional life. This is what the man at the top of the painting represents. I am happy where I am, but I am preparing to move up to that next level.

The next level, the highest level, in the painting is where the spectator is looking down at these escalators, and it is where I see myself going soon. This painting helped me to think more about how my other works would progress. I have many ideas for new painting that are carrying on ideas I found in the previous piece. This series of artwork is already adapting to new ideas and locations. All I have to do is build canvas and prepare for the next chapter of the adventure."

The painting last year was auctioned off to support the IYG, a group my wife has volunteered at for many years.


Thank you all and dont forget to vote for Justin Jay McIntosh for best 2D artis at http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/best-of-indy-2016-is-here/BestOf?oid=4122143.

And while you are at it, vote for my beer group @TheDumpBuckets for best Twitter Feed of 2016 as well.



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