This is the blog for, the art site of Ryan Callis. Here is where I post about influences, and the stories behind my art. To see the art that this blog refers to, visit

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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Email comes from Switzerland from lady who buys some pieces and wants me to do a piece for her Italian born, Swiss beau.  Stoked I am.  I ask her some questions about him, she answers and sends pictures.  So my approach to this after some sketches and thought, was to make this more abstract then figurative, and to use every detail that she gave me about her fella, to generate the image.
She said he was a humble fellow which made me think that he would not be pumped on a giant painting of himself over his couch.  She said they also met at a “soul/funk” party.  So I made what I thought my version of a soulfunk party flier would look like.
Pic one, will show you move one, which was making a combination Swiss and Italian flag, Swisstalian.  Since this is his blood and citizenship, I thought that the Swisstalian flag was a good foundation for the painting.
Pic two, shows further division of the space using what I found to be the predominant colors of soul funk party fliers, purple and orange.
Pic three, I blocked out the clashing colors revealing some nice color lines, and then I did three circles in the middle, one blue for his son, and two pink for his daughters, and him in the middle (yellow).
Pic four,  I used a dark wash to knock everything back, and then used black and white to color in 7 spaces per quadrant on the picture plane, 7 being the numeric value of G, her Graziano’s first initial.
Pic five,  You will see I put the first initial of each of his children’s names to further divide the space and make some nice difficult hurdles for me to have to jump over.
Pic six,  I added the hands to illustrate the fact that we were celebrating this guy, and his many virtues through this piece that she, that gal in love with him, felt compelled enough to commission me to paint. She said he is a humble guy who will help any of his friends or kids without wanting anything in return, so he is being applauded for that.  Then I added dimension through shadows and in the yellow and gold striped triangles I divided that space into 5 stripes for the 5 months between the time that they first met (but were both in bummer relationships), and the time that they MET at this party.  The whole idea of this being my soulfunk flier is obviously to commemorate the event in which they met again at the right time.
I was stoked on the result…

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