Defining Urban Derivatives by TMNK

The streets are talking, and a NOBODY like me  is not only listening but is adding to the conversation with a unique and compelling style of art I call "URBAN DERIVATIVES." Not content with simply "getting up" on walls and having my work seen and appreciated by the masses. And, while many find inspiration from their urban surroundings, I have begun to create art that is literally derived from the world around me. Much like his hip-hop predecessors, I'm sampling the visual poetry of urban street art, creating collaged imagery based not on magazine cut-outs, but cutouts from the streets. These new works that I call Urban Derivatives, documents and preserves urban contemporary  hieroglyphics, while adding my own unique and distinctive voice to this ongoing dialogue.

Perhaps, like impressionism, It will be come a movement that other artists will follow. Or not. I'm just happy to be leading, instead of following. Urban Derivatives for me is reinterpreting while preserving an exploding culture. It's about creating art that connects, confronts, and interacts with the audience. I'll be sharing some of my new works in this style in an exhibition that opens in Norway next week, but wanted to share it with all of you as well. Let me know what you think.



Tom's Message

Hello to all my artist friends.  We just returned home from a great workshop and trade show in Houston and it is time to get some painting in while getting ready for up coming workshops, the next being a one day painting demonstrations followed by a one day workshop at the Jerry's Artarama store in Nashville TN. Maybe I'll see you there.

We all need to refresh and stay excited about our painting experience.  I have several things I do to stay excited.  Something as simple as trying a new paint color and seeing how it mixes with other colors in my palette, then using it in a painting gets me charged.  I just found one, I use Rembrandt's Artist Watercolors Naples Yellow Red and mixed it with Lemon Yellow, then Permanent Red Light, then Quinacridone Rose. WOW such beautiful warm colors.
Other ways to stay excited are trying a new surface. If you are used to painting on Archescold press watercolor sheets try a different surface such as rough or hot press or try watercolor blocks or arches new watercolor boards, which comes in all you favorite sizes and surfaces. With this product you do not need a backing when you frame the painting.  You save money on backing, and the surfaces are less expensive than buying sheets.
Another way I stay excited is to call an artist friend often and talk about art.  While it is not always possible to paint on location, try to go out with an artist friend once a week to photograph new references or paint a small painting on location, 5 x 7 inches or just sketch.

Watch your favorite artist DVDs, look at books or surround yourself with your art work or the art work of your favorite artist. If you go to my website and click on free art lessons you will find a number of short specific lessons in painting and from there you can go to Jerry's Artarama site for over 550 free art lessons.  Free is good.
Also, check out my Workshop Adventures on my website and have fun painting in some of the most beautiful locations imaginable.
Remember life is precious, so take time for yourself. Join me in beautiful Sedona, AZ for a week of not stop fun and painting adventure, guaranteed to get you excited.
In closing let me remind you that you are always a better painter than you think you are.
Best Regards,






Using Impasto Medium to Create Three Dimensional Effects by Micah Mullen

In depicting elements in nature relief effects give a 3-dimensional effect that really makes the paint “pop” right off the canvas.  In this painting technique I am using Matisse Structure paint (Carbon Grey) along with Matisse Impasto Medium to create tree bark.

Step 1:  I mix a ratio of about 30% paint with 70% Impasto Medium.  Make sure the mixture is throughly mixed (I use a palette knife) when complete the mixture should be the color of the paint.

Step 2:  Apply as much masking tape as needed over the area where the impasto mixture will be applied.   In this instance a width of about 4” of tape is used.  I generally use more tape than is actually needed so the excess will catch any spillage in the removal process.

Step 3:  Once the tape is applied I use an Excel knife to cut out various shapes,  It is important to use a sharp exacto knife and a heavweight canvas, otherwise you risk cutting right through the canvas.

Step 4:  Once the tape is prepared, I use a palette knife and begin applying the impasto mixture. I like to use alot of the mixture, the impasto medium can hold peaks of about an inch.  One applied you can use the knife to smooth out the mixture, or you can leave rough or even add some textured details when the mixture is still wet.

Step 5: When the mixture is still wet begin lifting the layers of tape off.  Be sure to lift the layers by the outer layer first, otherwise you risk lifting all the layers at one and creating a mess.

When complete the Impasto mixture will take about 24 hours to fully dry.  During this drying period you can add texture and subtly shape the peaks.  Once dried, the peaks can be painted over just as if they were another layer of paint.

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