Brian Blasman

22" x 30" Dogs, Watercolor on Paper

Hi I’m Brian and I’m an alcoholic and multiple substance abuser. As I graduated from engineering school, I had a nervous breakdown because I was afraid of being stuck working a boring career. I wanted a change but didn’t see one that was possible at the time. After asking for help, and seeing a therapist, I changed directions and started taking art classes. Now I’m a much more stable substance user, still afraid of the future, who makes paintings about wandering through a chaotic life, imperfection, and the struggle with mental health while dealing with it all.

As such, I like painting cityscapes that don’t hide the ugly side of the city, that show the decay and trash and reality of modern day living. I paint cityscapes that are mundane and everyday rather than the picturesque and presentable. These cityscapes create a narrative that reflects my own story. They are rough and imperfect but beautiful regardless.

I use watercolors because I like the speed and flow of the water. Watercolors also make it hard to hide mistakes. I have to accept them for what they are and find ways of making them work with the paintings. I don’t believe in hiding my mistakes, they are a part of what makes me who I am. My mistakes are the obstacles that allow me to create the person I can now become.

 My paintings are a chaotic system: I start with a blank page, add lines, then color and value, and create something much more complicated than just blankness. I start a painting by wandering through paper with no aim or direction and intuitively work my way around the image. The line drawing helps give a solid foundation to work from. Even with this foundation, mistakes are inevitable, especially when using the unpredictable watercolors.

However, I don’t try to hide the mistakes, I incorporate them into the painting. In the same way, I made mistakes in my life but I use them and the lessons I learned to become a better person. I am an alcoholic and multiple substance user. I graduated from engineering school even though I didn’t really want to do engineering. I wanted to be an artist but was afraid of not being able to make a living. I’ve hid from the real world in college due to my social anxiety and fear of failure. And in my desperation to be cool and have fun, I totaled my car and got a DUI. Through my art, I hope to face these mistakes head on. I show this metaphorically through the imperfection of everyday life in my cityscapes.

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