Sean Wirth: Airbrushing Everything

Sean Wirth has always been painting, but the canvas part is new. It started with cars, helmets and motorcycles, until a piece of plywood found itself underneath his airbrush and the idea of creating art for its own sake occurred to him. And boy am I glad it did.

He’s been a carpenter since 17, but when a back injury made it impossible, the itch to create with his hands didn’t go away. Sean kept his active right-brain exercised, painting and designing tattoos, but it wasn’t until he moved back to Daly City and had his back saved by acupuncture that the real artistic experimentation began.

He told me it started with jewelry and sculpture. He pounded metal, hammering spoons into flower petals and filling found vases with his creations. He dabbled in digital art until someone introduced him to the airbrush.

sean wirth studio visit2, 20140219

“I struggled my whole life to paint with brushes,”

he told me, and even though that never stopped him, things clicked the way he wanted them to when he picked up that first airbrush. After that,

“I painted everything I had.”

sean wirth studio visit5, 20140219

He turned his garage into a studio and started painting cars and motorcycles, but eventually he ran out of items with open surface.

In 2012 he picked up a piece of plywood and airbrushed a landscape across it, creating “Canyon Sunset.” An entire universe of expression opened up and Sean started nailing pieces of leftover wood together and stretching painters tarp across to make canvases.

He told me the airbrush isn’t affected by the surface’s texture the way a traditional brush might be, and now his house is filled with paintings created top to bottom just by him. He started using the name Blankdsk, posting his music online as Blankdsk and the Empty Canvas. When I asked him why “Blankdsk” he told me, “Cause I’m always ready to fill shit up.”

canyon sunset

“Canyon Sunset”

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He paints against the back of his garage door nonstop, taking inspiration from PBS legend Bob Ross. Sometimes the idea for a work comes from the colors left behind on the garage by the last piece, which was the case for “Binding the Elements.”

A newfound fascination with the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, led to his Art on BART work, “Aurora,” and after Googling images, he created it in a half hour. So far, it’s the only original work that’s sold on our Kickstarter because it was a steal at $250. But Sean intentionally keeps his prices low because making art available to everyone is the whole point of creating it in the first place.

"Binding the Elements"

“Binding the Elements”

sean wirth studio visit3, 20140219


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