Monday, December 21, 2009

Release The Bees - NH invading CA

I've completed my painting for the Bee Here Now show at The Hive Gallery in LA. The finish and a critique from my buddy Erick, whose blog and work you should check out if you don't already know it - Erick ledesma, has made me realize that there is more that I can do with this. I like it. I've had this kind of little kid dream in my head of raising bees for honey and having a hive on land in the country here in New Hampshire. That is not to say that I will be dropping my paint brush for a Bee Keeper's mask any time soon. But it is good to have some thoughts running through your head to draw from.

My goal with this piece and with the squid sketch a few days ago was to keep my line work a little more, make the piece look a little less "produced" and edgier. I do think that I achieved that, and I think that this is a step in the right direction. I definitely enjoyed making this piece, but the size of the piece, which I chose because of the venue and the fact that I have to mail it across the country, made for limitations in my line and in my paint. Perhaps painting larger should be on the docket for things to be doing in 2010 as well.

I am excited about my new work, even if it does seem to have a little bit of my old work tied into it. It seems more personal in painting style. The next goal is to seem more personal in content as well. The next generation of Bee drawing is getting me super excited as well.

This sketch was completed for the Art House Co-op Book project, which I really need to kick into overdrive to finish the second half of this week. Not used to finishing books quickly. I usually work in several different books at once. I really like the play of negative and positive space with this bee drawing, and I enjoy that the tree is pretty much impossible to find in nature. I guess its all about finding a way to say something completely in your language.

I'm also looking forward to experimenting in the next drawing a bit more with some different fungus. Living and drawing in NH gives you entirely new perspectives on what is cool. I love fungi! Expect more fungi in 2010. But for now this fun guy is out...


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bee Here Now - In Progress

I've really been looking at the work of Jon Carling. Meighan of "My Love For You" turned me onto him a couple days ago. His work makes me excited to draw like Mel Kadel's work did the first time I saw it and like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns made me in college.

How appropriate that he has done some bee images and I am trying to work on a Bee piece concerned with a "state of mind" or a "higher purpose" for the group show that I am participating in with the Hive.

At the same time, I am still trying to push my drawing back into my work. I miss drawing. There is something much more visceral about the drawing than there is the painting. If you are not careful with paint, as you are using it in massive volume, it can become like paint by numbers. Not good. The drawing helps me remember though, and then I know the stroke will come back in an edgier format in the paint as well.

It is all interconnected, but the one thing that I realize is that the less feeling that I have in the end product the less someone is going to identify with it. I need to "finish" pieces before I necessarily think they are done. That is the task for 2010, so if you see me overworking pieces, I want you to drop me an email, leave me a comment or just plain drop an anvil Looney Tunes style and remind me, that I am allowed to be expressive in my work.

So, tomorrow, I will have the finish of this Bee Here Now piece up. It's going to be good. I hope you like the in prog piece.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Squid with Pen & Ink

When I first started to get really into acrylic paints, I had tremendous difficulty rendering, not because I couldn't handle the paint but because I keep everything in mid-tones. I have always had issues with making things dynamic in contrast. I guess I am just an extreme moderate in all things. To compensate for this, and to bring form to my paintings I used to rely heavily on black ink line over top of my paintings. I have gotten better at pushing darks in my paintings, so over time I have started to steer clear of the pen over acrylic style.

Lately I have been missing the energy that I achieved with the ink line, however. It is nice to be able to render a bit better in acrylic paint, and build up shape and contrast solely with paint, but if the painting loses energy in so doing what good is it? At least this is the dilemma that I have been struggling with.

Today I was working on a piece and thinking to myself that I could push it further with paint, but then I was thinking that the piece might have been stronger as the drawing that I started with, so I started working the drawing over the top again. I don't know if this style better suits me or not, but I am pleased with the outcome. It is an avenue that I think deserves revisiting. Why not?
Let me know what you think. Thoughts are always welcome.

But for now, I have a crazy Rummy date with my mother in law. She's out for blood when she plays cards. Wish me luck.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art House Procrastination-book Project

Wow. The deadline for the Art House book is really coming up fast. I sat down with the book today intending to knock out a good portion of it, and I ended up with some drawings that I was quite pleased with, though to be honest, I didn't work as quickly as I needed to. Oh well, I may have to work some late evenings to finish on time. Pretty much par for the course in my world.

This sketch was really tipping my hat to Michael Nobbs. If you don't know Michael Nobbs, you should really check out his work. He has an exceptional way of documenting every day life, that I really would like to be able to bring into my work.

This sketch is really nothing new for me. The last three years have been dominated by pieces like this, and I love doing them, I really do, but I do wonder if I end up pigeon holing myself too much by doing so many of them. I guess when I am old I question whether I want to be known as the "bird and robot guy", or the "guy who draws the Mighty Lark" or what. Then again, there is also the question of whether I want to be known or not anyway. Fame seems appealing, but you don't need to look any further than Kurt Cobain or Jimi Hendrix to see that it is an unnatural way to live, that induces extraordinary behavior...

Fortunately, I think I am safe. There are far less super famous artists than musicians in this era.

I know that this guy kind of looks like an old man, but I really was thinking about my buddy Grover while I was drawing this. I don't even think that Grover smokes, and he's not old, but something about this guys' walk and his posture made me think of Grover. That is the best part of drawing if you ask me. When I get some really great memory in my head of some person or event and I get to relive it for a while. That is why I love art. Uh oh, did I give the secret away.
Hope the magic isn't gone now....

So Anyway.....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sitting Pretty - A Tanager on a Derby

Today I started to paint my Bee Here Now piece, but realized about half an hour into it that I needed to work out some of the kinks in my acrylic paint application. It has been about a month since I've really sat down and had time to work with paint. Moving and the new job have kept me somewhat in check, but now I am getting some time to work on things. Either way, I realized that I needed to work on my application and get my stroke back in its rhythm.

To do this I started to rework an older sketch that I had on board but which hadn't even received the full benefit of an under painting. The idea too, is a little bit older. I first put this sketch together in 2006 and painted the original in the same year, but was still in my phase of work where I finished everything with a hard pencil line, leaving all of my pieces a bit too shiny.

While I was working on the piece, I was thinking about that hard pencil line though, because when I used that line I didn't have to worry so much about contrast. Now that I have stopped using that line it is much harder to work a piece with contrast because my palette is so limited. So with this piece I was really trying to push my color a bit more to make up for some of the loss of contrast, and considering that I hadn't even pushed paint in about a month, I'm very pleased with the outcome.

Suddenly I have the desire to work with people again. Ever since I visited MICA with my fiance I have wanted to start working with people again. The birds are fun, and I love doing them, and in fact it almost feels like I am painting old friends, but with my people I can really work out how I feel about the character a bit better. Exaggeration is so much easier to use to prove a point. But anyhow, I digress. I hope you enjoy the painting, and I have a couple more in the works, so hopefully there will be something else up for you to look at soon.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Art House Sketchbook Project

I've gotten a pretty slow start on the Art House Sketchbook Project. What with it being due by the fourth of January I figure I better get going on it. So today I was drawing some work in the book. My theme is "Time". In the past I have done a lot of work on time travel and time as an element of existence. By element of existence I mean that to have volume an object has to have a length a width and a height, but the object isn't there if it isn't there for a given amount of time, so time is the fourth element.

I always thought that was really cool. When I first got the Art House book, I was still trying to find a job and move, so everything was very literal to me, but now I am thinking more about black holes, white dwarves, and the rotation of our planet. Time travel and time sitting still are going through my head. It feels good to have something a little more esoteric and creative running around in there again.

Here are a couple sketches that I worked up for the book.

The first sketch is from the series of half heads that I have been trying to figure out. Word bubbles get me so jazzed. I think they leave an artist the room to be anywhere from literal to enigmatic, and that ambiguity makes it a really fun subject for me to play with.

The second sketch I am going to work into a piece for the Bee Here Now show at the Hive Gallery in LA. I haven't sent a piece to their group show since I had my small wall feature there. But now it's time to get over some things that have been bugging me, and get back into this thing.

This piece is actually a reference to an older piece that I did when I was first into time travel. It was based largely on "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe", a book by J Richard Gott. I couldn't get over the concepts in this book and was drawing things relative to its content for months. (sorry for the pun - relative)

I'll keep you posted on this new piece. I think it's going to be a good one.
This is Mike Lewis signing off, until then......


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Superfrog Gig Poster

Life has been crazy for the past six months, but I'm finally moved into a new place and putting my studio back together. Life is good. The hard times this year were not lost on me though. I have learned a lot this year about what I need in life and what I don't need in life, what I really like and what is mediocre.

I really like making gig posters and doing illustrations. I'm moving in a direction to do more of these. I'm also looking to push my illustration work a bit more in New Hampshire. The economy has made me feel much more in tune with community, so I want to try to keep some business going locally.

But Anyway...

This is a poster that I finished today for the Stone Church on Zion Hill. Superfrog is a cool sounding little jam band, so I tried to keep the poster really simple, and kind of like the old posters for the Greatful Dead and the Doors. I actually had the LA Woman album cover in mind as I was working on the text.

I really did dug doing this poster. I hope you like the finished product as much as I do. I'll be back soon with some more stuff to post.


Friday, November 27, 2009

November Lewis Acrylics Wallpaper Download is Posted.

I've posted the monthly Lewis Acrylics desktop wallpaper download. The Download is free of charge. Hop over to the site and get it before there is a new one including reindeer and Santa Claus.

Hope you like it this month! Let me know what you think, or if you have any requests for particular pieces to be made into wallpapers. Have a good Holiday season folks.

You can download the Lewis Acrylics Desktop Theme here.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Changing Perspectives.

This past weekend my fiance and I rode the bus down to Baltimore so that she could check out the Maryland Institute College of Art's graduate program in Graphic Design. She was very impressed which is awesome. As long as I was there I checked out MICA's Hoffberger school of painting. I am still undetermined as to whether I think that it was great or not, but it was awesome to see some painters in their studio again. It has been so long painting in my bedroom/kitchen that I've nearly forgotten my awesome studio spaces.

I also started to think about how to break the mold that I have built for myself in recent years. Not to say that I am not a huge bird fan anymore, because I am. In fact today on a hike I saw a Downy Woodpecker, and it was awesome, but I don't think I need to continue painting solely birds. It is not healthy and it doesn't push my creativity anymore. So I started to think back, and realized that the series that I had started with word bubbles needs to come back. There is so much left to say with it, and I kind of missed the point before.

The goal of this series that I am starting is to convey more feeling than my works of late. I am very pleased with the paint quality that I've been able to achieve, and I think that I am much more comfortable with my drawing style than I was immediately after college, but it is time to bring back some of the feel for paint that I have lost. I want to get back to walking away from my canvas and feeling out the tone of my piece, and not just creating a quick illustration. I have been thinking about different aspects of this series and in sitting and thinking about the pieces on the bus for eight hours, I've got a much better feel for my next bold move.

The sketches in this post are merely quick preliminary sketches. Expect something more final in the coming weeks. In summation, I am really attempting to make my work a bit more cerebral and less like production. I need to remember to love paint again.

So, keep looking back. I will have some new work soon. I am very much looking forward to painting the next couple of weeks. Until then.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Comin' Back Freakie Fresh!!

I'm feeling so Freakie Fresh. Winter in New Hampshire is coming and coming fast. First off this winter, I am going to learn to ski and maybe snowboard. Second things are looking good for Lewis Acrylics. I have a lot going on, but there seems to be plenty of time to complete everything right now. Very good. Some new things that are coming up:

1.) I have started to do interviews for Underground Art School. The first interview is with Andrea Porter of Blue Bottle in Seattle. It is scheduled to run in mid-November, which as I check my ical is in five days. So I will keep you posted on that.

2.) I had to cancel my November show with Borough Gallery. It is very unfortunate, but due to personal difficulties this fall, I did not have the mental faculty or desire to finish any new paintings. On top of that, I just didn't have enough time to create five new paintings in a new vein. The gallery has been very kind however, and it looks like I may be showing with them in the future.

3.) I have verified the theme of my Fall 2010 show at the Blue Bottle. It will be a Mighty Lark comic. I will be doing full paintings of the frames of the comic. The comic itself will be available for sale as well as the completed paintings.

4.) I have started a Society6 Account. It's a cool site. Through them I have Giclee prints available of My Home in the Tree and Singing on a Wire. Check it out on my homepage here.

5.) I have been working with TinCan Web Works to produce a couple new websites. There will be one for the new literary magazine OVS, which I am producing the header for and offering some design suggestions, and the site for WPCR, that's Plymouth College Radio, will be entirely my design. OVS Magazine is also still accepting submissions for art and poetry for another 9 days after today. Go submit. It's going to be great.

6.) Lastly I've been doing some new design work highlighting my line. I just put together a piece for the Kitchen Sessions Warren, NH. Check it out.

Check out the Kitchen Sessions for some cool new poetry. The idea is that none of the work read at the kitchen session will have been read before. Also, the event is being held at a very cool log cabin in the middle of the woods. It's going to be great.

That's all I have for now folks. Lots of sketchbook work that I may post, but I'm still living in someone else's house, so I don't really have a studio set up right now. I don't really want to get paint all over the place you know? But keep posted, there will be some more cool stuff soon.

Until then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Borough Gallery & Studio

I've been invited to be in another show for November at Borough Gallery & Studio. At this point this year though I am not looking to do a whole bunch more bird paintings. I have really been wanting to do some cartoony figurative work again.

So I started with the Umbrella Man who I have painted before but who I feel I can always do better with. I think he's coming out great this time. I can really see how my painting has progressed when I compare the phases of UM.

The second piece I admit is a little bit of a cheat but I have been looking to piece this painting into a show for a while now, and it is not as if I am not producing other paintings for the show as well. So the second piece is a waiting for the bus piece.

Love this painting. Hope that folks in Burlington will too. Until tomorrow. I gots work to do.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Germ - Quistodors!

It's Illustration Wednesday, cuz I'm a slacker and didn't finish this on Friday. Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dwellings Maximus

It's done, well if I want it to be. I have two pieces that I may try to finish by Monday, or I may not try to finish them by Monday. Either way, I dropped off my show at Artstream Studios today and I am stoked. I have no more shows lined up for this year, so I'm going to work on some cool little projects for me, and try to pick up some illustration work here and there.

I'm also going to get back to work on the Mighty Lark web and mini comics that I have brewing in my head. And lastly I will be applying to the Low Residency programs at MECA and SFAI to hopefully be enrolled in an MFA program next fall, because I'm that guy. Awww Yeah.

But, you haven't seen work from me in weeks and I have a couple new pieces for your viewing pleasure, so here they are.

Yar... I thought of this piece while maxing and relaxing in Warren, NH, because that is what you do in Warren, NH. I love pirates, I love birds, I love the Jolly Roger ( both the flag and the Maritime brew ). What more can I say?

This next piece is a diptych. I think I might make diptychs just so I can use the word. The sound of the word itself is known to make some men uncomfortable. Diptych.

Definitely got into the pipe lettering, but also was able to bring some really colorful painterly background into this one. Amped all around. I'm beginning to realize that this particular blog post is an English Comp professor's nightmare though. And now for another round of colloquialisms....

The last piece is The Burbs #2. I have been feeling very free with the paint application lately. Perhaps I am enjoying the entropy of joblessness. Anyway, I will keep folks up on some future happenings soon. Comic and painting madness are on their way, as well as a couple treats for Halloween and Christmas.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rhythm Method

It has been a busy two weeks as I've been preparing for my move and trying to finish up the Dwellings show. This will probably be the last that I post to the blog even, since I am going to my parents house for my birthday, where telephone is the height of technology. I love them but there are times when I wonder if they are ok with these moving pictures and what not.

Anyway, last week I was asked to do a poster for an R&B band called the Rhythm Method in New Hampshire. They have a really good sound. Kind of a moving funk beat to it all. Unfortunately as busy as I was the best that I was thinking of for the longest time were plays on the rhythm method procuring babies. I didn't really figure that the mid forties individuals in the band would really appreciate a fetus dressed up like John Lee Hooker so I kept the type and changed the image to a very nice turtle.

Here it is.

Hope you like it. I was stoked just to draw a turtle. Lets be honest.
See you folks in a week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Perils of Digital Color Re-Creation

Living in the Slums is a piece that I have been working on for the "Dwellings" exhibit which is coming up far too soon. I have had some issues with this piece on its surface, i.e. it was feeling empty, because there wasn't enough color and it was entirely too peaceful for what I was trying to say. Now I've resolved that. I used direct color compliments to really amp up the struggle of the piece, but have still kept the bird itself in relative calm and midtones. It is after all the environment that is the conflict, not the individual.

As in real life, most people will come to find whatever is their home as normal. They will consider their station in life, get used to it, and albeit they may want more out of life, they are still comfortable with what they have. It is more for rich, domineering individuals to come and tell the lower classes that they aren't living well.

Anyway, that is what I was thinking about while making this painting, and although the digital copy has been a frustrating loss of my color palette and its delicacies, hopefully you will get an idea of what I am trying to get at.

I guess in the end, the moral of the story is that converting your images to digital is kind of like seeing a painting through different eyes. Perhaps it would be better to compare to translations of language. No matter how good a translator is, there is something lost in telling a story in a different language. Take for the instance the Bible written in Hebrew. I was once told that there were roughly 6 ways to translate a four word excerpt to English.

When thinking that way, maybe my colors don't look so bad in the digital copy.
Til next time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Productivity and the Disappearing Timeline

The Dwellings show is coming up fast, and somehow my paintings are slowly coming together, but I think that this is going to end up being a super crunch time painting show reminiscent of sleepless college projects. I am feeling very good about the paintings though.

I managed to turn a board around from a painting that had no value to me to the beginning of a cool little subset of Dwellings. It is going to be a burbs mini series. No birds in these pieces, just stacked houses. I feel like it will really get the idea across better without any characters in the piece.

Here is the first:

Not only did this turn into a cool little piece, and afford me a small sub-series, but I also started to work with a palette that I have not used in several years on this piece. I think it will balance off of the blues and browns that I have become so predominant in my other work. Very exciting.

The second piece that I have to post today has really been a long time in the coming. I have had the drawing done for this piece for a couple months now, but was hesitant to paint it. I think I was worried that I wasn't ready yet technically to do a good job with it, but these proved to be false apprehensions as I feel like I completely nailed it yesterday. I rolled from start to finish from about nine to seven in the evening.

And here it is:

I'm having prints made of this piece and will be giving them away with every commission that is ordered before October 15th. So if you'd like a print, be sure to get on the phone and have me start a painting for you and we'll get you one!

Now my brain is fried, so I think I will call it quits for the day. Be sure to check back in the next couple days. There is still more to come.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bruce Bartlett Trio

I finished my first poster for the Stone Church on Zion Hill, in New Market, NH this last weekend. They apparently liked it, because I have a second project for this week. I am really liking this type of work. It depends much more on concept than my painting work. Painting work is very much building a body and then figuring out how some pieces of it go together, and illustration work is more starting within somebody's elses parameters and going with it.

It is nice to have the dichotomy in my work right now. This piece, I worked up digitally, with some confidence that I absorbed from reading and listening to people that I have found through Escape From Illustration Island. If you ever need inspiration as an illustrator, or need to find fonts or someplace to get work. EFII is the place to go. Thomas James has put together an amazing resource and is quite the illustrator himself.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the most recent gig poster:

I have also finished my piece for the postcard for Artstream Studios, "Dwellings" show. I am so stoked with these hand drawn type pieces. I started another one today that is even cooler, and it kind of blows my own socks off, cuz I didn't think I could pull it off.

Anyway, here tis.

Hope y'all like it. Let me know what you think. Pretty soon I will have a bunch more images up in just a little while, all of you New Hampshirites can come catch the opening and see the whole thing.
Take Care.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Live High Above the City

I have actually got a whole bunch of new work going right now, which is awesome. It is very much overdue, but better late than never. This show is really going to be amazing. I am quite confident in that. Here is the latest piece in the series of Dwellings:

I like this piece a lot, though I know that it is much simpler than some of the pieces that I have been doing recently. I also put a quick Mighty Lark piece together for my Etsy Page, which is available here.

It's just a quick piece, but I think it's pretty cool nevertheless. I still have a couple pieces available through the C.A.V.E. gallery here. These are both fairly inexpensive pieces and pretty cool. Be sure to check those out.

Lastly, I've got another poster gig for the Bruce Bartlett Trio, who is playing at the Stone Church in about a week. I have to wrap that up in the next day so that there will be plenty of time to print and flyer the area. Here is the preliminary sketch.

What do you think. I really dig the electric pole bit. It's making me very happy. I will have some more stuff up for you soon. Especially if I get some batteries for my camera. I am working on a couple pieces that I am not so sure I want to scan in pieces because they are bigger than I usually work. I will try to get those up soon.

Until then, y'all take care now.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Promos!

Today I picked up my new promos to send to Hire an Illustrator and to some various clients on my own. I'm very excited to have new promotional material. I think that it has actually been since college that I have had any made, and that was six years ago now!

So here they are. I realize now that I am just looking at them from a viewer point rather than a design point that maybe they should be edited, but it is a good first effort in a long time. Hope you like them!

Hopefully these work and I get a ton of illustration work out of them right?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birdie Family Portraits

Susan Schwake asked me to put together some small bird portraits as a sort of preview into my show "Dwellings" at Art Stream studios in October. I think that they came out pretty well. The show itself is coming along. I am still very into the hand drawn type, but I need to get more of my ideas out and on boards so I can paint different pieces simultaneously. I always do better with a multitude of canvases in front of me.

I have also been working pretty steadily on the Mighty Lark Web Comic. That is a very exciting project for me because I have always been into comics, and wanted to draw comics but have never had the confidence in my drawing to actually make a comic. But thanks to Big Illustration Party Time and Art & Story Podcasts, I have started to relax a little and just have some fun, and the work is not really disappointing me in the least. I think maybe I just needed to take the plunge and then everything comes together.

I have been talking with Mike McGee about maybe doing some writing for it, or maybe some other funny writer. I can make the Mighty Lark look like he is doing pretty much anything but I am a little less confident about the story that I have brewing in my head. Though maybe that is the same type of thing. Maybe I just need to jump in and it will be ok too.

At least I have a plot planned out. I will be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting tomorrow night. I was doing a daily comic, but I found that a.) it was all of the work that I was able to get done in a day sometimes, and b.) I was not able to put the amount of time into the drawings that I wanted to put into it.

I would like for the writing to eventually be along a Calvin and Hobbes sort of level. I.E. One big adventure comic, followed by some three panel gag strips.

I have also been given a complete profile at Hire an Illustrator. I am trying to make something of an illustration career now, since I have pretty much avoided my degree for the past six years. I am excited about this opportunity because I can see what it is like to be represented and hopefully I can get some cool Illustration gigs out of it.

Well, I should stop blabbing and get some work done on my show now, but it's been a while, and I had news. Life is good. I'll be back soon.


Friday, August 21, 2009

New Paintings and a New Project

The past couple days have been very productive. I have stopped looking for a job in Minneapolis as there is only about three more weeks to my stay here anyway. Were I to take a job I would just have to leave shortly anyway. So I have decided to devote my whole time to my show for Artstream studios, art projects for me, and my newest venture, a web comic.

I have wanted to do a web comic for a long time. Actually I have wanted to do a comic for a long time to begin with. I remember trying to put one together for my high school paper, but I never thought that I was funny enough. Now I am not sure how funny I necessarily am, but I realize a lot of the problem that I had was actually the drawing and not being able to carry a character from panel to panel. I've decided to tackle that and to try to tackle it on a daily basis at that. So far I have done the Mighty Lark Web Comic three days in a row. Hopefully there will be one tomorrow too.

Yesterday I also finished two paintings and started two more. It has been incredibly productive vibes going on here in the Lewis Acrylics studio.

I had actually started this painting before I moved but it still had quite a ways to go. I think I will be sending it out to the Blue Bottle in Seattle. We'll see if they are interested. They generally seem to be my center for Mighty Lark sales.

The next piece I finished was just a small one for my Etsy store.

It's tiny. Only 2.5" square, but if you are interested in some small owl art for your home and you want to help out a guy who is supporting his move all over the country then stop over to the Etsy shop and grab it while you can.

It looks like I am going to have some more stuff to post tomorrow too. So keep posted. And please let me know what you think of the web comic. I am really trying to expand my drawing ability with that.

Everybody have and awesome friday. I'll be back soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Live in a Shanty

My show at ArtStream Studios is really starting to come together. Funny. All I really had to do was start working on it and it really all came together. I am becoming obsessed with typography in my projects. I think I always had this tendency but now my typography is becoming A.) more legible, and B.) more creative.

I am trying to make type out of all different kinds of things. This piece is obviously not done, but I think will be done this evening. It has gone incredibly fast. Fast like when I was in my senior year of college and didn't have to do a thing in the world but paint fast.

There is more to come. And I haven't figured out every angle of "Dwelling" that I want to touch on and pursue, but since I've started coming up with these pieces that has felt a lot more refreshing and less entrapping than it did before.

The past couple weeks I have also been trying to work out a logo project for a company here in Minneapolis. It is going slow. Sometimes I think to myself that they would be better off finding a graphic designer, but I feel like I should be able to wrap my head around this project and get it to a good point as well.

Here are two of the sketches that I came up with today. They are not perfect but they are at least starting to steer away from what I was told and more down the path of fitting a project into my head. I mean to say that, when a person asks for a design, they will tell you what they like and what they expect. As a designer or illustrator it is your job to give them that, but also to take what they say and spin it on its head so that you come up with something new and cool. I hadn't started thinking like that until very recently so hopefully I have some better ideas on the horizon..

I've got a lot of work to do. It's time to get back at it. I will keep you all posted on what is going on though.

til then.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Home in the Trees

I did a sketch of this piece a while ago in a very small moleskine that I was working in at the Village Pizza. I loved that original sketch but have really been wanting to do something more with this idea. I either wanted to make it into a t-shirt or into a new painting or both.

Since I've had my epiphany with the Artstream Studios Dwellings show though, I've realized that several of these would work out really well and be a really cool option. It also serves as an excellent opportunity to use more hand-drawn type, which I've been into ever since I have been in contact with Racheal Anilyse. You should check out her typography. It's amazing.

I intend to get a couple more sketches up this week, this is actually the almost complete drawing on board.
Soon I'll be painting this sucker up.

Keep in touch folks, let me know what you think, and if you are in NH be planning on attending the show at Artstream Studios. It is going to be awesome.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TLO Poster - Color Finals

Today I spent the majority of my day working on the color finals of the The Lights Out poster coming up for next week. Hopefully the band is into one of the two color options that I sent them. If not, I'm going to have to pull something together by the end of the week, and noticeably we are halfway there.

I have two color versions for the band to pick from so far. The first is more my color scheme but I did most of the painting digitally, so I don't know if it works as well on a psd canvas as it does on an actual canvas. The second, I really was trying to emphasize the drawing. There is a part of me that feels like I should actually paint this in acrylics, but then I will be up all night tonight as well.

I don't know, what do you folks think?

This has been an awesome project to work on, and the guys from the band just have super good things to see. It is nice to work with a positive group of guys who seem genuinely excited to make suggestions.

I've also been contacted this week about being represented by Hai! (Hire an Illustrator), an office based out of London. It is operated by the same man who operates the Little Chimp Society. I have not decided yet whether to be represented or not, but it is still very nice to even be considered. I am fairly certain that I will go with them. It would be nice to reach a broader audience with my work and with my illustration.

I also became a member on Illustration Mundo, which is a website that started in Brazil. It holds a huge database of illustrators, a very nice selection of artists if you want to check it out. Also if you give me comments or say that you like my work via the site my rating increases. So if you want to show your support, you can do that here.

I hope you folks are all enjoying the sun today. After I finished my two poster selections today I have been sitting in the sun and loving this weather. Now it is off to go cook for some awesome ladies here in Minneapolis. I'll be posting some sketches for the Artstream studios show tomorrow. I have some, I've just been lazy and haven't uploaded them yet. Gotta enjoy summer while you've got it.

Y'all take care now, y'hear!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Lights Out in Cambridge

I've been talking with the band The Lights Out in Boston, and I've decided to tackle their next show poster. They are headlining at the Middle East upstairs the 27th of August.

The band decided they really like my painting "The Crack", so I decided to work my poster design around that painting. It really is the same kind of idea as the band name. Here it is, hope you like it.

I've also been piecing together work for my October show at Artstream Studios, and that is coming together well, as I am sure Susan will be happy to hear.

I'll be posting some of that work over the weekend. I am very excited about this coming show.

Until later though.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keep on Trucking - Truth

I managed to get my paintings together for the C.A.V.E. gallery showing today. It has been super busy here in Minneapolis. I've had web design, illustration and cooking to keep me employed the last two weeks. It all seems so crazy.

I think this weekend I want to take a day or at least half a day to do nothing though. I think I deserve it. We'll see what happens, but here are the paintings:

I dig the owls. I wouldn't even have started drawing owls if it was not for Mike Mcgee. He rocks, you should check him out.

This one is for my buddy Paul. He knows why. To all the good folks out there, and most of you are indeed good folks, take care.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nothing But Painting Today

So here I am in the state of Minnesota and I have managed to find a part time job and some contract work as a web designer, but not a heck of a lot more than that. So today I figured out that if I finish the web work that I am contracted for this week and work the hours that I am scheduled at my part time job, that I will have plenty to cover my bills.

So, of course that led me to come home and paint for the rest of the day since I don't start cooking until tomorrow. So the C.A.V.E. ends up with some better stuff than I thought. But I'll be posting it all tomorrow. It is almost done.

But just for fun today, I bring you Birdy Kenievel.

Hope you like him, and check back tomorrow for the completed CAVE pieces.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Irrigation Initiation" in Color

Today I spent some time with colors for the rock show poster. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. It is always difficult to try to keep my cross hatching going in a digital piece but I managed to keep what I wanted to.

Check it out.

What do you think folks? Any good? I am stoked to have worked on this project. I hope that the committee will keep my design.

Keep posted for the C.A.V.E. work later tonight.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Irrigation Initiation

I was asked to do a flyer for the upcoming "Irrigation Initiation" in St. Paul. I am really excited about the project for two reasons. One, I have wanted to do a show poster since I graduated from school with an illustration degree, and two, it involves pipes, and you know how I love pipes.

I am also working on a small set of paintings for a show at the C.A.V.E. gallery in California this week too. I have to send the pieces out by this friday so I really need to get a move on it. I only have the one completed so far.

I think it is a pretty cool piece though, so at least it is not a bad start. I have been so busy since I've hit the streets of Minneapolis. Who'd have thought the unemployed could be so busy. Sorry if I pushed it to 10.9%. I'll see what I can do with the rest of my week.

Until later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Sticker Design

Today I put together a new sticker design. I figured that there are all sorts of stickers put up all over the place here in Minneapolis. I should have one too. So pretty soon, once my quote comes through and what not I can make myself my own street team and pepper the city.

It's been pretty cool since I've been here. I haven't had any paints with me just yet, so it's been a lot of work in sketchbooks and accepting that my black and white work isn't half bad. I'm thinking at this point that if I ever really want to pursue illustration, black and white is probably going to be my specialty.

So without further ado, here is the sticker that I came up with today:

Let me know what you think. I am still learning when it comes to design. But at this juncture I'm pretty happy with this little dude.

Be back soon.