Monday, December 26, 2011

Pulling Through With the Wee Hours

I worked at the restaurant all weekend.  It was awesome.  I love my chef and my co-workers.  They are great great people, but when I leave my job I am so exhausted and ready for bed.  Add a 2 and a half hour drive to the end of work and I am pretty much lost to the world for the next 24 hours.  Such was the case this weekend.

I was sitting at my kitchen table eating lunch today wondering if I was ever going to finish anything today.  I cleaned up a little around the house, which I guess is worth something, but I have 2 illustrations that I need to finish this week as well.  It was at about lunch time when I realized that it would do me no good to attempt to do more work for clients after working an entire weekend.  Hopefully this is a sign of logic to come.  Tomorrow I need to wake up and work on illustrations, but after a night of working on my fine art stuff, which is more cathartic and less focused around communicating a specific idea, I feel more prepared to do so.

I am also pleased to have finished up another 15 or so pieces for my installation in May.  My thesis project really is a bit ridiculous, so I think any time that I am feeling a little non-plussed with my day over the next several months I will do as I did today and just crank out some more drawings.  I am also sharing a couple commissions that I wrapped up at the end of last week today.

Hope you dig the stuff.

I am stoked to even have gotten moving today.  At about 6 I didn't think that there was a hope of doing so.  Have a good night peeps.  Will talk to you soon.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just One More

I've been making a bunch of the Vertical Mixing series for Christmas presents over the past several weeks.  I have been absolutely awful at documenting them, but I remembered to document this one.  I love the Owlbot.  Expect more from him.

Speaking of which, I was approached by an old friend recently and he has Mighty Lark scripts written up.  I am absolutely floored with them.  He really captured the essence of what I was looking for in that character. 

Starting next week, as a result, I will be putting together a full Mighty Lark story to be unveiled, well, whenever I am comfortably through enough strips that I have a buffer.  I got burned out on that project very quickly when I was behind.  I don't want to do that type of thing to myself anymore.

Thanks for checking in folks and Happy Holidays.

Boston Public School Library Project

Thanks to the lovely Meighan O'Toole of My Love for you, I was selected to work on a series of illustrations for the Boston Public School's library.  The illustrations are used as depictions of subject headings in the card catalog.  I'm posting a couple of these now, and will post the rest when they have all been approved.  This was a really fun project to work on and I am very pleased to share it with you.

I have definitely figured out this year that I love being an Illustrator.  It has been a huge step for me to answer the "so what do you question?" with "Illustrator" rather than "cook".  Projects like this one really help me to think of myself seriously though and I am incredibly pleased to be in the position that I am now.  I've tried pretty hard to get to this point, but all of that work kind feels worth it when I see work like this in the world.

Hope you all like it too.

Where Do I Start?

There is so much to tell.  I think I will write a couple of blog posts tonight just so there is no confusion between the different ideas and projects that I have been working with.  In some cases it seems that the only unifying characteristic is that I did the work to begin with.

It has been a massively productive year.  I have no complaints with my work ethic.  My writing ethic seems to have fallen a little by the wayside, however.  I think I left off on some images of my large scale robots.  Each robot served as an internal location in which to frame a group of paintings and drawings. 

The rest of the robots looked cool too.  I definitely had issues transporting said robots when I was through constructing them though.  That said, they apparently didn't read particularly well as robots either, but seemed more like a human-sized shape.  I'm not sure if that is really a bad thing either.  Below are the installation photos.  Only a month and a half late.

These were awesome to work on, but the big problem with them was exactly that.  They were too BIG.  I hurt my back and neck de-installing the piece and it is still in the bed of my pick up. Hence the thought that perhaps I should make something a little bit smaller.

These guys resulted.  At the same time as I started making these, I started listening to the DJ, Cut Chemist, who is the DJ for Jurassic 5.  His solo, The Audience's Listening, features a song which repeats the line "The Robots are coming" which was stuck in my head the entire time I was making these.

I was incredibly pleased with the way that these worked out and realized while making them that it really was starting to operate in the same way that my work last spring with the blocks was working.  Naturally I decided to combine the two.  Soon I will post the sketches for my thesis which demonstrates that synthesis.

Hope y'all are well and your holiday season is great.
Keep up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Radio Head.

I am pretty sure that I am not a robot.  I am tired.  Pretty sure robots don't get tired.  Perhaps they can be programmed to get tired though.  I can't believe that tomorrow is Wednesday.  These days just keep flying by.  I worked on two separate robots today.  I've determined that I will finish six or seven of them before the end of the semester.  That's a lot of work to be pumping out, but what else is this life about anyway?  I like working.

Sculpture is a weird thing for me.  It still doesn't feel exactly comfortable.  I still want to draw and paint things all over everything.  I suppose there really isn't a problem in that thinking, but I would like the two to compliment each other, not be a detriment....

So far so good.

 These two images are of the Affection Receptor.  My adviser has suggested that perhaps I should take out the written text.  It may be very altar-like.  I suppose, however, that any non-functional statue will be considered a monument of some sort.  Are monuments and altars really that different when all is said and done?  I am not very sure myself.

I was very pleased to find a use for this radio.  It seemed obvious all of a sudden when I was looking at it.  I hope you dig it.  This is three robots.  Four to go.


Friday, November 4, 2011

How Does One Get to Cuba?

The past several months have been amazing.  I have learned a great deal about myself, art making, and the limits that I have placed on myself.  Apparently those limits have been too restrictive, as I've been involved with the Billboard Project in New Orleans and have now been accepted to the Mural Painting Bienniale X, in Santiago de Cuba.  While attempting to avoid illustration and gallery projects in school, I have been offered as many gallery gigs and more illustration gigs than I've ever been offered in the past.  I am truly grateful for what, as I pause and contemplate, I can only consider success.  It has been a long ride, and I can't say that I have always used this blog as a positive outlet, but thank you to all of those who have stuck around and made this possible through your support.

Now for completely unrelated items.  I have been working on a series of found wood robots with detailed interiors.  The effect that I have been going for has been the "ugly" serving as framework for the more refined, or "beautiful".  It is not quite as large a dynamic as that world of complete opposites, but there is a noticeable difference in the feeling of the drawings and writing that I have utilized in the interior of the sculptures and the haphazard construction that I have used to erect these robots.

Below is the first robot, which I had already shared sans detailed interior.

The latest robot that I have been working on does not include any pipe drawings but instead contains love notes, however.  The robot is titled the Affection Receptor, sports a Bo Jackson ball glove, and has hearts which I removed from a gaudy coat hanger.

Lastly I will share a quick piece that I added to my etsy shop today.  I am really pleased with the simplicity of the images like this.  It is also nice not to attempt to defeat the line work that I spend so much time working with.

There's more craziness going on.  I plan on finishing up the first incarnation of a major project over this week, so be sure to check back soon.  Take care.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Viva Lebowski & The Lights Out

I was asked to do the promotional poster for the Viva Lebowski event at Bayside Bowl here in Portland, ME this year.  The event is great.  It is essentially Lebowskifest, however that name has been copyrighted by its originators and new Lebowski events are forced to think of new names.  Viva Lebowski is great though.  All proceeds are donated to a different non profit or individual in need every year, and it was with great pleasure that I could provide my illustration skills to help out that end.

Here is my paper doll poster contribution.  Hope you like it.

I also found that a college friends' band is playing in Portland early in November and approached him to see if he would like me to do his flyer.  He, thankfully, was all about it.  I had done one poster for The Lights Out while I was living in Minnesota but this project is cooler because I actually live in the town where the posters will be hung.  As for bands, who could ask for a better band name than The Lights Out to create a poster for?  Nobody, that's who.

It was awesome to be able to work on both of these projects!  I hope you folks like looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them.


More Partition Works

I am busting out small works in this partition series, like it were my job.  Wait a second.  This is my job, isn't it?  Awesome.  I've been really pleased with the way that these pieces have been working out, so I decided to share a few more.

The first and third images are available on my Etsy page.  The second and fourth are more displays of mail art.  I am really loving being able to give away some of my work to artists that I respect and people that I love.  Sometimes you need to do something like that in order to remember why you do art to begin with, which actually has nothing to do with it being a job, but has way more to do with creating a rich tapestry for your soul.  Sorry about the new agey bit there.  I can't help it.  I've been feeling good.

Posting a couple more things today, but they don't go particularly well with this post, so don't touch that dial.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mail Art

While making the paintings that to fulfill the Billboard Project, I started to really geek out on these little drawings and thought to myself that I should just do a bunch more of them.  I've been mailing them to my friends because I've been feeling really lonesome for the past couple weeks.  I'm not sure that it really helps but at least I don't feel like I am making work for no reason whatsoever. 

I think that they will make for a good series when all is said and done.  Of course if I continue to mail them all over the country then I won't have any left to sell or anything like that, but I've been thinking that they would be cooler in a coffee table book or something anyway.  Possibly with a note of where they were sent or something.  I'm not much of a mail artist.  This is really just a way to stay connected with all of the people that I love across this nation.

Hope you dig.

If nothing else this project is really helping me work on the ink and color drawing style.  Crank 60 more of these out and it will be old hat.  Anyway, hope you are all well.  Let me know if you need one.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wooden Robots Rule

I have homework done this evening and I am sitting in front of my computer trying as hard as all get out to think of questions that drive my studio practice, which will then be written at the top of a worksheet that is to be used to build my classmates and my theses.  I have written two questions and they seem very pretentious, so I thought that it might help to come over to this sphere of the art world and post a couple different projects that I have been working on.  I can't help but think that this is after all my real artistic voice.

A couple weeks ago I took down two installations, threw the loose wood into my studio and jumped in my truck to go work for a weekend.  Meaning that last week when I got home there was an incredible mess lying out on the floor for me.  Most folks would decide to clean, but I decided to start building a seven foot tall robot out of wood. 

It is a very exciting process to sculpt with found wood materials.  I feel like I am painting and assembling at the same time, and never do I feel less of a gap between the two processes.  I do not concern myself with craftsmanship and try to downplay stability within the pieces.  I think, in the end, that this is where the translation between drawings and physical space really occurs for me.

Check out my robot.

The sketch is the type of cartoon robots that this guy is based on.  Do you think that it is possible to create a found sculpture that reads like a cute cartoon?  How does one blur the lines between cartoon and jagged surfaces?  I think I found my second question rooted in those two lines.

I will post again later tonight.  I have several small paintings to share as well.  IT doesn't seem quite right to show them in the same post as this guy though.  They seem rather unrelated even though I know that they inherently are.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Television Planter

I drive a lot between New Hampshire and Maine and while on my drives often think of different art projects.  During the last week I was obsessed with the idea of televisions as planters, much like the old paintings I had done with the plants taking over a more technological setting.  I think that perhaps in the end this will be very similar to what happens in an apocalyptic world. 

The creatures that inhabited this planet from the get go will take over again.  At least I hope so.  With this in mind I created today's piece:
 This piece is definitely a delineation from my more illustrative work but I think that incorporating this with more illustrative work will be very successful.  I am looking forward to the idea of matching this up with more painterly elements.
It does make me wonder what in the end counts as a painting, however.  This is certainly much more painting than it is reality.  Is any environment that is constructed more painting than reality.  Questions to be answered in the future but currently I have not the faculty to answer that.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Billboard Project New Orleans - Complete

Today I submitted my entries into the New Orleans Billboard Project.  A good deal of intricate cross hatching resulted in some work that I am very pleased with.  I think that this is a pretty fair example of how the two trains of thought that have been fueling my work intersect.

Lately I have been obsessed with interchangeable items as well as bringing the art of cartooning back into my work.  I know that here on this blog I have not shared a lot of work that was without its cartoons, but for the sake of school I have been sticking primarily to pipe drawings and found wood sculpture.  These two types of work are amazing and I love them, but neither is a path that I am willing to go down without cartoon and painting.  Cartoons and painting serve as my nubby, as my chef would put it.

So here are my last two images for the Billboard Project.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 I thought this piece was great because it was a series of three dimensional pieces that I used to create a two dimensional plane.  The blocks could be changed out to make a different piece of billboard art which is an idea that I am very enamored with.

This one I am very pleased with as well, though for different reasons.  This piece I think suggests a bit of a narrative for folks to pick out and I like that a lot.  It also is a bit simpler than the first two drawn pieces.   I am wondering if that makes it more or less powerful as an image?  Any ideas to this effect would be welcome.

As it stands to me though, another successful project.
Til next time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October TNT

It's been a super long couple weeks, but the drama on the home front is coming to an end and some of the big projects that I have been working on are near complete or already complete.  This week I finished up the October poster for Bard Coffee's Thursday Night Throwdown and lined up another project for Portland's Viva Lebowski, which is going to be an absolute blast.  I have three more days to pull together my imagery for the Billboard Project in New Orleans, and the semester is just starting to ramp up into something good.

For today I will just be sharing the October poster and the newest robot block that I have completed, though this particular robot block is a lot more than it seems.  It is much larger than the other blocks and carries more physical and mental weight to it.  So without further adieu.

I'm pretty pleased with this month's poster.  It took a little doing to get it to save properly this month, because I've been so stressed out that I missed a step.  Whoops. 

Now, here's the robot.

That's it for now, but I will be back soon.  October is looking pretty big and some emotional crap has been going down too, so what better way to celebrate than with some artmaking.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To be Awesome or not to be Awesome, that is a question.

I am left wondering if today was awesome or just plain awful.  I think that I am going to roll with awesome, because frankly today I did awesome stuff in the morning and awesome stuff at night and the mid-afternoon was awful.  To heck with it.  Crap sandwich, but for real, I made these today, and you can purchase them for five bucks from my friend Melissa, and that is awesome, because you can support me and my friend Melissa who is the awesomest.

I am stoked.  This has been something that I have wanted to put together for months.  So, awesome.  They are available currently at The Studio in Laconia, NH.  Get them while you.

In other news, I am falling seriously behind.  It's called work and I have way too much of it to do right now.  I was feeling bummed about this a little while ago, but you know what?  I need that to keep me going.  I realized I was feeling crappy about other stuff and taking it out on my artwork and you know what that equals, crap sandwich.  Solved.  Moving on and making some stuff that I am in love with.  I will share with all of y'all soon.

Get Up.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Skate Decks

I am working on art for skate decks tonight and it's pretty exciting since that is the first thing that I attempted to do when I graduated with my undergraduate degree in illustration.  I think I know less about Illustrator now than I did then, but I think I know more about art and illustration now, so this should be interesting.  I'm wondering how much of the Illustrator I will remember as I move along here.  Some of it comes back relatively fast while other aspects I am sure will take me an entire evening to understand again.  It is a worthwhile venture though.  It is also a venture that people who don't know all of the details will say things like, "Why don't you already know everything about the program since you are an illustrator?" or "You should understand all of the tools at your disposal", but I think that equally important is probably the fact that I understand how visually I can create an image far better than I could when I was 22.  So I guess all things considered, I am glad to be operating the way I do now.  I'm going to make this work, because I want to, and I may need to, and frankly, it would be nice to finally have that job at the design firm, whether it be "selling out" or any of that b.s.  I would be happy for that sale if it were offered to me.  Check out the original sketch.  Tis one of those awesome marble boards.

Wish me luck.  I would like more of this type of work.  I think it would be good for me, and it might even make my parents rest a little easier, which after all of this time would be an incredible blessing.

Big ups!

Re-Visiting & Re-Purposing

Large scale installations constructed out of wooden elements lead to lots of wood scrap, and when your main painting ground is random wood scraps, that is a very good thing.  While I was cleaning studio recently, I found a project that I had started several years ago that is actually quite similar to the totems that I had started this spring.  Pieces of segmented 2x4 were shaped into blocks, painted in pastel and adorned with robot heads.  I would then stack them at random, allowing people to play with my work as they wished.

It is shocking to find that what you took a year to muddle through in an academic setting is actually something that you had already figured out and forgotten about.  Does this mean that I have actually thought of no new ideas while in school?  This is quite possible.  In fact it is beginning to seem quite probable.  As I know that I enjoy working, and have considerably in the last year and a half, I wonder what it is that I need to do to step out of this box that I have created for myself.

That all said, I enjoy this little box.   I don't think I am completely ready to leave yet.  These robot blocks are pretty great too. 
I think that this re-purposing is probably one of the most enjoyable parts of doing the work that I do.  My favorite question is probably, "well this is strange looking, what can I do with this?"  Oddly, now that I think about it, that may be an answer to a question that they have been badgering me about at school.  All the more reason to have a blog, I suppose.

I have also started working on the third piece for my Billboard project.  This one is a little more along the lines of what I was working on during the summer.  The pipes are interesting still, but I like the addition of some random color as well as moths and more sporadic hatching to move the viewer around the picture plane.

There will be more color eventually as well as more pieces added to make it fit the dimensions of the billboard better, but for now I am pleased to be working through a couple more issues with the whole process.

Stay up.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day of the Dead

I also thought that I would share my Day of the Dead piece for Lunar Boy tonight.  These are actually separate drawings, but it seemed easier to post as one photo.  Yet again the hatching and painted negative space.

Hope you dig.

That's it for now.
Peace for real this time.


This semester of school I have made a major decision, and it boils down to this.  I will not be making work solely for my betterment as a student.  I have worked too hard and too long at creating relationships with galleries and artists to stop for the sake of my education.  With this in mind the first project that I am working on for my present study is the Billboard Project, which I will be participating in.  I have two images ready to be used on a billboard in downtown New Orleans.  This is great not only because of the immensity of the project but also because I have never shown in the state of Louisiana before.  This exhibition will knock of the tenth state in my goal to show in every state in the union.

I have been sticking with the crosshatching and negative space painting method for a series of pipe drawings as my first go around.  I have found that as I paint, I often lose some of the energy that my drawings possess.  I am sure that the same energy can be achieved with paint, but I think with a little more focus on the drawing I may get myself to a better place than I have been recently.  Then, hopefully, I will be able to return to the painting with a fresh mind and the capability of making it more loose and expressive.  With any luck these qualities will come out as free as the drawing and not appear contrived.

But enough of that.  I have drawings to show you, or are they?  I don't know what to term these pieces.  They do have paint on them.  How much paint is required for it to be a painting?  I suppose I am merely defining the characteristics of my drawing so it would fall into drawing.  Thoughts?

 I am not sure why, but sometimes the cheapest materials are the most fun to work on.  Chip board takes an ink hatching really nicely, and lets be honest, there is little that acrylic paint won't adhere to.  I am very fond of this piece.  I enjoy how the color of paint is not so different from that of the board surface.  It is subtle but not without contrast.
I am not sure that I am as big a fan of this particular color combination.  Perhaps I should have gone with more of an off compliment green.  There is a lot of pop in this but that blue seems so solid even here in digital form.  I am also not so certain that I appreciate the large swatches of pipe drawing as the more segmented piece.

I have more to share in the near future.  This blog was far easier to keep up with when I was not in school.  Frankly the scanning alone is often forgotten at this point, but like I say, I want to be doing more projects for me.  It is good for my sanity, and as an anti-depressant. 

I hope all of you are doing rad.