Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Posts One Day

Apparently today is twice as awesome.  I am so incredibly excited about this series.  This is the heaviest geeking out that I have done in the past 3 years.  I think these pieces are finally pushing my plateau.  I fought so hard to learn to use acrylic paint and now it is definitely time to reject that ability.

I think I will soon be changing up the imagery in these too.  I want to do more power line pieces like I had been working on in the past month but utilizing this same method.  I feel very interested in how these pieces are more dependent on the materials than previous works.

Anyway, back to work.  I was just excited and wanted to share.

In the Thick of it.

It has been a very busy week thus far.  I have, as yet, only made it to Wednesday thus far.  Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.  That would be amazing.  I finished working on a coloring book project and constructed a model for a second project for one client this week.  It is such a relief to look back at those two projects a little rather than telling myself I need to finish it over and over again.  During last weekend I realized that I needed to start spending some more time on work for my Fine Arts practice.  I love making illustrations, and there is definitely some stability in making them that I have not yet found in making paintings and installations, but if I do not make those paintings and installations then I lose some of the vigor that I have for making artwork.  With that in mind I determined to really dig in a little bit to my Square Foot pieces.  I do not think that I will even make the deadline for submitting to this show, but I very much enjoy the catalyst to making these works.  I think they will function well in some other mix too.

This series has led to a lot more experimentation.  I have been working back and forth between pen, acrylics, and sandpaper.  In letting the sandpaper have as much say as the other two very controlling methods of application, I am able to distance myself a bit more from my pieces than I usually feel capable of doing.  I suspect that I will make enough of these to fill an entire wall space.  It's interesting to me as well to consider how similar in a way this is to my idea for my thesis, but how this looks more mature, despite the complicated nature of that thesis work.

It is an interesting thought.  While illustrating lately I have been thinking, "if you mess up, do it confidently."  Perhaps it was that which I was missing while producing that thesis work.  I don't know, but I do know that I am pleased that I have begun to understand some areas to improve on that work, and I am pleased that people have been pursuing some of the work.  Life is shaping up again.
I'm glad you're here for the ride.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

And So it Goes

To say that I have been in a bad mood lately is probably a bit of an understatement.  My poor friends has been getting an earful all week long.  They say that very emotional periods in artists' lives lead to their best art.  After this last week I would counter that argument.  I propose that perhaps those emotional times are super crappy and you get nothing at all done.  Then when you get through the week of being super upset, you think, "I gotta get my mind of this" and you start to make, and make, and make, and make, because really at the end of it all that is what you do.  That is how you cope with anything, but obsessing over something else.  Perhaps this is still in keeping with the first adage, but it seems different to me.  The work that I end up creating about emotional events in my life is really crappy but when I am done being emotional, I feel like I've wasted so much time, that then I get things done.  Anyway, I ramble.  If you come to this site, you probably want to look at some art.

I've had a ton of illustration projects that I've been working on.  They are kind of okay to be working on, but nothing that I want to spend the majority of my life working on.  If anything, they make me realize how much I want to work on my own stuff.  So really, I guess I should be thankful for any projects that I receive like that, because they not only help me subsist, but also fuel the desire to make more fine art. 

A month after the thesis exhibition has come down, it still sits in the back of my truck.  I don't know what to think of it.  I put so much time into it, so much thought, and learned so much from it, but in the end, it does not function with the rest of my work yet.  It is a separate entity.  And so it sits in the back of my truck waiting for me.  I did, however, think of it, when I saw notice of a Call for Entries in Toronto.  The show is a square foot show.  All the works are priced the same and measure 12 by 12 inches.  The pre-cursor to the wood blocks was a series of pipe drawings on 2 X 4's which I just so happened to still have.  I sawed 6 of these pieces down to a foot and started to revisit the drawings that I had already done on them.  I worked back and forth between sandpaper and pen, acrylic paint, and then back to sandpaper.  It was one of the more painterly processes that I've been involved with in the past couple years.  Here's a work in progress look at it:

I am really excited about this piece.  I enjoy the wood grain, the bits of paint that show and the bits that have been flecked with the sand paper.  I think this could be an exciting new direction to really explore.  I have done this many times in the past when I want to paint over something, but I haven't left most of them. 

I also ripped through a couple illustrations this week.  I can't share all of them due to contractual limitations, however, here is the upcoming cover to the Bollard Newspaper here in Portland.  This was such a fun project to work on, if only because I used baseball cards as reference.  I love my baseball cards.  I have way too many.  If you saw them, you would think that I was still 8 years old.  I may be.

The text is modeled after the Score Boys of Summer cards from the early nineties.  I love it.  Also of note, I've been drawing a lot more people recently.  It is good to get back in the act of drawing people.  I miss spying a little at the coffee shops and markets.  Just a little.  I don't like being creepy.

Have a good Sunday.  It's beautiful out there.  And if you're from New York, like me, Go Mets.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Commission Finished

I am so pleased to have finished my friend Adam Farrell's commission.  He and his wife are amazing people and I am very happy to be able to do one of the Cloud Constructor pieces for them.  These pieces are some of my favorite to work with.  It was also a pleasant departure from the very gouache looking solid colored pieces that I have been working with recently.  I forget how much I love to push paint and respond to layers of color.

In addition to the commission I also started working on a wildebeest character for a local shop owner who wants to do a monthly narrative work featuring a classy wildebeest.  Projects like these are so amazing.  Frankly it is as if people are giving me liberty to do the things that I want to be doing anyway.  So check it; finely dressed wildebeest, right here.

I hope the shop likes them.  I'd really feel privileged to work on this on a monthly basis.  It is just such a cool idea.  For some reason it makes me think of Flight of the Concords, but that is beside the point.  I'm hungry.  Gotta run.  I hope you have an awesome day and thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just Whelmed

I really had no idea that it had been two weeks since I last posted to this blog.  Part of me has no idea what I've been up to and the rest of me is entirely aware that I have spent most of that time working, visiting galleries, openings, and trying to help my friends.  I have been busy.  I have arrived, but I am tired.  It is time for a night off, which I know probably sounds ridiculous from a guy who is typing a blog post at 10 pm, but usually I end up working until at least midnight, and I've spent the last couple hours listening to the Mets game on the radio. 

I have been finishing up the two coloring books for Eco-kids, a company located here in Portland, ME.  It's been a lot of work but they are looking like quality productions.  I have also been putting together more work for my Etsy and Society 6 sites.  I reworked the opening page of my website, although it still needs a little work. 

Here are a couple of the items that I have worked up for my Etsy page recently.

If you haven't been over to the Society 6 page it is super cool.  You can grab Iphone skins and prints.  Framed prints are available relatively cheap as well.  Check it out.  I'd love to see some iphones with my artwork on them.

I also put together my first sketches for the Mural in North Adams this week.  I've been working with the idea of electricity and conducting currents, so I've been thinking about capacitors and Portuguese Man o Wars.  It's been super fun to draw a couple of those.

I can't wait to see something that size 104 feet long.  This is going to be the coolest summer ever.
Lastly, I re-arranged my studio to feel better organized.  It's been a long time coming.
The post it notes are my to do list.  It's long, but I think that I'll be able to get through quite a bit of it tomorrow after taking the majority of tonight off.

I hope you all are doing well.  Thanks for checking out the stuff again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Illustration Friday - Hurry

Here is a piece that I put together yesterday which falls under the proper category for Illustration Friday.  Woot.  It has been a while since I've done one of these.

Badgers, Birds, and Telephone Wires

It has been a busy week.  I spent Monday and Tuesday helping friends move into their new homes and Wednesday through today trying to catch up.  Wednesday night I put together several drawings and yesterday I put together a couple colored drawings and lined up a commission.  I also worked on The Cloud Constructors pieces a bit more.  I should have those done by next weekend.

Last night I was exhausted from working all day and peeved to be alone so I went to bed early.  I was not thinking that I would wake up at 4 am, but I did.  I got up and started to work on a couple more images like the ones in the Vertical Series.  I need to start thinking like that again anyway as my Mural in North Adams is to be created in that fashion.  I pulled together a pretty good piece this morning which I had started the drawing on ages ago and one featuring a Bulldog that I have been working with recently.  He is going to show up in a new comic idea that I have been kicking around with a friend of mine.  It has been really busy.  I think I might go play for a bit later this afternoon and then hit the hay early again.

These first five images are available over on my Etsy page.  They are all bagged in a Transparent archival bag and 4 3/4" by 6".  The most expensive is 30 bucks.  You can see those here.  Free shipping and an extra little something with each package.

Here are the two that I did this morning.  One is still available but the bird piece has already sold.  Absolutely awesome if you ask me.

I am really happy with both of these pieces, though the first is probably my favorite piece of late.  I love those two colors next to one another and I have been wanting to draw a good telephone pole and booth combination for some time.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend.  Thanks for reading.