Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Directions, New Drawings

First off, I'd like to apologize for not getting a blog posting out last week. KT was in Chicago, and I was having a rough time getting work done because of missing her (ouch! I think I just caused a bit of tooth decay, due to extreme sweetness) Anyhoo, I had some time to think about my working practice, and actually do some experimentation, and I think I may be on to something...
I started to think about what bogs me down as an artist. There are two major things, Time management and presentation. My issue with time management is normally due to the fact that I am working on several shows at once and I find it hard to set aside time to make 2-d art (paintings and such)....well, I have started to realize that I need to start gearing my work towards the three hour window of time between when I get up in the morning and when I need to leave for work. If I cannot complete a major part of the artwork (if not the whole thing) in that three hour window, the project will probably not get done (that is, it will linger unfinished in the studio) So, I need to start thinking about artwork that can be completed in short bursts...
...which has led me to the idea of drawing. It works for me in short bursts and it doesn't require the kind of set up that painting does. I have made a few over the past week as a "proof of concept" and I am really liking the results. They may not be fully formed pieces of artwork just yet, but they are doing wonders for helping me organize my thoughts...and may eventually become paintings...

El Diablito (for the Loteria D'Amor at the Palace of Wonders)
Pastel and Color Pencil on paper 8"x10"

The first drawing I made was for the Loteria D'Amor at the Palace of Wonders starting on July 7th. Its going to be a game-show-come-Mexican-bingo-burlesque-event where local artists have created the images that are traditionally on the cards...I chose El Diablito (the Little Devil). I think he works on a number of levels, and was really fun to make. I should say a word about the technique here, I am kinda using a recipe that Scott Brooks hipped me to...I am using Fabriano paper, which is the same stuff my screenprints are made on, but I am preparing the ground with burnt umber watercolor. (Scott takes the extra step of adding stiffeners to the paper...I am still experimenting with that) and then I try to use that watercolor wash as the midtone in the drawing (between the dark of the black pastel pencil and the light of the white charcoal)

Untitled Tiki
Pastel on Paper 8"x10"

Here's an example of the midtone being the watercolor...whenever I start to experiment with a new process (or when I try to rediscover an old one) I can always turn to tiki....

Diablito with Grinder
Pastel and Color Pencil on Paper 8"x10"

Here I am experimenting with a much darker application of the ground. With obviously darker results. I kinda wanted to make a very old Europe looking drawing...kinda like an old Red Skelton painting...but intentionally creepy...

Draft of the flyer for Sketching with Santa at the Palace of Wonders

I also figured that I would try using this new technique for the flyer design for my upcoming show at the Palace of Wonders on July 28th...THIS IS NOT THE FINAL DESIGN...that is, the information on this picture is not the final, correct text (for example, I think it will be $10 at the door) Anyway, I think it sends the correct message about Sketching with will be Christmas in July, and you will get to sketch burlesque beauties! Also, the "sketchy" look of the drawing gives artists (the ones for whom this event is targeted) an inspirational sketch...kinda like the drawing that is printed on the cover of a sketchbook...

So, lets see if I can keep running with this recent epiphany...Hopefully, I will have more to share with you next week!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life's a beach...when you're a pirate

During my first week back from staycation I have been largely absorbed with KT's pirate project. That is, she is organizing a Pirate themed open house for Imagination Stage, and she has asked me to help provide decor (as well as be a "grumpy pirate") So, I have obliged her with this groundrow that will be a photo op in the lobby during their show How I became a pirate.

Progress shot on the pirate beach photo op
Acrylic on Luan, aprox 13'x4'

I am also working on a Kraken for their wishing well...but I haven't started it yet...I best be leaving, so I can get kraken on it! (I am so sorry...)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Staycation Part Deux---new and improved, with MONKEYS!

Week two of the staycation and I have actually got some painting done. I was able to knuckle down and create two more watercolor sketches for my continuing series of Daredevil Monkeys!

40,000 Pounds of Bananas
Watercolor on Paper, 5x7

This is a tiny bit of a departure from the Daredevil Monkey formula, because I am using a gorilla instead of the familiar monkey/chimp for Fearless. A gorilla feels more appropriate for an eating contest... Floyd is himself, keeping tally of the number of bananas that Fearless has consumed (or is he counting the money they are going to earn from this latest stunt?)
Barrel Monkey
Watercolor on Paper 5x7

In this painting Floyd is the ambiguous one. We cant tell how he is going to profit from Fearless' act of daring-do...He's actually inspired by some research into the subject of people going over Niagara falls in a barrel. From the Niagara Falls Live web page:

October 22nd 2003 Kirk Jones from Canton Michigan becomes first stunter in the history of Niagara Falls to survive the plunge wearing only the clothes on his back. Kirk's idea had been in the works for a number of years. While here on a visit with a friend, Kirk made the decision. They purchased a used video camera to record this historical event and went to the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the river. Kirk entered the water about one hundred yards upstream and began swimming out into the swift current. Eight seconds later Kirk made the 175 foot (53.3m) drop and swam to shore while passing up a free ride with the "maid of the mist" tour boat. Kirk was treated for minor bumps and bruises at local a hospital and released only after promising to return for court. For his stunt Kirk was fined a total of $2,300.00 dollars and banned from entering Canada for life. Unfortunately Kirk and his friend had been imbibing in alcohol before the stunt and Kirks friend couldn't figure out how to work the camcorder and the entire stunt went unrecorded!

So, I thought that it would be funny to have Floyd fumbling around for change to put into the viewfinder, just like Kirk's friend with the camcorder...

Hey Kid's, its Yard Sale Time again!...come on out this Sunday, 8 am - 2 pm at
3210 38th St NW Check out our Craigslisting here.