Monday, December 30, 2013

Putting A Stake Through The Heart Of The Redux

Relative Location Redux is nearing completion.  I just have a few color passages to lay down and a little more line work to complete.  It will be one of several new pieces for Ill-Suited For The Pleasantries -which opens at Black Hawk College in just a few weeks.  The timing works out well, since my next project (which is a collaborative effort) opens about three weeks after the Black Hawk show.  More on that one in the near future........('near future' being 2014).

I caught an article on NPR a few weeks back while I was waiting to pick up the Four Foot Assassin.  Unfortunately, I don't recall the author's name, but the topic was the history of hot air balloons and some of the adventures those early pilots had.  The author made a point that the first camera-based image taken from a balloon marked the dawn of the aerial surveillance age.  That idea stuck with me enough that I included it in Relative Location Redux.

I have incorporated flying ships/balloons in earlier works (as in the photograms below), but never with a prominent pilot character at the helm.

So I included a slightly modified version of this rabbit/bunny figure from an earlier piece called Halcyon Days of Yore.

Here it is without its carved frame.

Now with whiskers, flying goggles, and longer ears (and no breakfast).

Once the lines are dry, it is time to add the color.

I actually had six or seven version of this devil character before I found one that was remotely acceptable.



Coming Soon: A sneak peek at Stuntman!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No-Tay-Shun -For Now

I had an idea waaaay back for some images with faces/masks/figures on the surface that I would pass out (inflict?) on Terry Rathje and Heidi Hernandez for Merican-Tastic II.  Out of the three of us (I was going to work on one or two myself), Heidi is the only one who completed her piece as seen below in Queen of Hearts.  Each piece had words or word fragments made out of wood blocks that I carved with my trusty Dremel Tool.

One of my two pieces is No-Tay-Shun.  Basically, it has been a giant ball of grief for me.

The dancing feet didn't help much either.

Things might be looking up with the addition of a familiar face.

Add a smidgen of color and then haze over him.

Yeah, that's right....

Haze over him.....

Hopefully this next layer will be a composition I am content with.......yeah.

I chose to add a small doodle from the back page of a notebook, that although it was not a terribly 'good' drawing, it had a nice energy to it.  I won't really 'know' until it's in place.  Worst case scenario, I'll haze over that layer too.


The Panicked Oligarch.

Looking at No Tay Shun in its current state, I'm thinking a 'hot pink' is the key to happiness.

Realistically, when isn't hot pink the key to happiness?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Constellation Finally Gets Its Due.

Constellation was a piece I was hoping to resolve in time for Merican-Tastic! II.  At some point though, I knew I wasn't going to be able to resolve it satisfactorily by show time, so it was best to just put it 'on hold'.

With my next show, Ill-Suited For The Pleasantries, coming up in about a month, it is time to re-engage the process.

Part of why Constellation was put 'on hold' was because I had taken the piece/composition in a direction that was going to require some more 'elements' to complete.  I knew it 'needed' something, I just didn't know what that 'something' was.

-Incidentally, the paint palette that I am holding up in the image below is the cardboard negative space cutout where the 'F', 'The Heart', and 'irth' are.

The composition had a bunch of unsatisfying dead ends and unresolved/under-defined areas that made the piece too wishy-washy for my liking.

After a few hours of sketching out ideas, I developed some more shapes/elements to fine tune the composition.


First layer is yellow with a black paint to seal the edges and visually make everything stand out.

I'll be honest, I have no idea why this image is so large.

A final coat of a green primer (top image) which looks only slightly different from the base coat of oil paint (bottom image).

Add a few details.....


....and then add some color in the 'thought bubble' and the 'dialog/talk bubble'.

I had no intention to paint the words and the heart with the same pale yellow ochre color that I used on the 'bubbles', but as I started to lay down color in those areas it seemed to be an idea worth exploring.  So POW! the text now has a different color.  Bottom line, if it doesn't work, I can always change the color with minimal hassle.  Since it is quite easy to change, why not paint it?

There is a little more line work to go into the canvas portion of the piece and then I need to begin to consolidate frame ideas into one composition, and then layout and ink the frame (I actually built it several months ago, I just have not drawn anything on it).  I'll cover the process of making the frame later.

About 4 weeks to go until show time.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Bunch More On Relative Location Redux

With Ill-Suited For The Pleasantries opening in just a little over a month, I have several pieces that I need to 'push forward' in the next couple of weeks.  Somewhere around the middle of the month, I will need to asses which works can be brought to some kind of acceptable resolution, and which ones will need to go on the 'back burner' until after the show.

Relative Location Redux is one of several painted constructions that I am pushing towards completion.  I've already laid down a 'haze layer' and now it's time to start doing some line work for what I hope will be the final layer of imagery.

I dug this face out of an old sketchbook from around 2006.  Nearby was written the name Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.  At this point, I'm not sure how directly/thoroughly this face was borrowed/appropriated from Kirchner/The German Expressionists, but if you click on these two links (Kirchner Images and German Expressionism Images), you'll see that my studio work is heavily indebted to both of them.  Why? Because they rock and shock and tick and tock.  That's why.

A repeat of the multiple feet/Trojan Horse motif seen in some of my earlier works.

I want to put a face/mask image in the center of the pink circle, but I also didn't want to drag my hand through wet paint, so I'll wait before it dries to add anything else.

Now it's time to start adding/filling in color.

Some close ups.

The trio will also get full-fledged faces once this first 'installment' of color dries (in about 3-5 days).

The sign, which is a constructed element adhered to the surface, will get a darker green/black mixture once this initial layer of lighter green dries.

This is the progress shot at roughly 50% done.

Well, maybe 40%.......

I hope to get Relative Location Redux completed within the next two weeks.  We'll see how that goes.