Thursday, December 31, 2009

Artist-John Yoyogi Fortes. See his show in San Francisco!

Art fans-if you are in or going to be in San Francisco during the month of January get yourself over to the SFMOMA's Artist Gallery at Fort Mason to see the work of John Yoyogi Fortes.
He's one of my favorite artists and I was fortunate to see some of his work at the Artist Gallery during a recent visit. The good people at the gallery were nice enough to show me some of his work. The gallery rents out work and has a large storage area. They brought out Mr. Fortes' work and unwrapped it for me to look at. I also was able to take a look at Heather Wilcoxon's work. What a treat.
The work shown is:
Lolo's Pipe
Acrylic and collage on canvas
50"h x 40"w
(used with artist's permission)
Check out more of Mr. Fortes' work on his website.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ripped From The Headlines - Baaah, Belch

Researchers in Australia are working to breed sheep that belch less. Methane from sheep's burps contribute a sizeble portion of Australia's greenhouse gas omissions.
Can't make this stuff up.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Breaking Through Creative Blocks

I am sure that I am no different than most people that are involved in any creative job in that I occasionally go through a creative block. It is a scary place. Normally ideas come to me easily. In fact, sometimes it is hard to keep up. Sometimes they will come just as I am nodding off to sleep and I have to decide if I should risk falling back to sleep, get up, grab my sketchbook and jot them down.
For me there are two types of creative blocks: one is when I'm working on a project and I just hit a wall and cannot think of any good ideas. That is another thing, most of my blocks are not really times of no ideas at all but just that they are times of less and bad ideas. The other type of creative block is a general block. I'm not working on any specific project but at the same time I'm not having any good ideas just pop into my head.

What to do?
I usually panic if only a little bit. Experience has taught me that, "...this to shall pass" Once I recover, I decide what method I am going to use to get through this tough time:
  1. I will usually leave a project alone for a time. Get away from it, get a fresh perspective. This option is only available if the deadline allows.
  2. Another trick I have learned is to go a look at good work either on-line or in a book. Nothing gets me more motivated to come up with ideas than seeing other good ideas. I'm not talking about stealing ideas here either but just looking at good work. It seems to get the creative juices flowing. I never did like that saying, "creative juices".
  3. If deadline doesn't allow getting away-I will draw. Drawing anything will usually get me back on track. It gets the right side of my brain working again. Try drawing with your non-dominant hand for an extra zap. Try drawing a scene by drawing only the negative spaces or try drawing an object in front of by drawing the side of it you can't see. There are a lot of tricks out there.
  4. For more general creative blocks I'll try all of the above plus I will try drawing someplace other than my studio. I can get too comfortable in the studio and I find this can lead to a block. Definitely getting away from the computer helps.
  5. Do something completely different. Do filing, update your mailing list, do some marketing; there is always something tedious to do. Tedious work will usually jolt me back into art mode.
  6. Sometimes the only thing that will get you through a creative block is to just keep going. Keep creating until you find your not in a block anymore.
Welcome to the other side of the block
What ever you do don't panic for too long-that will just prolong the torture. Sometimes these blocks are telling you that you are working too hard. You could look at it as an opportunity to regroup and maybe the experiments you use to try to get you out of a block actually result in good work, who knows.

What do you do when the block strikes? Let me know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crest - Today's Art/Illustration

I always wanted to have a family crest. Not being of Scottish Gentry, I had to take matters into my own hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Smokin - Created on my iPhone!

One of the first images that I created using the iPhone app.; Brushes.
This could be very addicting. It was a bit awkward at first using the application but I got used to the interface after a while. What did become apparent was that it forced me to go back to old ways of making art. There are only 4 layers and the back and forth required to change brush sizes and transparency levels made me simplify things. All to the good, I think.
I say only 4 layers but can you believe we can create art on our phones!
This type of work just may spill over into my paintings.


Thought for the day

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recent Illustration - Pennsylvania Gazette

Here is an illustration that I recently completed for the Pennsylvania Gazette. The story is about a man leading the charge to keep and attract people to Philadelphia.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yet Another Bird Illustration

Yet another bird piece. This time I'm experimenting with a new medium; Gouache. And, a positive message. I don't know about you but I'm getting sick of all the bad news. This is my attack on bad news. Enjoy.
5"x7" Gouache on panel.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ask Magazine Cover Illustration

My monster is on the cover of Ask Magazine's October issue!

Happy Halloween - Illustration Promotion

My illustration promotion for Halloween. Here's hoping you all get lots of candy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Collage Art

Couple new pieces. 8.5"x11" Acrylic and collage on panel.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sea Life Is Strange - digital collage illustration

Saw the series Planet Earth by the BBC. Great series. Inspired a lot of character art.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Just In - New collage illustration

And, it doesn't look like good news.
Lately I have been working on integrating my drawings, photography and a bit of 3D work. I'm enjoying this work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's A Dog's Life

Collage of my drawings, textures and photos.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quit Clowning Around - New work

Working on some new work. Here is one of the first. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Art of The Tote Bag

Here is a recent project that I have been itching to post. My client asked me to wait until they gave out the bags to staff before I began posting it.
I created the art for a tote bag for Texas Christian University. The good folks at TCU wanted to give out a tote bag to staff and wanted to have some cool art on it. They wanted to depict life on the TCU campus so what you see are some landmarks from the TCU campus. The lizard is actually a Horned Frog and is the TCU mascot. Purple is the school color.
I worked closely with my client to determine what icons should be in the art. Many sketches were created.
The art is on both sides of the bag. It was a fun project and I hope to do more of this kind of product illustration in the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recent Commissioned Painting

40"x16" Acrylic and oil on canvas. This piece was commissioned as an anniversary present. I met the intended recipient to get to know her a little bit before I started this piece. Her profession is in science, specifically geology and environmental science. I began to think of rock formations, tectonics and bringing vibrant colors into the mix. I also, as usual, wanted this piece to have plenty of texture. This is the result.
I've been told this present went over very well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The King - Selected to 3x3 Magazine's 6th Annual

My illustration, "The King" has been accepted into 3x3 Magazine's sixth annual 3x3 ProShow.

From 3x3 Magazine: To be accepted into the show an entry must receive the majority of the nine judge's votes, 5 out of 9. Only 14% of our nearly 2,000 entries made it into the show.

This year's judges included art directors Alexandre Lagoet, Saatchi & Saatchi, The Netherlands; Raban Ruddigkeit, Friestil, Germany; SooJin Buzelli, Planadvisor, US and Darlene Simidian, former art director ALA and illustrators Roman Klonek and Monica Aichele, Germany; Marco Ventura, Italy; Nate Williams, Argentina and Yuko Shimizu, US.

All winners will be included in the 3x3 Illustration Annual No. 6 due out later this year.

About 3x3 Magazine:
Introducing 3x3, the first magazine devoted entirely to the art of contemporary illustration. Three times a year we take an in-depth look at art and environment of three illustrators. We explore their influences. How they work with clients. How they got their first big break. Each article is written by a fellow illustrator who knows exactly what our audience wants to hear. From the U.S. to Europe, Asia, or wherever, we’ll stay tuned to what’s going on the world of illustration.We’ll feature four or more new talents in every issue, they might be right out of school or are just now beginning to make a name for themselves or illustrators we find that have a truly unique take on the art of illustration. Plus we’ll showcase the recent work of as many as sixteen of the best illustrators in every issue. Selection will be by invitation only. And we’ll even offer signed original artwork or prints for sale. All in all it’ll be eighty pages of the best illustration has to offer, including guest articles by artist reps Vicki Morgan and Gail Gaynin, a feature on a living artist who has made and impact on the industry, an in-depth look at a recent advertising campaign that has successfully used illustration and an ongoing feature where we ask our featured artists the same twenty questions. 3x3 will be published three times each year: Fall/Winter, Spring and Summer.

Our Mission
Our mission is to spotlight the best international artists working today and encourage a new focus on the use of illustration by the advertising and design communities.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

BUILDUP - Art of Nature Series

BUILDUP - 27"X40" Acrylic and oil on canvas. Continuing my series of Art Of Nature. My inspiration here being round forms found in nature: stones, cells, etc.Detail

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reaching - Art of Nature Series

Diptych. 32"x12.25"(each panel is 16"x12.25") Oil, acrylic, graphite on stretched canvas.

Photo of REACH in process

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mimic - Art of Nature series

24"x24" Acrylic, oil, graphite on panel.
This piece is titled, "Mimic" is a reference to forms in nature that are similar. My inspiration for this was a leaf of an oak tree. Not sure which variety but it was one that I picked up on a walk last fall. It had a great shape like a puzzle piece. I was also thinking of the leaves of the Dusty Miller plant. These shapes are similar to the form of a mammals vertebrae.
I was also experimenting a bit with getting back into oil paints here. The underpainting is done in acrylics and then I use oil on top. I'm using Alkyd oils as they dry faster than regular oils. I can add on top of them after a few hours. I add a little Galkyd to speed up drying time even more.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Art in Nature - "Lichen"

Acrylic, Oil, colored pencil and graphite
I am starting a new painting series based on shapes, textures and colors that I observe in nature. My intent with this series is to create abstract paintings that will, if all goes well elicit in the viewer an emotional reaction.
I am getting back to some basics with this work. I want to get away from any representational imagery and focus on the act of painting; building up textures and colors. My process has evolved over the years and I have done this building of colors and textures as a background in all my paintings. In some cases, I have liked how the background came out more than the final painting.
I have many ideas sketched out on how to proceed but I find that each painting finds it's own path once I start it.
I enjoyed making this piece which I've titled "Lichen". The circular pattern and texture reminded me of lichen on rocks. I found out something about lichen; it is pollution intolerant meaning that if it's growing, there is no pollution present. Kind of a, "canary in a coalmine" sort of thing for above ground. I like that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Making plans, art plans

The current state of my art desk/area.
I find that I think about making art far more than actually making art.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swan monoprint

Monoprint I did as prep for a painting. I like the line quality that you can get in a monoprint and the unintended bits of texture around the image. I use waterbased blockprinting ink, roll out an area on a sheet of glass, place a sheet of paper down on it and draw on what will be the back. Keep in mind that your image will be backwards. I also experiment by wetting and blotting the paper before printing-it gives the monoprint more of a watercolor effect as the ink bleeds into the wet paper.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Illustrations Receive Recognition from American Illustration

3 illustrations that I submitted to American Illustration 28(from left: "Boo!", "The King", and "Off The Grid") have been CHOSEN to appear on TRIBUTE; American Illustration's web gallery at The images will be on the site in November. They will be on the site permanently with my illustration that was selected in last year's competition-AI27.

This year’s distinguished jury included Luis Blanco, INTERspectacular; Max Bode, The New Yorker; Ken DeLago, Golf Digest; Kelly Doe, The New York Times; Matthew Lenning, Bon Appetite; Mitch Nash, Blue Q; Justine Strasberg, Nickelodeon; Michael Uman, INTERspectacular.

My images were 3 of only 583 images from a record-breaking 8,100 submitted to receive at least 2 votes and is therefore eligible to appear permanently on AI's website.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Children's Book Illustration?

Potential here for a children's book. The story would be about a boy that likes to scare people by putting on a fake bear head or other animal masks. This could lead to some consequences where the little boy learns a valuable lesson. Plus, I like to create animal illustrations and bear illustrations specifically.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simple Line Art Illustration of a Man, His Wandering Thoughts and His Plaid Jacket

Experimenting a bit with my illustration style. Keeping it simple. I think this look could be good for clothing catalog illustration, editorial illustration, conceptual illustration, music industry illustration and portrait illustration. I like the antiqued paper background, black line done with pencil and the white shirt detail. I can see this style being expressive yet simple. Nice plaid jacket too on our model.
I have often liked my initial sketches more than the final illustrations. Here I've blown up a small sketch. I like that initial energy of the small sketch. It lives.
More to come...

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Art

Done as a gift for a couple that is expecting their first baby.
18"x30" Acrylic and colored pencil on masonite

Sunday, April 5, 2009

On The Record Show


The Gangs All Here

Risky Bizness



Art for APW Gallery's "On The Record Show". May - NYC.
Acrylic on vinyl records. 12".

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Project - Art on records

Started a new project for an upcoming show - Art on record. Painting on vinyl records. Interesting shape. We'll see what happens here. Luckily the local Salvation Army store had plenty of worthy records for $1 each. My goal is to do 5 for the show.
Acrylic seems to stick pretty well. Gave each record a light sand and applied gesso. TBC.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is this done yet

Dramatic change on this painting this weekend. It wasn't working for me so I went back in. It is starting to look like something.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Working on it

I did this collage from images in my sketchbook as a way to guide me in my new painting.