Friday, December 5, 2014

Animal Magnetism

I'm honored to be a featured artist for 2nd Saturday gallery walk this month (Dec 13, 2014)
at ARTicles Gallery (www.articlesstpete.com)

threads of strange

so...  we all have differing degrees of normal and differing sources of inspiration...  one artist that i hold as a touch stone of encouragement is Edward Gorey... but before Gorey there was Alfred Kubin... not the graphic contrasting black and white impact that i love Gorey for but seemingly a kindred spirit, perhaps an influence...obviously there have been "weirdos" for all ages. this rant brought to you by the article i read in today's paper about tim burton filming in my area next year and how off beat he is... and the reality check i had to make about what is normal to me and how really unimaginative a lot of the world lets itself be... 
shown here "male sphinx" 1903 by alfred kubin


Sunday, October 19, 2014

UNGODLY




yesterday while selling art at a local market one of the shoppers stopping in my booth asked me about my work and why i make such things and motioning to the owls and bats said "these creatures are ungodly".   now of course perhaps two dozen other people that day had commented about how they love my work and told me i'm talented etc and while i'm trying to let those generous sentiments sink in, it is this one lady i can't get out of my mind.   i'm not a traditionally religious person and i could have numerous arguments about how can one of 'god's creations' be 'ungodly' but... why bother.  it is far more my intent to extoll the virtues and wonder of some creatures that are perhaps misunderstood, than to elaborate or capitalize upon their 'dark' stereotypes.  so, if it is ungodly to explore and understand a thing rather than to shun it out of tradition or misinformation, then so be it. let all my works be such.

Friday, October 10, 2014

public art on accident




in the neighborhood near my laundromat everyone has agreed to hang pumpkins from the trees...  you walk for blocks and it is all full of orange pumpkin buckets you can see them up ahead and when you look down the street at the corner wherever you walk...  so i walk while my clothes wash and enjoy the installation.  it really is public art and they don't even know it.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Guardian Ravens



Another limited edition one time use screen printed stencil work..... guardian ravens were inspired by the tower of london ravens that allegedly bring the royal family good fortune...  emblazoned
with an ancient rune symbol for protection these guys will be made into stuffed pillow dolls and will lurk in the shadows at my upcoming shows until they've all found new homes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

OCTOBER ART SHOWS



Oh my beloved October! Here at last! And the creepy creations are ready to make their debut! I have exciting Halloween themed art events planned for the first two weekends of the month, Oct 3-4 in Sanford, FL and then Oct 11 a solo event in St Pete...  Saturday Market on Oct 18 and then a big road trip to view fall colors in the Blue Ridge Mountains as I take my show on the road to Travelers Rest, SC.  I'm excited with the opportunities to show my work in new cities that I've planned for myself, spreading the love of printmaking everywhere I go!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Who Dat?!


 Don't be skeerd!  just a funny little monster stencil!  Making some demonically cute kitchen towels that can also double as a halloween costume in a pinch...   limited edition created with a one time use hand cut stencil!








Monday, September 29, 2014

ART WORKING




art isn't all fun and games i'm sure you know...
day jobs, night studio hours and now the season is here for weekend festivals and markets.

the hard part is the physical labor but the fun is not just the reward of selling art.  the reward really is the completion of the circle which may come as some surprise. ...  creating work is a personal thing but when strangers see it and react that is a shared moment that a visual artist doesn't always expect.   unlike a singer or musician or dancer who practice to perform, art is (at least for me) a singular experience but i am realizing more and more that the finish isn't the moment the art is hung on a wall and complete but rather when someone else appreciates it.

this past weekend i've noticed that the people who respond more greatly to my work are either young or young at heart... and they squeal literally with glee and the humor (and occasional horror).  the real grown ups who have lost touch with adventure and magic can sometimes be reminded what they're missing and will walk away surprised and for a moment young again.  and that's a pretty good reward for any artist.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

live / work ..... the artist's life


a brief tutorial on how to make art in a small apartment:
eat in kitchen becomes a print studio! chairs become drying racks, drying line full of prints become window shades, and you can keep an eye on that friendly stray cat while you work…
use what you’ve got to do what you want, you don’t need a fancy studio or big press to make good art, you just need to want to make it happen...

 
 


 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

lets talk about teeth


i am noticing that i have some strange thing for teeth... i like teeth... i always think about the teeth of a creature in my artwork, i like going to the dentist for a cleaning...  i like animals with teeth...  so here is a post about teeth--some of my art and toothy photos i've taken..  enjoy!








Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to design a poster...

i’ve recently agreed to do a poster for an upcoming event (florida bookstore day) which has nothing to do with vampires but everything to do with poster design so… i searched for nosferatu posters as a bit of reference to see how different minds approach the same creative task… shown here are a few of the results that i found. …  as many styles as there are artists to make them... i've posted an assortment below

so not sure that my image search really helped me much in my quest for how to approach this particular design problem... i'll be illustrating a book that i haven't read yet but i'm curious about trying this new project

meanwhile i can enjoy looking at how other artists have created designs for a movie that is so visually stunning (in my opinion) it deserves equally fantastic poster art!







Thursday, July 24, 2014

True Bugs




i'm a fan of stink bugs, assassin bugs, and here in florida we have the leaf footed bug--they're true bugs, not insects and i think they're cute.  a couple of years ago i spotted a leaf footed bug (called that because of the flaring bell bottoms the wear on their back legs) on the fence in my yard.  it reminded me of stink bugs growing up which i was sort of fond of... i liked a lot of crawling things as a kid, roly-poly pill bugs, praying mantis, daddy long legs ... i still do i guess.  i just did a quick search of my image libraries on my computer and found a lot of bug/insect/creepy crawly inspired art so here are a few, enjoy! and if you see a bug don't squash it!*





  

PS also in addition to being a 'bugs are beautiful' post, i think this goes to show that art can be about little things, things that are seemingly insignificant but that really are what make life magical so don't always be so caught up in giant concepts or ideology when nature is right there waiting to inspire you. 

* THE EXCEPTION TO THE NO SQUASHING RULE: Palmetto bugs! if you see one of those i encourage you to squash the snot out of those suckers YUCK!!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sad but True...


Another news story has inspired me to make some art...   the latest, a story about a young bear that gets hooked on people food...  "Bear falls through skylight, eats cupcakes."  Of course it ends badly for the bear as is often the case when people and wild life cross paths.

Previously (in 2012) I made this piece inspired by another animal tragedy "Alligator bites hand off of tour boat guide" .  The insult to injury in that story is eventually the guide is charged with having fed the gators for the benefit of his business.
 I doubt people will ever be satisfied with their urge to sprawl and consume every parcel of land for their own use leaving nowhere for wildlife to be wild. Encroachment and using animals for entertainment are serious concerns.  Maybe someday we'll all learn to coexist. Until then I guess I'll keep immortalizing these stories in images.  Long live Cupcake.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How Long?

So...  recently I've been struggling (again) with the idea of how long should one keep trying at this artist business.  When do you call it a day and go back to a regular life with a 40 hour job and give up this idiocy of creativity and just be normal and have a retirement plan.  How long do you keep trying?  Then I realized that it is your whole life.  You can't quit even if you want to. Because you are what you are.  Then today I saw this video and it made me feel better.  While not on the same topic it is related and it talks about the long years before discovery that some great people (i.e. Davinci) endured just working on their 'thing'...  I would offer the perspective that these people kept working because that was who they were... when you are on your proper path that is where you walk. You can't help but keep making art or doing experiments when it is your calling because the choice of giving up in those years and doing anything else is even worse than struggling on. At least there is apparently a shred of hope that those years pay off.... and if not you were at least true to yourself and gave it a shot....   right?

video

One last thought to ponder: Yes people today want immediate gratification BUT also we aren't taught to do much by way of self exploration we're taught to earn a living and a lot of people want to rush success maybe to get to the end goal of being rich and famous (that is what we want in America right?!) because then they can finally DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.  So your choice is spend your life doing what you love and struggling with a small chance of "making it" or spend your life waiting for the day when you can get started on your passion.  Maybe I want immediate gratification too because I am not willing to wait until I'm 62 to follow my dreams I want to do that now.  (bringing us full circle to the struggle, and repeat!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

a shadowy future?

I checked out a book on shadow puppets from the library recently (YES ANOTHER ONE) anyway...  for a long long time I've thought my block prints would translate well into shadow puppets...  I've never done this type of thing really (except for the usual bunny ears during that elementary school film strip and if you don't know what a film strip is you need to time travel back to the previous century! ding! now turn the page!)

Anyway I've had numerous close calls with puppet projects but nothing ever REALLY happened...so my orbit is back in that galaxy AGAIN... and not sure if I'll be crash landing into a new planet or not... we'll see!

Meanwhile you can travel with me and have some summer fun using a flashlight and make shadow puppets with your hands (check out this cool reproduction of advertising for a chocolate company for some ideas!!) or cut them out of paper and make a puppet theater! (after reading this blog post i'm totally tempted to make one from a cereal box)

If you want a sample of some artistry check out the work of a real legend, German artist Lotte Reiniger (google her!) thanks to the internet we can enjoy a shadow play right now this very minute!

It is summer, time for late nights and sleep overs and forts and fun, sure creepy things MIGHT lurk in the shadows...so why not join in the fun?!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

exploring by way of a series





sometimes you dont know where you're going until you get there...
the past few days i've been exploring ritual masks of various cultural groups--
african, mexican, american -- first nations...  and thinking about the transformative power
of something hand made that took a dancer or shaman and assisted them in transcending
from the day to day world to a more magical spiritual realm...  i hope to capture a taste
of that ritual magic in my work and bring it back to our day to day lives.

images here of recent carved block and silk screen images in progress

sometimes i wonder how many little blocks will i have to carve before i am done with a topic.
sometimes you're never done and you revisit that imagery over and over for years not realizing the deeper theme but just following where the inspiration leads you.
sometimes exploring art is really you exploring yourself.
sometimes it is just fun to make things that look really dang cool.

just keep working, you'll know when you get there.