Friday, April 29, 2011

Illustration Friday: The Dunce

"The Dunce" inks on bristol / 2009
A simple but powerful word- "Lesson" is the theme for this week's Illustration Friday

Man we all learn them... the hard way, the easy way, a more complicated way than it should have been.  Our retention for learning from both failure and success is what makes us human.  Ironically, last night I tweeted,
still learning and visualizing every day #thesecret 
The Secret to The Universe is visualization.  If you can dream it, it is a reality.  This is how art works.  This is how we achieve and evolve- how we built the wheel, then monuments, then houses, skyscrapers and vehicles.  A man stood at the bank of a river and saw the first bridge ever constructed and after many failed attempts, brought about a way to pass.  
So don't be The Dunce, don't sit in the corner.  Think about WHAT you want each and every day and a unsuspecting little cocktail of coincidence, laws of attraction, and fate will deliver on it.  It may be days, months, or years but if you write down your goals (from the immediate little ones to the seemingly unattainable,) they will come to fruition! Thoughts become things... pick the good ones!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Freestyling Nautical Stars

I've always loved painting on objects.  I got to do a little something different a couple of weeks back which turned out to be quite a unique project.  Here's some pics from a recent commission for my buddy Joel Ray.  He dropped off two metal nautical stars from his walls at home for me to paint every other side (to keep with the traditional look of the star.)  I had been debating what color scheme to use with the stars laying around for a few weeks.  I opted to free style on them with a silver sharpie and this is what turned out...

Here are the stars as they arrived to me.
...and here are the finished products!
Check out the time lapse video I made of the 2nd star.  The first one took a bit longer- this video is also sped up 800x...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter with Incarnations of Jesus

"Trinitarian Christ" inks on Bible page / 2007
Welcome to a time of year loaded with moral and religious high ground.  THE week started with Passover on Sunday on which I did exercises to limber my mind up after Rivers and Spires before I slid into Wednesday (4/20)- a night for reflection in which I cranked out some wonderful sketches for my Random Acts of Vibrance series as well as some other projects.  My week went totally Topsy-Turvy throughout Good Friday / Earth Day bringing me to the day we celebrate the myth and legend of the original Zombie himself...

Both of these works are from my Sacred Texts series, which were on display at the Tennessee Art League this past January - March...
"After the Crucifixion"  inks on page from a found copy The Holy Bible / 2007

"I have immunity from the Risen Jesus... and nobody beats The Riz."
-Mason Verger, from Hannibal

"Chocolate Jesus" inks on bristol / 2008 (for an online exhibit featuring works inspired by the music of Tom Waits)

You Too Can Witness the Incredible Winking Jesus, one of the very first things I ever witnessed on the world wide web.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Illustration Friday: The Juggler

"Juggler" (inks on bristol / 2010)
I'm letting something out of the bag for you this week with a special preview from my upcoming Random Acts of Vibrance series.  The creatives over at Illustration Friday came up with the simple theme of "Bicycle" for us this week (and this piece just HAD to be what I shared!) 

All the works from this featured series involve a moment of brilliance or enlightenment.  My goal is to capture these moments with light bulbs and lampshades.  Let me know what you think!  What would you have my light-bulb-head doing?

 "Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. "

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 10 Stoner Movies of All Time

"Green Hit" (inks on bristol / 2008)
April 20th has evolved over the past couple of decades into a counterculture holiday celebrating the drug marijuana.  The use of 420 as lingo for smoking pot allegedly dates back to the 1970's referring to teens meeting after school at 4:20 to smoke out and get high.  Cannabis reform groups are meeting all over the country today to discuss the decriminalization and use of this natural and holistic plant.

The movie and television industries have slowly but surely helped to bring pot out of the closet for Americans over the past few decades after a long history of demonizing it.  So while you celebrate 4/20 today whether it be blunt, bowl, bong, or joint- you may wanna put on one of my picks for the Top 10 Stoner Movies of All Time...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy 65th Birthday Tim Curry!

Click HERE To Order a Print!
Tim Curry's breakthrough role in show business was penned by Richard O'brien with Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The two actors met on the stage as members of the original production of Hair in London.  This first portrait from my Cult of Personality series includes the character of Dr. Frank N. Furter (Curry) along with others including O'brien himself.  My personal favorite part of the work was getting to draw Meatloaf as his incarnation of Eddie the Ex-Delivery Boy. 

Click HERE to Order a Print!
I've always had a vivid imagination and loved activities which allowed me to flex my imagination such as reading books which take me places I'd not normally go.  Stephen King has painted these worlds for me since the 7th Grade, when I first picked up The Dark Tower series.  In my Sophomore year of High School, the English teacher didn't believe I read IT all the way through.  One of King's longest novels, it came in at just under 1,100 pages in my paperback version.  My hands were cramped from holding it for the three straight weeks I pounded through it.    IT went on to be made into a television miniseries also starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, one of King's most warped and disturbed characters.  Pennywise lives in the sewer and rips a boy's arm off within the first twenty pages of this epic which spans a lifetime for the characters involved.  I read it before seeing the miniseries and Curry definitely added a whole new level to the character's sick humor. Pennywise can be found here in my portrait of the author along with more of King's creations including The Dark Tower itself. 

There are some roles out there that only Tim Curry could have ever played including that of Darkness (An incarnation of Satan from Ridley Scott's Legend in 1985.  The actor finally won his sole Emmy in 1990 for being the voice of Capatin Hook in a made-for-TV animated Peter Pan and The Pirates which followed the story of the original book by J.M. Barie.  This was Curry's first real venture into voice acting and has now done dozens of movies and television productions. 

Happy Birthday Mr. Curry!

Click HERE for more of my Cult of Personality series!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Freestyles in Red and Purple

Sometimes I just have to free my hands up and let my mind wander and be nimble.  It's like doing Tai Chi on paper- laying down some loose lines and tightening them up and bringing them together with your skills.  Last night I just took a red pen and a pad of bristol board and let myself have fun and draw in and out of watching a movie.  I haven't drawn like this in a while having been much more conceptual with my work the past two years.  What came out was a full page Topsy-Turvy, which you can see here either side up...
"Topsy-Turvy: RED freestyle" Red Pen on Bristol / 2011
I had so much fun running that red pen around that I picked up a purple one when I was finished...
"Topsy-Turvy: PURPLE freestyle" Purple Pen on Bristol / 2011
Now the big debate is whether to color these bad boys or not?  (Just with a very light palette on each.)  Any suggestions?  Yes?  No?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Illustration Friday: Hitcher

"Hitcher" (inks on bristol / 2008)
Here's a surreal illustration for you from 2008 to go along with the theme of "Journey" for this week's Illustration Friday.  I look at this as my backpacker hippie-kinda piece.  I have always been pleased with the way the flower eyes turned out on the figure.  The four armed hitcher has his bag flung over his shoulder as he tests the air with a fistful of the desert.  Which way will the wind take him?

Each week, Illustration Friday chooses a theme from those submitted by artists and patrons for creative types to use as a prompt for their submissions. Click HERE to see all of my entries from this year!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The 2011 Rivers and Spires Festival

One of the billboards featuring my winning illustration!
The 2011 Rivers & Spires Festival kicks off Thursday night in Historic Downtown Clarksville with live music beginning at 4PM and rounding out with Mr. Speed (16 year veterans of being "America's Kiss Tribute") on the Public Square Stage at 8PM!

This is just to warm things up!  The streets will really fill up all weekend with more music, vendors and artisans.  I'll be in the Artz Galore section next to City Hall all day Friday and Saturday along with dozens of other photographers, artists and craftspeople.  Come by and see me to talk about art and take advantage of the only time of year you'll be allowed to drink a beer on the street!  I have tons of new framed work and prints to exhibit and will be giving away autographed Rivers & Spires posters featuring my artwork!

You'll also be able to see all that downtown has to offer as local businesses on Strawberry Alley and Franklin Street have their doors open to the public for even more live music and art.  While you're there, make sure to check out "Imagination Unchained," a group art exhibit above the Front Page Deli featuring work from Charles Bennett, Peggy Bonnington, Andi Casali, Patrick Daly, Christy Johnson, Jay Swafford, and Roly Viruez.  All the artists give will give you a wild ride through their pop surrealism, abstract and low-brow art.  This must-see exhibit is open 1-8PM Thursday-Saturday night!

You can also see one of my own personal favorite illustrations, "Octopus's Garden" at the U.S. Bank Open Exhibit in the APSU Downtown Gallery on Strawberry Alley, which will have it's doors open during the festival as well.  This illustration is exhibited with over 100 local artists.  Proceeds from the show go to scholarships for the Austin Peay Art Department to dole out to young artists!
"Topsy-Turvy: Octopus's Garden" (Portrait of The Beatles) at the APSU Downtown Gallery

Festival Manager, Doug Barber and his hard-working committee hustle year-round to bring together three days packed full of entertainment and activities for the public.  There is something for everyone with Jazz music, Rock music, Country music, and Christian music on multiple stages simultaneously.  The streets will be packed full of local and regional artists, craftspersons, food vendors, and activities.  The Rivers & Spires Festival is FREE every year here in downtown Clarksville.  In it's 9th year, this event has won a slew of awards including being in the Top 100 Event In North America.  This year will be even better all the way through Saturday night when headliner, Clint Black takes the stage.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Illustration Friday: Chugger

"Topsy-Turvy: Chugger" Inks on Paper / 2007
"Bottled" is the theme for this week's Illustration Friday, for which I've chosen to share another piece of art with you from my Topsy-Turvy series (where the works can be hung either side up to create a different perspective on the image.)  This particular piece was displayed in my first Topsy-Turvy exhibit in 2007 at The Icehouse Cafe.  I had a contest to see who could stand on their head the longest to win a free work of art! 

Beer has been bottled since the 16th Century, however the modern college student has found many different ways to ingest the jolly juice more and more efficiently including beer bongs, shotgunning devices, and countless drinking games and general excuses to see how much beer they can possibly pickle themselves with in one sitting. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Memoriam: Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley

Kurt Cobain (inks on bristol / 2011)
Grunge music will always have a lasting memory and place in my spirit.  I grew up listening to Alice and Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and the rest of the Seattle movement of the early 90's which harnessed the angst and deep emotional turmoil of a lost generation.  For a brief five or six years, these bands made records which are timeless to me and a lot of the people I grew up with.  It was a very brief glimmer of a rebellious, anti-corporate movement which dampened with the death of legend Kurt Cobain on today's date in 1994 at the age of 27.  A few years past the end of the grunge fever, downward-spiraling Alice in Chains front man Layne Staley succumbed to his addictions on the same date, April 5th- eight years later in 2002.

Layne Staley (inks on bristol / 2008)

My memories of hearing about the death of both of these icons will always break my heart.  Two musicians who moved and spoke to an entire generation and turned a local sound into a world-wide phenomenon died young and without a friend close enough to stop their demise.  Both bodies were discovered some time after their deaths (Cobain's three days and Staley's two weeks.)  I'll leave the commentary once again today to Joebot over at Rock Star Martyr, who is borrowing my portrait of Layne Staley from my 2009 Cult of Personality series as well as this new portrait finished this week of Kurt Cobain. 

Here's a couple of shots of the process of creating my Kurt Cobain portrait with the shotgun shell halo...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Illustration Friday: Comic and Tragic

Illustration Friday has posted the theme for this week as "Duet."  It takes two to tango (...or sing a duet) and sometimes they are complimentary and sometimes they are contradicting voices.  Opposing forces often factor into my work.  Here is my entry for this week, which was displayed in my solo exhibit in 2008, entitled "Felt and Found."
Comic and Tragic (inks on bristol / 2008)