Sunday, July 12, 2015

Big thanks to Portland and the Pacific Northwest for staying inspiring and supporting scrappy, goofball artists like me.

I thought it might be fun to see a big commission piece from beginning to end. This is a 4x4 panel of the amazing prehistoric giant elk, megaloceros. I set out to paint some prehistoric megafauna and this guy won the race. About two weeks of daily painting, and the hours just flew by.

Big ups, and gratitude to Babera, Adam, Sarah and Tim, my family and anonymous others for being rad and supportive this last few awesome and creative weeks.

The goal here is just to get imagining the world of these big beasts, but to be honest I was not very scientific about it. For instance the background is modeled after Hood Canal in Washington, but these guys were found in Europe during the last ice age. So I had to imagine that these happy newlyweds maybe visited the Pacific Northwest on their honeymoon. 

From a purely artistic perspective one thing I find intriguing is that all of the big work is done in the first day or two, and the last few images can barely be destinguished from one another even though that's the real bulk of the work, to complete the textures and details. 

This is also new to me, because in the last few weeks of uninterrupted painting time I really pushed myself for speed and completion/ follow through on the concept. I feel like I've hit a new level. 

So with that I'm ready to start into a new business model for art. I love doing commissions because it feels immediate and the limitations (if there are any) make the process more streamlined. 






Updates for the year.... I've just nailed down slots for art shows in Sept , Jan , and Feb , and I just took down my last show at people's where I managed to sell about six great pieces big and small. I'm hitting up last Thursday on Alberta street for the first time in six years, and super fired up. Selling art on the street is still one of my favorite ways to meet artists and collectors. Plus I feel long overdue for getting back into it with the Portland arts community and that event has always brought me a ton of great connections. 

Stay fresh! Stay Stoked! Stay up!

Friday, July 10, 2015

If you don't know what to paint...try bears.

Finished off about twenty bear paintings in the last few months and looking forward to finding a new space to show them this autumn.
Here's a little preview and a look at the texture I try to create with my only good brush. Maybe today I will treat myself to a trip to the art store. Big up Collage, the best art store in Portland...now lets talk mark downs.




Monday, June 1, 2015

The best of the weird.

First, I love that someone in my hood is taking the time to make these themed ,3d video game based neighborhood watch add ons. It's so much effort for such a rad little thing. I know there's more of them around that I haven't seen but they're all hidden in the Woodstock neighborhood. 

Second, this is the similarly video game like two story brick facade at the home my grandfather stays at in Seattle. I took this picture at Easter appropriately enough. At first I just thought they were abstract shapes. What a trip.
The final trippy public art piece I found lately is over in the Chapman school hood. The engraving is in no earthly language. It's it like a tiny park. I have no idea, but I do love it. Keep being weird!!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

They are all absurd notions. That's the only kind of notion I really entertain.



So if step one is to have an idea, and somehow the last step is to get published, then somewhere in there like step 437 or 438, right after draw all the pictures and then Redraw half of the pictures, is make a felt doll of the main character, to include in the proposal.  Is that an absurd notion? Probably. But if it gets this story off of my drawing table (kitchen table) and onto a book shelf at powells or Elliot Bay books someday, than the last fifteen hours of felting will have been worth it. 

Credit where it's due, my little man helped a lot, especially on the leaf cloak, and also climbing the tree to pose him.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Before and After...why is good work never easy?....ugh.

Before



After


I don't even know if it's an improvement but I just have to go back and fix it so it's consistent. Twelve hours later. Seriously can you spot ten differences?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One a day is my new speed. How to live the dream part two.

Two years ago I broke my leg and without work or anything beyond the reach of the couch to distract me for a couple weeks, I got serious about working on my long brewing children's book. 

The stories came from my own childhood and were honed in my adulthood, by retelling them to my kids. So they are very much a part of me and can be hard to let into the world. My huge insecurities come out in spades when entertaining the notion of producing something this big. I'm fine with doodling some space cats or robot sharks for no reason but this is my life's dream here. I have always been working towards one day becoming an illustrator, and despite being light years away from an actual career, this is really the closest I have ever been. 

So, I really did just spill beer all over three pages of this finished work while trying to show it off to the neighbor kid, and through some miracle it totally is beer proof. Thank the gods! 

This is an illustration I finished maybe a year ago, followed by the one I did this afternoon. One great thing about taking this project on is that I have gotten much faster and more confident in my technique ( if you can call it that). I know the steps well enough that I don't have to second guess myself as much. It's just pencil sketch, colored pencil sketch, erase, paint and finish with colored pencil outlines. So what took me maybe two days last year and ended up needing to be touched up and eventually totally scrapped, took me a couple of hours this afternoon. That kind of improvement is even more satisfying than the product. 

Here's the before and after. I chose to redo because the line work and shapes were awkward and also because the characters looked flat and bored, like they couldn't make eye contact. Also I keep looking for ways to sneak fun stuff in, like the squirrel stuffing his face. Yay cookies!!!


Monday, March 30, 2015

How to draw for a living.


This is, no joke, my life's work right here. This story has been told and retold to and by me for three generations now and needs to finally be part of the world's story. This summer I am tracking down publishing leads and finally becoming slightly more than just a middle school math teacher and summer science educator. Dream with me now folks. It has to be possible.