Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Favorite paintings

Sometimes it's not so much a "favorite painting" as it is a favorite artist. Or at least an artist that has been a favorite. That's the case with Frank Frazetta, who died last week. This is one of my favorites of Frazetta's paintings, but hardly the only one. Like the work of Salvador Dali, my enthusiasm for Frazetta's has dampened with time. That doesn't mean I don't respect his work, though, nor does it mean I deny the impact his paintings had on my development as an artist.

As a kid I was engrossed in comic books, during the period that "fanboys" call the Silver Age. Among other things, they showed me that one could make pictures for a living. I originally thought I would only need to concentrate on pen and ink, the medium of comics (this is an example of a very juvenile brain at work at that time) so I had no interest in painting. My mom had been trying to interest me in taking oil painting lessons from a sweet, late middle-aged lady in our small hometown. I resisted for a long time, until I discovered "Creepy" and "Eerie" magazines, as well as fantasy paperbacks, with their amazing painted cover illustrations. My tiny geek mind was turned around, as I saw the need for paintings skills as well as pen and ink. I started taking the classes. I painted the usual prerequisites of floral and fruit still lifes, copies of barn-speckled landscapes and the occasional conquistador. When Ms. Prince, the teacher, decided I was sufficiently competent with those subjects I could find subject matter I wanted. And away we went.

With the images of Frazetta and Jeff Jones dancing in my head I pumped out canvas after canvas populated with monsters, werewolves, ghosts, haunted castles silhouetted against full moons, all to my teacher's and mom's mixed reactions of horror and amusement. At least it opened my fairly closed mind to other possibilities, something for which I thank Frank Frazetta.

Oh, and here's another favorite.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Show me your papers"

We have to control our borders and control immigration. But that doesn't mean we throw the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments into the garbage bin at the same time. The Arizona law which permits police officers to, having stopped anyone because of some infraction, require the person to show proof of citizenship is heaving those amendments into the wastebasket.
The only people who are going to be asked for their "papers" are those who "look" like they may be in the country illegally. What constitutes such a "look"? Good question. Since I'm caucasian I could rob a bank in Arizona and, after being caught, it's very very unlikely I would be asked for my citizenship papers (I don't know what I would show birth certificate? I don't carry that with me). Someone with that "look" could be stopped for a broken taillight and find him/herself being under suspicion based on looks alone. So, it doesn't matter if the person is a citizen, in fact could be a multigenerational citizen of the U.S., that person is presumed guilty until proven innocent.
That's the point of this drawing. The officer is demanding the "papers" of a petroglyph which has been in this region for the past 1000 years, before there was a U.S. to be a citizen of.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I read today that "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau is directing a movie set for a summer 2011 release titled, annoyingly enough, "Cowboys and Aliens", apparently based on a graphic novel of the same name. It has nothing to do with me and of course the title is a coincidence, but I do want to get this out to the universe now. I thought of the phrase first.
Not that such wordplay is all that difficult, and seems like an obvious match when you think of it, but still. Since I work in relative obscurity, when more famous entities coincidentally come up with the same phrase, name, style, image, whatever, it appears that I'm stealing from them. I hate when this happens.

Here's the image, nevertheless, this version painted in 2008.

I used the same idea on these "Circus Punk" dolls created for the 2005 "Circus Punks Rule New York" exhibition at The Showroom in, yes, New York.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Art at home

These are two pieces on the wall of their owner in Dallas. They were originally shown at the Boyd Gallery at my "Road Trips" show in 2001.
They are oil pastel on board.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exquisite Creatures 2010 Opening

"Exquisite Creatures 2010" opened Saturday, May 8, with a wild affair which included art, balloon animals, a "live" mermaid, music and general merrymaking. Here are some photos.

"The Fisher Queen" and me; the painting is lit better than I am.

Curator Katrina Doran.

The bartender is kept company by this glass work by Juli Hulcey.

A mosaic by Jamie Pink Weisbrod.

Balloon animals, in this case an octopus, gave the whole affair a carnival-esque atmosphere.

Collector, graphic designer and painter Paula Mele-Weatherbie with a mermaid.

Sculptor Stuart Kraft.

A cast concrete piece by Denny Doran.

Painter Bruce Schiefelbein and Nancy Schiefelbein talk to Becky, with the sunset in the background.

The always amazing view from the front steps of Norwood Flynn Gallery.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 "Member Focus"

Today my Neo-Retro illustration style is the "Member Focus of the Day" on as of Wednesday, May 5. Altpick is an illustration portfolio site and the "Member of the Day" gets his/her work showcased on the banner of the site's home page, with a link to the member portfolio page.
This was a nice and unexpected surprise. Here's what it looks like, for anyone who doesn't see it live, since someone else will be the Member of the Day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Fresh Faces 2x2", The Opening

It was a well attended affair. Here are some photos...
"Rey de la Noche" and me.

Bruce Schiefelbein with "Nandi Bear" and "Pious".

Jose Cruz with "El Santo Contra La Monodela Momia".

And here's a very nice review of the show by J.R. Compton on his Dallas Arts Revue web site.