Thursday, July 29, 2010

to do list (art projects)

1) finish up the few remaining illustrations for Rigoramortis (deadline aug 1).
2) draw up my contribution to the Little Death of Crossed Genres (deadline, aug 10).
3) draw up illustrations submissions for Cthulhurotica (deadline sept 15).
4) draw up illustration submissions for Monsters and Mormons (deadline oct 1).
5) draw up illustrations submissions for Scape e-zine.
6) start creating panels for the webcomic. (shhh, it's a secret)
7) catch-up on my draw 365 project (I'm about thirty drawings behind).
8) get serious (AGAIN) about creating a painting a week. (/sigh).

This list is hugely weighted towards speculative fiction illustration, which is fun; it's me getting back to my roots (as a kid, I cut my drawing teeth on dragons and demons.) But I also want to pursue the fine art side as well; to continue painting and creating mixed media assemblages etc. Hoping that I can find the time and the balance to do both. Or create a sort of funky middle way. Or.. something.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

dreams, demons, fairy tales...

Dreams, demons, and fairy tales: that's the kind of stuff that makes me tick. Especially as they are rendered upon the silver screen.
Some of my favorites, from off the top of my head:


Labrinth (more jim henson! plus David Bowie. /swoon)

Jan Svankmejer's Alice

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Pan's Labyrinth

and finally, the truly horrific, Jacob's Ladder

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ernesto Neto

I think I have mentioned before that I like organic internal-organ-like type stuff. So of course, Ernesto Neto's installations have a very special place in my heart.

From this article:
"...his materials are gossamer-thin, light,
stretchable fabrics in nylon or cotton. like fine membranes fixed to the ceiling by stretched threads his works hang down into the room and create shapes that are almost organic. sometimes they are filled with scented spices and hang in tear-shaped forms like gigantic mushrooms or huge stockings,sometimes he creates peculiar soft sculptures which the visitor is allowed to feel through small openings in the surface.... Neto’s art is an experience which creates associations with the body and with something organic. he describes his works as an exploration and a representation of the body’s landscape from within."

His work reminds me a bit of Louise Bourgeuois's work. Also that of Magdalena Abakanowicz (w0w, I can't believe I haven't done a post dedicated to her yet. ) And reminds me how much I used to love hanging things from strings, making installations, etc...

For more images of Neto's work, see here, here, and here.

Daniel Dos Santos (and Silvia Moreno-Garcia too)

The current issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine has a great article on artist Daniel Dos Santos who specializes in painting tough girls. Well, I like tough girls too. And the whole article had some great bits about his process, his inspirations, his evolution as an artist, his book covers, etc. For purposes of brevity though, I just wanted to mention his thoughts on the push-pull between digital art vs hand skills, because it's something I've been grappling with myself:
"It's this constant inner battle, and skills versus digital. I think that the love affair with digital is a fad. In twenty years time people are going to miss analog skills. The're going to want to see painting."

Dos Santos uses photoshop for prelim sketches etc.. but for the final product, it's traditional oils that are his medium of choice. I am still in the experimental part of finding the right balance between my hand- crafted works and my digital works. It was interesting to get his opinion on the subject.

Btw, want to see him in action at his easel? Wow. And he puts out one of these every two weeks:
"It takes me two weeks to do a painting, including reading the manuscript, model shoots, and so on. I wish I had three weeks for each painting, but I don't. I have to paint two a month to make a living."
Yes, I have envy. And awe.

Now, random, but speaking of tough girls, I just listened to a wonderfully intense and raw short story, Jaguar Woman, (not for the faint of heart) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I will definitely be looking out for more of her work.

(image source)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

bleeding it out in ink

Sometimes, I get anxiety (sometimes I get depressed). During a particularly trying evening full of tension I found myself drawing line after line in my book and was surprised at how successful it was at drawing out the toxins. (...the violent creative act of sharp object marring pristine blank surface...).

It's good to be reminded of this very easy and accessible coping mechanism. In my mind, I see a tiny similarity to the ritual nature of the sand mandalas created by Buddhist monks (that link is to a fascinating video, you really should watch it) but that's mostly my ignorance showing about said mandalas and monks. An atheist, I think that art making is one of the only forms of ritual or worship I currently practice. And, I guess, it's also frequently my therapy.

So, on a recent weekend, during an extended family gathering for the holidays, as the emotional wear and tear took it's toll, I retreated quite a bit into my book. And it worked. (Well, I survived anyhow).

Here's a glimpse at some of what I scratched out:

158 of draw365

159 of draw365

Big Bang Big Boom (by Blu)

just.. wow. Have I mentioned I like stop-motion animation? And street art? Here both are used to make "a short [9 min] unscientific story about evolution and it's consequences" (see website)