Monday, December 19, 2011

The End of a Semester

(queue dramatic music)

On a whole it was pretty good. Between Illuxcon and several great classes with great teachers it was a great ride the past few months. So it's with a cheery mood I present to you some random things accomplished so far.

Clearly oil paints are the choice of the semester.

And then random sketchbook doodles of late- with winter break here I've decided to indulge myself and do a lot of fan art (*cough*doctorwho*cough*sherlock) but I also really want to get going on that huge personal project involving angels and whatnot. I have no idea if it will go anywhere but I'm working on character development which will soon head toward more involved story development. But the sketchbook finds a lot of these things floating around in it so I'll throw them out here for now.

But being at the end of the semester is especially frustrating for me (particularly how graduation is approaching faster). But looking at my work this past semester, I'm surprisingly pleased with what I have come up with but then again my style feels like it is struggling more than ever. It feels detached somehow and I can only hope I will accomplish a more connected feel next semester.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Later this week I'll post an actual update here with stuff. Art stuff. I think the semester ran away from me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rockwell @ Dayton Art Institute.

Currently at the Dayton Art Institute there is an absolutely stunning exhibition of Norman Rockwell's work. It's going to be there until February 5th 2012 so if you have the means I would highly recommend going. The Institute has on display a large collection of originals and all of the Saturday Evening Post cover sheets that ever featured Rockwell's work.
Now, I've been lucky enough to see and photograph two Rockwells at the Columbus Museum of Art (and I know they have several more hidden away in storage which I wish they would pull out).

But....the Dayton exhibit was very strict on their photography policy involving special exhibitions. As such I attended with my small digital with the mind set of "better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission". Being able to see the paintings up close and personal was inspiring and insightful (so, once again, if you are able I would highly recommend going) and my camera did it's best to sneak the occasional shot when no one was looking. My intent on posting the pictures I did manage to get is meant in no way to be commercial but rather educational- even though they aren't of the best quality.

And then some even blurrier shots (but they show his use of color pretty well so why not....)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Doodles and Illuxcon notes

Been a while since I last posted sketchbook nonsense so figured I would toss some of that up here along with some notes I took from Illuxcon 4 demos.

Petar Meseldžija:
(on how do we infuse emotion in art?)

- Be emotionally involved with the subject, identify with it.
-Icons are a great example of transcendental vs. our material world- the painter of icons is a medium between those two worlds. The connection has to be pure and to be pure they must submerge themselves in religious life. The artist-monk creator of icons prays before painting in order to align his spirituality.
-An artist lives his art- painting techniques are a pool of emotions, past experiences, memories, etc.
-Immerse yourself in reference (as a mode of inspiration) and identify and pull from that. Old photos in particular have that gut feeling attached to them. Also refer to the work of the masters.
- Emotion --> Inspiration --> Express emotion through art technique.
-Master your technique in order to concentrate on truly free expression and not worry about how you're painting. 10-15 years of practice in order to really master.

John Harris:
-Wherever possible don't resolve marks (lets the viewer dream throughout the work)
-Play with storytelling throughout- continue to ask questions about the characters (seen or unseen). If you have an interest in the people/creatures/beings involved throughout the painting process your audience will too.
-Shadows indicate bulk.
-Play with what captures your eye (both Harris and Petar Meseldžija hit on this point which I find interesting...) If you're interested you'll make it interesting. Give the paint a chance to play and play back.
-Make sure your piece is consistent in feeling- if something is defying scientific laws or seems to be don't worry about it too much- odds are there's a realistic (if bizarre) way of explaining it and we don't know everything about this realm/reality yet, so how could we know how others function?

Illuxcon 2011 (a photo post)

(Cap.'t Jack- mascot of Thierolfolis' car)

I can honestly say best weekend of my life. When thinking of this whole event my brain fizzles out into a series of happy sound effects so to break it down more logically than that I'll start with the beginning.

On Friday morning my roommates and I woke up at around 5:00/5:30 am. It was a dreary way to start the day but we had to get an early start to get to Altoona by lunch time or so.

Unsurprisingly we got lost once right on the way out of Columbus but after that we were back on track.

The sun eventually made it's appearance in a very diffused grey way....but things soon got more interesting as we got into West Virginia and eventually Pennsylvania (West Virginia = cute towns, PA = hills!)

As we wound up in little townships we became distracted once again by really cool buildings...

And as we got further along the surroundings became more and more interesting. (yes, I'm probably technically photo spamming by this point but.....)

But once we get into the huge rolling hills Altoona is really close.

We wound up in Altoona and checked into our hotel successfully. Then we were off to find the con! We started out ok- we had our directions, knew it should take us about 15 minutes to get there.....but we drove around for a solid hour. There was lots of sarcastic screaming and yelling as we drove around on the insane hills completely losing track of where we were supposed to go but we finally came across some Illuxcon attendees who were kind enough to give us directions. Turned out we'd been vaguely circling it for about half the time we'd been driving.

(note for anyone including ourselves who goes next year- find 7th or 8th street and follow that in directly downtown, find the cathedral and then somewhere to park).

I didn't take any pictures inside the con gallery itself (apologies but I was far too enraptured by all of the amazing artists and their work). However I finally got over my awkward self and talked to several of the artists and every single one of them was extraordinarily nice and helpful. After a afternoon full of amazing people and art we drove back to the hotel and grabbed a bite to eat and then took a much needed nap (most of us were running on 2.5 hrs of sleep....). After that we took off to the artist showcase for up and coming illustrators. There was some pretty fantastic work there as well but I think if I get to work over the next several months I might be able to snatch a table with a decent amount of decent art (we'll see what goes).
But after all of that I have a new goal in mind- not only keep up with class work but to complete a finished illustration every two weeks.
However after the showcase we chatted with several other CCAD students also in attendance for a bit before making our way back to the hotel.

The next day we went to a cemetery we had stumbled across the previous day- it was gorgeous but unfortunately many of the markers were in disrepair. There were also several iron crosses which I have never seen before.

Moving back to the con however we visited several lectures and I took pictures during Petar Meseldžija's demo/lecture. It was fantastically informative and inspirational- couldn't have asked for a better look at his process and work.

We also attended a couple other lectures (Donato Giancola's on painting skin tones and John Harris' oil painting demo) both of which were also very inspired and educational!
Later on we went to the gallery once more for a last round of purchases and chats and also to give this guy to Petar Meseldžija.

He is based off a drawing of a giant by Petar Meseldžija (this one here) and I created him as a thank you gift for Petar as he had been kind enough to review my portfolio over the summer when I had sent him an email. I was beyond grateful and wanted to give something back. I was nervous beyond belief but he absolutely adored the little sculpture and I was blown away by his gratitude! I got a hug, a picture, and an autographed book from Petar himself and was absolutely ecstatic the rest of the night. Needless to say I'm still elated over the event and my whole year was made as a result!

Later that night we attended the Illie awards and a small section of the Art Jam- I was sketching the whole time since my inspiration could no longer be held at bay (will be posting the results later today/tomorrow). But while at the Illie awards it was clear that the whole event (and even art in general) isn't just about the artwork but also, maybe even more-so it's about the community. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for being able to participate in such an awesome event with so many exceptional individuals- if you are on the fence at all about going next year don't be. Go. It is definitely worth every penny and I know my roommates and I will be back again in 2012.

All the goodies I came away with this year- clockwise from the top-most piece. (Gary Lippincott, Illuxcon 2011 poster print painted by Petar Meseldžija, Omar Rayyan, Mark Zug, Tyler Jacobson).

And the book I still cannot believe I received from Petar, with autograph! The book is Flesk Prime which takes a lovely in-depth look at five different artist's work and their backgrounds- would definitely recommend picking up a copy if you don't have one.