Sunday, January 23, 2011

Refined study of lizards

Today I spent most of the day doing a chore that I hate: laying gesso on wood panels and sanding them. I really need to get a mechanical sander, but in the meantime, it involved elbow grease. But I did get to spend some time drawing while the gesso layers dried, and so I refined the study of the two fighting lizards.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lizards and Snakes

Today I got some rough studies and reference photos done for two new paintings.

To assist with shadow and perspective, I sculpted little clay snakes and stuck them onto Freidrich's skull. When the painting is actually done, the snakes will appear to be hatching out of the skull, through little holes.

I also sculpted two entwined fighting lizards. Above is the rough sketch based on the little lizard replicas. To gain some traction, I watched a program about monitor lizards which had footage of a lizard battle. The drawing is somewhat exaggerated as compared to what I observed in actual film footage, but I think it will work better aesthetically. I have the lizards' necks, tails and torsos with more extreme curvature than actual life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

varnished and ready to go

I lost quite a bit of time with a bad cold in late December/early January. After losing several days at the studio, I got back to work and put in the finishing touches on Lizardbrain #2. This work will be shipped to CoproGallery in Santa Monica for a group exhibit, Dystopia, with the beinArt International Surreal Art Collective.

I also have several rough sketches in process for some new paintings, including a skeleton with doves, writhing lizards in a skull, snakes hatching from a skull, among other things. Got some reference photos of the skeleton done and sculpted new fighting lizards, entwined about each other and in a deathgrip.

The good news is that I have a long list of ideas to work on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Choosing Ideas

The year 2010, and in particular the last couple of months, has been a torrent of activity. I finished the last of the BDSM skeleton paintings in early November, and made great headway on two new skull paintings. I spent two days last week driving down to LA to deliver 30 paintings to Bert Green for the upcoming solo show. On the way back, I came down with a bad cold. So I finally had some mandatory down time, and took it easy for a few days, prior to New Years. Sometimes this down time can be valuable. I ended up consolidating a number of ideas that have been swirling around in my head, and several new ones came to mind. When I'm just laying around, my brain is always rushing around at full speed. I just kept a notebook by my side, and started jotting down ideas as they emerged.

By giving each idea a place on this list, they are less likely to be forgotten . At this point, most of them are "ghosts" of an idea. I can almost visualize them, but not quite.

The procrastinator in me is always unsure of which idea to pursue next, and wallows in indecisiveness. But usually, one idea will speak out in a slightly louder voice, start to emerge from the vagueness of the intangible, and begin to take shape (with a little patience and discipline).

I still have two paintings in process: one nearly complete, and the other 3/4 complete. But at the studio today, rather than paint, I sat at my drawing desk, under a blanket and close to the heater, and just tried to make some of the ideas more tangible by developing rough sketches.

The drawing above is a little more complete than some of the other thumbnail sketches that I did over the last few days. In this drawing, I've depicted little baby snakes emerging from their nest/egg, which is a skull. Snakes are not inherently evil, and are generally beneficial for the environment. But nonetheless, they are a powerful symbol conveying a sense of evil. In this case, because they are coming out of a skull it implies that evil is not from without, but from within.

My initial thought is to have the skull sitting in grass and leaves. The baby snakes (the species blood python Python curtus,) will have a burnt orange/red color that will contrast nicely against the green grass). They will be writhing free of their pre-natal confinement in the skull.

I'm grateful to have a tangible idea coming to fruition that I can begin working on once the other two skull paintings are finished. The studio walls are very bare now, as I've emptied the studio of all recent works and delivered them to Bert. So it feels a little depressing. Having a list of new ideas worthy of pursuing will help offset this emptiness.

Paintings Featured in Magazine-Mental Shoes

Several months ago, the editor of the art e-magazine Mental Shoes contacted me and asked if I would like my works to be featured in an upcoming issue. I gladly accepted the offer. It is a high quality magazine, and the editor has amazing vision and plus is a fantastic writer. (And I found out later he is also a photographer, which explains why he has such a great eye). The issue was published, and I was very happy with the look and feel of the issue. My painting "Lizardbrain" was featured on the cover.

Mental Shoes is based out of Amsterdam and the U.S. It features both American and international artists.

Click here to go to Mental Shoes. Once on the site, click on issue 018 to download the pdf. It's well worth it, and there are other very unique artists featured in this issue. In particular, Stephen Cefalo is a fantastic painter and I found the paintings by Aleksandra Waliszewska to be very fascinating.

I was even more honored to be featured in Mental Shoes, because the previous issue featured an artist that I greatly admire, Laurie Lipton.