Friday, August 1, 2008

Jenny Greenteeth Gets Her Guy

I've always loved (loved, loved, loved) Mike Mignola's comic creation "Hellboy" - it took me a while to warm to it, since it started when I was still (only) embracing the Jim Lee style of drawing comics - so anything that wasn't picture perfect with all the t's crossed and i's dotted (in a drawing sense, if you get my meaning) sort of missed me. But I finally made the plunge and bought a used copy of the first TPB and instantly fell in love - with the story and with the artistry. Well, long story short, in one of his Hellboy short stories (see what I did there?) Jenny Greenteeth was featured - and for whatever reason she's just really stuck with me. Of course a part of it is Mr. Mignola's artistic interpretation of this folkloric femme fatale, hell, maybe all of it, who knows? But I instantly wanted to do my own interpratation/iteration of her. So here it is.
Somewhere along the way this painting began to be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek commentary on my own feelings of inadequacy and ugliness and being an outsider. Maybe those feelings are a little too large to be expressed by my current skill-set, so take from it what you will. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Acrylic on found wood. I'm trying to embrace a little more of my illustration influences and not try and be so literal/wannabe-photorealistic with my paint process.

Yet Another RE work - "Comin' Thru!"

I think I called this "helium icarus" before - I had been experimenting with a rougher painting style - and ended up not being too satisfied with it - obviously since I reworked it. I felt that my perspective needed a little more forcing, and also something about the composition wasn't working for me - I felt the piece was lacking focus, and the roughness I almost felt detracted from the humor that I wanted to be part and parcel. Did I go over the top with the speech bubble? Maybe. I dunno - I'm just really liking the thought of them in paintings these days.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Not New Works, but REworks

Haven't done too much in the way of posting lately - mostly because I've just been terribly lazy. It's sort of like saying I won't drink every night, or that I'll stop at one spoonful of sugar in my coffee in the mornings. Somehow, it's something that sounds totally reasonable at night when I make the decision to be better about whatever it is, but then by the light of day I just make the same old fumbles.
Well, self-recrimination aside, been re-working some old paintings that I was never truly happy with. Here's Cuddlefish one and two - now just Cuddlefish and Myh Tentacular Heart. I really felt both of them needed a lil' sumpin' sumpin', and taking my cues from manga masters and other more Western influences like Ashley Wood, decided to make use of speechbubbles and good ol' fashioned hearts. Along with reworking some of the lighting and rendering. I think they're better. Hopefully you do, too........

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Siren Song - a Dyptych

I was itching to try my hand at making a dyptych, and for whatever reason this is what popped into my head. I feel like watching some cartoon long ago or maybe one of those great (not so great when you're older) Sinbad movies on a Saturday afternoon and saw this general take on the sirens. I think. Who knows, maybe I just dreamed it. But here it is, combining a love of the girl groups of motown as well as angler fish - Siren Song. I also figured that I would play with combining the comic book elements that I so often love since I was mostly drawing this one and then painting on top anyway, so that's where the skull note came from. Once again, sort of trying to figure out where drawing should stop and painting begin....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Phalanges Envy

I'm pretty proud of this piece - it's acrylic on a piece of wood I found on the street - the image went through a few more cartooney iterations in my sketchbook and imagination, but in the end it turned into something a little darker than I had originally thought of. But I like it alot, and as with all paintings, it looks much better in person. I'm back to my clean-line-loving style with this one, but tried to take a page out of the Frank Frazetta handbook - he always has such an amazing way of focusing the viewer's eye, and uses both color and crispness of image towards this end. If you look at some of his paintings, you'll see that the image is only 'crisp' where he wants the eye to look. And I just thought what an amazing bit of artistry that is...... So this is my first attempt at doing something like that.....

Oh yeah, and this is a biggie - 61 by 72 cm

Irona Revisited

Don't ask me why, but for whatever reason, when I was a child I loved Ritchie Rich, despite that damn dog Dollar who I actively hated. My favorite character, hands-down, was Irona. Something about her just really caught my fancy - maybe it was the red hair, the maid's uniform, or the fact that she was like the Tin Woodsman in drag - I dunno.

But she's what I was thinking of when I did this Steampunk creator and robot.....

Helium Icarus

So I've been really into the work of Ashley Wood as of late - I just think his images have such an amazing amount of energy, and despite (or maybe because of) the apparent roughness of the images, I just really love them. I've found in the past that rough paintings just didn't appeal to me as much as the more detailed work, but after looking at more artists' work, I've come to really appreciate just how much energy and thought and true skill go into some of these works that don't have the clean lines or the perfect anatomy. Somewhere I read something by an artist who was complaining that he felt that he had to choose (in his works) between perfect anatomy and the sense of motion, movement, and energy. I think that I'm finally starting to understand just what he was talking about.

I was also really trying to restrict myself in regards to the color palette - I've had no formal training, so all of this is really just trial-by-fire, and I think that in the past some of my colors have been a little too primary.

Alright, so monologue aside, I wanted to do a painting where I really tried not to get too detailed or 'clean'. I chose to redo an image that I had already used for one of my early screen prints so that I would feel less need to plan or feel like I was losing anything in an image that I already had in my head. This image was already 'safe' because I have it in pencils and screen print already, so I felt fairly ok with butchering it, if that was what happened. So here it is.


Ok, I've been a little lazy about posting, but I have been working, really I have! But with the light being so bad around Amsterdam these days - as in non-existent, so cloudy, you can positively feel people yearning for Spring - it's been difficult to even think about taking a photo. But with the onset of some sunnier - if not warmer - weather, I had the chance to beg Steven to take some semi-decent photos for me. I'm not saying they're perfect, but at least they were taken by a hand that doesn't have the tendency to shake quite as much as my own....

So as for these little Robots, I've just been wanting to do some sketches with paint - didn't want to put too much planning into it, just wanted some fun images that could be plentiful and that didn't involve pouring my heart and soul into so I felt like I could finish one in a couple of hours instead of my normal agonized process which takes a week or four..... here are the first three.....

they're all 5 x 7 inches, all acrylic, no planning, just sketching with paint.......