Elephants Graveyard

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9×12 in. mixed media.

Well the Cookeville Comic Arts Festival at the Putnam Library had a pretty good turn out, especially for the first year. There was I believe 8 artist in attendance showing their talents in the fine art of comic illustration. Could have been more but a nice start to something I hope the library promotes again next year. Although I was manning my son’s table , he was too busy overseeing all the events, comic illustration is and always has been at my core…i really admire the works that were presented at this event…KUDOS Matt !

Ever wonder where those torn fishing nets end up, or what’s snagging them? In my dreams this is at least one answer… was thinking about another octopi piece and well, this happened, but i am sure there would be some lurking around…perfect place…and i am sure that a ship wreck is right behind this outcrop. Good story?…the thing about a ocean type setting is at least true…using the produce netting made the rest easy once they were installed. ..going to live with this for awhile and if it doesn’t feel totally finished…then i suspect i might see a octopi sneaking into the piece… 😉

Technically this is a very complex effort…besides too many layers too remember ( about 1/2″ thick in places) I used red and black netting and tissue paper over much of the piece, and in some areas, the netting, is so far down you have to look hard to see it…didn’t want to darken the caves as i am sure they would be…the surface is really nice and coral in feel, i believe…might be more of scene/seascape than an abstract, but that wasn’t the initial goal. If i do come back and add sea-life there will be more than one octopi.

Life Beneath the Coconut Tree

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9×12 in. mixed media.

Doing abstracts can surprise you from time to time, especially when there isn’t any definitive idea about the subject matter. This is just such a piece for me. Once I added the browns to the work i couldn’t help but see island type scenes in my head…as most of you that read anything from me know…i like to spend time with a finished piece  and figure out its title… in this case i had several going on in my head well before i finished…not sure i liked the fact it influenced some of my artistic choices before i finished…but hey sometimes it is good to go with what you feel strongly about…and see where it takes you.

If I had a shrink I would imagine he might suggest a vacation to some Caribbean island…actually that isn’t a bad idea !!!

A Window Cleaners Delight

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9×11 in. mixed media.

High and dry again, even smells great…gotta love Mr. Clean.

Went back to some my earlier roots with this latest piece, used a heavy watercolor paper, the angles came from folds i made in the paper. Using gesso and protective finishes i kept building the shapes, color came from the not so clean brushes … using alcohol i kept filtering in the shades, during this process I accidentally picked up some paper from my blotter…which gave some nice texture so i worked with it. There is several layers of faint color laid over the whole piece using clear medium…helps fade my line work back into the work. The metal punchouts were the last addition, I didn’t want a total organic feel and felt they helped in that end. Kind of reminded me of perspective exercises I have done, thus the title ! These type of pieces always start out totally white, and that is the intent,  but color seems to always creep in before i finish. I guess if my work area was cleaner or my brushes, I might achieve my intended whiteout…oh well!

Had to tinker

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Remember me? Sometimes I will view a piece, like it, but there is just something not quite the way i would like…if after a few days i feel the same, then i have a choice to make.

1) do whatever I think it needs more or less of

2)decide to do another with the changes i think will make it better

3)do nothing for another week or two and see how i feel then.

I chose number 1 and made some changes…why you might ask…the upper half felt too real, and real wasn’t my goal. The textures were too much alike in the green areas . Too much white outlines in the lower branches…and finally the moon needed something more. They were some more minor changes, as to be expected when you go back and get real close to your work.

I loved the first piece, but now I love this one more, been framed and hanging in my house and looks wonderful. I do work in a basement and if my mad experiments don’t work, they never leave those confines…well rarely 😉

Where Is The Hamm’s Bear

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15 x 20 in. mixed media on illustration board.

People that know me may not realize I was born in St. Paul Minnesota, land of more lakes than you can count…or the land of sky blue waters…wait that is the Hamm’s famous saying for their beer. This might explain why I drift back to these type of scenes when doing my bubble trees. At least that is what my shrink might say, after digging into my colorful mind….that is if I had a shrink. Haven’t gotten to that point yet, and I know this why? Because my work hasn’t gone Dali or Gogh yet, well maybe skirting it a little occasionally. At any rate this piece is the largest bubble tree i have done to date, other than taking longer than normal, process was the same…I did add some non-organic structures to this piece tho. All my others in this series were free of this  and rock pads just seemed right.

Oh, a little factoid when using cold pressed board…if you use anything very chemical based or solvents, gesso it first…otherwise paper might/will de-laminate…hot press has been fine so far with my mediums…this was the first time I had used cold press…LIFE IS ABOUT LEARNING 😉

Coral Split

coralsplitW9×12 in. mixed media.

Doing ocean floor themed pieces with my Octopi pal is fun…and this one is no exception. The focus on most of these pieces is the coral and then the octopi…and as is with all of these so far an old wrecked ship lurking in the background…used to think I was going over the top with my color on the octopi, until i watched a PBS special…if anything I am understating the shocking bright neon colors these animals can produce.

Nothing deep to doing these, just pure enjoyment in the process and time spent.