Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tiger Progress

I had an out of town meeting today, tiger's out of town in another direction, so no tiger work today. Tomorrow. I'm filling my gas tank every other day!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tiger Mascot Mural On-site

"Pounce" transfer drawing
Note to self: SCISSORS LIFT!!!

This project is going well. I plan on having it roughly finished next week, and then spending a couple extra days doing some fun trompe --with the blocks and foliage flying out at us. How large/close can I paint an 'oncoming' concrete block and have it maintain the illusion?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tiger Mascot Mural, continued

I will alter the opening and it also gets jungle foliage in the background, but I need to have full-scale transfer drawings by Friday, so I'm moving forward with that.
I just like how this looks with the grid. I thought I was doing a scale of 2"=1', but I missed a calculation step. It'll work fine though, if I make my full-scale grid have 9" squares.....2"=9"
I'm testing paints for bond, paint flow, durability, and receptivity to (and/or need for) top coat.
The paint base I'll be painting over is a glossy commercial grade latex acrylic paint. It'd be nice to paint the entire house with this Asian look. Concrete block is so style receptive.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tiger Mascot Mural

Next project is a tiger mascot mural for Northwestern Middle School in Kokomo. I bid this some time ago, but was told it's a go a couple weeks ago. Earlier that same day, my July-scheduled client informed me she would not be ready for a couple of months. Sometimes it does all fall into place.
This will be a 10' x 16' mural in the gymnasium. I'm painting this maquette today, and then I will make a full scale drawing to transfer on-site. Because of the scale, this will almost be plotted out, like a paint by numbers. My goal is to get a fairly three-dimensional illusion using very graphic techniques. The key to this is using the right color in the right shape. I love how one can get a very enjoyable illusion of form with sparse rendering, simply using shapes of color.

This will be fun (except for driving three hours each day).

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The day job is ruling my life right now, and for the next couple of months, so I'll just go ahead and post on it. Last week I squeezed in a couple of kid's room murals. This one was out of town and needed to be painted in one day, so I pre-painted a couple of details in my studio. This is on Pellon interfacing, which is well-sealed and then painted on. Cut your Walley out and adhere on-site. The technique is called marouflage and, while I've done it many times with canvas, this thin and non-textured material works really well.
It's a very simple mural, but some required double coating, etc. I had to book a bit, as I had to make my 6:00 pm birthday party in Shelbyville, which was on the way home.
I forgot to photograph the second mural, but it was a two-day jungle mural and I realized that it was the fourth time I had used some of the animals. Same pose. I had the interesting realisation that I was painting a rendering of my own rendering. I was no longer thinking of an original living creature as my source. I was remembering how to paint it, rather than thinking about how to do it. I could tell it was stylized in a weird way, and that it was anatomically off, but I couldn't really tell what was wrong or how to fix it because I was sourcing my memory of painting the imagery.

When I was a kid, I started with a real enthusiasm for the act of drawing. Once I knew I could draw well, I just kept repeating the same drawing. I drew horses. They became stylized in the same blinded way.

Friday, July 4, 2008

War Paintings

"Forfeit", 2004, 14" x 36"
This painting was originally about the nonchalant surrender of liberties and principles; the groupthink; the discarding of real things in exchange for a myth of security and honor. I should have had them leaving with little car flags.

"Impending Liberation", 2004, 14" x 30"

I did keep going with this one, see below, but the "This won't do" was removed from the final version.
" Conscription of Venus", 2005, 14" x 18"
"Armed With Good Intentions", 2005-6, 18" x 16"

The background figures have a Spanish Inquisition look going, flag reads "make it right". The pointy bubble reads "let it be". This was later reworked, de-texted, de-politicized and retitled "Gaiety Portal".

I pulled these up after a conversation over on MW Capacity.

At the time, I couldn't not address these issues, but I had mixed feelings about the work. I did have one piece which was much more of a direct political "statement". I had been working on a 3' x 4' painting, and I scrawled "War is Good" across it. I was frustrated with the complete lack of challenge all around me, the lock step "patriotic" acceptance. I thought, is there anything that will make people stop and question anything about this invasion? I thought surely if someone just bluntly declares "war is good", then you'd get some sort of "no, of course it's not good, but...". I didn't care what came after the 'but', I just wanted to hear "it's not good" in some context.

Unfortunately I chose a poor context for display. It was a salon-hung, all-hung show with the war as the theme. My painting was hung way up high in an unlit corner. You could not read the script. Later, the gallery owner discussed the painting with me, and I was stunned to realise he thought I truly meant the war was good, that this was my message, and that I was sending a counter message to all the work in there that dared such statements as a poster of Cheney with "Fuck You" on it.

It's very hard to make decent, noncomical, politcal art.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gift for a Golfer

It's not been all day job drudgery. This spiffy little 3-par faux bronze model will delight even the most cynical and discerning golfer (we hope). Happy belated birthday, Chris.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Two posts in a row with no images....
I've contracted into a dull little day job problem-solver. It's a steady cycle of worrying and solving, or not solving and worrying more. All day long, and middle of the night. I really must compartmentalize my worrying. Then I may actually think about and do other things, like paint.