Saturday, July 25, 2009


I am, by most accounts, an angry person. Through massive personal work I am not just randomly angry however. There are usually good reasons for my outbursts, and I try to find creative outlets for them. (I'm not sure if screaming obscenities at the gals on Good Morning America for covering another "news" item about Michael Jackson counts as a creative outlet, but hey, cut me some slack. It's early and I have to go to work.)

ANYHOO, one of the outlets I have used in the past and try to still use periodically is doing my own editorial cartoons. I discovered the beauty and anger of these in high school when I first read a book of Doug Marlette's Pulitzer prize winning cartoons. He was wonderful. The absolute joy and savagery he took in publicly destroying these puffed up hypocrites was bliss. He was one of the first in the nation to start questioning Jim And Tammy Fay Bakker when he worked at the Charlotte Observer. He took on evangelicals and politicians with equal force and woe unto you if you ever were caught in his crosshairs.

While I was in high school, my local paper was good enough to give me a shot at creating my own editorial cartoons. There was only one tiny little problem...I had absolutely no idea what was going on in the world or really how I viewed it. I was a teenager. Everything I was mad at then was completely irrelevant to the world at large. So, they weren't exactly what most people (outside of my mother and my grandmother) would consider "good". In fact, they were kinda terrible. Hopefully, my worldview is a bit more educated and broader now, so what I'm angry about makes a bit more sense.

Without further adieu, here is my latest attempt at chewing away at the last vestiges of any respect we give to public officials.

And if you have any questions about what's going on, just google the words "Sonny Perdue and fish". It's a remarkably stupid story.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Recognition

In the world of art there exists two different groups of people. There are the creators obviously. We are the ones who according to most everyone else "see a little differently". And then there is the other group. This group is made up of our supporters and defenders. Without this group, we the creators would be hopelessly lost and continuously ripped off. Mrs. Eleanor (Ellie) Frazetta belonged to this group. Mrs. Frazetta passed away on July 17th after a year long battle with cancer. As wife to the preeminent fantasy artist of, well EVER, she made it her mission to protect Frank, his work, and his legacy. And according to all reports she succeeded at all of these beyond anyone's wildest imagination. She was married to Frank for somewhere between 52 and 53 years.

I never had the chance to meet her and that makes me sad, not just from the loss of the opportunity, but because according to everyone who had been to the Frazetta museum it just wasn't that hard. By and large for the most part, almost everyone who went met her either at the door or at the very least in the gift shop selling her husband's work.

I send out my condolences to the Frazetta family and the wishes that all of us could experience what they had: a devoted mother, the fiercest of protectors, and most important for Frank, an inspiring soulmate. We'll miss you Mrs. Frazetta.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Search for Inspiration Marches On

Some days even with the time available and materials at hand there is a problem figuring out what to do with both. On these days I am trying to figure out if I should force the hand of creativity and just try and make something or if I should go outside and find something that will force open the creativity for me. I tried both today. I could not think of any subject matter that moved me enough to start a new painting and all of my paintings I have been working on are at stages of waiting for paint to dry. So I went outside. I grabbed the camera and the car keys and wandered down streets in my neighborhood that I have not seen before. I looked up and down, high and low, and came up with...nothing. None of what I saw helped. So I turned around and headed back in. On my way back to the house, I realized that even driving slowly in the car, I was still IN THE CAR. I decided that on my next day off I was going to load up the camera and head out on my bicycle. So on Wednesday, I am heading off into the hinterlands of the bike trail and wherever else my bike may take me in the search for inspiration.

So I came back in and looked through my photographs again. I've been wanting to do a lighthouse, and it seems the Hilton Head lighthouse is a fairly popular landmark, so I went with a pretty decent shot of it and started throwing paint down. Here's the first day's effort.

Next time: bicycle inspirations (hopefully).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Always looking for inspiration

As I get back into doing my art again on a regular basis, I find myself looking for not only subjects to work with but also other artists to draw inspiration from. As I said in the post below, I have revisited acrylics. The bull rider in the previous post is my first effort at them and this is my second.

Not bad, I don't think. My new attempts at these cantankerous paints is due in no small part to my friend at work, Tim. Tim has been building a birthday throne for children's parties we have at work (we work at a natural history museum). He actually built the throne himself, and is decorating it with his own paintings. Tim has also been working on this thing for several months and just finished it about a week ago. Lots of people have been giving him grief over how much time he was taking but I think you will agree, it was time well spent. This first is the overall throne.

Next I have some details of the back of the seat and the footrest.

And finally, the sides.

He may kill me for posting these, especially since these were taken about 3 weeks before he was even done, but if he has a problem I'll take them down. But I thought someone should put it out there how good he is. He doesn't have a website or a gallery representative yet which absolutely kills me. I like what I do and I feel like I'm pretty good at it and getting better. And I certainly don't ever compare myself to other artists (that way madness lies). But if I were to put a metaphor on to our styles it would be this: If we were automotive vehicles, he would be a 1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa while I am that lawn mower Forrest Gump rides around on. I'm not knocking myself. I think he is just that good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

In progress, questions abound

I am still debating this painting. I decided I would try some paintings using acrylic paints. It's been awhile and as I've progressed in my work I felt I should revisit some old mediums. I even try watercolors again every now and then but that stays a disaster. But acrylics always seemed within reach even though I was missing a key element.

I think I found it.

Speed. Not the meth kind, but good old fashioned brushwork. I think the problem before was I treated acrylics like painting with oils. Oils are much slower and I can take my time. I have to treat acrylics like a colored gesture drawing. Quick. To the point. Get the idea down and if you need to, wait five minutes and go over it again.

Here's the first effort. I don't think I'm done with it. But I don't think it's a bad start. Let me know what you think.