Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two-fer Saturday!

I feel good. I got the painting of the chapel done and I got another cartoon done. Since I've been promising the chapel for a while, let's start with it.

The Susan B. Harris Chapel in Young Harris, Ga. Many a convocation I sat through in that little chapel. A pair of my best friends from college got married in it. And it is one of the few structures that I don't think Young Harris College will demolish in the name of "progress". (I hope.) That being said, I'm glad I got pictures of it when I did.

Also today, I got another cartoon knocked out. The story of James O'Keefe is one that amuses me no end but also stops me in my tracks with a "REALLY?" kind of dumbfoundedness (Is that a word?). Mr. O'Keefe is the "investigative journalist" who broke the story about the non-profit ACORN providing tax evasion tips to a "pimp" (Mr. O'Keefe in hilarious '70's undercover pimp attire). Now I will give him credit for this story. If ANYONE is giving out tips about how to skirt the law, they should be punished. Period. After the election, I have not heard if there were any investigations into this or not, but I really do think of this as a problem.

Now for the opinion portion of this. I think Mr. O'Keefe fancies himself the right wing Michael Moore (although I bet he HATES that comparison). My opinion is, he seems like nothing but a spoiled little rich kid who decided very much like a child to try and bring down those who opposed daddy's interests (and eventually his inheritance). Barack Obama was connected to ACORN so why not try and find something embarrassing on them. Again, I think those who offered illegal advice should be punished. But I don't think he actually cared about the legality of the situation. Obama was connected with an organization offering advice to pimps and hookers! JACKPOT! Go straight to Fox News! Break out the champagne!

Now on to his current "situation". Mr. O'Keefe decided to "get to the bottom of why a United States senator wasn't answering her phones about healthcare". Okay. Fair enough. Why not take an investigative crew and find out what's going on? Oh, you say you're going to dress up like phone repair guys and enter a federal office building with a hidden camera and get the answers you want? GREAT IDEA!

For an "investigative journalist", you sure didn't look into consequences for certain actions, did you? ANYONE with half a brain should realize that this type of stupidity will get you neck deep in some Homeland Security. Aaah, to be young and really really dumb.

Artistically speaking, I really like the drawing part of this one. My big experiment was the lettering. I think all my characters always look like they are screaming in the word balloons so I thought I would try a smaller sizing this time. It seems to still be legible but just barely. oh well, back to the drawing board (literally). Thanks for listening!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just A Little Filler

I am ALMOST done with two paintings that I am really happy with (so far). However, I am at the point that seems to take the longest time for me, which is the tidying up at the end. But I feel pretty good when I actually get something up on this blogosphere, so I thought I would put up the quick project I did today.

One of my coworkers put something on Facebook about planning a Easter Egg hunt at the natural history museum I work at. That made me think immediately of this image:

It only took about 15 minutes to get the idea together and then down onto some bristol board. I almost forgot the bunny ears, which is weird because I thought they were the funniest part of the whole image. And this is only a quick drawing to get the idea across to the marketing department. I don't even care if they use it or not. They've never been interested in my ideas before but I do them because they make me laugh. (Actually why I do MOST things.)

So then Lady Paintmonkey gets home (I've had the end of this week off. Trying to get rid of rollover vacation days.). She shoots the usual photos and cleans it up in the computer for me. And then we think "why not see what a little color looks like on this thing?" Keep in mind, we're not doing this on a Mac, and this is just a basic paint program. But all in all I think it gets the idea across quite well.

Hopefully this will keep everyone satisfied until I can get the last little bits of these other projects squared away.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Let's keep an eye open...

In the aftermath of Democrat Martha Coakley being defeated by Republican Scott Brown, I have watched as my right leaning friends on Facebook and the response of our "news" media go ballistic. Yet again, everyone seems to treat this as either the start of the decline of civilization, or the start of the decline of the Obama administration, BOTH of which I feel are a bit of an overstatement of what has happened. Yes, the Democrats lost a LONG held Senate seat, but watch the Daily Show. Apparently the geniuses of the Democratic party who nominated the oh so electable John Kerry in 2004 put the bug in Ms. Coakley's ear. I've seen more socially adept monkeys with a penchant for flinging feces.

So where does that leave me in the maelstrom of friends who are lauding the brilliance of Massachusetts voters and the talking heads on the news channels who are taking the outcome of one election to fill the term of a deceased senator as the inevitable failing of our president? Well, I'm glad you asked. (And if you didn't, too bad. I'm answering it anyways.) I am, as always, diving even more deeply into a democracy depression. More and more it looks to me like we are being set up. I do not understand where this venomous animosity that people on opposite sides have for each other is coming from. "If you don't agree with me, then to hell with you and enjoy the sulfur." Why is it that just in the last decade or so, everyone has gotten so nasty about these things? And then it occurred to me...

We're being set up! Divide and conquer! Get us angry at each other over meaningless ideological differences and then sit back and do what you please. It's so simple. (And yes, hopefully this is my only conspiracy theory. Thank you for humoring me.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Moose Study

Yet again, as I stepped back from working on a painting, I did another ink wash as a means to keep my hands busy in the interim. As I was looking around the studio for some bit of inspiration, I found some pictures I had gotten off of the internet for a painting I did a few years ago. I am speaking of course of my wife's favorite ungulate, Alces Alces. The great Canadian freeway menace. Moose.

So I grabbed the ink brushes and went at it.

It is obviously much looser than the previous work of the bull I did. But that was the point. I just wanted to chisel in the forms and work out the composition WITH the forms. I rather enjoyed it, and I think I've got my next painting ready to go.

Normally I try to only work from what I myself have seen in person and either sketched or photographed. I have taken to working from some of Lady Paintmonkey's photos but even that doesn't feel exactly right, as she and I have different art sensibilities. However, I sometimes make exceptions, particularly for large hoofed mammals that tend not to range around mid to northern Georgia. However if you do see a moose tottering around the southern Piedmont area or heck, even a camel, please feel free to let me know.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Filling in the Blanks

When I'm working on an oil painting, it's very much a stop and go process for me. I work as much as possible on it while it's wet and get in all the shapes and forms I like and then I wait for it to dry to start the process all over. Some people are able to sit and do it all in one sitting but that's not how I work. So I end up with a lot of space in between sittings that needs to be filled. Now some of it is filled by reading, sometimes the much less productive watching of television, and then sometimes I feel the need to keep working on something art related. I've touched on this before. Recently after I did the ink wash of the Susan B. Harris Chapel for New Year's, I have been trying to explore more of this method. First I did one of the cowboys from the Fort Worth Stockyards.

And I enjoyed it so much I followed it up with one of my parent's big bull, Woody. I really enjoyed this one as he was standing in a stomped down patch of hay.

I am really enjoying working on this. It's very different from the method I use in oils. I don't get to just slam down patches of paint and form them as I go. I actually have to think ahead on this and use a MUCH more tentative approach. I start with light grays and build up on them more and more. A lot more contemplative than the "let's work out a little aggression" methodology of oil paints. And it helps me work out the specifics of composition I want on actual larger pieces. It is definitely a better way to spend breaks than watching television.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ringing In The New Year!

According to some old superstitions, what you do on New Year's day is what you will be doing all year long. I don't know where this idea came from (I tried to find it online but no luck) but I kind of like that thought. So I decided I was going to be finishing a piece of art on New Year's Day. And unlike so many of my brilliant ideas, this one actually worked! I got done with an ink wash of my alma mater's chapel. Okay, so it's not a 36"x48" oil painting but hey, I got it done! And it's just a quick study to prep me for a painting of the chapel to be done in the next few days.

So in the next few days keep an eye open for an oil painting of our favorite little chapel in the mountains.