Monday, November 23, 2015

The Chase
After a packed couple of months, my m.o. has always been to go fallow. Not on purpose; it just happens. I shut down creatively and productively for awhile. That time period varies, but it drives me crazy. Because of that, I'm always looking for quick ways to re-ignite the art-fire and get back to The Chase.

One time it didn't come back for a few years, and I'm not gonna lie--that scared me. It happened after a large show for which I had to create many works in a few short months. After way too much fallow time went by, I took a student's advice and changed media--I started working with clay, engaging in a different sort of chase. Eventually (nearly 5 long years later) I began to produce illustrations again. In the meantime, I learned a lot about ceramic clay, and I made some cool stuff.
This year it's happened again, and I decided to not only change media, but to suspend my inner-critic and experiment with media. Thanks to a bunch of un-critical fellow illustrators, I'm able to do it and also have a good time. The painting above is one recent experiment with life painting using acrylic. The life painting sessions at Helikon Gallery are a blast--mostly because the gallery director and fellow participants are chill and unpretentious. Some artists might need a competitive atmosphere, but not me--I want to enjoy camaraderie and the freedom to do the art I need without feeling like anyone's sneering at my efforts.
Above are some recent experiments with water-soluble oils at relaxing plein-air excursions--again, with friends who are lots of fun to be with... of whom had an interesting encounter with an avian critic as we were leaving the field.
 (And yes, that experience seemed to get a bit of creativity going again.)
Being able to hang out at weekly drink and draw sessions with a great bunch of artists also helps. Again, these sketches don't feel like my best, but they were experiments with unfamiliar media in an informal setting.
Just the kind of thing I need right now--the chance to explore, experiment, talk art--and get the field planted and producing again.
And because of all this, it's not taking me 5 years to re-plant the field. And I have to keep reminding myself that it's not about chasing success or contentment, it's about feeling success and contentment within the chase.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Infected by Art: Volume III
No question that I am stoked to have my top-hatted bird illustration in
Infected by Art: Volume Three; it is a gorgeous, large, and high quality book filled with contemporary fantasy and science fiction art directly from the worldwide competition of the same name!
"From fantastic scenes of science fiction to the worlds of fantasy and horror, this book has it all, and will appeal to anyone who appreciates the fantastic arts. Artwork included in Infected by Art Volume Three ranges from traditionally drawn and painted artwork to work done digitally, as well as sculpture. Each piece of art was hand picked by a select group of judges, including Donato Giancola, Rebecca Guay, Greg Hildebrandt, and John Schindehette."

Check out all the artists (and buy the book!) to see the amazing pieces in their full glory.
Here's the link to the art:

And the link to the book:

And here are detail shots of some of my favorites, with links to the artist's sites (please click on each name):

A big thank you to the judges, and
thank you for reading and exploring these and all the great artists in the book!

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