Thursday, September 23, 2010

Opening this Saturday

I've got a small show opening at Ancient Arts Wellness in Mount Vernon, Baltimore, following the Baltimore Book Festival.

Here's the flier.

The work is mostly medium to small sized oil paintings of landscapes and cityscapes.

The reception is from 7-9 and should be fun. The space is cool, the folks that work there are cool, and the Baltimore Book Festival is cool. Swing by if you get a chance and have some tea.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pancake Breakfast Album Art

A couple of months back I did some album art for my friend Mike Midlo. We worked together on Time Team, but he also runs this awesome, rocking band called "Pancake Breakfast" out of Oregon. The album is called "Fire in the Barn," and Mike asked me to make a painting to go inside the LP and CD of a barn on a hill that had something unearthly going on with it. For inspiration, he sent me the 1937 Disney cartoon, "The Old Mill," which you should look up on youtube if you haven't seen it.
I love working with musicians. They almost always have such different ideas than visual artists, and such good feedback. I had tons of fun working on this piece, too, and I dig the music, so I hope I get to do more projects like.

Here's Pancake Breakfast's website. Check them out.

I thought I would show some process work on this one, since it was such a good back and forth.

First, I sent Mike and another band member (and the web/album designer), Christa, the following thumbnails. These were all fast, simple color and composition studies to get some broad stroke feedback from them and get a sense of where their minds were going. It also helped me figure out what I wanted to do with the piece.

We took the ones liked best from the thumbnails and I developed them further, testing the waters for what we'd want to push further into the final piece.

From there, we combined elements that we liked as inspiration for the direction of the final, big one (and I do mean big. This went into an LP, so it was a large file).

After looking at it, though, we didn't feel like it was otherwordly enough, so we tilted everything and added a lot more value and strange light. The idea was to make it feel like something ominous and fantastic was on the very verge of breaking loose.

Then, with that settled, it was time to polish it for the final piece. Mike had one last bit of feedback, which was to add the feeling of wind. That's actually very difficult in a still image, but I'm glad he pushed for it. It made the final painting a whole lot better.

And that was how it went.

When he mailed me the finished LP, Mike wrote me a poem about the piece, posted below:

A storm mounts. Bones ache ... Howling souls. The wind heaves a heavy sigh.

¡There's a Fire in the Barn!

And a murder of crows scatter into the watercolor sky.

Thanks for the chance to do this, Mike, and good luck with the album release!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WIP for a friend

For fun, for a friend.

New landscapes and getting back into things

I'm going to be doing a show at a very cool wellness and acupuncture studio in Baltimore during the Baltimore book festival, so I'm working on some new pieces for it. It's a small space, so I'm making digital prints instead of oil paintings, and I'm teaching digital illustration at MICA this semester so it's a decent excuse to get some more time in with Photoshop. CS5 is a crazy, new beast, anyway, that's worth getting used to. I'm not certain I agree with some of their changes, but it looks like all the core stuff is intact, if a little hidden.
I've been terribly busy in the last few weeks, and I got engaged, but I'm working on a number of things again and should be posting more. As always, thanks for any feedback.
These are seasonal. I'm nearly done with Summer and Winter here, but Autumn is only half way there. Spring is next, obviously.