Friday, June 10, 2011

Koala Warrior

Just a meeting sketch for fun.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quick post

This was a quick painting while my class working.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New plan. Long time away.

Soooooo I haven't put anything here in awhile.
A few things have been happening.
1) I'm getting married in a couple of months.
2) My fiancee and I are moving and bought our first home.
3) We're working to finish Reckoning at Big Huge Games.
4) I finished teaching at MICA for the spring.

All of that pretty much means I've largely had to put down my brushes until I'm past a fair bit of it.
That said, I've decided I still need to keep posting, even if it's just little sketches to keep me working on my own stuff a little bit while everything else is going on.
So my plan is to try and post something as much as possible, hopefully a few times a week.
I'll start with this:
It's a commission I finished a short bit ago for a novel cover.
It was a very specific composition requested, so it was a unique challenge.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Process of Peace

This is something I did for an upcoming show called "Process of Peace," in which artists were asked to investigate how they try and find peace in their own lives and world around them.
The show is curated by the ever-engaged and evolving Sarah McCann. She also curated the "What's Your War" show here in Baltimore last year. I'm a big fan of hers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Some sketches

Some recent sketchbook pages. Some from sitting in meetings at work, others from sitting... in church.
I know.
But the church Jess and I have been going to is beautiful on the inside, and I'm still listening just as much. It's how I used to doodle in class. It usually allows me to stay more focused on what's going on. I think my coworkers have gotten used to it, too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stasya and the Gryphon - Year 4

For four years now, on a very dear friend's birthday, I have given her a page of a growing story. It is about her and, thus far, a gryphon she befriends. (They're also spelled griffin, or griffon, but I like the way the first spelling looks)
The first one of these I did was before I would have considered myself an illustrator at all, or was doing much professional illustration work. Now, to whatever extent that I even think the titles of artist or illustrator are separate, I happily embrace it, so it's interesting to look back on these.
Usually done in watercolor, this latest was in the middle of a number of deadlines so I begrudgingly did it digitally.

Chaper 1: In which Stasya meets the Gryphon and offers him a pear.
(This one is still my favorite, even being the oldest. There's something in the subdued ferocity of the gryphon, intimidated perhaps by the equal fearlessness of the girl, that I've yet to recapture completely).

Chapter 2: In which Stasya reads to the Gryphon and they fall asleep under starlight.
(This is when I realized I was actually making a series).

Chapter 3: In which the Gryphon unexpectedly takes flight.

Chapter 4: In which Stasya, not one to wait around for the whims of flying creatures, finds a boat and begins her own journey.
(Interesting how much my colors changed, and the environment became so much more substantial. I think this is a direct product of the digital approach. It also takes a huge compositional departure without the Gryphon dominating the scene, but to tell the girl Stasya's story he had to leave, at least for awhile.)

The next chapter, if I'm more on time than I was this past birthday, will be posted in November.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mock Turtle

This is one I finished a bit ago and didn't post.

So here it is.

Circus - Progression

Thought I would throw some progression shots up for the Circus Piece.
It's good to look back where a piece came from. I'm not sure, in certain states of mind, I would pursue a piece that started like this one, but for some reason the place that I was in kept me at it and thinking about it.
It's easy to walk away from pieces, from seeing something through to the end, but sometimes that's what makes lessons concrete.

Another image I was using to compare hand and arm positions. This was really interesting to me. Simple changes of rotation and placement created entirely different moods. Ultimately, I went for the one that made her seem the most formidable and rebellious.

Sometimes the number of choices we can make that can affect the feeling of a piece boggles my mind. At any point, we might make the smallest adjustment that turns our little ship of a painting into waters that truly sing, or onto a submerged rock. Still, we must go sailing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cirque Final

I've posted some works in progress of this one for awhile now, but finally knuckled down in my free moments for the last couple of weeks and made this piece pretty complete.
See what you think. I've got a story about all of this growing in my mind, so I might pursue it a bit more.

A few things I listened to keep myself in a Circus/surreal mood while painting:
  • Rupa and the April Fishes, Extraordinary Rendition
  • Beirut, The Flying Club Cup
  • Laura Marling, I Speak Because I Can
  • Amelie Soundtrack
  • Devotcha, Little Miss Sunshine Soundtrack
  • Jonsi, Go
Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some Christmas present painting!

On a lighter note, here are a couple of Christmas present paintings I did.

Old paintings of Antarctica

Dear readers, humor some nostalgia and rumination, please.

These aren't new, but are new to this blog, since they're older than it.

I recently went through a lot of old work, especially Antarctic work, for a good, talented friend named Rob Bilek who wanted to do an art trade.

I went to Antarctica in 2005 to paint for three months. It's a huge part of my life, but truthfully I've done very little with the work in about a year. I've been too involved in work with Big Huge Games, teaching, and other artistic pursuits.

Seeing these, looking closely at them, kinda breaks my heart.

I'll never be able to leave oil painting behind for digital completely.

Real media breathes in a way digital cannot, and I say this with full knowledge that I am as much now a digital artist as I am anything else. In another context, I would cry out the virtues of digital work.

Here, though, I get caught up in those little moments of chaotic abstraction happen in landscape paintings with oil or watercolor. They make me catch my breath. I get washed over in it.

And remembering painting Antarctica makes me terribly nostalgic. Looking back at art I did at specific times in my life is like listening to music you listened to in a specific place.
I always return to Antarctica as a subject, and I suspect it's time to explore further, even if it's from my memories and my studio here in Baltimore. That sometimes seems odd to me, since I was only there for three months, and it's been five years now.
But as artists, we have to be honest with ourselves if we're to work honestly, as well, and Antarctica dug deep into me and has never let go.