Monday, July 26, 2010

Blast from the Past: Sketched Out Monday

Happy Monday everyone.
So in this post I pulled out some old sketches that I used for my book Dusty Diablos.  These were used to help resolve some issues I had with my piece for the La Llorona section of the book.
Here is a general sketch I used to create a basic form from some of the objects I had to work with.
Still more details got worked out....
And finally I got into some more detailed this case this is the area where I was putting the children of la Llorona.
Finally I'll show you the final result that made it into the book.
I leave you with a scene from the movie Frida and Chavela Vargas' version of the folk song la Llorona:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bernice's Bakery...sketched out Monday

So about 90% of all the sketches I do in Missoula is at Bernice's Bakery.  I've been going here for years.  When I was in college I lived right around the fact most of the places I lived in Missoula back then were within a two block radius.  Its in an area called the "Hip Strip".  It's a great hangout and best of all their coffee is bewilderingly strong.  I don't know how they do it and they wont guess is they brew, pour it back in, and brew again.   In any event an amazing way to put the zing in your thing.
If you have trouble viewing the video..head to Youtube.  Here's the link.
Nothing to spectacular on the sketch front, but here I am doing a number at Bernice's....wide you can tell by the speed of my pencil...notice the crumbs in of my maple pecan danish in the background.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot August Nights

When I was a kid my parents listened to Neil Diamond all the time...which means I listened to Neil Diamond...all the time.  Because of that, whenever I hear a song by him I feel a bit of nostalgia.  Oh sure, I try and pretend I don't like it, but secretly I do.  It is sort of like that scene in Tommy Boy (which I am also supposed to pretend I didn't like...but actually did) where David Spade and Chris Farley are driving and a Carpenters song comes on, both pretend to not like it but.....
Classic...but I really didn't like the really!
Now I should mention since I'm talking about Neil Diamond that I, in fact did have a Neil Diamond-ish do in the late 80's/ early 90's.  
Though I was actually going for more of a Lost Boys look...
In any event, the reason for my meandering is that whenever August rolls around, I can't help but think of Neil Diamonds Hot August Night album.

So that was my subtle segue-way to I thought I'd let Neil Diamonds words introduce them...

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies
And everyone goes, 'cause everyone knows, Michael deMeng's show 
(I added the last part)

in Scottsdale Az, August 4th - 10th
I'll be doing Trashy Novels, 
Playing Dead, 
Chunky Loteria, 
and Mad Masks.
see you there....

Later in the Month I head North to...
August 25-29th in Muscoda WI
Green Acres is the place to be.
My favorite place to teach in the states...always relaxing and Kathy is such a great host.
I'll be teaching Mask Maker Mask Maker Make Me a Mask (a 3 day version of Mad Masks)
Urn Your Keep
Okay... see you somewhere....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Artistic Cannibalism

Lets talk about cannibalism.
 I'm not talking about that kind of cannibalism...

Nor this kind...
A Silence of the Lambs Lego set with Hannibal the Cannibal.   Nope that's not what I'm talking about at all.  

What I'm talking about is not so gruesome.  What I'm talking about is the devouring an old piece of art to create something new.   This happens to me all the time and it happened fairly recently.  I can show you the evidence...
Not long ago I posted an image of one of my Strange Angel series.  Here it is:
I was really getting bugged by this piece.  It was really bothering me.  It was ok but I just wasn't sold on it 100%. Now I should mention that whenever that feeling happens, that particular piece of art is in jeapordy of....

This strange angel was hanging around the studio for a bit, subtly bothering me.   Really it was asking for it...being kind of bratty...saying things like, "you don't like me but you're too chicken to do anything about it...aren't ya?  Aren't ya??"     Well in my studio I never let my art act means means...I kick some butt.  And I'm tellin' you now that this this piece was getting a whoopin'.  The artwork however got a lucky break.  I was headed to Cleaveland.   While I was out there I came across some large-ish Italian milagros.   Here's a sample of one I haven't done anything with yet:
I bought two...they were sterling silver and not cheap but very irresistible.  
When got home the Strange Angel was still being bratty so...Popeye moment....I've stands all I can stands and I can't stands no more!
and then...
After the dust settled...this is what was left...
(you can see in the next photo that the milagro was a little different from the sample I showed earlier)
After a bit of work voila!  I was pleased.
Ok let's compare
Big difference.
I should mention that perhaps the piece wasn't being snotty, but rather, it was trying to get me do to the right thing and make it better.  Perhaps...I still think it was being a
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...
and sometimes that thing is....
Artistic Cannabalism!!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Classroom Sketched Out Monday

Well, I'm up in the hills of Idyllwild, the class has been busy making urns and masks.   I forgot my sketchbook...but, don't worry...I managed to come up with something for Monday's entry.

I actually had a board or whatever those things are called...made me feel like a "real" teacher.  I drew this right after talking about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930.
and here's a detail
Bueller, Bueller,
Bueller.  Anyone, anyone.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Cyclopian Sketched Out Monday

Once upon a time, when I was a little boy of three, the year man first walked on the moon, I wrote a book called Space Monster.  It was a story about an astronaut who blasts off to space and lands on the moon (the space ship was a three stage jobber with each section label "1", "2", and of course "3".  Once he lands, he steps out of his craft and encounters a giant, one eyed monster on the moon.  The monster proceeds to crush his space ship and then starts to attack the astronaut.  Luckily our hero as a ray gun and blasts the cyclops, who falls off the moon.  Stranded, the astronaut call NASA who immediately sends help.  This time the send an guy in a sporty jet like space ship.  He lands picks up our hero and they speed back to earth.  On there way the see the Cyclopian monster floating in space.   The land safely on earth where they are greeted by Hawaiian woman who adorn them with leis (I was living in Hawaii at the time I wrote seem pretty normal to me).  The End.

I was thinking about this story and decided to have a little fun with it.  Here are a couple of sketches I came up with while being a bit nostalgic.
Space Monsters are typically not very well endowed.  Just so you know.  This was a detail I left out of the original text.

This is a little closer to the original book.  I did add the hat....and I think the original Space Monster was a bit hairier.  He is sort of like the Abominable Snowman in Bugs Bunny cartoons, except that the Abominable Snowman didn't get blasted with a ray gun.

Hope you like my little trip down memory lane.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Michael the Archangel

Some of you are aware that I have been working on a St. Michael piece.  This isn't the first time I've approached this subject.  At least the third time.  Two other versions are in Dusty Diablos.
Here's one:
and here is the second one in the book:

Every since I can remember I have been fascinated with the Archangel Michael.  Sure it could be because I am his namesake.  I actually think that it is because he is often seen fighting demons.   Typically He is seen standing on top of the devil.  
Like here:
This is a classic version by Raphael.

Here's another one by Raphael...
What's not to love about the snake/dog/bird/goat devil....pretty trippy

This one is from a church in Germany
...if David Bowie were an angel.  

This is by Bernadino Zenali
Michael is a pretty cool customer in this one...look Mom, I can squash a devil with one foot.

Here's a nifty one by Perdro Garcia de Benabarre.
I love Michael's wings.

This version is from Poland.
Everybody's going surfing...

Now...I eluded to the creation of a new St. Michael.  Well it is done and it all started from a sketch I did:
From that came this:
It's about 3 feet x 2 feet
the area with the large hand opens up...Hard to tell from this photo but that eye is inset and behind a layer of mica.
You may have noticed that my version doesn't have the devil under foot.   I tried that and it didn't look so hot.  I decided to make it so that it seemed more difficult for Michael.  In some of the other versions.  It's as if Michael was having an espresso and squashed a devil or two as his sipped his cafe.  By putting the devil on the same visual plane as Michael it seemed to me that I was showing more of the heat of the battle and not the outcome. 
  Speaking of battles..this piece had been giving me grief for some time and  I've been battling it for months. This sucker was a struggle.   It felt like I was battling demons. 
But at long last I prevailed...I raise a glass of Scotch to its completion.