Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One More Month to Register

Hey there,
Made a geeky little video to remind you about the Alchemist's Toolbox Online class.  Class begins May 27th.  Register Now.

For more info click here:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Full Fathom Five

"Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong
Hark! now I hear them,—Ding-dong, bell."

So I've been on a sea-faring kick lately....perhaps it is because I've been hanging out in the Pacific Northwest for the last month or so....Vancouver, Victoria, Port Townsend, Seattle, Portland and back to Vancouver again.  My girlfriend, Andrea has been showing the sights around B.C. and a trip with her and her girls to the Vancouver Aquarium to punctuate the aquatic theme.  
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

Being surrounded by the briny deep affected me artistically which was really kicked in after hanging out in Portland and coming across these:
Then...I picked up a belllows at the famous Baker's Dozen Antique store...and this is where it started...
This is where my Sea-faring adventures begins...
Chapter i: Loomings
Call me Ishmael...but Michael is what I typically go by.  Anyway, I always start the same way...I get a basic structure together then build from that.  I know when I posted the above image on Facebook a few folks thought I might actually keep the pink tentacles but that is really not my thing.  I usually know that paint is going to take the objects and bring together.

Before I show you the finished piece...let's talk Squid legs
There is something oddly eerie about the legs of squids and octopi.
Incredibly disconcerting yet strangely compelling.  Of course early sea-farers probably had a similar point of view and these became the stuff of sea-monster tales.
I think there is an other worldly quality about these critters, especially the way the tentacles seem to move so smoothly yet powerfully...I have to admit, tentacle hands would be coooool.  It's true I have tentacle envy.
Now some of you may be Pirates of the Caribbean fans and you might be familiar with the strange character of Davy Jones...a octopus faced character.
Yes he does have nice legs...but as interesting as he may be this is not the first...
Neither is this
and I don't mean him either
The first tentacle faced villain (that I'm aware of) goes back to the February 1928 publication "Weird Tales".  The story was called Call of Cthulhu
and the author, famed horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft
He created a villainous demon from outer space called Cthulu, who had "...a pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings".   My piece was not really inspired by the story of Cthulhu but nonetheless I find the concept of a celestial octo-man very intriguing.   In fact if you're looking for a great Xmas gift for the kids:
Dreamland Toys has just the thing for you. "My Little Cthulhu" vinyl toy.
Okay now to the finished piece:
I consider this to be a psuedo-biological contraption...what it does I haven't a clue.
I have to admit many of the items I used for the piece came from items I purloined from Andrea.  That horn on the bottom was perfect...thanks A.
The propeller was a last minute item...
I added it as because it needed something in that spot, but more than that it needed something that made the  piece seem like it had a function.

So that's my latest critter-chine...looks kind of like a weed wacker...maybe the tentacles pull out weeds.  I'll give it a whirl...

Monday, April 04, 2011

Cold Blooded Journals with Kroma Crackle

Just finished a nifty little class in  British Columbia...Cold Blooded Journals.
Basically they are lizardy journals
Here's one that Megan (the owner of Upstart Crow) made in the class:
What we used to create these nifty cold blooded critter effects is a product made by Kroma Paint in Vancouver BC.  
The store is located at one of the coolest places in Vancouver...Granville Island
It's an great place filled with galleries, artists, markets, and other things arty.
So I recently went out there and hung out with the owner, Kevin...who rode up on his skateboard.
I wanted to mention a cool product that I used in class...Kroma Crackle.  This has just started to be distributed in the states.  It's an amazing product....with killer effects.  Kroma has devoted an etire website to this stuff:
If you go to the site, it will tell you how to use the goods.

Here's the cool part...
Typically it takes a day or so the get the full crackle effect....
I've figured out how to get it to crackle INSTANTANEOUSLY!!!
That's right INSTANT CRACKLE Woo Hoo!
For now it is Top Secret...In fact I haven't even told Kevin how to do it yet...he he he...
Don't worry I'll share...for now though, I'm keeping it special for the Cold Blooded Journal Classes this year.
Here's where I'll be doin' this Crackle technique this year:
Zinnia - S. Pasadena CA
Art Clinic - Solvang CA
Collage - Portland OR
Art is You -Petaluma, CA
Art is You - Danbury CT