Saturday, April 22, 2006

some new characters...

Well, back again after a few weeks. Have I already said I'm not blogger material? Whatever. So. Let me catch-up a bit. I've done a few paintings in the past using an old cartoon character named Bosko-he's a contemporary of the original Mickey Mouse-and was created by ex-Disney animators Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising around 1930. So I like him 'cuz he's like Mickey-but Mickey is so done, y'know? Anyway, one day I pictured Bosko telling me I was a loser-in a playful way-so this was the result;
So then I thought I'd love to do some more "Losers"-so I began several more-more or less of my own creation. I'm still working on them, but concurrently, I started a triptych based on an Indian graphic, a Chinese firecracker label, and a Japanese candy wrapper, (two of the panels are in this next picture) and then, before finishing that-I started a small figuritive picture that finally sees me trying to incorparate collage elements-(oh, as always, click to enlarge)

Here's the almost finished triptych-which might be called "HappyLuckyFun", along with more little Losers and another character picture I'm working on-the red one tentitively titled "Trust"-
And now here's the finished collage piece, maybe it's called "Happy Day"-

And here's what the studio is looking like as I write this-I've got two new character pieces started, "So Misunderstood" and hmm, not sure what to call the busier one, I'll get back to you on that.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Let's Blog...

"The Memo" 48"x48" My most recent painting. Available at Arches Gallery in Healdsburg.

Well y'know, all the other kids are doin' it-so why not. Here's the thing: I'm not really blogger material. I'm not going to say anything particularly insightful or even perhaps artistically valid-and it's probably been a long time since you've seen someone slaughter the english language like I'm sure to do. So what. The cool thing is no one's gonna even see this thing for months-years even, so it's really just out here for me to keep on some sort of track with whatever it is I'm trying to keep on track of-and I suppose it's here until I get my dookie together and get my web-site up. Ok, speaking of, how about-in reverse semi-chronological order-15 paintings. Oh, right-all of these are acrylic paint on wood panels. I'm sure I'll say more about my process later-but enough intro-babble, let's see some art-(click on images to enlarge)
"Astro Boy Fights Back" 48"x48"
Continuing my love of combining many forms of pop-culture, this one pulls from some old-school anime and some bits from Chinese New Year's posters and some moments from some old Indian graphics. The inspiration came from the results of our last election...
"Lucky Girl" 36"x44"
This one has a little Circus poster meets fruit-crate label meets Japanese comics (manga) with a touch of children's book illustrator Richard Scarry. I was trying to just have fun here.
"Frustrated Woodpecker" hmm, I think it's about 48"x48"
I came across this image of Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker on a website that was called something like "banned" and somehow, I don't know, it spoke to me. The wallpaper-like background is from an old Chinese perfume or soapbox label, to soften up the absurdist violence. And yeh, Woody's in a hand-basket.

"Dance Of The New Republic" 48"x72"

Tied for the largest piece I've ever done (so far)-I was looking at the Clayton brothers alot on this one-trying to have a more complex group of figures and setting them on a sort of stage/circus banner. The figures are from vintage Valentines Day cards and firecracker labels and 50's children books (Richard Scarry again).
"Time Will Tell" approx. 48"x48"
This one has changed slightly-Michael Coy suggested that the bird wing dip down in to the portrait area, and since I sold it not too long after the change I assume it was a good idea. Thanks Michael. And thanks Stacy.
"Helter Skelter (Exit Stategy)" approx. 30"x60"
This one is taken almost whole from an old board game. Of course I made a few changes-putting the devil-child Hot Stuff at the top and adding a few symbols tranparently in the sky. I really don't want to make smart-alecky paintings that referrence disasterous wars and their consequences-but until they stop makin' 'em-dang, what's a guy to?
"Popeye The Sailor Meets The Thief Of Baghdad" 48"x60"
This was my first painting to use comics. It's a reworking of a classic Popeye cartoon poster. The war had just begun and I wanted to say something, but I did'nt want to get all heavy and heavy-handed about it (I'm just not sure I'd be the guy to pull it off) -so I thought, like many others before me have, that I'd use humorous imagery to address the surrealism of the moment. Painted in the living room here in Graton, before the rented studio and of course before we built the studio out back.
"Fancy/Farsi" 18"x24"
This is another in an occasional series in which I take two or three unrelated images and try to-through color and design-make a united picture. In this case, it's also about the idea of trying to find harmony between two different cultures. It was this idea that particularly resonated with the couple that bought it at last October's Open Studio. (Hi Pam and Jeff!)

"The Flag Bearers" 16"x32" two panels
Same m.o. as "Fancy/Farsi-the top image is from an old Chinese matchbox label and the bottom is a blow-up from an Indian miniature painting.