Sunday, November 11, 2007
I've been hanging out in the woods a lot.
Once again, need new scanner.
Listening to Battles. This sounds like it's from the future. I think they're a bunch of time travelers from an optimistic 2439 ... where subtraction is the new addition and respect is used as currency. Everything's free and someone resembling Jean Luc Picard is prime minister of the Earth League Alliance (or ELA).
Shout out to CF's new book POWR MASTRS. I've been following his zines for a while and this long awaited book is the most intriguing and unique comic I have seen in a long while. He is a solitary voice and an individual power ... in a school of his own, making it Ok to make comics with a pencil. http://www.pictureboxinc.com/product/id/126/
I don't think this guy even owns a computer.
So no excuses for the rest of us, Ok? Follow your fucking dreams.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Hmm ... so if I'm ever going to look legit online I think I'm going to have to plead for a new scanner and a personal photography assistant for Christmas. My scanner, while it was free in the Brown University dumpster, is really meant for sending faxes and printing out term papers. It's not meant for large scale illustrations.
And while 4.0 mega pixels on a camera sounds impressive, it doesn't do too well when attempting to show detail in painting.
But I suppose the important thing is that the artwork is done and is in existence.
I am working on a new comic which will be a series of short stories in a final collection called
"A Town Called Orange". Each issue will have a painted cover that will be color photocopied. The first story is about space exploration in the suburbs. I'm trying to make the Twilight Zone for Kids ... a surrealist's view of suburbs. The next story is about a boy with a talking guitar ... an all night video arcade by the coast ... the champion of Candlepin Bowling ... and feeling abandon and escape while deep sea fishing.
This will probably be the end my comics being set in suburbs. Once they are completed, I think it's time to move on.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I had my first fallen through assignment! After over 20 sketches, the client turned them down (first I was too cartoony ... then I was too generic? I am what I am, guess it wasn't good enough). At least they'll always be here in cyberspace. I'm posting some of the best ones ...
On a more positive note, I'm meeting with Geo Vision tomorrow to potentially make comic books on the subject of substance abuse.
I have also made a painting that is the first in a series. It's 18 inches by 22 inches ... acrylic, gouche and oil. You saw it here first on my blog!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Daniel Johnston is irrational, irresponsible and at times violent due to his manic depressive condition. In the course of his life he seriously threatened the lives of three people; his former manager, an elderly woman and his own father. Footage of Johnston in this film contains scenes where he thinks he is a ghost of himself, casually describing demons as real, breaking down in the middle of an identity crisis and preaching to an audience of NYC noise hipsters about the dangers of Satan.
But when Johnston is on stage with a guitar in hand, all one can see and feel is bliss. The fragility of Johnston's off key singing voice is so enduring you can't believe that it is coming form an over-weight chain smoker wearing sweatpants. The lyrics sound as if they could have been from an era far gone; Leadbelly and early Bob Dylan comes to mind. And somehow Johnston can make Casper the Friendly Ghost seem ACTUALLY haunting with his words.
Here in lies the paradox of Johnston's life. Within him is both a saint and the devil. Through the movie he is never interviewed in the present moment, but there really isn't any need for this sense he recorded himself talking through most of his adult life. We can hear primary sources of documentation from him. Everyone else, his parents and siblings, his closest friends, seem to be much closer to the audience. Not only are they being interviewed in the present day, but they're really the only ones you can relate to since Johnston's personality is so unique. It doesn't take long to realize that they are the heroes of the story.
I was particularly impressed with Johnston's parents. Unlike Johnston's many managers or even a few of his closer musical friends, Johnston's parents are only concerned with Johnston's happiness. Their tolerance and acceptance of Johnston is unbelievable.
So when I came to the end of "The Devil and Daniel Johnston", I really wasn't sure what to think. On the one hand, Johnston has inspired an era of singer/songwriters, from Kurt Cobain to Conor Oberst, while still remaining in a league and category of his own. His music will be remembered dozens of years from now the same way we remember Leadbelly.
But on the other hand, how much can one contribute this to Daniel Johnston himself? If it wasn't for the love of his parents and patrons who broke their backs in order for him to simply function, would Johnston have burned out years ago? There are so many close calls in his life. Johnston only survives because there are people who care and can bail him out.
The movie's moral is that in order for an artist to succeed, he needs to be able to function. Johnston can do everything else but function, so a fair amount of his work can be attributed to the people who find him dear.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Take two parts Alfred Hitchcock and mix it with one part Wes Anderson. Make sure the plot's multiple genres blend well and you've got Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in "Charade". What's noteworthy about this movie is always subtle; it's either Hepburn's impeccable taste for clothes, the director's aesthetic decision to concentrate on objects, or Grant's dry and charming humor.
But what is impressive is that the director manages to tell a story one part comedy, one part thriller and one part romance and keeps it feeling natural. The jokes are good, the Hepburn/Cary chemistry is real and the thrills do scare.
I couldn't decide which illustration looked better above, so if anyone had any comments, it would be appreciated.
Friday, August 31, 2007
This is the first drawing in a new promotional flyer zine (see www.tedmcgrath.com for where I got the idea for the booklet layout) entitled "Bond". It will include portraits of three James Bond actors plus a large Bond montage illustration inside.
With this zine I'm also planning on making a 1986 Boston Celtics zine in support of my favorite team who have recently aquired Kevin Garrnett (DYNASTY in 2008?). It will include Celtics of the past (most likely the big three, Bird, Parish and McCale) plus another zine with Pierrce, Garrnett and a third player to be determined.
Art Directors ... you have been warned.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
In the old days they had been called Mysians,**212 but later their name was changed to its present form. They live in all countries divided from the Roman Empire by the River Ister (Danube). Suddenly they left these districts and emigrated to our side of the river. This movement areas caused by the activities of the Getae, their neighbors, who by their plundering and ravaging compelled them to abandon their own homes and seek new ones. So, at a time when the Ister was frozen over, they crossed as though on dry land  and emigrated from the Trans-danubian territories to our province. The whole nation was transported, bag and baggage, over our borders, incapable of living at peace themselves, and bound to spread consternation among their former neighbors. More than other nations they are difficult to fight and hard to subdue. They are neither vigorous of body, nor brave in spirit. They wear no breastplates, put on no greaves, and no helmets protect their heads. They carry no shields of any kind whatsoever, neither the long sort like those traditionally borne by the Argives, nor the round shield, nor do they gird on swords. The only weapon they carry in their hands is the spear, their sole defensive armour. They are not divided up by battalions, and when they go to war they have no strategic plan to guide them. The terms 'vanguard', 'left wing', 'right flank' mean nothing to them. They build no palisades for their own protection, and they are unacquainted with the idea of defensive ditches on the perimeter of their camps. In one mass, close-packed and pell-mell, fortified by sheer desperation, they emit loud war-cries, and so fall upon their adversaries. If they succeed in pushing them back, they dash against them in solid blocks, like towers, pursuing and slaying without mercy. On the other hand, if the opposing force withstands their assault and if their ranks preserve an unbroken line in face of the barbarian onslaught, the latter forthwith turn about and seek safety in flight. But there is no order in their retreat. They scatter in all directions, in small groups. One hurls himself into a river, and either swims to land or is engulfed in its eddies and sinks; another goes of into a thick wood and so becomes invisible to his pursuers; a third escapes in some other way. They all disperse at the same moment, but later, in some strange fashion, they meet again, one coming down from a mountain, another from some ravine, another from a river, all from different hiding-places. When they are thirsty, if they find water, either from springs or in the streams, they at once throw themselves down into it and gulp it up; if there is no water, each man dismounts from his horse, opens its veins with a knife, and drinks the blood. So they quench their thirst by substituting blood for water. After that they cut up the fattest of the horses, set fire to whatever wood they find ready to hand, and having slightly warmed the chopped limbs of the horse there on the spot, they gorge themselves on the meat, blood and all. The refreshment over, they hurry  back to their Primitive huts and lurk, like snakes, in the deep gullies and precipitous cliffs which serve as their walls. Taken in the mass, this is a nation to be feared, and a treacherous one. Treaties of friendship exercise no restraining influence over these barbarians, and even oaths sworn over their sacrifices are not respected, for they reverence no deity at all, not to speak of God. To them all things are the result of chance, and death they believe to be the end of everything. For these reasons they make peace with great alacrity and then, when they find it necessary to resort to war, they at once violate the terms of their treaty. If you conquer them in war, they invoke a second treaty of friendship; if it is they who win the combat, they massacre some of their captives and hold a magnificent sale of the rest. For the rich prisoners they fix the price high, and if they fail to get ransom, they kill them.
I've been cleaning up my room in an attempt to make it somewhat studio-ish as there isnt' any space in our house. My parent's are building an addition (including a huge studio I'll get to share with my mom for a little while!) but in the meantime things are cramped.
As I was cleaning up I came across this ... a piece I made sophtimore year that I really like. There's a lot of energy in it. What happened to that energy in me? I'm going to try and "tap back into it" this year as I pursue freelance illustration, comics ... all that stuff ... I guess just trying to figure it all out.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I've been working and putzing around with some paintings this summer just trying to figure everything out. I've finally made one that responds. I like this lil' guy and I think it's the next logical step to that wedding commission I did in June.
I have the week off from my dayjob next week and I'm going to be trying to work on that horse commission I got plus a painting a day. I'll be working around the clock!
Also, I think it's time for me to make a global warming awareness cartoon using Max/MSP. Load that up to youtube and try to save the world.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
More max/msp mayhem. I'm pretty amateur at this, but that should never stop anyone (plus, they honestly don't take too long and I have a lot of sitting to do during my gallery shift).
Expect more of these shorts.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I've also been keeping up with Max/MSP. Here is a new Pop meditation with guitar (unfiltered) and animated RPG characters. All done in max/msp and imove HD.
I've been pretty busy this summer ... and NOT just making sandwiches.
I've started a series of portrait paintings of people of not much personal significance; people I see on the street, imaginary people and the like. I've also gotten a huge illustration assignment to illustrate 12 greeting cards for WYO-Cowgirl.
I made some samples of what the product could look like. My art director and I have talked about it and they'll be changed, but this work is still worthy I believe on posting here.
I'm slowly drifting into a polished style. I don't think I'm fully there just yet, but progress is gradually being made.
I will post paintings when I get back to Providence (in a couple days, I've been home dealing with family matters).
I'll be on the cover of Watershed this fall!
Monday, July 2, 2007
Recently I had a wedding commission to make a painted family tree. The groom was Indian and the bride Italian-American, so thus explains Gandhi, Ellis Island, the elephant and the pilgrams (well, that doesn't explain the pilgrams. There's a lil' of that in her, too).
So ta da ... a month's painting. I'm happy with the result and I learned from the process. I think I am done with museum board and am going to go back to gessoboard as my surface. I am DEFINATELY continuing with the acrylic gouache with a final layer of oil.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It's the end of the school year and like everyone else, I'm busy. There was a gallery over in Pawtucket a few days back, I'm trying to move out of the old apartment, I have a few freelance jobs lined up and through it all I'm finding time to paint and getting a handle of acryla gouache, paint medium of the gods.
I've limited my pallet to the following colors below and the effect is really exciting. They're sort of Santa Fe looking ... I'm trying to throw out earthy tones because I see enough of those as is (maybe I'll go back to terra verte and burnt sienna someday).
So below is a picture of the opening I had at the sight of sound and my pallot!
Happy summer guys!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Ready to rock and roll.
Still some kinks to work out on the links page and you have to access my resume through the biography page, but it's all there now!
Ready to rock and roll.
Still some kinks to work out on the links page and you have to access my resume through the biography page, but it's all there now!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Working on a new piece and adapting a more painterly style. I am using Acrlya gouche and oils and applying it to board in a manner similar to Rebecca Guay, who came to RISD a few weeks ago to do a painting demonstration. Here it is ...
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
New pirate illustration that may potentially go in Plansponsor magazine. I'm up against my classmates, who are all VERY talented, so it's a longshot this will get in, but ... let's just say if this was "Project Runway", I'd definately not be getting kicked off on tonight's episode.
OH YEAH ... I have a gallery up at Carr Haus. You should come. Pictures soon.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Here's the newest portfolio piece. It still has some things to be worked out, but once again I'm going with this ink/acrylic painting/mono printing photoshop collage technique. I'm thinking of replacing the princess with a princess Leia from an old Star Wars comic I found at the Rhode Island Mall (Jennie and I stopped by chance to see if we could get our photos taken with a supposed Leprecon, but as it turned out, you had to BRING a Leprecon, AKA a baby, which we lucky don't have).
I also feel that the monoprinting in it is a bit understated ... I really wanted to have it be a main part of the piece.
I'll run it by Robert tommorrow and get feedback. Night everyone.
Oh yeah, and here's some process paintings that didn't make the final cut. (Sigh)
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I'm designing a postcard to send out to magazines, newspapers and potential clients. This is a "first draft". I'm going to add gouache text for jackturnbull.com (which I SERIOUSLY need to update, geez!).
Check it out...
The circles on the right are going to be tennis balls. So ... yeah ... text and tennis balls and I'm going to turn it in as assingnment.
Well, my senior show came and went. I was too busy running around and socializing to take photos by myself, but fortunately my mom was there to step in. There aren't too many great photos of "Bad Guy", one of my favorite pieces, but I'm going to start putting up my portfolio pieces up here anyway.
More updates coming up.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Here is my finals from last semester's "digital illustration" class ... cowboys and western related illustrations. My personal fav is "tex" but my teacher prefered Cowboy Curtis.
For some really WEIRD reason, when I upload the first illustration it comes out in reverse color. So, to put it simply, it is BLUE ... when it should be Yellow. I guess google is still working out the kinks for their blog system. Oh well, I just want this stuff up. I'll post a REAL version later.
Comic book class tommorrow. Exciting.