hey hey hey.
I'm currently working on pieces for my upcoming solo show at Benna's Cafe. So far I'm excited about what I'm doing (pieces from Russian folklore and literature and icons) but really anxious about my usual time constraints. Unlike last time I haven't gotten work done ahead of time because I was so busy doing other work, not because I was procrastinating. But just last night I finished my first small piece and started to feel a little relief and optimism. I'm not sure that I'll be posting everything I make for my show until after the show itself because I would like for there to be a few surprises, but I'm going to make an effort to post a few things and maybe some progress shots. I've always avoided showing progress shots because I think the stuff I'm working on looks like such a mess before it's finished (so much so that I feel an anxious need to finish quickly because it bothers me to look at it half done) and in its earliest stages it's the most basic and unimpressive line drawing. Anyhow, this is the first thing I finished and will be one of probably 6 inverted icons:
What you're seeing there is Friday the 13th on my laptop.... These aren't the best pictures because my camera doesn't really do macro or low light well, and anything with flash bleaches out the color. Hopefully before the show I'll be able to have a photographer friend take better pictures. Also something I'm going to be working towards in the future is building my own glassless false frames, because I really prefer the way stuff looks completely matte with no glass but I think in order to protect the painting at least somewhat there needs to be a little lip around it like in the case of these wooden crosses.
Anywhoooo I'll talk for a second about Colombia which was really awesome. Bogota is an amazing city and Tayrona National Park was probably THE most beautiful place I've ever been. In Bogota Mike and I picked up this:
which a dude was selling on the street along with many other ball point renditions of metal album covers...
In Tayrona I found a bunch of animal vertebrae on the beach which I smuggled back to the states wrapped in a tissue stuffed in my raincoat pocket. My bag was searched THOROUGHLY exactly 5 times during this trip because of a number of suspiciously shaped metal items purchased at a flea market (a brass hand, a bottle opener, some metal picture frames) as well as a large deck of Colombia specific tarot cards with the strangest art I've ever seen (photoshopped collages from paintings and illustrations and photographs of popular colombian athletes ?!?!) but the bones thankfully went undiscovered. I set aside one for me and one for Mike to make necklaces with but if anyone out there is interested I still have 5 and will mail you one. No idea what kind of animal they come from as there was nothing but these left when I found it.
In other much sadder news, Frank Frazetta died while I was away. I know I'm pretty late commenting at this point but I didn't want to let that pass without saying something. I'm a huge fan of his work and recently got to go to the Frazetta Museum and was just blown away by how amazing his paintings are in person, and by what an awesome accessible little forum it was to show off his work. Everyone there was so friendly and encouraged us to take pictures in front of our favorite pieces and had so much to say about Frank. His paintings looked amazing on book covers, but seeing them up close in large scale and seeing all the secret hidden details was mind blowing. They also sell prints of his work for extremely reasonable prices which makes it possible for almost anyone to be able to enjoy his work in their home. I have nothing but respect for artists who make themselves and their work so accessible and seeing his post stroke work made me want to punch my own face because of course even with these new limitations he was still making this perfect dynamic really fucking cool work. I was really sad to hear he died and I hope the Museum manages to keep operating because it's a very rare and awesome thing.
One of my favorite pieces: "The Sea Witch"
On our way home from the museum Mike, Josh and I did our best Frazetta poses in front of Bryn Athyn Cathedral.
So I was recently asked to design a shirt for a ladies messageboard (like...on the internet). Since I happen to know a lot of the women involved and because they gave me permission to draw a "lady monster" I said yes. While I'm sure I could have done something more obscure and less tragic I went for Medusa because I've been wanting to draw one (and some snakes) for a while now. I decided to defy gorgon tradition and make a "Super-Medusa" with an extra man-petrifying eye and horns, and real hair mixed with her snake hair. The general shape of the design was supposed to be the women symbol but I think it got more abstracted as I drew and added strange shapes. Hopefully it's still there, at least subconsciously. I'm including close-ups of each part since I've realized the size restrictions on images in this forum really makes a lot of what I do completely get lost.
Additionally, please see the song that's been in my head all week as a result of this project:
That's all from me for at least a week or two, as I'm leaving for Colombia tomorrow! See ya, chumps!