Monday, February 21, 2011

Learning to live.

       Hello my friends, I am glad that you stopped by to read my blog.  I have some insights I wish to share with you today.  But first, here is finished pencil work for my newest work.  Once again, the model it Tilly Rivers. One of the best models in the world, hands down.  If you wish to purchase a print of it or any of my work, click HERE.  To the person who sent the anonymous  letter to my blog,  Tilly owns 50% of all the model work that she has ever done. She was very smart in making this part of her contract with each photographer she has done work with throughout her career.  If you read the news release that is posted on my website under "Media" you will see that she made a news release to CNN stating that I am to be the last person she will ever model for and gave me full rights to all of her photo's that I could use. Seriously, you should worry about your affairs instead of mine. 

     Normally I would be further along with a painting by now, but lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting and learning. I have found that with the decisions I made concerning my career that I am able to approach everything differently. I don't have to be in a rush or a panic to get a piece done. I can take the painting at whatever pace I desire. My goals now are simply to do Print work and that is very different than Illustration work. I sell very few prints of any cover or interior assignments I ever did for any publisher, but the pieces I do simply for the love of it sell very nicely and give me a good life.
     Madison got me a nice Treadmill for Valentines day.  I am so thankful for that. I have wanted one for a few months now, but I have had to put buying a lot of art stuff first. I was going to the gym for a while there, but that just became to time consuming each day.  Now with the Treadmill here and weights as well, I can workout every morning before my shower and then I can get straight to work.
    Speaking of work, I am finding myself in a new frame of mind, or a new challenge? I am trying to take my work from being Illustration to being art. I will always paint "Dark" things.  That is who I am, but I am wanting to take my work to a new level and a more expressive and skillful one. I am going to say something now that will probably upset some of you, and for that I am sorry.  Over the years there are artist that I have watched to see how they progress.  A lot of them are friends and a good many are just artist I run across frequently, but what I am seeing is going against what I have said and thought in the past. I have always believed that if you really work hard at your chosen field that you would constantly grow and improve. I am backing up on that statement now. Most all of my friends I see growing and improving. They where born with the gift and it is obvious, but their a lot of people that have some talent but it is not growing. I am not sure why.  Could it be that they feel they know it all and have nothing left to learn? Is there a limit to talent?  Do some people get more than others?  If so, that is so unfair.  Is it the same with writers, musicians, actors and so on?
     I find it inconceivable that anyone would quit learning, especially now with so much information available to us all through the Internet. If nothing else the Internet has become the greatest tool for us all to learn, if that is what you desire. I can't imagine a day that I was not thirsting to learn new things. I get frustrated because I don't have more time to study and learn. I really kick myself for not taking school more seriously. But when your young..... you know. lol 
    I am not sure where I am going with this, but I am on a artist group and have been for many years. I rarely comment, but I do watch all the artist there as they post new works and I saw one yesterday post something new. I have been watching this artist for about 7 years now, and in all of that time, I have seen very little to any growth. It is very sad, so this has been on my mind.
    Time to get to work my friends, but I hope you will stop by the store and look at the prints we are offering. You can even get a Giclee if you want. Have a great week my friends, "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There are thorns.....

     Hello my friends.  I do apologize for the length between blogs this time.  The truth is I was going through a very difficult time because of depression. It seems that my life is so full of highs that I must suffer through lows as balance I suppose.  It is not something I like, but I don't know how to avoid it. I think this is true with most all creative people. Luckily these days I do have some real people in my life that know how to help me through these times.  I wasn't so fortunate a few years ago. I will come back to this, but first I have some big news to share with you.
   There is no way you can work in the horror gender and not know who  April Burril is, or better know as "Chainsaw Sally" Guess what?
Did you guess yet? lol. Last week I got a "Tweet" from April and she said she would be interested in doing something together.  I gave some thought to it for about 2 seconds and wrote back to her and told her "Sure"  
April has starred in countless horror movies with various companies and she has her own web TV show going into its 3rd season and the list just goes on and on. Truly one of the legends of the business and One of the Best known Scream Queens in history. So to say I that I am truly honored that she likes my work and wants to work with me is the understatement of the year. I am thrilled to tell you that we are going to do 2 paintings to start with. I will start on the first one in about 6 weeks. 
The first one will be a "Chainsaw Sally" painting, and the second one will be
a painting of April in one of her other roles.  I spent most of the morning going through tons of photo's of her to find the ones I think will be great for  paintings. Who knows, we could decide to do more than 2 paintings. Her husband, and the man behind "Chainsaw Sally" Jimmyo is quite the artist himself.
     A lot of really great things are coming up for this year and new doors are being opened for me and I am getting to work in new areas I have always wanted to work in, but never had the chance before. 
     The bad news is that I had to put the "Steampunk" painting I showed you last week on the back burner for a few months. I have several paintings to get out that have priority over it. I will come back and finish it though, no worries. I  got so bogged downed with doing the convention and then depression that I just ran out of time. It is a very detailed painting and is going to take about 3 weeks to finish and I just don't have time for that now.
    I have came out of the depression, but that lasted almost 2 months and now I know for sure that Madison loves me or she would have never been able to deal with me during that time. It looks like I have finally found the life mate meant for me.  So hear is the new painting in progress. I am still not quite done with the pencil work yet, but it is coming along very well. I should have this one done within 2 weeks.

    Once again, this painting features model and dear friend "Tilly Rivers" and yes, the same Tilly Rivers best selling author and super model. She has retired from modeling now, but has given me the rights to use all the photo's ever took of her during her career. So trust me, just the Tilly paintings are going to be awesome and will be featured in a book of there own somewhere down the road. I am hoping to do the same with Suzi Lorainne. I have used her in about 8 paintings now. It takes time, but the numbers and art do build up in time.
    The best part is my health has improved 1000% percent over this last year, and Madison is buying us a Treadmill for Valentines. I am so excited about that. I love doing the Treadmill.  I pretend I am a hamster and.... lol, just kidding my friends. But between that and the weights I bought a few months ago, I will be able to keep strong and not have to leave home. My time is priceless to me. I just don't have enough time in the day anymore. I try to take at least 1 hour at night for myself and watch my favorite new old show, "Two and a Half Men"  I so love DVR. It truly lets you live life more on your terms. For instance, I can watch my shows when I want to now, instead of when they come on.
    If you have noticed, the new piece is more like the old me, myself more so now than before. I kind of got away from the "Dark" work for a while there, and I think a lot of my depression came from that. I have already made up my mind to re-do "Dragon Mystress" for the 5th time now, because although most of you really liked it, I didn't feel like it has the dark edge I wanted for it, so i told Tilly I was redoing it, using the same pose. I loved her pose for it, I just didn't like the rest. Just a  note, Tilly and I are very tight friends. We really understand each other very well and are very much alike. We truly are "Kindred" 
    Madison and I both are very excited about her visit coming up in a couple of months or less now. We are hoping that George P comes up this way to do some photography as well. We have really become very fond of him as well. (He has the coolest stuff!)  I love for my other brother George to come for a visit as well. Maybe he can make it for the wedding.
   My friends, if you don't mind I want to talk about some "Sensitive" issues now. If you don't want to read about them, then this would be the time to say "Bye" until next week. There are 2 things I want to talk about, and both are very personal to me and to some of you I would imagine, especially the creative ones.
    The first is not a huge deal, but something I want to say to some of you.  I love everyone here, and yes I do mean even the "Old Friends" I don't consider you enemies or bad people anymore. I have grown up I suppose. My mind is always on the people I love and my art these days. I truly wish the best for you. If I write about something that is bothering me, please don't take it personal. If I was trying to attack you, wouldn't I say your name or point to your websites?  In truth, I have opinions, and I like any American am allowed to express them. I do apologize if you don't agree with me. I don't expect everyone to agree with me or accept my word as the gospel. So ease up and just do what you always do and be happy. I am not trying to hurt anyone. Just the opposite actually.
     Madison told me that when I tell you all about the things I have going on, that some of you may think I am bragging or worse. I assure you, that is not true. For those of you that have known me for a couple of years or longer now, know that I am like a big kid. I get excited when cool things happen, like the deal with April. It's like giving me a big piece of candy for doing well at my work. I just want to share with all of my friends. The people that love me and what I do. To me, it is like we are getting these cool things together and i want you to be part of it to. You have all encouraged me and believed in me that I just want you to fell like these are your blessings as well.  
     The other thing, which is much more serious, is depression. Depression will kill you if you let it and don't get a handle on it. One of the big things that had me in a depression was that, once again, I had found myself in a situation I did not want to be in. I found myself doing things that I did not want to do. I found myself letting other people tell me how to be myself. Madison did try to tell me this was happening, and like the hard headed man I am, I did not want to listen.
     Well, I got rid of those people, and I decided to go back to square one. This time I am not making no plans. I want to be like the dog that the "Joker" talks about in "Dark Knight"  When I do good and life throws me a bone, I want to enjoy that bone until the next one comes my way.  I just want to chase cars and see how many I can catch. lol Making plans concerning my art just doesn't work for me. I feel restricted or I feel like I am damning myself to a path instead of the whole field.
     So my mindset is now just simply to do what I feel like doing, and if I don't want to do something, I want. I will do my best to keep the blog regular (as far as being weekly) but I am not going to promise that. We'll just see how it goes and how busy I am.  I will continue to teach when it is possible, and I will keep working on the books and video's when I am motivated to do so, but not when I am not. I am going to be a free spirit and let the air under my wings take me to where ever it is the wind takes you.
     I know some of you may be upset about this decision, but those of you that really just care about me will understand and support my insanity. I will tell you this though, I have some really awesome idea's for some artwork, and this year will be very different from any other. You are going to see me expand into some new things more like art you may see in galleries. I am thinking that either this year or next I am going to start doing some sculpture work too. A lot of my friends are doing that and I am thinking I would really like to give it a shot as well.
     Well, I've rambled on long enough this time. I do hope that each and every one of you are having a wonderful and loving Valentines day as we are here in the "Rose Mansion" lol.  "May the Darkness Comfort You"

      Darn, I forgot. One of the big things that is happening is that I am licencing my art out to companies that make prints for me. You are now able to buy my work on canvas as well as paper and you can buy prints up to 5 foot tall if you want. They do every type of print of every quality of my work. They will even frame it for you if you want. It's not cheap, but I an not be doing "Cheap" prints anymore. I do art for a living and the people who buy my work mostly are collectors. I want to offer them high quality versions of my work. To go to this store, on the very top of the right hand column is the link to my business partners. There will be more coming soon. Places that you can buy T-shirts and all. Peace and Blessings.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back to normal, thank goodness.

       Hello my friends.  How are you?  I am doing much better now that I am home and able to focus on painting again.  I have been working on getting things to run so that all I have to do is paint and meet the fans of my work. I am hiring people to make all my prints for me from now on, and all the other things that we will have at the shows and on the website. This month, February, I am going to be focusing on finishing up a lot of loose ends, including business agreements, and just a lot of little things I haven't been able to get done yet.

        Here is  the latest painting in the under painting stage. I have changed up how I am doing that. Now I am under painting in oil with a equal mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Indian Yellow, and Alizarin Crimson.  I really love the look  and the warmth of the mixture. I learned this from Catherine Jones, one of my favorite artist.  This is something I have been experimenting with that really seems to working well to. Instead of using just linseed oil  as my medium for the under painting, I am using a mixture of 2/3rds of Liquid and 1/3rd Linseed oil.  This way, whatever I am painting will be dry by the next morning. The linseed oil makes the Liquid nicer to work with. I don't use this once I start adding color. At that point I use just Linseed oil. I don't want the paint to dry so quick.

       A lot of artist under paint with acrylic paints and then paint over that with oils. I was taught to do that as well. But the acrylic paint is very flat looking when it dries, and now that there is a good medium to make oil dry overnight, it just makes sense to use oils for the under painting. It gives the painting a much richer quality visually.

     One the happy news front I was able to get a better and nicer drawing table than the one I  started with last year .  When I started working traditionally again, I had to buy everything all over again. I had a very nice drawing table, but that was stolen when I first moved to Michigan along with most of my art equipment. Thanks Scott.  So to get going I had to buy a cheap one, about 100 bucks, to start with. It worked, but it was small and very wobbly for a full grown man to work on.  But I am thankful for having it though, now I have given it to my future step daughter and started  a little studio for her. I even bought her a few hundred dollars worth of supplies to get her started. She is only 11 and showing some serious talent. Here is a picture of that table and here studio area. She is very excited about it, and I am to.

     My new table is make of glass and is very sturdy. I love the look of it and the feel. To an artist, or least me, that type of thing is important.  When I bought my easel, I did buy a very good one, because I knew I needed that more at the time. Now I am catching up and it is a wonderful feeling, especially knowing my art is paying for all of this, even the new Abney Park and Buck Cherry cd's I am listening to right now. Big Smile. ( I learned that Big Smile from buddy Tilly, lol)

    My goals for this year is to buy a second easel, because i want to start working on some gallery type of paintings as well as my Dark Illustrations. I want to expand my horizons as the saying goes. I also need a treadmill and a nice SUV for traveling in to all the places in North America I plan to visit. All I have to do is keep painting and I know I will be able to afford these things.  I also need to buy some racks and things to help my displays at the shows.
    I have been getting some more press this week. Liquid Imagination is running a new interview with me, and this is one of my favorites   I got to talk about some things I haven't been able to talk about before, except in Main Street Magazine and Prinkipria and also CNN (Canada News Network) did another write up on me that you can see here  and it features the Interview I did for my friends at Horrornet a few months ago.
   My friends, I need to get busy painting and from what I hear we are supposed to be getting a blizzard tonight and tomorrow. They are saying we could get up to 16 inches of snow. Wow. Hopefully it will be fun to watch.  Don't forget to click on the add on the right side down by the map so the shriner kids will get money to help their hospital. Peace and Blessings my dear friends. "May the Darkness Comfort you"