Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So the most important tool in any artists arsenal is the sketchbook. A year ago I dedicated myself to study the human female form. here are the fruits of that labor.
In 2010 I promise more to come from this blog and me. Happy New Year!
Monday, June 22, 2009
-"...(a god outgrown becomes immediately a life destroying demon. The form has to be broken and the energy released.) -Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Trying to keep my prose simple like Papa Hemingway...
I am telling the story of Lord Lizard, the greatest hero of his age. His beginnings, his middle, and his end. Lizard as a character was inspired by one of the greatest role playing game experiences I had in college (BIG UPS TO UPTOWN SMCM 88-93) and the lizards that inhabit my parent back porch and the run-ins i had my years as a Professor with young men with issues with male authority figures.
Lizard is the son of Lord Sea Turtle and Lady Lizard. He is the most complete warrior of his time but is wounded by the absence of his father. Lord Sea Turtle died before lord Lizard got to know him, leaving a closer bond to his mother but the unenviable task of measuring up to something he knows only as hallowed legend. Lord Sea Turtle, He who rose from the Abyss and took the eye of Behemoth.
We live in an age where absent fathers have left young men searching for models of behavior in manhood. This story on the surface is about that conflict. This story is also about mythology and love.
His story is about his blood-bound brothers: LyonMane and Tapestry and the Pantheon brought together to battle Corruption, spawns of Behemoth and save the REALM.
I got Omni doing my computer coloring. Its on.
So keep your eyes open for Of Mythic Proportions:Extinction Coming to a computer screen near you... soon...
Friday, June 05, 2009
"He's got a big EGO."
I am ABYSS
the Potent Darkness.
With that declaration I summon Shazam-like energies from beyond, becoming the cool-ass Vampyre-Hunter, hitman, artist and explorer of the Carnal. I free Id to experience the madness, allowing the mind to turn i into to nearly coherent ART- (sorry , I forgot aspirations must be humble)-make that : nerly coherent art?
No. Let me reframe that. I am ALL of my imaginary friends. An Interesting conglomeration of personality behavior, stlye and narrative.
Abyss is Potential. Form recently coalesced from the Celestial Firmament(Read Genesis!) hungry for experience. Giddy with desire.
All things burst forth from nothing(or No-thing(read the Tao))which is the bridge to the DIVINE.
I sign my paintings Abyss because they are a product of all the disjointed chaotic emotional energy created by life experiences. My work is: biographic or critical or observational or narrative or magical reallism or figurative or structural or black... No! Wait! I meant to say and not or. AND. And my wiork comes from the drive to mimic the creative energy of existence. To make wher ther was nothing.
I AM ABYSS.
The Potent Darkness.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
So I'm job hunting now and have been forced to reflect on my teaching philosophy and artist statement. So here is a simple manifesto of what art is to me and how I approach teaching it learning it and doing it.
1. Art is communication.
2. Art is symbolic language.
3. Art is a process.
4. Art is seeing.
5. Art is mimicking.
6. Art is discovering.
7. Art is making/creating.
8. Art is change.
9. Art is Doing.
Structured and approached in this way...
Intention. Expressing "the Dream." Contains intellectual, emotional, psychological and/or spiritual meaning.
2. Symbolic Language:
Common ground between creator and viewer. A consistent structure. Translatable content.meaning.
A format showing an understanding of structure. An approach and command of composition. An application of technique according to desired outcome. Something repeatable?
Our common visual language is our shared visual experience. The discovery of meaning in observation. Always beginning with the big picture. Working to understand what is seen from General to Specific.
As an academic venture it demands the study of past techniques, themes, styles, and formulas. No reason to recreate the wheel or retread over a solved problem.
It is a process of self study. The artist works to find their own capabilities and limitations to discover a way to do what the artist wants to be able to do. The artist is always learning and is dedicated to repetition and research to know what to keep and what to throw away. In this journey the artist discovers or creates a Style.
A finished product. A body of work. To show stages of growth.
Mastering known techniques. Understanding and improving flaws in work. Finding new Themes. Abandoning what is unnecessary.
Ultimately the job of the artist is to create a body of work. The task of the artist educator is to guide the student artist working with the expectations of the teacher and admirers into the realm of intention. Evolving from the simple need to satisfy the desires and needs of others to commanding ones own talents and skills to satisfy the self without compromising craftsmanship.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Often students deep in the role of tortured artist will not turn in assignments. When asked what the problem was they say they have a terrible case of artist block and can't come up with good ideas or effective renderings. Of course thats bullshit. Not the inability to come up with ideas but, being unable to make effective renderings. Artmaking as a process is conceptual and technical. Concept deals with your intentions, the strength of your ideas you wish to communicate and I have found the more life experiences you have had the richer your conceptual landscape. You got more shit to talk about. The Technical aspect is the thing we can always do something about. If you can't translate wht is in your mind then excersize your muscles. And drawing is a muscle. Drawing or rendering from life is a skill you can improve.
I look at my mind as a compter with all this potential knowedge space. The more things you know the more things you have experienced the more things you can access to tell stories ( interesting or boring), negotiate problems, an yes draw pictures. So whenever a student says the can't think of nuthin' to draw I say draw from life, draw what i infont of you. if you can understand and master the language of the visual world you can create a language where your conceptual world meets the natural world or communal world. I took the last three years focusig on the female figure and styles in additiond to my other visual interests.
Once you findthe common visual lagauge you can play with it and evolve it. Playing with colorfields...
Or primary colors...
or complementary color relationships.
So draw something in front of you to improve your technique and turn natural ability to a powerful skill. Cause you gotta learn to mke correct sounds before you make sense. You got to understand what you see before you began making symbol marks.
Friday, February 20, 2009
The End. No not really just another line on he Rosetta Stone of my work. I'm gonna go back and clean up the page structure and lettering and let it rest as is. So please go back reread and give me a thought. i just wanna tell stories.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I ain't never finished nuthin' this big. My first mural commission, for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture in Montgomery AL. About eight feet tall and twelve feet wide, constructed from three wood panels.
"Here my dear"/Seeds of Change
My father, in one of our many deep discussions on manhood life and destiny, completed a heavy sessions with the directive: "You must leave a legacy, you must leave a monument of your passing." At the time I was in my mid-twenties and having reached a false sense of responsibility as well as a smug sense of enlightenment towards a life without hubris, i did not subscribe to the desire to be remembered. I lived in the immediate the now and reinforced the significance of that moment and those carnal and visceral impulses. More simply said i dismissed his words as vanity. I've grown up some and understand what he told me. He told me to aspire. Marvin Gaye once created an album as a stipulation in a divorce case, the proceeds from the album would go to his ex-wife. It is an ART album. it is exploratory. It is emotional. It is honest. Oh and it lies. And it tells. and it accuses. And begs. And it changes. And it forgives and it grows. And it hopes. But it does represent an ending of relationships. This is it for me and Alabama State University for the immediate time being so this is the mark of my passing. Listen to the first track on that album and that's the title.
Seeds of change relates to the student protests of the sixties in Montgomery and the involvement of people in the community as well as students, faculty and administration of Alabama State College. I include the photographs of many young protesters and students who are active and important citizens in Montgomery presently. The seeds of change are at harvest. Oh what a bounty.
NEXT: THE PROCESS