Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The next portrait in my series of watercolors is none other than the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. I think, Dali more than any other painter has influenced the way that I think as a painter or an illustrator. Well, pretty much any thing I do, that is. When I was very young, one of my buddies parents had a copy of Dali's painting the Bread basket, from 1926 hanging in their dining room. Of course, I had no idea that this was a Dali painting at the time, not even knowing who he was. But I do remember on many occasions just staring at it marveling at the odd texture of the crust wondering just what kind of bread it was. Later on I would find many similarities between that textured crust and the cliffs of Cadaques, which he had as a backdrop in many of his paintings.
Another early encounter with a Dali image was when I purchased my first book of the painter's works when I was about 19 or 20. On the cover was the painting Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate A Second Before Awakening (You just have to love the lengthy Dalinian titles!). Instantly I was taken back to a moment when I was very young. The tiger in the painting was used on a program when I saw the Shrine Circus at old Olympia Stadium in Detroit years before. That exact tiger leaping forward. I doubt that he ever gave permission for its use, but yet another unknowing Dali encounter.
So, fast forward to my early twenties and completely absorbing as much as I could about Dali's life and works. These were exciting times for me. I spent much time exploring the possibilities of surrealism and symbolism, which Dali was actually a painter of, especially after breaking with the surrealist movement. He however remains forever their poster child. Paintings such as Autumn Cannabailsm, Meditation On The Harp, Millet's Architectural Angelus, The Spectre Of Sex-Appeal, The Anthropomorphic Chest Of Drawers, and The Invention Of Monsters challenged the way that I looked at art, including my own and the world. Beauty, horror, madness and genius all wrapped into one.
To this day I am always revisiting his works recharging my surrealist batteries and always rowing through some dreamscape or another.
In the above watercolor I chose to depict Dali as a young man wild-eyed and with a delirious future ahead of him.
If anyone is interested in any of these portraits they are available for purchase through the River's Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Allen Park Masonic Center
22347 Ecorse Rd.
Taylor, MI 48180
10:00 am to 4pm
Friday, March 16, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Anyways, on one such trip as I was using the bookstore as my own personal library I had stumbled upon a rather large volume of O'Keefe's paintings in the bargain book section. Now, paintings of flowers weren't my thing and still aren't, but her images weren't just about flowers. They said so much more. You can believe that she was painting 'hidden' female genitalia as some say or you can see something else, the way that she took rather intricate objects and simplified them using abstract shapes, while losing none of the details. I decided to investigate further and bought the book.
She capture the blue sky in my daydreams.
The top watercolor was my first stab at her portrait, but I wasn't satisfied with the results. A little too saturated in the face maybe. So, I redid her portrait a few days later and was happy with the results.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This time up, it's Abraham Lincoln. Now, I pretty much despise all politicians, even the ones that I kind of support, and I know it's so much easier canonizing someone from the past because one can just gloss over the ugly parts and focus on what they want, but c'mon, this is Honest Abe after all. There are a few Presidents throughout our history that I admire or just plain find interesting and Lincoln is one of those guys.
Other than being the guy that had the cahones to abolish slavery, I do feel that he was an honest man and did his very best to be the man of character that we all have seen him as. Character in the face of the slavers, the country embroiled in a civil war and being threatened with being split in two, and from what I have learned recently, battling an illness that probably would have killed him had Boothe not done the job. Compare photos of him early in his presidency to those right before his assassination and you can see that there was more going on their besides a stressful leadership.
We can learn an important lesson from Lincoln, one that he knew then. That America must stand as a union and not be destroyed by a minority or fringe opinion. We are so polarized in everything that we do, that maybe we should look back to this important time and try to see just what Abe knew was best for us and the world. It's important for a democracy such as ours to exist. We need to find a better way.
He seemed humble and had a sense of humor, as can be attested by the painters and sculptors who he sat for during his time. And as an artist, what a face to portray in paint and clay! The profile, his nose, those ears and that expression, and add in all the attributes that made him what he was, it all makes for an interesting subject.
Friday, March 2, 2012
The first 24 episodes are done and formatted and should be off to the printers very soon, so be on the lookout for the Muck Man comic!