Saturday, November 5, 2011

Link Parade

Apparently people have had some serious problems distinguishing art from trash. It speaks highly of the profession, don't you think? Though I do wonder what possessed someone to clean an art piece.
This blog is amazing. It pokes fun at the wonderfully broken and awkward anatomy that plague breasts (and women in general) in comic art.

I do so adore Ursula Vernon.

James Caprell does abstract right, even if it is occasionally a little commercial. Iva Gueorguieva, however, does it much much better. I was blown away when I saw her work in person.

A friend of mine introduced me to Zdzislaw Beksinski. Wonderful, wonderful.

Ana Teresa Fernandez creates surreal photorealistic oil paintings.

One of my exes very much adored James Jean, and I am glad he did not ruin my enjoyment of him.

The Illuminated Silmarillion. Or, for those more traditionally minded.

Some ridiculously over ornate pistols.
I remember first seeing video of Tim Hawkinson's Uberorgan some years ago, but was recently reminded of it.

I've known about Jen Stark for awhile now, even before she was internet famous, as she is a semi-local artist.

A strong series of work by a teenage girl out of tokyo.

Diana Al-Hadid
is one of my favorite sculptors, and I have had the pleasure of hearing her lecture and seeing several of her pieces in person. She recently did a work with the USF Graphicstudio, which they talk a bit about here.

Here is a pretty intriguing photo project about familiar relations.

Adam Lewis does amazingly photorealistic 3-D renders.

Brent Stirton does some killer documentary photography.

Fascinating environmental paintings by Josh Keyes.

Ryan Shultz has a thing for drugs.

I want one of these.

Have I linked to Peter Callesen before?

God I wish I had the mind for detail that this man has. Along a similar vein is this.

This, on the other hand, is simply insane.

Michael Ezra makes some particularly nice nude photography.

How to make cheap, quick and dirty, studio quality product shots.

Allan Mailland makes me miss working with wood. Something similar, but entirely different, is Jennifer Maestre.

Katsoyu Aoki produces incredible ceramics work.

Michihiro Matsuoka, on the other hand, makes an entirely different kind of sculpture.

A new toy from our friends at Wacom.

In case you didn't know of it.

And because everyone should be reminded now and then of Andy Goldsworthy.

This is fantastic. There is some 3-D wallpaper by Trenton Doyle at Graphicstudio, but it ain't got nuttin on this.

Some pretty rockin posters and illustration, and here as well, and here too.

I find it interesting that some people still stand staunchly that there is a divide between "low art" and "high art" when I see any separation dissolving rather quickly. See: Mike Mitchell.

The Heilbrunn Timeline of History is a simply amazing resource. Please do take a look at it.

I am honestly surprised sometimes that the Skull-A-Day project is still running.

Recently I was told that some of my photos had read as too "graphic", as if that were in an insult. The same has been said of my drawings as well. But I do find myself really inspired by works such as this.

Amy Shackleton paints images entirely without the use of a brush, preferring to pour it straight on the canvas - but not in the way you'd think.

Maybe I should have taken that class in underwater basket weaving...

Paul Chiappe does some great work. I am reminded of someone else, but the name escapes me...

Deserts made of meat. Simply lovely.

I was originally going to just link to Jaime Pitarch, but really all of the featured artists are quite good.

I am not sure what this is, but I like it.

Is it wrong that I like this guy's sketchbook more than his illustration?

I want to know more about this artist.

Henry Justic Ford illustrated many of the fairy tale books I read as a child and has probably been a subconscious inspiration.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Become a Better Artist (Without Making Art)

Forgive me if this goes astray a little, I transposed and updated a list I made some time ago while dreadfully sick. I still think the information is useful, though I might have to do some editing later to streamline the experience.

How to Become a Better Artist
(Without Making Art)

or How to Supplement Your 10,000 Hours

Look at art, collect art. Be involved in art. Surround yourself with it. Go to shows, browse galleries online. Talk art, live art, breathe art. Immerse yourself in it.

Read about art. Fuck it - just read. Reading has been shown to quantifiably increase IQ and strengthen vocabulary, and it is known that success as an artist is directly correlated with general intelligence and breadth of knowledge. Artists, when taken in general, are perhaps less well read than other academics, but successful artists have been shown to one of the most highly versed sub groups. I'm not making this up. There is nothing but benefits for the well read mind. Another benefit has to do with intuition – the more you have filed away in your subconscious, the more you will be drawing from when your background processes start chugging away or you slip into “the zone” and start hammering out that piece you are enthralled with. If you only know three things, then all of your work will consist of those three things in various forms. If you know the world, you have the world at your disposal.

Seriously, read.

Study the masters, learn your art history. Learn where you come from, both to increase technique, gain inspiration, and just to see where you are coming from – and thus where you might be going. And never forget: one source is plagiarism, many is inspiration.

While you're at it examine in detail color theory, typography, layout and design. Spend some time learning the psychology of art, even dip into advertising.

Learn a little about post modernism. That's sort of the thing that's going on right now. You don't have to live by it, but you need to be aware of it.

Think about things that inspire you. Why do they inspire you? Really start to examine yourself as an artist and ask yourself the important questions. Why do you make art? Why do you work the way you work? You might learn a bit about yourself and it might further your development in unforeseen ways.

Investigate the world around you. Be an observer, do some people watching. Really dig into the minutiae of life. Go on trips, to foreign countries or just around the block. Just try to see things in a way you've never done before. Don't be a passive observer either, really actively involve yourself in the act of viewing, do it consciously, not just as a back drop to your other activities. A beginning artist is often told to look more at the model and less at his sketch pad, we need to learn how to see and not just look.

Do brain expanding exercises. There are a variety of these and many are easily found online with a quick search. Things such as drawing with your left hand or doing a blind contour drawing (I know, I know, that's making art and I am totally cheating, but I doubt it will be anything to write your mother about, and plenty of them don't involve a pad and pen).

Introduce yourself to things you don't know, and maybe don't even necessarily like. Not just art, but in a variety of media including music, books, and movies. If you don't like it, really chew on it and try to decide why you don't rather than dismissing it automatically. Either way, learn from it.

Collect materials that inspire you. Like a raven with shiny baubles, surround yourself with things you find interesting. These could be items you find inspirational, items that you want to use in future projects, or simply be fun to look at. Hobbyists are adept at this and often contain full rooms of odds and ends (not that you need to go this far). If collage appeals to you, collect discarded magazines, if sculpture is your thing then help that local demolition site discard of a few choice materials. They won't miss them. Good sources for discovery include swap meets, garage sales, and flea markets, but don't think too highly of yourself to go sorting through someone's trash to find that astounding thing you never knew you needed. Of course this includes more “mundane” things like paintings and paintbrushes, or just news clippings, colored paper and photos. Even just a recollection of patterns or prints is useful to many artists, as are things pulled from nature.

Be open to new experiences. If someone offers you an opportunity to embark into the unfamiliar, by all means take it. Each new outlook enhances your internal “palette” of experience that you can later draw from to create your works.

Create a space you feel comfortable working in. This is really important for some people. It might be hard to work crammed into a corner with your flatmate's kegger going on around you, but then again, maybe it wouldn't be.

Make friends with artists. Peer groups are invaluable, as is honest critical discussion. If your friends are too caring to really dish it out, find someone who will. Also, like all things in life it helps to do your networking.

Always, always daydream and keep those thoughts circulating in your head. Seek out ideas and concepts, not just hard facts. Philosophy and the intellectual have been mothers to art since time immemorial and their influence only seems to increase as time progresses.

Never give in to your fear. You don't have to impress anyone, no one starts out a prodigy. Failure is needed to grow and learn. Just keep on going.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


So I have some new work! This isn't all I've been doing lately, but it's certainly a lot easier to share (and is actually complete). The series is tentatively titled "Something Borrowed, Something Blue". I sort of wanted to have a conversation about gender roles, specifically concerning ideas about things like chastity and female expectations. I think though, I will let the work speak for itself:
Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Re-post from Facebook, Dec. 3, 2010:


To "fix" a photo has different meanings. When we still operated in darkrooms we would use fixatives to stop the paper from further developing, we would “fix” the image to the paper.

We also get rid of problems, we edit and repair and clean and touch up. We fix things. Photographs are an imperfect documentation of reality, distorted by the subjective view of the photographer. Regardless of intent they ascribe their own beliefs and understandings, their own vantage points, to the work. They choose, cut, crop, and decide from the beginning at what they point their lens. This idea is nothing new or unique, many have spent decades addressing it, such as artist and writer Allan Sekula, along with any number of art critics.

The photograph does and doesn't lie, it is high art and the basest form of art. Even in hard journalism we “clean” and correct, or outright mislead. The famous photo of the Kent state killings exists in two forms, one of which shows a poll behind a crying woman, bisecting her head. In the other, it has been removed for simple aesthetic reasons. To speak contemporarily, Reuters released an obviously doctored image of smoke over an Iraqi city, in another missiles are duplicated. There are questions about placing objects in situ and using what accounts to models to add planned grief and humanity to war photos. Most recently they came under attack for selectively cropping images released involving the Gaza flotilla, drastically changing the message and impact. Cropping is understood to be almost negligible as far as photo editing is concerned, but can have a profound affect on image. A photo represents a reality, it is a document, a moment in time, and here we are fixing our photos. Fixing reality.

There is another definition of “fix” that I did not mention before. When an athlete cheats a race, or an accountant fudges the numbers, they are “fixing” the results. A fixed race is one with predictable and exploited outcomes.

Photography, you see, is almost inherently a fixed result.

Space Cadet

Re-post from Facebook, Nov. 10, 2010:

Space Cadet

Where are you coming from? You yobs and hipsters right? Street art and DIY? Where is MY movement?

We embrace and denounce consumerism and kitsch simultaneously, us fucking hypocrites. We're so cool, so cool and pretentious and god damn hypocrites. Don't get me wrong, I'm one too. But we aren't that talented. I mean, everyone is talented nowadays. We love this democratization of art, but it leaves you without anywhere to put your feet down. You see, there are factories in China where they remake masterpieces over and over again without a thought. With billions of people and global communication, skill isn't hard to come by. It's absurdly Dadaist, if you think about it. Actual production is replaced by the abject and subjective. We sell ideas nowadays, that's where the money shot is. Suck it down, humanity!

So what about us. We are the pulp children, lost in space, but the great unknown has all been done before, and fuck all covered in ads and bottled and sold to us in tiny easily digestible chunks. We don't have a way left to rebel, we sell sensational because we were raised to feel sensational and nobody even looks at us. The more I look for the edge of the horizon, the more educated and worldly I get, the further out it goes, been there, done that. So where do we go but outward and up anyways, all the same? Have to go somewhere.

We are the space cadets, untethered out there. We can't give you any answers you haven't already heard. Just our own imperfect and obviously flawed subjective opinions. I don't really want to say it all over again, but I can't sit back and not speak. Because I'm a fucking artist.
God damn it, why did I have to be a fucking artist?

Yeah yeah, I'm not dead of course. Still no spiffy new site though, sorry to say. My resident code-monkey and I both got swept up in a new project:

Not that I have been sitting on my laurels. I have been busy documenting work, old and new, some of which needed to be re-digitized after an epic hard drive loss some many moons ago. I am sure you are now all going, well, WHERE IS THE CONTENT?

Yeah, you wish.

Have some random sketches, doodles, and artistic debris:

[Old irrelevant link]

Link Parade

So let's do some Hyperrealism (for example, the above painting, shown next to it's artist). If you are reading my blog you probably know that hyperrealism is simply the kind of work that one might mistake for the real thing. Realism to the extreme. A variety of artists and examples can be found on this blog.

Dru Blair is known for his photorealistic airbrush techniques, mostly of military based paintings.

Speaking of realism, Glico decided that they would just create their own pop idol.

Daniel Kornrumpf extends photorealism to the realm of embroidary

I am currently being thrilled by the works of Stephan Balleux, the artist "hi", and Pat Perry.

Jeremy Geddes, on the other hand, can have my children.

Daniele Denero made some architecturally based sculpture pieces using paper and mold.

Paul the robot draws portraits with varying success.

So there is a pretty awesome video that shows a collaboration between artists Supakitch and Koralie - a French street art duo who recently got engaged. You can find more at Supakitch's site as well.

I am sort of in love with Gregory Euclide's Held within what hung open and made to lie without escape. It is featured in the show "Otherworldly" alongside the godly Canal Street Cross Section.

Art collective "Dorothy" seems to be producing some interesting stuff, I like their Casualties of War in particular.

A very silly book of poetry and art from 1917, "How to tell the Birds from the Flowers".

Kevin Van Aelst

Diego Fernandez has some pretty sweet paintings
that remind me a bit of one of my favorite artists, Audrey Kawaski.

Shea Hembrey gives a talk on TED about how he became one hundred different artists for a project he created.

Thomas Hirschhorn created a gallery sized exhibition/installation piece that I absolutely adore called "Crystal of Resistance" for the Venice Art Biennale, 2011. Some more art from the Biennale can be found here.

My cross-country friend and artist Matthew Borgatti has a few blogs and many many projects. You can find his main site here, his tumblr here, and his storefront here. Go to them.

David M. Buisan makes some nifty illustrations, particularly of hipsters and the like, as does Sam McKenzie.

Wall Painting in France.

An interesting video, "Symmetry".

A photoblog devoted to urban decay.

Some fine examples of Moleskine art
. I might need to buy another one myself soon enough, mine is almost full.

It's not the first of it's kind, and in fact I used to use apps like paintchat all the time, but here is FlockDraw, which allows you to use a mutual drawing board with your friends. It also allows you to use your Facebook to login.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Copper Prints

Click through to view the gallery. Contains classy ass male nudity.

So apparently I can scan these things. Who would have known? I did end up putting a tiny scrape on my scanner glass, which makes me a little unhappy, but life goes on, right? The scans, of course, are NOTHING compared to the real deal, which are reflective shiny multi-layered goodness. Some people have used the term "holographic" in an effort to try and pin the effect down, but I am not so sure how to describe it myself. It just makes me happy

These are prints of one Gordie Parham, a very pleasant model to work with. They were created using Black Magic Liquid Emulsion, painted onto copper plates and exposed in a darkroom using digitally created negatives. The various forms of degradation and distortion, I think, really contribute to the work.

The original black and white images that I used to make these, as well as the rest of the pictures from that set, can be viewed here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

They say art is suffering, right?

This links to an album in Picasa. Not sure if I like the service or not yet, we will see. I never got around to making proper scans of this series, and I am sure a lot of you have seen them before - just, with much worse quality. This is a set I did for my Drawing II final. It deals with my genetic condition, Fibromyalgia, which I have here anthropomorphized with the plague doctor characters. I didn't want pity, rather I was seeking to express the best I could something that most people could not see or understand. I don't know why I chose to make 20 self portraits at this particular point in my life, with the shape I am in, but then again, maybe that's why I did it at all.

One thing you can't get a good idea of is how they look altogether, unfortunately, with their mismatched colors and occasionally frayed edges. All of the paper was stained by hand using various methods, and the whole thing really pops when hung up nice and pretty.

Monday, June 13, 2011

via Jack Crossing and a little help from TinEye.

I've always sort of loved this dude, even if he is super popular on the internets.

I can't remember if I posted about Junk Culture before. It's pretty great, though.

Victoria Reynolds sure knows how to handle meat. Check out the other artists at the gallery, too.

Recently Pale Horse Gallery in St. Pete had a pretty big reception I am sorely sad I missed. It featured live painting by local artists Bask and Allen Hampton. I really like the work that Hampton creates using his own blood.

I found this wonderful woman through Bask's site. She makes me want to give up on art, truly.

I can't give up too quick though, because I really want to check out some of the Florida Hackerspaces.

Whelp, that's all for now, kids, see you next time around.

Alternative Processes Photo

So last semester I took a class on alternative processes in photography, basically work with painted on photo-sensitive emulsions and the like. It was a terribly large amount of fun. Anyway, I was super lazy and just got around to scanning the bastards. Click on any image to open it full-size.

This is the first picture I created using the cyanotype chemistry. It's a very simple contact print, as are the next two (one of them using a different formula, thus the different tone). After that point we started using negatives printed on transparency film.

The negatives I used were actually old images I had lying about that I thought would be interesting for the process. The first came from my Object shoot, the other is of my old roommate in downtown Tampa... I actually printed this in reverse, by accident. Easy mistake.

The next process we worked with was Van Dyke, which yields that lovely brown. I experimented more with the brushing and application of the emulsion this time around, and frankly I adore the results. With the Van Dyke in some cases I took images originally on 35mm film and enlarged them for use in contact printing using litho-film. I think the litho images are much crisper than those made using the digital prints, but I don't think it's impossible to get the same results with practice.

The incorrigible Zillah, of course. Oh yeah, NUDITY. I guess I should have had some forewarning or something? Nah...

This is actually a happy accident. A piece of litho-film was accidentally exposed by two of my other negatives and some random things in the lab. I decided to actually make a print with the result, and I love the way it turned out. So much of working with processes like this is straight up experimentation.

Speaking of experimentation... For all I know, this image is unique in the world (well, I mean, other than being a unique print). It was originally a cyanotype image that turned out too dark. I coated it with the Van Dyke chemistry and re-exposed it (all these processes work by exposing the coated paper to sunlight with a negative placed on top, everywhere the light hits becomes dark). When I first pulled it from the wash I was ecstatic, the colors were to die for, but it darkened OBSCENELY during the dry down process. I didn't feel like writing it off as a loss, so I asked around and got some ideas. I acquired some potassium ferricyanide, which is used as a bleaching agent in silver print photography. Now, cyanotype is not a silver process, but the van dyke is, so I figured it might prove interesting. What you see above is the final, ghostly result.

Last but not least were the palladium prints. As the name suggests, instead of using silver (the standard) these prints are made with palladium. I had the most difficulty with these, of all the processes, mostly because the printer didn't get along with me when I tried to create the negatives. This work is actually, conceptually, about my father. The images at the top are images he took of my mother in their old home, and the ones at the bottom are mostly of the medium format camera he used to make those negatives. Make of it what you will, I like to leave things open ended.

A Fresh Start

So I am reacquisitioning my old blog to be a full on art blog. I decided to keep a lot of the old posts because, well, they are interesting. Feel free to rifle through them, and you can hopefully expect more of the same.

You see, I feel like a lot of the content I have been making lately has been lost to the winds in various locations, and that perhaps it might be better to consolidate my efforts in one place. I am currently working on making a new and improved spiffy shiny website, so there is that to look forward to. I need to borrow a camera and do a lot of proper documentation of the masses of work that have built up in my apartment, and of course nail out some graphics and all those other lovely technicalities. But the drive is there. And that's what matters, right?

Anyway, this blog is now the intended companion piece for that site. I make a lot of art, and perhaps not all of it needs to be on a clean structured, look-at-me-I-am-oh-so-fancy portfolio site. The rest of it will probably sink into the archives here, but at least will be accessible for those curious enough to go digging.

And let's get to it!