These are a few 5″ x 7″ doodles on hard board. These works, among others, were presented to my brother in Texas as a Christmas present this year (we met them halfway in Oklahama City yesterday and drove all the way back last night getting home around 1:30 am – fyi – If you are looking for 435 in Kansas City, DO NOT TAKE 135 after the toll booth – take 35 instead! Also, there’s a nice little connector off of 435 that will let you hook over to just south of the Independence Mall that we found for the second time on accident last night – nicely done happy accident since that saved us some time – hard to miss that connector since it veers off to the right so it’s really an exit but seems to not be). Any work that is ‘from the imagination’ instead of depicting something like an illustration or drawing from life, I consider a “doodle.”
The color ones are mainly color pencil or color pencil sticks. The white one is china marker. There’s also a little China marker in some highlights on some of the color ones since I like to use china marker and prismacolor color pencils as top layers to add extra ‘punch’ to Crayola and Roseart (cheap color pencil) underlayers that get worked and reworked over and over. The white of the china marker can’t be beat nor can the pigment in the Prismacolor for the final touch.
Many artists use Prismacolor only and never use other brands. I think that’s just wasteful spending since Prismacolor color pencils average about a dollar a piece and on some really layered works I can rework an area enough to burn several pencils on one drawing sometimes. For underlayers expensive pigments in Prismacolor is not needed if you are going to work, re-work and then re-work again a few hundred times as I like. It is a nice touch for top layers, but for underlayers, it can get very expensive very fast for something that I’ll just essentially erase away and smudge to death so that the pigment itself isn’t visible anyways as it gets coated by layer upon layer of wax with more new layers on top.
In the upcoming year I plan to create many more 5″ x 7″ works. I love this size since it’s exactly twice the size of traditional “art cards”, exactly the same size needed for postcards or framed reproductions, and is just right for travel or hanging in a home vs larger works that work better in galleries that have tons of wall space.
I’m also starting to experiment a little bit with mixing color pencils and oil pastels with encaustic painting (wax painting that basically mixes oil color with a mixture of bees wax, paraffin wax and some manmade waxes to add more durability as bees wax and paraffin are both extremely brittle under certain conditions). I’m not sure I can do much with it since the encaustic doesn’t take the color pencils too well, but if the color pencils are the lower layers it might lead to some interesting potential as the encaustic can be layered three dimensionally much more than flat color pencils can by themselves.
I probably don’t have enough room for it now where we are currently located, nor will I for the next few years, but I’ve always wanted to experiment with mixing plaster sculpture and encaustic painting techniques someday. That’ll be many years down the road though. This upcoming year I really want to focus on the 5x7s and really ‘learn’ all the techniques and tricks I can about working on these small panels.
Got off of the workouts a few days the last few days and didn’t watch carb intake either. Going to try to get back in to it going forwards… Anyways, since it’s Memorial Day, here’s a video from this memorial day and one from last. If I remember, I’ll try to take one every year to show progress because I DO PLAN TO GET TO MY BMI GOAL WEIGHT BY AGE 45!!!
Memorial Day 2013:
Memorial Day 2012:
Today is my birthday and I’ve decided that it’s time to restart the daily workouts after this weekend. I’ve had enough time to rest and recover after the surgery a couple of months ago. So.. here’s a new ‘before’ video…
Weigh in 2/8/2013: 277.5 lbs.
Here’s a couple of Birthday Self Portraits. Many other artists do annual self portraits on birthdays, and I started this little tradition last year, so figure going forward I might try it more often.
The self portraits got me thinking about things so I started some photo self portraits shortly after that…
The hernia issue happened October 29th, 2012. I overdid it on doing a Power 90 workout. Up til that point in time I was using 10 lb weights on each arm for most of the exercises. On that day I upped it to 20 lbs on each arm for the exercises, with was just too damn much… so I got hit with a hernia and had to have it repaired with a surgery. The doctor said that it was an odd type of hernia unlike one he’d seen before because it wasn’t a tear all the way through. Instead a very long piece of fatty tissue had essentially come out from the back area up through where it should not be and the overdoing it caused that to just strain all of it much worse than it should have been which caused the surgery to be needed. The surgery was in the early part of December and I was out of work a couple of weeks to recover from that. Then I went to work about a week and half and was on a scheduled Christmas vacation that was planned before the surgery thing came up… I kind of have not gotten in to the working out too much since then. I tried a time or two to do some of the workout videos, but the strain on the area where the surgery was for some of the kicks, crunches, etc. was just too much at the time. I am hoping that I’m now ready to re-start fresh now that I’ve had another few weeks of down time that I have not been doing much exercise.
Past videos and weigh ins on the weight loss journey up til this point in time:
I went up above 290 since the ‘rest’ I had to take to let the stab wound heal was days I gorged and ate extremely badly. That was a HUGE setback!… Hopefully junk like that won’t cause me to have setbacks again in the future.
Video of ‘The stab wound’ the monring after it happened. Sorry for the crappy video quality. I was using a low resolution webcam since it was the only video recording device I had available on that day. I accidentally stabbed myself with a steak knife while doing dishes. It was in the rack drying with the point up, but our sink is very small so I just moved wrong while washing a dish and accidentally the knife went right in. I bled a ton when it happened. Very scary situation since Tekla was not home when it happened. Very hard to hold the phone and call 911 when one of your arms has to hold a towel to stop blood and the other is bleeding like crazy.
May 28, 2012
Weight Chart prior to the videos:
Just as a reference for this old chart…
135 kg = 297.624 Lbs
130 kg = 286.601 Lbs
125 kg = 275.578 Lbs
The chart sort of outlines my ups and downs… The time when I was at the heaviest was a very dark time. It seemed like death was everywhere I looked.
I think I was in a pretty deep depression at the time due to many family deaths those few years and various economic problems, as well as a lot of stressful political bullshit at work… One of my coworkers quit/got fired in a big huge spat that happened after several months of building up to it. They fought her getting unemployment checks, and that all ended us all in a courthouse type of setting in Jefferson City… one of the most nervous days I’ve ever had… It was a big fiasco. I’m not sure if she ever got her unemployment or not, or if she sued in a real lawsuit or not like she was planning to do… but anyways, in some of it I had to get sworn testimony in there about how the Associate CFO, who was sort of the head of our area had pounded fists on a table in a meeting a few years prior to this in some heated contractual negotiations, etc. (she was trying to argue something about a hostile work environment, etc.)… A few months after that whole fiasco, I was told that there just wasn’t room in the budget for me any more, and I was ‘reassigned’ to another department.
There was quite a bit of hostility in myself after that retaliation for speaking up… which is exactly what I still think that was all about… add in that type of getting pushed around to depression, etc. and with my personality being to overeat when feeling down or nervous, and it was just a horrible situation all around… I was a walking time bomb and heart attack ready to hit. Luckily, my rationale side, and amazing better half kept me sane during these insane times – so I didn’t buy up big bulks of fertilizer to use as a weapon of mass destruction, and stuck with causing havock in video games like Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, San Andreas, various old NES games, etc. Entropia Universe, the video game, was a part of the depression, etc. as you can read about in my other blog as the developers in that game love to make promises they can’t and just won’t keep… and the love to break expensive items and estates in game that you pay for with real cash after you pay for it, sometimes for months, or years (taming still isn’t back since version update 10, etc)… However, even despite all the bull shit with that game, it was something I had some control over in my life… sort of this little escape from reality that was always there since I started playing it in 2007. There was some documentary on Eminem I watched on youtube the other day that talks about how his alter ego existed vs his real name use because it was this sort of alter ego he went in to deal with reality sort of and have control over… the documentary said that lots of folks that grew up in some conditions similar to his had the same type of issues sometimes. I think my avatar in Entropia has sort of turned in to that type of alter identity for me. I guess, like Neverdie, I am my avatar.
(note – blog link in above paragraph is now on a private blog, so it won’t work… new blog for entropia can be found at https://entropiascams.wordpress.com/ – I had to start the new blog and make old one private (although backup does exist in xml file that you can find a link to over on the new blog if you use a password in one of the posts over there… hint: password is a simple name that most folks that have played entropia a long time should know… it starts with an M and ends in an O… 🙂 ))
(August 2015 update on the job issue… currently working as a Dual Rate First Responder/Security Officer at the Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville, Missouri. I’ve held this job less than a month so far. Before that I was only a Security Officer a few months, and prior to that worked as a Steward at the Casino. I have a few updates to resume still needed.)
I have grown to love my new job… so sometimes the God(s) do have a plan. I actually kick ass at work now since I’m 3000% hyper focused. Also, I don’t have the constant man hating bullshit that I had to experience daily in my previous department. At one time back then my Supervisor back then actually hung up the phone and outloud gabbed about how the problems they were having was all his fault because he was a man. It was highly funny/ironic/sad at the time because the only other guy in the area we worked in and I had to go to a human resource training session the day before that talked a lot about how sexual discrimination was so bad to have in the work place, etc. In that department, at least at one time there was a massive amount of sexual discrimination of men in the department was happening by the female supervisor and boss… All the while chitty chatty brown nosing gossipy bitch who sat in the cubicle next to mine got a raise. They never really did this discrimination stuff openly. What they’d do is this stupid crap of creating a new position that did the exact same job of who they wanted out… then after they purposefully got the job duties overlapped enough they’d assign the old worker they wanted out the bullshit jobs like manually closing out 50,000 or so accounts in a huge database where a pulldown menu had to be selected to close it, and this backlog of unclosed visits existed because the brown nosers never did their job but did a good enough job of hiding that fact until months later that they were never reprimanded… and then after assigning the crappy job they’d say that due to the overlapping of duties, there just is no need for the person that was there longest, etc. It’s all political bullshit…
However, luckily the new position I’m in now has much less of that type of stuff going on. For the first time in my life I work for a Department Manager that actually gives a damn about what her employees think! Just the other day I had an hour long meeting with supervisor and department manager just to discuss a handful of emails I’d sent where I explained some concerns I had about processes in the office that I didn’t agree with. At no other job I’ve ever had in the past has anyone ever taken the time to care that much… That’s an awesome feeling. It’s nice to have control over your own real life world a little, and have coworkers that actually care about what you have to say and think. Also, even though I do have to listen to some coworkers and their phone conversations nowadays, it’s nothing like the hateful bullcrap I used to have in my old department where the brown nosing bitches like to slam phones down after the call, call names to the other party after that, and then repeat back the entire conversation they just had voicing out loud with as much hatred as possible why the other party was wrong, on every paragraph in the conversation, EVERY time they take a call or make a call, either on the office phone or on their own private cell phone… That type of venomous poison is easily spread as it’s yelled out daily. Kinda sad to say it but it’s almost too bad that rattlesnake they found in the hallway outside of my old department didn’t find it’s way in the mail slots. Might have adjusted some attitudes in that area, but I doubt it would have done any good. Hopefully some of the self-loathing venom being spewed from that old office can recede from that area in the future as it really just causes endless cycles of negativity to draw itself in more and more daily…
Hopefully, as I continue down a healthy past in the near future, this control over my own life can only get better and better over time. We are now in the age of Aquarius. Enlightenment that was just beyond grasp is now within reach! 🙂 😉
http://sketchbookphotosshotjanuary2013.shutterfly.com/ – a few more photo of the sketchbooks taken today. I used the 1000 watt light (it’s really two 500 watt halogen bulbs) to light it. I think that helped the white get a bit more white than the last batch. This is a continuation of the sketchbook shot in the last batch and the start of a second one. These sketchbooks were mostly from college and a few years after that. Some of the portraits in them are actually of people I quickly did sketches of at various summer jobs during college, etc. I didn’t get a bunch done in this round of photos since that 1000 watt light is extremely hot. The wall near where the light was sitting as I shot these was still hot to the touch about 15 minutes after I turned the light off! I can’t do extended several hour long photo shoots with that light in that enclosed of a space. It’s too dangerous as a fire hazzard and also a danger on my health since it really drains me standing about two feet from that light as I shoot these sketches.
After I get a lot of these sketchbooks uploaded, I probably won’t do a bunch more unless I scan them or photograph them as I create them… something I didn’t do much in the past, which is why there’s such a big backlog.
I suspect a bunch of work in the near future will actually start digital and stay digital most of the way through since I recently got got an android tablet for Christmas and just in the last week or so installed Sketchbook Pro on it as an ‘early’ birthday gift. I’m starting to learn to love that app…
Notice some of the ‘yellow’ on the backside of the sketches… I suspect that ballpoint pen ink does that since it’s acidic even though the pages of the paper is non-acidic. Scary stuff. Makes me really glad that I’m actually taking the time to start shooting some of these before they decay even more in a few decades because of that type of thing.
I might crop some of them and put them here on the blog later. Some of them are multiples of the same image because I like to shoot several pics of one work and pick the best of them with fewest blurs, bad contrast, etc. for various things. I’m not sure – I may have scans of some of these somewhere in the blog already?… Oh well, multiple images of the same thing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Lighting was not very good on many of these… I was using interior lighting and that’s never good for shooting art. It’s too cold to go outside, and I don’t trust the wind outside when shooting photos of artwork on paper since paper tends to catch in the wind too easily. A few years back (a couple of months before we moved out of Boonville) I did try to shoot a bunch of artwork outside and a lot of it got caught in a big gust of wind. The same day a wind gust knocked over the tripod and busted the screw connector at the bottom of the camera that was on the tripod at the time. That poor camera finally died on me about a month ago or so… it’s had a hard life. I haven’t thrown it out yet in hopes that maybe it will get some life again someday… (I think something’s gone wrong with the battery connection or something).
Shooting photos of art is much faster than trying to scan them. I also scanned a bunch of my ‘morning pages’ today from the last year or so. I have not consistently done that every day, but there’s still a heck of a pile of paper. I probably won’t publish that to the public since there’s a lot of private thoughts on it… but might upload it somewhere secure for a backup like in email or google docs. Scanning those is not super time consuming since I’m going on very low resolution of 100 dpi or so for the scans since there isn’t any real big drawing/painting to it even if there’s a sketch or two here and there from dream scapes I tried to outline the architecture of, etc. Many of my dreams have a very architectural feel for them… various locations tie in together in various ways with hallways, placements of architectural elements, etc. It can sometimes get intricate in how I try to detail my ‘morning pages’/diary or whatever you want to call it because of that… Jung had archetypes. I have archetypes and architecture that those archetypes act in. All the world’s a stage…
1. Exercise Regularly, and avoid setbacks like the stab wound, hernia surgery, Bursitis, etc. from this year. If a set back does come my way, get back on course and stay on it with a quick recovery. (no more weeks off at a time). I’ll probably start light with once a day workouts. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the twice a day like I was doing before the hernia (which wasn’t technically a hernia, but was close enough that they had to do a surgery). I probably won’t keep up the 1000 day tracker thing any more since that is ultimately still the goal, but tracking it puts too much stress on myself (might be part of the reason these set backs came about? The UNIVERSE/Subconscious/Collective Subconscious/Gut Feeling is telling me that’s not the right way to do it. I still will track things, just not exactly that way)…
I DO PLAN to still eventually get to my goal BMI weight over the course of roughly 1000 days or a little over 3 years, regardless of if I’m tracking it or not. I HOPE that it won’t take that long… but if I do things slowly and only workout 20 or 30 minutes a day, I suspect that it might take that long or longer… the two a day workouts exist basically to increase the calorie burn per day to get to goal faster. Time-wise though, I’m not sure 2 a day workouts are really feasible… I might try walking on breaks at work again to help with that, but am not sure about that or not. ‘breaks’ exist to take a break and center/calm… adding more stress in the form of physical activity at those time might not be the best thing to do?…
2. Get back in to creating art regularly. This includes drawing and painting at the moment, both digitally, and on paper/board/canvas, etc. It might eventually include creating 3d models too, and probably will include photography, but only time will tell if those will be main focuses or not. I will likely have to fire up the ol laptop to get the scanner running again since it doesn’t work with this computer… However, instead of scanning stuff, I might try shooting it with a camera instead?… I’ve never done a very good job of shooting my works with a camera, in part due to lack of practice. Might have to change that?
3. Learn to play music. I’ve had this midi keyboard for years, but have never really learned to master it yet. I’m not just going to do midi though. This includes some other stuff too probably. I found this learn to play music app/youtube thing the other day – and so far it’s taught me that I have been playing wrong up til now since all the beginner books teach you the wrong placement of fingers… 12312345 is better than 12345. I’ve read/heard some interesting info about studies on how music can help those with Alzheimer’s. It helps them increase verbal skills/patterns, etc. I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s, but I do think that the more I get in to visual art, the more tendency that I’ll have to get some symptoms that are similar somewhat. It has to do right/left brain usage. The more I dig in to the visual pattern thinking mode, the more I start loosing memory due to loosing connections verbal pattern thinking mode.
If I study music and visual art simultaneously I’m hoping to overcome that hurdle because even though I think having memory loss, etc. is not a ‘bad’ thing, it is an annoying thing. It’s never good when getting so deep in to creating a painting/drawing that you forget where your keys are, forget pieces of conversations you just had 2 hours or less ago, forget where you placed some tool you just had in your hands less than 10 minutes ago, etc. In the past I’ve overcome that sort of thing by mentally just telling myself it’s ok… When it first started happening many years ago, it would freak me out big time, and I’d go on crazy panic attack induced searches around the area for those lost keys, tools, etc. til they were found. I learned that it’s not as important to do that the more that I studied/learned the connection between that sort of thing and right/left brain connections. However, I’m hoping that learning music can help that sort of thing just get bypassed… also am hoping that maybe it can help me stop the eventual possibility that I’ll actually develop true Alzheimer’s down the road as it does run in my family a little.
Learning to play music will probably include learning to do some remixing type of stuff, and possibly writing some music, etc. I’d love to be able to integrate visual and musical arts sometime down the road… but only time will tell how that will happen. I don’t necessarily like animation since it takes so many hours of work to get just a few seconds of results. However, I’m not going to limit myself and say I won’t do animation/3d type stuff. I likely won’t upgrade Lightwave though since it’s expensive. I might possibly try to learn blender, but that seems like a difficult task. Only time will tell what I’m going to actually do. However, I do know that I want to try to set aside some time to learn to create music before I try to teach myself to manipulate it as background noise for visual arts since that’s a skill I’ve needed to learn for a long time but never took the time to really master yet.
4. Eat Right. I’m probably going to try to do more of the ‘No S’ Diet… “No snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes – on S day(s).’ I’ll probably try to check sugar more regularly too maybe. I’m say maybe because the Doctor says that if I keep on track I probably won’t have to check it but about once a week or so… the trick is staying on track… it’s so easy to fall off track…
5. Write things down. I’m going to try to do ‘morning pages’ from The Artist’s Way again. I’ll probably also blog some since that is sort of similar to doing that. I will likely burn through a lot of paper, and it won’t all be on acid free stuff that will still be around after I’m long gone for many years as it will age and turn yellow, but that’s ok. I might also try keeping multiple notebooks to notate various things like I’ve tried in past years some…. I might get in to using sketchbooks more too, but we’ll see. I’m not sure I can afford to buy a ton of sketchbooks regularly, at least until after Tekla graduates from Massage Therapy school in about 8 months.
One poster in there indicates that he draws 4-8 hours a day. Currently since I’ve been focused on working out/loosing weight, I have cut back my own personal time to do art… but I want to get back in to it.
I also might possibly try writing during lunch/afternoon/morning breaks at work to make more time for ‘morning pages’ but maybe not… because I rarely have a bunch of free time at work even on breaks…between going up stairs, to bathroom, to cafeteria, then back down stairs, etc. there’s rarely more than 5-10 minutes of ‘free time’ during breaks… I could possibly get up earlier, but am not sure if that will work or not since plan of going to be bed at 10 only gives 7 hours max when getting up at 5…. been going to bed much later than 10 lately… one night during the weekend I was up til 2 AM I think… luckily next day I could sleep in since it was weekend… sleeping in on weekends is something I need to do away with eventually.
Goal for second month of the 1000 day challenge (which starts in two days on Wednesday) will be to do a second work out a day in addition to the one a day I’ve been trying to get in this first month. I originally was going to make doing the NO S diet the third month’s goal and possibly doing one page of ‘morning pages’ in the evening a goal for the month after that but may make drawing/painting the goal for the third month. I might try to do it some little bit during second month to get used to it more…. working it in might be tough but should not be too hard since I have all of my color pencils next to the couch now all organized by colors… light reds/earth tones, dark reds/earth tones, light blues, dark blues, light greens, dark greens, neutral/black/white/silver/gold, and yellows… I also have some room set up in the art/storage room on a few tables to do paintings/drawings… now just need to make the time.
Honestly, the first few weeks of the working out twice a day will probably be tough on me due to sore muscles/etc… so it’s probably a good thing it’s not the second month’s goal to draw/paint right at the first…
Now for the third month I need to think about how long to draw/paint… and how much time to set aside for each. Paintings typically take me a very long time to do since I’ll rework an area over and over and over and add new layers later, etc. then there is drying time, which for acrylic is not as long as with oil painting but it still is time…
In theory evening workout time should be from about 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm by the time I get shower etc. done. That leaves from 6:30 – 10:00 to try to work in some art, assuming Tekla and I are not spending quality time together, etc. 20 minutes of drawing, either in one session or like four 5 minute speed drawings mith work… maybe alternate between those two, and/or ten 2 minute drawings to fill the same space maybe… then after that 20 minutes go on to longer work.. either with acrylic or color pencil for an hour or three… and then 10 minutes or so cleanup time to get brushes clean, etc. might work. Not sure if I’ll be able to do that every night, but want to make it a goal to get to that level, give or take a little… and then work in art on weekends too. Saturdays being the ‘rest days’ on workouts should be best day for art in theory… but on Sundays being laundry day might be better as a ‘rest day’ instead of Saturdays since gym shorts can’t be dried so have to be hung dry, and are not always dry all the way through before I want to workout if I work out on Sundays… I alternate between shorts and then wash them at the week’s end so that way I don’t have to have a 6 or so pairs. I used to only use one pair but working out twice a day, that’s not acceptable since they are typically still sweat soaked by the time the next workout rolls around. I might need to buy more gym shorts with the next incentive money, if more comes in in the future… and also might get at least one more kettle bell set so that I can do two arm kettle bell workouts eventually, or so there will be one set for me and one for Tekla if we start working out at the same times regularly.
Right now, I’m thinking maybe 2 hour minimum of drawing after month 3 starts might be a good low aim, and any more than that is just nice little extra. that way I’m not kicking myself with negativity snowballs from hell if I don’t get in a full 3 hours a night…
Eventually I’ll need to get the scanner going again… laptop needs to be used for that since main computer doesn’t have a driver for it… laptop is on it’s last legs I think, but it is still useful for that and a few other oddball tasks that I don’t have drivers for on the latest version of windows… Just wish Linux, which is what I use on laptop, had a driver for US-RR 360 sound recorder… becuase i really don’t want to have to reinstall windows xp or drag out an old computer from storage that has it to be able to use the sound recorders again…
This image was one of the 3′ x 3′ works I did for my BFA show. This, along with the other images in the show were derived from dream imagery. I had started several dream journals in college, and the images for this show were painted versions of some of the images from those journals.
Capturing dreams in a journal is not always easy. I ‘cheated’ a little some of the time that I was doing these images since I had to come up with some of the dreams to put in to the paintings. I did this by sleeping with the lights on and covering my eyes when I slept, and I kept the sketchbooks and journals next to me within an arms length of where I was sleeping, and would start writing as soon as I awoken from a dream. Covering the eyes while the lights were one forced me to remember the dreams as I awoke when the light hit me eyes. However, I had to work quickly to put the dreams down in the book as quickly as possible before my conscious waking mind took over the subconscious train of thought and started putting too much ‘real world’ left brained stuff in to the images and cause/effect relationships and stories beyond what the dream actually contained that I was trying to capture. You have a very short span of time to do that sort of thing if you dream journal as the waking mind sort of takes over within 5-10 minutes or so after you wake up.
There is a lot I learned about dreams in doing this. My dreams are very much based on architectural ideas and archetypes. Many times multiple people in real life will join in to one being in a dream… creating a construct of sorts.. and these archetypes/constructs play roles. Dreams really do have a meaning and reflection that comes from the waking world, and there is a method to them. If you every try to dream journal, you can learn this methodology and the meaning behind the dreams. Most dream interpretation books are way off. It’s much much more personal than any of those can every really get to the real reality of because every person’s personal archive of images that they draw upon from their own waking lives is unique to them… I might make more posts about this in the future. There is a LOT to dream journaling.
For a while in college I was fascinated by the idea of driving and the metaphor of how the car becomes a part of one’s self – an extension of the inner self in a variety of ways. Much of my art since that time has revolved around the idea of the journey, and seeing the landmarks on the road we see daily both in cars and outside of them. Roads that parallel highways and exit ramps and overpasses – tunnels to new places, and exits and entries on the highway of life fascinate me both visually, spiritually, and emotionally. We are all on journeys every day. Do we take the time to see what we are passing or just let it pass us by?
This drawing was created in Missouri Hall at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. It was done for a drawing class. I was in to ‘role playing’ a little at the time. The figures in the background were playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I was halfway playing that too.. Needless to say the gaming group was not too happy that I was drawing while they were actively sitting around the table, lol. That was about my extent in role playing D&D. I never could get too much in to it. I hated that all of their books were so expensive and usually hard back while Palliadium books were usually 20 bucks or less and soft back, so much cheaper. That, and I just liked the whole playing in modern environment vs the old medieval ideas in D&D…
as far as the cracked mirror/split mirror idea goes, it’s something that’s a theme in some of my self portraits. It’s a visual metaphor that has a lot of different meaning.
I added the above youtube video to this post to help show the work in a way that is somewhat close to the setup it was originally intended to have. Unfortunately, I’ve never shown this work in a gallery or anything, so this was a quick video I took recently in 2014 before putting the work in to storage.
It’s hard to display this work for me due to the emotions involved… It’s difficult to talk about the work or think about it too much for lengthy periods of time because I begin to cry every time I think about it in too big of a segment of time. Many tears were shed during the creation of this artwork.
The installation is probably the biggest work of art that I’d ever attempted. I’ve been told that I try to put too many messages in to one painting many times, and this work is probably the epitome of that sort of thing. there was a lot going on. The work consists of 8 main panels, with the main images taking up two panels each. The panels are just stretcher bars with canvas attached, and they are connected with hinges. Each panel is approximately 3 feet wide x 6 feet tall, so the whole work, when all the panels are standing together is approximately 6 feet x 6 feet, and forms a sort of x if looked at from above. This is one of the few ‘installation’ works I ever attempted to create. I’ll try to add more images of this here in the future as I get more images uploaded to give a better idea of what it looks like from various angles.
Sorry if my rendering skills are not the greatest in the world. This work was created over the process of a semester in college, so I didn’t have an infinite amount of time to work on it. I could have reworked some of it later, but have chosen not to for a variety of reasons.
This work is a memorial installation that I created in honor of an uncle of mine that died due to leukemia several years ago. The reason, that our family believes, that he got leukemia was because he was a helicopter pilot for the United States Army, stationed in Germany, during the time that the radioactive clouds from the Chernobyl “accident” occurred. Around this time many chopper pilots, and other servicesmen in the air started getting symptoms very similar to those that he had… but, as usual the government denies that such a thing occurred.
At the time that I made this installation I was trying to cope with the fact that my little brother had just joined the airforce… and was attending basic training at the same airforce base that my Uncle David died in (It’s in San Antonio, Texas). It seemed to me to be a very bizzare and vile cycle that fate had taken to lead to such circumstances… The weekend that my parents, my sister, and I went to see Danny graduate from basic was very eerie, yet beautiful in a strange sort of way…
On the picture of the panel above, in the lower register of this image is a portrait of my father’s mother, father, brothers, and sisters. My Uncle Dave is the one circled in red. The reason for this is to make his image stand out in a way, and it also sort of implies very bluntly that he was a ‘target’.
The images in the top register are metaphoric symbols of man’s stupidity in creating violence through technology. The people in this register are rendered somewhat icon-like, as they have become mythological icons of our day for the horrors which they have created. The ‘heroes’ of this register are Truman, the Manhattan Project guys, and Hitler. They stand together triumphantly in an eeire background plotting the downfall of man. The middle register is a not-too-well rendered replica of the army identification tags that my Uncle used to wear. Each of the main images are painted copies of photos that meant a lot to me and my family. One of the small images in the top register is a copy of the final photograph my father had of my uncle’s family before he died. I remember when the photo was shot as if it was yesterday. My parents said ‘wave good by to Uncle Dave.’ Tears come to my eyes even to this day as I reflect on that phrase.
Brothers & Sisters
Brothers and Sisters happily together at home, but who is this circled?
Uncle Dave, here’s two thumbs up pal!
This is the type of helicoptor that Uncle Dave piloted.
We will cherish you always for all that you have given.
Does E=mc squared always???
Why on earth is that the the case? Why can’t things be less scientific, less destiny driven…Why does death exist??? In the upper register, not even Albert Einstein, Mr. Zeplin, the Wright Brothers, or Henry Ford, the heroes of our time, can answer this question. Remember the Alamo!
E equals mc squared not here here sisters!!!
Our technology is made only for our destruction… Logic makes no sense to us anymore. The greatest accomplishment of man is the destruction of his own. Our walls cannot protect us from ourselves. Our true heroes will sacrafice their all for vain political purposes that our real heroes, the ones that we put in our textbooks, have created for foolish worldly greed, jealously, deceit, and lies…
Brother’s not well.
Fair And Nobyl
In the green striped areas of the painting where the words are there are some photocopied and typed out excerpts from a book that came out about a year before I created the painting which had a lot of information about how Chernobyl was not really as much of an ‘accident’ as it was made to be at the time that it happened. These texts are embeded/collaged in the painting under a layer of stand oil and linseed oil. The book these texts were taken from documents where many areas where corners were cut in regards to safety measures being taken. These were documents that were top secret and not released until shortly before the time that that book came out and became public knowledge.
A few sketches and acrylic paintings I’ve started the last while. I don’t consider Drips an Acrylic Landscape done, but do consider Bottomless Landscape Done, and the pen and ink sketches are just doodles.
Just made a light box today. Had several 11″x7″ hard board sheets that I was originally going to use to draw on or paint on. Still have many of those for that but 5 less now because they are now my new light box… amazing what duct tape, hard board, and an old light off of a broken drawing desk, and a sheet of old plexi glass from many years ago can do when used together. 😉
Ended up taking the sharp edge of one of my many chisels since I used it as a plexi-glass cutter. It worked well though and I have plenty of other chisels. Hopefully the 60w lamp won’t melt the plexi. As long as I don’t make my sessions using it super long I don’t think that’ll be a problem. If it is, plexi is easy to replace. I probably should be using glass instead of plexi but since I’m planning on using a lot of pointillism techniques that will require a lot of banging a pencil against it I figure plexi is better since it’ll hold up where glass would just break. Thinking about using crayon/color pencils on this and then using that as carbon paper sort of to transfer the image on to the boards as base layer/underpainting for the encaustic panels, burnishing the back of the paper as it lays on the encaustic, etc. I tried testing a little today with a transfer bit on my wood burner but that didn’t work at all since the heat was too hot and caused the wax to actually melt in to the paper, so got to do this cool on cool, no heat applied. In theory it should work, somewhat. Still not sure if the encaustic and color pencil waxes will merge/melt together well but in theory they should I think. I think wax pencils have a parraffin type wax in them. If it doesn’t work well I may have to use crayons/wax pencils instead of the color pencils. Not sure I like that idea though since I want pigment in this and most crayons have way more wax than pigment. Color pencils are more leaning the other way a bit.
I made the light box since I think it’ll be easier process of photo to paint surface transfer that will work better than the crazy poke holes in pictures technique and pounce afterwards that I was planning on using. Still may use that sometimes, but it’s a really non-drawing type of thing so I’m not sure it suits my style/technique so well.
I’ve been procrastinating on things a bit, but no more! I’ve decided that I want to start getting up at 4 AM instead of 5. Up til now I’ve been trying to get up at 5, but usually ended up going back to bed til 6 sometimes, or more often got up and just wasted time online on forums, etc. Going forwards, I want to change that… I have no idea if I’ll be able to do this or not but think if I can I’ll see some major improvement in my art, in my attitude, etc.
Goal is to do more art, do it in a way that suits me and gets things accomplished, and make time to live life a little too more than in the past. No more wasting time…
so… tentative schedule is…
Up at 4 AM. Do 3 pages of Morning Pages for The Artist’s Way/Journaling/diary type stuff… Then eat breakfast (probably a bowl of cereal, maybe fruit on occassion) In theory, that’ll take up til about 4:30 ish… maybe 4:40 or 4:20 sometimes?
4:30 AM – 5:00ish (maybe earlier depending on the above) do a 10-30 minute drawing… probably with ball point pen since it’s a speedy thing, but maybe other stuff like charcoal or color pencils sometimes?… maybe even graphite even though I hate the shine graphite produces. Number one reason I hate acrylic too unless lots of matte medium is used – also why I love oil paint and have decided on encaustic as painting medium of choice…
5:00 AM – 6:30ish = Work on 3d Modelling. I’ll probably do speed modeling for now… then go back and redo the fine details as needed later on. Maybe do a whole week of work without going back in to finish it up til the weekends?… I’ve been on Turbosquid for a very long time, so am at the level in there where you can get the keywords for free, so those keywords will be my subjects for these 3d models since that’s stuff that is known to sell, etc. I’ve been trying to copy/paste the keyword lists in to an open office file every morning, and will continue to do so and then will pick the subjects that interest me… I may sometimes stray from that and use my own ideas or keywords/topics, but there’s lots of ideas in there, so I think I’m going to focus on that a bit.
6:30 – Take a Shower, Make Lunch, Get ready for work, etc.
7:00ish – Head to work…
At work, walk with my Aunt on my morning and afternoon breaks (assuming I’m not on hold with blasted insurance companies when she takes a break)
11:00ish (my time for lunch varies) Eat Lunch and Read a page or two out of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or The Artist’s way… Maybe other books on kindle, etc. Possibly do a 5 minute doodle session at lunch, but probably not as there’s not really much time since I only have half an hour lunch.
After work – Start up the Encaustic heating up as soon as I get home… Maybe draw for a few minutes while it’s heating up and the wax is melting. Paint after it’s hot with the encaustic til Tekla gets home.
When Tekla gets home, we’ll head to the Arc to workout. This is something I’ve neglected doing way too long, and is really why my sugar’s not under better control at the moment, even if it’s not too hugely bad yet.
After that we’ll have supper, and enjoy the rest of whatever is left of the night spending time with one another and enjoying our time together.
Go to bed around 10 or so since that’ll give me 6 hours of sleep. If I can get myself off of caffeine, I think 6 hours of sleep is enough… Going to be hard to do, especially at work since it’s free there and they have a huge thing there that keeps 3 pots going all day every day… they usually have one pot of decaf, one of regular, and one double strong – I usually try to mix half decaf with regular but half of the time the decaf is gone… need to drink water more, coffee less… very difficult to do, but I think if I can and can excercise more, this crazy schedule might work…
I’m over on http://encausticart.ning.com/ now as I’ve started to take up encaustic painting a little. Bought a wood burner yesterday to help out with that a bit. http://www.walnuthollow.com/23906creativeversa-tool.aspx Got it at Michaels. There’s a lot to it, but I think I love encaustic because it’s possible to do lots of layering, lots of reworking, and it has potential to be just as complex if not more so then oil painting but the stuff drys instantly so much can be done in a short amount of time.
I like the creative versa tool (link above) because it does the same that the enkaustikos pens do with the temperature control, but for about 1/3 the costs, and a lot less on shipping since we only live a block away from Michaels.
(I will probably get the Encaustikos Flow Pen someday though since I’ve not seen anything else like it on the market yet… but maybe not since it costs so much if you add in the cost of the temperature regulator — why don’t they just add the regulator to the pens like Walnut Hollow did with the versa tool?)
Media: Watercolor Pencil, Color Pencil & China Marker
I still don’t think this image image is ‘done’ but it’s getting close to where I want it to be. I’ve reworked it many times. I’ve been technically working on it about 2 or 3 months, but most of that time I was just looking at it. Since I started The Artists Way again this week I’ve been working on it an hour or two every morning and night, every day.
I have no idea how many real working hours have been put in to it, but there’s been a lot. I’ll put multiple layers in, erase them out, scatch out highlights with a burnisher, add more color, erase out some with an electric eraser, add more color areas, rework, etc. The gesso in the foreground has probably lost most of it’s tooth, as has most of the ‘water’ area to the left, but I keep adding new marks to it all the time, so I may have another few hundred hours of work to put in to it before all is said and done?… I’ll probably move on to some other artwork for now so I don’t really overwork it beyond a point that I can’t fix it any further. The scan was taken without any fixative added. I hate how shiny color pencil glare causes an image to really get a lot darker looking in the scan then it is in reality. The image is based on a couple of photos that I’m putting together in to one image in the drawing. I’m trying to be careful to leave some of the white of the underlying gesso. Most of the cloud area is almost pure white from the gesso with very little color pencil. I probably need to rework the middle ground and the ship in the background a lot more, but maybe not since some atmospheric perspective isn’t necessarily a bad thing here.
This was created using an old car rearview mirror so I could only see half of the face without shifting location so it was a bit of a challenge. As you can probably tell, I was focusing primarily on the lower nose/chin/neck area more than the rest of the face.
It took me 29 minutes overall, and time flew by because I was so intently focused. Getting good greyscale gradation levels with a small drawing surface like a ball point pen is challenging, especially when on a timeline like I was with this. I did complete it in under a half hour though.
I can see some improvements already in the self portrait drawing skill vs the last self portrait like this I did. I use self portraits as sort of a checkup on my skills since the human face is a good indicator of art skills on a lot of levels. Drawing faces with glasses on is always a bit of a challenge too since it changes the lighting a lot and gives areas that need new details.
I did the glasses on though because I’m working on a color pencil drawing in the mornings that has Tekla with glasses on, and I wanted to study a little in these ballpoint pen drawings how the glasses affect the light and shadow on the face so I can do better in that and future drawings with glasses. The color pencil drawings are very tricky since I’m using a lot of different colors, layering techniques, and a lot of erasing and actual burnishing techniques – actually in some areas on those I’m using real print making etching tools to do scratcherboard type techniques in limited areas since I’m using gessoed hardboard. That is definitely something I would not be able to do if I was using paper for the color pencils. The color pencils are almost like mini-oil paintings. Now it’s after 6 Am so I better start on the color pencil as the time allocated to it is before 6:30 AM, lol.