Pretty productive day…

pretty productive day even though it doesn’t seem like it was… got laundry done. dishes done. downloaded a ton of video tutorials from 3d buzz for motionbuilder and a few other things for concept art, etc., and various lightwave tutorials on youtube. Thinking about getting back in to doing a little digital art.

I’ve been working on trying to do a ‘poet-trait’ type of thing in Adobe Illustrator yesterday and some last weekend, using text to sort of paint a picture, putting the words in the shadows of the art using splines and words on the splines. It’s a fairly time consuming little process…

Working through that project is making me want to get back in to digital art a little more… even if it is extremely time consuming. I have tons of fonts on this computer that I have never used in any project before… might be time to start changing that.

Not sure if I’ll finish the project or not, but at least it’s got me thinking about getting in to digital art more again.

Here’s what it looks like so far…

If you have more than a few fonts on your computer, I’d suggest using AMP FONT VIEWER to help you visualize what they look like. Nice little program.

———
Also, tonight started reading a book for a MOOC that I just signed up for earlier this week that ‘officially’ starts tonight at midnight. This is the first one I’ve ever tried to participate in one. It’s kind of exciting experiencing this type of thing. It’s been so long since I had to do ‘home work’ I’d forgotten what it was like to be given reading assignments.

http://sketchbookphotosshotjanuary2013.shutterfly.com/

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.

David Thomann Memorial Installation


David Thomann Memorial
Oil Paint and Collage on Canvas and Wood
© 1999, Jeff Thomann


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.

One of the ideas/themes with this work was to morph words and stories in to a message that played out like a drama for the viewer. https://jeffthomann.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/img_20140612_093150.jpg?w=949

Brothers & SistersBrothers & Sisters

Brothers & Sisters
Brothers and Sisters happily together at home, but who is this circled?

David, Brandon, Tammy, and Bethany


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.
Cherish You Always

Photobucket

Cher

Photobucket

E=MC Squared

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!
Ford - Remember the Alamo


Zeplin with Baloons talking to Einstein



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



Brother’s not well.

Fair Well
Fair Well

Fair And Nobyl
Fair And Nobyl

Chernobyl
Chernobyl

Photobucket

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.

Chernobyl Secret Documents

Bottomless Self Portrait


Bottomless Self Portrait
Acrylic on Canvas
© Y2K, Jeff Thomann

This was an acrylic painting that I created when I was entering my ‘bottomless paintings’ phase. I was really interested in trying to figure out ways to create compositions that had no one right side up. I still get on that kick sometimes.

a few new drawings.

Jackie's Rose © 2011 Jeff Thomann
Jackie’s Rose © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

Palm © 2011 Jeff ThomannPalm © June, 2011 Jeff Thomann

Palm 2 © 2011 Jeff ThomannPalm 2 © June, 2011 Jeff Thomann

19 Minutes – 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann

19 Minutes - 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann

19 Minutes – 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann
Media: Ballpoint Pen on Paper

This is a quick little still life sketch I did last night.

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

I have a tendency to start big projects and not get them done sometimes… especially if they are in locations I don’t visit much… I’m a visually oriented person. Out of sight, out of mind. Anyways, a while back I started a blog to list artists, and then made a wiki for it since the blog was limiting as I was the only one that could enter info on it… I will try to add more to the wiki going forward, and you should feel free too. The wiki is located at http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

Sunrise @ Galveston Bay © 2011 Jeff Thomann

Sunrise @ Galveston Bay © 2011 Jeff Thomann

Sunrise @ Galveston Bay © 2011 Jeff Thomann
Media: Pastel, Watercolor Pencil, & Color Pencil on Gessoed Hardboard
Original Size: 5″ x 7″

 

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/

http://allartists.wikispaces.com/ is a new wiki I started today. I plan to add more to it on a regular basis, and grow it to be a gigantic list of artists both future and past, both greats and lesser knowns. Since it’s a wiki anyone can edit it. Feel free to add to it at any time. This is growing a project I’ve started because I think places like wikipedia, and most art history books are a bit biased in what and who they include and do not include.

The point of this is to create a list of every artist that we can find anything about. Since visual arts is my thing, I’m starting there, but over time it might be highly possible to add musical arts, and other art types there. I want this thing to be come a hugely comprehensive list that will be usable by the masses for various purposes. Art students and art historians doing research papers could use it as a starting place for doing research. Art collectors could use it to find up and coming artists. Art galleries could use it to find artists and ways to contact them. Artists themselves can use the wiki to link to their home pages, study trends, get inspiration, etc.

Halfway to 70

Halfway to 70 (Self Portrait)
Halfway to 70, Copyright 2011, Jeff Thomann
© 2011, Jeff Thomann
Media: Ball Point Pen

“Halfway to 70” is the name of this one. It was a self portrait I did the other day on my birthday (yes, I’m 35 now). I’m not super happy with it, but considering it’s a self portrait done in about an about an hour or so it’s not half bad. Did it with ballpoint pen. Lots of artists do self portraits on their birthdays, and that’s something I have not done much of in the past, but figure it’s a descent time as any to start this annual project.

I quit when I did because I was making the shading too funky and could feel myself “overworking” it… Hard to stay with a fresh drawing feel and look if you go after too much realism in the shading/tones

I Really don’t think it “looks like” me totally. It’s hard to do self portraits since you are constantly moving as you draw, so your reference is always changing. I used china marker on the bathroom mirror to keep basic shape in the roughly right location through most of it. I’m going to probably do more freehand drawing things like this now and then to get my skills back in shape.

a dream…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever used this blog to record a dream. I used to keep dream journals way back in college, but didn’t keep them much after college for some reason. Anyways – the dream I had, which is why I’m now up — Tekla and I were in a small dorm room type of apartment. There was some rustling out in the hallway. Peeking out the door, which was not locked, I saw several people that lived in the apartments down the hall and across from us there in the hallway… looking down… near the bottom of the doorway, just outside of the door, there was a couple of the younger people in the group of about 8 or so handling a number of squiggling worms. I felt highly offended because it seemed as though they were trying to put the worms under the door to let them in to our room/apartment. There was some sort of fear about squishing the worms since some were black and some were nromal pinkish colored earthworms. … so they might be poisonous on some level?

The reason I awoke – after we thought we’d killed them all, and the college aged kids out in the hall had left, and we had gone back to bed, one of the half dead ones that had been flung on the floor inside of the apartment in the scuffle was still moving, and a blackish furry one that looked like a catepiller sort of had crawled on my back, near my shoulder blades… this was reality kicking in with dreams because when I awoke, laying on my side, I was having problems breathing, and could feel tingling sensations in my upper back, neck and shoulder blade areas. The place with the most tingling was where that darn worm was crawling in the dream.

I usually cannot remember dreams, but when I awake from dreams due to physical reasons like this, I do sometimes remember them. In college in order to facilitate remembering dreams more often then I normally could do, I would sleep with the lights on, and cover my eyes, or block the light from them with little blanket mountains near my head. The instant transformation from dark to light would caused shock of awakening the concious mind enough that it was able to capture the main elements of the subconsious dream, but I had to write darn fast to make the real elements of the dreams appear on the dream journal — waiting seconds too long would allow the now highly active conscious mind to make up details of the dream that were not really in the dream, but are logical enough they could have plausibly been in there… a half a minute or so is all this would take to happen before the “new brain” would cover the details the “old brain” made in the dream so to speak. … keeping dream journals as I did in college helped me to realize that dreams are really the subconscious mind playing around with elements of reality, whether it is various images and scenes actually seen, or the physical reality of pain in slumber — an emergency 911 type of call to the self from the unconscious mind for self protection to keep the self from going in to cardiac arrest, etc.

…………
Today (actually yesterday now that it’s after 1 am) I was reading about Jung and Freud a bit. Jung’s idea(s) about individualism are similar to the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel/seeking the true self in various religions/and Imago idea in Harville Hendrix’s books that I mentioned in this blog before somewhat.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1452091/CARL-JUNG

Jung’s idea about the psychic unconscious and the future, etc. is something I remember having a bit of a keen interest in when I took psychology class in college. It’s that weird element of religion, mythology, psychology, art, alchemy, and other things that is somewhat similar to a lot of ideas/themes, etc. that roll around in my head sometimes that draws me towards sort of identifying with him on a lot of different levels.

Some of the links I have on facebook posted tonight and links in delicious from the last few days are about art therapy, psychology, and a really interesting Nam June Paik reading in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art book that I like to read a lot now and then to get in to the mindset behind what a lot of various artists have done/where thinking about at various times when they created art. The Art and Satellite (1984) reading is the one I’m talking about. Lots of interesting things in there…

at one point it says, “There is no rewind button on the betamax of life. An important event takes place only once. The free deaths (of Socrates, Christ, Bo Yi and Shu Qu) that became the foundations for the morality of three civilizations occurred only once.”

Then it goes on to talk about how art in the future will need to integrate various parts of the world like satellites do sort of… electronic signals bouncing around connecting different parts of the world, in the same way that electric signals in neurons bouncing around in our brains and bodies make us work… a hodge podge of pieces working together in cohesivly.

That’s a pretty deep sort of thing to think about… sort of reminds me of the weird idea of the thetan alien germs bouncing around in what I read about scientology and posted about here before on some level.

The truth is I think we all are somewhat connected… with ourselves in the conscious/unconscious way and with others on some levels, which might be psychic on some levels.

I remember reading something in some literature class once about how the indians see the same stories played over and over throughout time… same story a different take on it with different characters all doing the same thing – that’s the sort of stuff I think Jung was talking/thinking about… it’s something we can all relate to as a sort of unconscious collective. It’s something that makes the blogsphere go round… It’s something that keeps news channels full of stories 24/7. It’s something that makes us all relate to one another empathically. It’s something that keeps religions going.

We all want to feel the connections and connectivity between ourselves, our world, and our conscious and unconscious minds. We are not single beings, but multiple parts working together as a single being, so who is to say God isn’t somewhat similar — or maybe God’s dreaming state is like that… which is our entire universe/multiverse/megaverse… maybe Buddhist/Zen has it right and reality is just a dream. I think there is a bit more to it then that, but that line of thought is somewhat similar to what I think Jung was grasping at… and it is somewhat similar to what Nam June Paik was getting at too…

we all are interrellated and see the diamond that is the world from different angles. War does not have to happen any more then people have to hit themselves in self-mutilation when they are thinking thoughts that betray their religion, etc.

The harmony and peace of coexistence is something we should strive for within ourselves and our worldwide society. Constant bickering and disagreement are ok… it’s ok to agree to disagree. What is not ok is when you try to force your ideas on others. You cannot control the other, nor should you. Even those imprisoned have their own brians, own thoughts, own reality that is different then the reality the prison guard is trying to enforce upon them. If we would all start thinking about this sort of stuff more, maybe the amount of wars in the world would decrease. Maybe the violence and idiocy would lower…

Maybe there could be real world peace like Jesus was striving for, like Socrates hinted at, etc. Maybe we can stop the hatred, violence, and people trying to find themselves but doing so in silly ways by trying to push their ideas on others and come to a real harmonious concensus…

I know, I know… lots of typos here… keep in mind is’t 1:30 now and I’m tired and trying to think all of this through, lol. I might put some of my old dream journaling on this blog someday, but am not sure if I will or not. Anyways, I guess I’ll try to go to bed now. Lots of interesting stressful things coming up later today/this morning at work… stuff I need a little more rem time to get between now and then in order to be able to deal with it in a logical manner..

Good night/morning. Have a great day. Stop trying to push your thoughts on to others. Part of the focus of art is to leave things open to interpretation on some level. Just because you see things your way does not mean your mind about it won’t be changed a bit later on, or that you have the whole picture.. so stop trying to push your interpretation of things off on others as the only true and right way to see it.

working on folio

Slowly working on portfolio website (see link on right). This weekend I put together a few of the pages over there. So far the Charcoal and Ball Point Pen sections are starting to shape up.

I have not put together the other sections yet completely since those require shooting digital photos of my works. Not being the greatest photographer in the world doesn’t make getting the quality that I like out of the camera the easiest thing in the world. Also, it does not help much that I’m shooting outside when I do the shots, and it’s been fairly windy the last several days. The other day I shot some of my brother’s old artwork from highschool and the tripod fell over with the wind while I was swapping drawings with others in the house. The part of the camera that attaches to the tripod flew off of the camera when it hit the pavement. I luckily got it back together, but have not tried to attach it back to the tripod since then. Note to self – add weights of some sort to tripod the next time I try to use it.

The ball point pen drawings are mostly some of the mall small scans I took. I tried to limit it to about 30 or so images for each section. That way a nice little navigation bar table fits well in most browsers. It’s still a little too wide for the smallest screen settings, but I really don’t think most folks use the smallest screen settings usually. If so, sorry folks… I am trying to get this thing looking good, not optimized for your super low res screens… It’s tricky using the floating navigation bars I’m using because Internet Explorer is tricky. If you don’t put the dtd type up at the top of the html, it doesn’t float the css navbars where they belong, and just sticks them at the top of the page where they scroll with the rest of it.

It’s slowly coming together. I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house this weekend since we’ll likely be moving before too long… found a bunch of ol floppy disks and that reminded me that the last time I tried to put together an online web portfolio like this I was doing it on floppy and zip disks on Campus because it was like the year 2002 and I was using the free modem pool that the University of Missouri had back then… a whopping speed of 28k! No wonder I got frustrated and quit putting together the website last time, lol.

This time, things are coming together a lot smoother, and hopefully this blog will help make things work out a little better. I’ll add more to the website as I get more images put together and organized. I really like this click the image to get a bigger copy of it idea. I also like the floating nav bars with transparent backgrounds that makes it nice, clean, and easy to maneuver around in.

Got any pointers, tips, or ideas on how I can improve portfolio? Shoot away and give me some comments. I like listening to what people have to say. 🙂 😉

spent some cash.

I spent about 20 bucks today on ball point ink pens. I got a cheap Wal-Mart Brand called Inc Discover Bold. Not sure if it’ll be up to the Bic standard that I used to always use, but maybe. Price was somewhere around 1.89 for a pack of 22 or so. Since I’m on a budget and am really loving looking at my old ink drawings with all of the scans I’m doing lately, I think I might get back in to doodling with ink pens. I like them more then color pencils for some things since they are fast, can literally have infinite levels of details and grey tones, cross hatches, stippling, etc. if you allow them to, and are really quick, easy, and non-messy to work with (at least if there is no ink leaks in the pens). Once the ink dries it’s even less of a mess then graphite pencils…

As far as the scans go, I have quite a few of the little bitty sketchbooks scanned now, but not all uploaded yet. I’m going back through the scans and cropping each page out since I scanned about 5 pages per scan in most of the latest ones.

The main little sketchbooks left to scan are mainly diaries/dream journals. Back in college, my Senior Project involved doing some oil paintings based on dreams. I’m not sure if I’ll upload the dream journals or not since those are some pretty oddball, hard to read, and private thoughts in some of them… However, I might since they are many years old now and some of the stuff is actually intended as educational or philosophical teaching material on some levels…

Need to edit my categories. I removed a lot of the tags that were not relevant yet, but may be in the future and moved them over to a google document mentioned a few posts ago. I’ll keep growing that list over time as I start honing in on various things to tie keywords to in my future image creations, whether in photos, 3d animation, or illustration.

I plan on having ink pens nearby no matter where I am during the day or night. I want to get in to the habbit of doodling, drawing, writing down ideas, and sketching more as I used to do but have gotten out of the habbit of doing for a variety of reasons.

worked on cleaing a bit…

Worked on cleaning up the basement a bit over the weekend. It still has a long ways to go, but I did manage to free up some floor room that can become the beginnings of a painting studio again, and also might work out as a dance floor/workout place for using workout videos. I’m thinking it’ll be smarter to do that sort of stuff down in the basement where the floors are concrete…

Dictionary of Imaginary Places

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
is one of the BEST books on fictional places. Lots of interesting maps and various descriptions. If you like fantasy, fiction, or role playing, this is a must have. I used this book a lot back in college when role playing and also for just plain entertaining reading. Love it.

fantasy stuff… role playing… virtual reality… art – back to the basics

I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…

I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.

In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapism

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.

a few more…

————————————
===========CONFORM==================
————————————
Conform and get rid of your freedom.

Do things my way… the only way…
the way it’s always been done.
====================================

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
=======APPEAL===============
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
It can’t hurt to appeal.
Beg for more money.

You know you don’t deserve it,
nor does your boss!

but you do it anyways…
it can’t hurt to ask…
beg for more money…

Money they don’t deserve.

Money that they use
to make you serve…

Mammon is real and here now.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
+++++=========~~~~~
+++++dReAmS…~~~~~
+++++=========~~~~~
Living in the shadows
your dreams come out.

They are always beside you
but they don’t always shout.

They whisper silently
in your subconcious mind

Driving you ever closer
to the edge.

It is only when
someone you love
teases them gently

softly

that they begin to surface
driving you to become yourself
and start living your dreams.

one small sign of true love.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

=======================
Holy crap.
Screwed up so bad.
What are we going to do?

It’ll all work out.
It always does.

Maybe just not
the way you want it to.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

OBLIVIOUS OBLIVION
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Boy. Good Girl.
Good God.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Dog.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

Good Job.
========================

========================
come on now..
you can do it…

Just a few more steps…

========================

=================
=====Act III=====
=================
Dreams die.
So do we.

but…

Life is worth
living.

Don’t make
the biggest mistake

Sometimes we do cry.
It’s ok.

We will live.
Life carries on.

Let it.
Allow it.

Don’t let the 5 act play
end at act 2.

Drama makes life worth living,
even if there are a few sad parts.

Don’t make your life
come to a tragic end,

especially when it’s just beginning…

even if it’s not…
a new beginning
is born daily.

Life is worth living.
Don’t cut it short.
=================================

==================================
I don’t wanna do it mama.
Don’t let them take me away.

Surgeon masks surround the child
as he looks up at the bright light.

Surgery sucks, but it’s needed.
==================================

========================================
Dentist chair and buzzing drill.
Lolipops to cure their ill.

Mickey mouse stickers stop the wails
Ah, Silence at last…

but not for long…
Open up and saw Aw.

Fears and Tears
as pliers come out.

Don’t you shout.
It must come out!

It must come out.
It simply must come out.

the jaw cracks, the tounge is lashed…
blood is everywhere…

but never fear
Almost done my dear…

Just 24 more teeth to go.
=========================================

=====================
=======ZIPPER========
=====================
Zipper of death
Zipper of Life

Camera bag does open.

Lots of toys
Lots of Joys

Click and Shoot.

=====================

Money comes. Money goes. All it usually brings are woes.

http://www.marshallarisman.com/

http://www.marshallarisman.com/ – Marshall Arisman is an illustrator who’s works I have liked for quite some time. His works are somewhat simple, but also are rather disturbing. I think his original theme/idea was mainly to combine the human form with metal or robotic type of images.. a sort of bionic illustration genre, really sci-fi type of thing. I like his works because they deal with our humanity… and the ultimate issue of death, and what death might mean, both now and in the future. His use of bold color schemes like black and red makes his works really pop out and catch your eye. The images are so strange and wonderful, they tend to haunt you. That makes you think. All great works of art make you think…

Illustration Tutorial Site List.

I’ve decided to start reading up on Illustration more and figured I may as well share some of the links of sites I’m visiting here with you. I’m also posting this stuff here so that I won’t have to remember which sites I visited and/or which computer and which browser I was on when visiting to get back to the Favorites or Bookmarks. I can just come back to this post and know where the sites are.

http://www.khulsey.com/student.html

More sites will be added to this posting later. I’ll also put a link to this posting in the Links Tab of the blog.

Can Art Change the World?

As Director of Digital Learning, I might just have the best job in the world. Take today as an example. At 10:00 a.m., I reviewed video for an online studio course about the materials and techniques of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman (among others) that my coworker Amy Horschak and I hope […] http://bit.ly/d14bAR

Levitt in Color, New at MoMA

There are no installation views of the Projects exhibition in which Helen Levitt first presented her color photographs to MoMA’s public, for one simple reason: all forty pictures were projected onto the wall, fading as quickly as they appeared. The year was 1974, and Levitt was in the midst of a creative outburst—unusual not only because […] http://bit.ly/aWjbvq

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Books by or about Helen Levitt

An Eisenstein Double Bill

These notes accompany the Eisenstein Double Bill program, which screens on March 3, 4, and 5 in Theater 3.
(1898–1948) is a special case in many ways. He was undeniably one of the geniuses of the early cinema. As a theoretician, he wrote voluminously, positing his theory of montage (editing), derived from the work of D. […] http://bit.ly/cEKozG

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Check out Einstein: His Life and Universe – really neat book!

From the Archives 03: A Brief Homage to Franklin Gothic

The Franklin Gothic typeface is the primary influence for nearly all MoMA materials; it’s the basis of our logo (see the top of your screen) and our official font “MoMA Gothic,” which were both created by Matthew Carter. We were happy to see that MoMA used a version of Franklin Gothic as long ago […] http://bit.ly/aUWBit

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Want to get in to Typography? Check out some of these cool Typography books

Maneater…

The alternative campus magazine for University of Missouri has RSS Feeds. I’m going to twitterfeed the Arts section in to here. Happy reading. The direct url to that rss feed is http://www.themaneater.com/feeds/sections/arts/

Also… YES… I do plan to post more of my own posts in here instead of just RSS Feeds from other places. The reason I put so many RSS feeds in here is that I don’t have time to check my own email most of the time, and actually look at my own blog as way of getting info because of all of these feeds. I also like doing this so I can post a comment here on the blog about the various feeds that do come in, and you usually will find at least one comment from me on most of them.

Mixing colors… It’s not what you think it is.

There are two color spectrums that are important in the arts. One is real light and how it mixes in the real world. The other is reflected light and how it works in the real world. Real lighting is visible in Stage Lighting, Computer Screens, TVs, and just about anywhere that there is a real light source – light bulb, sun, window, etc. The primary colors of real light are red, green, and blue.

The primary colors of reflected light on the other hand are red, yellow, and blue. In the print world, black is also added to that to arrive at a spectrum that is abbreviated CYMK – Cyan (Red), Yellow, Magenta (Blue), and BlaCK – CK is used for Black so that it’s not confused with Blue.

Mixing primary colors in real light results in white where the colors overlap. This is easily demonstrated in stage lighting by simply aiming 3 lights at the same area, where each one has a filter on it that matches the 3 primary colors – red, green, and blue. Where the three colors overlaps on the stage or wall or whever the lights are aimed together, there’s white that shows up in the middle.

Painting and other forms of art where color is placed on an object utilize the reflected light spectrum since the paper, canvas, or whatever else is typically not a light source itself. What is really weird about reflected light is that the science behind it does something completely different from what you think it’s doing. The color we see on an object is really what’s reflecting back at us off of that object when the real light hits the object. In other words the “colors” we see in everything that is not a real light source is really an absence of that particular color in the object itself – all the other colors of the spectrum are “absorbed” by the object, so what we see is really the opposite of the color that the object really is. We see the color that bounced back at us and was not absorbed.

Because of that weird way that things work, mixing primary colors with paint usually results in a muddy brown mid-tone color with low intensity. That’s completely different than what happens when real light’s primary colors are mixed.

That means that most stuff that you see on screen will usually look a lot darker than it did in the computer when you print it, especially since printers add more than the primary colors, and throw black in too.

It also means that when you go to mix colors as a painter, you have to think completely differently than when you mix colors with real light, like when you are thinking about interior design issues in stage lighting, or just picking out lights to put in to your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or living room.

What gets very interesting is that some sculptures and other forms of art mix and match both light spectrums through backlighting, integrating tv screens in to the artform, adding lights to sculptures, etc. Sculpture is actually a whole different baseball game all together since it can incorporate time and space in to it through relationships of shadows in the real world, locations of the sun at various times of the day and year, etc. Video and painting can do that too on some levels depending on where the painting is placed, what the environment the painting is in, and of course one of the primary elements of video is time – the 4th dimension to 3 Dimensional works so to speak.

With painting, drawing, and other reflected light art forms, there is also a lot going on with how elements of the painting work with one another. Layering colors together is sort of one of the main things painters do. We create depth and dimension to a 2 dimensional plane by placing brush strokes, and other elements next to one another, on top of one another, underneath one another… There’s literally a ton of work that goes in to this sort of stuff sometimes to make a “realistic” artwork. What’s sad though is most viewers of these things that may have taken hundreds of hours to put together typically only view the work for 3-10 seconds at the most unless something in partcular catches their eye or interest in the work.

Big sculptures and video have a little bit of an advantage over painting in that regard – the viewer is forced in to watching looking at those types of things for longer periods of time, leaving more time for the work to create an impression and message. However, painting has a “presence” that exists longer sometimes, in some works. It is a visual thing that can haunt you over time as your brain echos seeing the patterns on the image over and over.

Creating works of art is a bit like wandering through a maze. You have tons of decisions to make, and each one creates subsequent decisions to make. The painting with the most “potnential energy” might well be the blank canvas… just as the work of music that might create the most interest and cause you to think about things is complete silence…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Art is life. Life is art. Neither are a reflection of one another because both just are. They exist not in parallel to one another, or as a mirror to one another, but coexist, sometimes peacefully, other times in chaos. Out of chaos comes creation many times, and creation usually does eventually lead to some form of chaos.

The entire universe was created with a major big bang explosion of chaos, and from that came the beauty that we call life.

Things are a bit hectic.

Things are a bit hectic in my life at the moment, so I may not post here as much as I want to the next several weeks. We might be moving before long, which could impact how much weekend and afternoon time I have to post in here.

Also, at the moment I’m trying to work on uploading as many darn photos, and scans as I can to Shutterfly. When I get everything that I’ve got on the hard drive up there, I’ll be a bit more comfortable, and start taking the postings in here and some of the places I link to from here in a variety of directions. Family photos, and vacations photos on Shutterfly will likely be emailed to family members, especially for photos that I’ve never printed but that are still worth keeping.

Texture and stock photos (clouds, asphalt, concrete, bricks, etc.) will be grouped in to various albums on Shutterfly that I’ll email to myself.

I will also group photos on the hard drive more. It’s a bit of a pain since sometimes there’s naming issues as several photos that need to go in the same grouping folders have the same name. Little programs to rename things can be used to fix that… It’s just a bit time consuming organizing it all, but in the end it’ll be worth it. Ultimately, I’ll probably zip up similar stock photo themes – like clouds, concrete & bricks, etc. and upload them to the3dstudio and turbosquid to sell as zip file groups. I think a lot of the individual photos are on turbosquid already, but not too many zip files. I might also make some of the stuff freebies…

In the mean time, whenever I do get free weekends again, I’ll probably continue trying to scan my photos, and eventually photograph my paintings and things. I tried to photograph a few things in my portfolio a couple of years ago, but the lighting was too blown out of proportion due to the fact that I was doing it outside in the middle of the day when the sun is really too bright for that sort of thing.

Eventually, when I get this massive backlog of things organized and online where I want them and linked to from this blog, I will move foward in trying to do more stuff in the future. Every day I carry a camera and a couple of voice recorders with me to work… I also have a couple of boxes of color pencils and sketchbooks that I keep at work, in the car, and at home in case I get inspired to work in a sketchbook or on a panel at any time on breaks, waiting around in the car for an oil change, or whatever. There’s always time for art if you can just make the time! 😉 🙂

Smoke Stack at Night

Smoke Stacks at Night
Smoke Stack at Night
Copyright 2010 by Jeff Thomann
Media: Photography
Original Status: Original is Digital Photo
Print/Purchase Status: This digital photo may be purchased online at http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/512311
Themes: MU, Mizzou, Tigers, Columbia, Smoke, Smoke Stacks, Tower, Towers, Columbia, Missouri, Lighting, Night, Scene, Photo, Photography, photos, Jeff, Thomann, stack, fog, light, downtown, outside, atmosphere, mood, building, beacin, airplane, warning, city, urban, color, 2009

Genesis – The Golden

Genesis the Golden
Genesis – The Golden
Copyright 2010 by Jeff Thomann
Media: Color Pencil on Gessoed Hardboard
Original Status: Not for Sale at this time
Original Size: 5″x7″

http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

I’m going to start using Zazzle more. It’s similar to Cafepress, but also different. I will likely go back to each of my artfolio images and re-upload them to Zazzle eventually, putting a new link to my zazzle account in each of the posts that I’ve already created on Cafepress. That way my products are in both Cafepress and Zazzle. I am also probably going to do likewise for Createspace, and Lulu. Additionally, I’ll likely move some of my images that are on Turbosquid over to Zazzle and Cafepress so that the good photos are on all the markets out there. I’m also investigating a few places that let artists sell their real world artwork directly and not electronically. I might use one of those places to sell originals of some things eventually.

My Zazzle shop is located at http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

Studio Tip – Get Rechargable Batteries – And use them!… Also get organized…

If you have a digital camera, mp3 player, voice recorder, or even a cell phone, you probably already realize how important it is to have batteries that work on hand at all times. If you ever get in to creating stock photos or just using a digital camera or video recorder to give you source material to work with in whatever form of art you work with, this becomes even more important.

I can’t tell you how many times when shooting digital stock photos that I was out clicking away with a camera in a park or downtown somewhere and the camera I had on hand quit working because I ran out of battery power. That is a huge annoyance, especially if you like shooting clouds like I do, and you are in a time when the sun is either rising or setting, so each second lost that you did not get a shot of is gone forever because the clouds shift on you constantly and/or the “magic hour” changes dramatically as your big lightsource, the sun, is moving quickly under or over the horizon. “Magic Hour” really is not an hour. Twilight hours of sunset can cause dramatic changes in the light and way that things look on the horizon, and everywhere else outside in literal minutes or seconds.

My advice is that you have a lot of rechargeable batteries on hand and a couple of rechargers for them, and use the rechargers often. Some people say that rechargeable batteries have some sort of memory thing in them and remember how long each recharge took, so it’s bad to put the batteries in to the recharger before the battery is completely worn down. For some batteries, that may be true, but for most regular AA and AAA rechargable batteries, I don’t think that’s really quite the truth. I typically recharge my batteries when the camera shows that they are about down to one quarter power and have never really had a lot of problems. Of course, I am constantly recharging some batteries, so it’s hard for me to tell if that is an issue…

I have two rechargers. One of them holds a lot of batteries and I keep it at home, the other only holds four batteries, but it has a plug in that folds down. I keep that one in my camera bag, and carry it with my camera so that I can plug in at any time, anywhere. The bigger recharger is too large to do that with. However, I keep the bigger recharger full a lot of times and rotate out batteries from there often. I basically try to keep a handful of batteries charged at all times. If some of the the batteries sit unused for a few weeks, I go ahead and recharge the pile anyways so that they are ready when I need them.

Storing a bunch of batteries in a camera bag is a major pain, especially since most of the time, when you buy batteries they come in boxes that are meant to be thrown away after being open. For storage at home, I keep the clear plastic part of the boxes that the batteries came in, and might cut that down to size, and fit it inside of a Altoids box. Those little metal boxes that Altoids come in make fine battery holders since they are just big enough to hold a few AA or AAA batteries and still allow the lid to close. You would think the metal boxes would shock me since I’m putting batteries in them, but so far, I’ve never had any shocks or anything, so I guess the paint or ink they use on the box must not conduct electricity. Even if it does, I’m putting plastic liners from the boxes the batteries came in between the actual battery itself and the metal of the box, so that makes it all work well. To keep the Altoid boxes closed, I simply rubber band them shut.

I used to keep at least one of those Altoid boxes in my camera bag, but lately, I’ve gone to not keeping those in the camera bag since they are a bit of a hassle to mess with out in the field, especially as the rubber bands age, get weaker, and break, leaving the batteries to roam free in the camera bag, where all sorts of potential problems could happen if the acid ever did leak…

Now, in the camera bag, I keep the two batteries in the camera that the camera requires, and keep two batteries in each of the two voice recorders I carry in the bag, for a total of four spare batteries, or two battery swaps between the voice recorders and the camera in case the camera battery charge runs down. I find this ideal since the batteries are stored nicely away in the recorders, and if I do feel the need to use the recorder to record my own voice for notes or just feel like recording something out and about, like a bird chirping, a motorcycle whizzing by me, or whatever, I can just pop out the recorder and it’s ready to go. The reason I have two recorders is that I bought one, thought I lost it, bought a second one, and then a few months later, discovered where I had put the first one… It’s funny how that happens sometimes with little gizmos and gadgets.

If you don’t have a vocie recorder, but have some other tiny gadget that uses the same sort of battery as your camera, you might look in to getting something like that to hold your batteries so that you don’t risk having the batteries just jubmled in the camera bag or case, ready to give some nice acid burns to your camera or whatever else is in there. I’ve only seen a battery leave an acid burn on something one time – it was an old plastic mug that I used to store non-rechargeable batteries in many years ago before I started using rechargeable batteries. The marks it left as the acid dug in to the plastic of the cup were horrible looking. It’d really suck to see something like that happen to a digital camera.

Other things I keep in the camera bag other than the camera, the voice recorders, and the little battery recharger are the top part of a big tripod that actually attaches to the bottom of the camera, and a mini-tripod. I also keep a couple of thumb drives and spare digital camera chips in there to make it easy to store things. The thumb drives are attached via a little stretcy cord that the casino gives out with it’s cards for people to use to remember to not leave their casino cards in the slot machines. I like that because it keeps me from loosing the thumb drives as they are attached to the camera case.

I actually have 3 camera cases. The first one is a little one that holds my little bitty camera itself and came with the camera. It’s very flimsy, but I keep it on there to cover the lens. I put the camera and that little case in to the second case, which is a big bigger and is what I mainly use to carry the camera around my neck when out and about. The third is a Polaroid camera case that I keep the other case in. I use it because it’s big enough to hold the littler case and a few other odds and ends – the tripod top and voice recorders, mentioned above.

I have an entirely seperate bag that I use to keep color pencils and sketch books in the car. At one point in time, I tried to avoid using the Polaroid case, and just put the little camera case in that bag, but that got to be too much of a hassle. Now I just leave the color pencil and sketchbook bag in the back seat of the car, and take the Camera in and out of the car, and with me wherever I go so that it’s handy, and does not get left in the car during hot/cold temperatures that could damage the electronic equipment inside.

At home I have a few toolboxes that I use to keep other things around the house/studio organized. I love the big tool boxes with different slots in them – nice way to organize pastels, pencils, ink pens, etc.

When I was in college, I used to haul a lot of big sketch pads, drawings, and some paintings in a plastic portfolio that I carried around campus to class. That was a major hassle since the classes were in various buildings scattered around campus and my apartment was several blocks away. Carrying big portolios is a tough enough job by itself since they are big and bulky… That only gets worse as you get more and more things in there to carry. You would think paper, being as thin as it is would not be heavy in big bulks, but you would be wrong… especially on humid days when the paper absorbs a lot of moisture just to make itself heavier for you. To make that walking around campus more handy, I ended up taking a duffel bag strap and attaching it to the portfolio handles. That made it much easier to handle the bag and still carry other things like books that I needed to take to class. I have NO idea why porfolio making companies have not made it an industry standard to put shoulder straps on portfolios yet. It’s something that really is needed to help make it easier for all those art students and aspiring artists everywhere be able to carry their stuff. Some Art Directors might like the neat little polished look of the little bitty handles on portolios, but I suspect that they would like the portfolios a lot more if the artists were more comfortable actually walking around with the portfolios so that they could bring them in more often, and have a descent amount of work in the portfolio to show off. I know a lot of artists aching backs and shoulders would be thankful if big art portfolio started getting made with shoulder straps.

Getting organized, and able to transport your art making supplies, is one key to creating great art. A tool such as a camera, voice recorder, pastel, conte crayon, paintbrush, or color pencil is not very useable if it’s buried in the back of a closet in a box underneath of a lot of other things. Each individual artist has to come up with their own organizational strategy that fits their own personalities and needs. If you are not organized yet, you might look at ways that you can start getting that way in the near future. It really can help you be creative when you have tools that are handy that you can grab any time and just start using. Digging around for stuff is a major hassle.

Studio Tip – Keeping pencil shavings, and other things…

I love keeping the shavings off pencils as I sharpen them. Sometimes there is just enough color or graphite left to allow for one or two more uses of the leftovers on there that might come in handy someday. Additionally, the shavings are handy for doing interesting things such as creating brush strokes with paint that would be impossible to create with normal brushes, blending color on paintings or drawings by using the shavings as blending stumps, or they can be useful to just have around, sitting in a plastic bottle or jar to look at for inspiration since they various colors and shapes can sometimes give me compositional ideas.

Similarly, I love keeping paint covered palletes and clothing that I’ve used over the years. The splatters on the clothing of various material, whether it’s plaster, paint, tar, or something else mix to create interesting forms and shapes. I think Jim Dine used to keep his studio clothing as seperate pieces of artwork in and of themselves. This is a very good idea. The various materials I see on the various pieces of clothing that I’ve coated with artistic make me think about what was done to create each splatter, and shape, and form. Lately, for palletes, I use paper or stryofoam plates since my latest easel is made to hold those – that makes it a lot easier to keep the pallettes after the painting is done than it used to be when the palletes were expensive items that I typically ended up damaging as I tried to clean them off. It’s a memory jarring thing for us artists. My wife just calls me a pack rat, lol. I might take some digital photos or scans of some pallets and painted clothing sometimes, and create digital works from that. That’s what’s very nice about art – you can recycle ideas, shapes and forms, or elements of various artwork over and over… Infinite possibilities…

I also like keeping old paint brushes. The shapes they can create are likely unique. The same applies to any art instrument or some non-art instruments that can be converted in to art instruments. I love using various items as paint brushes sometimes… Some of the various items I’ve used in the past as a paint brush or brush to apply ink to paper or canvas are tooth picks, old tooth brushes (only use my own for that though so I don’t get a lot of other folks germs, lol), pieces of fabric, sculpey, thumbtacks, branches off of pine trees, pine cones, feathers, blades of grass, nails, screws, and broken light bulbs just to name a few.

I also like to keep a few oddball items around just to play with or to get ideas from… I don’t smoke, but keep a ciggarette lighter in my drawing toolbox sometimes – burnt edges on paper can look neat. I also keep a small handheld mirror or two as well as a full length mirror in the studio to play around with. Knives can be useful for digging layers off of paintings too… or just be neat to look at and draw…

I have one really wicked looking hunting knife in my drawing box that I used to keep in there for protection purposes, not that I ever had to use it. You never know who might come up to you and start bothering you if you are an artist out in the wilderness somewhere at a park or something and are trying to do a pein air painting… I don’t condone violence, but I hear about rapes, murders, and theft in the news way to often to just be out there in the woods by myself on the side of a hiking trail to not have some sort of protection nearby, even if it is just an old cell phone that can be used to call 911.

They say that any cell phone has to legally be allowed to call 911 regardless of whether you still have service on it or not – might not hurt to keep one in your drawing toolbox, basket, book bag, or whatever you use carry around with you to hold your brushes, pencils, or sketchbooks, especially if you are female. In the worst case scenario it could save your life. In the best case scenario it can be useful to call your spouse or significant other to come and pick you up, or to call for a pizza delivery or something. Most cell phones these days have cameras on them – so that is a useful art tool in and of itself, and makes carrying one around with you at all times something you should really think about doing if you are not already.

http://mastermesh.winkflash.com/

http://mastermesh.winkflash.com/ is where I’ll put stock photos and various other free images on occassion going forward. Right now there’s only two pics there in the Public folder. In the future, I may add more. I like winkflash. I just hope they stay around as long as their website claims they will, forever.

Also, for you folks in my family reading this, I’ll probably upload some family photos out there in a non-public folder to share with you in the future. So far, finding a place to upload photos to share privately that has unlimited space has been a major hassle. I’m hoping winkflash is the solution to that major problem.

Color Pallette… Color Blindness… When is a something done?

I have mentioned color pallette in a few postings already, but don’t think I’ve gone in to a lot of detail about my personal preferences in my own color uses, why I have those preferences, etc. so I figured it might be time to post a little bit about that here, even though most of the stuff that I’m uploading to the artfolio is not color yet – It’s mainly black and white or blue and white sketchbook scans for now, but I’ll get around to uploading the color works later, and at that time, it’ll be good to know a little about my use of color.

For those of you that don’t know this yet, I am partially color blind. Greens and Reds that are medium toned or darker tend to look alike to me, which appears to be the same color as a grey color (just black and white) tone of the same value. Luckily, I’m not fully color blind, or else this little issue would have a much more major impact on my artwork than it does now. Bright reds, and greens are very visible to me. It’s only the darker tones that are usually seen in shadows that make things a bit difficult for me.

Because of this, I have a tendency to drive myself towards pointillism type of styles, or similar types of styles that use visual color mixing instead of real color mixing, at least in this part of the color spectrum. That way, I can move in very close to the canvas, and look at what is going on with the color blobs up close and personal to try to resolve issues and create a plan of attack to figure out what move to make next in this chess game of creating art.

Eye strain headaches does come to me after a while of doing this sort of stuff, especially since I’m near sighted… because I’m constantly looking at different areas of the painting, or color drawings at a distance, and then up close, and then at a distance, and maybe upside down to check composition, etc. I did not even realize I needed glasses for my near-sightedness until after I graduated from college, but I really should have probably gotten glasses a very long time before that. My dad loves transitions lenses and got me hooked on using them since they keep me from having to constantly buy sunglasses only to lose them. However, the transition lenses do cause me problems when making art and viewing art sometimes since they put a dark tone on everything I see through them. Because of that, I have to take off my glasses to view things in museums, galleries, or as I paint sometimes so that I’m not making major color/tonal mistakes. That causes even more eye strain on occassion. I do like the transition lenses since my eyes are pretty sensitive to light, and they make staring at a computer all day at my 40 hour a week job more tolerable. However, I hate that they cause me to not be able to see a lot of true colors at a distance… All through school, I remember squinting a lot in painting classes and drawing classes. I just assumed that this was normal at the time since I had never thought to check with a vision specialist. I knew that I was color blind, and just sort of assumed that the squinting and headaches were a normal part of the process of creating art. I sometimes wonder how things would have been different if I had glasses way back in elementatry school….
Strangely, all of this does not have a huge impact on viewers of my work because a lot of artists use green to muddy down red and vice versa to get shadow colors and tones as they are on opposite ends of the color spectrum.

My favorite colors are somewhat bright and intense. As mentioned in another post, I love the color pallette that folks like Remington use, where there’s lots of vividness to the work and it sort of brings a positive cheery mood in to play.

I like mixing colors on the canvas itself visually more than a lot of other painters do. I do mix colors when I can but like using paint staight out of the bottle when possible so that it’s easier to come back to an area and re-work it or balance it out with similar colors on opposite ends of the canvas if I need to… Stuff that comes out of a bottle is usually mixed fairly closely to other stuff that comes out of a bottle that has the same label and is made by the same company. That makes it easier to not have a lot of worries about painting an area and then needing more of that same paint mix later, but not being able to find it because you cannot figure out the exact proportions of which paint you mixed to arrive at that color, especially when, like me, you are color blind so physicially mixing the paint is a very difficult chore. That label on the bottles of paint helps ease my mind in making decisions since I know that the green in that bottle is the same green that I got out of that bottle an hour ago. Pointillism type effects can be used to help mix and match just about any color that exists, at least at a certain distance.

My favorite oil paint colors are usually Cadmium Red (for bright bold red intensity), Crimson Red (for darker red tones and colors), Currealean Blue (for highlights that are in blue – lots of artists are afraid to use blue in highlights, which is a huge loss to their works), Cobalt Blue (for mid-intensity blues), Prussian Blue (for really deep dark blues), and occassionally a very bright yellow, and maybe something strange like violet, which can be very bright and noticible if applied thickly or almost unnoticible if applied thinly with the rest of the colors mentioned above, either scumbled on or put in to small dabs in small pointillism type fields of color on the canvas. I also use just about any other color out there that I can on occassion in small bits, but the colors listed above are the main ones that I usually end up utilizing the most. Most of my works usually end up heading toward red/blue side of the color spectrum because of that. There’s just something about Purple/Violet combinations or near-purple violet that is reached by visual color mixing that I really love – it’s a deep passionate, and dramatic color scheme.

I have a bad tendency to sometimes fall in to the elementary color trap that many artists fall in to on occasions, thinking of blue as dark/cool, red as bright/midrange, and orange for brighter areas than that, and yellows for highlights, instead of really looking at the way things are in reality and trying to match it as closely as possible – where all areas of the color spectrum exist in both bright and dark areas. I do try to balance out that fallacy, which is not always a true representation of reality when I can, but it’s usually a lengthy process since I try to put more and more color range in to both shadows and highlights as I proceed throughout a color pencil drawing or painting — many times I fail horribly and overwork the artwork. It’s hard to know when a work of art is “done.” There are defintitely “levels of doneness” as I like to think of them to any work of art…

Simple abstract forms with simple lines is the first level. The second level takes that and adds more tones or patterned areas to break up the light and dark more. The third level balances things out more and more, making the really complex patterns more worked out with brush stroke placement becoming one of the most important aspects of the work – a small line that’s the wrong color in the wrong place can unbalance everything and cause compositional balance to completely dissappear. Then, on the next level, things really start getting complex… as Professor Bohac used to say, that’s when it’s time for an artist to “fight their way out of a paper bag…” because a simple little thing that’s as wide as a centimeter or smaller can unbalance the entire work…. and as paintings start coming to a level of “reality” that is almost near photo-quality things get even more complex, and the “living elements” of the work start dissappearing more and more… The more realistic a painting gets to be, in terms of photo-realism, the less gestural qualities the work has… Artists, especially those that work with narrative, portrait, or landscape subjects can find themselves in hard to get out of places with their works as they get in to internal conflict about “how realistic” to make the work… since each level of realism requires more work on the entire canvas…

A simple line drawing done in 30 seconds or less can be thought of as a final work of beautiful art just as a photo-realistic painting that took thousands of hours to create can… Any and Everything in between these two extremes is where most artist live. It’s a very dangerous rocky terrain with a lot of smooth valleys full of beautiful smelling flowers. It takes a true artist to know how to balance it all out and make sure that the level of realism is right for the work in question, and each individual area of each work’s composition in question. There’s a different answer for each artists and each individual work.

As I post more artworks in to this blog, I’ll try to explain my own individual tendencies, techniques, and ways of doing things to get my works to where I want them. It is often said that an artist is his/her own most critical judge. I agree with that somewhat. However, that judgement is what makes us who we are, and makes us strive to do better in the future, or to strive to make horrible and hideously disgusting works that cause fear in the hearts of mankind…. It’s all about figuring things out and making them work… knowing the messages you are trying to communicate and trying to find ways to make those messages clear. For me compositional balance is a very important thing. For others, maybe not so much. I’ll try to post more artwork here in the blog later this week.

Inspirations – Anselm Kiefer

Another couple of great and inspiring works that I found at the Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas were Anselm Kiefer’s Book with Wings


Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

, and Die Aschenblume.
Die Aschenblume by Anselm Kiefer

I have always been a fan of Kiefer’s works. The first work that I ever saw of his is located in the St. Louis Museum of Art, Breaking of the Vessels.

Breaking of the Vessels by Anselm Kiefer

Kiefer’s work is gigantic, and epic, but also sublime and simple. It questions history, and our place in it. It takes Germanic Expressionism to a whole new level. It brings the painting/sculptures to the people, quite literally… It calls to mind the supernatural and makes us think about why it is, what our relationship is with it. It makes us question our reality and opens our minds to thinking about things more. I could write tons about the psychology behind Kiefer’s works, but think many great authors have already done so over and over, so I’ll leave you to explore their ideas on your own time.

Kiefer’s works are something that you need to experience in person. The hugeness of the works, and strange physicality to the works is something that digital photos and art books do absolutely no justice to.

Anselm Kiefer is a master of mixing physical things in to his paint and integrating sculpture in to his painterly works. Frank Stella is the only artist I know of that has works that combine 2d and 3d elements in such strange combinations that they start to come close to the mastery that Kiefer has over this realm. However, Stella’s works are typically pretty happy colors from the pretty happy rainbows that the pop world embraces while Kiefer’s is made of the mud-like dreary colors that are true dramatic tragedies that explore the psychological world a heck of a lot more in-depth than Stella’s simple facades ever can.

I’d love to do artwork the size of Anselm Kiefer’s most popular works, but don’t because the sheer enormity of such works make storage a gigantic problem unless the works are going directly in to museums and galleries. Taking photos of the works is also problematic because of the huge size. A photo just does not do these sort of works any justice since there is so much more to the works than a simple photo can capture.

Inspirations – Dennis Blagg

When I was at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, I saw Dennis Blagg’s Passover.

photo of Dennis Blagg's Passover on Flickr

I love this painting, and think that Dennis has a color palette that is similar to the color palette that I try to go after with my own works. The darkened purplish sky in the horizon sitting right next to the yellow wheat in the foreground that breaks up the landscape is an intense visual image that is hard to forget, not that anyone would ever want to forget it. It burns an amazing sensual one-ness with nature in to the viewer’s brain. It is not just a landscape, but a landscape that you feel as if you are a part of. There is a harmonic balance between the hills on the right and the weat on the left. There is a lot of invisible triangular compositional balance going on, but that intense splash of yellow on top of a darkened sky is something that can truly be called beautiful.

I have seen prints of this work before and loved the piece at that time, but it is far more amazing to view in person!

Fort Worth…

Last weekend, I went to Forth Worth, Texas to visit my Brother, Sister-in-law, and my niece. They live down there, and this was really the first time that I’ve had a chance to visit there or see them for over a year. It’s a great cultural city to visit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Worth,_Texas

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has some outstanding works of art. The entry fee is a bit steep compared to some similar Museums elsewhere (that’s bad because it puts off a lot of would be Museum goers in the general public – such as my sister and parents who I was staying in a hotel room with, lol.), but when we were there, the fee was half off as half of the Museum was closed (Warhol Exhibit was in the process of being put up, so they had a lot of rooms blocked off), so it was not too bad.

Kimbell Art Museum is literally across the street from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. It’s definitely worth a visit, especially now that they have Michelangelo’s First Painting back on display.

Michealangelo's First Painting - The Torment of St. Anthony

We did not see the Private Collection of Texas there unfortunately (as mentioned above, my parents, and sister don’t like spending too much on entry fees to museums since they don’t always understand art and find walking around in museums to be boring sometimes – Hey, like I said in previous posts, part of the reason I’m uploading scans and photos of my artwork is to protect it from mishandling by those around me, lol. Luckily, if I ever do die, my artwork will likely end up in the hands of my loving spouse, Tekla, who has a much greater appreciation of the arts than some of our other relatives…)

While in Fort Worth, we also had time to see the Amon Carter Museum which is only about 2 blocks from the other two Museums mentioned above. The view of downtown from the Amon is amazing. I might upload a photo of that that I took here if I can find it…. The exhibits on display were amazing. I loved the photo exhibit, and the Remington and Russell exhibit. I think of Remington as one of my favorites art inspirations in the wide world of illustration. His drawing technique, use of forshortning, and vivid and bright color scheme are some of the many things that I try to emulate in my own paintings and illustrations when I can. That sort of bringing the world of the painting to life in color and form is something I find very inspiring, even if some of his themes and subject matter eventually turned fairly cliche.

While in town, we also wandered around the stockyards a while. There was a major livestock show going on at the time, along with a carnival and there were horses all over the streets down there. I didn’t know this sort of thing happened regularly in the middle of January. I guess the 60 degree weather justifies it. It was sickening to come back to Missouri’s 30 degree weather and massive amount of fog…