Sunday
Aug072011

The Clubhouse

It's been a lot of fun putting together the new website. I've had to go digging through all of my old links and bookmarks to find URLs for places I want to include in my list-o-links. I've been visiting all of these links and remembering why I found them cool in the first place. This morning, I spent some time at The Clubhouse. I forgot how much I love that place. Sculpting is being done there that just blows me away. I always find something there to inspire me. This morning, it was Daniel Ritthanondh's sculpture of Lovecraft's Flying Polyp. The surface textures are stunning. I could spend all day looking at sculptures at the Clubhouse, but then I'd never get any of my own finished!

Saturday
Aug062011

One Cool Canadian

Summer Chrome by David DowbyhuzTonight I tip my hat to another old artist friend of mine, David Dowbyhuz. I met him originally on WetCanvas, a forum I spent a great deal of time on in years past. He was the guy sitting quietly in the corner painting some pretty amazing things. Dave and his wife Melody put me up one snowy November when I visited Montreal, so I got to see a lot of his paintings firsthand. There wasn't an inch of wall space left in his house empty of a painting. I only wish I could be so prolific! At right is one of my favorites, click the image to see more.

 

Friday
Aug052011

My Cthulhu Obsession

I don't think I can explain it. I like sculpting silly Cthulhu objects. It started with the Santa Cthulhus that Brian and I make around Christmas-time and escalated from there. Last winter I began making small Snowman Cthulhu ornaments like the ones shown here. I sold them on Etsy and people must have really liked them because I couldn't make them fast enough. They were fast and fun to sculpt so I just ran with it.

For anyone not familiar with Cthulhu, he's one of H. P. Lovecraft's creations. A character mentioned in several of Lovecraft's short stories, Cthulhu is a malevolent, powerful, gigantic entity trapped beneath the ocean. One of the Great Old Ones, he is usually depicted as a scaly sort of humanoid figure with rudimentary wings and a squid or octupus for a head. In sci-fi/fantasy/horror circles, Cthulhu has become a facetious synonym for anything horrific. Making him cute is something done by many artists. You could accuse me of jumping on the Cute-Cthulhu Bandwagon, and I can't really argue. But it amuses me no end, so (with apologies to Mr. Lovecraft) I keep doing it. This spring I even started making Cthulhu Easter Bunnies. Come on, he looks good in pink!

Thursday
Aug042011

Magic Beans

Magic Beans by Peter Mayer

That’s not how the story goes
When do heroes play it safe?
You’ve got a job and a family-o
But not a single golden egg
And a pocket full of possibilities
Hey ho Jack, when
Will you plant them
Magic beans?

Jack, Oh Jack, what scared you so?
Made you hide those beans and run
Did you hear the rumors-o
Of the fee, fi, fo, and fum?
Were you frightened of the things you
Just might see
Hey ho Jack-o
If you plant those
Magic beans?

Jack, it’s not too late you know
To sow those seeds of fate
So throw them out your wind-o
Go to sleep, and when you wake
Things will happen
Things you never dared to dream
But they won’t happen
Unless you plant them
Magic beans´╗┐

This is my latest art doll! It's been a few years since I completed a larger sculpture. It feels great to get this guy finished. He's inspired by the song posted above. More info can be found in his listing in the gallery, and he's available for sale (with more pictures from different angles) in my Etsy shop. Oh, and there's a great video of Pete performing this song here on YouTube.

Tuesday
Aug022011

Cernunnos

Tonight I've got a work-in-progress to share. I've just finished the last sculpture I was working on (more on that in another journal entry, after I've taken some decent photos), so it's time to start thinking of other projects. The problem is, I'm always thinking of other projects. Often I've got so many different projects going on at the same time that a few of them slip between the cracks for a while. But I eventually return to finish them. Most of them, anyway.

One such project I began last October, a sculpture of Cernunnos. He's the horned god figure from Celtic mythology. There are very few existing artifacts that feature him and there's very little really known about him. This makes him exactly the sort of subject I love, since there's a lot of room left for interpretation. Normally he's depicted as a man with the antlers of a stag, but I like the idea of giving him a stag's head along with the antlers. He'll have a human body, and I envision him seated in a gnarled tree.

I began sculpting the head back in October, then worked on it a little more back in January. What you see here is as far as I got. It's been sitting patiently in my studio since then. I'm sharing it now in hopes that it will keep me honest and on task, because I'd like to finish him!

Monday
Aug012011

Art-O-Mat

My mother wouldn't give me coins easily. She had four children so a coin for one meant coins for all. Walking by the vending machines must have at times been a gauntlet for her. When I had my own money (or when she acquiesced), I would stand before the gumball machine rack trying to decide. Anything might come out! With gumballs you pretty much knew what you were going to get, you just didn't know what color your tongue was about to be. For a little more money I could take my chance on the magic plastic bubble machine. Anything could be inside. Superballs, Power Rings, temporary tattoos, sticky geckos, parachute men, all somehow within one little vending machine.

I came upon this website tonight and it made me think of those days. A vending machine for art! Better than unicorn stickers, an original work of art! With the pull of a lever, a turn of a dial, a random bit of inspiration comes tumbling into your hands. The Art-O-Mat is an old cigarette vending machine converted to vend art. The closest one to me is in Massachusetts. I may have to visit it sometime!

Sunday
Jul312011

Walking to Idaho

Digital Art by Dee DresloughDee Dreslough is a very cool person I consider myself lucky to know. I met her in 2006 at UConn. We were in the same organic chemistry class, both returning to school as older students surrounded by Tomorrow's Virtuous Youth. We were a beacon of sensible shoes in a sea of Uggs.

Dee has created (and don't take this to mean she's crazy) an entire fantasy world of her own full of wonderful creatures. Her website includes many tutorials, but her pre-tutorial pep-talk was always my favorite. If I may quote:

I meet people who say "I can't draw". This is like saying "I'm not in Idaho." Learning any skill is as easy as getting to Idaho. They just need to make that first step, and the next, and the next, and to believe that they can be in Idaho. It's just that simple. There's no magic bullet. Practice is travel - each doodle takes you one step closer. Enjoy the ride!

I've been on the road to Idaho for a lot of years, and I can't say I'm even halfway there yet. I need pep-talks from folks like Dee along the way. Call it luck or call it chance, but meeting her was one of the best parts of returning to college. Thanks, Dee!

Thursday
Jul282011

Welcome to my new website!

After a lengthy hiatus, I'm back with an updated website! Please feel free to click around. In the gallery pages you'll find older works as well as recent pieces. Here in the journal I hope to share works-in-progress and other art news and musings. The website itself is a work-in-progress, so feedback is always welcome. Let me know what you like or don't like, and what you'd like to see. Thanks for dropping by!´╗┐

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