Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ad Hoc Show - Looong Post!

So here we go...all five pieces for "In the Language of Angels" at Ad Hoc Art in New York, opening October 24th and exhibiting for a full month. (andrew@adhocart.org)

As I said in an earlier post, this show is based on the 1,001 Nights, so it was a lot of fun for me. The 3 largest pieces are based on 3 different kinds of women from the stories. I'll go through each one and give a bit of story background.

"Scheherazade and the 1,001 Nights" 18" x 24" Acrylic on wood.
This is the biggest painting I've ever done. (unless you count art school shenanigans, and none were nearly as detailed as this, nor do they really count anyways!)

Scheherazade, if you recall from my Wikipedia lesson, was the vizier's daughter who offered herself as a bride to the murderous King Shahryar, and told him stories for 1,001 nights. She's the loyal woman out of the three, although she had to fight hard to convince the king that she wasn't the treacherous kind. Some of the images in her hair and all over the piece are references to the actual stories, while others are symbolic of aspects of the situation and her character.

The funny thing about this (and all my paintings) is that a lot of the details are planned, a lot of them are spontaneous and random, and some of them surprise me in the end in their actual relevance to the story, despite my lack of intention.

"The Queen" 12" x 16" Acrylic on wood.
Here we have King Shahryar's first wife, the one who deceived him and goaded him to not only kill her but also hundreds of innocent virgins.

"Morgiana and the 40 Thieves" 12 x16" oval. Acrylic on wood.
Most people know the story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (and the famous "open sesame!"), but I think the story is really about Morgiana, his slave girl. When the leader of the thieves came to dine with Ali Baba, and the 40 thieves hid themselves in oil jars in the backyard, it was the clever Morgiana who discovered the jug-thieves and poured scalding oil into each one, killing them. Then she went to entertain the guests, and stabbed the leader right in the middle of her dance. So Morgiana is the woman in this threesome who was deceitful in order to be loyal to her master.

"The Ship-Wrecked Woman and Her Child" 5" x 5" Acrylic on wood.
One of Scheherazade's stories was about a pregnant shipwrecked woman who gave birth while being washed ashore an island. Shortly after giving birth, she encountered a treacherous wild man who threatened her and threw her child into the sea. In her despair, she prayed to Allah and a huge water serpent rescued the child and devoured the man. Crazy story!

"Two Virgins" 5" x 5" Acrylic on wood.
And I already showed this one, but these are two of the virgins threatened by Shahryar. I wanted to leave this piece mysterious and ambiguous as to the many possible stories of these women, since the other 4 seem somewhat set in stone. Just a nice contrast to the defined women and the told-about women.

Finally, here's the flyer for Saturday's Meltdown show, courtesy of Anthony Ausgang. Juxtapoz did a writeup on the show too! If you'd like to see the show preview, go here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


To read the details, click that image. My bad for not making the type legible at thumbnail size!

For those of you patiently waiting for prints: your time has come! I'm releasing a very limited 20 each of these three pieces (media, size, & prices are on that flyer thing up there). I will not be selling these online, so if you want one please contact Gaston of Meltdown Comics: 1.323.851.7223 or gaston@meltcomics.com

Oh, looks like I plunged into this without an introduction! Most of you probably know about this anyway, but for the record:
Otis College of Art and Design is turning 90 this year, and as part of the festivities, Anthony Ausgang has curated a group show of Otis alumni, opening on October 4th at 7pm, and showing for the entire month at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. As a proud alum, I will be showing these three prints at the show. One of each will be beautifully framed for the wall, and the remaining 19 unframed prints will be available for sale. Get on the waiting list for the two on the right though, because the unframed ones will be late for the opening (but they'll be there for the rest of the month).

A painting update: My Corey Helford paintings are underway and I am SO excited for this show! The theme is crazy and detailed, and I'm just having a blast painting these pieces. My hand has been behaving, but it's taking a while to get used to taking breaks, haha. Reading lots of amazing audiobooks, and keeping busy as usual : )

I'll leak the Ad Hoc pieces once I ship them to NY. Sorry for the delay!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Long post for a long absence

It's been almost a month since my last post, but quite a bit has happened to slow me down:

It looks like carpal tunnel is rearing its ugly head (to use a hackneyed phrase), so I'm wearing a wrist splint, taking breaks, and trying to teaching my right hand to gesso, do under-painting, and tiny highlights. Luckily though, my fellow painters say it happens to everyone, so it's just something I would have had to deal with sooner or later.

Good news: I'm done with the NY show, and am sending the batch off to photograph!
I did my first ever 18" x 24", which is huge for the miniaturist-me, so it took three weeks to finish. Funny that it also took me three weeks back in March to finish my then-largest, 15"x 20". Maybe that's a standard or something!

To make a long story longer, I'm about a month behind on the Corey Helford show, so I've had some plan-changes in order to keep the amount of detail that I want in each. And also to be able to take my time on each piece : ) I started the first one this week, and it's going pretty good. I admit that I botched one CHG painting that I had started last month. Wasn't feeling it, so I sanded it down and re-gessoed to save panels. It happens a lot. I'll have a batch of drawings ready to paint, and then a few weeks later I'll dump the entire thing, or make size changes, or rework half. I used to consider that a bad thing, but now I'm thankful because it makes the final pieces that much better than the first round would have been!

Thanks to all of you who have expressed interest in prints: I'll be releasing very limited editions of 3 or 4 different pieces in early October. Otis is turning 90, so we're having an alumni gallery show at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood on October 4th! Unfortunately, no originals from me, but the good news is that the prints are coming : )
There will be one framed print for each piece, and the rest will be available for purchase unframed. More details later, but let me tell you: the first proof came in this week, and it looks fantastic!

I'll put up more previews for the NY show once the hi-res files come in, so until next time...