Monday, January 26, 2009

Hexagon Block Portraits (2)

This one was made with the leftover pieces from the first one, so it doesn't really have as much punch. However the nose, left eye, and lips are good examples of the repurposing of both figurative and non-figurative elements to help create an unexpected and expressive face. The eye and nose were purely non-figurative before I placed them in this new context. The lips were a piece of the neck and chin of a conventional face, turned counter-clockwise. Like a lot of the stuff I do that veers a little closer to painterly abstraction than figuration, these ideas are basically amalgams of my father's, Bacon's, and my own ideas.

Also, as in the last one, I've cheated a little by filling in some of that flat blue after-the-fact to help create separation between the figure and the background.


I think I've put this story online and then taken it down twice already, thinking that its publication was imminent... But it hasn't happened yet, and it's getting pretty old and doesn't have much in common with the work I'm gradually accumulating for a new collection, so here it is again, "Harvest":

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hexagon Block Portraits (I)

A few years back, I was feeling frustrated about how many of my (abstract) paintings were coming out poorly. The process I was using - layering poured house paint in layers of gradually increasing thickness - made it almost impossible to correct mistakes or salvage a painting that had veered in a direction I became unhappy with. I was upset about the waste of time and materials and I began looking for a more flexible method.

I remembered a toy I played with a child. It was a mosaic of wooden cubes that were painted differently on each side, just like this one. I remembered how much I enjoyed exploring different compositions without having to commit to any of them and how the materials could be reused as many times as I liked.

I decided to create a set of blocks for myself, but with more pictorial versatility than the simple colored blocks I'd played with as a child. I chose a hexagonal prism block because its six sides allow more possible combinations (without painting on more than one side of the block) than a square (possibly the most). I grouped a number of the blocks (each about four inches across, I think) into honey-comb arrangements and painted loose, free-form compositions across them, concentrating on getting a variety of colors and shades as well as some areas of illusory depth. The groups were then dispersed and used as pieces to an open-ended puzzle.

In a few cases I painted not an abstract composition on the grouping, but a realistic self portrait, hoping these recognizable elements might act as binding agents for what I expected would otherwise be very loosely representational pictures.

This was right around the time that my friend Maggie gave me the most amazing art book ever, so with my new toys laid out around me on my rug, I set to work on a series of self portraits.

This is the first one.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pilgrim 3: Distant Screaming

Here's another (the other) of my full color anthologized short stories, presented in full. This one appeared in Meathaus SOS, which, sadly, seems to be sort of difficult to find (i.e. - it's not on Amazon). But dang, it's a great book, and I'm not just saying that.

And but so if you are interested in getting a copy, you can order it directly from Mr. Chris McDonnell, Meathaus's lead-parachuted CEO.

But anyways-
This story was sort of a reaction to the all-ages story "Farewell, Little Karla" (posted below), which I had just finished. No holds barred in this one:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Farewell, Little Karla

Inspired by my good buddy Tomer, who just posted a short anthologized comic of his (and his brother's) in its entirety on his blog, I thought I'd do the same.

The following, "Farewell, Little Karla", was originally published in Flight Vol. 4, edited by Kazu Kibuishi. Presented here in it's entirety:

(next I'll post "Pilgrim 3: Distant Screaming" from Meathaus SOS)