Archive for the Studio Work Category

New Studio and New Work

Posted in Leisure, Studio Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26 August, 2010 by endlessslug

I just started setting up the new studio now that everything else is unpacked and organized.  It will still be a couple days until the new studio is complete, however.  I’m also working on finishing a new book for the Johnny Rook company which will hopefully be completed by the weekend.  I did receive a small commission for some paintings or drawings for a friend’s livingroom, paid in advance, and this has saved my financial ass.  Ok, I didn’t so much get a commission as socially strong-arming my buddy into making his pad a swingin’ chick magnet-verse.   It’s still appreciated greatly and I shall endeavor to produce some fine ass-capturing works in short order.  Spank-spank.

I have a few pastels I need to take some shots of and put up at my Zatista page as well as some B/W illustrations for Johnny Rook to post, although I have to wait for the latter until I get the ‘OK’ to officially post them.  I was allowed to post a couple of the new images in my facebook gallery – check me out there – but only 1-3 images from the new book.  I believe I posted 2.

Anyway, looking forward to beginning some new work in a new place with very positive surroundings.  Although a job would be nice.  It’s hard to pay the rent on nothing but hope.

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New Summer Series

Posted in Art, Contemorary Art, Pop-culture, Social Science, Studio Work, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21 May, 2010 by endlessslug

I decided to do something a little different and try pissing out mass volumes of pastel drawings and try selling them at reduced rates.  It’s a big experiment, so don’t worry all you hard-core followers of the slug, I’m not selling out.  I have a hypothesis I’d like to test.  It’s mostly a color hypothesis but in order to test it adequately, I need to sell a mass of work in a short time.  Reducing prices to affordable decoration range ideally will do the trick.

Here’s the first one of the new series.

I named this one, which I rarely do.  It’s name is “Breakfast Nook” and is a contemporary surrealist approach to a still life of an apple, a pear, and a banana.  Interested parties can buy prints over at imagekind or buy the original drawing over at zatista.  I hope to put a drawing up like this one about every other week, possibly every week this summer, and then firmly stop before I have to move out of my apartment around late July.  This means, mostly a June series.

-Slug

Busy Bees and “Art Students, Please!”

Posted in Art, Artists, Studio Work, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14 April, 2010 by endlessslug

Hi all, the Slug has been pretty busy as of late running some business-end things and working on some new projects so I haven’t been able to write as much as I had intended.  I have a few saved posts ready for rainy days but I don’t believe the time is quite right…

With that said, I’ll leave this post short but I will add a sort of teaser of things to come:

Top 10 Things Art Students Should ALWAYS Refrain (that mean’s “do not do this” kiddies) From Painting:

1 – Aliens.  No one cares man.

2 – Pot leaves.  It’s just advertising.

3 – Any other drug references.  If it’s a cry for help, go elsewhere.  If not, stop using and experience the world a bit and see if you still want to paint this.

4 – Crosses, thorn-crowns, crucifixions.  Do you work for your church?  Even great historical painters ALL hated painting this stuff.

5 – Black female jesus.  This isn’t profound, it’s stupid.  Why not paint actual religious females with your g/f’s image in them? Oh wait, there aren’t any. What?

6 – Girlfriends.  Note, I do not say boyfriends – why? cause who paints that?

7 – Erotic art.  Why? because for students, it’s just porn and nobody ever tells them otherwise.  Skills first people.

8 – Famous people.  We’ve seen it. Stop.

9 – Animal portraits.  Seriously get the fuck out of the house.

10 – Your friend’s band promo.  [facial expression of ‘geh?’]

We’ll add an addendum list…

Top 10 Ways in which Art Students Should Stop Working (e.g., the technique guide):

1 – Never bring anime into an art studio.  We’ll kill you.

2 – Stop using ‘graphitti’.  To artists this translates to: “ignorant fuck who thinks themselves better than 40000 years of art history.” Cave paintings are better than gra-shitty art any day.

3 – Cray-pas.  What, are you 7?

4 – Painting with ‘non-traditional’ tools such as leaves, stems, twigs…  it’s all about the process right? No.  It really isn’t.  How unnatural is a sable brush?

5 – Stop sticking things to canvases.  It really looks like shit.

6 – Stop sewing into canvas.  Make a quilt, don’t paint.

7 – Don’t use hemp canvas.  Hemp is useless for anything, don’t believe the hype, listen to your painter ancestors who have tried it numerous times with no useful results.

8 – Don’t let your canvas peek through your paint for that ‘painted’ look.  It’s a painting, ass.

9 – Quit “expressing” all over the place.  I certainly don’t want to clean that up.

10 – Quit using perishables.  Potatoes strung up over a piano?  Dude, “Fuck” and “Off”.

-Endless Slug

Quit Painting Other People’s Art

Posted in Art, Artists, Contemorary Art, Criticism, Gallery Talk, Literature, Studio Work, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 March, 2010 by endlessslug

Here’s an issue I see frequently in the world of art today from the lowly student, to the returning retiree, to the professional: Re-creating a work of art into the artist’s medium resulting in a lifeless copy of something once beautiful and meaningful.

Do you know what I’m referring to? Have you seen/created works like this?

I’ll contain this discussion to my fellow painters:

O BITTER MUSE!

The most common form of copy-painting folks often come across is people who paint from photographs.  Yes, yes, I know, many painters and especially illustrators use photographs frequently as reference in the construction of an image.  A reference.  Say it with me now, “R E F E R E N C E”. A painter knows how to draw the image already, the photo helps in the small details when a painter feels they need to recall more specific information.  Far too often, we see students and especially pseudo-professionals create a work entirely from a photograph.  A trained eye quickly picks up that photos have been used.  Why should we not do this? The work ends up lifeless – only a copy.  Some artists can make some aspect of these works interesting: Watercolorists can sometimes create interesting effects in color application and transparencies, drawers can create different effects in line weights and contrasts, and the painter can shift a whole mood in addition to the previous two effects.  But these changes are often pedantic and cannot detract from the image as a photo.  We can always tell the photo-painting because of the inclusion of excessive details revealed by looking at a pictoral reference, which are different from the movement details we find with live or imagined objects.  The photo is a static instance of an event and completely unsuitable for a painting.  Photo-paintings also lean towards the development of bad habits: restrictive drawing space, restrictive palette, attempts at color which result in drab local color arrangements, and lack of experience in drawing live models/scenes.  As painters, we must, at all cost, SEE (with our personal eyes) what a subject looks like – how it moves – how light plays off edges and curves, how lines appear and disappear, how color plays in the shadows, and so on.  A photo cannot reproduce this; neither does video.

A couple of simple rules:

Stop and change your idea immediately if you plan on painting any of the following:

1) Family photos

2) “Found” photos

3) Pet Photos

4) Cellphone Pix

5) Website caps

6) Cropped areas of a photo in an attempt to do something “different”

7) Paintings of famous photographs or paintings of work you did in your photo class that you got that A- on.

8 ) Anything your friends say you should paint.

Because:

A) These are all terrible ideas and have been done by every wannabe post-mod contemporary shit student artist for the last 10+ years.

B) It will result in a terrible painting that no one wants to see.

C) They are boring.

D) They are artistic Plagiarism!

Artistic Plagiarism

Sometime in the last 30 years, some idiot decided it was “OK” to “express yourself” in any way you feel as long as you are being yourself. You, you, you, you, me, me, me, me, blah.  Once upon a time, a favorite old art professor told me, “paint from a photo and you’re committing plagiarism.”  The shitbag art students in the class with me argued with this guy for weeks about that statement.  Partly, he said it so these kids would say something and begin to argue to make them academic artists, but he was also correct.  The photo itself is already a record of an event and it’s own aesthetic creation.  It might be more historical document than art, and the ‘artist’ might decide to elevate the work to some sort of western notion of fine art, but the work is already done – why paint that?  Just frame it and put it on the wall.  When you paint it, you’ve just copied someone else’s work – maybe even your own.  To him, and to me, it’s no different than taking words from a published document and using them as if you said them yourself.  And like the trained literature/composition instructor, the trained artist can tell right away when the work is a photo-painting, thus knowing it was plagiarized.  I believe a little part of that intuition exists in all viewers of the work which somewhat universally makes the work uninteresting – except to the Sunday-painter whose mind was just blown: “Wow! I can paint my dog too! and I have the perfect picture of him in a little pink sweater I knitted”.  Thanks photo-painter for shitting up the art world one person more.

So, in conclusion:

I> Don’t paint from photos or any other copy-reference; draw from life

II> If you do paint from photos, DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR PAINTING that the photo does not or can not.  If you constantly strive to improve upon the photo and instead work more from life, one day magic will happen… you will no longer need it.

*** ADDENDUM ***

That was quick – I got bombarded with private and semi-public arguments within minutes of this post.  On one hand, it’s good to see people are reading me, on the other, I wish people would argue less, listen, and learn.

I should clarify, however: Artists of all forms know that human minds are repositories of experiences and knowledge manipulated by intuition and abstract forethought resulting in limitless creativity, thanks to Noam Chomsky and linguistic anthropologists everywhere, boo to modern philosophers and psychologists.  My argument about ‘not’ painting other people’s work is a plea for artists to construct their own work – which they can certainly do.  We all learn some painting from copying masters and other artists, this is normal behavior, but copy-learning must be tempered with real painting as well and eventually, the student moves away from the copies to become their own master.

My argument is for those artists in galleries downtown, right now, who dare put a photo-painting on a wall.  The “why” about this problem might be fleeting for most non-artists though.  The major problem with photo-paintings is that they are terrible paintings, lacking energy, lacking style, lacking composition, idea, complexity – name it, and these paintings do not have it.  The best one can achieve is small variations of technique – but who cares? The average viewer doesn’t give a shit, they want to see a nice painting, not a dentist’s office visit.  It reminds me about times when I’d go see movies with film student friends.  The movies might have totally sucked, but the film student goes on and on about the direction, lighting, and so on, amidst a flood of angry or confused movie-goers.  This is crap, and a hallmark of the postmodern world we live in where things are now created for exclusive groups, instead of larger audiences.  The longevity and usefulness of personal art is temporary, fleeting, and ultimately meaningless.  We don’t expect every painting, film, or pop-song to be amazing for centuries – of course not – but why don’t we have long-lasting works anymore?  This is the question I raise and attempt to locate data for.  We also do paint for ourselves.  I have a number of personal drawings and paintings that will never be shown.  Not because I’m ashamed, but because that the art is not for a public – there’s no need to show it.  I have a responsibility as a fine artist to show only work which I believe a public would like to see and needs.

Here is a painting exercise for folks – I’ll use my own work.  <gasp> no he didn’ – Sure, I did use photo reference in my earlier days; I too tried painting from photos.  I learned the lesson first-hand that photo paintings lack something which model-based paintings have.  I have since learned how to use a photo for a painting, not as the painting.

Which of the following paintings was created from a photo?  Which of the following paintings was painted with photo-reference?  Then criticize and analyze. I don’t have enough portraits scanned in for a good data set, apologies, so I’m selecting three portraits and two landscapes.

-The Endless Slug

Some New, Some Old

Posted in Art, Studio Work, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 February, 2010 by endlessslug

Just a small update

I’ve been working on getting my first illustrated book published and riding the wave of excitement from my recognition at Zatista.com last month, so I decided to wait a bit before posting again.

I was able to wrangle someone’s digital camera to take some shots of some new and old work and started posting it on my websites.  First up, is this old oil painting from college:

This painting was actually one of my very first oil paintings.  I’ve always enjoyed it, as have many visitors to my places of residence.  This is one of the only pieces of my own work which I ever display publically.

Secondly, a new work which I posted on the slug blog a little while ago, but here is a better image of it:

I haven’t drawn these geometric pastel works in almost ten years!  So I decided to try my hand again.  Lo and behold, I can still produce these babies like a factory.  If anyone out there likes these drawings, I’ll be happy to make an original one for you.  I should note that I was not that happy with this particular pink and green one; colors = eww.  But it still feels like a place in space and that’s really the goal.  Even if that place happens to be some sort of retro 80’s neon fantasy.

Click on the Endless Slug links to the right to head over to my galleries to buy either the originals or some prints – or shirts and mugs! Yup, buy some stuff from the slug!  I have to pay my rent…

-Slug

Recognition!

Posted in Art, Artists, Contemorary Art, Criticism, Gallery Talk, Studio Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27 January, 2010 by endlessslug

One of my pastel drawings was the favorite work on zatista.com by guest curator Anthony Cochran!

Endless Passage (Reversed)

Check out what he said about it and read his article HERE.

It’s nice to finally get a little recognition for something I’ve done.  The only problem is that over the winter, I realized that many of the images I posted on my portfolio sites were reversed due to the scans of the slides I used.  I re-packaged the original works to protect them a bit more, and realized that the slides were backwards.  I switched all of them out – except for the ones on Zatista.  Doh!  So, apologies to Mr. Cochran, but if you flip that image, I hope it isn’t any less your favorite!  Also a note to would-be buyers out there, take a look at the image in reverse and see if you still want it – hope you do!

-Endless Slug, endlessly slugging.

Endless Passage (Correct)

*** UPDATE ***

The very active folks over at Zatista gave a read to my blog today and noted the image flub.  They’ve kindly switched my image on their marketing materials to show the corrected image.  Who feels like an idiot? Slug do.  Anyway, thanks to Zatista for being so tenacious with their aid and interest in my work as well as all the other artists over at their site.

Busy Illustrating?

Posted in Artists, Studio Work with tags , , , , , , on 26 January, 2010 by endlessslug

What has Endless Slug gone and done now?  I accepted a paid contract for illustrations.  Ok, ok, it’s not quite a paid contract since I contracted myself.  I recently started my own publication company since the world apparently will not hire me for anything (going on 10 months unemployed now, whee!).  Unfortunately, the form of publications requires me to have illustrations.  Since I have no money, I get to do all of my own illustrations!  I *hate* illustrating.  In this particular case, I certainly will do it – although I hope I can make some sort of revenue so that I can hire some professionals out there.

Anyway, the blog has been a bit lighter than I wanted lately, but only due to the high number of hits on my last post and the start-up of my new business.  I just wanted to update my more dedicated readers.  The Slug is still out there, slugging around…