Thursday, July 31, 2014

Emma Stone Should Return As Mary Jane

I'm sure some of my regular readers saw this title and went "huh?", so let me quickly explain.

WARNING: If you have not seen "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and want to, stop reading right now and come back after you see it.

For those of you who are still reading: The character of Spider Man has two love interests. The first was Gwen Stacy who was introduced in the comic book in 1965, and then killed off in 1973 in issue #121. After that he dates Mary Jane, who he later marries. This is about when I stopped reading comic books. I heard rumors about clones, and the dead coming back to life, memory wipes, and all sorts of other crazy stuff but I just got busy with other things, like painting and drawing. If you are a fan of Spider-Man comics you were also not surprised when the character Gwen (Emma Stone) dies in the end of Spider Man 2. What I found surprising is how good the movie is, and how much of a loss Emma Stone would be to "The Amazing Spider-Man 3". After seeing it I thought, they shouldn't have killed her yet. You know she has to die, but just not yet. I thought "well, too late now, but they should just bring her back as Mary Jane." And just today I found out I wasn't the only one that thought occurred to . 

This article that claimed that there were rumors that Emma Stone would be returning as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider Man 3.

(Right: A J. Scott Campbell drawing of Mary Jane)

You might be wondering why am I posting a Blog about this? For two reasons, One, I like the idea that a major studio might try something risky that has seldom if ever been done. Why not? The number one reason they gave for not doing it would be that people wouldn't understand it or it would be confusing. It's a comic book movie!?  Having Emma Stone return as a new character is confusing but having Mark Ruffalo turn into a giant green indestructible monster who increases his mass by at least double if not triple simply because he was exposed to one specific type of radiation - that isn't confusing? Anytime I hear something that the knee jerk response will be "no way!" I like to take a step back and say "why not?". If you are still not convinced, think of it this way. The character would have red hair, not blond so everyone can tell the difference. Let's be honest, if you took a good amount of comic book drawings of both characters, the hair color is often the only difference there as well.

The second reason I'm posting this is because I want to see how many hits this topic gets as opposed to the posts on art. Call it a Blog experiment. And for any of you here for the first time, have a look around, I'm actually a painter and a Disney Fine Artist, Follow the Blog, add me on Facebook, you know the routine...
And speaking of art and Spider Man, and to tie this all together: Todd McFarlane's  original artwork for Spider Man #1 is going up for auction. For those of you who are not familiar with it, this is not the Amazing Spider Man comic book that began in the 1960's. This was an issue from the 90's. In fact they printed so many, (the article states two million issues), that the issue itself is practically worthless. They claim this will go for around $200,000. I am actually thrilled to see this sell for that much money. In art we see things like balloon dogs, and fish in formaldehyde sell for millions, it's nice to see something like this also sell for high prices. Granted it's not at those levels but it's a start. The full article is listed here:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wave Painting Process Shots

 I did a quick sketch first on this wave, something I do not normally do on them. Because of the complexity of the breaking part, I wanted a bit more of an accurate drawing before I began painting.
I wound up covering every drawing line anyway but I think it was a good exercise.
It is 18 x 32, one of the bigger waves I have painted.

If you liked this post, please

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Two New Waves - Large and Small

Just finished these two Waves. The large one above is 18 x 32.
The little one to the right is a 6 x 8".

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Random Thought #2

Someone recently said to me "Boy, you are really climbing the ladder". I never really liked the ladder analogy. They wabble, no one is ever holding them properly, you can fall at any time, etc.
So I started asking around. I then heard people refer to it as a drive, a journey, a mountain, an elevator, and a roller coaster.  I have never heard anyone say that their success was like a Log Flume. Going up slowly, one single click at a time, then straight down into a pool of murky water, and left standing there, cold, sort of wet in some places, without a towel or a change of clothes... How do you know which metaphor you are on? Maybe ladder isn't so bad after all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blast From My Past...

 There are photos circulating on the internet of before and after shots of artist's work from ten and twenty years ago, and this amazing transformation to their work today. The problem is that the drawings of the before shots are horrible, and most of the after shots look either traced or made with a grid. In almost all of the examples, there isn't much difference in the knowledge, just the skill.

I did the drawing to the right about fifteen years ago, roughly three or four years before I began working with Daniel Greene. Although it has many flaws, I think it shows a certain amount of knowledge and skill. It isn't downright awful (if I do say so myself). It was drawn from life in a three hour session at The National Arts Club in  NYC. I clearly remember the day. Still in art school at the time, and somewhat nervous about even being there, I was minding my own business and drawing. A very famous pastel painter happened to be there. He walked by me and said "It looks like you swallowed a Dean Cornwell book." I think he meant it as an insult but I just looked up and said thank you. To me it was a compliment!

 When I was young I tried a lot of different mediums and styles. I did several cartoon drawings in colored pencil like this one to the left. I miss doing these sometimes. I really enjoy working out of my head once in a while. I could easily have posted hundreds of terrible drawings from that time and say "look how much better I am now!"

I don't think there are many cases where artists have absolutely no skill when they are young. Most working artists today that I know personally, actually had a tremendous amount of skill when they were young.

I am not posting this to discourage young people who want to be painters, I am posting this because I believe the article to be a misrepresentation. Basically, all the article says is "If you copy enough photos, eventually you will get better at it"

Most people in a career, whether it be singers, dancers, athletes, etc, display an aptitude for these gifts at a very young age. Now I am certainly not saying that you are born with it and that's it. The same artists I mentioned above that displayed skill at a young age, also paint for ten to twelve hours a day if not more, myself included. But they had something there to begin with.

Before I began painting in oil, I worked in colored pencil, even on figurative work. In fact, when I began painting, I toned my canvas to the same color as my charcoal papers, and used only four colors on my palette, White, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, and Terra Rosa, which matched the four colored pencils I favored most.

 A quick Pen and Ink sketch done from life on the streets of France. So much fun drawing on the street there!
I spent six months living in France when I was younger.

One of my first jobs was a Dragon I created for a dentist in Seattle. I made enough to pay for the trip. Below is a shot of the dragon. One of my very first oil paintings actually also.
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed me embarrassing myself with old work just to prove a point! Be careful of what you read on the internet, too much of it is just plain wrong...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Two New Minnies - Off to Oregon!

 Pine Cone and Acorns II
6 x 8 Oil on Panel

 I just finished these two new Minnies for Paul Scott Gallery in Bend Oregon.
They had asked me months ago for fall and woodsy themed paintings. I had to keep putting it off due to Disney, and then this Museum show and Waves, etc.

Pine cones may look easy but they are actually very difficult to draw. I also have a hard time with leaves, which is a good reason to paint them. Whenever I find something is difficult for me to paint, rather than avoid it, I keep painting it until I get it right.

Pine Cone and Acorns II
6 x 8 Oil on Panel

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

 There are some things that cross my mind every fourth of July. The above painting by James Montgomery Flagg is one of them. We learned about the painting and the history of Flagg when I was in art school. I had a history of Illustration class taught at that time by Terry Brown, the Director of the Society of Illustrators. It was one of the best classes I ever took and he was an amazing teacher. He would cover everything - suggest old movies to watch, animation clips, books, lectures, etc. If it had to do even slightly with illustration, he covered it. 

Below are some pencil and  pen and ink drawings by Flagg.


Flagg was good friends with Everett Raymond Kinstler who did the portrait of him below.
I was lucky enough to get into a Kinstler workshop at the Art Students League a few years ago. His classes are booked way in advance. An actress friend of mine actually had to call him to get me in. I love his work but what is most impressive about him is his charm and sense of humor. I have bumped into him several times since, and he is always quick with a handshake and a hello. For those of you not in the art world, this can often be a rare quality.

 It's no secret that Flagg worked in the style of Charles Dana Gibson. Normally I'm not a fan of artist's who work in other artist's styles. A style is like a toothbrush...but there are a couple of exceptions and I love both of their works. Below are a few of Gibson's drawings. He was famous for the "Gibson Girl".

 No Holiday can go by where thinking about painting doesn't lead me to J.C. Leyendecker.
Here are a couple of his Fourth Of July themed pieces.

The study for this one is actually hanging in my teachers studio. It was great to be able to see one up close without someone telling me to step back from it.

Leyendecker always worked from life. It is said that he hated working from photographs, which just make s the lamppost and sign in the  painting even more impressive. He was so famous that at one point in time people would wait at train stations for him to get off just to get a glimpse of him...Ahh the good old days,

I think I'll celebrate by watching a great Fourth of July Movie: Yankee Doodle Dandy. Can't go wrong with Cagney.
Happy Fourth All!