Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October Shadows Rundown

This latest piece was done for the October Shadows show that was held at Rick Baker's FX studio in LA a few weeks back. Getting to see some of Rick Baker's work up close was amazing, but I'll get to that in a sec. It was a Halloween themed show (and Day of the Dead). I chose to do my take on three very well known (or not) Mexican urban legends/myths.

If you grew up in a family with any kind of Latin roots, on more than one occasion, you would hear stories of "El Cucuy". The Boogeyman of Latin American culture. Know one knows what he/it looks like, just that he's waaaaay creepy and would probably take you away if you didn't go to sleep when your parents told you to. That was the only reason for the skulls. Figured he'd show off the skulls of the kids he kidnapped. Also thought that a painted half human and half skull face might give reason to why the Day of the Dead skulls are painted the way they are.

Another story is of La Llorana (the woman that cries) There are so many versions of this story. Basically, in the end, the woman ends up drowning her kids in a river because of some messed up relationship shenanigans. After that, she regrets it. Just another campfire story. You've got to love Latin families. Instead of telling you safe stories to go to bed or "be safe" near the river, they instead choose to scare the crap out of you.

I thought this close up would give you an idea of how the cracks in the wood would show up. Kind of added to the creepiness of it all.

The last image is of the Chupacabra, and unless you've lived under a rock or never watched X-files, you've heard that story already. The title of the piece is "The Unholy Trinity of Mexican Folklore" Seemed appropriate.

I was pretty pleased with the frame too. Totally gave it a Mexican Gothic look. The painting was done with acrylics on Jamaican cherry wood. It's around 32 inces tall, without the frame.

I also finally got to meet Mr. Miles Teves. If your not familiar with his work, you really should treat yourself and check out his website. Amazing, amazing work. Miles did more than one piece for the show, besides the pumpkin head guy in the pic above. After you check out his website, go check out the rest of the pics from the show on the flicker account. I've been trying to beef it up the lately, and you'll get a better idea of the rest of the art from the show.

The main floor had a lot of these flying monkey statues around, and who doesn't like monkeys.

Up in the far right was the hallway that led to a room full of the creature and make up stuff. Unfortunately they wouldn't let you take pics (grrrrr). There was a lot of amazing work in there. For nostalgic reasons only, the American Werewolf in London busts had my vote hands down.

Theses shots were just of the Halloween decorations that they had around the gallery. Every party I go to this month will pale in comparison now. The dead guy in the coffin below was an artist that didn't make the deadline for the show.

There were also lots of really cool mask entries in the show.

Overall, it was a fun and crazy night. Again, if you have some time, check out the rest of the pics on the flicker account. I believe they will also be posting the artwork from the show on the Creature Features site, so check that out for updates. I'll be putting up some prints of this latest piece for sale soon too, so check back when you can. After all those Halloween pics, I hope everyone has a good one. Just be safe out there, otherwise El Cucuy will come ta get ya!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to Make a Fantasy Painting in 2 Days a.k.a.The Making of Blood Mountain

After looking at some of Keith's pictures from the Brushes, Needles and Burnouts show, I had to post some of his because it filled in some missing spots from my batch of pics. It also makes for a cool progression on this collabo piece we all did. Keith told me that he and one of the other tattoo guys at his shop, Marvin, jammed on a piece awhile back. Their piece looked like a lot of fun, so Keith decided that we'd pull out the paints and spray cans, and give it a shot.

The only thing Kieth and I decided on was a washy warm to cool color pattern for the background. After that was laid down, we just started pulling shapes out of the background colors. Of course, we didn't tell anyone that, we just put on the serious art face and acted like we knew what we were doing.

That's Keith's serious art face.

Making the serious art face can be harder than it looks. This is when Keith stepped away and local artist, Joel happened to walk by and decided to pitch in and put some serious detail into the dragon/skull monster wing.
I, personally don't think the painting came together until Kentucky fried tattoo artist, Scott, put his personal touch on the canvas.

If you ever need that feminine touch added to your painting, in particular, the hair, you should get in contact with Keith's wife Terri. She's a master at making flat boring hair look full bodied and will paint out all the split ends for you. Not bad for her first time painting.

The painting actually didn't come together until the second night. It stood on the easel all day Sunday without anyone touching it. By the time the show was winding down, I think everyone needed to blow off some steam. By the end of the night, every artist that wasn't busy striping put their own touch on the painting, except for he who won't be named. I lost count of the number of people that contributed. At least seven or eight people jammed on this if I'm not mistaken.

So, the moral here is, if you're under the gun and have a tight deadline, just get all your friends to come over and give them brushes to help out. Just make sure if they try to paint something as ominous as Blood Mountain, to use the right kind of red.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

BNB Update

If you read the last post, that painting was for a group show at Kustom Kulture Gallery back in NYC. Tons of cool art was submitted from all over. I flew out to the show a few weeks back because I kept hearing about the pinstripers from the Burnout Network in Japan that have been coming out the past few years for Keith's show. These guys didn't disappoint. Check out these pics for a small taste.

Keith, the owner of the tattoo shop that puts on the show got a hold of this bowling pin and had three of the Burnout guys stripe a different side. Here's Lowhide's contribution above, and there he is below striping a bike.

Mr. G 's specialty, is doing tiki masks, so here's his side of the pin with a wicked G mask special.

Check out the wrench he did.

These guys were solid for two days straight. Every piece they did was as tight as the first. They would start around 10:00 am both days, and end around 3:30am. Check out Makoto, below, striping a Buddha head on a metal panel.

Here's Makoto's addition to the bowling pin. It looks strangely close to Keith's dog Dino. I think Dino's package is a little bigger, though.

I saw a pic of Makoto's work on a Lowrider, and asked him to do a similar one for me. The result of that request is the picture below.

Anyway, that's a small taste of what those guys were cranking out over the two days. There were also lots of local pin stripers, guest tattooists, and airbrush artists from all over that stopped by and made art, did demos, and did more striping. If you want to see more pics from the show, check out the Flicker account here. Still sifting through two weeks of pics, so hang tight......more to come.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rabbit Redux

What up?!?! Why has the blog not been attended to? Been cranking on a few paintings for group shows recently. This latest post is for the Kustom Kulture show that just went down last weekend in Baldwin, NY. It was the painting I wanted to do for the "Year of the Rabbit", for the Zodiac show , over the summer. Just didn't have time back then to tackle it.

It was done on a 12"x24" masonite board. Some spray can action for the background above. After that, some loose acrylic brush strokes for background lights that will be added at the end.

This stage was the transfer of the art, followed by inking the character with acrylic paint.
Below is a closer shot of the rabbit girl being painted. Wish I had more pics, but it was a whirlwind of painting to get done before I had to catch the plane and head out for the show.
I'll have to post more pics of the show later on, when I have time, but there was so much cool art, my head is still exploding. Mr G, Makoto, and Lowhide, from Nash's Burnout Network in Japan, came all the way out here to pinstripe, and I'll tell you right now, those guys are amazing craftsman. Makes you feel lazy watching them work.

The Kustom Kulture show also brought out lots of local pinstripers from the area, as well as airbrush artists from all over. (Pics to come soon, promise.) Anyway, in LA now. Had a piece of art at The Hive in downtown LA and got to check out the art walk last night. My head is still spinning from all the art that's right here in downtown LA.

Tomorrow night I have a piece in a show that I'm super excited about. It's a Halloween themed show, and the coolest part is that show will be at Rick Baker's FX studio. If you're not familiar with his body of work, or who he is, you do not pass go, and you do not get $200.00. Go do your homework. Click here for the lowdown on the October Shadows show.

Anyway, wish I had time to fill you in on more details, but working on Kinko's computers is not fun. Got to run, but you'll get the full scoop next week on the Halloween show. Should be a blast.


Saturday, August 11, 2007


Here are some shots of the piece I did for the Muppet Rawk show that went down last night. If you didn't know already, the theme was to take an album cover of your choice, and replace it with muppets. I'm a huge Grover fan, and was pretty hell bent on doing a painting of, who I think, is one of the most underrated comical geniuses of our time. I thought, cool, I'll do Grover in place of the Eddie character from Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind cover. Done.
Not quite.
When I flew out for my art show at Keith's tattoo shop over the summer, I was telling him about the Muppet Rawk show, and the idea I had for the cover I wanted to paint. Immediately Keith was like, "No man, it has to be Animal!" As he was going into more detail about it, I started to get a mental image of it right away. I couldn't argue with the guy. He was right on all points. That cover was tailor made for Animal. Sorry Grover. Your time will come.

The pencils for this were pretty loose. No need to get detailed, because the thought process was already kind of done by the original artist that did the cover. Derek Riggs. The shading and palette work is already figured out, all that needed to be done is add Animal. Easier said than done, but still fun to execute.

I know it's hard to find an 80's album cover that doesn't have chains in it, but I'm telling you right now, no more paintings with chains for a long time. I didn't realize how much detail went into the original cover until I started really picking it apart. Derek Riggs is a madman. I left out half the detail he put in. Every link in the original was totally rendered out and had a secondary reflective light source. Yeah, real good idea Keith. Thanks. Ha!

'Till next time.............

Muppet Rawk

For those that didn't make it out to the Muppet Rawk show last night, here are some pics for you to check out. Lots of people came out to Ouch My Eye gallery to check out the art, and considering that people were still there around midnight, when I left, it looked like everyone had a good time.

The guy pointing the camera in the above pic is Lawrence Ruelos, one of the art pimps responsible for putting together the show. The other art pimp that had a hand in putting the Muppet mayhem, together was Dev Madan. That's him below, um, pointing me to the bar, yeah, that's what he's doing.

What kind of show update would this be with out the obligatory, overhead, gallery shot? You can just make out the projector in the top left corner. They were showing Muppet show clips all night which added to all the madness.

Most of the art was 12"x 12". (album cover size of course) Besides myself, only one other artist did 24"x24" paintings. You can kind of make out my painting on the left wall on the end.
I didn't get good pics of all the pieces, so here are a few shots of just a hand full of the paintings.

Here's Jordan Kotzebue riffing on a G'n'R' album cover with the Electric Mayhem Band. Easily the most represented set of characters of the night.

Todd Lovering did a great piece by painting right on the actual album cover. The colors were so perfectly matched on this thing. Todd is a madman.

There were also a handful of digital pieces. Travis Kotzebue did his take of a Hendrix cover.

Dev and I were the only ones that did Iron Maiden covers. Here's his take on the self titled Iron Maiden with Bert in place of the Eddie character that's always on their album covers.

Jaime Burton did a killer AC/DC cover with the Electric Mayhem.

I was glad to see Grover represented in the show. Karin did a killer job on this Def Leppard cover, High 'n' Dry.

Keith, from Kustom Kulture Gallery in New York did a cool digital piece of Kiss's Rock and Roll Over.

Jay Z (no, not the rapper, duh) threw out some Purple Rain action. Just glad he didn't bring doves to the show for the unveiling of his painting. If that was the case, I would hope that they would be muppet doves.

Bill McEvoy did a cool Elmo vs Motorhead peice. Apologies to the artists who's names I don't know. Except for Ricky's Police cover with digital representations of his muppets.

I was talking to Joe Kresoja about his Dio cover, and I think he agrees with me. Next time, NO COVERS WITH CHAINS! Sucks to draw, and sucks to paint. You'll see what I mean when you see the Maiden cover I did.

Another digital piece done for the show was Memo Diaz doing GnR. Robert Williams did the original cover. I thought Memo was crazy for taking that on, but he came through. Hard to see form the pic, but there are little Zoot characters flying around Animals's head.

All in all, a great show. Thanks to Ouch my Eye, and everyone that came out for the show. Always good to see some new and old faces. I'll post the piece I did for the show soon. Still putting together the scanned pieces. Not easy scanning a 24"x "24 painting on a tiny scanner and then piecing it together. Check back soon for that...........