Saturday, September 1, 2018

I met the Gorilla of my dreams...

My life long love of Movie Gorillas and real gorillas

As far back as I can remember I was fascinated with apes. I'm sure the movie apes lured me in first but i do remember coming face to face with a real King Kong..well at least to a small boys eyes.

It was the early 70's a time when traveling Circus, Sideshows and Carnivals seemed to land in every open field or parking lot throughout my childhood and one landed in my neighborhood.  I remember the tent and the marquee of a Monster just like in the movies...King Kong, Mighty Joe Young and The Son of Kong of them can be behind this curtain. I walked in and was taken back by this enormous beast looking at him from a far then a little closer then closer till I locked eyes and although I grew to learn how peaceful, gentle and special these primates are for a moment I was looking at royalty for he had to be related to King Kong. 

I left that tent loving the real Gorilla as much as the movie ones he wasn't a blood thirsty man eating beast and I couldn't tell at the time I'm sure he was probably frightened of the side show life. 

Growing up gaga for gorillas

I grew up in the best time for movie monster love. Famous Monsters of Filmland in my hand, an ongoing series of monster and ape movies on the TV with the 4:30 movie Ape Week showing all the planet of the apes, the new King Kong remake in the works,  an ongoing obsession with Make up Artist Rick Baker and his love of gorillas this was a time of great opportunities to watch, play and collect Gorilla toys and collectibles. 

And I collected and collected from gumball machine rubber gorillas to full size gorilla suits till I built quite a collection I even had a newspaper article written about my and the collection. Oh that little gumball machine Kong is still my favorite.

Going Ape for Apes

As I got older I eventually became an Artist and I took every chance to add some Gorillas into my art.
even sculpting a life size Gorilla out of snow with my little guy.

Unfortunately like so many tales of great collections I sold most of it off when moving and downsizing but I still have a handful  and I still have my first little rubber Kong and I am still  Illustrating as many Gorillas as I can. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Masters of Composition in Comics

A lesson in composition while admiring the Original Masters of Comic Book  Art 

What a joy to spend the day with the masters of comic art. Kirby the King, Joe Kubert , John Romita, Jack Davis,  Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Curt Swan, John Buscema and so many more. Comic Art to me is always underappreciated. I'd rater look at a great page of Comic Art over any Fine Art piece. Not that I'm not a fan of all art.

One thing that makes all great art and one thing that is a strong component of comic art is composition its what draws your eye in and around the page. I wanted to post a photo of me in front of a Jack Kirby page of art and I noticed one thing about the photo....

My Head is poor composition...

That's right. My photo of me in front of a amazing Kirby Fantastic Four page draws your eye away from the art. First my hair curves in bringing you to a black frame that pulls your eye down and my beard for some reason curves  in drawing you out of the page and the same with my collar and shoulder. 

So the best place to learn composition is through a master of comic art the worst teacher is my face. 

Here are some of the wonderful art from the collection of  Charles David Viera at the Arts Council of Princeton

All kidding aside this was an amazing private collection and I wish my photos do them some justice.

 These are truly Works of Art and it was an honor to have the gallery to myself to soak it in. Unfortunately the show is over now but keep your eyes out for other great private or traveling art shows where you live.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Could you be a Dollar Store Artist

The old saying is get the best Art supplies you can and that you could afford..

But what if you couldn't afford it what if you only had a couple dollars. well that couldn't cover the tax or shipping for sme art supplies out there. So I challenged myself.

Could I be a Dollar Store Artist?

Even though I am a self taught Cartoonist and Sculpture I dis go to school to paint and I have used some high end supplies, even watercolor paper hand made by monks hundreds of years old but was it necessary? Yes and no. No its not necessary you can scratch on a cave wall and it will give joy to people. But there is some chemical components that will degrade of destroy paper and paints over time but what if you don't care about the future. Then the answer is yes.

So I gave it a go.

Armed with two dollars in my hand and some coins for tax I went into my local Dollar Store and purchased a pad of watercolor paper and a tray of watercolor paint like the kind Crayola made when you were a child. Now this is a limited amount of colors and a limited grade of paper. there will be no tricks of lifting paint or scratching effects here. It will be pure water plus paint plus paper and a game plan. 

The Inspection of the paper and paint.

The paint like the old Crayola type in its little case and its little brush has vibrant  8 colors and I like that and the brush was actually hair like because it will hold water. The paper textured and thick by far from fine watercolor paper but you could tell it would hold up to some light water on it. No wet on wet techniques where you saturate the paper for a smooth gradation this paper will do fine with a more fine art look to it. I'll concentrate on the colors and leave out the brown and black.

What subject to paint? I know the Fall and the Autumn leaves maybe a pumpkin or two.

painting in small sections at a time with a mix of basic colors I came up with the final result.

The final result is a warm Fall painting not too complex by any means but it give the viewer that fine art look without the fine art cost. 

So happy with my results I gave it another try.

I liked how these came out so much I painted two Halloween Watercolors using these same limited pallet techniques and it came out to be a real popular piece of art  of the mother and child bear setting out to trick or treat and a Rabbits Halloween.

So go hit the Dollar Store throw down your two bucks and try it out. It ended up to be a lot of fun.