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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Art of the Story.

“And the Queen of the Night set down her staff, and the stars flowed to her children who gathered them in bowls.  The Moon watched with a smile, waiting for the stars to be spread out into the night sky by her little ones.” 

 Pure fantasy!  We know there is no Queen of the Night.  We know that stars are actually distant suns like our own.  We know the moon has no face and is not a person.  And that is why we love the story so much and are hooked before we even finish the sentence.  It is fantasy and that is a doorway promising escape which few of us have the power to resist. 
RA said, “I want a computer that is small like a book, lightweight like papyrus and is easy to use.  The gods were stunned and worried.  They turned to Thoth and asked, “can you do this for us?”

Who am I fooling?  RA never had a computer in the first place.  Actually, RA is purely a mythical Birdman god of Ancient Egyptians.  It is totally absurd.  This is just a stupid story.  Yes, umm, I wonder how Thoth will pull this off?  I guess it will not hurt to read a little more.  Yes.  Just a few more pages, because you know my friend, it is a story, and the bigger the story the less we can put it down. 

The artist has been dedicated to bringing to life the story for most of our history.  When we lived in tribes, we told the story on the walls of caves using pigments from the earth and plants.  The ancient civilizations told the story carved in stone on temple walls.  Today, we continue to tell the story through art on canvas, computer screens, and movie screens.  We love story and we love even more story told to use through images.   Nothing has really changed about this love we have from the time of drawing on the walls of caves. 

Check out this story of Alexander the Great fighting the Lion that I painted in 2010.  

It is a story of courage, and bravery, and friendship as well, for one of his generals comes to his aid. 

Here is another painting of mine of the God Helios in his Chariot of horses riding across the sky, telling us the story of the travels of the Sun. 

And when I was standing before this story I could see details which I never noticed before that gave it so much life.

If you wish to see the full story, check out

This massive mural is a battle scene between the forces of the sea, and the forces of the land.   The mural graced the dinning room of an ocean liner until the ship was scraped.  Ah, but again, it is a story.  You cannot throw that away.  It was pulled out of the ship, and then sold to Peter Knego, who brought it back to California.  Recently the story was sold to another collector, but before that happened I had to see the story in person. 
Even the sea monsters look beautiful.  

So, I drove back home with my snap shots and memories.  I started playing around with some techniques in the studio.  I started dreaming of ways I could tell stories through murals like this Italian artist Luzzati.  Oh, I was hooked and did not even know it.  Not only did I want to tell stories through art like Luzzati had in Chariots, eventually that was not enough.  I wanted to know more of who is this artist named Luzzati.  What other stories did he tell?  But to seek out more of this hero artist  that meant another trip but this time to not to Los Angeles, but to Genova Italy.

To be continued.

I will no lie.  I am addicted to story and my art reflects that truth.  I could go on all day with example after example of stories that I have come to love by artist who have become my hero's. 

Back in 2009, I decided I needed to see a story.  I could never afford to buy the story because it was over $100,000.00.  Besides, I had no place to put this story, because it is 8.5 feet high by 26 feet wide.  But I could see the story in person when a small store was open in Los Angeles so I braved Southern California traffic for a few days to make my pilgrimage.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog?

So, back to blogging.  It is a love hate relationship.  See, facebook really is not a great place to blog about stuff.  I know my friends love my art work, and the daily abstracts were something of a small hit, but still, I feel like I am terrorizing my friends with my daily artistic adventures.  And Twitter, well, it is great to let people know, but it really about connecting with friends.  So, this seems at this moment to be the best choice, because I really do not want to maintain a website yet on a daily basis.
Over the weekend I completed nearly all of the photographic plates for the book I have been working on.  This has been the largest artistic project I have ever taken on personally.  In the past I have done photographic portfolios and produced shows, but that is very different than 15 illustrations to a book for children.

The steps involved with producing an illustrated picture book make the days of printing and framing photographs seem really simple.

But the story behind this book did not start five months ago.  It did not even start a year ago when I completed this painting below, which inspired the Lord of the Scribes story in the first place.
This painting was just one of my design class projects at POP art.  I took the Iphone, a device that has completely changed our culture, and brought it to Ancient Egypt.  It is amusing to fantasize about how the ancient ones would consider something we take for granted everyday as a magical box from the gods.  If your are interested in seeing how it was developed, I believe it is posted still below from last year.

Actually, the story began three years ago and only now feels like the journey is coming to completion.   My good friend and teacher Tesia Blackburn of the Golden Paints working artist program has been there the entire way, guiding my way through studies, experiments and adventures.  

Next entry I will start at the beginning of this journey and tell the full circle story of this adventure in art that I have so enjoyed.