Friday, February 11, 2011
Some New Stuff
Howdy doody folks! So here are the new pieces I was talking about. Confrontation, the Stone Golem piece, is my first illustration for the World of Uteria role-playing system. Final Dawn, the one with the dragons, was inspired by Mondrian and WWII Bombers. I am pretty pleased with both of these. But if you would like to know more....
Final Dawn is all shapes. I had the concept nailed early on pursued it with dogged force. This was actually my first real illustration since my Divorce began nearly 6 months ago and I felt stuck in adolescence again. Relearning last year's lessons and developing a new approach was a drain. I forced myself to work on it in public at Chattacon and it was there that I really started digging in. Spending 2 days in front of fans and casual viewers really made me hone in on my anatomy and stick to some decisions I was waffling on. The piece has its faults for sure, but really represents a breakthrough for me on composition fundamentals and how I need to view my work. My next pieces will have a more fully rendered final concept and a diverse array of environmental elements. Still not bad for my 3rd Dragon Painting.
Confrontation was born out of commission and commiseration and evolved in the exact opposite manner. Working on art night with fellow artists Adam Baker (thinkbaker.com) and Michael Bielaczzyc (michaelbielaczyc.com) I was losing my mind with the composition. I knew where I wanted the hero, but the Golem was tearing me up. My thumbs and final comps just weren't translating. Adam finally called me out and made me toss some paint on the canvas. I picked up a big brush and just dropped in the shape of the figure I wanted. And it worked. Bastard. I loved working on this once I started and absolutely love working big for %75 of the process and then picking up the little guns to knock it out. The painting remains more fresh and lively than a lot of other illos I've done and is one I look forward to hanging in my home till it sells.
So what to take from these pieces I completed over the past 18 days. Among the myriad of lessons I learned while doing them, I think commitment is the one that seems the most poignant. Whether I commit to a tightly rendered drawing for a work with several elements, or commit to big brush strokes while painting an elemental, commit to your work. And this isn't just limited to my painting. I have never really balked at commitment, but of late, I have felt lost at times and just seemed to be taking things as they come. A useful mechanism, but not one with longevity. I have learned that I am an "all in" person. Paintings, sports, relationships; it is all the same to me. Maybe you guys are different, but I find a sublime contentment when I relinquish control of myself and give over to what I am involved in. Being in the moment you are in is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences we can have. You can't lose yourself in the moment, but you can take ownership of it and give it everything you have.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy these pieces and will come see them unveiled at Conooga next weekend in Chattanooga. See you soon!
ps: head over to grantcooley.com if you haven't already. It's starting to take real shape!