Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Baba Yaga and Friends

I developed a love for creating 3-D characters while working for 12 years at Alinco Costumes.  Now, as a school teacher, I still enjoy the process of designing and sculpting these imaginative characters.  I recently completed this old woman I call Baba Yaga, after the Slavic folk tale. The figure is about 10 inches tall.  The face and hands are sculpted in Sculpey.  The body is shaped with foam and wire. Then the clothes are hand sewn, which is the most difficult part for me.







 And here are a couple of sculpted figures I built last October. The first, obviously inspired by the work of Brian Froud, is about 10 inches tall.  The second is about 18 inches tall.





Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sometimes Creativity Detours

After painting my robot skate deck last week, I really wanted to try another.  But I wanted to do something completely different.  I just couldn't come up with an idea  Then, yesterday morning, a student said to me, "I want to paint animals in suits."  In my mind I envisioned well dressed creatures in Victorian fashion, but upon further questioning, I discovered my student meant animals in "space suits."  I told him to go with his idea, and I would go with mine.  I found some reference of animals and vintage Victorian photos, then began sketching.  Soon came a pencil sketch a stoic bear in a boiler hat.  I liked him and decided to place him in the middle of the skate deck. At some point in the painting process, I began referring to him as "Papa Bear," which reminded me of the story of Goldilocks, and then I realized he needed a wife and son.  The whole idea developed in a very free-flowing way.  I enjoyed the process, but have one big problem with the result . . . what skateboarder in his right mind wants three Victorian bears on his skate deck?  I mean, if you've ever stood long enough near a skate park that skaters aren't exactly into children's rhymes.  What was I thinking?  Still, I think there is something here I might explore in future paintings . . . on canvas.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Another Skate Deck

I enjoyed painting the robot skate deck, so I began work on a second.  I call this one "Papa Bear" for obvious reasons.  I still have a lot of work to do before it's completed, but I am enjoying the animals in Victorian clothing concept . . . I just have no idea what it means.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Robot Skate Deck

I finished painting my skate deck today, a tribute to my teen years a long, long time ago.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sketchbooks

Tonight I pulled a number of old sketchbooks out of the drawer. Some of them date back almost 20 years. A lot of the art is really bad and painful to look at, but still, I really love those books. So many of my best ideas have come from my sketchbooks. Even tonight I thumbed through the pages and found inspiration for several projects. 

The moral of this story is this: sketch often. Put your ideas down on paper, even if you only have time for stick figures and chicken scratches. The time will come when many of those ideas evolve into something meaningful.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The robots are taking over . . .

I have always loved robots . . . Olympia, R2D2, V.I.N.CENT, Twiki, Johnny 5, Robby, Wall-E, etc.  They provide a unique lens through which to view humanity.  Here are a few more robot paintings I am working on.  They hold a particular meaning for me, but I am fascinated by the many interpretations others suggest, so I won't offer much as far as explanations go. I will post them again in their finished state . . . hopefully soon.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Celebrating Effort and Learning

Before I became a teacher, I drew and painted nearly every day.  It was a hard choice to leave that behind, but I have never regretted the decision.  While I enjoy creating art, I love watching my students grow as artists and learners even more.

Here are three drawings from one of my students.  We set these out a few days ago in order to see her progress over the past few art classes.  The drawing on the left is from ninth grade.  The drawing on the right is her latest work as an 11th grader.  As you can see, her efforts are paying off.