Thursday, October 19, 2017

Biopunk Truck

I painted this image for Thomas Easton’s science-fiction story “Down on the Truck Farm” (1990). 


In this biopunk future, living vehicles are genetically engineered out of the organic parts of animals:
"The genimal's legs were mounted high, above the wheels, their joints reversed; as they ran, they pushed against the tires, spun the wheels on their bony hubs, and propelled the vehicle down the grassy greenways that had replaced paved roads early in the Biological Revolutions."
To paint the setting of giant marigolds and pumpkin plants, I set up my easel outside in the garden.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Few Tips for Accuracy


A few days ago I visited the old mill town of Greenwich, New York and painted this streetscape.


In the video (link to YouTube), I share some tips for getting accuracy using the traditional pencil-measure method.
Gouache tutorial
How to Make a Sketch Easel
My videos are also available as DVDs at Kunaki
Music by Kevin MacLeod 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Decadent Dollhouses

Carrie Becker is a photographer and a sculptor of miniatures who produces exquisitely detailed interior scenes. 


In "Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse," she presents rooms of a hoarder's home stuffed to the gills with clutter.


After completing a masters program in sculpture, Becker traveled through rural Kansas, exploring and photographing the interiors of abandoned houses.


She used this inspiration as she outfitted each tiny room, implying the backstory to her imagined alternate reality.


After the viral success of her Barbie-themed project, she worked on a theme called "Lilliputian Entropy," showing European-style rooms fallen into disrepair. 
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Video Portrait of C.F. Payne


American illustrator and teacher C.F. Payne is the feature of a new hour-long documentary called "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator."


Payne is known for his award-winning Time covers, MAD magazine caricatures, and children's book illustrations, which he has produced over a span of nearly four decades. "It's not a race. It's a marathon. You just keep working."

His whimsical and affectionate portraits of celebrities and sports stars usually start with sketchy drawings. Many of his editorial assignments have to be completed under extremely short deadlines. 


In the documentary he talks about the pressures of a freelance lifestyle, and we also get the benefit of hearing the perspective of his wife and two sons. 


One of the themes that runs through the documentary is Payne's love of baseball. He paints a giant cutout of legendary player and commentator Joe Nuxhall to decorate the stadium of the The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields


The film lets us see over his shoulder as he produces some of his multi-media paintings. But this isn't a technique video, and we don't really get the details of his materials or working process, nor does he explain his specific approach to caricature. 

However, if you buy the bundled version, you get a couple of demo videos along with the main feature. In those demos, C.F. Payne goes in detail about his process. 


 C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is a portrait of a regular, hard-working guy, a good video to share with a young person who might be contemplating a career as an illustrator.

Payne is committed to drawing every day and always improving his ability. "I drew all the time as a young person," he says. "I love making art. It's the place I love to be."


Teaser for "C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator" from Tony Moorman on Vimeo.
Facebook page for the film
C.F. Payne: An American Illustrator is available on Vimeo for $4.99

Sunday, October 15, 2017

British Realism from the 1920s and '30s

The National Galleries of Scotland are currently hosting an exhibit called True to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Yellow Glove by James Cowie (Scottish, 1886 - 1956)
For a long time, realism from the early 20th century was overshadowed by the fashion for abstract and pop art, but recently it has undergone a revival, driven by an enthusiastic public and a group of dynamic curators.

A City Garden, 1940, by James McIntosh Patrick
© The artist's estate / Bridgeman Images.
The curators observe that artists of the period were working in a particular mode of realism:
"...precise, hard-edged and graphic, and with minimal narrative detail, as opposed to loose and painterly. The Germans call it Neue Sachlichkeit [New Objectivity], and the Americans call it Magic Realism. British art of this sort doesn’t have a name, which is maybe one reason why it doesn’t win much attention. Art history tends to award points, as it were, to artists who introduce change. So the first artists to go abstract, or use film, or go minimalist, are viewed as important."
Many of the artists lived through the warring madness of the early 20th century. They used their realist training to offer moving statements about their times and about the universal truths of the human condition.

Why War? by Charles Spencelayh, 1938, oil on canvas, 94 x 115 cm.
Spencelayh's painting "Why War" shows an older man in his sitting room, with its souvenirs of previous conflicts, including a gas mask and helmet from World War I, the "war to end all wars." The headline on the newspaper says "Premier Flying to Hitler." His books, tea, and violin bring scant comfort to the ominous prospects of the coming conflagration.


The curators say that an exhibit like this would have been hard to put together before the days of the internet because the works were sold through galleries, and the trail of custody was not well known. But thanks to the website ArtUK, which documents all the paintings in public collections in Great Britain, it has become possible to know where they ended up.
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The show will be on view through October 29, 2017
Online essay: Short statement from the curators
Catalog: True To Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s
Previously on GurneyJourney: Magic Realism
Thanks, Sue Arnold, for telling me about it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Science Fiction Exhibition Opens in Athens

© Tristan Fewings / Getty Images
“Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction” is now on view at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens. 
"Throughout the exhibition a total of 800 exhibits will be on display, some of which are rare and valuable, such as the Harkonnen Capo chair which was created for the film Dune by Hans Gyger, the original designer of the iconic Alien, and sketches by the artist and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen who became widely known for creating the Earth-attacking monster in the 1957 film, '20 Million Miles to Earth'." (Source)

The Museum will host a full slate of classic films and other programs associated with the exhibit, which will be up through January 14.
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