Friday, December 8, 2023

A Background from Fire and Ice

Here's a background painting from the 1983 animated movie Fire and Ice, painted with cel vinyl on board. 

The round hole and the twin horizontal holes are for aligning the acetate animation cels. This was an extra long BG, designed for a horizonal camera move to follow small figures running along the icy path.


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Couture's Satire of French Society

In Thomas Couture's 1873 painting "The Thorny Path," four men struggle to pull a cart driven by an angelic figure.

According to the Philadelphia Art Museum, the image is Couture's satire on the decadence of French society during the 1870s. They note that the carriage is pulled... 

"...not by animals but by four male captives who represent different ages and states of society. The naked old man leading the procession is flabby from indulgence; the troubadour following him, a symbol of young love, parodies the medieval ballads popular in nineteenth century France. The old soldier bends his head in self-reproach, and the young student writes as he walks, symbolizing the educated nobility's ignorance of the realities of daily life. The thistles and thorny plants along the road suggest the painfulness of their journey. The decrepit figure seated at the rear of the carriage with a bottle of wine in her basket foreshadows the courtesan's future. Finally, Couture signed his initials on the stone figure at center, which seems to be laughing at the entourage."

Couture developed an alternate version set in the open plain with the city in the distance.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Fun with Reference

When I need a model, I set up a mirror and some charcoal paper, and I draw.

With a wig and a costume and a scowl, I can be anybody—in my imagination at least.

During a break I forget to take off the wig, much to the amusement of FedEx man, who chooses that moment to come by the house.

The final painting appears as a gatefold in Nintendo Power magazine to promote the game Dinotopia: Timestone Pirates.

(Link for more info.)


Sunday, December 3, 2023

World Beneath Audio Adventure / Cassette Version

For the retro enthusiast, cassettes are the best way to listen to a audio dramatization because they're so portable and fun to use, and they remember where you left off. 

They're a great way to wean your kids away from screens and show them the tech you used when you were their age. 

And this production is one of the best audio adventures, with a full cast, music by Tim Clark, and rich sound effects by ZBS Studios.

Friday, December 1, 2023

French Braids

Am I listening to the sermon? Well, sort of. I'm monitoring the droning sound with half an ear.

But really, most of my conscious attention is devoted to understanding the amazing weaving of those French braids. She tells me later that she wove them all by herself by feel, without even looking in the mirror.

Aren't humans amazing?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Bio Video from the Art Shutter Channel

 Look what came up in my YouTube feed: a nice introduction and overview of my work.

Thanks to the folks who put this together. There are a lot of artists out there deserving of attention, and I don't take for granted that someone's going to be spending time looking at my stuff!

James Gurney: Painting Worlds Beyond Reality

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Magic of Water

…and Leonardo said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.”

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Henry Webster Rice

Henry Rice (1853-1934) started out as a carriage painter like his father before becoming an artist. 

He studied under Ross Sterling Turner, specializing in genre art, landscapes, and marine views. 

His work included scenes from everyday life, such as markets, domestic settings, interiors, and street scenes.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Henningsen's Lamplighter

Erik Ludvig Henningsen (1855-1930) was a Danish painter and illustrator known for his Social Realist paintings depicting the poor and exposed groups in the 1880s and 1890s. Born in Copenhagen, he showed early artistic talent and was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1873, where he graduated in 1877. 
Erik Ludvig Henningsen (Danish,1855-1930) The Lamplighter

He was part of the group Bogstaveligheden, which aimed to create a better society through humanitarian ideals. Henningsen's artistic career was marked by his preoccupation with the rights and living conditions of the unemployed, women, workers, children, and the elderly.

Friday, November 24, 2023

The Leviathan


Sea Monster study, gouache, 9x12 inches

An experiment in biomechanics spirals out of control, and the leviathan slips out to sea.