Thursday, May 31, 2012

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 011

Title: "In the outer room the two women knitted black wool feverishly."

7.75 inches by 11 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
May 20, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

My comic "Spudd 64" gets some love

Over at his blog, writer Dara Naraghi shows my comic Spudd 64 some love in this very kind post. I remember making that comic all those years ago. Feeling so proud as I stood in Kinko's and xeroxed the whole thing. Spray painting the titles on the cardstock. Hand drawing a different illustration for every cover and carefully gluing them down. I think I made around 25 copies total. They are now long gone, but I'm still proud of them. Anyway, take a look at Dara's post and learn a bit more. I'm bad at writing about myself.

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 010

Title: "...on one end a large shining map, marked with all the colours of a rainbow. There was a vast amount of red -- good to see at any time, because one knows that some real work is done in there, a deuce of a lot of blue, a little green, smears of orange, and, on the East Coast, a purple patch, to show where the jolly pioneers of progress drink the jolly lager-beer. However, I wasn't going into any of these. I was going into the yellow. Dead in the centre. And the river was there -- fascinating -- deadly -- like a snake."

7.75 inches by 11 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on watercolor paper
May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

All art for sale

I finally did it! Now, in my Etsy shop I have finally listed every single remaining piece of art that is available. Check it out! Within you will find every remaining illustration from Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page, including this one...


The remaining 9 of my 10 illustrations from last summer's first attempt at Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, including this one...


My 6 promotional illustrations for author John Minichillo's remarkable postmodern take on Moby-Dick entitled The Snow Whale, including this one...


The remaining 5 of my Slaadi drawings, based on my hazy recollections of those frog demons from the Dungeons & Dragons guide The Fiend Folio, including this one...


And finally, this old favorite, which still needs a home...


And the prices range from $10 on up. There's a lot of stuff there so take a look. And don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 009

Title: "In a very few hours I arrived in a city that always makes me think of a whited sepulchre."

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
May 11, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My new Tumblr

So if you "like" me on Facebook you might already know this, but I now have a Tumblr called, appropriately enough, spudd 64. It was rather strongly suggested to me that I create both a Tumblr and a Twitter account. I'm still getting the hang of both, so expect news about the Twitter account in a week or so.

I had no real idea why a Tumblr would even matter. I figured that since I already have this fairly thorough blog documenting a few years of art, what did Tumblr have to offer me? Or you, for that matter? I've gone on record as stating that I thought Tumblr was pretty pointless, and primarily a way for hipsters to show how cool they are by aggregating content that they had no hand in creating. I think I might have used the word "sickening." Ah well, the follies of youth.

I guess Tumblr is good because it allows for easy sharing and endless connections, which seems to matter a lot these days. With that in mind though, the idea of sharing content from other artists still didn't sit well with me. It just didn't seem like a good fit. So, in keeping with the idea of speed, portability, easy connections and immediacy, I've decided to use my Tumblr as a home for all of my sketches and sketchbooks, dashed off ideas, raw ideas, and quick photos. It's a kind of incubator for the ideas which will take their final form here, on this blog, as well as on my own web site Spudd64.com. On this blog, I have the room to talk in greater depth about my own art and illustrations, but at my Tumblr it will be a deluge of ideas and images. There will occasionally, I am sure, be images from other artists that I share and re-blog, but the majority of the content there will be images of my own. Just very different images from what you see here.

I'll be cleaning up this blog a bit, removing a few posts that would have been better suited for that new Tumblr. But you shouldn't notice much difference. So when you get a chance, visit my Tumblr. Check it out, share a few posts, follow me so I don't feel like a fool. You'll get to see an awful lot of stuff from my sketchbooks and journals too, like this...

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 008

Title: "...the original quarrel arose from a misunderstanding about some hens. Yes, two black hens."
9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint on watercolor paper
May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My art, in Tennessee (yet again!)...

Blogger and friend Daryl L.L. Houston (who also runs the impressive Infinite Zombies literature blog) and who has one of my drawings tattooed on his back has sent along a fantastic picture showing five of my Moby-Dick illustrations hanging on the wall of his office.


This was really and truly good for me to see. Each and every piece of art means a lot to me. I tend to give them all personalities and think of them as sentient things, so when I send them out into the world, especially alone, I worry about them. I've gotten to know Daryl just a bit, mostly through emails, but I genuinely like him and I know I can trust my art with him. But what's even better is seeing all of these pieces living together on his wall so that when the room is empty, they can keep one another company. Very very good.

Daryl has also written a brief blog post full of very kind words about the art right here. Many thanks, Daryl.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Impressions: Cincinnati

I plan on doing a whole lot more wandering around, especially while I am (relatively) young and healthy enough to do it. In the past, I would have tried to take all sorts of horribly formal photos to document everything, but lately I've just been using the camera as a kind of second (third?) eye to record in a simple way my impressions of a place. I'm going to start posting these impressions without any commentary. More for myself, really, but perhaps you will find something interesting in them as well. Here is a Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati, Ohio.











A bit of the old White Whale again

While we were visiting our friends in southwestern Ohio, I had a chance to play around a bit with some acrylic paint, some rough wood, and some really strange brushes. To be fair, I was carrying on a conversation while I worked on this, but still, I think it's an intriguing piece. And strange that even now, after all this time, the White Whale seems to never stray far from my thoughts.

My art, in Ohio...

So I'm cheating a bit since this piece was actually a gift to dear friends that live near us, but I always enjoy seeing my work framed and hanging on a friendly wall. I was quite fond of this frame too.

For a friend

A commission for a good friend who asked me to draw him a Hasidic Harpooneer. And yes, lest anyone take offense, he too is Jewish. I think it turned out quite well, and if there is anything offensive in the image I am sincerely sorry. I meant no offense.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 007

Title: "But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land. And as I looked at the map of it in a shop-window, it fascinated me..."

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint, ink, marker and watercolor on watercolor paper
May 8, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Revisiting an old friend

I recently came into possession of an old East German Hanimex Praktica super TL 35mm SLR camera. It's a beautiful thing. Massive. Heavy. Dusty, inside and out. And it appears there may be some slight lens and mirror fogging around the edges. Sadly, the battery is dead and the thing requires a very specific kind of mercury battery that is no longer being made. Since I have been so eager to begin 35mm black & white photography again, and want to finally complete the Greek mythology project that has been gestating in my mind for decades now, I needed to invest in another camera. I was lucky enough to find this Minolta X-700 which is almost identical to my old, long gone Minolta XG-1, the camera I shot all of my prior photographs with. Here they are, side by side...


A friend tipped me off to a possible battery replacement, so I may get that Hanimex working yet. In the meantime though, last night I shot a test roll of black & white film and then developed it to see if the Minolta was working properly. Thankfully, it was. This is very exciting.

Dr. Ph. Martin

I was fortunate enough to recently sell quite a few pieces of art, so since I had a bit of extra income I invested in these...


I've not used these before, but I find the wide variety of jewel-like colors appealing. If anyone reading this has any experience with them, I would be grateful for any advice.

- -

This is me, in my new Central Ohio Breeders Association / Select Sires hat. A friend gave it to me for my upcoming birthday. It's about artificial insemination of cattle.

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 006

Title: "They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force -- nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind..."

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on watercolor paper
May 2, 2011

Monday, May 7, 2012

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 005

Title: "Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him -- all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men."

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on watercolor paper
April 29, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday diversions: Stories of the Lego Metatron

I am on The Story
--Dick Gordon, host of The Story, a fantastic public radio show that originates out of WUNC - North Carolina Public Radio but is carried by all sorts of public radio stations nationwide spent a good 30 minutes talking to me at length about Moby-Dick, my relationship with the story, and how that all led to my 552 illustrations of the novel and the book Moby-Dick in Pictures. It was one of the most enjoyable conversations I've ever had about art, and you can listen to or download the entire thing. This episode is an hour long and truly, every single bit of it is worth listening to. But if you're really impatient and want to hear just me, I am the last 20 to 25 minutes of the piece. The broadcast is available at this link. Many many thanks to Dick and Kelsey for setting this up.

A Game of Legos
--I am not nearly the Game of Thrones fan that my wife and some of my friends are, but I have been obsessed with Legos for as long as I can remember so I quite enjoyed seeing the Lego-inspired recreation of the iconic Game of Thrones television show opening credits. Here is the original, which is pretty remarkable in and of itself...



And here is the Lego version...



I am...a lot of bits
--I am soon to start playing this PS3 game El Shaddai, Ascension of the Metatron. Anyone out there played it? Reviews have been decidedly mixed, but I got a new copy for a dirt cheap price and it looks gorgeous and relatively simple to just pick up and jump into. Sometimes I need that when I have to take a 10 minute break from painting if my hand cramps up. Some screenshots...





Hope it doesn't suck. Also, I'm not sure if I posted this before, but some time ago I wrote a 10-part article on my favorite videogames of all time. It ran on my good friend Kyle Wallace's videogame blog Good Game Get!. If you're curious and want to see what an idiotic romantic I am and what videogames actually made me cry, you can read them all here. I do get kind of carried away.

More Knights!
--Here is a phone photo of the first sketch I've done for what I hope will be an absolutely massive (with installations) summer project all about Knights, King Arthur, and my own deep and paralyzing sense of self-doubt and failure. I hope you like it and want to see more. This will be the most personal thing I've ever done, even more than the Moby-Dick illustrations.



That's all for now. Busy weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 004

Title: But Marlow was not typical (if his propensity to spin yarns be excepted), and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint and ink on watercolor paper
April 29, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

HEART OF DARKNESS, page 003

Title: "And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."

9 inches by 12 inches
ink on watercolor paper
April 28, 2012