Third Eye Drawing - Experiments That Worked!

Pencil, Sharpie & ball point pen

Pencil, Sharpie & ball point pen

So, I was really keen to work on a non-caucasian skin tone AND eye shape, so here we are! I toned the paper first and "built" the portrait on top (with some erasing). As I was working, I realized that my pencil arsenal did not have the range to get the deep darks I wanted (sorry, 4B).

So, what did I do? I gingerly grabbed a sharpie and filled in the iris and pupil. Then, I got a black Bic pen and enhanced the skin folds - it gave a nice depth of tone that wasn't as bold as the sharpie, but darker than the pencils. At the end, I REALLY pressed my luck and used Sharpie veeeeeery lightly in the upper eye creases and the corners of the eye.

So, what do you think? I'm calling it a great first try... for now. :)

First Drawings for ArtPrize 2016!

Holy cow, I'm doing a lot of art stuff this year! ...I love it! Hooray!

It's ArtPrize artist registration time again and I'm all signed up and ready to connect with a venue. That phase starts next week, so, I'm keen to get some drawings done to attract a great potential partner. Here are two... pencil drawings (old skool!).

I've described my ArtPrize idea this way:

After the incredible response to my entry last year (Rob, see video below), where I displayed a large realistic drawing and included time lapse video of how it was created, I’ve been inspired to work in that realm again. This work will focus solely on the human eye and all of its magnificent detail. Is it the “window to the soul”? What can you see with your OWN eyes when you study another’s? And finally, how were they created? I’m interested in letting non-drawers (and NEW drawers!) inside my creative process with this piece. Thank you!
— me

Fingers crossed that venues are as keen on my idea as they were last year - maybe even MORE so! I'll post about it all once it starts. In the meantime, drawdrawdraw...

What I'm Learning & Back to Grand Rapids for the End of ArtPrize Round One :D

Chatting in front of my piece last weekend, ArtPrize #61400.

Chatting in front of my piece last weekend, ArtPrize #61400.

I want to share a conversation (well, one question, one answer) that I just had with the subject of my ArtPrize entry, Rob. A peek behind the artist veil, but I think it's important.

How many people did you talk to about your art? How many people there might be interested in being art patrons? How much fun did you have just being there and experiencing the art and people experiencing in your art?
— Rob
I have met a lot of people, it’s true. I guess I have to have faith that good things will come from that. Also, I should define what a “good thing” is - is it an award, money, connections? And, I HAVE had a lot of fun, yes. This feels like this might be a point in time where I come face-to-face with my desire for recognition and learn that that’s not all there is when you judge “success”. Maybe that’s going to be the biggest bit of learning I get out of all of this.
— Me

So - This is where I am with the fact that: I created a piece for ArtPrize that I love, I got a HUGE response from the public last weekend, yet... it's not developed into much "formal recognition" (i.e., I didn't make the Juror's short list, nor am I in the running for the public vote - that I know of). 

I'm human, I'm disappointed. This was a ton of work and, like anyone, it'd be nice to have people recognize that. But the fact of the matter is, people ARE recognizing it. Who KNOWS what's next after all of this exposure during ArtPrize 7 @ The B.O.B. I'm immensely grateful to all of the support I have and am working very hard to not get mired down into the race to the top prize. It's tough, but it's important.

'Draw more, care less' is what my tattoo says. How soon I forgot.

xo


Dispatch in the Midst of Art Prize

Important Facts: My piece is titled "Rob", it's 4 x 8' (the biggest piece I've created to date), and it's being shown @ The B.O.B. in Grand Rapids, MI for ArtPrize. It's on the first floor, just inside the door. My voting ID is 61400 if you like my piece and want to give it the ole thumbs up.

So, I have not made the Juror's ShortList. We're smack dab in the middle of the voting phase for the Public Vote and, while I can watch the livestream of the top vote-getters for that award on the ArtPrize website, I'm not among the Top 25 in the 2D category. I DID think I would do better.

Do I want your votes? YES. (go here to do so, if you are registered)
Am I going to go everything possible to maximize this experience? YES.

I've learned far too much, met far too many interesting, funny, caring people, and had far too much FUN to get too down about the outcome not being as I envisioned. Everything is a chance to learn (about people, yourself, your work, your direction), to make new connections, to have experiences that are brand new and super-exciting. 

This is the next step in my art journey. I have had a ton of new opportunities this year - a venue who pursued ME, a 1st floor/right inside the front door space, oodles of press, request for commissions, increased viewership on Twitter/Instagram/here, learning to do timelapse and incorporating video into my piece (see below for the final product - with music composed by myself as well!). It's all still in the right trajectory, even if a huge accolade is not to be.

Thank you ALL for your support... I wouldn't be here without you!

Stay tuned for more updates... 

xo

The B.O.B.'s location:

 


Whatta Difference a Year Makes! (aka. I have an Art Prize venue)

Art Prize does things a little differently. After you register as an artist for the big show, you must connect with a venue so you can show your piece. There is a chance that, despite your best efforts, you might not connect with one. This means that you don't participate and it happened to me the first time I entered AP in 2009.

Last year, I entered the "venue connection" phase of Art Prize by sending out ~12 inquiries to different potential art-showing locations around Grand Rapids. As May wore on, I had about 8 rejections and was wondering if my project (which I thought was great!) would see the light of day in this setting. Maybe this wasn't the sort of event my work was made for? 

Well, as you might know if you've been following along, I DID connect with the amazing Mitten Brewing Company at the very end of May and all went well from there. 

So, coming into this year, I figured things would proceed in a similar fashion. I had a list of venues that interested me, and, when April 20th rolled around, I was ready to start sending my requests anew.

Welp. That is NOT how this year went down. 

At 12:08am on the 20th (yes, 8 minutes into the connection phase... which runs until early June, by the by), I received the first of (what would be) 7 requests to show FROM THE VENUES THEMSELVES. The venues were pursuing ME.

I could not wrap my brain around this change of events! Wow. They must REALLY like my piece... they must see some merit/potential in it. This is so humbling!

I ended up signing with the first one and can now announce that "Rob" will be on display at The B.O.B., right in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. I could not be more thrilled and figured that I could NOT look a gift horse in the mouth and wait around to see how many more requests I got (even though, that would have been fun in a vane way). The B.O.B. is an established venue; they must know what they are doing.

So, consider yourself updated! :)

Now, I need to frame this giant thing in preparation for September... practicality was not a concern when I created this piece, so, wish me luck. Oof!

It Has Begun - My 2015 Art Prize Entry

Gulp! Here we go again - I'm excited to announce that I've thrown my artistic hat back into the Art Prize ring with my large carbon dust portrait - "Rob" - which you may have seen glimpses of in my Instagram feed or on YouTube where I've been posting time lapse photos of the creation of this piece. 

Rob - the largest drawing I've ever done - 20 x 80" - carbon dust & white chalk, 2015.

Some details of the piece (which is very close to being complete) are above. Below is the first time lapse video... in my opinion, the most dramatic of the series. Enjoy!

Hanging Art Prize - In Pictures (and Info About Voting)

My pieces will be hanging from now until October 12th at The Mitten Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI. If you like this project, I would sure appreciate your vote - that can be done IN (and only in) the greater Grand Rapids area from Sept. 24th - Oct. 4th (info here about voting). My artist number for voting is 56760

It's Game Time.

Upzette is a winner! Best in the Drawing category!

Upzette is a winner! Best in the Drawing category!

As silly as it might seem, I get nervous over everything where my work is on public display. Yes, "even" an employee art exhibition. There were 200 entrants vying for awards and lookit me! I got one! I'm very honored! Perhaps this will lead to more partnerships with U of Mich to display my work - the ladies talked to me about it - so, stay tuned for that.

Next on to ArtPrize...

Terror Misu, the 10th completed derby portrait.

Terror Misu, the 10th completed derby portrait.

All eight derby portraits are ready for framing in preparation for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids! The official hanging of the show is Sept 17th - I cannot fathom how time got me here already! I'll post some pictures documenting all of this. 

Now I'm going to go try not to fantasize too much about winning ArtPrize. That, ladies and gentlemen and everyone, would (and I'm not even remotely kidding) change my life.

TONIGHT ONLY! Derby Portraits on Display!

If you are in the region, you might consider stopping by Massage Mechanics @ 11/13 Cross Street, Ypsilanti, MI to see all of the portraits I've been doing for Art Prize! They will be up from 6-9pm. 

Not to be a braggart, or anything, but they are MUCH nicer in person that via these camera phone pics :)