Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Isn't it interesting..............

.........what difference a few hours and glasses of wine make. Balanced the helmet tones, and almost completed the jacket - sunglasses and safety glass are the order of the day today - sure beats sitting in front of a computer........which is kind of ironic..............

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A plastic plate, a hole punch, and a Sharpie

Well, the wall's pretty much finished, so I began detailing the items inside the case. The final piece will have fire safety glass as the case door, so I wanted to begin detailing to a level that would complement this - i.e. low. The thing about super realism, is that it takes a long time. The thing about super realism on a piece that's 48" x 80" is that it takes a REALLY long time. So, I have to learn to cut corners, and not spend too much time on elements that aren't the main focus of the piece, such as breeze blocks and peg board. So, I basically found a section of pegboard (my daughter's toy tool set), and used it as a dot template - notice I say "dot" not "hole" - I then had to punch a hole in a plastic plate, and Sharpie in every hole individually (this method proved to work the best) - onto the helmet and jacket now...........

Monday, December 22, 2008

Falling Goat

A few years ago, I completed a piece for a friend's brother. It was entitled "Bombat Helicopcop Dead", after a dream that the brother's son had had. A few weeks ago, he contacted me again, asking for another painting, this time entitled "Falling Goat". The facts is, his daughter and his other son were to be in the painting, and the "falling goat" is a password she uses around the house - it's a very entailed description, but if one client ever pushes me from the world of Realism, to that of Surrealism, it'll be this guy...............

Monday, December 15, 2008

Captain America Update

Who'd have thought that the most labour intensive part of the painting would be breeze block walls? So simple in theory, but not so in practice - so many subtle pinholes and shading variances in the mortar will make this a long haul. I have found in the past that this monotony can translate into a magical backdrop, on which the real subject is displayed - that's why I figured I'd get it finished before completing any more of the painting...........I just need to remain sane.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Captain America update

Friday at last, and managed to get a full day, (i.e. no architecture), on the painting. Completed the security case for the items, and began mapping in their shadows. As I had the jacket, sunglasses, and miniature toy helmet in my possession, I simply shone a flashlight on each piece individually, and used the resulting shadows as reference - the sunglasses were the most surprising - I didn't realise they sat so far off the canvas. Either way, it's starting to look convincing, and that's really all that keeps me going. Otherwise, I'd probably be designing a bedroom addition instead.........

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Captain America update

Managed to get another few hours in on the Captain America Emergency Kit painting today - using my own abused Indian motorcycle jacket as reference, I began working into the coat, in order to try and acheive the worn, old look. I figured the coat is better with some battle scars (and possibly the helmet), as it was at the end of the movie - plus, no one wants to look at a NEW motorcycle jacket - let alone wear one - anyway, still plenty of work left on it, so off I go..........

Monday, December 1, 2008

Guest Appearance at Dunbar EuroSports

Saturday was a busy day. I visited Dunbar Eurosports, a local Ducati and BMW dealership as a "guest painter", where I finished off the Casey Stoner helmet, as part of the Customer Appreciation Day. I had some good feedback, as well as some print orders of the Ducati in Styrofoam! It was an all day session, from about 10:30 to 3:30, and got to meet a lot of great people, including a few members of The Yankee Beemers, the New England BMW Club.

In between Tacos and painting, I got a chance to chat with Roy Bertalotto, the Club President, and we discussed a possible BMW painting, so stay tuned for updates.

All in all, the attendees consisted of very knowledgeable and big time riders, obviously full of the riding passion. The atmosphere was great, and I made some great contacts.

One of the highlights, as far as bikes goes, was the already infamous Ducati Desmosedici RR, the $72,000, 200 HP Race Replica. Full Carbon Fiber panels and tip top components and 1 of only 45 imported to the US, it really was a pleasant surprise to see it in the flesh.

Now, off to finish Captain America.............

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Captain America Emergency Kit Painting

Hot on the heels of the Casey Stoner helmet, here's the first shot of the Captain America "Easy Rider" emergency kit. The jacket, helmet, and shades will be in a glass case for easy access in times of need. The helmet's metallic blue, metallic red, and pearlescent white, while the jacket's supple black leather, with the quilted Stars and Stripes - a challenge no doubt, but I hope it'll be worth it.......

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Casey Stoner's Helmet: New Progress Shot

The painting won't be complete until November 29th (as I will be finishing it live at Dunbar Eurosport's Customer Appreciation Day).

But here it is today...

I'll post pictures of the event and finished painting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Casey Stoner Helmet--The Idea

Probably like most artists, I have no problem painting, but when it comes to selling my work...forget it. I have no idea how to do that. Thankfully my wife Kerry has jumped on board to help market my work. Hence the blog...

When the Ducati painting was nearing completion she sent an email out to several local Ducati dealerships to get some feedback. We got a great response and one dealership invited me to attend their Customer Appreciation Day.

I'll be at Dunbar Eurosports in Brockton, MA signing paintings on November 29th. They wanted me to be painting while I'm there and since the Ducati painting is too big to lug around (not to mention, finished) , I started a brand new painting...Casey Stoner's Helmet.

Here are the first progress shots.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Limited Edition Prints--Step One

This is a new adventure for me. As an artist, I've only ever sold my original work. For the Ducati painting, I decided it was time to reseach the world of fine art printing. After countless phone calls and several meetings, we found Ditto Editions.

Ditto Editions uses some highly impressive scanning devices/printers/inks to accurately capture and reproduce original works of art. It's the closest you can get to an original painting. But it won't take them 2 years and 300 hours to reproduce.

The first step in the process is to digitally capture the artwork. This photo was taken in their studio, while they set up proper lights and equipment to capture the painting.

The next step will be the proofing and printing process...stay tuned!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ducati Painting leaves the building

We (my wife Kerry and I) dragged the bike out to the driveway to get some full scale shots before sending it to the professionals.

Having just dropped my real motorcycle off in storage for the winter, it was nice to see a bike back in the driveway again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Painting is Finished

and 300 hours later...the Ducati painting is finished. Well sort of. Right before shipping it off to the studio for pictures I realized I couldn't live with the gas tank. It looked way too flat. I fixed it (no picture...sigh). At least now I can sleep at night.
I will post the final picture when we receive it from the studio.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ducati--The Styrofoam Background

So...why Styrofoam for a background?

You very rarely see a bike perfectly from the side. I wanted to take it out of being in a situation where you would normally see it—on a racetrack, street or in a garage with a naked girl over it. I wanted to get rid of all that. The nice thing is the bike is small enough to be able to paint full size and I thought it would be fun to paint this way as you can see every detail. It’s not like a car. A car is basically –well, every nut and bolt is covered with metal, plastic or glass. Every single one. You don’t really see the engineering at first glance. With a motorcycle you do.

That’s where the jewelry idea came from. I wanted to display it, not as a toy, but as a precious item. A piece of jewelry. So I went and looked at all the different ways people package delicate items—everythign from computers to collectible toys. There are a lot of different ways to package things—styrafoam is an obvious one and people are familiar with that. It’s cold and machine made and it works nicely with the smooth, very engineered motorcycle. I think for the Ducati it represents the bike.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Painting is Born...

After a few years spent painting mostly portraits and commissions, I decided to combine my love of motorcycles into my artwork. I like the mechanics of the bikes—the physical engineering—the bolts, the set-up, everything.

Because I have built so many bikes I know how they go together and it’s exciting to paint them. All different types of nuts and bolts have different finishes on them and that’s part of the fun. It’s all very subtle. Figuring out how to paint it is the challenge. It’s something I enjoy looking at so it makes it enjoyable to paint.

I picked the Ducati 916 as the first in a series of 12 bikes I plan on painting. I don't have any photographs of the initial sketch work but here's an early progress shots...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jazz Show--Opening Night

The jazz show was a huge success- every single painting sold! Here are a few pictures of the opening night...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jazz Show: Setting Up

Once the jazz paintings were done (see previous posts) we got to work hanging the show. We set the lighting, brought in some turntables and vinyl (gotta have the wraspy sounds of vinyl for a show on jazz) and plenty of Heineken and champagne to get us through the night.

Each painting had a great quotes about jazz next to it and I had vinyl lettering made for one of the walls saying "Man, if you have to ask wat it is, you'll never know."-- Louis Armstron on Jazz.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jazz Series

Below are some paintings from a solo show I exhibited at the Bermuda National Gallery. With the permission of talented jazz photgrapher Herman Leonard, I used his stunning photos as reference for these acrylic on canvas paintings.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jazz Paintings: Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington, 24" x 36"

Jazz Paintings: Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon, 48"x60", Enamel & Acrylic

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jazz Paintings: Ms Holiday and Trumpet Player

Billie Holiday, 16" x 22"
Trumpet Player, 18"x 22"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jazz Paintings: Donald Byrd, Musicians Laughing

Donald Byrd, 8"x10"

Musicians Laughing 18" x 24"