Friday, September 08, 2017

Ben Cooper Tribute Show

"Good & Plenty"; 4"x4" Gouache; 2017
Decided that the world needed more Sushi Gremlin Halloween antics.  This little guy has obviously had a very productive evening of trick or treating and decided to start eating his haul before he could even get home.  Eating way to much of his haul.

Show flier for the Ben Cooper Tribute Show, opening 09-09-17

If you'd like to see "Good & Plenty" in person, come out to the Ben Cooper tribute show over at the Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum Saturday, September 9th, 2017 from 8pm-Midnight.  They'll be having three events that night: The Ben Cooper Tribute Show, The Slashback Video Pop-Up event, and the Grand Re-Opening of Bearded Lady's Vintage and Oddity shop.  Both stores are now combined into one and Saturday will be an event not to be missed.  For more info, see their Facebook event.

Next up, I'll be participating in the Flipside Art Fest gallery show devoted to Phobia's.  It'll be opening in October so if you're not following me on Instagram, you should for all the work in progress posts!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Fun Size! and the Grim Manor Gallery

Fun Size! Group Show @ Sally Centigrade Gallery thru the month of August (2017)
Update time!!

Hey all.  Decided to wait a week or two before updating again.  Anyway, I've got two new paintings to share this week.  The first is for a show opening in Lakewood, Colorado on August 3rd, 2017.  The second is from a show that's already passed that took place in Austin, Texas.

First up, the upcoming show!

I'll have my newest little piece, entitled "Bite Sized", on display over at the Sally Centigrade Gallery in Lakewood, Colorado thru the month of August.  If you're in the area and can make it out to the opening, the show opens Thursday, August 3rd from 5pm to 9:30pm.  It's got a super amazing list of artist and I'm truly honored to have been asked by the curator, Sarah Banks (also known online as Pink Sugar Fueled), to take part in the show.  I wish I could be there for the opening, but work takes all my fun away sometimes.

Anyway, I brought one of the Sushi Gremlins back for "Bite Sized".  I was told I could do whatever I wanted and I thought it would be good to get an idea I've had in my head out onto paper.  I've been wanting to find ways to kinda do crossovers of a bunch of my characters, so as you can see I took my Candy Corn, from my Devious Desserts line, and had them attack on of the Sushi Gremlins.  I'd love to do more of these little cross over type paintings in the future, but for now this little guy will have to do.  FYI, he's wearing a Ben Cooper devil mask that I really liked.

"Bite Sized"; 4"x4" Gouache; 2017

Penny for scale/size reference.
If you're in the Lakewood, CO area, swing by Sally Centigrade Gallery thru the month of August to pay this little Gremlin a visit!

Official Event Flier

The second new painting was a tad experimental and from the now passed Grim Manor Gallery show.

The show was another Haunted Mansion tribute show, only this one was supposed to be darker and creepier.  Unfortunately, I had a million ideas, but as usual, they were all charming and cute.  I didn't feel right doing any of those other pieces because they didn't really go with the show's theme and the guilt was kinda giving me 'painter's block'.

After racking my brain for a couple weeks, and having a mini melt down, my husband suggested I do a free flowing, train of consciousness type thing.  You know, just sit down and see what comes out.  I don't do those very often because gouache can be a pain in the rear for me, but this time I got out my Acrylic Gouaches from Holbien and just gave it a go.

I tried playing with dry brush techniques a little (which this particular gouache is great for) and mostly just tried to have FUN.  I'm relatively happy with how the little doodle turned out.  I'm particularly fond of the gradient and the way the faces transition in the back ground.  It's busy, but I learned a few things and had that fun my husband told me to go have.

"Untitled"; 4"x6" Gouache; 2017
Next Up: I'll be taking part a show called "Phobia" in October and it will be curated by the Flipside Art Fest people.  I've got a few ideas I'm tossing around, all pretty detailed.  So, if you're a fan of watching me pull my hair out because I got way too lost in the pretty, be sure to follow my work in progress images by following me over on Instagram or keep up with me on my Facebook page!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Matty's Toy Shoppe" and "The Joys of Toys" Mattel Tribute Show @ Gallery 1988

Back in 2014 I took on a rather ambitious painting, considering my style and my aptitude for getting 'lost in the pretty' (also known as caught up in tiny details).  Some of you may remember it.  It was called "Little Leota's Fortune Telling Kit for Beginners".  If not, you're in luck because I posted a pic of it.  :P

"Little Leota's Fortune Telling Kit for Beginners", 11"x14" Gouache, 2014
Anyway, "Little Leota" was ambitious because it was my first painting at 11"x14".  In it, I told a story of Frannie, my version of the Bride of Frankenstein, trying to use all sorts of ways to determine if her crush, Sheldon, liked her back.  There were all sorts of games and fortune telling things that a kid may use to find out the answer to such a question.  In addition to that, it was also a Disneyland Haunted Mansion tribute piece.  All the Haunted Mansion items were relatively subtile and made up the room that Frannie, Gillian (creature) and Prudence (vampire) were all playing this little game in.  If you know the ride well, you can recognize many elements.

"Little Leota" was a monster.  It took nearly 300 hours to complete.  The wallpaper alone took 18 hours because my idea of using a stencil failed miserably and I had to painstakingly paint the pattern one section at a time.  In the process, I pinched my sciatic nerve and my leg would go numb or hurt for nearly a year.  "Little Leota" got the nick name "the Beast", and she was a beautiful beast.  The Beast drained me, shortly there after I went into a period of burn out.  It lasted for 3 years.  I didn't stop making art, but I never felt like 'myself' when I worked.  It was hard to come up with ideas and nothing seemed to work right.  I swore to myself I'd never do anything as ambitious as 'The Beast' again.  (For the record, the Sushi Gremlins, which would take a year and a half to complete and exponentially more time to finish, was only 8"x10".  It will always be considered the M.O.A.B., or Mother Of All Beasts.)

Until now.

Return of the Beast

"Matty's Toy Shoppe"; 11"x14" Gouache; 2017
Back in early 2017, I had the extreme honor of being invited into a group show over at Gallery 1988 on Melrose, in Los Angeles.  Gallery 1988 was one of those galleries that I felt only people who had "made it" showed in.  They present mostly pop culture inspired work, so a lot of themed group shows and "cool" individual artists who use popular culture as their muse show there.  The show I was invited into was a Mattel tribute show and a portion of the proceeds from the event were to be donated to the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital.  I graciously and eagerly accepted the invite.  (Not to mention the curator, Cuddly Rigor Mortis and her husband Ed Mironiuk are some of the nicest people I've met in a long time.)

For my piece I decided to repurpose a concept I had initially thought up for the Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock show I mentioned in my last post.  It was probably the best decision I could have made, to scrap the Curiosity shop idea for Twilight Zone and repurpose it as a Toy Shop for the Mattel show.

The idea was once again, ambitious and required the painting to be the same dreaded 11"x14" that nearly killed me on "Little Leota".  I didn't care.  For the first time in 3 years I felt excited about a painting.  Inspired.  It didn't feel like just going thru the motions to hit a deadline, which so many of my pieces had started to feel like.

It took 2 months, and if my calculations are correct, 200 hours to complete.  I named it "Matty's Toy Shoppe".  Unfortunately it was late and got there two days before the show opened, but it was worth it.  I couldn't compromise on the quality.

Detail shot of the store window.  M.U.S.C.L.E. Men are teeny tiny.

Emily, Iggy, and Ollie's toy inspiration.
The story is relatively simple, as was the story for "Little Leota".  Emily (the skeleton girl) gets left behind by the boys, Iggy (Hunchback) and Ollie (Wolfboy).  She runs as fast as her boney little legs can go to catch up to them.  The story is simple, but as always, the execution is the hard part.

I wanted to fill the toy store window with a ton of Mattel products.  And I did.  There's He-Man toys, She-Ra toys, Hot Wheels, a long lost Hot Wheel Toy line called Farbs is in there, Little People, Barbies, the 1988 Barbie Ultra Vette, a Chatty Cathy, a Uke-a-Doodle, some M.U.S.C.L.E. men, a Food Fighter, a Magic 8 Ball, a View Master and a TON of Fischer Price toys.  The monster kids all have Mattel products with them too.  Ollie (wolf boy) has the Hover Board from Back to the Future 2, Iggy (hunchback) is playing a hand held football game and Emily has a Chatty Cathy doll.  There are so many things in there, and wanna know a secret?  Most of them were toys that I wanted as a child but couldn't have.  There are only 3 toys in there that I had as a child, two of which are 'hidden' (a 1988 Hot Looks Model doll and the Barbie driving the Ultra Vette is supposed to be a Dream Date Barbie, which was one of only 2 Barbies I ever had as a child) and the third is front and center (She-Ra and Swiftwind).

This time around, on the actual painting part, I was so paranoid about ruining the painting that I had a 'drop cloth' on the painting at all times.  It would be placed on a section I'd already finished to protect the painting from myself.  When I get nervous or tired I tend to drop my paint brush a lot.  I've pretty much done it to every one of my paintings, and gouache is unforgiving, so if you drop a paintbrush you're kinda screwed.  And damn was I tired.  I still work full time as a retakes board artist over on American Dad and don't get home until 8 at night.  I'd then feed my husband, make sure things I had to get done were done, and then sit down to work from 10pm to 2 or 3am every week night and then all day and most of the night on weekends.  I'd take a night off every 4 days or so to sleep in hopes of not frying my brain, but it was pretty crazy this time around.  I've learned that my work takes time and I used to tell people I'd need a month notice in order to be in a show, but now it's looking like I need two months notice.

Okay, enough rambling, time to wrap up.

Screen capture of the Gallery's front page.
The opening night was wonderful.  I met some of the other amazing artists in the show, got to catch up with some friends, and got to talk to a few people about the painting.  I don't normally do that.  Talk to people about my work, but I was so proud of this one I couldn't not tell people about all the little things I put in there.  It was a great experience, and just like the Twin Peaks piece, which I produced at the same time I was making the Mattel Piece, something good came out of the finished piece.  The Gallery, which I admit I put up on a pedestal a bit, used my painting as a banner on their front page.  So flattering.

To see the Mattel Piece, "Matty's Toy Shoppe", in person you can swing by Gallery 1988's until the show ends on July 15th.  The show is also available for viewing online over on their website.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

While I Was Gone. . .

3 of the 5 paintings that have been done since my last post.

So, a year has whizzed by since the last time I posted here on the bloggy blog.  I've been in a few art shows I didn't post about (which is just downright silly).  Here's what you missed:

"Frog's Breath"; 8"x10" Gouache; 2016

Back in October of 2016 I was in a Witches and Ghosts themed art show over at the Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum.  The piece, which I titled 'Frog's Breath' was a fun and ambitious little piece.  Recently all my paintings take much longer than I think they will.  This one was late, but the trade off was that it was my first forest painting!  The piece didn't sell at the event, which ended in early December, so I donated it to a Charity Auction at work.  The piece sold there and all the proceeds went to the Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

"Madeline"; 5"x7" Gouache; 2017

Then, back in February I was in another show over at the Mystic Museum.  This one was a tribute to both the TV show "The Twilight Zone" and the movies and TV shows of Alfred Hitchcock.  I chose to do a Hitchcock piece, and referenced Vertigo.  I was very happy with how this piece turned out and it's now very happy at it's new home up in Washington.

"Audrey Horne"; 5"x7" Gouache; 2017

My second to last piece (the 4th will get a post all it's own), was also at the Mystic Museum and opened back in June.  It was for a Twin Peaks/X-Files show.  There's a kind of funny story about that piece (simply titled "Audrey Horne").  Audrey is pretty much one of the most popular characters on the show.  I loved her and totally wanted to paint her, but I assumed that everyone else in the show would be doing pieces of her and I didn't want to be just one of many people doing Audrey.  So I thought I'd try doing Laura, but trying to be all pop-surrealist with it.  I also thought I'd try painting on wood.  Only problem was that I was working on two big paintings at the same time and that was NOT the time to be experimenting with new mediums.  The painting failed epically after an initial good start.  I missed the deadline completely for that show's opening night.  As luck would have it, NO ONE painted Audrey and I was given a second chance by fate to do the piece I initially wanted to do.  Which was pretty much what I painted.  Had I had a little more time I'm sure it wouldn't look TOO much different, but it would have been noodled a bit more than it had been.

Ms. Fenn at the signing.  My painting is right next to her.

The framed version of the painting, w/ autograph.

Close up of the autograph.
"Audrey" also got a very special honor.  She was submitted in time for Sherilyn Fenn (the actress who portrayed Audrey) to Autograph it!  The same day I submitted the painting to the shop, they were having a meet and greet with her, so they had the frame autographed.

She is still listed as available over at the Mystic Museum's website, so if you're interested go check it out!