Monday, February 20, 2012

Same question, different answer...

What's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?

In the end I answered that question for the Western Visions Miniatures and More catalog a little differently than I'd planned.

I said it was to learn to bake a great cake, before bothering with any icing skills.

In my twenties I had to abandon everything I thought I knew about drawing in order to learn to bake a great cake.
I'd been focusing on the icing for as long as I could remember, which is why I couldn't make up scenes out of my head and draw them. I was always struggling to get my hands on all the right elements of reference first, since I was all icing and no cake.
No good for becoming a handy dandy storyboard artist, which was my only goal at that time.

Now I'm taking my own advice as I attempt to kinda sorta learn to play the drums half decently.
I sort of thought I could play them not too terribly badly, since I had a set for a couple of years back in my art school days.

I figured it would all come rushing back.

But now I have an electronic set that I can plug headphones into (so Meridee isn't standing behind me, all wound up like a pitcher on a mound, only with a frying pan in her hand).
My high-tech sonic play-thing also has this horrendously helpful feature called "instant record".

That's right, with my iPod plugged in I can bash along to my favorite tunes, a legend of complete awesomeness in my own living room, and then play back what I ACTUALLY sound like...
...only without my favorite tunes in the mix.

Mmm. Not quite so awesome.

What have I learned?
Us humans are a delusional species!
Or maybe it's just me.

Awful doesn't even come close.
I can't even get things I'm hitting at the same time to line up.
Sounds like someone trying to play the drums in the back of a pick-up truck bouncing along on square, tire-less wheels.

I imagine I was as delusional back in my college days, too.
I played one and a half gigs.

The band was scrambling to find a drummer at short notice, and I turned out to be the only one available who had any drums handy.
So while I was far from the ideal candidate quality-wise, that small technical detail kind of gave me the edge.

Actually I was terrified!

Gig #1 was the art school Christmas party (the band was called  'The Booze Brothers') in front of about 300 fairly inebriated people.
As far as I know that went well.
But it did turn out be my last time at that particular college.

And then someone's birthday party at a night club about a week later.
We were politely asked to leave after half our set!
Then I moved all the way across the country to another art college in Cornwall, which helped me avoid further embarrassment and shame.

Of course I took my drums with me: you could fit lots of clothes and other belongings in them, and how else could you alienate an entire fishing village by the sea in the least amount of time...

Anyhow, it's back to basics for me!

With patience and a plan, hopefully I will enjoy some satisfying progress as time goes by...and none of the neighbors will be any the wiser!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?

National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming.

I am honored and quite proud to say that the National Museum of Wildlife Art has invited me back to participate again in this year's Western Visions Miniatures and More show in Jackson, WY.

In their catalog they feature very brief quotes from all the artists in answer to a question.
One of this year's is 'What's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?'

It's difficult to pick just one, but I think I'll go with some advice I got from Harold Speed.
His two books were my constant companions for a few years when I lived in London just after college.

'The practice and science of drawing', and 'Oil painting techniques and materials'.

They are very beaten-up looking now, kind of like well used volumes of spells at Hogwart's, or recipes that have been in the family for generations.

They were written at a time when color printing was starting to make it much easier for art students to get their hands of reproductions of artists of any era from all over the world.
While this was obviously a great thing, Harold was a little concerned that there would be too great a temptation to flit from one genre to another without spending enough time to drink in deeply of any one before moving to the next, resulting in a kind of 'artistic indigestion'.

Gee, I wonder what he would make of the world now if he could pop back for a quick look around!

Well anyway, the piece of advice I took to heart was to avoid being distracted and instead spend a good deal of time soaking up the finest stuff that I was personally capable of honestly appreciating that inspired me, and pretty much let that be my guide and let the rest be, particularly while I was learning my way and developing my craft. After that you can enjoy numerous trips to the buffet table, having had time to develop a solid foundation and strong personal style.

I now need to get that last paragraph down to about 1/3 as long so I can send it in to Western Visions for my answer!

Since it's such a great question I'll ask you, what's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?
I've had bunches of emails entering my contest to win a Winged Angel Mouse, and there's still time before the end of the month to make a guess if you haven't yet, or mention it on your blog for the blog draw method of entry.
Details in the post before this one.

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Win a bronze Winged Angel Mouse...x2!

Angel Chubby (no patina yet, will be silver colored)

Angel Pugnacious (no patina yet, will be silver colored)

Winged Angel Sprightly (no patina yet, will be silver colored)
OK, here we go again!

Oh yes, it's time once more for 'guess the weight of the chubby artist after he's had yet another try at shifting some lard'...

Right, I've tried it twice before. And if you guessed during my earlier attempts that after 6 months I'd weigh about the same as when I started, or perhaps a bit more, you might have won!

Of course there's always the possibility that the third time will be the charm.
Plus I have my secret weapon, which I didn't have before...

This time I have my very own tiny fridge, for instant retrieval of ingredients to create my tiny feeds.
No hunting around the swirling morass of confusion and temptation that abounds in the regular fridge...
...I'm using the austerity fridge.

Pretty much all my austerity feeds will be looking something like this...
That's not dandruff on the plate, it's cheese (the rest is inside the wonderfully appetizing looking eggbeater blanket).

I kicked off on Jan 1st at a svelte 220.4 lbs with a cold and immediately gained a couple of pounds.
But then I got my fridge, and with it, my edge.
Did I lose any after that?
I'm not telling!

So roll up and place your bets!

Well, bet singular actually, since you can only have one guess.

Here's the RULES...

Winning the first Winged Angel Mouse...

Make your guess as to what I will weigh on the first of August.

Enter by leaving a comment on this post (BEFORE MARCH 1st) with your guess, or email me (BEFORE MARCH 1st) with 'Chubby Artist' in the subject line (or I won't find your emailed guess come August 1st).

You can email me from my profile page here, or my contact page on my regular website. Don't forget to put 'Chubby Artist' in the subject line.

Anyone making more than one guess will be disqualified.

I will announce the result and the winner on August 1st (or thereabouts).

In the result of a draw, I'll roll a dice to determine the winner.

I'll post my current state of lardiness in the form of pounds at the end of blog posts after March 1st, so you can check in and see if I'm heading towards or away from your guess!

Your responsibility is to check-in during the month of August and contact me if you won if I'm unable to contact you.

If I'm unable to contact you by Sept 1st, the next closest wins (that  happened before with an earlier contest - the winner left a comment, but had no contact info on their profile page and didn't contact me).

Any arguments are decided by me, since it's my contest, and my mouse!

Winning the second Winged Angel Mouse...

If you have a blog (it must have existed before today!), you can enter by posting an announcement of this contest with a link to this post on your blog.
Let me know by commenting on this post, or email me ('blog entry' in the subject line) and you'll be in the blog draw for a Winged Angel Mouse of your choice.

Any bloggers who enter the second way before the end of this weekend (before Feb 6) gets a double entry - their name goes in the hat twice!

More info that might help you...

I'm 5'10" tall.

My scale reads pounds in increments of one fifth of a pound, eg


So if you want a chance at nailing it precisely, don't make a guess like 200.3

The heaviest I've been in the last 15 years (since living in the U.S. of A.) is 240, the lightest is 173.6 (for a few minutes, before I breathed in a particle of dust).

I don't have a method for tracking any facebook likes, tweets and what have you or I might have made it a triple offer, but if you'd like to hit the like button, I'd appreciate it!

That should do it, so good luck!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille