Archive for the ‘Illustration’ Category

Safari Honeymoon

October 18, 2014

Safari-HoneyWB-12

Safari-Honeymoon_4I recently read a comic that I have been thinking a lot about. Its called Safari Honeymoon by Jesse Jacobs, and its among the best that I have read for a long while.

The fine folks over at 11 O’clock Comics recommended it on their podcast a few weeks back, and I decided get a copy. Especially when I saw the artwork, which is pretty straight forward line work and fields of color. Simple colors. Black, white and shades of green… and those colors and shapes really helped make the story even more powerful.

Maybe these are spoilers (I don’t mind spoilers and its hard for me to tell for sure) so if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing then maybe don’t read any further, just pick up the book :) Anyway, this is kind of a reverse Garden of Eden story. Instead of the man and woman being thrust out of a garden paradise, the couple in this book leave the complexity of the modern world and go back into nature.

But the nature they return to for their Safari Honeymoon is pretty damn brutal and threatening. Maybe it was written that way to illustrate how the modern mind tends to see nature as a threatening place? Of course nature can be a wild and threatening for sure, but in Honeymoon Safari, every leaf will poison, every animal will attack, even the air is filled with bacteria that will possess and control the mind and body of its host. This exists in nature, but because it is so apparent in Safari Honeymoon, it really enhances the point of the story.

Not a big deal but I’ll admit, and probably silly to even mention since “safari” is part of the title, but that sorta brutality did kinda bug me. Even though it is cartoon-ie and all, the guns and violence kinda bothered me. Even though the animals and plants are weird geometric shapes for the most part, I still liked them and they had personality. I didn’t want them to get shot, even if they were ready to eat or poison the peeps. But the cartoon violence was necessary and also enhanced the point of the story. And they are on safari so I guess that is part of it… plus it was also nice to see the modern Adam & Eve leave civilization behind and go back to this strange Garden.

A little side tangent, but something I was thinking on after I finished the book… Its pretty obvious that nature feeds on itself in order to survive. Animals (including people) feed on other animals. Plants and bugs feed on the corpse that is left behind. Rocks, rivers and wind grind it all into dust. And that dust feeds the plants, which feed the animals. I understand all this, and even see it as beautiful. But I chose to become a vegetarian a long time ago because I do think it is ugly how far our modern culture has taken it. Or how far removed from it we are is probably a better way of saying it. At this point, seems to me, we usually live outside of that natural cycle. I do think it is natural for people to eat meat, but I don’t think the way we farm it is correct or ethical at all, which is probably the main reason why I became a vegetarian. Now, I know being vegetarian doesn’t let me off the hook at all. I’m sure there are many other beliefs and behaviors I maintain just because I was trained to think they are okay due to the social contract I was born into. Anyway, even with my diet I could also do more and only eat renewable fruits and leafy plants. Maybe I could become a master yogi and survive on air. But truth is, I am pretty happy with my diet and choices. I’m at peace with them. And at least I’m not eating anonymous and (way way way too often) mistreated animals. Probably sounds funny, but the way nature was portrayed in this book made me reflect on my choice to become a vegetarian. And upon reflection, I still think it was and is the right choice for me.

Safari-Honeymoon_1

Safari-Honeymoon_proof_Page_15-670

Jodorowsky’s Dune

July 20, 2014

jodorowskys_dune_xlg

Frank Herbert‘s Dune is definitively up there among my favorite books of all time. I mean, I know there are a whole lot of people love these books, but I do too!

Over the years we’ve all been teased with film adaptations of Dune, but they’ve never turn out all that well. To be fair, I guess there have only been a couple film adaptations as far as I know, but both kind of suck.

Well, I watched a documentary this week called Jodorowsky’s Dune. It was a pretty good film about what director Alejandro Jodorowsky had planned in the ’70s for his adaptation of Dune… about the the Dune movie that was never made.

Like I say, the film was pretty damn good. What interested me the most was seeing how much goes into getting a film made (or not made, in this case). Writing the script, drawing the storyboards, creating set designs, putting music together, interfacing with the studio. Crazy crazy time consuming.

Who knows, Jodorowsky may have been the one who made a Dune movie worth seeing. I’m really not too sure about the changes he had planned for the story, but I do know he had some very talented people working on the project with him. With the late great Mœbius working on the film’s storyboards (which, my goodness, I’d love to own the hardbound storyboard drawings shown in the documentary!), H.R. Giger (of Alien fame) working on the sets, Salvador Dali hired on as an actor, and Pink Floyd planning on scoring the music (this right after finishing their masterpiece, The Dark Side Of The Moon)… well, it is had to see how any project could go wrong with talent like that working with ya.

But it did go wrong I guess, because the film was never made. But this documentary about the unmade film was made, and I liked it.

Hexen 2.0

October 6, 2013

TAROT_Hermit-TK

I’m able to listen to a lot of audio-books and podcasts while I work so, of course, I do. One of the podcasts I look forward to each week is Expanding Mind, and about a week or two ago they interviewed artist Suzanne Treister about her new tarot deck and book, Hexen 2.0

I’ve always liked looking at old alchemical charts and diagrams, and that is what Treister’s work reminded me of. Even though I don’t really use them, I’ve also been intrigued by the tarot. I like looking at the different decks and have thought for a very long time that the artwork illustrates very powerful symbols.

I decided to get the Hexen 2.0 book, and I’m glad I did. I enjoy the artwork very much, but what I think I like the most is that each card uses a historical person or event to illustrate the meaning of that specific card. Although with other decks I think I might have an almost intuitive understanding of each symbol (we all probably do), Treister’s deck helps make it a little more clear. I like that and appreciate all of the work that went into her deck.

If you’ve ever had any questions about the tarot, this book might be a good place to start.

ensemble.va.com.au | HEXEN_2_TAROT

ensemble.va.com.au/Treister

Wands5_Blake

WandsQ_HArendt TAROT_Emperor-DSinope
TAROT_Magician-Leary Chalices5_Lovecraft
TAROT_Sun-AnarchoP-PLA WandsKing_Tesla

Urban Arts Gallery

February 24, 2013

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There is a new gallery at the Gateway that everyone should stop in and visit. Last weekend was the grand opening of the new Urban Arts Galley, and I am very impressed. It is a very nice and large space showcasing a number of different artists, and currently featuring the artwork of Jimmi Toro. A lot of very nice work! You’ll also find a boutique selling all sorts of local handmade stuffz.

There are also a number of events planned for the space, including dance performances, CONNECT, Gallery Stroll, and the Urban Arts Festival. Checkity-check!

utaharts.org/locations/urban-arts-gallery

www.facebook.com/UrbanArtsGallery

TurningArt

November 4, 2012

“Raven” by Todd Powelson

Check it out… maybe you already know about TurningArt, but I really like their business model. It seems like a great new and modern way to discover new artists, and you’re even able to hang prints of those artists in your home with a monthly subscription. If you find that you like the print, you’re even able to buy the original from the artist.

If you’re an artist, its a good way to help find a larger audience. I’ve been a member and have posted my work for a few months now, and I’ve found everyone involved to be very supportive and helpful. They’ve gone out of their way to help get as many people looking at my work as possible, and the way they do it is very new and unique.

Take a look at what I have available in my TurningArt gallery, try it out, and hang it in your home :)

turningart.com/artists/artist-todd-powelson

Charles Burns’ Monsters

October 31, 2012

I came across this picture by the great Charles Burns and knew it needed to be posted on ArtDuh!

Happy Halloweenie!

fantagraphics.com | Charles Burns Bio

Art and Magick of Austin Osman Spare

October 28, 2012

The soul is the ancestral animals. The body is their knowledge.

- Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare was a magician and artist whose work and theories are very interesting to me because of the way he blends the two and finds a certain power there. He is definitely attracted to and influenced by the Symbolist painters of the ninteenth century, but Spare takes it to an even more personal level. He was born in Yorkshire, but moved to London at a young age. Trained as a painter and draftsman, he also worked as an illustrator and book-plate designer. Like a lot of his contemporaries, Spare became interested in Theosophy, and that was probably where his quest for occult knowledge began. He had a number of exhibitions in England, which were all well received, up to a point. There was a backlash, and some people thought his artwork was just too bizarre and unhealthy, as some people always do. Spare also began to publish his own books and grimoires. I first became familiar with Spare’s work through my interest in Surrealism, because there is a very strong and profound overlap, although I think that his theories and ideas developed independently.

Although I won’t go into it much here I am very interested in his ideas, philosophy, and writings. Artistically, his line work can’t be beat. I like most of his work, but am especially drawn to his automatic drawings and sigils. The way he blends text with imagery is very interesting, and his bookplates are exceptional.

The means used and the way it happens are simple, the inverse of scientific. I use a formula, created by instinctive guess and *arbitrarily* formed, not evolved by hypothesis and experiment. The law of sorcery is its own law, using sympathetic symbols.

- Austin Osman Spare

hermetic.com/spare

“Father!”

October 21, 2012

“Frankenstein’s Monster” by Todd Powelson

I like this spooky season, partly because I feel justified in posting my illustration of Frankenstein’s monster. I finished this years ago, but I’m still really happy with it. Especially when October rolls around.

It’s Adobe, Duh!

October 19, 2012

Today my interview was posted and I had artwork was featured on Adobe’s Creative Layer blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Check it out :)

blogs.adobe.com/creativelayer/creative-spotlight-todd-powelson-on-adobe-touch-apps

facebook.com/AdobeTouch

twitter.com/AdobeTouch

Pretty cool!

R.I.P. Jeffrey Catherine Jones

May 29, 2011

Even as a kid I was never able to fully relate to or appreciate most fantasy artwork, which is kind of strange because I was obsessed with fantasy literature as far back as early elementary school. Just a personal preference really, and I liked looking at the monsters and all, but seeing some barbarian sitting on a throne of skulls just didn’t quite do it for me visually. There were a couple of fantasy artist whose work was stood out from everything else and I had to take notice. The first being Jeffrey Catherine Jones, whose work I probably knew because of their association with the second fantasy artist my eyes sought out and devoured, Barry Windsor Smith. These two, along with illustrators Bernie Wrightson and Michael William Kaluta, shared a workspace in New York through the late 70s. They all even published a book together, called The Studio, which collected their work from that time.

I followed The Studio artist’s careers in the 80s. I eventually drifted away from fantasy and comics, but by the mid to late 90s I started reading them regularly once again. I’d head on down to Sam Weller’s book store, maybe pick up an old copy of something by Fritz Leiber or Robert E. Howard. It wasn’t long before I realized that many of my favorite covers on these old books were illustrated by Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Covers for reprints of books and stories that I love, including Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Solomon Kane, Conan, Tarzan, and many others. Jones also had a regular strip in Heavy Metal, and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist in 1986.

In 1997 Jones quit illustration in order to pursue gallery work and a more Expressionist style. Born Jeffrey Jones, but always feeling more like a woman in her body, she also began hormone replacement therapy at that time. I also remember reading around 2002-03 or so on conceptart.org that she’d suffered a nervous breakdown, was having severe financial problems, and had been homeless for a few years. By 2004, she had a studio and was working once again. This last week I learned that she died after suffering from emphysema and bronchitis as well as hardening of the arteries around the heart. This news makes me very sad and nostalgic.

Rest in peace. You seemed like a brave soul and added a lot of beauty to my world.

youtube.com – Jeffrey Catherine Jones, 1944-2011

macabfilms.wordpress.com

jeffreyjones-art.com


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