Getting back to it

It's been a couple months since I really got to sit and spend some time on a piece for fun/study.  With a recent move, major computer issues, family situations, etc., I haven't been able to do any art for myself.  That being said, it's good to get back to it with something fairly loose and simple.  That's one of the great things about sketches. It doesn't really matter what happens because it's just something quick. There's no demands from clients, no deadlines, no restrictions.  It's great.  It's something that I hope to be doing a lot more of.

Here's a sketch I did from a photo I found by photographer Hedi Slimane. I just stumbled upon it and it instantly caught my attention.  

the smoker.jpg

Portrait Study

So it's been a while since I've had a model sit for me, but I got a chance recently with my Sis-in-law (Sister-in-law's sister?), Becca. If you've seen some of my recent work, you've seen her before - she's the blonde photographer in "Unusual Affinity" project. 

Long story short, she made a visit to the studio and sat for a couple hours, in which time I got enough information down for me to finish the piece later.  I think I could have designed the pose a little better, but I'm pretty happy with the color in the finished piece.  I have north-facing window in the room, which provides what's called "north light." North light is a cool light that is reflected from the blue sky and remains fairly consistent throughout the day (whereas a western or eastern light would drastically change with the time of day and the position of the sun).  Fortunately, the sky was overcast that morning, which helped to create an even more diffused light source, which helped create more neutral colors and softer shadows. 


Behind the Scenes

I did a painting a couple months of ago that was supposed to go to a gallery, but unbeknownst to me, the gallery had closed its doors. So, it never went up for sale, but anyways, here's another step-by-step process that goes into one of my paintings. Enjoy! 

BFA Exhibit!

So, after all these many months and hundreds of hours of work, I finally finished my BFA Project! It wasn't easy considering I started all over from scratch more than halfway through my deadline and including the fact that because of work for a client, I had to rush at the end and do 6.5 of my pieces in the last 3 weeks before show. IT WAS SO MUCH WORK!!!!! But I somehow pulled it off, haha. 

Anyways, for those who can't see the pieces in person with the respective artists' statements for each piece, I'm posting it all up here for you to see. I know it's a lot of reading, but hopefully you'll finding it interesting! Enjoy.

 

 

An Unusual Affinity: The Project

affinity:  [uh-fin-i-tee]   noun

a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, or idea, etc.

                                    http://www. dictionary.reference.com/browse/affinity

 

Anybody who’s tried their hand at anything involving mental or physical abilities has heard someone say the phrase, “You’re so talented!” It usually involves someone being really good at something, whether that’s playing the piano, shooting a basketball, or delivering a speech. These people are just really good at what they do! Yet, people sometimes seem to get the idea that these abilities just appeared on the doorsteps of these individuals in a UPS package, wrapped up all nice and pretty for the receiver to enjoy.

In reality, we know that’s not the case.  So, if it’s not because of some magical gift that’s just handed to them in a box, then what is it that gets these individuals to become so “gifted”? I’d like to think it begins the first time a person plucks a guitar string and realizes that he or she has the power to produce a beautiful sound, or when someone discovers that they can take a pencil and create an entire world that’s never existed before. Even though their first attempt might not have been very good, some people find that they are naturally attracted to a certain craft. Curiosity soon becomes a hobby, which then develops into a passion. Eventually, after investing thousands of hours, it becomes an aspect of their lives that defines who they are.

It is this “talent” and passion that I wanted to capture as I started this project. I began by searching for people that I know personally who have this affinity for the arts; whether it’s in dance, photography, singing, playing an instrument, or painting. Using both digital and traditional methods of painting, I then decided to illustrate them not only in the act of doing what they do best, but also to portray the emotion or thought behind it – because art is about more than just the technical proficiency of the artist; it is about what each of them have to say about the world through their own eyes. 

Mike Lee

 

 

 

   Lindsey     Digital    18 X 24    Lindsey Stirling is a violinist known for her unique blend of traditional violin, dub-step, and dance. In 2010, she was a quarter-finalist in  America’s Got Talent , and in recent years has found success as a Youtube artist. Using her original compositions, as well as covers of famous movie and video game soundtracks, her videos have garnered millions of views and followers. She is also known for her collaborations with other artists, including Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, ThePianoGuys, and John Legend.    She began taking violin lessons as a child, but as she grew older, “  the rigors of classical music training stifled her, and she nearly chose to pursue a career in therapy. But the violin would not let go, and it became a comfort throughout her struggle with an eating disorder in early adulthood.    It was her experience with America’s Got Talent that inspired her to start composing. As a motivational speaker in her spare time, Stirling uses her own story to show teenagers that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up. ‘We give more liberties to other people than we do to ourselves,’ she says. ‘We put labels on ourselves, but we love seeing people who just don’t care about what others think.  The challenge is to love yourself for who you are, be your best self, and to encourage others to do the same.’”     Lindsey has toured around the world, including locations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, and across the United States. She has also released her debut album in the last year.      http://www.lindseystirling.com/lindsey/          Website:   http://www.lindseystirling.com   Youtube:   http://www.youtube.com/user/lindseystomp

Lindsey

Digital

18 X 24

Lindsey Stirling is a violinist known for her unique blend of traditional violin, dub-step, and dance. In 2010, she was a quarter-finalist in America’s Got Talent, and in recent years has found success as a Youtube artist. Using her original compositions, as well as covers of famous movie and video game soundtracks, her videos have garnered millions of views and followers. She is also known for her collaborations with other artists, including Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, ThePianoGuys, and John Legend.

She began taking violin lessons as a child, but as she grew older, “the rigors of classical music training stifled her, and she nearly chose to pursue a career in therapy. But the violin would not let go, and it became a comfort throughout her struggle with an eating disorder in early adulthood.

It was her experience with America’s Got Talent that inspired her to start composing. As a motivational speaker in her spare time, Stirling uses her own story to show teenagers that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up. ‘We give more liberties to other people than we do to ourselves,’ she says. ‘We put labels on ourselves, but we love seeing people who just don’t care about what others think.  The challenge is to love yourself for who you are, be your best self, and to encourage others to do the same.’”

Lindsey has toured around the world, including locations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, and across the United States. She has also released her debut album in the last year.

http://www.lindseystirling.com/lindsey/

 

Website: http://www.lindseystirling.com

Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/lindseystomp

   Becca     Digital    18 X 24    Hello, my name is Rebecca McKenzie and I'm a Photographer! I started to grow an interest in the art of photography at the age of 14. I got my first camera for my 14th birthday. It was a pink little point and shoot digital camera. I took that thing everywhere. All the trips to school, grocery stores; it got to the point where I'd just have it in my purse all the time. I grew to love what I saw around me and I was always wanting a way to show someone what I was feeling and show someone what I was thinking rather than try to explain it. I have always had trouble with language and speaking in its entirety since I can remember. I have found that my thoughts and words rarely coincide. So I'm constantly speaking a lot slower than my mind is moving. I always am catching myself pausing in sentences to search for words as simple as everyday items. I needed to find a way to communicate with the world; and fast. It took me a lot of years to finally realize that I can show people what is bouncing around in my head constantly. All my inspiration is used from other artists of every genre and every artistic platform from all kinds of visual arts to music. I love to know that I'm not the only one in the world that has images and songs constantly flashing through their minds all day. Quite honestly, I don't have many plans for the future as far as a photography career goes. I have done countless Weddings, Family Portraits and paid jobs through the years. But that's what it turned into for me was a 'job'. All though I will never quit taking photos and sharing them, I have found that when I am making money from the photos I create, its more about the paycheck and less about art of it at that point. And I promised myself years ago I'd never do anything I wasn't passionate about; and a job is not a place for passion. I photograph to release myself from the images in my head. It sounds so strange, but I will see an image I want to create in my head and it will sit there and burn until I grab and camera and create it. Photography is my way of communicating so it makes me feel so free and heard at the same time; an indescribably beautiful feeling.     Website:     http://rebeccamckenziephotography.blogspot.com/

Becca

Digital

18 X 24

Hello, my name is Rebecca McKenzie and I'm a Photographer! I started to grow an interest in the art of photography at the age of 14. I got my first camera for my 14th birthday. It was a pink little point and shoot digital camera. I took that thing everywhere. All the trips to school, grocery stores; it got to the point where I'd just have it in my purse all the time. I grew to love what I saw around me and I was always wanting a way to show someone what I was feeling and show someone what I was thinking rather than try to explain it. I have always had trouble with language and speaking in its entirety since I can remember. I have found that my thoughts and words rarely coincide. So I'm constantly speaking a lot slower than my mind is moving. I always am catching myself pausing in sentences to search for words as simple as everyday items. I needed to find a way to communicate with the world; and fast. It took me a lot of years to finally realize that I can show people what is bouncing around in my head constantly. All my inspiration is used from other artists of every genre and every artistic platform from all kinds of visual arts to music. I love to know that I'm not the only one in the world that has images and songs constantly flashing through their minds all day. Quite honestly, I don't have many plans for the future as far as a photography career goes. I have done countless Weddings, Family Portraits and paid jobs through the years. But that's what it turned into for me was a 'job'. All though I will never quit taking photos and sharing them, I have found that when I am making money from the photos I create, its more about the paycheck and less about art of it at that point. And I promised myself years ago I'd never do anything I wasn't passionate about; and a job is not a place for passion. I photograph to release myself from the images in my head. It sounds so strange, but I will see an image I want to create in my head and it will sit there and burn until I grab and camera and create it. Photography is my way of communicating so it makes me feel so free and heard at the same time; an indescribably beautiful feeling.

Website: http://rebeccamckenziephotography.blogspot.com/

   John     Digital    18 x 24    My name is John Lee and I am an artist. The earliest member I have drawing was during church as this is what my mom would allow us to do so we could keep quiet. Ever since then it has been a passion of mine. When I am drawing or painting, it is a way of communicating my emotions. Therefore I draw a lot of my inspiration from music that stirs me emotionally. Rarely do I ever just replicate a work just for the sake of replication it. This is way I love art. It is a way of "talking" out my feelings and emotions. Some people cry, some people dance but I like to draw.

John

Digital

18 x 24

My name is John Lee and I am an artist. The earliest member I have drawing was during church as this is what my mom would allow us to do so we could keep quiet. Ever since then it has been a passion of mine. When I am drawing or painting, it is a way of communicating my emotions. Therefore I draw a lot of my inspiration from music that stirs me emotionally. Rarely do I ever just replicate a work just for the sake of replication it. This is way I love art. It is a way of "talking" out my feelings and emotions. Some people cry, some people dance but I like to draw.

   Ryan (Midas Whale)     Digital     18 x 24    My name is Ryan Hayes, and I'm a Geologist that likes to write music. When I was a teenager I discovered that I had an affinity for songwriting and have used it ever since as an method of self improvement and a means to escape from reality. I have long felt that music is the purest form of expression, and drawn inspiration from music both archaic and contemporary to learn how to surely communicate feelings. In my own personal experience music has been a sacred and revelatory adventure and in order to keep it sacred I deliberately decided not to study it in school. I guess I just feared that an academic approach would distance my heart from the wonder that comes with self discovery. So I studied Geology... if nothing else just so that I could have something to retreat from (though I do adore it). The point is that I write music because no matter where I am or what I am doing, it is a sanctuary for me; a place of complete freedom. Though much of my music is personal, I have seen the good it has done for people around me, and this has further inspired me to make my music public. As a professional it doesn't matter what I do; it will always be about the music to me.     Follow some of my projects at    www.deeploveopera.com    and    www.midaswhale.com

Ryan (Midas Whale)

Digital

18 x 24

My name is Ryan Hayes, and I'm a Geologist that likes to write music. When I was a teenager I discovered that I had an affinity for songwriting and have used it ever since as an method of self improvement and a means to escape from reality. I have long felt that music is the purest form of expression, and drawn inspiration from music both archaic and contemporary to learn how to surely communicate feelings. In my own personal experience music has been a sacred and revelatory adventure and in order to keep it sacred I deliberately decided not to study it in school. I guess I just feared that an academic approach would distance my heart from the wonder that comes with self discovery. So I studied Geology... if nothing else just so that I could have something to retreat from (though I do adore it). The point is that I write music because no matter where I am or what I am doing, it is a sanctuary for me; a place of complete freedom. Though much of my music is personal, I have seen the good it has done for people around me, and this has further inspired me to make my music public. As a professional it doesn't matter what I do; it will always be about the music to me.

Follow some of my projects at www.deeploveopera.com and www.midaswhale.com

   Jessica     Digital     18 x 24    My name is Jessica Lee, and I am a singer/songwriter. I have been singing as long as I or my parents can remember. I have been singing in one choir or another from the age of 6, and writing music since the age of 11. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Much like any other performer, music has always been the one place I can go to make sense of what I'm feeling. The goal in my music is for someone to hear it, and understand. Whether I am singing one of my originals or someone else's music, I try to portray it in a way that makes the listener feel what the artist is trying to express.     In writing my own music, I am inspired by phrases I hear in conversations I pass by or chord progressions that make me feel like there is a story to tell. The thing that most inspires me though is a burning sensation I like to call "The Need To Create". The best way to describe this feeling is it feels like there is a balloon in your chest full of inspiration, words, emotion, and thoughts. Its constantly there, pushing at your ribs to get out, and as you write you try to squeeze as much of it out as you can. You try to write the perfect line or the perfect progression in hopes that THIS will be the one to stop the physical pressure. It does for a bit, then it builds up until you sit to write again, each time trying to get as much "Need To Create" on that paper as you can. Those are moments that drive me. I love having this outlet that allows me to try and share with the audience what that moment feels like.

Jessica

Digital

18 x 24

My name is Jessica Lee, and I am a singer/songwriter. I have been singing as long as I or my parents can remember. I have been singing in one choir or another from the age of 6, and writing music since the age of 11. Music has always been a huge part of my life. Much like any other performer, music has always been the one place I can go to make sense of what I'm feeling. The goal in my music is for someone to hear it, and understand. Whether I am singing one of my originals or someone else's music, I try to portray it in a way that makes the listener feel what the artist is trying to express.

In writing my own music, I am inspired by phrases I hear in conversations I pass by or chord progressions that make me feel like there is a story to tell. The thing that most inspires me though is a burning sensation I like to call "The Need To Create". The best way to describe this feeling is it feels like there is a balloon in your chest full of inspiration, words, emotion, and thoughts. Its constantly there, pushing at your ribs to get out, and as you write you try to squeeze as much of it out as you can. You try to write the perfect line or the perfect progression in hopes that THIS will be the one to stop the physical pressure. It does for a bit, then it builds up until you sit to write again, each time trying to get as much "Need To Create" on that paper as you can. Those are moments that drive me. I love having this outlet that allows me to try and share with the audience what that moment feels like.

   Drew     Digital    18 x 24    I am drew. Sometimes I make art and music. I'm in a band called Wolf Woof and they rock pretty hard, I love them. I sang in choirs and played the bass in orchestra for nine years so that's how I got involved in music. I've drawn my whole life and my brother encouraged me to continue with that so that's what I do today. I believe creation is divine and makes life worth living.    Www.drewisdrawing.tumblr.com

Drew

Digital

18 x 24

I am drew. Sometimes I make art and music. I'm in a band called Wolf Woof and they rock pretty hard, I love them. I sang in choirs and played the bass in orchestra for nine years so that's how I got involved in music. I've drawn my whole life and my brother encouraged me to continue with that so that's what I do today. I believe creation is divine and makes life worth living. Www.drewisdrawing.tumblr.com

          Adam      Digital    18 x 24     Ia Orana! My name is Adam Tekurio. I was born and raised in Southern California. My dad was born and raised in Tahiti and my mother is of Samoan descent. Both of my parents were heavily involved in the Polynesian arts of music and dance and so I grew up immersed in this culture. I started drumming at a young age. It was not until I got older that I ventured into Polynesian dancing and performing. At Brigham Young University, where I attended during my undergraduate years, there was a performing group called "Living Legends." The group originated back in 1971 under the name "Lamanite Generation" until it was changed in the 1990's. Having my Polynesian background, I auditioned for the group and was accepted.    I have found that Polynesian dancing has connected me to my culture and brought me to examine my roots. Polynesian dancing is about storytelling and by participating I have the opportunity to perpetuate these traditions to the next generation. Living Legends is a performing group, but it also a missionary tool. Our show, "Seasons," is the story of the Book of Mormon, as seen through the cultures of the Americas and the South Pacific. Through this form of art, I have been given the opportunity to travel throughout the US and abroad, sharing my culture and my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.    Living Legends website:    http://pam.byu.edu/similarpage.asp?title=Living%20Legends     Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/BYULivingLegends

 

Adam

Digital

18 x 24

Ia Orana! My name is Adam Tekurio. I was born and raised in Southern California. My dad was born and raised in Tahiti and my mother is of Samoan descent. Both of my parents were heavily involved in the Polynesian arts of music and dance and so I grew up immersed in this culture. I started drumming at a young age. It was not until I got older that I ventured into Polynesian dancing and performing. At Brigham Young University, where I attended during my undergraduate years, there was a performing group called "Living Legends." The group originated back in 1971 under the name "Lamanite Generation" until it was changed in the 1990's. Having my Polynesian background, I auditioned for the group and was accepted.

I have found that Polynesian dancing has connected me to my culture and brought me to examine my roots. Polynesian dancing is about storytelling and by participating I have the opportunity to perpetuate these traditions to the next generation. Living Legends is a performing group, but it also a missionary tool. Our show, "Seasons," is the story of the Book of Mormon, as seen through the cultures of the Americas and the South Pacific. Through this form of art, I have been given the opportunity to travel throughout the US and abroad, sharing my culture and my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Living Legends website: http://pam.byu.edu/similarpage.asp?title=Living%20Legends

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BYULivingLegends

   Brian and Becki     Digital    18 x 24    My name is Becki Jenkins and I started taking formal piano lessons at age 8. That was just the beginning of my musical journey. I grew up playing western art music, or better known as the common term, “classical music.” In high school, in addition to classical training, I began writing my own music for voice and piano, and performed my songs at local coffee shops with friends. It was through heartache and pain that gave life and inspiration to my writing, playing, and singing. My music acted as an outlet for my deepest feelings. After high school, I majored in piano performance at Chapman University. My now husband, Brian Jenkins, majored there in piano performance, as well. We both were teaching piano to private students of ours, and our clientele began to increase, but we had no time to teach them. Brian created a website and system that reached out to those who wanted piano lessons, in which he gives them to study under a qualified teacher he personally interviewed and auditioned. This was the birth of our music business—YourMusicLessons (   http://yourmusiclessons.com   ). Overtime, the business grew and now we have 65 teachers and over 200 students. We hold semi-annual recitals, not only for piano, but for a wide variety of other instruments. It is so amazing how our passion for piano and teaching has expanded to so many lives as we continue to grow. Hope this isn’t too long, sorry it took so long to get to you. Feel free to change it up however you want to make it sound better and smoother     Contact info: Brian Jenkins    http://yourmusiclessons.com        1-888-906-1373

Brian and Becki

Digital

18 x 24

My name is Becki Jenkins and I started taking formal piano lessons at age 8. That was just the beginning of my musical journey. I grew up playing western art music, or better known as the common term, “classical music.” In high school, in addition to classical training, I began writing my own music for voice and piano, and performed my songs at local coffee shops with friends. It was through heartache and pain that gave life and inspiration to my writing, playing, and singing. My music acted as an outlet for my deepest feelings. After high school, I majored in piano performance at Chapman University. My now husband, Brian Jenkins, majored there in piano performance, as well. We both were teaching piano to private students of ours, and our clientele began to increase, but we had no time to teach them. Brian created a website and system that reached out to those who wanted piano lessons, in which he gives them to study under a qualified teacher he personally interviewed and auditioned. This was the birth of our music business—YourMusicLessons (http://yourmusiclessons.com). Overtime, the business grew and now we have 65 teachers and over 200 students. We hold semi-annual recitals, not only for piano, but for a wide variety of other instruments. It is so amazing how our passion for piano and teaching has expanded to so many lives as we continue to grow. Hope this isn’t too long, sorry it took so long to get to you. Feel free to change it up however you want to make it sound better and smoother

Contact info: Brian Jenkins http://yourmusiclessons.com

1-888-906-1373

  JuN    Digital    18 x 24    My name is Radhames Gomez junior aka JuN and I am a rapper. I was born and raised in Boston, Ma. I started to make music when I was 10 years old. I would record on my boom box at home and would spend hours writing raps for me and my friends. That passion carried on as I got older and I became even more interested. I initially started to make music because my older brother really got into it and I wanted to follow in his footsteps but after a while I fell in love with it. There is something about creating music from scratch that empowers me. There is nothing better in the world than to look on a finished product knowing that it was brought to pass because of me. Performing is also an amazing experience because you get to showcase all of your creations and be applauded for it. It would be equivalent to an art show. Artist are all the same, we like to be recognized for our work. I personally get inspired by listening to two types of artist, established ones and newcomers. I love listening to Jay-Z, Nas, Big Pun, Biggie and Eminem but I love listening to underground artists and local artist too. Established artist teach me the tools that made them so successful and newcomers give me the fire to keep pushing because I always feel like I am better than them.     I currently live in Los Angeles, CA and I am pursuing my dream of being a musician. Wish me luck.    www.    Facebook.com/realjunemusic       www.twitter.com/                    thefrankzoo    www.youtube.com/thefrankzooness        Instagram: thefrankzoo

JuN

Digital

18 x 24

My name is Radhames Gomez junior aka JuN and I am a rapper. I was born and raised in Boston, Ma. I started to make music when I was 10 years old. I would record on my boom box at home and would spend hours writing raps for me and my friends. That passion carried on as I got older and I became even more interested. I initially started to make music because my older brother really got into it and I wanted to follow in his footsteps but after a while I fell in love with it. There is something about creating music from scratch that empowers me. There is nothing better in the world than to look on a finished product knowing that it was brought to pass because of me. Performing is also an amazing experience because you get to showcase all of your creations and be applauded for it. It would be equivalent to an art show. Artist are all the same, we like to be recognized for our work. I personally get inspired by listening to two types of artist, established ones and newcomers. I love listening to Jay-Z, Nas, Big Pun, Biggie and Eminem but I love listening to underground artists and local artist too. Established artist teach me the tools that made them so successful and newcomers give me the fire to keep pushing because I always feel like I am better than them.

I currently live in Los Angeles, CA and I am pursuing my dream of being a musician. Wish me luck.

www. Facebook.com/realjunemusic www.twitter.com/            

thefrankzoo www.youtube.com/thefrankzooness

Instagram: thefrankzoo

   Brian      Digital     18 x 24                               My name is Brian Astle, i'm 25 years old and I am Junior at BYU Idaho. I am a fine artist and an illustrator. I got started painting and drawing when I started college. At first I wasn't very serious, but I quickly became so when I decided to make it my major. Most of my work these days is centered around caricature. Caricature is merely exaggerating the truth. As a caricature artist my job is to tell the truth about a subject, and do it in a way that everyone sees what I am seeing; and everyone believes it to be accurate. I want to go into publishing illustration. Whether that be book illustration or magazine and newspaper work, I want to help tell stories and use my caricature as a means to do so. I love learning. Art is the perfect place to continue learning for a whole lifetime. No matter how good I get, no matter how many paintings I do, I can always learn something and get better the next time. This life as an artist has no ceiling, and that excites me. My potential only lies in my efforts and my dedication. With caricature I want everyone to have a gut reaction of laughter when they see my work. I love making people laugh and smile, and I love it when my art can do that too.    Brianastleart.wordpress.com     @Brianastle on instagram and twitter     Brian Astle on Facebook

Brian

Digital

18 x 24                      

My name is Brian Astle, i'm 25 years old and I am Junior at BYU Idaho. I am a fine artist and an illustrator. I got started painting and drawing when I started college. At first I wasn't very serious, but I quickly became so when I decided to make it my major. Most of my work these days is centered around caricature. Caricature is merely exaggerating the truth. As a caricature artist my job is to tell the truth about a subject, and do it in a way that everyone sees what I am seeing; and everyone believes it to be accurate. I want to go into publishing illustration. Whether that be book illustration or magazine and newspaper work, I want to help tell stories and use my caricature as a means to do so. I love learning. Art is the perfect place to continue learning for a whole lifetime. No matter how good I get, no matter how many paintings I do, I can always learn something and get better the next time. This life as an artist has no ceiling, and that excites me. My potential only lies in my efforts and my dedication. With caricature I want everyone to have a gut reaction of laughter when they see my work. I love making people laugh and smile, and I love it when my art can do that too.

Brianastleart.wordpress.com

@Brianastle on instagram and twitter

Brian Astle on Facebook

So, there you go! And I didn't think I'd need to explain, but none of these are photographs! I paint. 

 

Anyways, thanks for visiting. Stay tuned for new work in the near future!

Out with the Old, In with the New...

 A Growing Thorn in My Side

So, there's been some big things going on here lately.  First off, remember the super sculpey statue of that guy with the spikes and chains? Well, that was for my BFA project that's due at the end of this year.  I started the project nearly a year ago - with the idea that I might want to go into concept art / character design.  I wasn't sure what it was that I really wanted to go into with Illustration, and since I always draw characters (buff guys, superheroes, demons, creatures, pretty ladies, etc.) in my sketchbook, I thought, "hey, why not give entertainment illustration a shot, since I always do it for fun."  

Well, apparently, I don't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  I came up with what I thought was a pretty interesting idea and I even came up with some cool characters/concepts (see below).  But, alas, I just wasn't that into it. Over this past year, I've really (and I mean REALLY) dragged my feet with the project and hardly worked on it (despite taking two semesters worth of classes for it :0 ).  

 

 The final character design for my main antagonist, Blake.  He's the main character's younger brother and has got some real issues.  The snake/dragon represents his addictions, which squeeze him and bite into him (notice the smoking horns?), as do the chains.  At the same time, he uses the chain that binds him as a weapon on others - think symbolism/metaphor,etc.   I think I was starting to feel bound and miserable like this guy because of this project! 

The final character design for my main antagonist, Blake.  He's the main character's younger brother and has got some real issues.  The snake/dragon represents his addictions, which squeeze him and bite into him (notice the smoking horns?), as do the chains.  At the same time, he uses the chain that binds him as a weapon on others - think symbolism/metaphor,etc. 

I think I was starting to feel bound and miserable like this guy because of this project! 

Better Late Than Never

So, with another semester coming to an end and just one more to go before it's all done and over with, what did I decide to do? Change my whole idea and start from scratch! 

It was a crazy idea, especially since I had already invested so much time into it. But, what else could I do? I'd rather start over and do something I love rather than finish this hideous thing that's become a thorn in my side.  

Of course, I didn't come to this conclusion without another idea in mind.  Actually, this new idea was so intriguing that I wanted to work on it as soon as the summer break started (a rarity, considering I hardly ever end up doing any art during the breaks).   

What is the new idea? It's what I'm calling An Unusual Affinity: The Project . The basis of the project goes like this.  I want to gather fellow friends of the arts ( this includes musicians, singers, artists, dancers, writers, actors, photographers, etc.) who are passionate and skilled, and create a series of work based on what it is they do. So, I want to capture them in the act of doing what they do best, while making it a little more interesting and artsy.  

I also wanted to do something different, so these projects will be done in mixed-media, with the majority of it being done in Photoshop and the rest added after being printed out.  I haven't done too many mixed-media projects before so it'll be interesting.  

In the end, the goal is to create a sense of community between people of different art fields and also get their craft out there for people to see. I want each piece to capture what it is the individual does and make the viewer want to know more about them.  So, basically, it's free publicity for those involved.   

There's already several people who are willing to help out, and I've finished the first piece already (see below).  Some are better known, others have yet to make their name, but we're all just people who love what we do and want to share it with others ( that's what the title of the project means - affinity means that there's a natural attraction/liking for someone/something).   

So, in the end, I'm really excited about this project. Like, really excited haha.  I think it'll bring out things that I've never done before.  Check out my blog often for updates! 

 So, coincidentally, I ran into Lindsey Stirling of Youtube fame at a YSA activity in LA a couple weeks ago.  Well, we only spoke for a couple minutes but I happened to tell her that I was working on a project involving musicians etc. and if I could use her photos for one.  She was totally cool with it and was very nice overall.  And so, here it is.  Piece number one!

So, coincidentally, I ran into Lindsey Stirling of Youtube fame at a YSA activity in LA a couple weeks ago.  Well, we only spoke for a couple minutes but I happened to tell her that I was working on a project involving musicians etc. and if I could use her photos for one.  She was totally cool with it and was very nice overall.  And so, here it is.  Piece number one!

Three Muses

So here's some detail shots and the behind-the-scenes step-by-step process behind the painting I recently finished. It's an oil painting on a 36'' x 48'' (3ft by 4 ft) wood panel.   All in all, it took about two and a half weeks to finish, and it'll be on display during the Extravadance show on campus this week, along with paintings from my classmates. 

The theme behind it is the three muses. In case you didn't know, muses are goddesses in Greek mythology who are the inspirations for literature, science, and the arts; more particularly known for their influence in literature, dance, and music. 

Blake Maquette

Alright, so here's the finished maquette for my BFA project. Remember the earlier post with the work in progress? Well, this is what the end product looks like. It's made of Super Sculpey, epoxy putty, aluminum foil, steel wire, copper wire, nails, metal mesh, chain, and a wooden base.  

So without going too far into detail, this guy is the main antagonist in my story. He's the younger brother of the main character (this is the interpretation of Blake, the younger brother, in the main character's subconscious world, which where the story takes place.) He's a druggie, criminal, etc. and the chains and snake/dragon represent his addictions and their binding control over him.  

So, there'll be atleast one or two other maquettes for my project, but I may not show them to the public til my show in December. But stay with me and you might get some more sneak peaks! And please feel free to leave comments.

Challenge Accepted

So I posted some of the photos I took from the dancers in an earlier blog. Well, now I'm starting a painting for my Life Painting class from one of them.  One of my classmates mentioned that he had some large frames that he bought for cheap and that we could use some of his. Well, one of them is 3 ft by 4 ft, which is pretty dang big.  I've never done a painting that large before, but I said what the heck and decided to go for it.  It's a little intimidating honestly, but I'm excited at the same time.  Where's the fun if you don't challenge yourself every now and then? So here's a couple pictures just to show you the size and the beginning stages.  The figures are roughly drawn in so don't worry, they'll be a better in the end. Stay tuned to see how it turns out! I should have it done in about a month's time.

Plein Air

Today we went and did a little plein air painting in the country-side.  The weather was not the best - the cloudy weather gave us poor lighting and it was stinkin cold.  Still, it was nice to get out and paint outdoors.  

Photoshoot with dancers

For our Life Painting class, we're gonna be painting some of the dancers here at school for our Final. These paintings will be shown at the dance performance sometime in June, I believe.

So, we got to go over to the Kirkham and have a photoshoot with a dozen dancers or so. It was pretty fun actually - I took several hundred shots and I think I got some good ones.  Here a just a few of them so you can get an idea of what to expect. I'm excited for this project.

BFA BFA BFA...

So this is the first entry here and I'm gonna give you a sneak peak at one of my BFA pieces. In case you're wondering what BFA even means, it stands for Bachelor of Fine Arts, and to get the degree, it requires me to create a BFA project and then have a show at the end of my last semester. Well, long story short, I'm working on an entertainment illustration project that includes several character designs, environments, a couple maquettes and a couple posters. 

So, without giving away too much, this is one of the maquettes that I'm building with Super Sculpey.  Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

 Still got a lot more to do!

Still got a lot more to do!

 Some of the tools/materials necessary for a Super Sculpey maquette. There's actually a lot more materials than this cuz these involved a pretty complicated process. (I prefer my work space being a bit messy for these things)

Some of the tools/materials necessary for a Super Sculpey maquette. There's actually a lot more materials than this cuz these involved a pretty complicated process. (I prefer my work space being a bit messy for these things)