Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Gossamer & Lotus Dream"

"On a prayer and a wing,
My mind drifts to "Gossamer & 
Lotus Dream.
Where butterflies encounter 
tea rose & tangerine.
The Summer winds smile 
as the fragrant peonies stain 
the scape.
This space where fairies 
and bask in abundant layers of 
Scattered satin breezes quietly 
assist ubiquitous dandelions 
swirling through the air!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

"You Don't Know JACK!!!"

How often does this happen? What, you say? Well, I'm getting ready to go to leave the house and go to the gym, when I glance at the television and see something that totally grabs my attention! No, its not one of those frequently ran, often not funny Geico commercials (though at this time I wished it was!). So anyway, with remote in hand, instead of turning the TV off,  I'm watching something that causes a bad feeling to come over me. What I'm watching is this movie called "Return To Oz."  I had heard of it, but never seen before until now. What actually gave me pause was the appearance of a character, whom I now know to be known as "Jack Pumpkinhead". So what, you say. Well, the relevance to me was that a couple of years ago I had drawn/created a most similar character for Halloween, that I aptly named "Jolly Jack", along with his own brief story.  So now, to my  dismay, I've discovered that my character was not so original after all. In fact, it appears to be a very similar likeness to this Jack Pumpkinhead!  Maybe not a big deal to some, but to me it is. As an artist, unless I'm doing "fan art", I truly pride myself on being unique and original. Well, in this instance, apparently not. Situations like this, remind me of the famous quote: There is "nothing new under the sun." Applying it to this instance, seems quite appropriate, but with apologies to the artist(s) who created Mr. "Jack Pumpkin", my character, Jolly Jack was created/drawn with no knowledge of the former's existence....until today, of course! 
          What to do now? Make changes to my character Jolly Jack? I wonder how often this occurs in art, literature, music?? Since the time I initially uncovered this most unnerving experience, I've even discovered yet another "similar", but not quite as, character named "Jack" as in Jack Skellington from the Tim Burton movie "The Nightmare Before Christmas", whom I had heard of, but never made that connection til now! Maybe someone used JP as a reference, who knows?  So just remember, when you think you do, you really don't.....know JACK!!!! ~S

Thoughts on this are appreciated and welcome!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Midnight in "The Garden Of The Eternal Waltz"

The now iconic image of the "Bird Girl" statue that once graced the grounds at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia was probably slated for anonymity before 1994, when a photo of the unusual grave marker was used for the cover of the best selling novel by John Berendt, "Midnight In The Garden Of Good & Evil". which later became a movie in 1997. The statue itself was originally sculpted in 1936 by Sylvia Shaw Judson.

The first time I saw the book cover, "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil", I was intrigued. I only recently seen the 1997 Clint Eastwood directed movie, starring  John Cusack and Kevin Spacey. The imagery from the book cover featuring the now infamous, "Bird Girl" statue had stuck with me for many years. Thus, my idea for this piece was interpreted solely from that title and imagery. My story of a beautiful young woman who comes to life only during the "fullest" of moons and meanders around the garden deep into the night!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Bog

"The Bog" On a smuggy Summer evening in July, the air is filled with incessant chirping, croaking, and fluttering sounds....Yes, life is quite active and abundant here. What is heard is not always necessarily seen, but if you squint yer eyes and peer off into the distance, you can spy the community of fireflies hovering just above will-o-the-wisp and a healthy chorus of frogs.~S

This, my latest painting was totally inspired by listening to the continuous sounds of tree frogs, crickets, cicadas, and whatever other forms of life that sing the melodies of a hot and muggy Summer evening. I can see the lightning bugs of fireflies come out at dusk, which take me back to my youth and the fun me and the other kids would have trying to catch them inside empty jelly jars. All this activity just begining as the sun sets can make me only imagine such a lively world evolving on a larger a larger stage such as "The Bog".   

Friday, June 3, 2011

"The Look"

Admittedly, I haven't been spending too much time blogging lately. Most of my time has been spent working on my artwork and various other projects. I do, however plan to be on here tossing out my thoughts and opinions a bit more frequently in the weeks to come, time permitting. I'm usually working on three to four art pieces at a single time, not bragging, but it keeps me from getting bored that way!! LoL! One of my most recent images is called simply: "The Look".  Believe it or not, it was no easy task to come up with this particular title. I've always thought titles were underrated, and often wondered why some artist chose to leave their work "untitled".  To me, labeling a piece of work as untitled really misses a great opportunity to inject certain thoughts upon that artwork. True, the visual should speak for itself, but sometimes the appropriate title or caption can help steer the viewer to a place that the artist may or may not have even considered. Hence, the objective from the beginning! 
     "The Look" is one of those such pieces of artwork, that can be totally left up to the interpretation of the viewer. You be the judge. When I did the sketch, I intentionally tried to convey a particular emotion by means of the eyes and expression on the girl's face. I must say, that I was pleased at the way "The Look" turned out. I would say that her expression is an enigma. What does her look say? Could it be a look of anger? Is she pissed off about something or is there a sense of grief etched on her face. She could be worried or frightened about something! Maybe all of the above would describe her aloof appearance. Possibly a bad hair day, but of course the coarse, exaggerated hair was my attempt to draw more attention to her face. The sketch for "The Look" was done about three years ago, so maybe her "look" is saying "I can't believe it took three years to finally complete!!"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                        Carpe Diem!!~S  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rays? Or No Rays?.....That Was The Question!!!

This was the question/dilemma I faced upon the completion of my latest painting called "Spearmint Forest".  If you are familiar with my work, you would know that I do a lot of "tree" and forest paintings. I really enjoy doing them and they usually can be relaxing to look at, at least thats the feeling I try to convey when I paint them! LoL!
The common dilemma most artist face upon completion or near completion of a piece: when to say when. Sometimes its not that easy to know when a piece is done. This can work both ways, meaning that the painting can be "incomplete", and thats a feeling that at least I get, that tells me that the painting looks "okay", but its missing something!! Such it is problematic because adding something runs the risk of it (the painting) being "heaven forbid", over-done!!!
Well, such an issue came forth with "Spearmint Forest". I was done with the painting, but I pondered a couple of weeks the idea that it was missing something! So I knew then I needed to get the often "brutally" honest opinion of my loving wife (whose my toughest critic, btw). One of the flexibilities of a digital painting is that one can add or subtract much easier than when working with actual paints. I then, made a copy and began rendering layers of sun rays. No easy task, believe me!! So, now the only thing left was to show them to her side by side. I was kinda surprised at how she chose the piece with the sun rays without much, if any hesitation! I took another look and agreed. Now, I can't imagine why it was even a question.

Monday, January 24, 2011

AfrikanAmericanVamp(animated preview).wmv

Roxie Chambers. She's got everything going for her. Great looks, even "sultry", as she was described as in her high school yearbook! Intelligent. She graduated at the top of her class from Howard University! Great job, top exec at the TV station! About to move into her dream house, financially set, a great parent, great fiance' (the man of her dreams!), life couldn't be better....until, one unexplainable night she becomes a vampire, goes on a killing spree, awakens the next morning thinking its all been a crazy dream until the morning news comes on......Now what???? "AfrikanAmericanVamp is an engaging new vampire story written by horror writers Andre Causey and Steve Farr (myself) that combines the elements of horror, romance, and suspense in this soon to be released graphic novel or if you prefer, comic book, that is a preview to a soon to follow movie! 

Well, this was a project that I began about three, count'em, three years ago. At present, this project has yet to see its completion it pains me to say! Rewind to about 5 to 6 years ago when vampires were white hot!! Around the time "Twilight" was just a book, before "True Blood" or "The Vampire Diaries" came to television! I am always seeking originality, a new angle on an old idea, because it annoys me to see the same old soup warmed over, unless of course there's some new ingredients added! To be honest, as farr as I'm concerned, this on-taking is in limbo as I type this! However, AAV is not a "dead in the water", just on hiatus. Yes, "hiatus"! That sounds a little better to me! LoL! With that being said, here is an animation I created of the graphic novel. The music I used is called "Dracula's Wedding" by Outkast. Listening to the words of this song  leads one to believe that this song could be deemed quite appropriate!

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Vine Ripe Pipes"

If you follow my work, you know that pipes paintings are a constant theme in my artist portfolio. "Pipes" were a negative subject ingrained in my childhood memories, so painting them in a different light is almost therapeutic for me. When I was a kid, there were instances when I would have to go with my Mother down into a damp, dark basement to reach the fuse box whenever the power went out in the house. This process involved treading past these old rusty, spider-web covered water pipes!! To this day, I can still see this frightening imagery as it left such vivid memories!!! Now I can paint those pipes in such a more positive light!! Hence my inspiration!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Chocolate, Sweet....Like Honey"

It wasn't until I had completed this painting, that I realized that the idea wasn't completely original. It was similar to a image that I had recalled from childhood, of a famous album cover by The Ohio Players called "Honey". As I remember, my older cousin had it displayed on his wall (can't do that now of course with CD covers, LOL). The image was the distinctive profile of a naked woman with a large spoon, holding a jar of honey against a black background. Here is a link:  That album, was from the seventies. Its amazing how images can lay dormant in our sub-conscious for all those years! I was initially going to name the painting "Chocolate", so hence "Chocolate, Sweet....Like Honey".