We Never Saw Eye to Eye

“We Never Saw Eye to Eye” began its life (in 2011) as a casual sketch of Boris Karloff’s face from one of his movies. His expression wouldn’t leave my mind so I drew it.

The face doesn’t look like Boris Karloff but I did a decent job with the expression so I kept the sketch to incorporate in a digital compilation. The other components are a formerly-trashed acrylic painting and an acrylic ink drawing. I made it using a flatbed scanner and Photoshop Elements, several years ago.

This year I decided to make it available in my Redbubble shop on their “graphic” tee shirts – along with the usual prints/products – because the expression resembles mine too often these days. It has a strong “GRRRRRRRRRR!” vibe.

Back off…keep moving…steer clear.

I like it.

Look: Washbelly – Visual Artist

Just go to this blog: https://www.washbelly.com/blog

Read some of the entries. Check out the site itself: https://www.washbelly.com

Look at the art!

I don’t trust myself to tell you about it or even describe it because if I do I’ll likely turn all giddy about how much I love it, which, honestly, would be unnecessary. You’ll form your own opinion. You don’t need me and my over-the-top gushing.

But you have to click and look, and (I hope) read.

There’s no commenting, no interacting with the artist on the site. I don’t think there’s even a way to follow. You can follow on Instagram, though, and I recommend doing that. Here (if he’s still there): https://www.instagram.com/washbelly_art/

OK…here’s a little of my unedited, unprofessionally phrased opinion, if you want it:

🔥WOWEEE!! He makes terrific stuff!!🔥

 

Why I Don’t “Art Journal” and Have You Seen “The Ugly Art Club?”

Why don’t I “art journal” even though so many people do? And even though everyone who does do it seems to love it? Several reasons:

  • I know that no matter how good my intentions will be in the beginning, my art journaling activities will quickly morph into gleeful procrastination. Why start working (ewwww!!) on something of substance when I can scratch the itch that prompts it simply by doing a dehydrated version of the itch? Like this: let’s say I wake up one morning wanting to make acrylic splats into faces. Cool! But I can do that faster and more easily in a journal than on a big canvas. Once it’s done I can stop thinking about those splatty acrylics. Out of my system!  
  • People often say that their journals are the only places they can create freely, with no filters and no expectations. Wonderful! That’s a dazzling place to be, creatively. But I never feel hemmed in or limited or filtered. I do what I want the way I want to now. If I want to let loose and create something totally off-the-wall I don’t need a journal, I just do it. 
Yeeeeeeooow, What IS this? Hint: Who cares? I was fiddling around with pens and watercolor crystals and markers. It went nowhere but was enjoyable to do. Its current home is inside a book, doing an excellent job of keeping my place.
  • Because I don’t have a studio or one discrete place where all my art stuff lives I feel like I’m living inside an art journal. There are art-opportunities everywhere so I take advantage of that and create wherever I am using whatever is nearby. 
  • Finally, most of my work involves a computer or tablet or camera or scanner at some point. All of those things do an excellent job of creating and storing mock-ups, drafts, lists, previews, and sketches. Translating/transferring those into journals would take a long time (extra work!) and I know that the result wouldn’t be the same. 
An official sketchbook I bought years ago for art journalling. I used three pages for that. The rest of the pages are reserved for my occasional forays into charcoal (love it but it makes me sneeze).

However, I understand the lure of art (or visual) journaling. I’ve tried it sooooo many times! Last count I have eleven large and three small sketch books that I bought planning to “art journal.” Some of them have a few pages full of words, images, notes, swatches, scraps, etc. The other pages remain unused. Other books immediately turned themselves into sketch and drawing books. But most are empty. Are they unused art supplies or empty art journals? Both? No idea. 

This was an honest-to-goodness art journal thingie, in an honest-to-goodness art journal book. But I liked parts of it so much that I scanned it as soon as it was dry, then put segments of the scans into work-work. Maybe that’s art journalling? Maybe it’s not.

I wish I felt inspired to fill art or visual journals. I’m probably missing something valuable as a result of not doing them.  Or maybe I’m doing a similar thing but in different ways and not missing anything? Dunno.

Re “The Ugly Art Club:” 

If you’re on Instagram you may have seen The Ugly Art Club.” If I go back to Instagram (yes, I’m considering that) I’m going to follow it. Maybe it’ll push me to try art journaling again. 

Just when you start to make progress, all HATS break loose.

Back here sooner than I planned because REDBUBBLE IS INTRODUCING NEW PRODUCTS: a baseball cap and a “Dad” cap. The “Dad” cap designation is new to me but maybe that’s because I’m not a Dad. And I never wear caps. Or hats.

So……….Even though I’ve finished only a few of the reorganizing projects I had to do this week, everything’s on hold because of HATS. Chaos returns and has brought a stadium full of raucous buddies with it.

Why? Because the images suitable for hats are a different size and type than the ones I’ve been making for more than a decade. I used to make (and sell!) tee shirt designs and cartoons but stopped to create other types of art. Unfortunately, designs and cartoons – if they’re even a little bit “trendy” – can age. Most of what I did before isn’t going to do well now. Today I’ve been searching through thirteen years of digital files for applicable work. Found a few pieces but that’s it. 

At this point I could stop, toss the old work into Redbubble’s uploader and call it a day. But you know what? Seeing all those goodies made me want to make new ones, and not only for hats. The transparent files they require can be applied to all of Redbubble’s products. I could stop but I don’t want to. I miss making tees, etc. And I miss the earnings. Can I make it work again? Even in the midst of TOTAL confusion because my entire world-of-art is still “upheaved?” Can I figure out how to do vectors well enough? Can I be funny again? I don’t know. All I know is this:

I have to try.

Consequently, I’ll be absent from WordPress for a few more days at least. Have fun, stay as fabulous as you are, and I’ll be back soon.

………

Notes: 

The Redbubble hats/caps are now available! If you click on the hat above you’ll go to the hat in my Redbubble shop (where there are other hats for sale).

I made the design using Amadine, a wonderful (and free) vector app. 

 

Notes from Home

No secret here: I make faces. They’re usually sad or worried, occasionally confused, sometimes bereft, bereaved.

Another non-secret: I love bright colors. Saturated, vibrant, enthusiastic, bouncy, lustrous, fulgent, vivid, dazzling, glimmering colors!

I’m happiest when those faces and those colors join together in one image. Home – that’s my “art home.”

For what feels like years we’ve had clouds and rain. This weather makes me feel like I’ve been buried alive at sea. I need sunshine! So…yesterday, in a burst of frustration I opened the “Notes” app on my iPad (not iPad Pro) and made the faces above.

 “Notes” isn’t a drawing app. It isn’t meant to be. But it’s perfect for a quick note (or two) from home. 

Lightning Sketch

The past few days have been especially strange, but yesterday was downright frightening. We’ve been hit with storm after storm. Too much rain (bad enough) but then the thunder and lightning arrived, over and over again. “Popcorn” storms, they’re called. When the atmosphere is too hot and too wet it can burst into thunderstorms. The storms pop up suddenly, unexpectedly, like when you pop popcorn and the corn kernels burst in the air. 

Three times yesterday – THREE TIMES – thunder and lightning exploded simultaneously right outside my house. The walls shook. I jumped. Fortunately no damage was done. But I was scared. Expected thunder is bad enough. Predictable storms are bad enough. Lightning in the distance that produces crackling thunder is bad enough.

But these things yesterday? Awful. 

To release some of the tension (not unlike the way popcorn thunderstorms release heat and water from the atmosphere) I grabbed a couple of tempera paint sticks and a tube of acrylic paint, and made the face you see above. Quickly, frantically; then it was done.

We have more storms due today.

I’m not happy.

I Dream of Sunshine

Brusho Sunburst Lemon sitting on a work-in-process

Where are you, sunshine? Where’s your twinkly kiss? I dream of you in the morning. I need your light. You can vanish in the afternoon; I don’t care. But don’t be shy in the morning. Dazzle me! Sparkle me! Give me hope for the day. 

Some people are night creatures, others are at their best mid-day. I’m a very early morning person. My day is front-loaded. Everything useful I’ll do, I’ll do before noon. But I need sunshine! Unfortunately, our recent weather has been murky glop. Humid, warm, dark. 

This morning is sunny but I have to do things other than art. More murk is headed our way and will move in for nearly a week. What to do?

I’ll have to make my own sunshine.

That’s where those Brusho crystals come in. I bought them in the depth of winter, haven’t had the courage to open the package because even though it was a small expenditure it was still money and there’s a lot of pressure on me to use those crystals well. But that little tub of “Sunburst Lemon” is going to be my dream-come-true in the coming days: sunshine on demand.

……….

The mixed media piece above is acrylic paint, metallic cord, and the holes from hole-punching old advertising circulars. It’s not quite finished. 

Here’s Brusho, if you’re interested: https://www.dickblick.com/products/brusho-crystal-colours/