Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Aedel Fakhrie Interview

1) So first off thanks for doing this interview, I only came across your instagram page recently but your collaborations with other artists like dobu.haishen blew me away. How exactly do you go about creating the collaborations with different artists? Do you do the line work and let them render it? Do you feel like you have learned a lot from doing these collaborations with artists that you wouldn't have otherwise?

So yeah, mr.Dobu asked me to do a collaboration, well am so stoked bcoz I really luv his demon mask design. Well, mostly I paint or draw some parts or objects then combine it with collaboration mate. For example, when I work with Dobu I asked him to give me the demon robot mask, then I did his body and gesture, so I am trying to bring this mask into a character. People don't need to know what he is or what he does we jus created the images with the title DAEMON OPERATOR. The rest is up to the people what they want to imagine. Few things I'm aware is I am trying to raise Cool, Anger , Violence, Invincible into this character.

Here's another example when I did a collaboration with @elfandiary . He drew the girl and I did the background. First thing before we did anything, we talked about the concept and what we are gonna to show to the people. Girl and robot is always good combination LOL. But we prefer doing it by not showing anything sensual. Yeah, I was trying to make epic scene behind this cool pilot girl. Just in case if you haven't seeing the collaboration piece with @elfandiary, here it is:

So if you asking more technical, ummm I don't do that way..like giving the line art and render etc. More like combining more than one drawing/painting syle.
And yesss! I have learned a lot of things, that's the positive things about doing collaborations with another artist, it's challenging actually! :)

2) It looks like you have a bunch of Bunker 15 A diecut stickers and art on your instagram is this something you sell online? Where can people but some of the diecuts you have on your instagram and what is Bunker15A?

Bunker15A is a brand actually LOL. I've made it since I started to sell my first t-shirts this last year. I really hope it will grow and bring my art into merchandise that people can buy or wear it. Yeah those stickers actually are for freebies and giveaways. So, those stickers not for sale right now but I have a plan to start selling die-cut sticker packs with all bots or mechs I've designed, hopefully at May and not only stickers I hope.

3) What do you do for a full time job and what is your art education background? Can you name a few projects you have been apart of and where we might check them out?

Well I just resigned from the office last year, as of June lol. My background is Graphic design and I was work in advertising agency and multimedia company, but now I'm full freelance concept artist and illustrator. 

For illustration and concept art, I've just done few projects since November till now, but some of them I can't publish yet ( resin kit toy company and indie game dev) and the rest of them some illustration for advertising which is not that appealing for me :P.

I recently attended a Star Wars event where Disney Indonesia and Pacific Place Mall had a project to invite 5 artist to draw on StormTrooper helmets. You can check out my contribution below:

4) I think what grabbed my attention the most about your art is your line work, they look super clean and precise but they have a feel like they are very loose and sketchy. How did you develop this "style" did you spend a lot of time copying line work from master artists? How would you recommend someone go about developing a line similar to yours?

Honestly, I feel my line art feels like a crap haha.I need more practice and yeah, exactly! What I do is eyeballing Kim Jung Gi , Katsuya Terada and Otomo Katsuhiro art! If you see their art details, they are all different but slightly look similar, how amount details they put on their art, the ideas, crazy! Those masters art are excellent study materials I say.

Because of it, I step back and learning basic drawing, like perspectives,anatomy, knowledge about material such as machines,animals, human etc. Until now I've only been grinding on the basics. Perspective is hard! Lighting is hard! Everything is really hard haha, but I love it :).

5) So when you say you eyeball Kim Jung Gi , Katsuya Terada and Otomo Katsuhiro are you directly copying their work or do you aim to just keep their work as reference for your own. For example if you are drawing a robot you might not look at a robot these guys drew but instead more how they did their line work and applying it to your own drawing?

At first I'm trying to copying their art, piece by piece, but later on I found that what is really important is I'm absorbing their illustration composition and yes just like you said, you are right about it! I'm applying it into my own drawing style.

6) Do you keep up a regular study schedule today and if so what does your day to day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

Yup! Mostly I spent no more than 5-6 hours a day for work (commission). The rest of it I use it for practice basic drawing, maximum 2-3 hours a day or watching movies and another fun stuff. It's important because ideas and insights comes from that things I believe.

7) Your art seems to be very sci fi specific was there any specific movie or anime that sent you in the direction you are in today to becoming an artist? Any games or movies you would recommend for inspiration or that you found inspiring?

Oh maaan, yesss! I grew up with comic books, robots, and arcade (it's called DING DONG in here lol ). Hell yea! Back to 90's with the Robocop series, Back to the Future, Mazinkaezer, Voltus, and basically anything with robots. But then I'm more selective, since I watch Ghost In The Shell back at 1996 or 97 If I still remember, got that VCD anime-ova from a friend which changing my taste, a lot!

Since then I read the manga version, not long from that, I watched BLADE RUNNER! I was thinking this movie was made in 90's but when I found out it came out in 1982 my mind was blown.
Thanks to the internet ten years later since I discovered Syd Mead. He is Sci-fi's prophet haha.

Umm, for scifi genre, I would say, All movies made by Neil Blookamp and WETA gangs is deserve to watch! Elysium, District 9... etc.

8) Ghost in the Shell was a big inspiration to me too and I'm not even much of an anime guy. What do you think about the live action movie adaption they are doing? I think its cool to see that the story will have more mass appeal for the west.

At first I was really worried the life-action movie will be sucks, just like Dragon Ball LOL , but then when I saw the trailer, behind the scenes and team who handle the movie, then I have a hope this version will be great. But, just in case, let's not put high expectation into this up coming movie haha, especially for the story, there's may something changed or something like that, so yeah :).

9) What are some books or movies that you are checking out now? Any that you would recommend for people to check out?

Well currently I'm studying about my own country which have lots of tribes in the old times, so there's a book called "Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago" that I'm really dig in. I kno it's not relate with sci-fi haha, but at least I have more knowledge of ancient weapons function that I may can be use in the future. As for the movies, currently I'm re-watching Akira Kurosawa movie collection, learning his composition, especially dramatic shots.

10) Who are some of the artists you admire today that you have taken inspiration from? Is there any artists that you would like to give a shout out to?

One guy, that blown my mind when I see his art back at 2005-2006 on DeviantArt. He is Kai Lim a.k.a Ukitakmuki a.k.a @divesignal (on IG). This dude made me trying hard to be like him hahaaha. Damn...

11) Finally what is the best way for people to keep up with your work? When can we expect more Bunker15A news?

Ahaha, currently, my IG account (theaedel) is the most update from the other link to my art, at least every 2-3 days I'm posting something new haha as for Bunkr15A, right now I'm about to focus on Bunker15A, still making details as part of the plan to make my own merchandise shop. I will make new account with Bunker15A name and of course I will let people know from my current IG account.
You can also follow me on tumblr.
Thank you also Wesley! Much appreciated this interview :)

Please follow and comment about what kind of artists you would like to see interviewed next!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Robert Geronimo interview

1) First off I just want to thank you for agreeing to do this interview, Can you please introduce yourself for us: what do you do for a day job and how long have you been working as an illustrator?

My name is Robert Geronimo. I'm an independent comic creator and an art instructor at Wagner College.

2) I really enjoy the art you do and I find it really inspiring to see someone go through multiple Kickstarters, starting with the children's book Little Maia and the Lunar Express. What was the motivation behind this project and how did Kingdom of Blood benefit from this experience in doing a children's book? Did it accomplish what you felt it needed to?

The experience of my previous kickstarters really helped me prepare for what's in store. Since Kingdom of Blood is so vastly different from my previous work, the real challenge has been developing an entirely new audience to support. Little Maia has her fans, and Kingdom of Blood needs to find its own. The Little Maia series are wordless picture books as well, whereas Kingdom of Blood will have words like modern comics. But I always make sure that the words serve the artwork, not the other way around.

3) What really grabbed my attention about your project Kingdom of Blood is the shot you took of your work desk with books like "Religion and its Monsters" listed as reference next to an art book on Toppi. I can see the influence of Toppi on your work, but what is the influence of Religion on your work? Do you see religion and horror going hand and hand?

Toppi has been my gateway into this new style I have been developing, and the themes of religion to play a role in my work. Particularly in the imagery. I studied Art History at Brooklyn College for my masters and I was fascinated by the artwork from the Medieval period. There's a sense of beauty to these pieces, when we look at works devoted to the saints. They're regarded as heroes but depicted at the moment of their terrible death. Saint Bartholomew was flayed to death, Saint Andrew was crucified on an X shaped cross, and Saint Lucy's eyes were gouged out prior to her execution... this is dark stuff. And great source material. In Kingdom of Blood, the Sisters of Silence as the main protagonists and carry a saintly air, while at the same time are capable of unleashing deadly power. They really merge the divine with the terror, mirror what those paintings from the Middle Ages captured.

4) For a lot of people art is spirituality. You look at the Bible and regardless if you are a believer or not, at the end of the day it is a piece of literature that has moved and shaped the lives of millions of people for better or worse, which is a testament to the power of art itself. Do you think art has a overarching mission or purpose in this world and how does Kingdom of Blood fit into your view of the purpose of art? Do you consider yourself to be Religious?

As far as being religious, I believe there are mysteries in life, and there is magnitude to these mysteries.

5) For someone who is looking to take on a personal project like putting together a graphic novel how would you recommend someone go about organizing themselves for a project? How do you organize yourself for what you do everyday to fit in your personal projects and work?

Everything starts with my sketchbook. I carry it where ever I go. It's small and can fit in my pocket. Life can through things at you that can suddenly inspire a brand new idea, and it's important to be prepared. I'm always jotting notes, sketching page layouts and characters. It starts with the idea and builds itself. In the end, artists and writers need time to create and some times you have to make that time. The real question is: how important is this story to you and how much do you believe in it to bring out into the world?

6) What was your process for writing the actual book? From the snippets I've seen on your page it looks like there is no dialogue, is this a story told in images only or do you plan on inserting the dialogue into the comic later?

What you saw are the finished inked pages without their lettering. Award-winning letterer, Thomas Mauer, will be lending his talents to the project. I work in the traditional Marvel way of developing comics. I like to tell the story without words, then write the dialogue where it is necessary.

7) How did you learn visual storytelling? Do you have any studies you do on a regular basis to improve your storytelling?

 I studied under DC Comics artist, Jamal Igle, and Tor Books illustrator, Steve Walker. They're friends and they ran an incredible course at the Arts Students League in New York City. I always find myself going back to the things I learned from them. In terms of keeping myself sharp, I make sure I'm always working my imagination and challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone. Take Little Maia and Kingdom of Blood for example. Two completely different styles and genres. You learn a lot about yourself when you throw yourself into foreign territory.

8) How do you feel about Kingdom of Blood and where its Kickstarter is right now? What is the best way for people to follow your art?

 I feel it still has a fighting chance! I invite anyone who enjoys horror and dark fantasy to take a look at the campaign, watch the video, and check out the rewards. Folks can find me @rgeronimoart on Twitter and Instagram. They can also check out my website at www.robertgeronimo.com

9) Thanks for your time man, any shoutouts you would like to give to other artists you admire and think we should check out?

It was my pleasure! Go check out Junji Ito if you enjoy tales that get under your skin. He's an incredible horror manga artist and storyteller!

With 12 days left on the Kingdom of Blood Kickstarter, you still have plenty of time to show your support for Robert's awesome project!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chris Bolton aka Savagezombieart interview

1) So for someone who doesn't know you or your career how would you describe yourself and what do you do on a day to day basis? How do you balance making art to pay the bills and working on the passion projects you love?

I am a freelance illustrator and mainly enjoy concept art. My day job does take up a lot of time unfortunately, so right now I'm really working on balancing paid art and art as a passion in my spare time. I've had some opportunities to get back into the industry recently and am also throwing around ideas for self-publishing, a website, online shop etc.

2) One of the inspirations I see in your work that I really appreciate is your love of film. When I browse through your Instagram I see a lot of fan art work of films from John Carpenter or Guillermo Del Toro or artists like H.R. Giger who also had a huge influence on film. What do you think it is that draws you to the darker themes in art?

My love of horror stems from childhood! The artistry behind horror and science fiction takes its darkest form in film. Monsters, aliens, masks, special effects with hand-drawn designs and concepts interest me and draw me into the darker side. It's more of a fascination with how things are put together. If you figure that out, then you can manipulate it and turn into the form you want. I admire artists who learn anatomy and create some nightmarish thing no-one's ever seen before.

3) I see you have a Bernie Wrightson study on your page, how important do you think it was to your development as an artist to copy the works of other master artists? Who are your favorite old masters? Do you keep a schedule for studying the fundamentals these days or is most of your time devoted to work and personal projects?

Studying the old masters is important in order to understand their mindset. Obviously, if you like their work then it makes you want to know more and more. This can even come down to using the same pens, paper, ink. You might study an artist and discover you have something in common that you both do naturally. The bottom line is, artists who work incredibly hard are worth studying. They've done the hard yard already and thankfully, we can learn from all of this.

Naming my favourite old masters will be difficult but here goes:

Bernie Wrightson
Geoff Darrow
Vaughan Bode
Wally Wood
Richard Corben
Frank Frazetta
...to just name a few!

As I said before, my day job limits my time so you need to make schedules and sometimes sacrifice important dates to improve your craft. I'm also working on some personal projects with a view to getting back into the industry. My schedule all depends on if I have a paid art job at that time. However, when I don't have any commissioned work it's studying and drawing constantly. It's something I need to do all the time and cannot switch off. You've got to be able to make free time and also schedule in challenges for yourself. When you've only got a small amount of spare time you really need to just maximize your time and push forward.

4) Speaking of personal projects what is Gunrando? I see this is a comic you are creating with @ash_benness but I wasn't able to find the actual comic.When can people expect to check out Gunrando and what phase of production are you guys in with the project?

This is our creator-owned comic book series, not a published comic as yet. I guess it's more of a labour of love in its early stages, hence why you haven't seen it (on top of paid work and everything else). We do have over 150 storyboard pages and scripts. It's just finding time for the final polish, then deciding how to distribute it. Ash and I are both very excited for its release - hopefully the wait will be worth it!

5) I also saw you did a fan art piece for Oink, which was really cool to see because I'm a fan of John Mueller as well. I'm curious if the success of Kickstarters like Oink has inspired you to try to bring Gunrando to a funding site or have the two of you not decided yet?

I really can't say enough nice things about John Mueller. Especially when I live in little old isolated Perth, Western Australia. It is truly appreciated for someone of his calibre to endorse your art. John has been a huge supporter of our artwork and Gunrando. He has suggested doing a kickstarter but we haven't decided yet. We still need to work out the format of the book and reward scheme.

6) What medium do you work in? It looks digital to me but sometimes I can't tell and it has a watercolor feel to it that kind of reminds me of Templesmith.

Pencils, inks, markers, paint, acrylics, watercolour, gouache initially. I also sculpt and use digital media; mostly to speed up the creation process. The tools available to us now are very close to natural media. Pretty much always hand drawn first, then scanned into my computer and coloured. I've recently discovered the Pro Create app and found it very useful too.

7) What is art to you and do you think you create it?

Art to me is a something that makes my brain feel good. If my work does that to someone else, then I guess it's art. It's all a matter of opinion. Illustration, painting, music, dance, poetry, writing, acting, creating honestly - that's all art to me. Art is also something I need to do. Constant creation has been a staple in my life since age cherub.

8) Any shout outs you would like to give to any artists? Thanks again for your time!

Hell yes...in no particular order:

Justin Mabry
Robert Kirkman
Greg Nicotero
Simon Roy
James Harren
Travis Charest
Ron Cobb
John Arcudi
David Kronenberg
William S Burroughs
Syd Mead
David Lynch
David Bowie
Jack Kerouac
Carlos Huante
Liam Sharpe
Glen Fabry
Kevin Eastman
Brian Bolland
Eric Powell
Mike Mignola
George A Romero
Alan Moore
Grant Morrison
Frank Quietly
Karin Dreijer Anderson
Mike Patton
Frank Zappa
Johnny Ryan
Dave Cooper
KRK Ryden
Mark Ryden
HR Geiger
HP Lovecraft
Guillermo Del Toro
Wayne Barlow
Rob Bottin
John Carpenter
Bruce Campbell
Stan Winston
Rick Baker
Phil Tippet

...and the list goes on

Thank you very much!

You can follow Chris Bolton on Instagram and Facebook.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Zdzisław Beksiński

"It misses the point to ask me what scenes in my paintings 'mean'. Simply, I do not know, myself. Moreover, I am not at all interested in knowing."--Zdzislaw Beksinski

If Alex Grey shows people the light inside of themselves and humanity at large then Zdzisław Beksiński shows us the other side of humanity in paintings that feel like an acid trip gone wrong. The painting above reminds me of the moment of a nuclear explosion as it reduces everything into ashes.
While he denies that there is any "meaning" behind his art, there definitely is one as you look over his paintings and start to see the motifs he repeatedly uses and where his inspirations come from.

The point of contrast in this piece is the same as the one in my previous analysis of the Occupation of Paris by Tom Lovell. The baby signifies hope in Tom Lovell's picture and similarly the baby here is the point of contrast in terms of color but it looks pale and struck with terror rather than radiating hope it feels very hopelessness and insignificant to the forces around it.

 Hieronymus Bosch was known for his use of motifs of burning castles and he definitely takes some inspiration from him here and in his other nightmare landscapes. The strange perspective of the painting reminds me of a game like antichamber or illusionist paintings. On the left is a doorway but this doorway doesn't look like its connected to anything, since what starts out as a concrete wall slowly transitions into a pale background for the smoke from the burning castle to sit in. On the right side we see a dead tree and in the center we get a trail of blood that leads us into what looks like a oasis in a nightmare landscape. the colors make it feel cool and inviting and we get the sense of infinity from the suggestion of the white light in the center of the walkway.

"The historian bishop Eusebius of Caesaria states that Constantine was marching with his army (Eusebius does not specify the actual location of the event, but it is clearly not in the camp at Rome), when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "(ἐν) τούτῳ νίκα" ("In this, conquer"), a phrase often rendered into Latin as in hoc signo vinces ("in this sign, you will conquer")."- Wikipedia
Being a Christian author we can get a hint at what this painting is about, at first I wasn't sure of what this meant in the context of the painting when I first saw it but after I read John David Ebert's interpretation of his art it made a little more sense:

"In the posthistoric civilization which we now inhabit, all such transcendental signifieds have been deconstructed and dismantled. They no longer function as they once did, as master signifiers to organize an entire civilization. The metaphysical age, as Beksinski shows in his 1975 painting, has gone up in flames all around us."- John David Ebert

John David Ebert points out in his article on Beksinski's art that his art does have a meaning and he argues that his art is about how symbols that used to define entire civilizations, such as the cross, have lost meaning in our post industrial world. The juxtaposition of the phrase "In this sign, you will conquer" next to a decaying body in a Crucifix form becomes a interesting way to say this since the scene clearly illustrates that the phrase "in this sign, you will conquer" no longer applies.
The figure in the front tends to a baby crib, with an "R" and a cross on the side that faces us as if he has been distracted by the newborn. It looks like he might be raising these figures to then crucify on the wall and the bones laying around him tell us he may have done this a few times already. The cobwebs on the wall give us the feeling that large amounts of time have passed.

His art is haunting in its beautiful and mysterious landscapes and invites us to find meaning in his work even though he denies that there is any to begin with. While his work is incredibly dark and unforgiving, I always get the feeling of a very spiritual artist behind the pictures. There does seem to be rays of hope in his work here or there and they appear otherworldly and transcendent, not unlike Alex Grey's art. In his art symbols, that once defined us, have lost their power and become meaningless in today's world of the consumable image. Maybe this is what he meant when he said not to bother looking for meaning in his paintings.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Inspiration: Weekly round up

I've decided to make a regular posting of inspiration I find around on the internet most of these are notes on the process of artists and to put them here for the benefit of myself and perhaps someone else who will also be interested in this and take something from it.

Film Analysis 
Rob Ager is the main  inspiration behind this blog, I came across his work a few years ago when I saw his analysis of The Shining on his YouTube page and I've been a fan ever since. Below is an analysis of Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs analysis

The Shining Analysis

You can find more of his analysis work at http://www.collativelearning.com/.

Andrei Tarkovsky is another inspiration to me and recently Muddy Colors posted a blog article quoting from his book "Sculpting in Time". I did a little bit more digging around and found that his writings are art and the meaning behind art really resonate with me.

“Modern mass culture, aimed at the 'consumer', the civilisation of prosthetics, is crippling people's souls, setting up barriers between man and the crucial questions of his existence, his consciousness of himself as a spiritual being.”

“Never try to convey your idea to the audience - it is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and they’ll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it.”


Notes from Guillermo Del Toro interview on his writing process:

"I have a mansion that has 9 or 10 libraries organized by me some are visual reference, historical reference, religion, and occult.,, I think that surrounding yourself with the things you love is inspiration. So before I start writing a screenplay I take library carts and go through the libraries and say "oh I want this one" or "maybe this one"...I browse through the artists and writers and I try not to reference things that are a proposal things. I try not to research dry I just try to get inspired by great painters and great writers for a few days or a few weeks if I can afford it and reading, reading and browsing and making notes then I go into serious research.  For example when we were writing the  Strain book I researched how the sewer system in new york is laid out, abandoned subway station ...in the 3rd book I needed to know how empirical Rome was laid out when Caligula was king and at the end of that mental trip you start writing.. I keep notebooks that I have been keeping up since 1990 and I browse these notebooks where I've written down things that I read that was something interesting and reread what I wrote one I was 21 or 23...its a dialogue with myself."

Finally here is a couple of trailers to documentaries I've been checking out and would recommend as inspiration.

The Imposter

The Sunshine Makers

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Alex Grey and my first LSD experience.

Alex Greys art to me has always been an inspiration to me since I came across his art for the Tool cover for Lateralus and the music videos he helped create with Tool including one he collaborated with Chet Zar on called Vicarious. The video posted below is Parabola, which has a segment at the end that I remember blowing me away when I was a kid.

It wasn't until later in life that I came across his book Mission of Art that I learned a huge inspiration behind Alex Grey's artwork was his experiences with LSD:

"Twenty-five years ago I took my first dose of LSD. The experience was so rich and profound, coupled as it was with the meeting of my future wife, Allyson, that there seemed nothing more important than this revelation of infinite love and unity. Being an artist, I felt that this was the only subject worthy of my time and attention. Spiritual and visionary consciousness assumed primary importance as the focal point of my life and art. My creative process was transformed by my experience with entheogens."- Alex Grey

I myself never thought I would take LSD, I've always been afraid of getting black market versions of any chemical drug that someone could make in their bathtub but when a friend who had previously given me ecstasy a few weeks ago also mentioned he could get LSD I felt it was trustworthy enough to try with my girlfriend. We bought two tabs and by the end of the night I felt a new appreciation for his art and realized he really did find the mission of art through his experience and I felt like I could identify with this.

 It started out with us walking around outside on a nearby trail waiting for it to kick in, we noticed that the lights were beginning to look a lot more dramatic and deliberate as we walked for over an hour but by the time we got back we were sure that whatever we had gotten was not LSD. For me I was completely apprehensive about letting myself go into this thing, and I thought for sure there would be a light switch going off in my head and all of the sudden I would be a knife wielding maniac from a 1950s weed propaganda film unable to control my violent urges. This idea got stuck in my brain and made it hard for me to let myself fully go into the experience at first.

For someone like me I have always been an anxious person and someone who was fundamentally unhappy most of the time. Most of this comes in the form of old traumatic memories from childhood that I won't get into here that have been stuck in my head long after the event has passed and I realized that these emotions had never processed. That instead I have kept this trauma alive in my attention, and have been torturing myself with it rather than letting go and looking at my life in a more holistic fashion.

When I laid down and closed my eyes I remember the physical sensation of falling into a Well and my consciousness was beginning to connect to something greater than me. It looked like a network of Wells that went on forever in each direction and gears that turned and moved the universe around me. It appeared to me to be the internet network of our minds connecting to one another and I got this overwhelming sense that life is a game the universe is playing with itself and we slip in and out of this realm after death. Death, at least in that moment, seemed perfectly okay and I felt a great sense of peace come over me that when I pass I will return back to this Well of love and understanding.

What I found in the trip was not a light switch but a gradual changing of my perceptions and thought processes to the world around me. I became more and more aware of how my perception of things were fundamentally wrong and that I looked at others as enemies to defend against rather than other people who were also apart of this Well of love and understanding. I started to meditate on the sensations that were taking over my body and tried to observe them rather than react to them with fear or longing. I realized that I could focus my attention on fearing the situation if I wanted to but it wasn't going to change the fact that I was going to be in this mind state for the next 8 hours or so.

I'm up to the possibility that this brief experience is completely made up in my imagination and that none of it is real but its not really important to me that this experience is objectively true but only what it meant to me and trying to hold onto what I got out of that experience is hard, it slips through your fingers like any other moment in time and the feeling of total peace and surrender passes like any other feeling in life. Its not something that can be fully explained in words.

My memory is hazy but at some point I remember we took a shower and as I looked into her eyes after we stepped out of the shower I sat down beside her and was overwhelmed to the point of tears at how beautiful she was to me. She seemed to shine with this same Well of love and understanding behind her eyes that I had found in myself just a few moments before. Her love was beautiful to me, something to admire. "Your love is like a fire I come home to warm my soul by at the end of the day and we are all carrying this fire around with us throughout the world and warm the souls of others with it."  I told her then that I would write her a story a story that would make her remember the night it is we had together and how special it felt to be in this corner of time with someone like her. Someone who loved me unconditionally. It felt like we were two wanders of the world taking refuge in our own cave from the cold and wet world outside, our love keeping us warm and alive.

I cried for most of the rest of the night not just for long held pain leaving me but at my own sense of wonder at what it felt like to feel nothing but love coming from within me and how freeing it felt. I knew then what my art would have to be about, and that I want to show people that Well inside of me to inspire them to look for it within themselves. Its crazy to think that LSD or any psychedelic can be illegal when there is now so much medical research showing that it helps with PTSD and depression I wouldn't say my trip was any where near as powerful as what is shown here but I can directly connect to his art in a way that I couldn't have before taking LSD.

After a few days of the trip the effects of well being are still there but its easy to see what can be gained from an experience like that can be lost easily within a few days in the obscurity of memory. Was it really that amazing of a trip? Its too easy for us to get lost in the routine of life and to not be present and if there is anything I took from the experience it is that most of the suffering in our lives is unnecessarily created by ourselves. For whatever reason our mind is constantly trying to get out of right now. We hide from it in escapism and dwelling on past failures which our mind automatically  generate in our open mental space. An unoccupied and undisciplined mind reeks havok on itself because it isn't free to make mindful decisions it can only react to what is going on around it instead of being proactive.

Acid will humble you it will bring you to your knees in wonder at the world around you and your place in it. But just like anything else it passes and its up to us to keep that fire of love alive in our lives rather than letting it be only a momentary high. 

Please feel free to share your own stories about LSD in the comments below.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Anguish by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck

We think of ourselves as being outside of mother nature, but this painting is a humbling reminder of what life really is all about. Mother nature is brutal and indifferent and August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck portrays this perfectly in the cold and windy landscape that seems to stretch forever in every direction in the only clear shots between the birds we get. She will either have to abandon the body or die with it from starvation.

We can see the passage of time in the footprints of the crows around the body, and if you look closely you can see the blood trickling from the babies mouth and snow kicked up around its leg that gives us the clue that the calf just recently died.

Composition and Value 
Here we can see how he groups his dark and light shapes together and uses the light value shapes on the top and bottom to hold the central part of the composition. He also makes it balanced by adding bits of dark values in the whitest parts of the piece. This is to create balance and you can see that the picture is asymmetrical in the top half, we see two black shapes in a white shape to the top left and on the bottom we see one bigger, more detailed black shape on the bottom right. this makes the top part feel elevated and the bottom feel heavier.

He frames the mother in a large black shape that comprises most of the sky and the crows. The composition almost feels like a sideways turned hour glass and even though its probably not intentional I had to make notice of the skull shape in the right that you can see in threshold here. Creepy!

He uses the crows flying into the scene to add atmospheric perspective and bring our eye to our focal point and he does the same with the sun rays on the right hitting the edges of the cloud to do the same thing.  Even the beaks of the crows and footsteps all take us to our main focal point which also has the most texture and detail in the whole scene.
The Color
The darker colors of the crows contrasts with the duller yellow/grey of the sky. He uses dull yellow brownish color for both the sky and the mother, however the mother has more brown in her coat.
He makes sure to add visual interest to the darker underbelly of the mother by adding some light values in this area with bits of snow on the fur.

The crows are mostly very dark reds or purples and he goes back and forth throughout the render with both colors and as we move to the back of the crows on the right we get the last bit of rendering in a dull grey yellow within the same range as the yellow on the rest of the piece.