Saturday, March 12, 2011

Archive: First Oil Paintings

I don't know how it came about, it's been so long; but I acquired some oil paints and went to work. The first pieces were done of rockers, followed by a series for Jeanne Gladden that started with a portrait of her sister (I don't have access to that one).

Jimi - Collection of Scott McNeil
The first oil, this is where I learned you need to have a good drawing before you start painting.

The Poet - Collection of Aaron Smith
Drawing had improved, maybe tried to cram too much in...

EIAJ - Collection of Aaron Smith (way to go Aaron!)
Learning a bit about how strokes affect texture.

Dick - Collection of Gladden Family
This was done from a ridiculous picture, Dick's head was the size of a pencil eraser in the photo.

Jeanne - Collection of Gladden Family
Working from a better photo but still much to learn.

Jo - Collection of Gladden Family
This was the first of the three. During her lunch break Jeanne asked me to do this painting for Jo's graduation present. I delivered the painting to her before she got off work at six the same day (I like to work fast... ). It hung over their fireplace forever.

Richie - Collection of Richie Strickland

This was really my first piece of just doing an oil painting for the sake of painting. Rich and I were doing a lot of recording work back in '74 and this came about as we were sitting around. I seem to remember taking a Polaroid and working from that.

Archive: Markers

This is a medium I've always liked and never pursued. The commercial illustrations done with marker have always blown me away. I think the cost of a good set has kept me away from exploring with markers, maybe someday. These are in chronological order.

Jimi tuning while playing.

Taking a break...

Aurthur Rimbaud

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friday, March 11, 2011

Archive: Watercolor

Watercolors are merciless. It looks like I must have got a small set of them in late '73 or so and did these few pieces. It was one medium I didn't want to pursue.

A few years after I did the big painting for Tom's Schwinn I did some smaller paintings for Placentia Schwinn. This is a color study for one of the larger paintings.

This was done in the spring of '74, a pastoral portrait of Jeanne and Dick on their patio.

This was a Christmas gift for Jo. She was on World Campus Afloat and wrote about an amazing experience she had horseback riding in Fiji. This was my interpretation.

A Film About Jimi Hendrix came out in '73 and this was a painting that graced the album cover and posters for the movie. A bunch of us went to the opening night, which made for some great stories; and of course I had to do my version of the promo painting.

Saylor has always been the guru of alternative ideas. I guess this looks like he's got the ol' noggin' cranking away. This is dated '74.

Brant at an O'Neill park kegger in the same period of time. That's really his signature.

* * *

One of the reasons I never pursued watercolor is it can have an anemic quality, I liked stuff to be pretty intense back then. So later I tried painting watercolor style with ink instead of gum arabic based paint. This was better suited to my eye, but it is still a very unforgiving process.

A little looser, gestural, than most of my stuff, but I try to keep my drafting right on. I figure you can do anything with color if the drawing is solid.

This was for Scott's 40th birthday invitation. I did a whole bunch of portraits in this ink wash method, but since I didn't keep records back then this copy of the actual invite is all I have from this series.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Archive: Los Angeles Art Center

When I was in high school I received a scholarship from Art Center. It was an incredible score that I had almost no appreciation for. I figured art to be more or less free form an didn't understand how school could help. I went anyway, started while I was in high school on Saturday classes, then regular classes after graduation. I have very little from my lack of efforts there, but I'm pleased with what I did there and the way I drew as a kid.

The teachers there were very cool. In my first classes I found different teachers had differing approaches to drawing. I saw this as inconsistent and it made them less credible in my young eyes. I could smoke in class and that was a very important part of my acceptance of higher education.

This guy was a teacher named Carlos.

I didn't spend much time on faces in class. Sketches were quick, thirty seconds for the warm ups and twenty minutes for the long pose.

This was a typical scene. Model on the stand, apparently on a blanket, an alarm clock next to her head while the teacher points out all the things we should be paying attention to.

Drew was my favorite, the only teacher I really remember. Although every teacher had a lot to offer, he's the one who caught my attention; he also discovered I was ambidextrous. I didn't think about him for several decades until I took a class from Marshall Vandruff who was singing the praises of an artist named Drew Struzan. I remembered a teacher who drew named Drew and showed these to Marshall who confirmed the identity.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Archive: More Drawings

These are a bit later, mid 70s and on. They're more technically proficient but I feel like I lose some of the gesture in the process. I like the way I drew as a kid and work to recapture some of the freshness from the early days.

Roy Disney

Frank Wells

Jacke and Cheryl Crump

Around the mid 80s I started drawing people related to Ferrari cars and eventually the cars themselves. After these, most of my drawings were done as preparation for paintings; people wouldn't shell out money for pencil or charcoal work but they seemed slightly open to buying paintings.

Enzo Ferrari

Phil Hill and Enzo Ferrari

Phil Hill

Sergio Pininfarina

An Early 50s car in the process of being built.

The first test drive.

The first Testa Rossa being weighed in before racing at Le Mans.