Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Make A Hoot

What actually goes into the making of these nocturnal vermin snackers? These puffy hoots have been flapping around in my mind belfry for some time now, and I thought it was time to bring them out of the dusty mental recesses and into the world of real things.

I always try to start simple, but I don’t usually end up there after it is all said and done.
I start with a story:

Then I do some design. That part takes forever, as there are endless variations of colors, of sizes, of materials, but I try to lock down my ideas at some point. 

Then we have the many headed hydra known as production! I personally, don’t really like to make over 100 thingies, but this time i thought I’d bamboozle some folks into working at my lilliputian doll factory and see what we could do collectively. 

It turns out, a lot! Here are some picts of the fabrication process. These are all made in the USA, because I am a bit of a control freak and also I am very into supporting local, independent businesses and paying a living wage. 

My sister came up with a rad bow design: 

Lo and behold, straw into gold, we have a product. 

Then what, you may be asking? 

Well, a nice photo shoot has to happen, and images need to be created of the things, so I wandered out into my yard and snapped a few. They were ok, but I thought maybe they could be better. Perfect is the enemy of the good, I am guilty. 

The next day it was torrentially raining, so me and the Hoots had to set up inside. They proved to be excellent models.  

 Who wants a peanut? 

Finally the hoots were ready for the world, and I felt comfortable releasing them. You may be asking yourself, who would do all of this? Why create all of this extra work for myself when I could just be watching the Walking Dead and baking bread? Mostly because they are so cute, but mainly because I am insane.

Available at the CRG Store! Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Ghost is Born

I've been working on a pretty big painting here in the studio, it's going to be on display at Art Basel Miami in December at the Michael Kohn Gallery. Here are a few exclusive picts of the process and inspirational sources. Enjoy!

The painting takes it's title form a Wilco song, "Theologians", the title is "A Ghost is Born". I was listening to the song and thinking about all kinds of existential ideas, and I knew I wanted a lion and a magician in the painting. Here are a few books from my library that got me going. Audubon's Mammals, "Tricks and Illusions", and of course Erte´ for the graphic awesomeness.

This one is from the Audubon book, no actual lions, but he does great snarly mammalian mouths. Gosh, is he eating a dead bird? I can't believe I just noticed that! 

Here is my snarly mammal, sans bird of course. 

This is a gorgeous illustration from the Erte´ book. I love these long icicle things and that weird snow queen. What kind of absinthe was he drinking I wonder?

And here is my version of the icicles on the edge of the painting:

And finally, my magician reference, mainly for the outfit and wand. I tried many versions of a magician man, but I was not satisfied with my man faces.

 then this onion-headed  thing sort of demanded to be a part of the whole thing, so I complied. I don't know if he is a wrapped candy or what, but you know, alchemy is mysterious business. I don't question the muse, I am merely an instrument. 

And finally, the almost finished painting with all the bits put together. It's a bit Narnial, don't you think?

Thanks for visiting, until next time curious art lovers! And if you want to see this painting in person, it will be hanging out at the Art basel fair in Miami Florida this December. Come and visit it if you are going!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm a Cherry Ghost

As an avid music fan, I get excited to see live performances when I get the chance. Since I live pretty far from any “cool” city, my options for live music are slim to none, but this week I got to see one of my all time favorite bands, Wilco, play at an amazing outdoor venue in Jacksonville Oregon!! The moon and stars came out to see the magic, I swear, and the only lame part of the whole evening was the girl in front of me who decided that the middle of “Jesus etc.” might be a good time to check her email on her phone. Oh the young-uns, they don’t seem to know when they are in the presence of greatness. 

The above link is not from that particular evening, but I had to share Wilco performing one of my favorite songs. I know what you're thinking, you all thought I was just into punk rock and David Bowie, but I like anything that sticks it to The Man, in whatever form, and that includes lots of anti-establishment folk music and alt- rock from Chicago. I’m no hater. I dig the rock and roll!! 

So back in the studio, sometimes I have this problem after I see/hear something great, I have trouble “making” because I set my expectations of myself that much higher. But THEN, oh then, I got just about the greatest idea ever for my next series of work, I’m not gonna tell you what it is, you’ll have to just come and see it next fall, but the hint is in the title of this Blog post. A musical Scavenger hunt, if you will.... 

ALSO look for some new goodies in the store this Friday! I’m bringing some treasures out from my personal archives, card sets, dollies, and new prints too! I will be adding new stuff every Friday until December 15th. Why you might inquire? because... 

You get a Golden Ticket

I am announcing a ridiculously fun contest! First, from now until the end of the year I will be introducing new goodies to the store every Friday, and I will be introducing a new section of items for under $100. I will also be introducing select limited items from my personal archives. 

But the fun part is that anyone who places an order at my store from now until December 15th, 2012, will be automatically entered into a raffle to win three unique prizes: 

1st prize: A hand-painted Peppermint Man doll customized with your name 
2nd prize: A lovely “Doomsday Animals” print set by Pressure Printing 
Third Prize: Well, that’s a surprise. 

I will be drawing the winning names out of a hat on December 16th, winners will be announced, and prizes will be mailed out in time for Christmas. Happy collecting everyone!! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Careening into Fall

Summer is winding down and the light is starting to change around here. Where I live, it means the blue dragonflies are done for the season, squirrels are pretty busy with their nuts and things, and the bats are getting fat gorging on gnats.

Whats new in the CRG Store you might be asking? Well I happen to have a very limited number of Melvins 7” vinyl lp picture discs on sale this Saturday, September 22nd at 12:00 noon pst! I have 40 to be exact, and they are $40 plus shipping. I expect they will disappear pretty quickly, so get the change out of your couch and pony up!

Pachyderms on Display

If you are a resident of the windy city Chicago, or if you are passing through in the next few days, I have a painting on display at the EXPO Chicago art fair from September 20th - 23rd at the Michael Kohn Gallery booth. Clowns, owls, and a few sad pachyderms are all hanging out in one cheery painting. Come take a looky if you are around, you might get some ideas for that cave circus you wanted to start.

In the Studio

I’m back in the studio and here are some fun peeks of stuff I’m working on.

Bunnies anyone? I'm working on a secret-ish project, here is a little peek, but more to come!

Hey, who are these cute little guys? What the heck are they up to?

This gang showed up on my table, they look like they are up to something if you ask me...

Until next time friends and strangers! Growing feet for children’s shoes, as Tom Waits would say. Happy fall!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clowny Summer

I can’t explain why but I’ve been painting clowns all summer. They showed up in a least 2 paintings I was working on in addition to quite a few daydreams and nightmares. It started with These little pals:

I became strangely obsessed with their faces, the simplicity of the horror, the triangle eyes, the red white and blue.  Just the head ended up in this painting:

But I had to go further, I needed more. Then this guy showed up:

And this one:

Well, 3 clowns made it into the final painting, but an infinite number have crawled into my dreams and seem to be setting up a candy shop. Anyone for a lolly?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

This is the question I seem to get asked the most from young artists, and it is the hardest one to answer. Inspiration comes from everywhere, but it usually starts with things I have read, things I have seen, music that I listen to, and dreams. Those go into the brain filter and come out the other side in the form of sketches, little writings, and finally a painting or drawing.

For the painting I am currently working on, these clowns that I bought on ebay a while back insisted on being featured. Although I usually don’t paint clowns, for reasons I won’t go into, I wanted to do something circusy.

I also recently saw the Mexican women surrealist show, “In Wonderland” at the LA Count Museum, and it was unbelievable. Remedios Varo was one of my favorites, and I became a little obsessed with drawing her. 

I start jotting down ideas about what I am going to do, concepts and symbolism, all the heady stuff.

I also do little rough drawings of characters and little scenes. Some don’t make the cut, but once in a while I find something I can use!

Finally they make the long journey from idea to thing, and end up in a painting or drawing! The strangest combinations are possible...

Enjoy your imagineering, and remember, inspiration comes from everywhere!
For more peeks into my sketchbook process, check out this little feature on the Hi-Fructose Magazine site!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Check out the movie I created about the making of my Snow White book: