Wednesday, November 19, 2014

splotch monster masters both far and near

Last Sunday I received two emails from Splotch Monster fans/makers both local and international. The first included photos of four amazing Splotch Monsters made by some good folks who participated in a couple of the workshops I've held at Books and Other Found Things in Leesburg, Virginia. Debbie, and her son Ben made all of these at home, and now have them beautifully framed and hung on their walls. It always makes me so happy to witness parents actively encouraging their children's artistic and creative side, something every human being has but often neglects. It's such an incredibly important gift not to be wasted.

The second e-mail I received on Sunday was from "Martinou and his trope of budding artists" from "somewhere in the South of France". Here's Martinou's message, translated from French to English:


Just a quick note to say thank you! The meeting with your spots that come to life, was born our TRIBE MONSTERS!
We are not very large (3 and 4) but we used to work and create
through works of artists such as Christian Voltz, Miro, Natasha Wescoat, Karla Gerard, Brancusi,
Vasarely, Kandinsky, Braque, Dubuffet, Calder, Keith Haring, Matisse, Klimt, Niki de Saint Phalle, Laeti Flo Daniel Picon, Christine Barres ...
You are now part of our artistic repertoire! Here A little insight into our productions, inspired by your MONSTER JOBS!

kind regards
Martinou and his band of artists

Wow, what an honor to have my work as part of these young artists' curriculum! Dubuffet, Calder, Haring, Kandisnky and the like aren't bad company at all, either (and are personal favorites). Below are the pics Martinou sent me. 

Thank you so much Debbie, Ben, Martinou and friends for sharing your beautiful work and making me smile. You guys are amazing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

how the "thank you" illo was made

And now, a little peek into the process and making of the Splotch Monster "Thank You" illo over HERE, at the official GRUMP arts and crafts event blog!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

thank you!

Finished a new greeting card illustration today. Will post more about it soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

flowers and monsters drawn and squared

I think it's safe to say I've completed the nine "Flowers and Monsters" collaborative pieces with John Fogarty and Cat Gilbert. Since the background color and activity seemed to drown out the Splotch Monsters, I went back and added more color, further enhancing their presence with patterns, wrinkles, details, as well as outlining the edges with a black Pigma Micron pen. For fun (and for another reason too soon to mention), I "squared" the pieces, though I do have original size scans stored digitally as well. Now it's on to the next phase of the project!

Monday, October 27, 2014

mail art collab with cat gilbert and john fogarty (pt 1)

A short while back I participated in a mail art collaboration with artists Cat Gilbert and John Fogarty, two incredibly creative individuals I've been in touch with online for the past couple of years. I finally got around to scanning the pieces Cat sent me, after all three of us had added something to each. I actually think I might do a little more with the Splotch Monsters, which began these nine pieces in the first place, otherwise they're about 99% completed. Now I'm waiting on the pieces John will be sending back soon, and I'm going to try and get a show set up for us eventually. I love the colorful, dynamic, almost abstracted direction these works all went in and look forward to seeing all of them together when complete. Another idea I had kicking around was to find some writers, particularly poets, who could contribute words to go along with the works, and even some folks who can do music for each piece. I want this to be a very multidimensional collaborative effort. In the meantime, HERE'S a great post about the use of chance in the making of art.

Monday, October 13, 2014

monsters art show at inksanity tattoo company this coming saturday in leesburg, va!

If you're in or around the Leesburg, VA area, today (Oct 13) is the last day to submit work to the Inksanity Tattoo Co for their MONSTERS art show, going on up through the end of the month. Opening reception takes place at Inksanity on Saturday, Oct 18 from 7-10pm. I'll have five pieces in the show, including this fella. Hope to see folks there!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

splotch monster-making workshop at art enables, 10/11/2014

Yesterday I held my second Splotch Monster-making workshop at Art Enables in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing turnout, mainly because AE were hosting the reception for their annual Outsider Art Inside The Beltway exhibit, which hosted some absolutely amazing work from all over the area. The workshop was drop-in style, as they usually tend to be, and I had printed up some verbal instructions and even some writing prompts for participants, some of whom really ran away with this portion of the workshop. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with so many great people yesterday, many of whom were volunteers, folks with art in the exhibit, or simply there for the workshop. The best part of this was seeing everybody's approach to making Splotch Monsters, as well as all the walks of life this workshop was able to accomidate. While I show participants my way of making them (Splotch Monsters), I make sure to tell them there is no one set way, and that it's all about simply experimenting with painting and drawing and having some creative fun in the process. What I left with most of all yesterday was a healthy dose of some serious inspiration, from participants at the workshop, as well as from the current exhibit, which I'll be posting about at my Go Flying Turtle blog soon. Enjoy the pics in the meantime!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

the funk ark: man is a monster cd out now!

If that's not a thing of beauty, I don't know what is? Yes, you're looking at DC's The Funk Ark's brand new CD, Man is a Monster, first available in physical format at their album release party yesterday at the Black Cat, in DC. The artwork comes courtesy of JJ Cromer and I, taken from our 2013 mail art collaboration and show, known as the "Splotch/Asterisk" series. The music inside is just as spectacular, and seeing the band play live last night was a very awesome experience. I didn't think being out until the wee hours on a Friday night was still in me, but perhaps it was the music that kept me going, as well as getting my hands on some copies of this gem.  The art on this album was originally shown at Off-Rhode Studio/Art Enables in February of 2013, and when I gave a copy of the disc to Mary Liniger today, who works there, she smiled and said, "the art collaboration that keeps on giving!". Indeed, it's cool to see where this collab with JJ Cromer has gone so far and where it may possibly lead to next. As JJ said, "Splotch/Asterisk lives!". Amen to that.

The pic below shows opening act Hung Tao Choy Mei Dancers. I loved their heavily percussive sound, and their use of dancing and dragons! They were a great way to start the night. Unfortunately, my only pic of the second opener, Black Masala was way blurry. Needless to say, they were another fantastic DC band who got the party started. 

Of course, the Funk Ark tore down the house last night. You'll be able to see them again soon at The 9:30 Club in DC on December 7. Don't miss out on their new album in the meantime! Now, if only they'd drop some vinyl copies.