Monday, December 15, 2014

post grump photo dump

Actually, I only have a couple of photos to share, but I'm glad I got some at least. So, Kris and I participated in our first GRUMP holiday arts and crafts fair in Arlington, VA yesterday, and we survived! Founded by the unstoppable Tina Henry (aka Tina Seamonster), the fair serves as a sort of alternative arts and crafts shopping venue for unique and original handmade items. This year the fair was "Supersized" and offered an even wider array of work throughout every floor of the wonderful venue that is the Artisphere. It was almost overwhelming, but in a good way, and I barely got a chance to scratch the surface with regards to seeing and purchasing what other folks had to offer. We were able to explore and buy a little bit however, and from what we did see, it was all pretty amazing. I'm happy to say that Kris and I were able to sell a lot of our work (she even sold a big original piece!) and I practically ran out of prints, to my surprise. The people who came by and said hi and/or bought my Splotch Monster work were the nicest around. These events can sometimes, if not always be a bit exhausting, for a multitude of reasons, and we both still feel like we could use a day to recover (i.e. sleep all day), but they're always worth it, as it forces you to get yourself and your creations out there in the world, as well as meet new folks and old friends alike. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the most social individual on the planet, but I do generally like people and enjoy a conversation, however deep or mundane, long or short. That said, GRUMP had a ton of foot traffic and it turned out to be a gorgeous mid-December day. What more could one ask for? Until next year!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

getting ready for grump!

Just finished printing, folding and packaging a couple of new additions to the Splotch Monster Island family, in time for tomorrow's annual GRUMP arts and crafts fair at Artisphere, in Arlington, VA (see above photo)! Honestly, I've got to give much of the credit to my wife Kris, who meticulously set everything up on the computer, cleaning up all the rough edges and aligning things just right. She also gives me the best advice with regards to design and color choices, and presentation in general. I've also been cranking out a ton of individual Splotch Monster ATCs and mini-ATCs to sale tomorrow at GRUMP as well. It's been some time since I've done some small, individual Splotch Monsters (this time using metallic and glitter paint), and I've forgotten just how much fun it is. If you're in the NOVA/DC area tomorrow, stop by GRUMP at Artisphere, which will take place from 11am - 5pm. There will be a ton of awesome handmade items from a vast array of artists and crafters. Kris will also have her beautiful work for sale there as well, so hope you can make it!

Monday, November 24, 2014

the splotch monsters invade the river valley journal of art, volume 2, issue 1!

The fine folks who run The River Valley Journal of Art were kind enough to dedicate eight pages to my Splotch Monster art work, in their latest issue. It's a great read, featuring an array of fantastic artists and writers working today. Grab yourself a copy HERE!

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!