Last Sunday night I attended an event organized by Sara and Eric Gordon, also known in the zine world as The Vinyl Vagabonds/DC Creepers. It was called "Artist Nights Pt. 2, Electric Boogaloo" and took place at a great little cafe in Takoma Park, Maryland called The Olive Lounge and Grill. Basically, it was a meet-up of sorts, for anyone who was interested in dropping by and making some art. Eric provided plenty of drawing supplies and papers, and Sara brought the tunes, as she spun selections from their record bin, on a couple of cool old turntables. It was a casual event, and about a dozen or so folks showed up on what was a pleasant Sunday night. I brought some papers covered in some Splotch Forms that I had painted on previously, and began working on one, while Eric sketched people in the cafe, over a cold beer. Later in the night I had convinced about nine of the remaining people in the cafe to add to the Splotch Forms. It was a great way to break the ice, and as always, it was fun to see how people approached it, and what they came up with. I think everyone had a good time and I was happy to have left with a sweet little reminder of the power of creativity and community and the joy it can bring into people's lives. Hopefully Eric and Sara will hold another artist night in the not-too-distant future!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Earlier this summer, local artist and magazine editor Tom Neel went around interviewing and photographing Western Loudoun Studio Tour artists for his online publication Live an Artful Life Magazine. Tom dropped by The Round Hill Arts Center to chat a little with me and fellow artist Penny Hauffe, mostly about our involvement in what was the tour's tenth anniversary. Above is a screen shot I took featuring me making some paint splotches (or, as I call them, "Splotch Forms"), which I would later draw on. Tom does an incredible job with this magazine, and I highly recommend checking out the latest issue, available for your reading and viewing pleasure HERE!
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Here's a new Splotch Monster illustration done for a very special project. Above, is a resized version, while the photo directly below shows the original on paper. I also included the original "Splotch Forms", which I made a scan of before drawing on them. I can't say too much about the project yet, but will reveal more come in the very near future.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Today I finished a fan art piece for one of my favorite books, "The Kurdles" by Robert Goodin (Fantagraphics). I'm not much of a fan art-making kind of guy, but I thought it would be fun to put some of the main characters from the book into a new situation. In this case, Pentapus and Sally have somehow landed on Splotch Monster Island. I used colored pencils to color in Sally and Pentapus, and tried a different approach to drawing on the Splotch Monsters, outlining them in black, like I did with the Kurdles characters. It was something I did when I first started making Splotch Monsters, but an approach I had abandoned a while back. I felt it made the overall image somewhat more consistent. I enjoyed the book so much, I even featured it my other blog a little while back as well. Highly recommended for everyone!
Monday, June 29, 2015
I did a Splotch Monster-making workshop at Camp Dogwood today with an awesome bunch of kids. This is my second visit to this beautiful place since last summer, and we had so much fun painting, drawing, writing and telling stories. Hope they have me back again someday soon! You can find more pics at my Flickr page HERE.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
It's hard to believe the tenth annual Western Loudoun Studio Tour has come and gone, and instead of being a visiting patron, this year I was one of the featured artists. I'm honored to have been included along with so many great local artists, and it's good to see the variety of styles and types of art represented in this year's tour. I also lucked out big time, being able to sell and share my Splotch Monster art in a well-lit, air conditioned room at the Round Hill Arts Center. I was also in the company of several other amazing artists, including local painter and sculptor Penny Hauffe, who has been a longtime favorite of mine.
It was fun, being able to demonstrate my Splotch Monster-making techniques and ideas, and I filled at least twenty sheets worth of new material to finish in the near future. So many people from so many age-levels and walks of life came by to see my work, talk about it and inquire about it, and even buy some of it - it's a good feeling to know you're appreciated and that what you do means something to people. It can be difficult for us artist types to put ourselves out there and talk about ourselves and our work, and such an experience, over the span of two days and fourteen hours is both energizing and exhausting. Still, it is so well worth the effort, especially when you see there are folks who have a genuine interest. It's funny, 'cause I don't think a lot of people expected to see the type of art I do, on display at the tour, and there were so many times when someone's initially bemused, and even slightly confused facial expressions quickly turned into smiles, followed by comments pertaining to being pleasantly surprised, or noting how nice it is to see something so unique on the tour.
While Saturday went off without a hitch, we experienced a major storm in the area, that took out power in many parts. Thankfully, after only an hour of no light or AC on Sunday morning at Round Hill, it all came back just in time for the arriving visitors. Apparently, the same thing happened, around the same time last year at the RHAC! I was also very glad to have my wife Kris by my side both days, keeping my head on straight, helping me with sales transactions and getting folks to sign up for my mailing list, and generally keeping the mood light. I'm trying to imagine what it would have been like without her around, and it makes me cringe a little. The good thing is, I met a lot of wonderful people, made and sold a lot of art (including the piece above, which I call "Sea Trio") and felt like it was an overall positive experience and productive weekend. Would I sign up in hopes of being selected again? Definitely! In the meantime, I'll be posting a bunch of scanned Splotch Forms for folks to download and draw on themselves, here at the blog, in the very near future, so keep on the lookout!
Friday, June 19, 2015
Just finished setting up for the 2015 Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour at The Round Hill Arts Center (stop 20). Even made a few sales during set up today! The tour officially starts tomorrow, Saturday, June 20, and runs through Sunday June 21, from 10am - 5pm. I’ll be selling Splotch Monster art, along with many more excellent artists at the RHAC. Hope to see folks there this weekend! #WLAST2015 #WesternLoudounArtistsStudoTour #art #watercolor #drawing #SplotchMonsters #SplotchMonsterIsland #RoundHillArtsCenter
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Last Saturday the Splotch Monsters set up camp at Art Enables, for Another Damn Craft Show. A good time was had by all, but now they're getting ready to spend a couple of days out west, at the Round Hill Arts Center, as part of the 10th annual Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour! There will be quite a few new original works for sale, as well as prints, etc. So, plan to drop by, say "hi" and also check out some of the many other amazing artists featured on the tour this year!
Saturday, June 6, 2015
I made some new Splotch Monster "Insta-prints" for the upcoming, first ever Another Damn Craft Show event at Art Enables in DC. The event happens one week from today, on Saturday, July 13, from 11am - 4pm. There will be lots of other area vendors selling their handmade creative items as well, including my wife Kris, who will have prints and original works available. So, mark your calendars and don't hesitate to drop on by!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
To help promote the upcoming 2015 Western Loudoun Artists Studio tour, myself and a couple of other local artists agreed to be filmed working on our art. Agreeing to something like this is totally unlike me, or so I thought, and even though hearing myself say more than enough "ums" and "sort ofs" made me want to cringe at times, I'm mostly pleased with the results. This is in no small part thanks to local videographer Joanne McAlpine, who made the process easy to complete in one short take, a couple of weeks ago. I like that the weather cooperated that evening, after work, and that it took place at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, VA - where I proposed to, as well as married my wife Kris! I'm hoping to invest in a Go Pro to make more videos of this nature soon, as well. In the meantime, enjoy the vids and subscribe to Joanne's Broadcasting Sunny You Tube channel!
Monday, May 18, 2015
Here's a fairly new one made in a more illustrative style, with a background landscape of sorts. Most of this was made during the recording of a little two-part interview I did to help promote the upcoming 2015 Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour. I'll try to post one, if not both interviews via You Tube tomorrow, if time permits. So, stay tuned!
Thursday, May 7, 2015
The following weekend, on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday June 21, from 10am until 5pm (both days) I'll have original Splotch Monster art and more available for sale at The Round Hill Arts Center, in Round Hill, Virginia. This will be part of the tenth annual Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour, which is an incredible showcase of local talent throughout the LOCO, VA region.
Both events were juried and I'm beyond delighted to be a part of them. Please mark your calendars and hopefully I'll see you in June!