Friday, August 1, 2008

Attack of the Double Dutch Live Art!

So... Monday afternoon, I returned home from San Diego Comic-Con. Simply put, I was whooped... beat, slain, plain tuckered-out... however you wanna put it, I wasn't exactly operating at 100%. But fatigue be damned, I had a live art date and I meant to keep it!

It was another Tuesday night jammie with my boy Joey Gross (ArtNowSF) and the gang at Double Dutch. Philly Ocean and Jeremiah were on the ones-and-twos. The crowd was hyped up and the spot was packed. I tell ya... never underestimate a birthday girl and her friends' enthusiasm for booze on a weeknight.

Also, a surprising number of black kids showed up. This might not seem like something worth pointing out to folks not living in San Francisco. But this town has become notorious for the "African American Flight" that's going on. As a black man, I was extra-happy to see some brown-skinned kids out in force, dancing, drinking, and having a gay ol' time, while I painted my digits off. Speaking of the painting, I suppose I should get into that...

I started out with a 20 x 24" canvas, toned in reds and blues. In the pic above, you can barely make out my rough drawing for the "Walking God" I planned on painting that night.

The next step was adding texture. Now, I'd never done this at a live art gig, but Joey sparked the idea in my head. I use collage in most of my studio paintings. Why not do it during live art, eh? So, armed with paintbrush and matte medium, I glued down torn up pages from a phone book, giving the god's body some visual and tactile texture.

Once I laid in all the "phone book areas," I started building up the more prominent parts of the mechanical lord with brown paper tape. This stuff is GREAT for collages... you can rip it, cut it, roll it, and even smoke it (though I really don't recommend smoking glue products)! Plus, to apply it, all you have to do is get it wet and stick it down. Easy peezy!

Textures applied, I was ready to start painting. From the start, I'd imagined this scene of a blueish giant, romping through a city with an alien-green sky. So those were the base tones I started to lay down.

Here you can see a detail shot of those colors, as well as a better look at the mondo-textures I'd applied. Thickfreakness!

I'd also added the paper tape at the bottom, to give my cityscape some rigid, rectangular collage elements. You can see how I began drawing the buildings in with pale blue paint.

At this point, the cityscape has been drawn in, along with the early linework for the Iron God. Oh, and I'd also emblazoned the side of his head with my lucky number, 13. I had also really tackled the sky/background. I've always been a fan of the Impressionists. So here I mimicked their strong, expressive brush strokes and bold use of color to illustrate my sky. Here and there, I blended strokes using wide and narrow paint rollers.

Continuing with the bold colors and whacky brushwork, I dove in with both fists, applying colored lines and spatters in an effort to really make this baby glow.

The shot above is "Walking God" with some serious black and white linework. I'd dulled down the blaring white of the "13," pumped up the cityscape, and given the robot some steam oozing from his exhaust pipes. By this step, I was all but done with the piece. And not a moment too soon... the bar was about to close!

Of course, there's no satisfying an artist. Especially when it comes to their own work. The winner of the raffle drawing for the piece had left before Double Dutch closed. So I was able to take it home and give it a little extra TLC.

So The Fat Lady sang, and "Walking God" was done! Thanks to everyone who helped organize that evening of creative debauchery. Special thanks to Carissa for taking care of the raffle action. And endless gratitude to the friends and strangers who came out to show mad love.

It's going to be a quiet weekend on the blog... I'm going to a wedding, later today. And I'll be away on a woodsy excursion Saturday and Sunday. But when I return, I'll be preparing my overdue Comic-Con post. I'm also working on some new projects... an installation pitch for D-Structure (a nearby clothing store/art gallery), a Super Mario - Zelda - Donkey Kong series for "I AM 8-BIT" in Los Angeles, pieces for a joint exhibit at Fabric8 and Neon Monster in San Francisco... geez, the list goes on.

What I'm saying is, I'll have lots to share with you guys, next week and beyond. Whew!

For now, much respect and well wishes from ye ol' Bunker.

-Supreme Hiredmeat Commander, out!


Matthew Kriske said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

You never cease to amaze me, man.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Scott Hume said...

killer dude, thats all I got to say. really dug seeing the process again.

Mark Stroud said...

For being tired this is awesome.

PumPkin said...

awesome man, really you have a personal style. love it.

Lunchbox said...

Nice stuff, sir.
Glad to see the step by step.
I'm a FREAK for mashin' a lil' texture on a board/canvas.