Friday, January 23, 2015

Do Or Die Skies

January 23, 2015
   It's my son's birthday today. Thomas Charles is 32 years old. Happy Birthday to the newest and soon to be best World History teacher in the history of the world!

Tom Bell acknowledging an imaginary crowd from behind a random podium he walked by in Peru

   Spent this morning sorting out the piles and piles of semi-finished artwork in my studio. Moved it all out to the breezeway and made four stacks, with the biggest one, the "Do-Or-Die" stack. Meaning, don't be afraid to dive in here because I was going to throw it away anyway.

Five piles: The Has Decent Potential file, the Iffy Pile, the Do-Or-Die Skies pile, the Bitchin' Patina pile and the Can't Bring Myself to Throw These Away pile.

   Did manage to throw away a couple dozen boards, but intend to plow through the Do-Or-Die pile at a clip of five a day, just being as bold and crazy as I can possibly be. At the least it will be a warm-up exercise (we called them "gesture drawings" in college) and perhaps there will be a few that land in the winner's circle.

   Here are examples from each pile:

Daily Whip Out: "The Ola Puto page"

   I have long experimented with how to creatively attack a page of panel drawings for a graphic novel that isn't the same ol' same ol'. I like the amber glow of this page, which emulates my love for old photographs to a degree. And, as a matter of fact, so does this one:

Daily Whip Out: "Patina Orogrande"

   I love the richness of the golden tones and the random, erratic border. Not a false note in the piece. Now to find the appropriate portrait, or scene to place within the frame.

   Here's an example from the Can't Bring Myself to Throw This Away Pile:

Daily Whip Out: "Dust Storm Riders"

   Yes, the Duke of Dust just can't stop doing these little studies of infernal dust storms. This one seems almost too thin, but I'm afraid to touch it and try to bring the riders into any more detail for fear it will ruin the effects.

Daily Rip Off: "Ed Mell Sky"

   Fitting, of course, because yesterday I had lunch with my former studio mate, Edmundo Mell down at Z Texas Grill. I bought ($35 plus $7 tip) to help assuage my guilt over this egregious rip off.

   Last and certainly least, are the studies that were better than I thought they were when I did them.

Daily Whip Out: "Cowboy Ground Zero Study"

   This is haunting because I think it's better than the image I ended up using on the cover and echoes a comment made recently that the first painting on the Severed Heads cover was the best and I should have let it go right there. Dang! Wish I knew what this all means.

"The more one sows, the more one may hope to reap."
—Vincent Van Gogh