Old school complication – new series

Old school…

For the next series I was looking to complicate my life a bit more… so who better to visit  for that added complication than famed portrait artist John Singer Sargent?

I first met Sargent not in art class, not in art history class, but in my 8th grade American history class. My class was doing a unit on the beginning of the 20th century and the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. There were numerous photographs of Roosevelt in the textbook, but the one image that stuck out for me and my 13 going on 14 year-old brain was the painting of Roosevelt… the “official White House portrait”. There was some super small text in the corner: JOHN SINGER SARGENT.

It’s not often that you see a barely teenager in the school library looking up John Singer Sargent…

Categories: art bob

In a certain time and place…

This certain time and place…

Taking a pause on the GI JOE style series today.

The idea of this self-portrait was staring me in the face.  Specifically, the rear view mirror in my car. I’d just left the grocery store, loaded all the bags, clumped myself down in the drivers seat and looked up.  I hadn’t moved the mask off my face yet. There I was. It was me… along what the times dictated I be.  Not a requirement… a suggestion.

My mantra in regard to what I create has always been to tell a story and invoke an emotion. Words help, but they’re not always needed. If you can show a beginning, middle and ends with a single image, you’re better than you think you are.  Years from now, someone will see this somewhere and wonder how we got through it… how some managed and some did not.

As of this writing, nearly 55,000 people in the U.S. have died because of COVID-19. A month ago, that number was just a bit over 2,000.

My family does everything it can to protect ourselves and others. I’ve washed my hands so much I think I washed some of my fingerprints completely off.

We’ll never be the same… and ultimately, that’s probably a good thing.

It’s tragic. It’s scary. And… it’s equal opportunity… if you inhale and exhale you can get it. I hope that the fear I feel every single day is evident in this image.

I don’t like that fear… but at the same time I never want to forget that fear.

Categories: art coronavirus

New Series – G.I. Joe style

…and KNOWING is half the battle… GI JOE!

This series will be a challenge… but a FUN challenge.

This idea came out of nowhere…it wasn’t looking for me and I wasn’t looking for it.

I happen to be listening to someone’s conversation.  I wasn’t intentionally dipping into it… it was just VERY loud.

One line of the conversation was: “Now I know.” That’s it.

A vast majority of males currently between the ages of 39-47 are likely familiar with the 1980s afternoon cartoon of a rebooted GI Joe franchise.

At the end of the show, there would always be a life lesson moment… to make sure kids learned something while being psychically compelled to beg parents for action figures and vehicles. Timmy would do something bad, one of the Joes would call Timmy out on his crap, teach him that he messed up and he was now a better Timmy. The kid who messed up would always say, “Now I know.” And the Joe would ALWAYS reply “…and KNOWING is half the battle.”

To this day, 35 years later, WHENEVER someone says, “Now I know” I ALWAYS say (out loud… not to myself) “…and knowing is half the battle… GI JOE!”

Dudes my age get it. If they hear me, I get a knowing nod. Sometimes, I even get help saying the line. It’s a thing that only we understand. That, and we’ve been programmed to do it.

So, it’s G.I. Joe action figure art style for the next series.  YO JOE!


Categories: art bob memory lane...

New Series – Modigliani

Modigliani and me

Yes. Amedeo Modigliani is back again. Previously, I used his style for a family portrait late last year. Even before THAT, in 2014 I did a quick colored pencil Bob in his style as well.

Now, as with the previous Hopper series, I felt the need to do every member of my family individually.  The motives are purely selfish – I dig Modigliani’s work and want to do more.  I genuinely feel at home in his style.  But, I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or three diving into his work.

Hope you enjoy this next series… I’m just as eager to see what I’ll do as I hope you are.

Categories: art painting studio thoughts