Unfinished finish…

There isn’t always a visible finish line…

I was struggling this morning.

It was one of those days where color was meaningless. They all looked the same to me. Nothing worked well, even the tones that by definition work.  I couldn’t see it.  Shapes had no form.  Value had no value. It sucked.

My way of getting stuff out rarely deviates from: Idea – Sketch – Finish.  More often than not, and when faced with a time crunch, I skip the second step and start finishing as soon as the idea hits me. It’s a luxury and a skill I’ve cultivated after years of… years. I didn’t consciously try to develop it… it just happened from sheer repetition.

Anyway, back to this morning.

You know what the worst part was? I was getting frustrated. I was getting REALLY frustrated. When I get frustrated I can either become great (also known as lucky) or a jerk who never wants to create again. I don’t know what was making it more difficult for me: that I wasn’t satisfied with what I was churning out or that I wouldn’t have anything to post today.  That the schedule I’ve adhered to for nearly a year would be disturbed. Maybe they were all bothering me equally.

I’d invested a good chunk of my morning on the portrait of me in the style of Alphonse Mucha… testing the design limits of Procreate’s UNDO feature and just piling on layer after test layer.

“If I can’t figure this out and finish in 20 minutes, I’m moving on.”

To a civilian, that doesn’t appear to be the abject HORROR that it is to someone like me. And even when you DO finish something you never REALLY think it’s finished.

My day is ruined already at 3:27 a.m. and no one but me is awake to know it.

But then I realized that in my “process” with today’s piece, I’d completed two of the three steps. I took another look at the messy sketch I was working off of and suddenly it became beautiful. I could see the engineering… the scaffolding beneath the surface that I couldn’t provide. All the stuff that I did to get me to where I needed to go was there…I just couldn’t get there.

Every now and then we all need a refresher on how we got to now. If you change direction along the way… it’s okay. You tried.

So it’s finished.

And tomorrow I’ll do it all over again.

Categories: art

SCI-FI BOBS complete…


The Sci-Fi Bobs series, 100 images of Bob as Sci-Fi characters from movies, television and other media is complete.

Not going to lie – This one was a struggle. Several times I thought of wrapping it up before 100. But, I kept going.  Often, I would complete a whole week of them (five) in one sitting. Some are better than others… really, I few of them I think I just phoned in… and called a wrong number on top of that.

I’m going to take a week or two off from series work. I have an idea for a few series, but they may be paired down… 100, in certain contexts, is an awful lot.

Hope you enjoyed these. I’ll keep you posted as to what I decide… as for now…my Prismacolor pencils and toned paper are getting shelved for a while.

Categories: art history space

NEW SERIES – Gabe Leonard

Gabe Leonard style…

I can’t seem to quit this. I’m 191-ish images into this series. Honestly, that number might be off by one or two… my filing system in the beginning wasn’t as consistent as it is now. Still love it…because it makes me work. It makes me learn. I’m a little bit better every time I finish a series.  That’s what it’s ultimately about.

For the next series, I’m rendering my family in the style of contemporary painter Gabe Leonard.  His is not a name that is top of mind, but his work is first rate. Expressive isn’t a good enough description. He manipulates the figure as much as he does the paint medium. His figures are distorted, but somehow even more alive because of that distortion. This should be a challenging series to complete… and by “challenging” I mean, “Holy hell, why did I pick Gabe Leonard to paint in the style of? What were you thinking?! Make sure that Apple Pencil is sharp, dude… you have seven more to do!”

Something like that.