Out of all the subject mater I could paint I like the dichotomy of wicked creatures and the innocence of fairy like creatures. That maybe too weird for some people, but I am a maniacal artiest, I can do only what I can do.
I want to illustrate how cynical the world is, but I like the innocence of naivete’. Illustration is now an acceptable art form; most people used to think it was just commercial. Then Warhol proved that gallery art is commercial art. And now there’s a massive amount of people that just sell their name’s attached to what ever kind of “art” they want. And then then most of the ‘work’ done is “selling”. So why do I work so hard on tedious detail? Just to make it look realistic?
What is abstract story telling; most of it is infact about something not there. So where people go wrong in story telling is creating scenes with words (descriptions), then the next step backwards is descriptions of actions.
So how would you tell a story with out descriptions of what a picture maker would do.
Using metaphors and analogies;
Understanding relationships between verbal and non-verbal ideas;
Spatial reasoning and mentally manipulating and rotating objects;
Complex reasoning, such as using critical thinking, the scientific method, and other approaches to reasoning through problems.
Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget argued that children develop abstract reasoning skills as part of their last stage of development, known as the formal operational stage. This stage occurs between the ages of 11 and 16. However, the beginnings of abstract reasoning may be present earlier, and gifted children frequently develop abstract reasoning at an earlier age. Some psychologists have argued that the development of abstract reasoning is not a natural developmental stage. Rather, it is the product of culture, experience, and teaching.
While young children are often incapable of complex abstract reasoning, they frequently recognize the underlying lessons of these stories, indicating some degree of abstract reasoning skills.
I think that moving pictures of fighting take the place of abstract thought way too often as if publishers can’t conceive of selling intellectual thought to children.
Metaphoric story telling is the only thing left for illustrators. Most writers think that the illustration should be what the words describe, making the image redundant. Writers must understand how to not describe a scene for illustration.
People tell me they think of “whimsy” when they look at my illustrations. But I have no idea what they are talking about. I work hard to make them look natural. And I always am trying to learn how to make them more desirable to look at, like the backgrounds; the most important part of a picture and hardest to do (except for the faces). I can’t do them purely from my subconscious, as some artists pretend to do.
Some contemporary painting is illustrative, and the best of it implies a complexity that goes beyond the literal. But this isn’t the objective of illustration.
The problem is that illustration is too often perceived in terms of painting. It is literal, and by consequence, is often seen as simplistic when compared to painting. If modern art schools had not taught every one that simplicity of abstraction, is “art” then N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations would be the norm of illustration.
During the golden age of print media (a period that started somewhere just before, and ended somewhere just around the middle, of the 20th century), most illustrators did not have much influence over the content of their work. The exceptions were author/illustrators and creators of books where the illustrator had full rein over both image and story.
Now that e-books are easily produced by artists, I expect to see more people like me that just want to by pass the commercial editors that control art and writing; and go directly to the consumer. But now that modern art has destroyed the narrative skill quality of art, it is hard to find people that know how to do visual story telling, and have it also be a picture that is a pleasure to look at long enough to keep it on your wall. Not that every one likes to sit and look at a painting.
Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle are my most favorite illustrators.
I hope never to make any more of this kind of disgustingly sweet art. I can’t stand it. I want to make deep dark forest, creepy eerie scenes. Whee the strange little creatures live. Yes some of these pixies live near me in the forest. They don’t let me see them much, but I know they are there.
Unfortunately I have started a series of steam machines for a book of “steam punk-ish” art. I may call the book “Living in some kind of dream world” showing all of the odd pictures I like to paint. But I will probably have to think of a better name, and restrict them to art suitable for children.
Or maybe I really should do several different books, with different genre’s.
I have been thinking about the best way to mount my canvases; on stretcher bars, there should be an ⅛th inch thick foam board for backing. The thick canvas I use now is not stretchable. Don’t let anyone try to stretch it; it would ruin the canvas.
Without the sketcher bars you should use a ¾” or ⅞” foam board. Make sure that the surface and the core are made of archival materials.
Do not staple the canvas on the side of the backing. Only on the back side. Or not at all.
Do not glue the canvas to the foam board, unless you use something that is removable. I do make the canvas water proof with acrylic, so it won’t expand much.
⅞” or¾”plus the canvas should fit into a frame for a 1”. Like these: