Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brag Aart:

"Blue Moon Stones" by Barbara Kacicek

I thought this composition had a huge amount of energy in it. Starting from the inevitable focus on the big blue dot of the flower as a starting point, the lines in the bottom two stones swirl you up to the third.  In fact, the balance seems just a bit off, like that top stone should be causing the lot of them to topple. But you are pulled just a bit by the arc of the line in the top stone, as it not only reflects the arc of the moon-sliver, but also invokes the slight tug of the moon's gravity that is keeping the balance in place. You swing up to the moon, around its arch, and it lands you with force, right to the crotch of where that second stone meets the first. It does not fall, but you do, back along the arc of the bottom stone an home to the blue flower.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Brag Aart: Elan Meets Rafa by The Mice

I have mused before about how generally terrific the Internet is for artists who simply want to create and then share their creations. Sometimes these look big and flashy, and sometimes they look like "Elan meets Rafa."

Under the pseudonym of The Mice, someone whom I think is a young woman living in California has been hitting a regular, semi-weekly deadline with a delicately written "boy love story with a cat and a sharpie pen."

There are about 400 pages of story to date, available at

The writing is engaging because the characters have character.

The artwork is not sophisticated, ranging from High School Art Class to what I would call Evocative Drafts with Great Charm and High Potential. But the point is that the whole package is fun to follow; it did not take long for me to look forward to each installment.

Here is a representative page:
Sometimes I really love plain, old-school drawing: no tracing, no photo references, just you and the notebook and the pencil.

When I admire, I try to support, particularly if it involves art. I cruised back through the story and identified 40 or so pages I thought I would like to have of this work, and then offered a reasonable price for all of them. Here's a couple:

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Brag Aart: Pears & Strawberries by Abbey Ryan

"Two Pears & Four Strawberries" by Abbey Ryan

I'm behind the great Firewall for a month. I'd say things are a little more strict than in the past, at least where I am. My VPN seems to last 3-10 minutes and then shuts down, and I cannot directly connect to Google. 

I am happy I got most of my research done before the trip. Every time I call up a search and get nothing, I wonder: how does anyone get work done this way? The answer, of course, is that they have more available work-arounds than I do because they live here.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brag Aart: JM Watt

Original advertising art for Rowntree's Chocolates by British illustrator and painter John Millar Watt (1895-1975). This is thought to be from the 1920s. In 1921, Millar, as he was known, created a strip that would eventually be called "Pop," in honor of its lead character. This was one of the few British strips to be successful in the US. His wife, daughter, and grand-daughter are all artists (

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Little Nemo

You might recall the most-excellent "Little Nemo in Slumberland" homage that Gerhard did a while back. For the uninitiated, this references the work of Winsor McCay, whose spectacular 16"x21" artwork is still admired and respected, a hundred years later.

For the uninitiated, this references the work of Winsor McCay, whose spectacular 16"x21" artwork is still admired and respected, a hundred years later.

Gerhard's piece (above), along with the work of over 100 contemporary artists, each doing a "Little Nemo" homage, is now available through a Kickstarter campaign, planned as a big book in all it's 16"x21" 144-page glory! 

There's 2/3 of the way to their printing goal of $30K in less than a day. 
Some cool rewards remain as of this writing.

It's a $100 buy-in for this art book. 
For $225 you get the book with all kinds of signatures, plus some swag.
For $275 you get yourself sketched into the book as a sleeping Nemo; presumably not riding a camel, but you never know. I am certainly asking Gerhard to Bactrian me in to one of the copies I am getting.

"Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brag Aart: Stone Circle by Barbara Kacicek

Stone Circle
8"x8" oil on cradled panel

I thought this was a quite clever composition. You see these rocks on the New England seacoast all the time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Little Big Horn

If you are as old as I (and is anyone as old as I?)…

{bonus points if you catch that allusion}

… then you know the name Val Mayerik. Prolific Marvel artist in the 1970s, particularly known for his work on Man-Thing and for co-creating, with Steve Gerber, Howard the Duck, an origin which has no small role in the inspiration for Cerebus the Aardvark.

Val has hooked up with a writer named Jim Berry, and they are producing a graphic story, a historical depiction of the Battle of Little Big Horn. They are running a Kickstarter to finish it off, called "Of Dust and Blood."

Mayerik is now a commercial artist, but he has a keen interest in the American West and its history.

The Kickstarter is here.

I missed out on getting the oil painting that is the cover, and it is a sweet painting. Regret.

I will, however, pick up these rewards if it is funded:

These 4 acrylic paintings of the principal characters: Custer, Sitting Bull, Greenhaw and Slowhawk (the full view of Custer shown below. It is 10.5" x 7.5").

I will also get this really nice watercolor (10"x10"):

I am also in for one of the original art pages that will feature me as a character. Presumably I will not be sitting on a camel.

You can buy in for a s/n copy of the book for $30. Or you can get one with a Mayerik drawing in it for $80. There is only one of those "star as a character and get the page" pages left, but if that goes, I suspect they'll increase the number available if you ask nicely.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Colourized Cerebus

The incomparable Margaret (Cerebus Fangirl) noted that she had come across page 3 from issue 11, at a convention, which had been colored in. She thinks (and I agree) that it looks like a marker-job done by Dave rather than a Gerhard water-color job. That brings the count up to 3 or 4, depending on how you count that partially colored page with the neat-o background added to it (see below).

Cerebus 64 p 7:

Monday, June 16, 2014

At the Movies: CHEF

If you do not see this movie, you are missing out on a chance to see movies the way movies once were. To wit: I am so prepared for dramatic plot twists (why are they driving alone along this stretch of road… a bad thing must be going to happen; why are they showing this extended look at the hot griddle…. a bad thing must be going to happen) that after the first few opportunities passed, and nothing contrived happened, I could settle in and just watch this lovely, delightful, sweet, endearing story about men, fathers, sons, re-discovering your mojo (what is the plural?), and food… holy spit (the roasting kind)… and more food. A few critics have complained about the simplicity of this film, its quick resolutions at the end, and I think they are just forgetting movies the way movies once were, too. Sure, everything is wrapped up with a shiny ribbon and a bow at the end, but only an idiot misses the treasure of a gift by staring at the bloody ribbon.

Fairy-tale ending? Sure. What do you expect. This story is a fairy tale. Dustin Hoffman is the Ogre; Robert Downey Jr is the Fairy Godfather; Scarlett Johansson is the Kindly Stepsister; Oliver Platt is the Constable.

Once upon a time, there was a great Chef locked away in the mundane kitchen by a mundane restaurant Ogre, I mean, owner… and if you do not see the homage to Cinderella when the animated birds fly (really!), you are totally missing the charm of this story.

If you see this movie before dinner, it will make you want to head for real food afterwards. If you see this after dinner, you'll possibly regret what you ate. I headed for the kitchen and cooked stuff for a couple of days after I saw this film.

Bon App├ętit!