Courtney Barnett - Rolling Stone

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I am delighted to have created a portrait of Courtney Barnett for the new issue of Rolling Stone. It is for the release/review of her new record 'Tell Me How You Really Feel'.

I wanted to convey some of the possible emotions that one would go through to connect with the upcoming record. I didn't have access to any music other than what was pre-released so I wanted to run the gamut yet also capture a bit of my interpretation of Barnett as I saw her after watching hours of interviews. 

I can't write about her without saying also that I adore her singing...almost talking and rambling style of singing along with her wit.  I really look forward to hearing the rest of the record!

  Left: Rough Sketch :: Right: Final Sketch

Left: Rough Sketch :: Right: Final Sketch

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Ape - Tor.com

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I created this painting ‘Ape’ for a short story cover once again working with Irene Gallo at Tor.com.

The story is a ‘futuristic murder mystery about detective partners—a human and an enhanced chimpanzee—who are investigating why a woman murdered an apparently random stranger on the subway.’

An underlying thread of story also took a look into what it meant to be different from others. The characters analyzed who they are and how they fit, or do not fit, in this futuristic world.

I wanted to portray the main character as he truly is and introspective but also disconnected with the human-esque science experiment that he became.

While I am not a science experiment, not that I am aware of, I often think about similar connections I have with people and some I don’t. How do I fit into society? Is there much more to our lives? Or truly, are we only meat, salt and sparks?

Personally, I think that pretty much is it.

The story will be released in June.

As a bonus, I filmed the process of creating this painting. You can watch it below or click over to YouTube and subscribe for more videos.

School Library Journal

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I was contacted by Mark Tuchman from School Library Journal to create a cover and interior piece for the magazine.

It's for the very serious topic about how opioid addictions in families can hurt children and librarians are finding ways to help the children affected overcome any obstacles they may have because of it.

I did a bunch of sketches with various ideas and as the project continued, we we defined which images were the strongest then chose which would be on the cover and which would be the interior.

It was great working with Mark and I hope to work with him again.

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Sketches on the left were the initial ideas. Sketches on the right are final ideas in possible contexts.

The Last Novelist - Tor.com

For the first release of Tor.com of 2017, I did this painting for a short story called The Last Novelist written by Matthew Kressel. It's a wonderfully surreal story. I'll note it when it is released.

if you follow me on various social media, in particular, Instagram, you may have seen that I've been getting a little dirtier with my work. I used to be pretty loose with my art but over the last 10 years, I've gotten tighter and tighter. It's just my nature to over-work. I have to make a conscious effort to tear it down and loosen up again.

Here is a quick time-lapse of a spike being painted.

Wall Street Journal

This is a piece for the Wall Street Journal and art directed by Orlie Kraus. 

In pursuing my goals to continue to bring in more of my sketchbook work back into my art, I pushed for a more abstract solution to the problem.

The story is about the issues surrounding using sleeping pills for people who have insomnia and other sleep related issues. It goes into addiction and also the negative side effects of taking those pills.

I wanted to convey that feeling when someone who is sleep deprived. Confused. Staring blankly. The 'wall of sleep deprivation' becoming larger than him. 

Go to the story here.

 Palette used when working on this piece.

Palette used when working on this piece.

Family Circle

This is a new piece for Family Circle magazine art directed by Dana Einsider.

The subject was about the uncomfortable discussions families have to have with one another about what their wishes are when they pass away.

I tend to go to the 'dark side' when it comes to working out images. I don't shy away from the subject and try to give an honest representation of how something feels. In this case, while a dark subject, I kept in mind the magazine and readership. It is generally not a 'heavy' magazine so I wanted to come up with imagery and visual metaphors that would accommodate the subject of the article but also play well with Family Circle's audience.

I submitted a bunch of sketch ideas, but this one with the knocked out subtle gravestone was the winner and my preference to paint. I added the Will in per request which I thought could have dumbed down the idea of the image but we agreed that not having the word 'Will' and having an image which symbolized the heart of what the discussion is about would work just as well. 

Dog - Tor

I am incredibly happy to work with Irene Gallo once again for Tor Books/Tor.com on this project. The painting is for a short story titled 'Dog' written by Bruce McAllister.

 

Below is a shot of a pencil sketch when I was working out the shapes of the dogs and a photo of the rig used to film. Below that is the final cover to be used for the short story.

7 Commentaries | 5 Paintings - Tor.com

I was asked a few months ago by Irene Gallo for Tor.com to have a go at a story called Seven Commentaries.

It was tough to wrap my head around it in the beginning because it seemed to be written in a rather fragmented way. I ended up loving the visuals associated with this job and ended up drawing something for each section of the story. Eventually, I found myself asking Irene if I could do a few pieces. Luckily, Irene was all for it and found some extra money in the budget for the series. I wanted to do more but life and other projects prevented me from doing more.

It was a fun job but also, very exploratory for me.

Progress

Progress

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It may not obvious in the work here but I started exploring again in my sketchbooks (which led to the previous post - Skulls of Ultimate Death) and I think I am at that beginning stage of change once again. I'm not forcing it. I'm just going with it. If something changes, great, if not - it's okay. As long as I am experimenting and seeing what the possibilities are.

Used some colored pencil on this one.

To that end, I've also been working on other creative endevours which I hope to show one day. That has really taken my mind elsewhere to see new possibilities.

That all being said, thank you Irene for amazing work and I loved the way these pieces ended up coming out. It's always a pleasure to be able to work with you and get to do this fun stuff.