One of the things I struggle with is the temptation to look inward, at yourself, and confuse that with something artists should represent. There is a killer combo of personal life's experience and solid observation. But when you fall into the trap of thinking it's all about you, your drawings become weak, and you enter that depressing era of modern art, where it takes a cadre of art historians and critics to tell you how important the work is. This comic strip by John Campbell sums that up, check out his other work as well, good stuff. As artists, our first responsibility is to represent the natural world we live in, or those we live with, and to express that in emotional terms that others can relate to. Getting lost in self indulgence is something that happens way too often in fine art.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
I suppose it's a bit cheezy and nostalgic, but I hadn't listened to this song in a really long time, and it reminded me of how music can augment brilliant writing, and can just give you an inspiring jolt of life! It's rumored that this was written by Kurt Vonnegut, and was published in the chicago tribune back in 1996... but all that could be wrong... i like the thought that kurt wrote it though. also, visually this video is fairly useless, just listen to the music. cheers.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. -Oscar Wilde. This image above sums up a strong theme in my recent work, that of consumption, greed, and abuse of the environment and it's resources. This consumption occurs with our "masks" firmly in place. Ultimately, the consumer will be the loser, and be the one that is wiped out. everything else will return with time. The only remains will be empty masks rocking in the wind. In my film, the "little dudes" seen above are early on the victim of over harvesting in order to satisfy a gluttonous need.
My fascination with masks is really only beginning with my next animated short. I've been collecting masks for years, shown above is a Balinese mask, used for the Barong Dance, one of the many mind-blowing things I saw during my time in Indonesia almost a decade ago, a time that directly influenced the artwork i'm currently interested in.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Classical art, the meaningful expression and spine tingling emotion that exudes timelessness and inspiration, is apparently alive and well. The large painting by Graydon Parrish, The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001, in the New Britain (Connecticut) Museum of Art, reminds us all what painting can express, above all other mediums and even language itself. This level of communication can easily be thought of as dead, and I didn't find it surprizing that this piece has been railed on by many "top critics" of art. Graydon Parrish brings us back to a time in human history when painters were commissioned for extraordinary work. Graydon has filled this piece with horrific expressions of unbelievable pain and suffering, something we all endured that horrible day and can relate to all too well. The symbolism alone is worth decades of study and reflection. It's definitely worth a visit to the New Britain Museum of Art. NPR Story on Graydon: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6638786. Graydon is a colleague of my studio mate Tony Curanaj, an impressive painter in his own right who i'll be blogging about soon.As Parrish Notes: "Only through the most arduous study can one create art. Each picture I paint is based on thorough research in the science of light, form, and technique as well as the study of the old masters- and their history".
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I've been doing a lot of sketching in flash, usually when i'm on a conference call and people want to see designs immediately, or just when i don't want to be bothered with scanning pencils. BUT... I really believe that it is quite different, and TOTALLY not as good in terms of emotional connection and tangibility, in the context of something that is real vs. something that doesn't truly exist. While I was drawing yesterday in flash, in preparation for this blog entry, the program quit out and I lost a very good drawing. Con #1 for flash, IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST. don't forget that. I posted a model sheet for a project i'm doing for sesame street (well, not the gun drawing, that was just for fun). the drawing above was drawn with a cintiq in flash, the one below is scanned from paper(ingram bond, HB lead)... what differences can you see?
Monday, June 2, 2008
I can never resist an invite to a new place. I'm that guy that you really need to think before asking "hey patrick, you should come visit" because i will. This is what happened when artist Kristin Dalton was visiting New York City last month. I made a few client meetings in Denver in order to write some of the trip off, and off I went in the middle of a super busy production schedule (we're doing over 5 commercial gigs at once, as well as my short masks here at blend), but it was SO worth it. Not only did i get a chance to meet kristin's friends and family, but i got to do things that a nyc metro-sexual dude NEVER gets to do, like shooting guns (my fav was the 357 mag, 9mm pictured above), four wheeling, branding cows(me and dan the rancher pictured above), drinking 50 cent pbr's, and eating yummy biscuits and gravy (thanks becky!). It's amazing how little we americans travel within our own massive country!
Just once i would like a big budget hollywood animation production to be something important. Something for future generations of film fans, animators, and artists to admire and study. Kung Fu Panda? christ. I hate animation so much sometimes.
Posted by Patrick Smith at 1:38 PM