Found this old, unfinished painting in the studio recently. It was for the Bowie tribute at the Thunder-Sky gallery two years ago. I ended up going with other ideas (such a fantastic show!), but this was an idea to design a theatrical poster for "Life on Mars" (the show referenced in the song). Sidenote: how has it already been two years since the death of Bowie?
On Saturday, I hosted a wonderful, all-ages Floating Shape Workshop at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
All-ages events are always some of my favorite, because while FSW is primarily a children's workshop, seeing families attend and animate together can be a very beautiful sight and experience. Sometimes, the biggest smiles can come from parents/adults when they end up surprising themselves by making an incredibly fluid flipbook and then film it to see it play back on the screen. One family of four at this event each created their own flipbook & short cutout/claymation experiment. Excellent!
Also, before the event got underway, the workshop attendees got a brief guided tour of some animation-centric photography exhibits in the museum. The museum currently displays Eadweard Muybridge's sprawling 1877 "Panorama of San Francisco", and of course we then got to look at the classic "animation locomation" examples via the zoetrope.
It was a truly fantastic and unique workshop. Thank you to the Art Museum and their Rosenthal Education Center space for having me, I hope to do it again in the future.
... and here were the flipbooks that were made at the workshop (the first hour was flipbooks, the second was experimenting with 2D and stop motion methods). I love the spontaneity in the results when you give both children and adults blank flipbooks and see what they come up with. From bouncing balls to an anti-pollution message to a shark eating a boat to an anthropomorphic slice of pie.
Tomorrow night at Thunder-Sky is the opening of two special gallery shows: in the upper level is "You're Invited", featuring new works from Sharon Ann Dear and Bill Ross. In the Under-Sky space below will be "Word for Word", a benefit fundraiser show, with the proceeds of all art benefiting the fantastic local nonprofit organization Wordplay Cincy. The opening reception will be tomorrow night, March 16 from 6-10 PM.
I submitted the following painting for the show, which will be for sale (all proceeds to Wordplay). Special thanks to Jim Damico for organizing & curating this show.
I had a blast at my booth at the beautiful Westwood Art Show over the weekend. Thank you to the organizers for having me, everyone who stopped by and all of the wonderful new people I met. It was also a great way to spread the word about FSW, and I gave out around a hundred flipbooks. I also wanted to mention that there is a new local shop called Wooden Hill (located on the end of the strip where Treasure Alley used to be, they moved next door) that just opened their doors the day of the show on Saturday. It is a great store featuring all sorts of works form local artists, and you can pick up a copy of Tunnel-Ball and a few prints there from yours truly.
I have some buttons leftover from the show that I will include with all online orders while they last.
I will have a booth at the 9th annual Westwood Art Show coming up in a few weeks. This is a spectacular event in a beautiful area that I have attended for years, and I am thrilled to be participating for the first time. I will have some 13x19" copies of this poster that I created for the show, in addition to books, prints, cards, buttons and some original artwork. Additionally, I will be promoting the Floating Shape Workshop and giving out free flipbooks while supplies last! Hope to see you there.
Here are some key dates for the Floating Shape Workshop this summer.
UPDATE: We have also since booked a workshop at the Price Hill Library on Saturday, July 22, a special flipbook workshop following the screening of "Films for Kids in Spanish / Películas para Niños en Español" courtesy of the Mini Microcinema.
Click here for the detailed full schedule including registration & sign up info. Some workshops, like the Price Hill Library event mentioned above are free and open to everyone!
I will be doing a special reading of "Tunnel-Ball" on Earth Day (April 22) in a few weeks to kick off all of the Earth Day activities at Robot Inside. It's going to be fun!
Coming up in a few weeks on April 8th is "Shelter In Place", a human rights benefit art show at the Thunder-Sky, Inc. gallery.
"Shelter in Place,’ comprised of artists and crafters from across the region, is a fundraiser for a curated group of charitable organizations. Artists and crafters will be donating 100 percent of the sales of their works to a curated group of charitable organizations. Once an artist has agreed to participate they will have a vote as to which three charitable organizations receive the funds. The charities benefiting from ‘Shelter in Place’ are organization engaged in protecting and expanding human rights such as ACLU, Lamda Legal, and Southern Poverty Law Center. Customers purchasing the art and crafts will be able to designate which of the 3 charities the money will be directed."
Here is my contribution. Hope to see you there at what should be a remarkable show for a fantastic cause.
Tomorrow is the opening reception for "Thunder-Snow", the new show at the Thunder-Sky, Inc. gallery in Cincinnati. Myself and several other local artists contributed blizzard-themed pieces in memory of heavy snowfall, other major natural events, and/or the great Cincinnati blizzard of '78. The painting that I submitted is below. I hope to see you there on Saturday (grab a delicious burrito next door at The Comet)! The opening is from 6-10 PM.
- CityBeat has graciously included the show in their "weekend to do list".
- As has Movers&Makers.
- Great article from The Enquirer.
4573 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223
My extremely hardworking, creative puppeteer pal Terrence and his Wump Mucket Puppet troupe make their PBS television debut this weekend on the season premier of Cincinnati affiliate CET's "The Art Show". I was at the filming at the Taft Museum back in August and the show and turnout was fantastic, I can't wait to see it translated on the screen. It will air on Saturday, January 7th (6PM) and Sunday the 8th (8PM). Check your local listings and try to catch it!
For whatever reason, I have never been the New Year's "resolutions" or looking back, retrospective type. As I sat down on December 31 to make this post about a new book, though, I couldn't help but to ultimately reflect on what has probably been the busiest, most productive year I have had as an artist-educator. So before I get to the book stuff, let me just take a brief minute ...
"Tunnel-Ball" was a truly awesome experience, and it's surreal that it was about ten months ago now that it was published and it seemed like I was spending much of my free time making felt pennants. The release party included the most fun book reading I have ever done to date, the book made it onto the shelves of a few of my favorite stores in the world, and even into the hands of an official MLB mascot. The most rewarding part of all, though, is just hearing the "it has been a bedtime story staple at our house" messages from friends, family, and strangers.
It was also an unexpected year of contributing a couple of pieces to gallery shows in tribute to two musicians who I had always considered massive inspirations (despite obviously bittersweet circumstances). I also did a Kreate-a-Kaiju workshop event, getting to spread my joy of city-crushing Japanese monster creatures with children and adults of all ages in a collaborative setting was simply remarkable.
Another major highlight was/is teaching the Animation Workshop, in which I am doing my best to attempt to create the type of class that I wish had been available to me when I was younger but didn't really have the resources to explore that big, confusing animation realm. I am doing my best to keep the content original, and most importantly: fun. I have big ideas for the AW, starting with gaining some new supplies and materials which should arrive before holiday break is over.
There was also this, which I hope to make in print form at some point in the new year (hopefully by September, which is ITP awareness month). It was also have a new, actual conclusion. would like to print a few copies just to give out or include with regular online store purchases.
Essentially, what I'm getting at is: thank you to everyone for their support in the past year (in any capacity, even if just briefly glancing at this right now), and now, a brief glimpse of one of the things to come in the future.
This current holiday break also means, as I originally eluded to, that I have officialy began the production of a new picture book. I have tentatively had this one in the works prior to Tunnel-Ball coming out, during the final stretch of everything being put together and sent off to the printers. However, as is typically the case, the entire story was reworked numerous times to get to what it is currently. I'm sure there will be plenty of updates here along the way, but all I will say for now is ...
- After a brief hiatus (Tunnel-Ball's b&w), the book will be in color
- It may or may not have words (!)
- There are tentative plans to have a broader scale expansion/"performance" of the book, expanding on how the T-B was done (see link to post above)
- That storyboard in the first picture gives nothing away (unless you can accurately decipher the "TBCP" acronym ... if that is even still the title by the time it comes out)
- The third picture is my brand new lightbox, which I'll mostly be using to make the book. The wooden part underneath was made by my (carpenter) father. I wanted a better solution to keeping the translucent surface underlit without just cramming a desk lamp underneath. This wood panel has a strip of longlasting LED lights that lights it up perfectly.
- Lastly, the final pic (a pencil sketch of one of the earliest pages), also gives virtually nothing away.
A few years ago, I made a post about growing up with the works of Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper. Thanks in part to things like a lavish coffeetable book of his life's work being published, Harper is no longer a secret limited to the Cincinnatians who witness his murals on downtown buildings and in ever art museum's giftshop.
That said, Harper's wife and collaborator, Edie (1922-2010), does seem to remain largely unknown. That is why I was thrilled to hear that the first ever career retrospective of Edie's just opened across the river in Covington, Kentucky: "E is for Edie".
My mind was utterly blown at all of the different mixed media pieces in this show, from works that mimic Charley's ultra-stylized animals to classic children's book-looking paintings in gouache to woven textile pieces to stylized pen & ink illustrations based on Biblical stories. Check out the slideshow below and please check out this show if you can.
"Prince Prints" ... say that 5 times fast, etc.
Now available in the online store are two 8.5x11" prints of my two Prince tribute show paintings, which are currently on display until the end of the gallery show (see this post from last week). They are $10, signed, and shipped free with the utmost care and gratitude. Just click on the "STORE" link above if you are interested. These were a lot of fun to make and would look great on your wall/shelf/wherever!
Similar to the Bowie show back in April, I contributed a couple of pieces to the Prince tribute gallery show, "The Beautiful Ones Always Smash The Picture", at the Thunder-Sky, Inc. gallery in Cincinnati. The opening reception (as well as the upstairs opening exhibit by Antonio Adams) is tomorrow (August 26) from 6-10 PM. When I dropped my work off to be hung last month, the works were just very slowly starting to trickle in, so I can't wait to go back and see the full walls. Thanks to Bill Ross, Emily Bradenhoff, and all of the fellow contributing artists ... it looks to be a really fantastic event.
Here is "Computer Blue" (a favorite track from Purple Rain), with the blue robot done in Cartoon Colour cel vinyl.
And here is "Starfish and Coffee" (a favorite from Sign o' the Times). I went through about a thousand variations for this one, and maybe I will post some of the outtakes in a separate post later. The original idea included a group of starfish holding umbrellas while coffee rain poured down out of the sky, but once I added the purple rain falling on the "Computer Blue" robot (a last minute addition), I changed things with this one and ultimately went with something really simple (but I really liked the end result). Black gouache on watercolor paper.