Friday, September 11, 2009

Beatlemania '09

Since Beatle week is upon us, and I can't participate by getting a copy of the new set (sold out in the morning before I could even get there), I thought I'd post a couple of things I had handy (in digital form, that is) of the many I've done over the years of the the lads. I've done drawings, paintings, sculptures, construction paper cutouts and when I first got a sampler in the mid-80s, I even recorded an "original" music piece using only Beatle samples (I can't post audio yet, I still need to research where to put them first) but here's two. One goes back a ways, and the other is recent, but draws from another old one.

This first one is from 1981, one of a series I did that I brought copies of to Beatlefest that year to sell. Natural salesman that I am, I didn't move too many. There was this one of all four, and similar ones for each separately. There was also one of the picture from inside the Red/Blue albums, and one of John & Yoko with John's tale of "Jock & Yono" from the Christmas album transcribed. I need to find the originals of the others to scan them, the xeroxes don't do them justice (no wonder they didn't sell well).

And here's an advance peek at a background detail from "Money For Cheezums" and the latest work to feature the Fabbies. Some shots in the supermarket scenes will have actual products seen on shelves. To avoid any cease and desist issues, I'm opting to populate the shelves with fictional products and therefore use them to do a few throwaway gags and in-jokes. I had long ago thought of the concept of a box of molded chocolate Beatles sold as "Eat the Beatles", but since the scene where the boxes are onscreen is in the cookies/cracker aisle, I changed it to a box of cookies. To use the half shaded lighting of the Meet The Beatles cover, I made them half vanilla, half chocolate. The images are of clay models I also made in '81. I made molds to churn out copies, which I also had with me at the Beatlefest. I even sold a set to someone for $15. I used the molds to make fresh castings, took pictures, colored and texturized them to look like that kind of hard, dry, boxed cookies. A lot of work for a background element that'll only briefly flash on screen, but why not? Of course the "Meet The Beatles" cover is becoming less familiar now that they've been issuing the UK "With The Beatles" in the US all these years, but it's still known enough, I think.

So as you can see, These guys have been an influence all along for me, starting with growing up during it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Airbrush Paintings

I put up some of my airbrush illustrations on my Flickr photostream. Only three so far. They're not so easy to just scan and post, though. They require two passes on the scanner and a reassembly in Photoshop. They also weren't stored all these years in the best conditions, so there's a lot of cleanup and repair to be done.

These were done in the early Eighties, as I was teaching myself airbrushing techniques. I haven't used the airbrush for many years now, it's not so easy to set up in a small apartment. Being able to do the same basic things in Photoshop without the messy hassle of the real thing is a help, the downside being there's no actual "original" art in the end, just an easily duplicatable file.

If you've ever tried using an airbrush, you'd know how sloppy the process can get. And as much as I love thinly spreading rubber cement onto a delicate film, then slapping it on my artwork and taking an x-acto knife to it, the masking and setup makes for 80% of the process. And oh how I loved chasing my loud, chugging air compressor across the floor when it's vibrations caused it to start drifting around. And the constant flushing out of paint cups to change colors was a hoot, with paint fumes and spray cleaner mist filling the air with a chemical intoxicant. Fun stuff.

As I get the time I'll scan in some more, like my incomplete collection of SCTV character caricatures. These first 3 are among the smaller ones, though. They all took 2 passes to scan in. I'm not sure how I'd do some of the bigger ones, there may be no way to even reach the center of them. Digital camera, I guess.