I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.


The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.


This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Watchers - Luminescent Painting Technique


"Watchers was created on an old window frame using a heavy vellum as the canvas. Vellum allows light shining through from behind to come through and change the painting. In the photo above, the image on the left was taken with front light only. The image on the right was taken with the light from behind. The faeries were created on the backside of the painting, while all other colors were on the front. The result is that the evil faerie faces only show up when there is light from behind. Luminescence is all about creating art which changes depending on which direction the light falls on it. 

This piece also contains an experiment on poetic verse which was placed directly on the art and tells the story of the painting. The lines of the poem read from top left to bottom right and read as follows:



They watched with avid eyes agleam
Mischief plans and evil schemes

Whispered threats to those within
Yet not a move they made to sin

Imps from hell with hearts of black
Sure to find that one small crack

Or slip between the weathered walls
To slash and rip and tear and maul

My blood runs cold beneath their stare
My lips they mouth a mortal prayer

But simple watch is all they do
Till dawns dear light should paint the hues

O morning come, the suns light burns
Watchers flee till night returns


If you would like to learn more about luminescent art, please feel free to contact me below.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Lost in the Space of my Mind - An Artists Brainstorming Exercise

THE CUBE

The Cube is a brainstorming mind game that I've used throughout my life. It was initially created as a problem solving method that I developed for myself, but over the years its become a primary source for brainstorming and creativity. Its assisted me in developing new and unusual ideas for my art.

I begin by imagining a simple three dimensional cube in my mind. On the surface of the cube I place information about the problem I am currently trying to solve. Each side is devoted to a different aspect of the problem. Once I've filled the cube with what I know, I set it to spinning slowly in my minds eye.



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Conservation - The Tale of a Broken Sculpture (UPDATED)



Its inevitable that art will get damaged, especially when working in confined spaces. This piece was created a few years ago during my deadwood art phase. It was stored on a high shelf in the old studio and one day decided it was going to go for a walk, plummeting to the floor. Several pieces broke off and the 1 foot tile base snapped off on one end. There was little I could do for it at the time and I re-shelved it to decide later whether it was a total loss or salvageable. Now that we are in the new studio I can take some time to look over some of the damaged pieces. With this one, I examined the break points first. The breaks were clean, so I could put it back together again. But the base was a lost cause. 

The First not the Last



Our recent move to a new studio has unearthed some interesting things. The piece pictured above was the very first piece of art I created when I made the decision years ago to become an artist. My skills were all in photography. I had no formal training in art except for body painting. So it wasn't a far stretch of my imagination to take one of my abstract photos, print it and attempt to overpaint and enhance it (pictured). When I look at this piece I realize how far I've come in both my skill level and my mindset as an artist. Dedicating my life to the arts was the best decision I could ever make. This simple piece is a testament to that decision and a reminder of how all artists, whether taught in school or self taught, grow and evolve over time and what it was like to have that childlike wonder and more than a little fear in creating my first piece of art. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Hurricane Katrina - One Artists Journey Towards Landfall


In 2015, I wrote the article below on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as an hourly journey of the night before landfall and remembrances of what many of us in New Orleans were going through.

Now that it is three years later (2018) I find that many have completely forgotten. To most its just history as Hurricane Camille which came through in 1969 is now just history to us. But there are people who alive who survived both storms and will most likely survive storms coming in our future. 

In 3 years a lot can change. Even though the threat of Climate Change has been upon us for many years, I think I can say that 2018 has been the first year that its really struck home to people. Its no longer just a talking point between the left and right. Its real. From the fires in California, to the heat in the Europe, to the melting ice in the Arctic, things are changing and will continue to do so. I cannot help but think that there may come a time when I update this article again but I am doing so from somewhere else because the city I call home is no longer above sea level. Where will you be? 

I am updating this about a week before the 2018 anniversary and may add notes to it on the actual anniversary. I plan on creating a small shrine in our new back yard for the night of the anniversary. I will add photos of it then.

~Grey~

Friday, August 10, 2018

Where the Artists Mind Takes Us


Our minds can take us to very strange places. This happens to us all. But artists have the ability to share what we see. 

When I let my mind truly wander, I am always amazed at where it takes me. Sometimes its so complex that I can become lost in the vision. What feels like only a few moments, ends up being hours. I am not really here at all, but very far away, where time flows differently.

Where is this place I see tonight? I wish I knew. But as I slip back to this mortal plain of existence once more, I can still hear the whispers of the sand in my ears and smell the electric charge of the dunes beneath my feet. 

I return regretfully, but before me is the vision brought to life in the art my hands created while my mind wandered on this desert night. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Getting From Here to There

Before
I thought all of you might like to see a before and after shot for one of the pieces being created in the new studio. The setup for this piece was pretty simple. There was more work put into the lighting for the final photo than the setup itself. There are lights within the chest as well. This is an experimental piece. The skeleton is actually standing in for a model who will be posed with the chest later in the month. The substitution allows me to consider the lighting and positioning carefully, long before the model is actually here. To come up with this one final image (below) I took about 30 different photos, choosing the best of the set. Over the coming week a number of different poses will be considered and noted. 

This is what I mean when I say that digital art is not always just done with a computer program. There are a lot of other aspects that the viewer never see's in the finished work, but which make the image come alive. 

After

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Need to Just Create




Some days are so hectic that if you don't take time to just stop and create you burn yourself out. 

During a recent move to a new studio and home, I was surprised to find that instead of resting when I could, I needed to find a safe space which I could create in, even though most of my supplies were still boxed up. 

Just the act of refocusing my mind and my body on my art instead of on the move was more revitalizing than any nap could give me. 

Don't Beat a Dead Horse - Art That Frustrates




ART RULE: Steer clear of learning new art just because you feel you must learn it. 

I learned long ago to stay far afield of trying to create art that is just going to frustrate the hell out of me. Part of this is my anal mind. I can't stand to create something that in my minds eye is not as perfect as I can get it.

At one point early in my art career I had made a determination to conquer as many kinds of art as I could. As an experimental artist it only seemed natural to say I could create art that ranged from abstract to architectural and everything in between.

It took me maybe six months of constant frustration to realize that just wasn't going to work. Don't get me wrong, I am not proposing eliminating any kind of growth as an artist by no longer challenging yourself. But face it, we can't be everything that we imagine we would like to be in our minds.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Signs & Meanings


Here is the finished gate sign for the new studio. I wanted something really different for signage and decided to create a graffiti wall for it. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Transformation - Creating an Outdoor Studio Space


I've spoken a lot about the building of the new art/photography studio. But I've not mentioned the outside studio yet. One of the things about this new space is that its very deep. For those not familiar with New Orleans homes, they are often built one room after the other and stretch back, rather than out. This one has six large rooms and two bathrooms stretching back room after room. While this place does not have one, often these homes have what's called Camel-back on the far end where a second floor is often built. 

One of the other peculiarities of New Orleans homes is they often have a lot of private space outside that encompasses courtyards and private spaces. With this home, there is a double-wide (pictures above) alleyway that stretches along one side. At the front is a raised porch and the front door. In the alley (behind me in the photo) is a raised side door which will become the private entrance for the studio. Further back the alleyway narrows and then opens up yet again eventually connecting with a private backyard. 

So what you see above is a double alleyway which is about 10 feet wide and approximately 150 deep. This area will be transformed into an outdoor studio space. On the right will be shelves and working surfaces. Once we get the junk out of it, the left side will be for large projects that require space to build. If you can envision it with crisscrossing lights to give it atmosphere and light it up, you can kind of get an idea what I want to do with it. 

While New Orleans is hot right now, come October, the temps will change radically and we will have beautiful temps straight through till the following May. It will make a fantastic working area. I'd like to eventually install an outside sink for cleanings brushes and materials and perhaps an awning for when the weather gets hot again.

The indoor studio is already three times the size of my last studio. But when you add the square footage of this outdoor area, it becomes huge, multipurpose space where not just myself but interns who will be working on projects here. 

More photos when we begin to really put it together and light it up! 


This is the first shot showing the outside studio lit up and better organized. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Urban Decay Sculpture #6 - Creating the Sky Tower Ruin (Steps 1 & 4)

This massive 10 foot high sculpture will be reminiscent of the Seattle Space Needle. Once the basic structure is built, an aging process will begin to turn it into an urban ruin for the Dystopia Project.


The process for creating these is done in stages. The first stage, as you see here, is merely putting the foam together like a big puzzle. Searching out shapes that work well for the overall composition. Once that is complete, then the pieces will be formed together and the whole structure put on a weighted base. Details will be carved into it using a heat pen. From there an aging process will be done using a heat gun to turn it from a pristine tower and into an urban ruin. After that the real details can be created and graffiti added to the whole piece. You can follow along here as each step is created. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fear


"Fear" is an experimental graffiti piece created for the Dystopia Project. It was created using a piece of styrofoam mounted on a 4' x 2' canvas. The foam was heated to created a mottled surface similar to bricks and cut using a heated styrofoam pen. The fixtures were old metal parts sealed to the foam. The chain is plastic, mafe from a broken strand of Mardi Gras beads.  The spider is a simple Halloween spider, painted black and red to mimic a black widow spider. The surrounding canvas has two layers. The first is a sand layer, the second a cracked glass layer. Both were added using a spray adhesive to create a real looking building surface.