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

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. 

Dystopian Body Model - Test Shoot



As the Dystopian Project proceeds, I decided I wanted to bring some body models in who could pose with some of the sculptures. My concept was for models who were willing to work over the next year or so with the project as it proceeds. I was fortunate to get a fantastic model with experience right away. He came in this week for his test shoot and I was very pleased with both the images and the professionalism of the model. I think it will be a good pairing of talents and I look forward to having back in the new studio next month to begin posing with the actual sculptures. What you see here are not related to Dystopia, but are finished images from his test photos. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What is Dystopia? The New Orleans Art Activism Sculpture Project



Imagine a city left to ruin. Its walls a hollow testament to the life that once lived and thrived upon its streets. Its buildings are covered in the last frantic words and images of the street artists and graffiti makers who stood as the final recorders of its fate. You are its final tourist. You alone walk its streets and see its messages. You are the final witness to the troubles the people of this city faced. Only you can set aside the war, the hate, the savagery and see the deeper meanings left here. Do you do so? Or do you turn your back and walk away to find your way back to the sunshine streets of your dreams, far from reality?

This is Dystopia.

Sacred Spaces - The Artists Workplace



I had an interesting discussion with an artist a while back about the aesthetics of the artists studio. On one visit he noted that I had a bunch of candles burning throughout the room and wondered why I would light so many and was it religious in nature?

In a way it is religious, but not in the way he was thinking. The sanctity of the studio makes the artists workplace as holy as any church or cathedral. Creativity is the closest that, I believe, we can come to the true nature of our spiritual being. 

I explained this to him, but I also took time to explain the importance of the aesthetics of an artists workplace for conducting business. For me the candles create a very special feel that guests instantly sense when they enter. There is an other worldliness to this space that it is important to me to impart to those who visit.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

From Junk to Art



In order to go from recycled junk to true art there must be a fundamental transition. Simply finding an old car fender and standing it on end and calling it art does not make it so. If the fender is painted gold  the transition process has begun. Is it good art? Probably not, but it can now be classified as art. How far you take it is how far into the art world it transitions.

There is an exception. If the concept is truly unusual and never before attempted. Marcel Duchamps "Fountain" urinal was art because it had never been done before. But it only works once. To do so now after so many others have done the same just makes it another urinal.

On the other hand, if you take the transition too far it may also revert back to junk. For example, if you take your car fender, add glitter, stick it in a pot with some dirt and call it a Fender Plant, it is still art. But if you then add all sorts of other car parts and stick them in the dirt with it to the point where it becomes clumsy then its just a bunch of car parts. It can lose its effect as art and revert back to junk.