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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Before & After - Miss Rosa Marie is Laid to Rest

It is fun sometimes to peek behind the curtain of an artist. As a photographer and a digital artist, I often work on pieces where the transition from the first original photo up to the final rendering makes for a dramatic change. Photography sets the stage for a great piece of art. If the photo isn't interesting to start with, then the final digital art wont be either. Photography is the beginning, digital art is the end. What takes place in between are a thousand small moves. In those small moves a story emerges. Digital art is not just about sitting in front of a computer and creating fractals or anime girls with huge eyes. Its about composing a story that the audience can see in the art and add their own details to. This is why a great photo must begin the process. If I as the artist, can grasp the beginnings of a story within the photo and then let it emerge naturally into the final art, then I've done what I set out to do. But there is one more element that must be created to make it a great piece of art. That is emotion. 

Think of it this way. The story "Jack and Jill went up the hill" is just a story. Its easy to tell and probably wouldn't create a very good piece of art. There is no emotion. But if the story was "Jack and Jill started up the hill until Jack said its to high, I'm going home and went back down the hill without Jill." creates a simple emotional component to the story. The story is now more interesting because there is emotion within it. Jill is now alone on the hill. Jack is a bit of a pussy because he can't handle the walk. Emotion. Tell the story with you art, but tell the emotions also. In the piece below, the emotion is all in the title. Miss Rosa Marie the boat now takes on the human emotions of death and a final resting place. The piece is no longer just about a boat, but about a majestic old lady. Emotion. 

But as I said, its fun to show the beginning and the end so that the viewer can get an idea of what goes into the process. Here is Miss Rosa Marie.

Profitable Side Gigs for Budding Creatives - By Brittany Fisher (Guest Writer)

People getting started in the arts face a conundrum: You need a portfolio to get work and money to create a portfolio. But if you get a job to fund your portfolio development, you may not have the time to create. Whether you’re a visual artist, a landscape designer, or working in another creative field, what you need is paying work that offers a high level of flexibility so you can earn income while still leaving time for artistic endeavors.

If you’re thinking that’s impossible, think again. Gigs can provide the stable income that artists and creators need to pay their bills while pursuing opportunities in the arts. While these four gigs may not be solutions for long-term employment, they’re ideal for making it work when you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a consistent stream of paying projects.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Keys to Choosing Good Models

Good models, whether you are photographing them, sketching them or posing them for a sculpture are an invaluable resource.

Occasionally I am asked why I have such good luck with finding and working with models. Over the years I've been fortunate to have had many fantastic models grace my art. They were not always easy to find. I am very demanding of my models. They must be ready to listen, contort, focus, block out distractions and expose themselves.

A new model not only has to sit through an orientation, but they receive a printed list of instructions a mile long. They must be ready to have lights glaring in their eyes, costumes placed on their bodies and probably ripped off later and paint slathered upon their skin. 

Above all they must be patient.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Likes and Favorites on Social Media DO NOT equal great art. Just because you have 500 likes does not mean your art isn't crap. In contrast, just because you only got 1 like and it was from your mom, does not mean your art IS crap. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Even Strange For Me

I admit my work (especially sculpture) is unusual. A lot of what I do is surrealist in nature. So when I create something that seems bizarre even to my standards, then its saying a lot. 

The original intent of this piece was to use the film projector to create something akin to an archaeological dig. Building up the clay work around the projector to give the impression it had been dug out of the ground. 

But as I proceeded with the piece something just wasn't sitting right. Other artists will understand this nagging feeling that persists when a piece of art is not going the direction its meant to go. 

I let the project lag for a few weeks, just hoping I'd come to some kind of resolution on it. In fact I was so discouraged over it that I took down a tutorial I'd been posting as the piece was developed. None of it felt right. 

Then one night just before sleep, I thought I might have a clue as to what was bothering me about it. It was the concept itself. The idea of taking modern electronics and recasting them to look like ancient archaeological objects was the problem. The concept had already been explored. While I could not pinpoint the artist or artists who had explored a similar idea, I suddenly knew with a certainty that it had been done before. 

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with re-exploring art ideas. But in this case I was not contributing anything new to the concept. I was just rehashing ideas already explored. As an experimental artist, this is anathema to me. I contribute to an idea if I can through exploration add something new to the idea. 

In subsequent days I found numerous examples of the base concept to confirm my suspicions. 

Then a small kitten stepped into the equation. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Prayer For the Earth

I had a dream. Looking back from old age, I saw that Hurricane Katrina was not the storm of the century. She was not the worst we would face. She is not even as devastating as those of us who lived through her would see in future maelstroms. She was simply the first of the great storms that were to come and wreak havoc around the world. She was the earths way of saying "You didn't listen". 

Since her time, we've faced Sandy, Harvey, Maria and Florence and a whole host of others. There are worse to come. We sit idly by and watch it happen and shrug. We say "its nature". We say "Its god". We say "Its not my fault". 

As an artist, I try not to preach. I try to allow my art to speak for itself. But in this case I offer up a simple prayer of grief also. Because its going to get worse. Much worse. And we are too stupid to see it. 

Alas for these once dry lands
Tears for those who lived upon it
Curses upon those who did nothing
Hopes with those who might survive
Wishes for those them who come after
Salt for the broth that our oceans become
Peace for the ones who face the truth
Woe to the deniers who turn away from it

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Wall - An Exploration of Graffiti

"The Wall" is not one piece of art, but many. The intent is to create art that examine different themes and issues but ultimately form one solid graffiti wall. The pieces will be able to be displayed separately or as a whole. When a piece wears out it can be replaced with another. When a concept wears out, it can also be replaced. With that said, I won't be trying to explain each piece. I want the viewer to interpret them. These are complicated. Like any wall of graffiti there can often be art filled with contradicting messages. The only guide will be the name of the piece. So here are the photos for Piece #1.

American Hero

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

One of the biggest obstacles we face as creatives in this social media saturated environment is the almost overwhelming need to cater to the audience when we create something. I need more "likes". I need more "favorites". I need the instant gratification. We are suckers for an audience. Now we have one built into every studio that has access to the internet. 

Beware! Do not create for the audience. Create from within. This is the essence of great art.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Old Projectors, New Art & Space to Spread Out

One of the great things about being in the new studio is it gives me so much more room to work on things. In the old studio I was limited to a few projects at a time. In this new space I can have separate work stations for dozens of different projects. This old projector is about to become a work of art. It has its own work station now and allows me the leisure to consider the project before launching into it. I've always been a multi-tasker. But I find that art that sits a bit is better thought out. In the case of the projector, the original concept for turning it into a sculpture came to me a year ago, but I'd not acted on it knowing it would take up work space for awhile. Now I can put it out, observe it, look at it from every angle and in different light and begin to put the piece together. Surprisingly this old projector still works. Even though it was built in the 30's, the motor still runs, the light still goes on. Unfortunately the feed for the reels is shot. Its actually been used for art before. A few years back I did a fashion shoot where the model, dressed as a flapper, was photographed with the projection light on her. There was an authenticity to the shoot that would otherwise not have been there. Now its time to do something different with it. Here are a few of the photos from that shoot.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Burning Man 2018 - Low Res Art Project

The Low Res Art Project was created in order to develop techniques with low resolution video screen captures turning them into high quality art pieces.

This project began in 2016 with the Burning Man festival where we participated in doing screen captures of the festival from their remote cameras. This continued in 2017 and again continues in 2018. You can view the 2016/2017 album at:

Burning Man The Complete Album

New work will be posted here before being added to the Low Res main page. 

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 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.