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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Studio Face for a New Year

Click to Enlarge

I've labored hard for this one. The new driftwood sculpture is up in front of the studio finally and the new little free library has a new lighting so its more user friendly at night. While the garden is a little slipshod right now because of a few cold snaps we've had, it should look stunning once it warms up again. We are now one week from twelfth night which is the traditional beginning of Carnival season. Fat Tuesday is early this year, falling on February 9th, which means the Mardi Gras parades begin soon. For a few weeks the neighborhood will be transformed as the parades pass 4 blocks from the studio. I plan (as weather permits) to do several outdoor pop-up galleries on parade nights. We live in a pretty wonderful place!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Image of the Day - The Assurian Matrix

Several months ago I dragged home from the Mississippi River a 200 pound piece of Cypress driftwood shaped like a mastadon tusk. This piece was meticulously sanded down, buffed, varnished, and sealed, returning it to its original dark red luster. It was incomplete though. The piece you see above was originally rainbow colored and hung in the overhang of the studio porch. I'd been doing some moving around and set the two pieces next to each other and realized they were meant to be together.

So tonight was the final stages in this large sculpture. The Cypress wood was mounted in a vat containing 80 pounds of concrete and the piece above went through its final repainting stages and a polyurethane applied to seal it. Tomorrow the two pieces shall finally come together in the studio garden until such time that it is moved to some buyers home. I look forward to the final steps tomorrow. Photos to follow for sure!

The Cypress driftwood held in place until the cement dries

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Balancing Act - Using Foaming Glue in Art

In the kind of sculpture I work with, glue is of vital importance. I talk a lot about using foaming glue. The "Solitude" piece is a good example of foaming glue in action. Each piece in the sculpture has to be laid in individually. It has to be balanced precisely where I want it and then a mechanism found that keeps that piece in place and position until the foaming glue at its base dries.

The tricky part is that once its placed and the glue is added, then there is a tiptoe walk that commences in the studio until the glue is firm enough to hold the piece on its own. This usually entails about 20 minutes of gently closing doors and mincing around the room to avoid vibrations that may knock it over. Its a house of cards until the glue sets. None of the 15+ pieces on the sculpture could be laid together. All of them had to be set separately and left to dry. 

Are You Playing it Safe With Your Art?

Anyone that knows me, knows also that there are some forms of art that I am a pompous overblown ass about and feel that any artist who partakes in them is doing nothing but showing their lack of creative imagination.

These include (in no particular order), still life paintings of fruit and flowers, paintings of well known personages (notably Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hendrix and that horrible fellow from Breaking Bad) and lastly tiny babbling brooks, forests, beach scenes, overused nature locations.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that the artists that work in these areas are not good artists. In fact I think the opposite is true. I think in most cases they are incredibly talents artists who for whatever reasons aren't ready to branch out to truly creative pieces of work. Some seem afraid to try areas of art that are risky. For some its a financial reason because they make a bit of money off this tripe. For others its because "they feel" they have no ideas other than reproducing the things that artists have always produced. It worked for the artists of the sixteenth century, so it has to work for me.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Image of the Day - My Sweet Marie

This image is part of the Revenant Cycle. I received a note from a fan asking more about this piece. They found it confusing as to the message it was imparting. They saw a spirit mourning the dead and could not understand why the dead would be sad over the dead. Wouldn't they be together? 

This is a lost spirit. He is standing before the grave of his dead wife who has passed over into the spirit world. He is unable to make the crossing and remains lost in the physical world yearning for his wife. 

All of the images in the Fourth Vision of the Revenant Cycle are about a spirit left behind. I may need to add commentary to this set at some point but for now I like to leave it up to the viewer to interpret what they see.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Artists Creating a Body of Work (Show Prep 101)

I admit I have a headstart to the process that began six months ago when I started working with driftwood. It is logical that I should go into overdrive for the next 3 months in order to create some phenomenal sculpture work to go along with the pieces already created. I've not had to put a lot of thought into it because I already had the concept and some of the work created. Now its time to put my best creativity forward to complete enough pieces to form a show around.

I've always created work in series but its not necessarily been a conscious act. I am an experimental artist at heart and when I find something new to explore I usually do so for a period of time that allows me to really get a grasp on what I am creating. So 6 months or a year later I've compiled a body of work involved in that particular technique. I think this is important for new artists to note because the experts will tell you to focus on the same thing over and over again. I tend to disagree. Be as diverse as possible yet bring that diversity back towards one technique for a time. And when you tire of that technique then move on. This creates bodies of work that use that technique.

I am fond of taking a technique learned and then blending it into an earlier technique to create again something new. This is in essence the heart of Assimilation Art. The constant regurgitation of something new from something old and the blending of ideas over and over again to always produce something new.

One of the end results is that you always have a body of work that encompasses diversity but commonality.

So I will be using driftwood as that common element and technique for this body of work. In planning out pieces for this I will not rely on the same techniques but to try and create as diverse as possible a series of pieces that show the driftwood medium in as many forms as I possibly can before March.

So lets talk about some of the pieces already completed and which may end up in the show.

This is the Assurian Matrix. It will undoubtedly be one of the centerpiece sculptures for the show due to its size. It is very heavy and very large. At its peak it is 6 feet high. Because we have access to a large courtyard for the show, this will be a perfect center piece for it. It is not yet completed but 80% is done. Another week and it will be ready.

This is Bedlam. It is 5 feet high on a 2 foot tile base. It was just completed and I consider it the first of the new pieces that will be part of the show.

These are a whole series of smaller sculptures created with driftwood. You can see the diversity in each which makes them perfect for this show.

So these are just a few examples of already completed work. Now the real task is to continue on this path for the next several months. My goal is to finish up by February 1st on the actual building. My guess is that after that time I will be too busy to much into actual creating. But we shall see.

You can keep track of posts directly related to the show by watching for posts tagged as SHOW PREPARATION. I hope other artists will follow and pick up information helpful for putting together their own shows and welcome comments and suggestions as we move along towards March.

This series is continued in article #2 - Creating a Team

Image of the Day - Solitude

It is my tradition to post work in progress photos of each piece I create and establish a separate step by step page for each. But the clock is now ticking in the studio for a show I am doing at the end of March. For a time I am going into overdrive on creating a new body of work during the coming months prior to show. With that in mind I will not be posting as many step by step pages until this show is over in order to dedicate myself to this body of work. So in loo of that, I will be posting some Work in Progress photos to the image of the day pages and attempt to explain what I am doing along with each. 

The above image is the first taken for the newest piece entitled "Solitude". It is 2 feet long by a foot high and made of a center giant holding up the structure around him. It will be made with driftwood, which is the substance of preference for this new body of work. Please post questions if you wish, I'll be happy to answer them. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Image of the Day - The Prow of the Slave Ship Elissa

This is actually a companion piece to another piece done several months back. The original concept for the first piece was the haunting presence of a dead Maori slave that haunted the slave ship Elissa. In my minds eye the Elissa was a cursed ship with more than just the presence of the dead. Here is the figurehead at the prow of the Elissa, her head stretched in pain and agony. She is as much a spirit of the dead as the ghosts who haunt her.  I've included the original piece at the end of this post.

For history on the above piece, the woman was a model I photographed years ago. She was actually reclining on an antique couch when I shot the original photo. This one was one of the rare occasions where I used no body paint on the model. This particular photo stood out because I accidentally inverted it and took note how much the pose looked like the prow of a ship. The ship itself in the background is a tall ship photographed here at the Port of New Orleans a few years ago. By combining the two as I did with the original piece (below), I was able to bring the new piece into sync with the older. 

The Artist and the Hidden Enigma

We just got back from seeing the newest installment in the Star Wars series. No this is not about the movie although I will say it was freaking awesome.

Its about something that was very noticeable to this artist. People like minutia. They like tiny details that they are not sure others catch. The more simplistic something is the easier it can be forgotten. Detail is something that makes Star Wars so successful. Its not just great effects but great attention to details of the past and setting the framework in place for details that will occur in the future.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Image of the Day - Bedlam 2.0

Its funny how the subconscious can pick up details before the conscious ever does. Last night I set the orbs in place on the Bedlam sculpture. It had been resting on its side so I had no clear idea of how it would look until it was raised back up. 

Instantly something looked off to me. I thought it was the orbs at first, but the more I looked at it the more I liked the orbs and suddenly felt like the sculpture itself sucked. It hadn't prior to adding the orbs but it sure looked off after.

I brooded about it all day. I'd come in and stare at it for a few minutes then go off in disgust. Then this evening it hit me. It wasn't the orbs, or the wood. It was the color being used. I'd applied a base of gold with a vague copper limning of the wood. Basically what my subconscious had picked up on was that the orbs were now much more tremendous looking than the rest of the sculpture.

I knew instantly that the color had to change in a very subtle way. The whole sculpture needed to be brought into sync with the orbs. So I composed a pallet of 7 metallic colors that most resembled the colors in the orbs and set off to blend all 7 together and repaint the whole structure. 

The results surpassed my expectations. The photo above doesn't do it nearly enough justice. The blending of the 7 colors created stunning glow that makes the sculpture almost look like its on fire in the right light. 

Sometimes its necessary to redo areas that don't look right. If we trust our instincts they will almost always steer us in the right direction to create the best art possible. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Uncouth Artist

We went to lunch today at the very posh and extravagant New Orleans restaurant Commanders Palace. While my partner spent a great deal of his life in high quality restaurants, I have not. At 50 years old I've had very little experience with places such as this. If you asked me if I'd like the Duck Confit, I'd want to know why the duck deserved any comfort at all (yeah only certain people will get that joke). We laugh off my lack of knowledge of the finer things in life. I fake it well and I always let him order for me so I don't mess up the pronunciations.

I am not refined, But while I take a light hearted approach to such things I got thinking while I ate my roasted pear soup that this is a deeper issue. There are a lot of artists out there that are neither good at small talk, or comfortable in a high class situation. Some can bluff their way through it, but its not easy for some.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Image of the Day - Bedlam

This hulking 5 foot high piece of driftwood started out life as a piling. After years of floating around in the Mississippi River it came to rest in a convenient spot for me to retrieve it and bring it back to the studio. 

After much cleaning, sanding and grit removal the remaining structure was still strong. I suspect that the piling had an overlay of tar on it once which inhibited the piece from rotting through. Instead this intaglio or lines and crevices was created.

The piece was mounted on a 2' x 2' heavy tile base. This photo shows the piece at about 50% completion. I've decided to do very little to it because its naturally just so beautiful. But I do have a few plans in store for it now that its been painted gold. I'll post again when it nears completion. You can see an earlier view of it here taken when it was first brought in.

Image of the Day - Never to Forget

This piece is dedicated to my dear friend Yaakov Teitelbaum. He was the first model for the Revenant Series and one of the most impressive people I've ever met. After a recent letter from him concerning some serious health concerns I felt compelled to put this piece together to remind him that he is a true inspiration.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Image of the Day - Scenes from the Phantasm Zoo #1

Conceptual art for a new series I am considering. The concept of a spirit zoo is something that fascinates me. It may take several visits to Audubon Zoo to get enough material to put a whole series together but could make for some interesting imagery. I am never one for just taking a normal photo. My mind always wants to warp it and turn it into something different. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Image of the Day - Old Wood

I was surprised this morning when I went to hunt driftwood by the edge of the Mississippi River that the water level in just a week had risen to the point where the area I descend into down the levee was completely under water. I'd expected it but was still amazed that it had happened so quickly and at a time where at least here in New Orleans we'd gotten little rain in the past few months.

But there it was, flooded under and swamping even the trees. But while I was not able to retrieve much usable driftwood, I was able to find this one large piece. Measuring almost 5 feet high, I can only guess by its squared off base that it was once a piling of some kind. But the beautiful rotted design along its length made it a given that it would come back to the studio with me. 

The challenge for this piece will be how to mount it. Its big enough that my usual tile bases will not be adequate enough. But I'll find something that works. 

It is always an amazement to me how I can find a piece of debris such as this and know instantly that it can and will become a piece of art at some point. 

The Evolution of the Artist - Understanding Our Own Development

A recent conversation with a friend and fellow artist prompted a few thoughts on the evolution of what makes an artist. Its hard for us to step back and look at our careers in a thoughtful way. But each of us goes through a series of stages in our development as an artist, that for some often begins long before they even see themselves as artists. 

For me, I often note my decision to retire from photography and become a visual artist five years ago as a turning point for me. A moment where I consciously made a decision to be what my mind perceived to be "a real artist". 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Decisions of the Starving Artist

I've written before about the illusions people have about starving artists. The fantasies people make in their minds when they hear the term are usually pretty false. They never consider the decisions that have to be made on a daily basis. They consider an artist to have a lifestyle, rather than art being their life. Its something they can drop at any time and go back to a better way of life. And they never ever consider the depression that goes along with struggling each day and fearing that you may lose the one thing in your life that gives it meaning. Your art. 

Because an artist is poor, does this mean they are bad artists? Does it mean that any artist who is poor and struggling also creates inferior work? 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Image of the Day - Night Video of the Studio

I was asked recently to take some video of the studio. I'm admittedly not too good with video, but for what its worth I put together this short piece that includes the outside as well as the inside. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Image of the Day - Executioner of Light

My first feeling when I finished this piece and went to name it was that this was a being of light and power and majesty. But also very deadly. The colors should not decieve. There is danger here as well as beauty.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Image of the Day - Brainstorm

Click to Enlarge

This somewhat odd abstract began its life as three separate images. Two were taken in Audubon Park of trees. The third was an image taken of one of my body paintings several years ago. By merging the three together the resulting image felt like my brain feels so often as an artist. An explosion of color that leaps from my brain with tentacles weaving through the spaces of my head.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mind Altering Drugs in Art

Recently several national publications ran articles about tech industry employees using LSD Microdoses to boost their energy and creativity levels. Inevitably after I reposted these stories several people asked me if I had tried LSD or if not what drugs I did use.

It seemed a natural conclusion of colleagues that I had to take drugs in order to produce art at the rate that I so often work at. One person said he'd just been too shy to ask me prior to my posting the articles and that he figured it was my subtle way of saying "drugs help!"

Image of the Day - The Ghost in the Soda Shop Mirror

I took this image a few nights ago while walking through the small town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I fell in love with this quaint semi-lit soda shop with the original counters from the 1940's. But it left with me with a ghostly feeling when I passed it by. When I brought the image up today my original intention was to give it a surreal impression as if looking back in time. But I kept seeing the faint outlines of a face in the mirror behind the counter and decided that the face needed to be brought out further resulting in this final image.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

In Consideration of the Dark Side of Creativity

When I was in my early 20's the mother of my then wife said in a conversation about me "You know, he'd be much better off if he didn't think so much"

She might have been right. I really didn't understand my mind well enough then. But I knew enough that if I just stopped thinking about things and went with the flow of a middle class life I might have been a lot happier. Or that was my logic at the time.

I'd seen my own mother suffer with depression, suicide attempts and a loss of how to cope with the normalcy of life. Her own type of madness I have no doubt stemmed from both her creativity and her inability to express that creativity in any way that meaningfully mattered.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Few Tips on an Effective Online Art Portfolio


There is an amazing selection of articles out there regarding what constitutes an effective portfolio of your work. For the sake of this article I will be referring to an effective "online" portfolio only and what gets the attention of others that may otherwise pass by your work.

It is a simple fact that if you can get a person to look at you once, you can get them to look again. Its that first look that is often the most difficult because if you don't capture their imagination right away, the chances of catching it later are all the more difficult.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

You'd better be a Damned Creative Reporter to Interview an Artist

I am known for being a news hawk. I monitor news on a vast number of subjects daily. I'm not kidding you, I get approximately 500 email news alerts daily (thank you google news alerts). Of course a predominance of them relates directly back to art and every aspect pertaining to the art world.

One of my biggest peeves are news stories about artists. I am constantly amazed at how little regard reporters put into stories about artists and their work. First is the fact that most stories don't even show the artists work. They describe their work in blunt cliches that sound like they've been used in every story the reporters ever written. If the story warrants a photo its a small, blurry image that I frankly find insulting. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nosferatu The Ghost Ship (Sculpture Tutorial)

I often talk about brainstorming and the technique called "cubing". The piece of art I am going to describe here comes directly from that technique. So you might want to check out this article first (Lost in the Space of My Mind)

Part #1 The Brainstorm

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Destroying the Mark of the Beast - An Artist Saying Goodbye to His Art

About a year ago, when I was first beginning to work with architectural shapes in sculpture I took on an immense project. The creation of an 8 foot by 4 foot canvas replica of a cityscape. The finished piece had 86 structural components. Each one took from 2 days to a week to complete before being added to the whole. Approximately 450 hours of work went into its completion. 

A Public Letter of Termination to one of my Emerging Art Interns

This is to inform you that you are being released from the intern program for Grey Cross Studios. You were asked to participate because of your enthusiasm to make the arts a permanent part of your life and what was seen as a commitment to learn.

Telling me once that you were tired and needed to reschedule your session was acceptable as a "one time" reason for not attending. Telling me a second time that you were too tired a half hour after your session was supposed to begin and after you'd already rescheduled that session due to rain was not only unacceptable but plainly shows that while your heart may be strong to become an artist, your commitment was not. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Art of Art Deconstruction

We learn a lot from creating a piece of art. Every masterpiece we make teaches us valuable information about our skill level and teaches us new things with every brush stroke. But we rarely consider what we might learn by un-creating art. 

Let me give you an example. About a year ago I decided to create a cemetery sculpture. The plan was to create a replica of a New Orleans above ground cemetery on a six foot by 4 foot canvas. I used a frame from a large canvas given to me by a friend. I stripped the old canvas off and replaced it with fresh canvas, and I was off and running. After about 200 hours of work I'd created about 70% of the cemetery complete with tombs, stones, memorials, angel sculptures and all the other amazing things found in a New Orleans cemetery.

What is Site Specific Art? "How Do I" The Art of Being an Artist

Many artists work with studio created art. They have little knowledge or understanding of "site specific art" and how it impacts society and is used not just for beautification but also to teach or carry activist messages. A better knowledge of site specific art can be beneficial to every artist. Here are some helpful links to find out more

Wikipedia - Site Specific Art

Site Specific Art Youtube Examples

Why “Site-Specific” Isn’t So Specific

Site specific art

Site-specific art/Environmental art Pioneered in U.S

Site Specific Art 

Site-Specific Art Background

"How Do I" is created to help artists find helpful links to subjects that may be of interest to their careers as artist. If you would like to suggest a subject or add additional helpful links, you can do so at the end of this post. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Image of the Day - The Blood Oak

Click to Enlarge and View the Face Close Up

This charming fellow is called the Blood Oak. he is an experimental prototype sculpture. The intent was to create a driftwood sculpture creature who was half tree. He's not complete yet but I'm pleased with him so far. He uses natural clay to form the base and face over a piece of cypress driftwood. The arms were created by drilling a hole through the wood and extending a heavy gauge piece of wire which was then covered in clay. Foaming glue was then used to seal the piece together and to create a series of drips. There were four layers of foaming glue, each left to dry partially before adding another until the drip had the proper length. I suspect that if I do future pieces in this series that each will develop distinct personalities that are based on the shape of the driftwood. Its an interesting experiment in form.

He will most likely be merged into the Revenant Series and become part of the mythos of that series along with future brothers and sisters. 

Artists Should Always Experiment

When I create, I enjoy working in a particular area for a time before moving on. When I got very involved in wax art for a time, I experimented continuously until I felt I'd really mastered the technique. Everything around me became about wax work. When I was in my luminescent phase I went as far as to completely retool the studio in order to maximize my experimentation's.

In the past year my shift turned towards smaller sculptural works. I'd spent 3 years focusing on nothing but huge canvas pieces. So of course turning towards smaller sculptures once again everything in the studio had to be retooled. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"How Do I" The Art of Being an Artist - What is your Digital Footprint

What is your digital footprint and why is it important to artists? Your digital footprint is your virtual identity. Its the combination of all you have done and said online. Artists who can understand this have an edge over artists who don't. Artists who understand that their digital footprint will exist long after they are dead can control their footprint more effectively. I've written about this in past articles, so I am including those in this list of helpful links to understand your digital footprint better. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Image of the Day - Blood Magic

Click to Enlarge

The Fifth Vision of the Revenant Cycle uses blood as part of several of the images. This one takes it to the extreme. Its a very phallic and I think that's one of the reasons the image works. The pulsing of phallic blood is transformed within the wood that the guardian carries with him. This is one of those images that also shows much more detail when its enlarged.

To view all the images so far created in the Fifth Revenant Cycle click the link

Your Art Blog Fails Because Its Just Your Art

Over and over again the experts say that the most popular art blogs are the ones that provide content, not just your art.

For some artists this seems like backwards thinking. "Why would I create an art blog that isn't about my art?" I think that's where the mistake is being made. You can create good content and show your art at the same time. Its all a matter of balance. Balancing your personal content with more generalized content is the key.

Consider that when you look at an artists portfolio that all you see is that artists work. That's the purpose of a portfolio. There is little else. And while you might be a fan of that artist it can grow boring pretty fast. And unless that artist is producing a prodigious amount of work on a weekly basis, it probably doesn't even get updated all that often. People lose interest.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Creativity Does not Just Happen - Artists Learning to Create Ideas

I get asked a lot of questions about creativity. How or why do particular ideas happen? Is it easy or difficult to find new art concepts? How can you create 10 sculptures in a month without burning out your creativity? And most important "What is your process???"

So lets talk about process. First of all its important to understand that I don't consider myself an artist with ideas. I consider myself an idea man who translates those ideas into art. With that in mind, the technique of art is not the most important aspect of my work. Its the idea first. And translating that idea into art second. 

Whats the difference you may ask? The difference is all in the mindset. I walk into the studio looking to take an idea or concept and bring it to life. The harder the idea is to translate, the more enticing it is for me. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Icy Hand of Politics in the Art World

Its only been in the past few years that I really began paying attention to the worlds art scene. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed is aware that I post articles of interest related to the arts from all over the world. I do it to inform others, but primarily I do it for myself. Its my way of educating myself on the trends and directions of the art world. I've always felt that since I was a self taught artist I could not speak informatively unless I understood art better. I don't mean the history of art but more the "currents".

I've always tried to stay informed on a great many subjects throughout my life. I have a grand passion in particular for politics. Not for arguing politics or even taking specific sides, but just watching the trends and directions that politics take globally.

So it was natural to merge the two together and begin watching how politics effect art and how art can effect politics.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Fate of Your Art is as Unpredictable as the Weather

Weather is an uncontrollable force of nature. Unless you control absolutely every facet of it, then it remains unpredictable. Anything can happen. 

Your art is the same way. Think about it. You can control some of the factors early on by how you create your work, the message you place within it and the techniques you use to build it. Like weather prediction, the closer you are to the point of origin the easier it is for you to predict. But once its let lose, you have no way to predict it or gauge its impact in any other way except by looking at past factors that influences other pieces of art similar to it.

You can predict your arts course in the first few days, but after that its like predicting a hurricane two years from now. Its impossible. So why do so many artists seek to control their work long after its left their hands? 

"How Do I" The Art of Being an Artist - What is Experimental Art?

I find that many artists have a vague understanding of what Experimental Art is. Also called Avant-garde. I admit its a very difficult subject to find information about. Here are a few links put together to better inform you on this intriguing aspect of the art world. I will add to the list as more information is found.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Image of the Day - The Revenant Crystal

It was from this one piece, originally created approximately 4 months ago that has spawned an amazing array of art that includes sculptures, paintings, digital art and body art. 

For anyone following the Assimilation Art movement, this was what began the whole process. I've included the chart below to show how one piece of art can lead to many.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Image of the Day - The Spirit Forge

This is how artistic obsessions begin, with a single piece of cypress driftwood a few months ago, to large complex driftwood sculptures such as the Spirit Forge. This piece uses seven pieces of cypress to create the appearance of standing stones rather than wood.

To see complete info on the piece click here: The Spirit Forge

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Art Influencers

I've looked at every side of who and what an artist is and what makes some artists popular and others not. From Da Vinci 600 years ago to Ai WeiWei in the present times, these masters of their craft share one commonality. They are influencers in the world of art. Almost without exception the most popular artists throughout time influenced the art world around them.

Lets look at Da Vinci first. Here was a man who was an ingenious artist. There is no doubt that his mind was filled with ideas every moment of his life. But would those ideas have ever been seen if the man hadn't also been a great influence on the art world at that time. He carved a niche for himself where almost everyone respected him and his name rose because he forced the art world towards new ideas. Yes it was his art that first and foremost made him who he was, but it was also the mans intellect and how he moved amidst the world of the Renaissance that brought him to prominence. In many ways he was the Renaissance. He embodied it within his beliefs.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trapped Within a Maelstrom of Muses

On some nights I feel trapped within a maelstrom of muses. I am not sure its something I can ever fully express. Its almost like my mind gets caught in a hurricane of ideas where the mental winds are a gale force and every thought leads to another and another until everything is a blur. Every thought contains within it the seeds of an idea for artistic expression to the point where I literally get lost within it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"How Do I" The Art of Being an Artist - What is Metamodernism

What is Metamodernism and how does it interact and stand apart from past periods in art such as expressionism and impressionism?

How One Piece of Public Art Can Destroy the Artist

In the past few years there has been a lot of public criticism over a statue of Lucille Ball done in bronze in her home town. I must admit that the poor statue is hideous. Recently the city decided it was time to put evil Lucy away and replace her with a newer version by a new artist. 

One of the things I found interesting about the controversy was how hard it was to even find out the original artists name. It was almost like the city sought to bury or remove the artists very mention. Upon a bit of research I did eventually find his name and took a look at his website. I found his work to actually be very well executed. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Explorations Into the Art of the Graphic Novel

Until recently, graphic novels as an art form really held little interest for me. Part of this was from lack of education on my part. I'd only seen graphic novels that seemed like nothing more than cluttered comic books.

I felt like I was not giving the art form a chance and added it to my news service so that I would receive a regular flow of information about this genre of art.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"How Do I" The Art of Being an Artist - Understanding Arts Residencies

Many newer artists are not aware of what an "Artist Residency" is or how many opportunities exist in this area for artists to strengthen their skills. Here are some of the more helpful links available on the subject. Also follow hashtag "ArtistsCall" on Twitter to find Artist Residencies coming available.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Image of the Day - Oberon's Fortress Afire

This was lit with a simple red and orange Halloween strobe light purchased for $10.00. Its given me inspiration to go out and buy a second one and see if I can attach it to the underside of the next driftwood sculpture to light it from within.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Playboy and the Demise of the Artistic Nude

You would think a gay man would have no stake in the debate of whether Playboy should have discontinued its photography of women. But as an artist who is an advocate for the beauty of the human body in every form and every gender, it matters a great deal to me.

I Am Not an Art Educated Man

A recent conversation with one of my interns left me thinking about education. We were discussing the differences between expressionism and impressionism when he said "I don't get what your saying. You were educated in these things, I wasn't."

But I wasn't either and I told him so. I have no reservations about telling people that anything I know about art I found out on my own. I attended no school, read no large volumes about the history of art. I never learned technique or why you use one brush instead of another. I could care less if I get Manet and Monet mixed up.

Sometimes we get way too caught up in labels and learning to the point where it biases us against those who come by their knowledge merely by teaching themselves.

The Art of Being an Artist - Learning About the Visual Artist Rights Act

Many artists are not even aware of the existence of the United States Visual Artist Rights Act (VARA). This is a law that all artists should be aware of and how it relates to their work. Even if it does not apply directly to your art it is always wise to have firsthand knowledge of all laws applying to artists. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Image of the Day - The Revenant Doorway

This is a prototype sculpture for the Revenant series of art. Read about it here:

The Revenant Doorway

Showcase Artist - Myck Mtika

Myck is the first of our new showcase artists. Please check out more of his work on Twitter or on his Facebook page at:

Artist: Myck Mtika - Fine Artist
Email: artmyck87@gmail.com
Location: Mzuzu, North Malawi
Twitter: @Art_Myck
Mediums: Oil, acrylics and mixed media.

I am a painter based in the northern part of Malawi. I'm more focused at displaying my skill and use of materials within my environment such as fabric, tree bark etc. I believe everything around me is a motivation in its own kind. I also like interacting with fellow artists from all walks of life, it helps me deepen my skill.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Image of the Day - This Terrible Death

The Fourth Vision of the Revenant Cycle

The photo work for this session is almost complete. The Fifth Vision of the Revenant Cycle begins on October 17th.

The Art of Being an Artist - How Do I Ship Art?

This is a question a lot of artists have. Now that shipping internationally is an every day occurrence, many artists are not really sure how to do it. So we've compiled some links from the experts to help you out and some services that specialize in this area.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Image of the Day - Cypress Driftwood Sculpture

This is a very large piece of Mississippi River cypress driftwood brought in yesterday to the studio. It will soon become part of a large sculpture. To read about it click here:

Mississippi Driftwood Project

When an Art Idea is Just Plain Dumb

Okay, this one is partial rant, partial advice. And I apologize to the artists I am tearing down in this piece, but there is a lesson to be learned by all.

We have to face it. As artists there are times where an idea we have is absolute and total bullshit. It happens. Sometimes we do it on purpose, sometimes we just miss the obvious that the idea we are working with is "just plain stupid".

One of the best examples of this came to attention this past week at ArtPrize #7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Artist Jeffrey Augustine Songco decided to put up a length of chain link fence and string 2,700 pounds of Mardi Gras beads on it. (see the piece here)

Now with all due respect to the artist, the concept for this eludes me. Perhaps its because I live in New Orleans and am 3 minutes from the parade routes. These routes are strewn with these beads for miles along fences, trees, telephone poles, homes, restaurants, umm...well everywhere! But I am just having a real hard time seeing the art in this. In fact the beads used for this are what we call "throw away" beads. They are sort of the rock bottom end of bead'dom. In fact when these are thrown from the parade floats locals don't even bother with them a lot of times. We are out for premium beads!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Image of the Day - Mississippi River Cypress Driftwood

This beautiful piece of wood was nothing but a grayish piece of driftwood yesterday. After extensive sanding, polishing, staining and a gloss finish it was transformed. It started as an experiment and surpassed my expectations. This piece when completed will be called the Guardian Scepter and will be used in the upcoming Fifth Vision of the Revenant Cycle and woven into the Revenant legends. After that it will be sold as a stand alone sculpture.

You can check out what it looked like yesterday after just its first sanding was completed