Sunday, January 18, 2015

Intentional vs. Receptive Pen Drawing


  I recently inscribed over 100 envelopes for a wedding. On each back flap I added this little emblem under the return address. It is comprised of several components all done consciously, yet freely, within fixed parameters. The stroke groups are shown in A to F. 
  This is a very direct way to learn technique. Take any simple image and break it down into specific moves, then knock out dozens of them. You'll soon notice that each result is slightly different. Every phase of the operation will have its challenges which you'll gradually learn to overcome and finesse. You may even decide to combine some lines or rearrange the order as the design becomes more efficient. Plus you'll also be making aesthetic judgement calls about which drawings are the most successful. this subtle awareness will influence subsequent work.


  
 In contrast, here is a different way of drawing with a more receptive process. Working into a random texture provides countless opportunities for finding images that come almost fully formed. I am using a dill pod to texture a background, but other methods and tools will do just as well: a sponge, wad of tissue, stippling with an old ragged brush, etc. Little concern is given to technique in this process. With a little squinting, coffee and imagination, a myriad of images will compete for your attention. This is the polar opposite to the calligraphy above. That type of work begins with a conscious and controlled intention. In this receptive way of drawing, you are allowing risk to enter into the picture. 








  I've also included this larger ink blob example in which dense spots are conducive to visualizing images. This is much like the famous Rorschach test, an old  technique of discovering psychological makeup of subjects under observation. Since most artists are nuts, this is just their meat.












Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 S. Clay Wilson Birthday Tribute




The great cartoonist S. Clay Wilson
had a near fatal injury several years ago. After surviving a coma with several major  complications he functions at a markedly decreased capacity. Were it not for the constant ministrations of his loving wife Lorraine Chamberlain, he wouldn't be with us now. 
  This campaign of mine is a way of providing incentive for his many fans to help her with the relentless challenge of attending to his basic needs. Beyond the physical work, Lorraine must also contend with the constant work of dealing with the health care system to enable Wilson's treatment and monitoring. A trust fund has been set up to facilitate the processing of donations.

If you can't afford to donate, Wilson would still be touched by your acknowledgment of his birthday on  July 25. If you access the website, it will provide both the Trust Fund site and a mailing address. If you would like some of my art work, simply include JUSTIN GREEN BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE in you message to Lorraine, and she will forward the info to me.
www.sclaywilson.com

Below find the various multiple editions that I am offering on quid pro quo basis. I indicate the price structure with each artwork.



Signed and dated limited edition silkscreen print from 2009 exhibition at Shake It Records in Cincinnati, Ohio. Edition of 100, 120 lb. creme stock, 18" X 24"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image depicts the conventional holidays of the year as monuments flanking an eternal roller coaster. A more detailed view is shown in image below.

This poster is free to all who contribute $50 and more.

"SAVE THE BEES" is a letterpress edition of 100, signed and dated from 2014. It was produced by Milkfed Press of Alameda, CA. It is printed on heavy cover stock, and the different color plates are printed at subtle depths. It measures 7 3/4" X 10 1/4" This print is available for donations from $25 to $50.
















This is the cover of my infamous 1972 Underground Cartooning Course, the second "mini-comic" ever produced. This was done as a wake-up call to the Underground community, and an experiment in self-publishing utilizing the new Xerox machines which allowed for instant reductions. Its complete genesis is described in my Etsy store, ScribeArt. This is a sheet of 8 1/2" X l1" paper, quartered and stapled. I have about 50 left. They are available, signed, for donations of between $15 and $25.





Finally, I am offering one of my "Great Moments In Advertising" postcards (6" X 9") to all who donate between $5 and $15. This series was a promotion for Signs Of The Times magazine. Their advertising appears on the reverse side. Heavy, coated stock.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Save The Bees Campaign (continued)

This is a limited edition of 100 letterpress prints produced by Milkfed Press of Alameda, CA
They are printed on 140 lb. matte stock, 7 3/4" x 10 1/4"
It is available through the Etsy site described in column at right...

 A written piece will follow when I edit this post. For now, here's the image:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sublime Slapstick


This entry is sparked by a recent letter received from Merrell Hambleton, who commented on the punchline of one of my Sign Game strips, which appeared in Signs Of The Times Magazine (the feature ran monthly in that venue from '87 to '06). While the strip is about a technical breakthrough in a lettering artist's process, it also depicts the cold indifference of the external world to a sudden personal insight or experience. Use of the lofted feet was a conscious nod to my cartoon forbears, whose characters were subjected to cruel and improbable situations. As cartoons developed through the decades, lofted feet (usually with a bold shadow underneath) became a pictorial device that connoted extreme shock or surprise. But Merrell discovered another dimension that gives my cartoon a touch of class. Hence, the title of this post.

  She writes: I was struck by the last cell. You write: "Finally came the day when you brushed a perfect 2" O with a few deft strokes, though it seemed like a cataclysmic event, the world was strangely indifferent." The image shows the Sign Painter, thrown backwards by the "O", with just his legs visible. On the left, the man in the barber chair is saying, "Rugs in kitchens? Hmmph! I'm against it." The combination of the legs and the sentiment immediately made me think of Bruegel's painting "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" and the W.H. Auden poem, "Musee des Beaux Arts", that makes reference to it. Do you know the painting/ poem?


In the painting Bruegel has depicted an unremarkable, quotidian scene—a farmer plowing, a shepherd tending his sheep, a ship sailing into harbor. In the bottom right corner, if you look closely, you see a pair of legs disappearing into the water—they echo yours exactly (or so I thought). Auden's poem:

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting 
For the miraculous birth, there always must be 
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.


In Breugel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman must 
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.



Merrell Hambleton, Girl Friday, Icy Signs, Brooklyn