Category: Art by Daz Lartist

Matisse painted boobs

Why is our friend Henri Matisse so highly regarded by fine art people? Because he was just a dude who liked boobs but not just anywhere boobs – he never painted Walmart boobs for example, not that he was overly picky – but the location of the boobs had to raise the glory of the boobs beyond the mundane – and that meant a cool location where you could take your pants off and appreciate boobs as god’s finest creation like a beach or your Greg Brady swingin’ groove pad – decoration that is appreciated with a glorious fanfare of fauvist color like a wild beast who likes boobs or something like that but boobs in his cool ass crib baby as there’s nothing more intimate than an art studio with a model just chillin right? 

Henri Matisse joyfully painting a lady
Henri Matisse joyfully painting a lady!

 

This is a video of my cool art studio with a hidden ‘door to Narnia’ as Hollye inspired me with that phrase tonight! That creative jewel from my love made me want to make a secret location by the door (it’s a door to the patio that for some reason must not be opened – which is cool as the landlord added a three season room which is a better exit to the back garden anyway – but still – the idea of a hidden secret door is just so cool. I got the idea I should start a story with me and Hollye meeting in a parallel universe as kids and write it in the style of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five as Manny is totally a super hero dog who can solve mysteries and eat potted meat etc. Maybe we can co-write it like when my friends and I co-wrote our mega smash graphic novel “The Curse of the Andriods” – sorry that you were fired from the project for creative differences Mark – you were still essential to the whole Sha Na Na cover band scene we had going on you know! And Sonja, it was all my fault, you should have had more opportunities to break that glass ceiling in the Sonja Darren Mark Edward plus Richard’s Comic Company – a merger of giant proportions – and while I supplied the enthusiasm for the venture it was Edward who was the marketable talent with his effortless cheap biro masterpieces. But I digress, this will be a work of fiction but our imaginations will make our encounter real since we are both good writers! Anyway, I’ll write the first chapter, if it sucks then chuck it in the bin but if it’s cool then Hollye can write the next chapter if she wants or I will with input etc. The plot being a Door into Narnia is discovered by the intrepid explorers behind a big painting in the home of one of the kid’s uncles art studio. He hires them to keep an eye on the place for the summer holidays while he is painting a cool mural somewhere and making tons of money and needs someone he trusts to just keep the studio not all blown up or filled with Nazi zombies and so his favorite uncle gave him the key to the place and he walked from his parents house every day to it. One day he met a girl who introduced herself as Hollye and with her dog Manfred von Chewyboy they were ready to discover the paranormal horror that only a parallel dimension could unleash. Would they even survive a night through The Door into Not Narnia muhahahahaha! This is my first draft so don’t judge me!

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Meaning of Life – current philosophizations

Tree of life mural in progress by Daz Lartist Peoria 9 17 2018
Tree of life – mural in progress by Daz Lartist Peoria Illinois 9 17 2018

The Meaning of Life – current philosophizations!

This is just my interpretation of the reason why us humans exist. I do not believe we are monkeys who evolved or that we became humans by some chance confluence of events involving random atoms in space. I am also not a fundamentalist of any religious sect – I think all religions have a nugget of truth but are diluted with mumbo-jumbo bullshit and are mostly ran by people who are often corrupted by their own power.

So basically, the two official reasons (text book science and religion) that are taught to us from an early age in schools (over and over) and generally accepted by the majority of society as truth – I actually disagree with, but I can explain why I disagree with the mainstream education in somewhat clear language and can even use metaphors from within our shared culture. Luckily many people, a lot of them more intelligent and learned than I, have already done the research I needed to come to my conclusion of why we are humans who ask why!

A friend asked me to send them some YouTube video suggestions, as they, like many of us are finding that opening our minds to these alternate viewpoints of reality scratches an itch that other endeavors do not. There will be several videos that I think are worth watching posted at the end of the post with a couple of others mixed in.

So, why are we humans? Because this is the form the universe took when it decided to learn about itself. The universe is a consciousness with curiosity, humor and love as well as cruelty, selfishness and other imperfections – not a vast almost empty wasteland that only NASA and the Pope with his giant telescope know the secrets of. You cannot see yourself without a mirror to reflect your image back to you – you and I are the mirrors of the universe. The universe is playing us as children play with dolls.

We are all born as unique viewpoints of the universe in the guise of biological machines with physical and mental attributes. The time and the location of our birth (and perhaps of our conception) puts a unique template into us that I believe subtly influences everything we experience. As the same groups of stars revolve in a predictable cycle the combination of their energy affects us in different ways. Religions and text-book science dismiss astrology as being superstitious bullshit or something to be shunned but it was the driving force for much of the ancient world and thus worth considering as having some truth to it.

Our unique selves start with an astrological template and like a role playing game such as D&D you have strength, dexterity, charisma, wisdom, etc and they are all determined by a certain amount of ‘dice’ to be cast to get the number of the stat(istic). Some people get more ‘dice’ to roll than others to determine a particular stat and while it is unlikely that you will max out on all your stats – you do get to re-roll those dice during your lifetime.

By means of an example look at Arnold Schwartzenegger – he came close to getting the maximum score on his physical self with his dedication to body building. When he had achieved that goal he used a conscious effort to become a movie star and then an even more improbable career as a public servant. As a movie star he had less dice to throw to get that maximum potential than someone ‘born to act’ like Sean Connery but he re-rolled those dice until they were maxed out to become an acting legend anyway.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - artist!
Our fellow human being Arnold isn’t afraid to try things. We know his impressive legacy. Here he not only brings attention to the growing homelessness problem but life in general and all with a sense of humor. A lesser man wouldn’t have attempted this level of art!

Soul, spirit, divine consciousness –whatever you want to call it is what the physical and mental self resides within (even though it might feel like it must be located within the body). You are not only the character in the game – you are the one who created the game and then decided it would be fun to forget you set the game up in the first place. This is why weird unexplained stuff happens that we label paranormal: we don’t really want all the mysteries explained as life would have a less magical feeling and the idea of luck wouldn’t be so enjoyable when you experience it (but – spoiler alert! it’s all you – you, the divine consciousness, set up the circumstances so that you, the person, would get the maximum experience from them – good and bad are just your interpretation of those circumstances so trust that there is a reason for them).

Knowing all the ‘truth’ about reality is not necessary to ‘winning’ the game – only participating in the game is required to ‘win’. Although you have the free will to stop playing – that shouldn’t be the choice you make unless it is the ultimate act of being ‘you‘. For example if you were born under the stars that made you naturally brave and heroic and one day there came a choice where you had to risk death to save a group of innocent people – it would never be wrong to rush straight in to save them because that is who you are – and if you died there is no failure as you were being you.

RISING SUN, Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, 1993.
Sean Connery is himself regardless of the role he plays!

The purpose of life is simply to find out who you are and be that as the universe wants your unique viewpoint on the consensus reality. You win by being you – there are no goals beyond unlocking the puzzle of yourself. How come you are not already you? Well, where’s the challenge in that right? 🙂 How you play the game is up to you but it is a game and this reality isn’t any more real than a dream – it just feels real compared to a dream.

How real is “real” anyway when you lose yourself in a movie or a book – you know it’s fiction but your brain is experiencing the interpretation of the fiction as (temporary) realityyou can’t appreciate the art of narrative fiction without interpreting it as ‘real’ – it’s why the human brain is the way it is – it’s designed to make you live simultaneously in multiple personas – not as some kind of flawed control mechanism that teeters on the verge of schizophrenia when the imagination is stimulated – no! You multi-task who you are – it’s designed to let you experience other facets of yourself – and in a nutshell, it’s just more fun this way!

Joe vs the Volcano
Ossie Davis (as Marshall) imparts the only wisdom that matters – only you can define who you are.

You are already perfect – deal with it. Maybe you aren’t the hero type or a glamorous movie star but we are all perfectly equal in that our individual honest opinions of what we experience matters – and that is all that matters. Whatever circumstance happens you just have to interpret it with your feelings and make conscious choices to steer things the way you want them to go. Right and wrong are just interpretations not absolutes.

There is no pressure to reach some type of goal – all that type of stuff puts you outside of the now moment – and there IS only now. The now is flavored by what your brain is thinking but the past doesn’t exist and the future doesn’t exist they are just abstract concepts that influence your now moment.

Why carry baggage around from somewhere that doesn’t exist – if you have feelings of shame then acknowledge what caused that to happen and don’t do it again and if you prefer a different circumstance then work towards it – but don’t stop being you in the now as some kind of punishment or sacrifice for you in the then.

You have a ‘shadow self‘ – deal with it. Find out what lurks in your dark side and accept it. We have an imagination to be used as a tool to allow our dark sides to be explored without jeopardizing our safety or freedoms. No need to feel guilty about it just don’t let your shadow self overcome your conscious self or you could lose track of who you really are.

The key is balance. We have a great reminder of balance in our lives – the sun and the moon, night and day, sleep and awake etc. Those less than admirable thoughts and feelings you have are just the balance for your amazing main self but you have to have a shadow just as you have to sleep at some point or you will go insane.

The sun casts more light than the moon does just as your shadow self casts less influence on your actions than your main self – but there are cycles of influence and you are more susceptible to the influence of your shadow self at certain times such as drinking alcohol, being in a war situation or even being the subject of public attention.

Anyway, here are some videos I find fascinating – not exactly the same topic as what I was talking about above – but on my journey to find out who I am I have found that unravelling the mysteries is part of who I am (and probably you too)!

This one is slow to start but keep with it! This video gives evidence that sedimentary rock may NOT be millions of years old after all! Coal may NOT be millions of years old etc. ‘Rock cut temples’ may actually be stone structures covered with rock deposited from volcanos that ancient civilizations then excavated – fascinating!

Sadly, it’s no coincidence that the fact that space as shown by NASA that looks the same as Star Trek TV shows – it’s all CGI. Even the math used to describe our relationship to other objects we can see in the sky is not as accurate as you might want to believe.

 

Daz and Hollye Art Tawk August 18 and 19 2018

Daz Lartist garage studio August 19 2018
Daz Lartist garage studio August 19 2018 Having a blank canvas sitting there, with no expectations can then suddenly be the start of an exciting project when you siddenly decide to add paint to it as I did with this one today!

This post is a collage of various artsy things currently on my mind in a free form fashion! There are 2 ten minute videos of Hollye and I discussing art stuff (some of which is also included in this post) – basically this is just a diary of our weekend after a really grueling week at our office jobs (that we’d quit in a second if we could afford to).

I try not to plan creative stuff out much – I let ideas and inspiration come into my mind and then give myself time and space to suddenly act upon those ideas – almost as if I am thwarting my own mind by not knowing when I’m going to be creative – this is a zen way of doing art – I do not have to think about it I just do it (because I have all my art supplies at the ready)! I told myself I was just going to clean up the studio and clean my brushes etc after a couple of months of bringing them back and forth to the Studio C mural site.

I’m finding that the idea of the ebb and flow of waves and the Alan Watts inspired explanation of needing the dark to see the light etc is really inspiring me. I know the elephants I painted today are because of Waykiwayki‘s explanation of the Vedas video – they hold down the Earth according to the ancient Hindus – that makes me happy somehow. I don’t understand, or really care to be an expert on religions – I feel that you can find the creator through any and every religion if you wanted to but I’m just going at my own pace learning a little bit here and there without stressing about it.

I never give my lover Hollye time to prepare for our Art Tawk videos – suddenly I’m recording and we just talk – often we find it is the best way to be truthful and funny!

It was work like this one below that inspired our main man Michelangelo to be a sculptor – this was chiseled out of marble towards the end of the Roman Empire between 101-200 AD (or CE as is the proper term these days to use). Look at the action, the adventure, the pathos, the nekkid bodies and excellent animals! They didn’t have printing presses so action and adventure on a grand scale in art was a frozen moment in time!Fall of Phaeton - Ancient Rome marble carving

You will want to visit this link if interested in Ancient Roman art! http://ancientrome.ru/art/artwork/ Yes it’s a Russian domain but they are people interested in fine art and history too and probably as fucking sick of war and political leaders as you are – this we have in common.

Look at this painting from Ancient Roman times – look familiar? 🙂 This is the reminder for them of what they were fighting for. Having the luxury to daydream while bathing while your loyal doggie waits for you is pretty much the height of civilization!

Ancient Roman painting - woman washing with her doggy

Lenos-sarcophagus with representation of the Dionysiac procession

The one above looks like an allegorical figure I might have sculpted (if I was an Ancient Roman artist who worked in stone)! Notice that her eyes are closed and it looks like a pine cone on the staff. We know the pine cone is still used on important objects by the pope (they have a giant pine cone sculpture as well).

It is understood that the symbol of the pine cone has been and still is used to represent the pineal gland aka the third eye. The pineal gland has rods and cones like your regular eyes but since it is inside your head it reacts to light from the DMT your body produces and voila you see things with the third eye when you dream, perhaps when you hallucinate and definitely when you smoke DMT (I haven’t done that but I trust Terence McKenna when he describes it )! The pineal gland is a big mystery to humans and has been for a long time! Having a mystery to solve engages the brain in healthy activity.

Obviously I find crazy deep things to think about as my cup of tea! It’s just my nature to do so ; I watch mindless entertainment too but I balance it with deep thinking!

A few years ago I got word that a mural I had started some years before was about to be painted over by some visiting artists for some brief publicity and fun but destroying art wasn’t what any of us are into and so we turned it into a collaborative day of fun instead – everyone won! Teens to middle aged people ended up working on this that day.

Speakeasy Art Center Pekin Illinois Mural collaboration January 2014
Speakeasy Art Center Pekin Illinois Mural collaboration January 2014

The local newspaper ran a story on the project and a reporter called me but she kept insisting that I tell her how old I was, as if it was a requirement – so I hung up on her. She obviously was unaware that I grew up listening to the Beatles and do not suffer fools well as was the Beatle way!

George Harrison is cool!
One of the many funny, witty bits in the movie A Hard Days Night. One of my favorite movies and possibly my favorite music album!

The point of that experience is that I don’t have time to waste on stuff I don’t want to do but my ego tells me to do. Just defining what I like and what I do not prefer is what it is all about regardless of who likes me or not.

An artist that I really enjoy is Judy B. Cramer. She, like my love Hollye, paints from the inner child with a true love of color and form. We get to share in the joy of art with her rather than interpret her pain (like certain ‘pumpkin spice’ artists out there)!

Judy B Cramer artist
This is art I like to see in galleries. The colors are vibrant and harmonious, the composition is pleasing and the overall effect is dynamic and positive. To me this says that a human being who loves the experience of being a human painted this. click the pic to visit Judy’s site!

female nude sculpture - Ancient Roman
I really admire the skill and craftsmanship of the Ancient Romans, Greeks and the Italian renaissance and beyond. Taking stone and making it into something visually pleasing is so cool – turning it into beauty is amazing! Perhaps they painted colors over the marble but it wouldn’t be necessary – we have beauty frozen in time in stone- anyone that appreciates female beauty today can see that we are not so different than those amazing artists a couple of thousand years ago!

Oh and while male beauty is not my favorite I do appreciate it too – here’s what Michelangelo sculpted when he was a teenager!

Battle of the Centaurs by Michelangelo
Battle of the Centaurs by Michelangelo (carved when he was teen after being influenced by Ancient Roman art that was being uncovered in the early Renaissance).

Izzy loves you!

The pumpkin spice of art

Yeah I dissed Bouguereau in a previous post and here I am saying that Jean-Léon Gérôme is awesome! It may appear that I am biased as their art is similar but that similarity is really only in the quality of how the figures are painted – and the word ‘quality’ is not used here to denote a hierarchy of perfection. I use the word quality to denote a style of brushstroke and use of light and shadow.

Our friend Jean-Leon had romance in his soul, adventure, pathos, passion! The nude was just a motif to tell the story not to sell the art! Yes there is a pretty butt right in the middle of the painting, you see it but it’s only a focal point of the narrative. The sculptor falls in love with his creation and she comes to life – it’s sad and yet glorious at the same time ; it reminds us of how complicated our human minds are.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Pygmalion and Galetea 1890

I’m basically a simple man and things like bondage fetish stuff seems overly complicated to me. I’m plain unflavored maybe not even vanilla – as Maude Flanders said “unflavored for me please”! My kryptonite is pumpkin spice – I will totally die if I drink coffee with that dandruff of Satan in it. Knowing who you are and working with that knowledge is helpful if you want to be happy and productive. There is room for many flavors!

know thyself

Sure there are lots of people who prefer a Venti Flat White over *ack* blumpkin spice – but because I know what I like – it doesn’t bother me if you like some other flavor – everyone gets to decide what they like. Maybe one day I’ll like flavored coffee or find a guys hairy or smooth muscular ass sexy but I don’t think so. I’m just glad that Michelangelo was into dudes as his work is made better with his focused and concentrated preference. I just couldn’t stay motivated to paint a masterpiece like The Last Judgement, I’d at least have to paint giant penises on the devils or something!

The-damned-in-Michelangelos-Last-Judgment

I can’t help but judge what floats your boat – judging is just my personal opinion not a reason to prevent you from doing your thing. Go ahead and put your special leather gear on as long it is done with consenting adults just don’t require me to be into it too! I’m sure my parents might have wondered about my sexuality when I bought the Judas Priest “Priest in the East” album (they re-released it  as “unleashed in the East” but the art is the same).

judaspriest-unleashedintheeast(liveinjapan)(3)

I didn’t know Rob Halford was wearing gay leather biker fetish gear back then – it just looked cool and that album cover art is excellent (the music is obviously top notch too). That picture is a feeling of total triumph – and since it’s Judas Priest they are triumphing over an evil robot invader or some source of corruption that the human race is better off without! I can appreciate the male body as art – for that feeling of triumph and righteous victory, camaraderie etc – this works as fine art. Read into it whatever you want!

I had to unlearn prejudices that I was raised with (by society not so by my parents who were open minded) to reach a point of balance. To know the self you have to know the other and the easiest way to un-learn a prejudice towards people is to simply get to know someone of that persuasion – when your commonalities outweigh your differences you are winning!

Ignorance is the dark that you light up with love. If you refuse to light that flame then the dark is always scary and you react out of fear. But that is your choice and I can’t take that choice away from you even if I don’t prefer you to have it – it’s still a divinely given  right to have your opinion.

I just don’t want everyone to be Judas Priest fans – it’s an exclusive club for people like me – those triumphant over the robot invaders!

A fellow local Peoria Illinois artist is Jessica Ball and she is everything that is right about art – dedicated, focused and unique. She is the pumpkin spice of painting.

Jessica Ball Art - everything that is right about art, unique expressive free form creativity.
Jessica Ball Art – everything that is right about art, unique expressive free form creativity.

 

On being a nerd as well as an artist!

Daz Lartist I AM ART you are as well

I know that you all see me as a modern day cool as fuck punk rock Renaissance man world famous artist, zen master and hunk of manly beef candy but the core this persona is built upon on that of a humble nerd.

As a young child I would go for long walks with my dad and we would look for archeological treasures in the English countryside. I wanted to be an archeologist long before Indiana Jones existed but the idea of it being a job never registered with me. Digging up treasures for study seemed as normal a part of life as expressing your self through art. Discovery of history and of reality is our innate right as humans!

I was in the computer club by the time I graduated high school in 1984 and even bought an Apple IIc in 1985 which cost twice as much as the gaming laptop I’m writing this on! I basically only ever wanted to write stories, make art and play games on computers though.

I consciously became a dedicated artist (long before I ever saw a computer) because I was energized by my fellow home-made comic book collaborators Richard, Mark and Edward and we were inspired by the great British comics Starlord and 2000AD et al. Things like sentient robots and space aliens were utterly believable to me and when you combined that with the action of war it was complete magic! Fuck you Robo-Hitler!  eat laser-lead *blam blam blam*!

2000AD ABC Warriors

I went to college to further my love of art after I briefly dipped my toe into war. Luckily my honorable discharge from the military was during a rare time of peace (right before the first Gulf war). Being a nerd my imagination was always way into the realm of fantasy but college, while it had it’s share of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, wasn’t as hedonistic as much as it showed me that I really just wanted a regular monogamous life with quiet time to think about things. I’d rather piece together the secrets of the ancient world and uncover the origins of man than live the life of a playboy.

art school pulp novel cover

I’m so much of a nerd that I play World of Warcraft aka WOW. It’s a part of the balance between work, chores, art, my relationship with Hollye, my physical and mental heath, spirituality and recreation.

World of Warcraft - War of The Thorns
World of Warcraft – War of The Thorns event. My troll beast master hunter is not amused at the burning of the world tree.

This modern world allows me to do my mundane chores and bodily functions while indulging in entertainment – you know, watching YouTube while pooping or making breakfast! I watch video game videos, philosophical talks by folks like Alan Watts and cutting edge science and investigation documentaries like the one below that blew me away. Don’t click it yet, let me explain why it appeals to me!

I remember being displeased with being forced to take a class called Earth Science in college; it was mandatory and I learned nothing new from it. It was the same old – here’s the crust here’s the mantle here’s the molten core that we can’t actually prove but you better answer this test with it being a fact or you will fail the class. The same stuff I had already learned in grade school but now I was paying someone to say I knew it – and how did it matter anyway if I went to college to be an artist – at least teach me something I didn’t already know.

Mainstream science kept telling me and people like WaykiWayki who made that fine video above that certain things we saw, felt and experienced were actually impossible –  which makes no sense but we were just supposed to be ok with it. Sorry, but I’m a nerd, I can’t just be ok with something that is anachronous – time travel and aliens were ok answers for my younger self but they don’t feel right to my grown up nerd self.

Remember these anachronous objects below that are impossible if we believe mainstream science? Well, now we have an explanation that not only makes sense but feels right. Finally, after 12 years of pre-college and six years of college – I have answers!

anachronous hammer in solid rock

anachronous object in solid rock
I copied those items from http://www.messagetoeagle.com/11-extraordinary-out-of-place-artifacts/

Here’s another thing that I was taught over and over that never felt right – all those amazing temples and buildings supposedly carved out of solid rock – well now we have a much more plausible explanation in that same video no less! Maybe the buildings are older than we think and maybe that rock doesn’t take millions of years to form – at least consider the possibility before saying “it’s impossible”.

Kailasa India

Of course it feels wrong to believe that people just started carving a gigantic temple from the top down out of solid rock! That rock is not 300 million years old! The temple was built like other stone buildings of the time then lava covered it and then they dug it out – how come this idea wasn’t even considered as a possibility? Oh yeah, aliens, I forgot.

Archaeologists Baffled By The Kailasa Temple
Archaeologists Baffled By The Kailasa Temple (because the idea that it was built in the regular way and then covered with lava and then excavated, you know, like what archeologists do, is too difficult for them to understand)!

Jay and Silent Bob and science

I love archeology – I wrote about Gobekle Tepe the other week but I find that my mental health also needs escapist entertainment of a different genre too!

Gale Breaking Bad - super nerd!

I spent all day, on and off, watching that geology video and making this blog post. I exercised with weights for a bit, enjoyed the company of my awesome girlfriend Hollye and played a little bit of WOW too. I’m just a nerd! Oh and of course I love Devo!

I added some free hand painted dandelion seeds to my Studio C mural on sunday – I will be adding more later! They are adding disco lights to make the place even more of an experience!

Mural at Studio C Peoria with dandelion seeds! by Daz Lartist
Mural at Studio C Peoria with dandelion seeds! by Daz Lartist

There’s a sausage in these tight fitting jeans!

The title of this post is the answer to the often asked question – what if Conway Twitty had hot sweaty man love for Bob Evans? If you do not live in America and/or are younger than 30 years of age you may not get the joke! It is a joke Hollye and I giggled at on on our latest Art Tawk video below! (its to be listened to but not watched though!) You gotta have a sense of humor to handle this existence!
Here’s the painting Hollye and I were discussing on our Art Tawk video!

Warm Window with Wolf Outside by Daz Lartist
Warm Window with Wolf Outside by Daz Lartist

I prefer Hayseed Dixie to Conway Twitty but you decide in the following battle of the videos! The Bob and Tom Show version of Poop in a Jar is far superior to the studio version! The Conway Twitty classic is ok for 1970s country music I guess.


Stuff to make me and hollye giggle
Stuff to make me and Hollye giggle

My day job defined by 1970s sitcoms by Daz Lartist
My day job defined by 1970s sitcoms by Daz Lartist

We are all Dr. Frankenstein!

Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix
The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix – does Sean Bean die? You’ll have to watch and see!

Hollye and I are watching The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix – this is to her what The man In The High Castle on Amazon Prime is to me – about the coolest thing ever! Sure I like Sean Bean and British detective series with a scandalous hint of horror, not as much as Hollye does though but that’s cool, totally cool, we are all unique perspectives of the universe!

The idea of sewing together body parts and bringing them to life was not invented by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who not only wrote Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus but lived a life of ‘gothic’ romance and tragedy. The idea of bringing the dead to life as a creation was well underway thousands of years before the Era of Frankenstein.

We know that the Italian Renaissance was the rebirth of the classical art of the ancient Greeks. By a change in philosophy allowed by a middle class of merchants who rose to power and influence – lost understanding of the ancients Greeks was regained including the idea that mankind was a machine that God, an artist, breathed life into.

Emulating God by re-creating the beauty of the human form in art and by repairing the machine in medicine was a way to honor God in many of their eyes – it definitely was to Michelangelo. Drawings of individual body parts for study is a tool for both doctors and artists who work with the figure.

The relationship between artists and physicians during the Renaissance (roughly 1300 to 1600) was symbiotic. Artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, who were interested in exacting the human form in their art, observed physicians at work to learn the layers of muscle and bone structures that formed certain parts of the body. (from here)

Libyan Sibyl Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo
Libyan Sibyl Sistine Chapel fresco and the chalk on paper figure study by Michelangelo

I (like millions of people in the past half a millennium) still find fascination in the monumental art work in the Sistine Chapel and the process of how it happened. Going from an idea to a sketch to a finished masterpiece it is probably the most researched and documented art project ever.

We all know that our friend Michelangelo thought the male body was more fascinating that the female one and many, if not most, of his paintings of women started as sketches of his male models. I wonder if the very female face on the Delphic Sibyl was inspired by a person he knew?

Michelangelo Delphic Sibyl Sistine Chapel

We, in the modern world, do not find anything creepy about a sketch book full of unconnected body parts or an anatomy text book – they are just tools.

Using individual sketches (or parts of photographs) to make art is typical practice (remember that our friend Edgar Degas was an early adopter of this method) and with the age of Photoshop we pretty much understand that what we see in media has been manipulated to show it’s best side at the very least – if not a complete fabrication!

1950's cowgirl pin up art and photo reference by Gil Elvgren
1950’s cowgirl pin up art and photo reference by Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren’s paintings are perhaps the apotheosis of the Pin-Up genre and his works command the highest price amongst collectors today. Like Art Frahm he often painted silly scenes of girls accidentally revealing their underwear, but his jokes are wittier, his brush strokes more expert and his girls more gorgeous. Elvgren apparently claimed that the ideal Pin-Up model had a 15-year-old’s face on a 20-year-old’s body, which is the sort of thing you could say in the 1940s without being thought creepy. That quote may be apocryphal but he did base most of his paintings on the model Myrna Hansen, who started working for him when she was just 13 (chaperoned by her mother, it must be said). (from here)

One thing that I have found in painting is that working directly from photographs can leave the work looking generic (Degas being the major exception it seems) – I mean you can’t deny the success of modern figure painters like Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell – they took what Michelangeo started and added their creativity which is fine, it’s lovely and awesome but in my opinion they fall into the trap that William-Adolphe Bouguereau did – there’s a limit to ‘perfection’ and if you go beyond it then you lose something human about the experience of the art. It can be perfect in every way and still not be ‘good’!

William Bouguereau - Nymphs and Satyr
William Bouguereau – Nymphs and Satyr – it’s perfect in every way but it’s still lacking in something that only a human being can feel as true art! (this artist was one of the assholes who dissed the Impressionists as he couldn’t understand how their ‘sloppy’ work could be viewed as “fine art” compared to his perfection of the baroque style. I’m sorry man, we all like tits and ass, don’t get me wrong, but you aren’t putting your soul into this work – we can feel it – there is a difference – it’s nice art, better than I could ever do probably and it shows the glory of God with the beautiful figures, it carries on the fine tradition of quality that the Renaissance started – in text book terms you should be the greatest painter ever and you were back in your day to your fans but you are a jackhole and Claude Monet is waay cooler than you, and besides, they have this new invention called the camera now so people can take their own pics of boobs and don’t need your pretty porn any more – perfection is not enough sir!

Simply copying where the light and shadow falls is possible but a mere transference of a captured image verbatim into to paint on a canvas isn’t enough – that’s why The Impressionists blew away the realist painters and now those former ‘top of charts’ artists are barely remembered at all except for art nerds like me.

You have to skew your viewpoint and add your personality to the art to make it more than a just a copy – you have to breathe life into it! It has to be you, be infused with your consciousness – you can’t just scientifically make great art in a lab – you cannot be outside of it!

Allegory of Abundance mural in progress by Daz Lartist
Allegory of Abundance mural in progress by Daz Lartist

Painting directly from your imagination with no references allows a freedom and flexibility that makes it more fun! Sure, you may not reach the level of anatomical accuracy that Michelangelo did but why would you want to when you can surprise yourself with something that is unique and equally interesting to look at?

I suggest to allow your mind to piece together the bits and pieces of things that are stored away then trust that your hand will put the paint where it needs to be.

Hey, I know Vincent van Gogh was the ‘good one’ and has a special place in our hearts but I’m way more into the painting theories of Paul Gauguin.

Rather than painting a naturalistic representation of observed reality, Paul Gauguin and his followers at Pont Aven aimed to create art that combined (or synthesised) the subject-matter with the artist’s feelings about the subject and the aesthetic concerns of line, colour and form. As Maurice Denis observed in 1890:

It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order. (from here)

We all synthesize reality from the memories and expectations that we have about what we experience – we are all basically Dr. Frankenstein trying to breathe life into a bunch of separate parts we join together in some sense of order – so let’s own it and celebrate it!

My love Hollye is writing a novel in serialized form with a Frankenstein theme on her blog and you can catch up with this really well written and readable novella by starting here! https://hollyebgreen.com/2018/07/29/novella-frankensister-chapter-1-fiction/

My friend Jeff makes the best monster art on the planet right now! Support a cool indy artist by finding his art and buying a whole bunch of it (it’s everywhere – search Ebay!)

Mani-yack Frankenstein and THEY LIVE by Jeff Carlson
Mani-yack Frankenstein and THEY LIVE by Jeff Carlson