Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My YouTube Channel

I created a YouTube channel with my Instagram handle name, Chaotic Abstraction.  On the channel will be videos of me working on various artwork and sketching in my sketchbook.  Check it out:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Solid Grounds

I recently attended The Fantastic Workshop, hosts by the weekly One Fantastic Week podcast hosts Pete Mohrbacher and Sam Flegal.  While there, I met the illustrious Allen Williams, known on the internet world and the art world as “I Just Draw”, and indeed he does.  I watched this incredible artist/illustrator/creator draw on a blank page just from nothing.  I participated in his demo, where we got down and dirty and played with applying wet graphite powder onto Ampersand Claybord.  Then using various art tools of the trade (sponges, Mr Clean Magic Eraser, paper towels, fingers) to subtract portions of the graphite powder, and using pencils or more graphite powder to add to the image.  The process of adding and subtracting from the image continued until you get what you wanted.  The final image is sprayed with a sealant and the finished product can stand alone or framed without glass.  

The process itself is simple and can be learned easily.  The creative part of the process is the key to the uniqueness that is Allen Williams.  I watched as he “wiped the board clean” several times before settling on an image he liked.  This is akin to “thumb nailing” or “sketches” before the final image.  I usually don’t do well with thumb nails and sketches but I know there has to be a certain amount of planning that goes into a great artwork.  I can see this method working for me in that respect.

I have not played with the technique at home after the workshop as I gathered my supplies, but I do have a renewed energy for my pencil art, which I dearly love.  This renewed energy is translating into newer pencil pieces I am attempting for an upcoming project, Operation Gaia.  More to come on that project in a month.  For now, here is my piece from the workshop.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Illuxcon 10

I’m so excited I was able to get a Showcase table at Illuxcon (IX) 10 this year.  If you don’t know about Illuxcon, you can learn all about it here:

Illuxcon is a fantastic art convention to attend and to showcase your artwork.  There are so many talented artists for both the main show and the weekend showcase.  I’m so honored to be able to showcase my work alongside many great artists.  IX 10’s Main Show will be at Goggleworks Center in Reading, PA, from 18 to 22 October.  I will be in the Showcase which will be in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel on the evenings of Friday, 20 October from 8pm to midnight, and Saturday, 21 October from 6pm to 10pm.  The Showcase is free and open to the public.

If you are in the area, come by and visit.  I will have several originals on display.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A New Direction

I’ve been struggling since I started this journey.  Struggling to figure out what I want to do, what I want to work on.  I like so many things: drawing with my pencils, painting with acrylic, drawing with pen and ink.  I like drawing people and surreal elements.  I feel like my art is all over the place and I jump from one thing to another trying to find the right corner to be in.  I think my main problem is I don't think anyone will be very interested in owning the kind of artwork I want to create.  Every time I think about doing the art that appease to others, the piece never turns out the way I like it.  I kept hearing the voices of great artists saying just be yourself, and then saying, “… but do it this way” or “… but don’t do that, that won’t get you anywhere.”  How do I follow these do’s and do-not’s but still be myself, still represent who I am in my work? 

Then I did something that I used to do a long time ago but stopped because it was too time consuming and, again, I didn't think anyone would be interested: stippling.  One day, in a tiny sketchbook, I just started putting dots on paper, and added more dots.  I stopped, start another image and kept going.  Pretty soon I have several images with nothing but tiny little dots.  I continued with them and remembered my passion.  

I added a layer of Indian Ink wash or splatter and stippled on top of the ink.  The results are surreal images.  Most of the images are not planned.  They just happened.  They just evolved.  They became.  I don’t know where this journey will take me but I’m going to head down this path for a while and see what happens.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Baltimore Comic-con

Made my first appearance at a comic-books pop-culture convention, Baltimore Comic-Con.  I was in the Artist Alley.  Baltimore Comic-Con has a nice Artist Alley. It appears to me that there were an equal number of non fan artists versus fan artists.  The aisles were nice and wide, leaving plenty of room to stop and browse as well as room to maneuver around those who stopped to browse.  I did not sell any originals but sold more prints there than at any other venues I attended so far.  I also had one of limited edition print, print #1, matted and framed and that was sold.  I am pretty stoked about it.  I think I may follow my tradition and get the first limited edition print matted and framed for future artwork I will create.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Overcoming A Fear

Beautiful Zion landscape

This year, along with training myself in art through various experimental techniques, I also am dedicating a portion of the year to formal training.  The first training course is Legendeer.  I thought I was going to learn ideation skills and techniques and do a little hiking.  What I got was even more valuable.  Legendeer was a full week of hiking expedition and workshops.  Participants flew into Las Vegas and were shuttled out to Zion National Park to participate in this 7 days creative adventure.  

The views at the top of Watchman Trail

Zion National Park offers a spectacular backdrop to the Legendeer experience.  I went hiking on the Watchman trail, draw at the Emerald Pools and overcame a fear of heights in the canyons.  Yes, I went canyoneering at Zion, something I would never do on my own or even thought about doing before I participated in Legendeer.  We hiked to the top of the canyon and rappelled 100ft down into the canyon, followed by canyon exploration and 2 more smaller rappels.

The views on the way to Emerald Pools

At first I was convinced I was not going canyoneering.  There is no way I was strapping on some ropes and “walk” down a vertical rock wall.  That just sounded pure crazy to me.  Then I heard about the experience from others who were just as scared of heights as I was.  I don’t think most people realized it is actually completely normal to have a fear of heights.  This got me thinking about  the other fear I have with my art.  I’ve always known I have certain fear about moving forward with my art, from being afraid of fully experimenting with a piece to not finishing because I thought it was not going well.  This was always a wall I reached with most of my work and has prevented me from completing more than 3 pieces per year.

Magnificent canyons

I don’t want these fears to be a part of my life and I especially don’t want it to hamper my creativity.  I decided that if I can face one fear and push past it, I can face anything else.  That first step off the rock was nerve wracking, but I would not let the fear grip me.  The first moment I leaned back and the rope held me, I felt a small comfort.  It actually felt more secure than I imagined.  The next few steps down the incline were not too bad.  I took a peek to either side because my curiosity got the better of me.  The view was both spectacular and scary at the same time, something akin to creating artwork at least for me.  To be fair, as I’m going down the straight vertical wall, I never looked down.  All I know is that I did it.  I didn't think about it.  I just did it.  Hopefully I can do the same with my art, pushing past all my uncertainties and create beautiful meaningful artwork for all to enjoy.

During Legendeer I also came up with my project.  More to come on that in the future …

This is the canyon we all ended up in after the first rappel

Inside the canyons after the second and the third rappels

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Art of Failing

Ever since I stumbled onto the fantastic blog, Muddy Colors, about a year ago, I started reading their articles from the beginning.   I’m on August of 2011.  I got a while to go to be current. 

Today I read an article “Why dumb ideas can be great ideas”, by Dan dos Santos.  There are several good quotes about experimenting and failing.  I’m at the stage where I’m pretty much experimenting with whatever I do.  I’ve sort of found the process I like doing, but I’m afraid others won't like it.  Thus I’m not really concentrating on it.  When I do explore this process, it is joyful to me because it is all emotional based, and so everything I do is an experiment.  Every piece is evolving from something new.  So my process is really a non-process.  I always thought that to be a great artist, one must get to a point where one does A, B, C then D and a little of E and …voila … a great piece of artwork emerges. 

I’m slowly learning this is not always the case.  Great artwork can emerge from chaos, experiments gone wrong, and many many failings.  However, it is hard to travel down a path you think is wrong.  It is much easier to follow everyone else.  Where am I going with this?  I don’t know.  Maybe I should continue down that unknown path and take Greg Manchess’ challenge to take more risks and fail more often.

Monday, May 1, 2017

My First Convention

A week ago I attended my first convention, Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, as a seller.  I am so glad I made the leap and decided to take my artwork to conventions.  I met so many great artists, both seasoned convention veterans and new to the convention scene like myself.

A few great things happened while I was at Spectrum.  A couple of my originals that were displayed at the Artomatic show in Crystal City, Va, were sold.  After a few email exchanges, the buyer wanted to purchase both originals.  These are my first original artwork sales to the public.  

The other thing that happened was I met John Parise, the Dragon Con Art Show Director, at Spectrum, who thought my art would fair well at Dragon Con.  He encouraged me to apply for the 2018 art show.  I had thought about applying to Dragon Con this year but changed my mind, thinking my art is not yet at that level.  John Parise said I was wrong. That warms my heart to know that someone who is mostly surrounded by great art thinks my art is on that level.

I am very excited but I need to generate more artwork before next March.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More Up Coming Shows

I’m so excited I have a few shows coming up very soon.  The first is Spectrum Fantastic Art Live in Kansas City, Mo, on 21 - 23 April, where a group of fantastic artists get together to honor the best of the best in Sci-Fi and Fantasy art and illustration.  I will have a table in the Artist Alley area, with lots of prints and a few originals.

The second show is the Blooms Art Exhibit in Bowie, Md.  This exhibit is sponsored by the City of Bowie Arts Committee and will be held at Bowie City Hall, Bowie, Maryland, from 6 May through 17 June.  I will have two framed originals on display.  This exhibit is free and open to the public.

If you’re in either of these area, come by to see my artwork.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Last Embrace

I created this piece as an attempt to join the Month of Love creative movement.  This was supposed to be for the 2nd week’s theme, Innocent.  The idea was that the love was forever locked in an innocent embrace.  Even as the lovers fade away, they are still forever embracing.  I wanted to try a different process than I how I normally pull together an image, which is a brief sketch followed by intense detail starting at the figure and working my way out and around until the piece is done.  I want to try other artist’s process that I’ve read about or seen in their video demos.  

I started out with some small thumb nails of the idea that I had in mind.  

Then I sketch the thumb nail on larger paper with a red col-erase pencil.  

I added some darker value with brown.  

I transfer the rough sketch using my light pad and finalize the detail on good paper.  

Using a 2B pencil I then go over all the areas that I wanted shaded.  

I slowly build up the dark area with darker pencils.  

As the dark areas got darker, the details emerged, some on their own, others are planned.  This is a simple image but I hope in working this way, I can build a better composition.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Up Coming Shows

I’m so excited to be showing in Artomatic 2017, an art extravaganza in Crystal City, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C.  This show is free to the public and will be running for 6 weeks, from 24 March through 6 May 2017.  My artwork is hanging in Space #4403, on the 4th floor, right across the hall from the large performance room with the bar.  Come by, have a few drinks, view great art and enjoy great performances.

More event info can be found at

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Slightly Delayed New Year’s Resolution

My last post was in the middle of December last year.  I let January and February slip by and today is the first day of March.  Being an independent artist, I found, is pretty hard, but can be quite challenging and rewarding.  For a while I did not meet that challenge head on.  I was flailing, unsure of myself and how I want to pursue my art.  There was a time when I would step up to any challenge.  I have not done that in a while.  I was taking all the safe routes through life.  I want to step up to the challenge again and I hope to continue to share my experience and journey here.