Saturday, September 11, 2021

Occimore / Sette Occhi

Interestingly, I've had two paintings published on book covers recently (in the last year or so, but Covid has slowed things down, so I only recently received them). Both paintings were from the same series, created in 2019 (called the Revelations series). Both authors are young, one is French-Lebanese (Paul Rizk), the other is Italian (Enzo Ciruolo), so, both basically European. Even the names of the books are slightly similar, "Sette Occhi" & "Occimore", though they are in different languages & have different meanings. Life is full of coincidences...

Occimore by Paul Rizk & Sette Occhi by Enzo Ciruolo

Occimore is published by Editions Glyphe in Paris, France.
Sette Occhi is published by 0111 Edizioni in Cocquio-Trevisago, Lombardy, Italy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Collapsing Edifice of a Dream

 Another one of my more intricate drawings, done today, using soluble carbon instead of ink. In some ways it's a bit easier to use. 

The Collapsing Edifice of a Dream, 2021, soluble carbon on paper, 17" x 11"


Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Non-Human

 This is a little head I sculpted today in Blender. It's quite a simple artwork. However I was experimenting with lighting & textures, which gave the piece a lot more depth & interest than just the bare sculpture. These are various versions of the piece...the red one was more post-processed than the others.





The sculpture without texturing


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Digital Medusa

 As part of a series of mythological figures that I've worked on over the years (drawings & paintings mostly), here is a digital sculpture done in Blender. I'll probably be reworking some of my other themes in coming days & weeks...\

Digital Medusa, 2021, sculpted & rendered in Blender


The Dream Wings of Night

 An important thing about the Blender 3D digital sculptures that I make is that they can be almost endlessly recomposed, textured, lit, post-processed and so on. Like a photographer or painter with a favorite subject, there are infinite variations to be discovered and displayed. (See previous posting for another version of this one.)

The Dream Wings of Night, 2021, digital Blender image



Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Mists of Time

 A new variation on the "winged head" theme...going back to classical mythology (Hypnos, Morpheus) & Symbolists like Fernand Khnopff...post-processed with noise & reducing of contrast.

The Mists of Time, 2021, digital image


Monday, August 09, 2021

Monochrome Melancholy

The good thing about sculpting in Blender (& sculpting in general), is that with a 3D object you should ideally have a multitude of angles from which to view the piece & appreciate the interplay of forms.

With Blender's texturing, lighting, coloring etc., options, the possibilities are multiplied. Add to that the ability to insert a background image or objects, & then post-process (I set the image levels to "auto" & added noise), & you can almost endlessly recycle the images and find something new to present.

I also like the way the exposed mesh structure of the piece in places can resemble chisel marks, giving the work a handmade quality of sorts, whilst still maintaining its digital origins.

Monochrome Melancholy, digital Blender image


The Pact

This is a 3D rendered image created in Blender of 2 angels (of the somewhat terrifying, Rilkean variety) coming to an agreement of how to share the mundane world, perhaps. That's what seems to be happening here, but I never really know. I prefer to allude to narratives and let the viewer fill in the rest, which makes the piece more interactive, I think.

The Pact, digital Blender image


The Chaos Series

 I've been working on a series of around 20 (currently 18 done as of this writing) drawings that I've entitled The Chaos Series, as the intention was to do something more intense, improvised & chaotic than my usual work (which can often also be described in the foregoing terms to some extent). So, these are taken to some kind of an extreme & with little forethought, which might be a good recipe for disaster, but so far I'm liking the results. Here is one example, the rest are in an album on my Flickr.

A Head for Figures (Chaos Series), 2021, brush & soluble carbon on paper, 17" x 14".


Sunday, August 08, 2021

Head for a Pietà

 This is a 3D digital sculpture done in Blender. It seems to have a quite strong emotional resonance.

Head for a Pietà, Blender digital image


Friday, July 30, 2021

Amber Angel

 Another rendering of the Angel Manipulating Spheres piece:

Amber Angel


The Angel's Hand

 Close-up rendering of the Angel's hand (from Angel Manipulating Spheres). Hands are difficult & time-consuming to sculpt, and this one came out quite well.

Angel's hand, digital rendering from Blender

Here is another view of the piece:

Angel Manipulating Spheres, another view


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Sun Angel I & II

 This was done in Blender using a winged head I sculpted a short while ago. I added a partial body & gave it a metallic gold texture, then lit it with an HDRI (high dynamic range image) as well as a sun light. By experimenting with the lighting, HDRI placement, composition, etc., I came up with the following images. The only difference between I & II is the rendering engine used (Eevee in the first, Cycles in the second). The results were suitably ethereal & heavenly, I think.

Sun Angel II, Blender digital image (Cycles renderer)

Sun Angel I, Blender digital image (Eevee renderer)


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Resilience Rising Revisited

 A new version of Resilience Rising, done in Blender to be used in A-Frame web format. This is a work-in-progress, more soon.

Resilience Rising (new web version), digital, 2021


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Three Golden Heads

 I recently did a sculpture workshop for students at ASU (where I teach Blender & XR artwork). I started this head in the Zoom workshop to demonstrate Blender's 3D sculpting capabilities, & finished it afterwards. It usually takes me several hours to sculpt a head, & the workshop was around 45 minutes.

Below are 3 versions: top; fully textured: middle; another variation against a cloudy sky: bottom; the sculpted heads in raw, untextured state.





Occimore by Paul Rizk

 Here is the cover of "Occimore" by Paul Rizk, a young French author. This book was published a few months ago & I should be receiving a copy soon, more details when I get it...

Occimore by Paul Rizk, cover painting is "Judgment Day", 2019


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Sette Occhi / Seven Eyes by Enzo Ciruolo

 Thanks to Enzo Ciruolo in Italy for sending me a copy of his book "Sette Occhi" with my painting of "The Creature with Seven Eyes" on the cover. This is his first published novel, I believe, so congratulations to him. Also it was a prizewinning entry in a competition. As far as I can make out, via my lack of Italian, it's a noir mystery/thriller. From Google translate:

"Esdras is a young scholar of the Sacred University of San Policarpo. Because of the marks on his face, he has lived in solitude for as long as he can remember. Only Father Ure, a Consistorial considered by many a heretic, took pity on him and took him as a disciple. After years of intense study of the Masagida and sacred contemplation, the boy manages to be admitted to the prestigious university; however, the joy of reaching the goal is soon dissipated by a terrible event. Father Ure is brutally murdered and Esdras, realizing the similarities present in the dynamics of the murder with some events contained in the Sacred Texts, decides to investigate the identity of the executioner."

I'm wishing him much success with his book, and future career. He is also a very accomplished pianist.



Tuesday, June 08, 2021

New World City A.R. (web version) for Leonardo ISAST


 Just published (embedded via QR code and marker) in Leonardo Journal 54:3. More info at: https://leonardo.info/new-world-city-about


To view, scan the QR code & click "allow" & point the phone camera at the lower icon. For better results, click to make the image full screen.



Friday, May 07, 2021

New World City AR web-based version

 Here's the augmented reality project I've been working on recently. This is a new, "portable" version of New World City, originally conceived as a large-scale outdoor AR installation. This uses many of the elements of that piece in a small-scale marker-based piece using the A-Frame software framework. This means that you will go to a web page, be prompted to allow use of your camera (phone or computing device) & the 3D imagery will pop up when the marker is recognized. This is currently nearing completion & I'll put information here about the final piece when it's ready.

New World City AR (portable web version)

The double helix building left of center was created by my daughter, Lizzie


Friday, March 19, 2021

The Isle of the Dead by Daylight

 This is a new VR piece I've been working on in Blender (3D) & Unity (game engine/VR software). I've long been fascinated by Arnold Bocklin's iconic painting & have done several smallish pieces that have either been versions of it, inspired by it, or contain it as a minor element. Here, I've turned my interpretation/re-imagining of it into an explorable VR environment. For the moment, it exists only as a file on my computer, but I'm hoping to make it more widely available.

The sky is from a free skybox, via AllSky, by the way, I didn't make it.

The Isle of the Dead by Daylight, 2021, VR piece


Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Lost Cities of Mars

 This is a VR piece I've been working on recently in Unity (game engine/VR+AR program) & Blender (3D modeling). It ties together a number of themes & ideas inside a handy alien environment. I'd like to develop it further, making the portal teleport to various areas of the piece, adding sound/music & perhaps other features. I'll mention here if these events come to pass. You can also see a video walkthrough, recorded from inside the Oculus Quest headset here on Flickr.

The themes involved include, time, eternity, the beginning & end of civilizations, what it means to be human, what it means to exist in the universe, the idea that everything that has happened in our world may have happened elsewhere long ago (or again in the future)...and many others...

The Lost Cities of Mars, VR piece, 2021


Friday, February 12, 2021

The Temple & The Shrine: Atmospherics in Blender

 Recently, I've been teaching an Intro to Blender (3D software suite), which has been helping me to integrate the software into my art practice (as well as helping the students learn the software, of course). Last night I was experimenting with volumetric lighting (light through fog, etc.) & found ways to make the rendered images more atmospheric. This was a missing part for me, & seems to be helping to create the worlds I want to make.

Atmosphere, 2021, Blender image

The Shrine, 2021, Blender image

The Most Ancient One of All, 2021, Blender image


Saturday, February 06, 2021

Ecce Homo 1993

 I just did an Internet search & found that this piece, which had been in a private collection, sold at auction recently (November 2020). I hadn't realized that the owner had passed away. I pulled the image from the auction web page...it's a better photo than I had before.

From the listing: "depicting figures reaching out of a torso with the limbs of other figures around and reaching towards it, all set before a cloudy, rocky landscape; signed and dated 1993 lower right."

Ecce Homo, 1993, ink on paper, 25" x 20"

Friday, January 01, 2021

Worlds Without End

From the final days of 2020, I did a small number of ink drawings...here is the one I probably like the best, the title is a meditation on parallel worlds or alternate universes, or something like that...

Worlds Without End, 2020, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 17"