From far away as Jupiters sulphur mines

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Dog Week

Another week of sketching…

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now Stimpy has a Ren,

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and Garfield has an Odie (who looks like he’s been sniffing glue).

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I’ve gone and scanned each one in now, so if I ever make a print run or a poster, or even decide to photoshop the groups of characters together I can.  This week I’m back to random characters…Mickey Mouse and Astro Boy so far…will share next week.

Later

Cat Week

So as I said last week I had to shoot a wedding over the weekend.  It was mad hectic for me.  The wedding was great, the couple getting married was great (family wedding) ….no complaints what so ever.  It was the stress of making sure I got decent shots.  Turned out, I got some really great pics.  For the next couple weeks I’ll be spending my time sorting through them all, so cutting my stencil will stay on the back burner. Once the couple sees them maybe I’ll share them here too.

Last week was cat week with my sketches

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This week I’ve been doing dogs – snoopy, underdog, maybe an odie, and I think I’m going to ditch the themes after that and go back to a bunch of randoms again.

Cleaning My Hard Drive

So my stencil cutting has ended for now.  Just not enough hours in the day.  I have wedding to shoot this weekend, so I’ve been prepping for that.  Having to focus on my photography, allowed me to finally export a lot of my pics to an external drive to clear some much needed space (100+ Gigs worth).  Then I finally imported a pile of pics I had taken in late December to the present.

 

Here’s one of them from the Toronto ice storm …click on it and it will jump you to my flickr page.

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I’ve got more to post on my flickr once I have the time to go through them all.

 

Still keeping up with the daily sketches, here are last week’s:

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This week I went with a cat theme, I’ll share next post.  After that I have a Snoopy sketched so maybe I’ll do a dog week.

Later

Still Sketching

This year has been going way too fast.  March is almost over, and I’m still cutting the first stencil for my latest painting.  I haven’t been able to put in nearly the number of hours required in the last two weeks.  Still chipping away though..it will get there/here eventually.  I have still been sketching.  It’s something I haven’t done in years, and thought I should start back into it and up the skills.

Here’s the last two weeks worth.

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I do one a day on my lunch… really quick portraits of past characters.  I started with the idea of doing the characters I enjoyed growing up but it will probably hit a point where it branches out into everything.  My brother requested to see The Great Cornholio, Wile E Coyote, and Darkwing Duck….he got Yosemite Sam, Bushroot, and  The great Cornholio.  If anyone has requests they’re welcome, but I might just treat you like my brother.

Pound For Pound – Derian McCrea

I have known  Toronto based illustrator Derian McCrea for many years now.  We went to bealart and college together, and I still call him a friend to this day.  Since I can remember he has always had a love for boxing.  For the last 10 plus years he has been in and around the creative field professionally, and boxing has been present in his work in various forms.

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I’ve always had a vested interest in sports, especially the sport of boxing. I find boxing very interesting due to all of the characters and larger than life personalities in it. There are very dynamic perspectives, and their drives to be great tends to inspire me to create. To me that connection to creating is like a poet searching threw the depths of my craft, to express the profoundness of what interests them in a subject. This respect for the sport led to me learning how to box over 5 years, even though I wasn’t physically gifted for it. That experience allowed me to get into the character and the feel of what is was to hone my craft to the best of my ability. To me my art represents trying to tie the many relationships boxers have and what their frights/personalities give to the sport of boxing.

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I find my style is like a journey to the finish; what I tend to see in my mind has to adapt and think and react to the changes that the various mediums I work with. Much like a pugilist, I can’t approach an opponent in the same way, change is inherent in the medium itself. Creating these portraits represents a connection I think all human beings strive for, relevance and direction threw challenges that we all come across. It’s a journey to find the heart and courage to move forward.

Follow more of Derian here:

https://www.behance.net/derianmccrea/

http://derianmccrea.tumblr.com/

IMAGES IN THIS POST ©COPYWRITE DERIAN MCCREA

Art Documentaries

Another week of cutting my stencil went by.  It might not look like it but I got a crazy amount done over the weekend.  I got the bottom panel done and now I get to flip it around and do the top.

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While I’m cutting I usually have a video going that I can listen to and look up from time to time.  Here’s a list of documentaries I’ve seen lately.  Click the titles to see the trailers for them.  The Youtube section is the actual flicks….and remember…watch your bandwidth:)

Beauty is Embarrassing – Great flick.  The guy who made puppets and set design for Pee-wee’s Playhouse, turned illustrator, turned fine artist.

Gerhard Richter Painting - Slow moving but interesting seeing an artist who’s made it.

Guest of Cindy Sherman – Interesting seeing someone’s view from the inside of someone who’s made it, but they themselves have not.

Herb & Dorothy – Interesting art collecting pros.

The Art of the Steal - A bit heavy on the politics behind what happend, but crazy art collecting theft. (hyperlink is the actual movie)

Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child – Super dope watching someone rise to fame in such a short period of time.  Best I’ve seen in the list

Louise Bourgeois : The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine - Really slow moving but Louise Bourgeois sells this whith her personality, and the amount of her own personal history she puts in her work.

Waking Sleeping beauty – Disney getting out of the shitter (Little Mermade/Beauty and the Beast era) – Michael Eisner – Good but i think id put it near the bottom of this list

Waste Land – Really good.  Creating art from the world’s largest garbage dump located in Brazil.  How a project can effect the participants more than what was planned.

Bill Cunningham New York – Interesting flick on a fashion photographer with an addictive personality for taking photos.

Exit Through The Giftshop – I’m sure everyones seen this by now.  If you haven’t check it out.  Bumbling Mr Brainwashes rise from Documentary film maker to the elite art market while riding the success of street art.  (hyperlink is the actual movie)

YOUTUBE WATCHING

John Baldessari “This Not That” – Great Canadian artist profile…watch it.

The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings PART1 PART2 PART3 PART4 - As the title says – Art theft…booya!

In the Realms of the Unreal - Crazy balls – Very interesting.  Nobody knew, but this dude made a 15,143-page fantasy manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls along with several hundred watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story…..whhhhhhaaaaatttttt???!!!!

The Durer Rhinoceros – Masterpieces of the British Museum PART1 PART2 - For all the printmakers out there

Painters Painting – A Classic. Abstract expressionism

Robbo vs Banksy- Graffiti Wars - If you’ve seen Exit Through the Giftshop this is a great one to followup…. maybe Banksy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be?

A Couple Shows & More Cutting

This past weekend I hit up the AGO to see The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 which I thought was OK, and The Artist Project which was alright as well.

Artists I though had some cool pieces at The Artist Project were:

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Wesley Rasko

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Nicholas Crombach

George Boyer

Jeremy Browne

Katrina Schaman

Kelly Grace

Paul Saari

I left the AGO exhibit not knowing how I felt about it, so I went back this past Wednesday and still didn’t love it.  Not sure if it’s where my head space is at in terms with my own work that’s influencing my perception. There were maybe 3 paintings I thought were cool in all.  Found this in another room away from the exhibit…pretty cool.
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I’ve been cutting some more.  I have almost finished the bottom half.  I didn’t realize when I taped the two panels together that the tape could then be a complete pain for me to cut through.  It makes a lot more work because I have to cut the piece then pick out the tape which is then gummy and 50% of the time there are very fine hairs the are left that are woven into the tape itself. Tape choice, important people, important.
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Kept up my sketching a bit more this week….more 80s characters…
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Next week I think will be art documentary reviews.
Later

Progress Update

Here’s how far I am now on my stencil.

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I didn’t have too much time to spend on it this past week, so I didn’t get as far as I wanted to be right now.  It’s nice being at this end of the stencil because the larger the sections I have to cut out, the less time it takes me to cut a larger space.  I’ve been watching quite a few art documentaries while I cut, so I might add a list to this blog next update.  I’ve also been doing some super quick sketches of characters I dug when I was growing up.  This is new territory for me.  I drew fan art when I was a kid, but the older I got the more I got involved in design and just working on my own ideas.

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They’re super rough but if you like, follow me on my instagram and I’ll add more as I go… they’re maybe not as you remeber them, but it’s my instagram so I can do what I want.

Later

My instagram: @Leitch

The New Old

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As usual my latest painting is taking a crazy amount of time.  In a previous post I said it was a new old painting that I was working on.  It’s new because it’s my latest painting….it’s old, because I started it roughly 5 years ago.  I’ve always planned to do this painting and the thought had never waivered on the subject matter.

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Six years ago I started by painting the background, and then it sat leaning against a wall collecting dust.  It’s going to be a red fox walking down a trail.  I’m going to go about it much differently than I would have when I started.  Chances are it would have look more like this piece.

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Ink outlines, airbrushing, and a bit of oil paint on the details, all with the background comming through.  My plan this time around is to cut a massive 2 colour stencil of the forest where the background will come through, and the fox will be solid oil paint and I’m going to make it as realistic as possible.  In my head it works, will have to see if the two styles blend together enough and doesnt just look like one image sitting on top of another.

Here’s where I’m at with the stencil.

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You can’t see much at this point but it should come together the more I get cut.  I’m at about 40-50 hours of cutting in two weeks so far and I’m about a quarter done.  The second stencil doesn’t have nearly as much cutting.  It will probably equal the amount I’ve completed on this one, so that’s good news.  It’s going to be a while before this one’s done.  It won’t be that thrilling but I’ll do an update post or two to show where I’m at.

til then

Powerless

Back before Christmas there was an ice storm in Toronto which knocked out the power to many places, including my house.  We were without power for three days.  During that time I thought I would start a new small painting to pass the time.  Because we have a front porch, little to no light makes its way into the house, so I thought I would paint by candle light. I mean that’s what they did back in the day…  Let me tell you, I couldn’t see shit.

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I thought I would paint in black and white (because that’s all I could see).  I mix my black using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  I thought I did a pretty bang up job until I saw it in the light the next day, and noticed some areas were more brown than others.  As far as the style goes I’ve been watching a crazy amount of vids on Picasso lately and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and wanted to try far less detail than I usually would go for.  I used a way larger brush which prevented my from getting in really tight.  I finished the main figure in the power out and pick up the rest after the new year.

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I thought it might be cool to do a mind-body and spirit theme by adding another two expressions which would also fill the negative space.  When I’m lost in thought I usually just space out and stare off to the side, and I figured the spirit should be rising above and more animated than the rest of the piece.  I decided after the third face (mind) went in, that I needed to pull back the detail on the second face (spirit) and that I needed to either change the noses on the two secondary faces, or just the one on the main figure.  It was really a tough decision for me.  I had really loved how imperfect and lopsided it was, but it just didn’t match the other two.  I reworked it, built out the right shoulder, pulled in the width of the head by her right temple, and added a bit of detail to the eyes and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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I kept the brown tone on the main figure which gives it more warmth and a bit of life.  Planning  on doing at least another one of these but full figure large-scale.  Not going to be for a bit though, my latest painting is taking forever, I’ll share next post.

Later

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