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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Show Season Wrap / Research & Development Time

For me show season wrapped up last weekend with the Chicago Pop Culture Convention.  I've never done a show that has over lapped with the Holiday shopping season before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Even though sales were incredibly slow, several small framed paintings found homes. Which, you know, this is something I've been trying to do more of.  Hopefully this will be my focus this coming year:  Art 8x10 and smaller, framed, ready to hang 100.00 and under.

This year (2016) overall sales were down, because attendance was down. Several friends of mine speculated it was because of the political atmosphere of the election.   Personally I have yet to see (from my end being freelance) that the economy is getting better. I guess only time will tell.

Next up: 
Now that show season is over it's time to get working on advancing my painting skills.  For a while, I've been itching to experiment without worrying about messing up expensive watercolor paper. I just feel like I'm severely lacking the experimentation element of art, being so consumed with finishing work to sell.

Over the weekend I got a peek at Brian Stelfreeze's Artbook. I absolutely love the way he uses color. And I've been in love with Drew's work since I was old enough to realize who he was. So I bought a few things: books from Amazon (Amazon Prime 18% off w/free 2 day shipping) and a new sketchbook from Michael's (YAY 50% off coupon).

I may have time to just play and start recording some of this for video episodes on my YouTube channel and maybe make some of it only available on my Patreon site.  Which is another thing I really need to work on.


This week, I'm cutting and decorating mats for the smaller works from my convention art bin. I'm also going to try and squeeze in some personal sketch/art cards. I'll be listing everything in my Etsy Shop as I go.

Till next time!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dr. Robert Miller

Today I found out that my High School Art Instructor had passed away on November 2.   For years I've been trying to locate him, my old high school didn't have any forwarding info, and any internet searches always came up empty.  I'm feeling a little heartbroken that I will never get to see him again.

Dr. Robert Miller more so than any other person had such an immense impact on my early art career.  He really did care about helping his students succeed, and if you put in the effort he would help you to become a better artist.   His classes were not for the weary, or for the students thinking they were going to get an easy grade.

I always marveled at his drawing skills. That first demonstration he gave on how to draw a skeleton, I wanted to draw like that.  His pencil renderings were a thing of beauty. Every mark he made on the paper had it's purpose.  'No Chicken scratches were allowed'. Something he'd say about those short little wispy lines he'd see us drawing.

Doc Bob got me into Art Competition, I still have my ribbons, they are packed away at my parents house.  I really enjoyed it and it was something I really missed once I was out of High School. I will always remember him saying (when we'd get the exacto knife from him to cut mats) 'count your fingers' and you'd count them out loud, he'd hand you the exacto and say 'I want you to have that many when you're done.'

Doc Bob also got me my first scholarship, a week of 'Art Camp' at the University of Illinois.  He gave me a bunch of supplies I would need and told me, as long as I used them, they were mine to keep.  I still have the watercolor palettes, some of the paints and I think I still have a brush or two.

Senior year I spent so much time in the Art Department it felt like home. Even now when I looked through the pictures I had taken so long ago, nearly all of them were taken in the art department.

I'm sad that I will never get the chance to tell him that his guidance and instruction in those early years helped mold me into the artist I am today.

For what it's worth -
Doc Bob, Thank you so much for being an excellent teacher and mentor. I am deeply grateful and you will forever be remembered.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/aurora-beacon-news/obituary.aspx?n=robert-miller&pid=182468331&