Peter, er, I mean Mr. Cusack (He is the art director, so i need to use Mr. or Sir as my salutation..) commissioned me to do this cover for him. He is the ideal client to work for.
It is for a book of poetry titled- "Through a Gate of Trees".
Part of my inspiration for this cover was the "circus trees". These trees were shaped by a S.F. bay area arborist from the 1940's to the 1960's, and are now on display at Bonfante Gardens in the south bay. Many of them perished but a few made it through...
This particular circus tree is made up of eight elms woven into one.
I believe the tree on the right is still living, and is in Bonfante Gardens.
I post this painting with a bit of hesitation. I am following up the masterful painting that Peter did.
I echo what Peter had to say in his post, it was a wonderful afternoon. I hadn't painted in oil for five years, since my daughter was born. I stopped mainly because i was afraid of the fumes affecting my daughter and wife.
I learned in oil, love everything about it, it is in my blood both figuratively and literally (wasn't too careful when i worked in oil..).
It had always been a dream of mine to go and do some landscape painting where my faith had started. I packed my Julian easel in a suitcase, and packed it across the country just to go and do this.
The Sacred Grove is a very special place for me, and I am sure for many more Mormons. I tend to be a bit of a "doubting Thomas", but I feel that Joseph Smith wasn't lying about the vision he had there.
I am touched by how Peter described his compositional choices, and that he felt that this was a special place as well. I am grateful that he kept me motivated to go and paint, not draw, but PAINT in oil!
It was a great expereince, much like the experiences I have when i get up in the morning, start working, and my brush, pen, or wacom tablet is doing what my mind wants them to. I feel as artists we have a gift, and on our best days it is really like having communion with that higher power.
An old spread from my sketchbook. It was initally in reaction to my feelings after reading Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, but it reflects my feelings about the 24 hour news cycle.
I was listening to an interivew with Burt Bacharach this morning while I was working. Burt was plugging his new album that just came out. It isn't one with a peppering of hits like "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head", but a protest album. He talked about how he is worried for his children, how he is worried about the state of things.
I tend to stay out of the political fray mainly out of frustration, but I am tired of being quiet about how I feel.
If you are a person that prays, pray that this administration doesn't bring about the apocolypse.
My wife was telling me the other day about how her aunt recently travelled to Norway to visit her family's ancestral home. She told my wife that the waterfalls that were on the fjord (norweigan for island i think...) where the old homestead is, are now gone.
This whole global warming thing isn't just a few parts on a satellite heating up and in turn giving us a faulty reading of earth's temperature.
Sorry for the depressing post, It was my daughter's frist day of school so all of these things are in the forefront of my thoughts.
I love New York! This is something that New Yorkers hear all the time, but I feel it is worth saying again. My biggest reason why I love this town is that some of my favorite people, the people I love, are there. I get so much out of my visits.
I finally finished up my masters degree with Syracuse, which is an entry in itself, and took a week with my wife to take in Manhattan. Both Kate and I had a terrific time. We stayed in Soho, which was relatively nice and quiet, and wandered all over Manhattan.
We had a great dinner with some fellow Drawgers and my agents in Greenwich village at a place called Tarnacs (sp? Peter??). It was great to see Nancy, Peter, Nicole, Gail, and Vicki. I wish we had the time to meet up with more Drawgers. I will be back to New York very soon, so lets try and meet up. Maybe go and do some life drawing?
Again, thanks Peter and Nancy for the great time.
I will write more about my shenanigans when my son isn't trying to get on Noggin.com...!