Openly Admired: Mitch Frey


The Handshake.

So, readers of this blog will be getting a pretty good sense of what I like to look at. I like bold lines, a strong graphic style. I like low keyed color schemes, and I like expressing a lot with a only a little actually on the page.  Well, that is Mitch Frey. I think I now know what I want to be when I grow up… He has lots of other freakishly skilled work on his web site, but the woodcut is where my fixation landed.

I have never seen woodcut used for animation, I think I dig it. Hell, I know I dig it. I don’t even care about the subject of the video, but I watched it anyway. Will probably watch it again. Maybe you should watch it.


It’s Been Too Long!

Easter eggs from a couple of years ago. I wanted to do some since then, but these really made me happy, so I kinda feel like the picture is sufficient.
Easter eggs from a couple of years ago. I wanted to do some since then, but these really made me happy, so I kinda feel like the picture is sufficient.

My last post was just about two weeks ago, and at the time I was obsessing on Yuko Shimizu. And still am, in case you wondered.  Since then, I have also completed another small stained glass panel (pictured to the left, in the Flickr stream), been researching for two articles to go into the Weekly Alibi, consumed several audio books (see below), and begun prep for a festival at which I will be vending this coming weekend (Beltane Southwest).

In books, I heard Rudy Rucker’s Master of Space and Time, an interdimensional joyride based on injecting confused gluons directly into the top of your skull. It is ridiculous, and fun, and funny, and ever so slightly crass. A pinch of social commentary, and there you have it. Not profound, but entertaining.

There was The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, by Bernard de Voto. A silly book, but fun. The title more or less says all you need to know about the book, but I will add that some of the bits are so funny as to pop up in conversation on random occasions since then. Similar comments awarded to Robert Heinlein’s Starman Jones, which is absolutely standard Heinlein, in all ways that is good or bad.

Just finished Suze Orman’s Financial Freedom. She has so many books, and is so popular, and has apparently herself become quite rich by being popular and writing lots of books, I figured I should check one out. Who doesn’t want financial freedom?? Although the book was instructive, and when I was done with it, had a very concrete bullet point list of things to take care of in my financial household, I found her tone and delivery a little bit cloying, almost like she was explaining money to children. Which, come to think of it, someone probably should.

Currently listening to Thomas Ayres’ That’s Not In My American History Book, which is exactly what you’d expect — stories that either weren’t told, or were only partially explored, or sometimes even totally warped as they were read into history.  Much of it is interesting, some of it is — literally — trivia. (eg, presidential nicknames and sports affinities…)

Also, el Guapo reads to me several evenings each week, we are currently working on a biography of Robert Moses, Robert Caro’s The Power Broker. The book is interesting, as it revolves around how New York (city and state) got its parks, and what it lost as a consequence. It is also a very, very fat book. Maybe next we’ll read some Jane Jacobs together for balance…

I have not yet had time for Yuko Shimizu’s drawing class, but I AM doing that. ($10 bucks, forever access to the vids? Oh yeah.) Also on the Thing-Do list are: addressing the fact that my (remaining) computer is dying. Attending to my garden, which in the desert in summer is capable of eclipsing all other activities. Trying new recipes. Organizing studio and office. Watching the hummingbirds visit the feeder. Going to the zoo, botanic garden, and aquarium for sketching dates with Shirl.

Good grief, that seems like a lot. I do have some other artists’ work to share, which I have recently come across. No one let me forget to talk about Mitch Frey, OK?

Openly Admired: Yuko Shimizu (plus general update)


Although I try to ignore them, sometimes the FaceBook “things you might like” catches my eye, and I find a new obsession. Yuko Shimizu is my current art-crush. This first picture is exactly what sucked me in. Not only do I love-love-love the black inking, but the way her composition goes from very loose, gestural pencil marks to brushwork that looks so much like block printing that my heart stops a little.

This second image is one you may have seen, as it was used in a Newsweek cover. The lines, colors, contrasts, composition … I never get tired of seeing this kind of work. The tiny details, like the way the dots of sea spray are outlined in black, but the blue birds are just blue-on-blue, with no fuss.

NEWSWEEK cover Twitter Tsunami – Yuko Shimizu.

Her web site has been a bit slow for me today, and I do not know if that is me / my elderly computer with probably outdated browsing capabilities, or if her site is slow because she is getting all kinds of good exposure right now and everyone is flocking to see her. I rather suspect the second thing, AND I realize I will just make the problem worse by sending you there. I even got a few Page Not Found errors earlier, which suggests her web host servers may have crashed. Again, no idea if that is her site or something else malfunctioning, but the point of this long story is, even if you can’t get there right away, try it again later. Alternately, just do a Google image search on her name. You won’t be sorry.

Now, for the other updatings …

I have posted very little the last couple of weeks, and failed to deliver much of what I promised then. However, I DID actually (finally) finish my taxes. And have been working on more printing, more glass (mosaic at the moment), a nifty faux-enamel / plique au jour-esque technique that I am very excited about (I have wanted to try plique au jour since I first heard of it, and may well do it “for real” some day, but for now, this is satisfying.) Check out this artist’s site for some ooh-aah!

I have also been watching my garden grow, enjoying the amazing springtime weather, and making good use of my BioPark membership to visit the zoo, botanic gardens, and aquarium for a little life drawing / plein air action. … and working on a logo design commission, writing for the local rag, and soaking up audiobooks like some kind of a book soaking sponge.

Whew. You’d think I was busy or something. There are new pictures in the Flickr stream, and I have been working on getting those more consistently. For some reason they don’t auto-upload quite as automatically as the name implies, but that’s the world for ya.

Synasthesia in Poster Form

Art you can touch, that makes a pleasant sound? Check!

If only they would get on that smell-o-vision thing. Because if there were a way that touching the poster would make noise AND trigger all those different flavors, it would be perfect. Of course, I don’t actually want the brainstem implants necessary to cause the olfactory hallucinations.

The Sound of Taste – Feel Flavour on Vimeo on Vimeo

via The Sound of Taste – Feel Flavour on Vimeo.

This does make me think about flavor, as in, how would I visualize flavor? (Do I already visualize flavor?) What about smell? I think I would have not used long trailing blobs* to represent flavor. Or even flavour. Because they are a bit … tongue-y. Also, not all tastes are rounded and tentacular. Many are little explosions. Or tiny spiky things. Some tastes are very liquid, or foamy, or vaporous.

So, that is me, and my taste interpretations. To take it all the way to synathesia, though, in any conception, is pretty cool. I mean, what if you read certain words, and it caused you to react with colors?

* blob is the technical term for what the uninitiated call biomorphic form.

paper+ typography on Behance

paper+ typography on Behance.

… and here you see why I never need to even dabble in quilling.

I have linked only one of a phenomenal range of quilled imaged created by Sabeena Karnik. Her Behance gallery has so many amazing quilled things, the English alphabet series is just one small slice of it. Go see what she is up to, I think you’ll dig it.