Sunday, June 8, 2014

ArtBar Aurora: "Toy Story" Freaks

Last month, ArtBar Aurora's theme was "Geek." On June 6, the theme was "Freak." Not unlike the previous ArtBars in which I've participated, the interpretation of this month's theme (which also served as the event's season finale. Back to business in September!) was open and rightfully varied. That said, my selection was much easier to get down with.

As a fan of Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story" franchise, it delighted me and my girlfriend, Tracy when our daughter, Makayla (who inspired last month's "Geek" offering) got into watching the first film. That's when the obvious hit me. This movie had quite a few freaks.

Mind you, there was a valuable lesson to be learned here in how one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, as the cobbled-together toys that belonged to Sid, Andy's sadistic neighbor, turned out kind and helpful despite their disturbing appearances.

Among those toys, the grabbers, for me, were "Jingle Joe" (an amalgam of a musical rolling toy, what looked like the right arm from a Mickey Mouse doll and a G.I. Joe's head), "Spider-Baby" (I suppose you could call him/her that) and "Legs" (a fishing pole and a pair of - I think - Barbie legs). There was just a starkly unsettling factor to them that stood above the other "misfit toys."

As opposed to last month's piece, I took my time on this one and fussed an awful lot over it from size (ultimately 12" X 16") to positioning (I almost royally messed up Legs' pose when I had her facing toward the viewer. No matter how hard I tried, there was no convincing way to make the business end of the fishing pole look like it was closer to the viewer and make it all make sense. That's when Tracy looked at it and asked why I didn't position her differently, something like a 3/4 profile. After inking from left to right until I reached her, I had completely agreed. That pose had to go. The current pose was the way to go. Trace knows her shit) to how exactly to render the piece (I decided to use my trusty Prismacolor watercolor pencils but figured I would go light-handed in my approach. I swept them this way and crosshatched that way and wound up frustrated because the colors weren't combining in the manner I saw fit. Damn near threw a fit; I'll tell you. That was my "Fuck it" moment. Heavy-handed and bold it is, then). All the heavy blacks are courtesy of my Faber-Castell PITT brush pens. Oh, those are so much fun...

So now, I have three months until the next ArtBar (as always, at Two Brothers Roundhouse near Downtown Aurora, Illinois) and -as per usual - I have tons to do and tons more already planned. The Artbar season premiere is "Hairy," so there's lots of ways in which to go with that one and I already have two ideas brewing.

Most important, the commission window is now fully open!

Till we meet again, ArtBar...

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