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Guilty Pleasures - Inspirational Subjects- The Early Years- Part I

Updated on August 5, 2009

Early artistic inspiration

Frank Frazetta from the death dealer series.  Molly Hachet "Flirtin with Disaster"
Frank Frazetta from the death dealer series. Molly Hachet "Flirtin with Disaster"
Derek Riggs Iron Maiden "Killers" Acrylic
Derek Riggs Iron Maiden "Killers" Acrylic
John Salt, Photorealist oil on canvas
John Salt, Photorealist oil on canvas
Chuck Close airbrushed oil on canvas
Chuck Close airbrushed oil on canvas
Don Eddie airbrushed oil on canvas
Don Eddie airbrushed oil on canvas
Doug Johnson airbrushed acrylic Judas Priest "Screaming Vengeance"
Doug Johnson airbrushed acrylic Judas Priest "Screaming Vengeance"

As many of you know I am Bi-Polar and also an artist. Thousands of ideas cross my mind weekly and I am visually overwealmed constantly. This hub lists some of my favorite subjects that I have always loved and still inspire me.

Let me explain, the job of a great artist is hard... I am inspired... I cannot wait to get started...I aggressively pursue the goal of completing the work of art... I then become very bored and the struggle begins. What begins as excitement turns into a painful ordeal of perfection and boredom. Mid way thru my painting or drawing another subject has usually inspired me. This is very common for manic-depressives. For me it has been a struggle. However my parents taught me to finish what you start and I usually complete 90% of my projects, especially since being medicated properly for my disorder. Plus as a illustrator our payday is based on meeting a deadline and usually insane ones. However I have never completed a ultimate goal to do a series. These hubs will hopefully give me a avenue of inspiration so I cab do my first series.

However as a child I remember doing several series of works. My first was drawing big rigs and custom cars in the third grade. I would copy photos from the World of wheels magazine I got at the convention center in my home town of Memphis Tennessee. The magazines were my earliest views of bikini clad babes propped besides these candy coated pieces of splendor. I even had a Car Drawing Club in the sixth grade and I was the President. I can only remember having one other member because I was so critical of the work that was accepted. I kept them in a big fat orange notebook all drawn on notebook paper. I bet I had done a series of twenty drawings. Cars such as T-Buckets, chop tops, flamed lead sleds, funny cars and my favorite custom painted vans filled my book. I wish I had that back today. My first real portfolio.

in the early 80's was my fixation with album covers and I began painting. Frank Frazetta, and his Molly Hatchet album covers and especially Derek Riggs and his incredible Iron Maiden album covers. I learned to paint by copying these artists work on poster board and with sorry brushes and acrylic paints I learned my craft. Where did these paintings go? I was so happy in those days. What happened over the years? Yes these painting were crude and if I saw them today I would laugh but remembering how good I felt laying paint to paper makes me miss those days of discovery so much.

In high school I was so disappointed when I had to take shop class instead of art my freshman year. I finally got the chance to take my first art class and I excelled. High school art was a blur however I do remember loving this period my teacher Mrs. Eva McDade and hating for the class to end. Honest truth art was my only subject I excelled in. My GPA was pretty bad. My ability however to draw the figure and especially faces was obvious. I guess my love of people as subjects started then. I was still inspired by the album covers, Norman Rockwell and particularly the airbrush work of the 80's. I do not mean the crappy t-shirt work from the beach. I studied Charles Bell, Chuck Close, Don Eddie, Audrey Flack and also my favorite John Salt who painted Photo-realistic paintings of mobile homes... Yes mobile homes and rusted junk cars. My obsession with hyper-realism began when I first saw Chuck Close's huge incredible self portraits in a airbrush journal in 1986. I began studying the coolest time in modern art the photorealists movement of the 70's and 80's with came along and replaced the Pop Art that was fading out of style. Another great influence was the edge themed and geometric airbrush artists at this time. I totally dug Doug Johnson of Judas Priest fame and my all time favorite painting of his included the Screaming Vengeance album cover. White highlights and incredible sharp edges makes this another piece of graphic perfection that I will love till I die.


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