Thursday, April 17, 2008

Brush Racks

These brush drying racks are a great idea I had, They make choosing a brush easier and after cleaning they allow the brush to dry flat. Drying flat keeps the water, solvent and any left paint from dripping down into the farrel, where it can cause the wood to swell and loosen.
The fist one I made is just nails pounded in rows into some scrap MDO board I had laying around. I also cut a couple V shaped scraps and nailed them to the side of the MDO board creating a "lean to" shape that allows it stand up at an angle. It would be better to make it out of all wood using dowels for the rack arms instead of nails and then finished to look nice. A way of making a portable brush rack using wood construction would be to add a hinge on the top so it can be folded flat, putting a carrying handle on top and adding a way of locking down the brushes so they'll stay put. Also it would be better to have 3 rack arms to a row, spaced a little farther apart to accommodate long and short brushes better.This wood rack is something I found at a thrift store pretty much as is. I don't know what it was originally used for, but it works great as a brush rack.
The wire rack is actually a $1.00 cheapo CD holder the works almost perfectly for brushes.
I have a lot of brushes.Instead of washing out brushes for every color, it's much more handy just to use a different brush for every color used. That also keeps the colors clean and pure.

Guitar Shaped Palettes

Here's my guitar shape palettes. I made these from 1/4" birch plywood that finished on both sides. The plywood looks nice, is stronger and less likely to split than solid wood. The only finish is a little linseed oil rubbed into all sides and left about a day to dry. When I'm fished painting for the day I just wipe off (and rub in) any excess paint with a rag or paper towel. After a while they develop a nice neutral patina.
The first one I did is about 18 x 24 and was based on a fender srat body. I simply sketched it out first, and then cut it out of a 2'x4'plywood sheet using a jig saw. The second picture is a detail of the back showing a piece of metal I epoxied on that fits into my hand when holding the palette, an innovation that makes it more comfortable and secure to hold. It works very well.

That first palette was a little too big for the way I normally paint, and I had some plywood left, so I tried making another one that was a little smaller. This one is well used and has a nice grey patina that helps judging colors. It gets quite glossy and smooth too.
The newest one I made is much smaller and shaped like a les paul. As you can see the "neck" area is a great place to keep the sulvent cups. The smaller size allows me to get up close to my work and is quickly becoming my favorite palette, just as the real Les Paul has become my favorite guitar.
These can be fairly easily made yourself I less than an hour.
If you would like one that hand made by me, I can make them at $18 for the small (approx. 8"x11"), $25 for the mid-sized (aprox.16"x20") and $32 for the large (approx. 18"x24"), shipping will be extra. Each one will be hand made and unique and made to order. I can also customise one to any guitar you want including accoutics. For an additional fee, I can also make them in animal or other object shapes. They can also be made of any solid wood of your choosing. The cost will be based on the diffcaulty of the shape and expense of the wood. Email me at toxicgraphix@gmail.com if your interested.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

There is no such thing as Art

*Sarcasm alert.*
In the art circles composed of critics, galleries and their rich patron sheep, there is apparently a difference between art and illustration. A great artists like Frank Frazetta or Norman Rockwell are not considered artists, but a "illustrators". This is because they paint scenes from books or other commercial work.
What makes an illustrator a illustrator instead of an artist? If it is because he was paid for it, then any artist who makes money on their art is an illustrator. If it is because his paintings tell a story or are scenes from books then all the old masters were just illustrators too. What's the difference between painting scenes from Myths, The Bible or Tarzan of the Apes? They are all storys.
It seems to me that all representational art tells a story, including still lives, Surrealism, Expressionist,Impressionist,Pointillism,Pop Art and indeed almost all art.

Now that we've established that all representational, and abstract representational artists are not artists but "illustrators", what do we have left?
We have the pure abstract artists who paint abstract images, colors and shapes that have no meaning (if they had meaning they would be illustrators). It can be said that abstract art isn't art, but merely design. Arranging shapes on a space for a pleasing effect. It takes little skill or craft as many episodes of "trading spaces" can attest. With some forms of abstract art it is doubtful that anyone could be able to tell the difference from work done by a artist and one painted by an elephant if they were not told.

In conclusion let's sum things up:
Representational artists are not "real" artists but "Illustrators". Abstract artists are not real artists, they are just "Designers".

This proves that there are no "real" artists and there is no such thing as real art.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Theory of the Universal Center

If you were at the center of the universe it would be equal distance in all directions stemming from your position. If the universe is infinite then each person, each thing, each atom, each point is at the center of the universe because no matter where an object is, it is equal distance of infinity in all directions to the edge of the universe. I'm not a mathematician but I'm sure this could be mathematically proven rather simply.
It also follows that since each object is at the center "everything" is at the same place. Space travel should be easy, since your not going anywhere. For instance if I am at the center of the universe, and Mars is at the center of the universe too, we are both in the same spot already.
This is in contradiction to current theories on the universe that claim it has no center. The universe must have a center or it can't exist. In fact, the universe is all center, because every point contained in it, is the center.
I also propose this can be extended to time. If time has always been and always be then each object is at the exact center of the time line. When the dinosaurs were alive, they were at the center of time, and future events will be at the middle of time also. If that is true then everything is always at the same point in time. Therefore it would be easy to travel through time, because past, present and future are happening all at once.
TA-DA, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Archival Painting Method

I've heard and read a great deal of debate and discussion among artists on the best methods for keeping their paintings from deteriorating over the years. They heatedly discuss proper supports, materials, grounds, types of gesso, the light fastness of paints and a multitude of other methods and proper procedures.

While good craftsmanship is essential to good work of any type, the single most important thing you can do to make your art last for centurys is to paint great art! All the greatest materials and methods and recipes in the world are not going to make your art last if it's in a dumpster. Your art needs to move people save it, to pass it down to their children, or for somebody to buy it, hang it up and love it. If it moves someone they will take care of it no matter what it was made of.

Look at all the paintings that have lasted for centurys, they are almost all masterpieces. Is this just coincidence? Are great painters the only ones that used sound techniques? Did lesser painters use "student grade paint's" on cardboard - so that no "average" art has survived? Many masters like Da Vinci experimented with fugitive materials and paints, but are still around today.
The reason great paintings are with us today, is because they are great paintings, not what they are made of. Great pieces of art that motivated people to keep them, take care of them and love them through war, famine and all manner of things that would have destroyed even solid steel! I am willing to speculate that the there are thousands - maybe hundreds of thousands of paintings that are gone despite the fact that they were made to last forever and used impeccable materials and paints.

So if you wish that your paintings to last a long time - make great paintings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I am the ERASER.

The color that we see on a painted surface is reflected light. The paint reflects the light that we see and call it's color, but it is actually sucking up all the colors we don't see. For instance red paint is actually yellow and blue. "Red" paint absorbs and gathers blue and yellow light and REJECTS the red light, it is reflected back at us to perceive as "red".
Get it? I didn't think so.

White light is all the colors of the spectrum mixed together, but a white canvas is actually black because it has no color of it's own. It reflects all colors back to us and we only perceive it as white. When I begin to paint on a white panel or canvas I am merely stripping away or erasing the layers of light and revealing the art that was unseen. I am taking colors away from the white, so that only some colors are reflected back and no longer perceived as white.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tattoo Machines

Here's a few simple designs for some tattoo machines I did a few years ago. The tattoo machine has stayed basically the same since 1876. These were an attempt to make a new type of machine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

There are no stars in the sky and that is why

I was looking at the sky noticing how few stars you can see. Even on a clear night in the city, only a few of the brightest stars will make it through the multitudes of artificial lights. A thought came to me.
My theory is that at least in part, some of the problems of the inner city (drop out rates, schools, crime, bigotry, poverty, the lack respect for themselves, others, and nature) is due to the city lights. At night you cannot see any stars. People have lost there sense of wonder. They can't look up in the sky in awe and realize the magnificence of the universe, and wonder at their place it. --just a thought.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ancient Water Mixible Oil Paint

I'm just going to use this blog as for general ideas and notes. Later I will design and improve the overall Blog. I'm not a great writer an don't intend this to be anything but a notepad.

I was reading an interesting article on ancient Indian cave paintings here: http://www.shumla.org/discover/paintmaking.htm . The archaeologists were attempting to manufacture the paint they used, but they would need to use the ingredients that would be available to the Indians at that time. Ruffly 2000 years BC.
They know through tests on samples what pigments were used, but they didn't know for sure what the binder was. It would have to be something that lasts 4000 years and be easily available in the area. Animal fat is a common binder is often used by native tribes. After trying other possibilities they decided that animal fat was the most likely binder.
But what did they use as a thinner? They hypothesised that a thinner must have been used to make some of the cave paintings. There was no petroleum solvents or turpentine available. Water can't thin paint with animal fat (oil) as it's binder. They eventually tried adding an extract of Yucca root (a natural soap) to the water and it worked beautifully as a thinner for the fat based paint. It apparently even added some very nice handling properties to the paint.
I'm would think that this should work just as well with linseed, or other oil based paints too.
This predates the invention of water mixable oil paints by nearly 4000 years.

I'm going to try adding a little concentrated Yucca extract to linseed oil and see if I can use it to make a water soluble oil based paint. If this is indeed what the Indians used then it should be a very tough and permanent paint, as it lasted 4000 years on the cave walls!

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