Ever since my early painting classes as an undergraduate in art school, I have been interested in incorporating text in my work. Using text in contemporary artwork is nothing new, and some artists use text exclusively. I’ve been inspired by the works of Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Cy Twombly, Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and the Dada collages of Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, to name a few artists who used text in some of their artworks. I am intrigued by the possibility of adding additional layers of meaning to a piece through the use of text. Such uses have the potential to support the main idea of a piece, or contradict it; either usage is valid. The use of text in visual artwork can also serve to make the piece more accessible to the general public. I think of it as a way of giving the viewer another handle to hold onto when grappling with the piece.
One of my early painting professors, Erin Palmer, offered a critique of a text painting I made as an undergraduate by asking whether the painting could be successful if the text wasn’t readable (ie, if it were in another language, or if it were illegible text). Continue reading →
My studio practice differs from that of most artists I know in that I don’t simply go into my studio every day (or even every week) and just paint. And when people I’ve just met ask me what I do, the exchange typically goes like this: “I’m an artist.” “Oh really? What kind of pictures do you paint?” “Well, I do paint sometimes, but not exclusively, and when I do, it’s not usually pictures of anything, because I approach a painting as a three-dimensional object, not an illusion of space…” By this point, the person’s eyes are usually glazing over and darting around the room looking for an excuse to get away. Sometimes to save us both the embarrassment, I’ll simply say that I make abstract paintings (which isn’t really true). The typical response is “oh, that’s nice.” Or maybe, “My aunt was an abstract painter. She killed herself though.” Continue reading →
The product they chose to receive the award is an iPhone 4 case, decorated with one of my original oil paintings. The same design is also available on many other products in my shops on Zazzle (The Bindery, The Shoe Cobbler, and The Art of Lavaguy.) Check them out!
This is my 13th Today’s Best Award, since I began designing for Zazzle in July 2009. My last win came on August 19, 2011.
Each day, thousands and thousands of new designs appear on Zazzle, the world’s largest Print-On-Demand retailer. And each day, Zazzle hand-picks a few of that day’s best designs (usually around 30, but it varies from day to day) and features them on a page called Today’s Best.
This Painted iPad cover is just one of hundreds of products I designed from my original oil painting, available in my Zazzle shops.
It’s been a hectic couple of weeks in the house o’ Lava, as I’ve been writing my little fingers to the bone… Yes! It’s true! I finally started writing (as in typing & layout/graphic design) the book I’ve been thinking about for two years… I’ve made terrific headway (about 135 pages so far) and found an editor to help me along the wily route of publishing. More on that later (much, much later).
What’s it about? In short, it’s a book about Zazzling. That is, using Zazzle to design and print your own…anything. (Well, actually you do the designing, and Zazzle does the printing.) I wished I’d had a book like this when I first started designing for Zazzle more than two years ago. I kept searching the library and book stores for something similar, and nobody has one. Even Amazon doesn’t have any books on the subject. So I did the only thing I could think of: I wrote it myself. It aims to be a very complete, how-to book on how to use Zazzle. It has everything from the very basics, to projects for advanced users. I’m estimating the total page count will be several hundred pages. It is lavishly illustrated throughout. Continue reading →