Did you know that traffic signals are controlled through the internet? It makes sense when you think about it but my internet goes down several times a year and that couldn't be good for traffic signals.
"I o T" is an acronym for "The Internet of Things". Earlier this year I created a fun assignment for Network World and Art Director Stephen Sauer on the topic of Cloud Computing but 4 months later the Cloud has become so 2013. The new thing in Networking is bringing all and every thing that we know to the internet. As a service, supplier or manufacturer it makes sense and we as artists it makes a bunch more sense so lets get ready for smart everything from vending machines to parking spots and all details between. Stephen and I agreed that we needed to solve the cover first and use that image as a jumping off platform for the spread. Thank you, Stephen for the fun.
First round of cover sketches to get us started and boom, nothing approved. I tell this scenario all of the time to my illustration students, be prepared to have your design work received for naught and when that happens you better come back smiling and swinging!
Second round of cover designs with number 2 the winner. The only change was to include a few tablets.
Cover final. Acrylic on board. 15" x 20". I moved the bottom 2 computers over to the right after the painting was finished in Photoshop to accommodate for the lost real estate due to the mailing label.
The Cover in context.
Cover detail. After I had painted the vending machine I realized that the Coke bottles were empty, not a good idea for the real deal but for art, no problem.
Stephen and I both loved the surfing robot so it was a natural fit to extend the cover concept to the spread.
Collecting early American stamps as a kid. I scanned this stamp at 2400 dpi. And I can just keep staring at it, it gives me almost as much visual pleasure as a Picasso.
Inspired by Yuko Shimizu here are my "15 influences, that stick with you, FOREVER." This was a fun exercise and now that I look at my list, all of my favorites look pretty much the same.
Comic Books, I bought most of them for the covers.
Collecting old photography during my youth at antique shops.
Frank Frazetta. When I was in art school he wasn't cool so I never told anybody that I copied and airbrushed a couple dozen of his pictures on vans and low riders during the late 70's as a kid in Southern California. Never liked, Boris Vallejo.
Another Green World. Brian Eno. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, Island Records 1975. Loved all of his solo albums and his work with, Roxy Music, David Bowie and especially Robert Fripp.
Maurits Cornelis Escher, usually referred to as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations. He is still a favorite.
David Hockney. Pearblossom Hwy, 11 - 18th April 1986. Chromogenic prints mounted on paper honeycomb panel (Looked to me like a cheap version of foamcore). I saw this piece at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. It blew me away, although it seemed shabbily collaged but the overall impact inspired me to the point of driving out to this location where Pearblossom Hwy intersects Mt Emma Road in a lame attempt to recreate the scene. When I got there the corner was so boring and non photogenic that I shot the Joshua Tree below and some power lines and got back into my car and drove home 4 hours to Temecula Ca.
Mt Emma Road. photo etching. Inspired by David Hockney and early photography I experimented with this process for maybe a year but the chemicals were so toxic that I gave it up.
Pablo Picasso. Blind Minotaur Led by a Girl through the Night, from the Vollard Suite, 1934. Still one of my all time favorite works of art.
José Luis Cuevas is a Mexican artist and was one of the first to challenge the then dominant Mexican muralism movement as a prominent member of the Generación de la Ruptura (Breakaway Generation).
Sir Stanley Spencer was an English painter. Much of his work depicts Biblical scenes, from miracles to Crucifixion, happening not in the Holy Land but in the small Thames-side village where he was born and spent most of his life. His life was very interesting.
Max Beckmann. The Night. 1918-19
Jose Clemente Orozco. Palacio de Bellas Artes: Mural "Catarsis" ( 1934 ) Mexico City.
Auguste Rodin. His watercolors, if you haven't seen them, check them out. You will see a lot of influence of this work in contemporary painting.
Henry Moore paintings.
Katsushika Hokusai, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. His work looks like it could have been done yesterday.
Kiki Smith. "Wolf Girl," 1999. Love, love, love anything and everything that she does.
posted: March 12, 2013
CFO Academy | 12" x 15" | Acrylic
This is a piece appearing in today's Wall Street Journal. This story describes the "CFO Academy". A dwindling few large corporations like GE and Honeywell have for decades been the go-to places to poach financial talent. With fewer old-guard academies investing heavily in their financial talent companies are turning to new CFO incubators like Amazon and EBay. This was a fun job for a company that I haven't worked for in years so getting the call was both a surprise and a pleasure. Big thanks to Daniel Smith and John Nichols for the assignment.
"CFO Academy" Detail
What is Technology?
posted: February 28, 2013
Mac OS X Mountain Lion
What is technology? It is everything and nothing at the same time. It sits back waiting to be used and when you put it into gear, it has the power to take you anywhere and everywhere. It's end products form our business and financial world but the software itself when not engaged is hollow and lifeless and trying to depict this dichotomy and a programs usage through graphics has been a fun but artistic challenge.
Here is some of my new work for the education and technology company, Lynda.com. I have had the privilege of being one of the lead cover and packaging designers for the last 5 years. My specialty has been business and programing software but once in a while I'll get to design some graphics software titles which is a lot of fun. Here is the entire Microsoft Office Suite for 2013.
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
Microsoft Excel 2013
Microsoft OneNote 2013
Microsoft Access 2013
Microsoft Word 2013
Microsoft Outlook 2013
Microsoft Project 2013
Microsoft SharePoint 2013
What is an Operating System? It is everything and nothing at the same time. It sits back waiting to be used and when you put it into gear, it has the power to take you anywhere and everywhere within your local hard drive. I have also had the pleasure of designing some of the later Mac OSX video packaging.
Mac OS X Lion
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Lion
Mac OS X Lion for Servers
Mac OS X Mountain Lion
Working for the largest technology driven education company in the world I have an ironic confession, I use Photoshop 3 to render my pieces, okay, I've said it. I design and assemble my work in CS but the simple elegance of PS 3 works perfect for my rendering style. I have tried over and over to migrate to CS but CS with it's over compensation and control adds an extra keystroke or two to every task that I complete so in a piece that may require several thousand Keystrokes it starts adding up and I just can't afford or have the patience for the extra time. Below are some screen shots of how I render my objects.
Assembling EverNote for Windows
Assembling EverNote for Mac
Adding the hands to PowerPoint
Every year Lynda.com produces something fun to give to their employees during the holidays. A few years ago they created the handsome Art of Lynda.com book designed by the fabulous Stefan G. Bucher. For 2012 they commissioned Rickshaw Bagworks in San Francisco to create 1,000 unique bags with custom illustrations printed across the front flap. Here are some samples of the bags including some John Hersey illustrations.
Happy Lynda.com employee's. Design by Heather Stallings. All photographs courtesy of Bruce Heavin
Today, after I had made this post I thought, "I really need to produce something tangible today". One of my galleries has requested more "Dragonflies" and "Infinity Couples" so this was a perfect starting point and I didn't have to think which is a good thing sometimes. I sketched out a few designs and decided on a direction. I am pretty happy with this new Monotype that I made this afternoon.
A few sketches. I come up with new pieces by composing on tracing paper over printouts of earlier work. I threw out the easy sell of an, "Infinity Couple" and tried something a bit new.
Untitled | Monotype | 12"x15" image | 2013
This week I was able to squeeze in enough time to finish the art requests for more "Dragonflies" and "Infinity Couples". Here they are below.
This is "Thai". He is the subject of my latest private commission. I thought that it was a fluke when I was commissioned last year to do a portrait of the cat, "Rover". Last month I was contacted by a family that had seen the Rover post and asked if I was interested in doing a portrait of their beloved Thai. I figured out when I drew Rover that decent photographs were a necessity and if they could send some sample pictures over I would decide if I could do Thai's portrait. The first pictures sent were great enough to accept the commission. Once I started really looking at him I kept asking the client for more and more pictures of him sitting, standing, looking at the camera etc and I wanted to see his tail and things like that.
When I created Rover I made 3 monotypes for the client to pick from. 3 seemed like the right number for doing this type of printmaking with much of the process and effects being random and somewhat out of the artists control.
When I sat down to create these the first impression I pick to draw needs to be the easiest pose, something that will warm me up and set the pace for the other 2. I tend to rush and overink the first plate so that was in the back of my mind, slow it down, get settled into his face and just draw to the best of my abilities. These 3 pieces were created in one long sitting.
Thai has since passed away during this commission and his parents are heart broken. I hope that this portrait captured his spirit and the mutual love for one another. I met Thai only through photographs and he was clearly a boy with a lot of spirit and I can only imagine him somewhere now carrying giant sticks and tromping through water and off to another adventure.
I have created a new directory on my website describing my pet portrait process with sizes and other details. If you are interested please go check it out here.
My drying rack. Preparing sheets of paper for this project. Proud father alert: our daughter made that ceramic bust in the center.
Thai #2 | Monotype | 12x15" image 17x20" sheet | available for sale
The 3 poses that I selected to draw. Thai seems like an "old soul" I could see that in his eyes. I drew these from my computer screen. My drawings made his head a little square. I compensated on the finals and thinned down his face a bit. He is a pointer so that seemed important to portray in one of the options.
Thai #3 | Monotype | 12x15" image 17x20" sheet | My 3rd impression is the wild card, I attempt to push whatever attitude I find in the subject from the previous 2 prints. This is the selected piece. sold
Thai #2 | Detail | 12x15" image 17x20" sheet | Detail larger than actual size
Thai #3 | Detail| 12x15" image 17x20" sheet | Detail larger than actual size
Thai. When I saw this picture, it was a done deal on accepting this commission.
Year of the Cloud
posted: January 11, 2013
Windows Server. Cloud based | 10"x13" | Acrylic on board
This was a really fun assignment for my pal Stephen Sauer at Network World. We had discussed at the beginning of the project executing each piece in the different mediums that I use such as printmaking, painting and digital. This sounded like a great idea and I was up for it but as the deadline clock started ticking down the idea became too difficult with all of the choices and thinking required behind each medium so we bailed the idea and I painted these all out in acrylics on board. As the sketches were being approved Stephen sent me a PDF version of his layout with my sketches in position and it was the perfect inspiration to charge me up to finish all of the paintings.This project was executed during the holidays and yes, I needed every bit of inspiration to stay on top off it and make the deadline.
Big thanks to Stephen for the job and for his excellent design work.
Cisco SDN. Software Defined Networking is an approach to building computer networks that separates and abstracts elements of these systems.
| 10"x18" | Acrylic on board
OpenStack. Is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and cloud computing project that is free open source software released under the terms of the Apache License. | 13"x15" | Acrylic on board
Cloud Mobile | 12"x12" | Acrylic on board
Gigabit Wi-Fi. When I came up with the design I knew it would be a hit and Stephen loved it. I didn't think about how I was going to paint it. When I started painting it I was mortified at how bad it was going but I stuck with it and as soon as I started laughing when I looked at it, I knew that it was working. It's hard to paint a white suit, not much in there to paint, you don't believe me? try it sometime. | 11"x16" | Acrylic on board
Some hairstyle designs for my tightrope walker.
Stephen's fabulous design work.
The above "Chicken Scratch" paintings represent how many brushstrokes it took to paint these 5 illustrations. When I paint in acrylics I have a sheet of paper next to the painting to wipe off the excess paint from the palette on the first brush stroke and this technique sharpens the tip of the wet brush. I don't look at the paper but just slap it and twirl the brush and then paint on my painting. I have a solo show of my personal work coming up in April 2013, I may put some of these in the back corner, but maybe not. Anybody out there have the instructor Eugene Edwards at Art Center College of Design back in the 80's? This instructor was way over all of our heads at the time and looking back on his assignments,,,this was the type of work he tried to get us to do.
The amount of brush strokes it took to make this painting.
I hope that all of you are enjoying the holidays and the build up to the new year.
"Use your heart in 2013" was just a casual thought that I ended up painting. So today I am driving along a rural highway and this guy with his pit bull is hitchhiking and I am thinking, "Maybe I should pick these guys up....Nope, that pit bull could be trained to take control of the car". So I don't stop and this hitcher guy and his dog give me a dirty look. I then realized that my, "Use your Heart" message was intended for the universe.
So, go out in a couple of weeks into 2013 and when the choice presents itself, use your heart and do the right thing and have a happy new year!
This design was inspired by all of the fantastic anatomical illustrations from the past that I love. I time everything that I work on which makes me a nightmare to work for. With digital work it's easy to time the rendering of an arm or a face since I render shape to shape but with painting I move around the piece building everything up all at one time. So with a painting I use a sheet of paper to wipe off the first brush stroke and sharpen the tip of the brush. This sheet of paper is my counting system of how many strokes it took to finish a piece. This counting thing may sound a bit weird but I am sure that other artists have goofy forms of entertainment while working.
A recent job with the tally of shapes completed. Start time 8:43 am, 9:15,9:37,10:37,11:47,12:15,12:48,2:34 and finished at 3:47 pm. As I was finishing I was scribbling down all of the stuff that I had to do the next day. Still haven't paid that traffic ticket :(
The original sketch
I tried to do something different with the type but reverted to my whimsical type style.
I scanned the painting before I painted in the background so I could indicate some background color choices.
4 background choices, I thought that the black popped the image the best.
"Use Your Heart in 2013" | Acrylic on Board | 10" x 13" | sold
Turtles & Technology
posted: November 21, 2012
Save Them All | Monotype | 12" x 15" image | 2010
My friends at the Turtle Island Restoration Network have been busy for 2012. Back In 2010 I got involved with the organization after I was invited as a visual artist to help raise funds to aid in habitat restoration after the catastrophic "Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill". "Save Them All" was the theme at that time and it has continued to project the beliefs and the work of this fine organization.
In the News. Last week the $4.5 billion criminal settlement was announced between BP and the U.S. Justice Department, BP will pay the $4.5 billion over the next five years.
I love this description of BP from Wikipedia:
BP is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by 2011 revenues and is one of the six oil and gas "supermajors".
Cool, BP is a "Supermajor" and the fourth-largest company in the world for 2011 revenues and this is one year after the oil spill. This company has the power to help the world, not screw it over. This criminal settlement is a step in the right direction, lets see how it plays out.
On the positive, the Turtle Island Restoration Network inspired California Govenor Jerry Brown to sign a bill making the Pacific Leatherback the CA state marine reptile. Great work!
More positive. The Turtle Island Restoration Network has added the Shark Stewards Project to their portfolio and that is a fantastic program that we should all support. Thumbs up.
"Save Them All" is available as a limted edition archival print through filanthropists.com with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
"Save Them All" | Archival Print | Edition of 35 | 2012
Joomla! 3 | Joomla is one of the most popular open source content management systems in the world, powering over 25 million websites, including over 2800 government websites. Its newest major release, Joomla 3, brings exciting new features and functionalities to Joomla designers and developers, allowing for more flexibility with user permissions and organizing content.
Here are some of my latest and favorite technology covers for the edu company Lynda.com. These will be used as DVD cover art and website banners for their educational videos. Some of these pieces are second and third generation titles that I have illustrated so problem solving is always a challenge trying to bring something fresh to the artwork.
Revit Structure 2013 | This course familiarizes students with the basic tools necessary to do their models and documentation in Revit Structure. This will include an introduction to the user interface; hands on experience drawing and editing Revit elements; viewing and manipulating objects in 3D; and producing design documentation from a Revit model and (when required by the project team) imported CAD entities.
iPad Music Production: Inputs, Mics, and MIDI | This course shows off the latest techniques and devices for recording live music with the Apple iPad. Author and musician Garrick Chow explores real-world recording scenarios, including the iPad's built-in input options (and why to avoid them), and shares alternative methods of getting your audio in and out of the iPad. The course covers instrument input devices like the Apogee Jam and Alesis iO Dock, compares microphones, and shows how to connect and play MIDI devices through the iPad.
SEO Fundamentals | In this course, author David Booth explains what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how you can start using it to increase your website's visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site. Discover how to read a results page and find your ranking, and see how rankings affect both large and small businesses. Then find out how to implement basic optimization strategies, like conducting keyword research, building inbound links, optimizing your pages and content, and measuring your successes and progress while planning for a long-term SEO strategy. SEO for ecommerce, local search, and an international audience round out this comprehensive look at the basics of SEO.
posted: August 27, 2012
Rover #1 | Monotype | 5x7" image 8x10" sheet
This is "Rover". He was the subject of my latest private commission. I have never created a pet portrait and when the request came in what was I suppose to do... say no to a cat portrait?, no way! I am pleased to now have cat portrait artist added to my resumé and I had a great time drawing you Rover. Thank you for the fun.
Rover #2 | Monotype | 12x15" image 17x20" sheet
Rover #3 | Monotype | 12x15" image 17x20" sheet
Rover #2 | Detail
Rover #3 | Detail
The Widening Gap
posted: August 13, 2012
The Widening Gap #2
When you get a call from SooJin Buzelli for an illustration assignment you know that you are going to have a good time. This is a recent piece for PLANSPONSOR magazine titled, "The Widening Gap". It is an article about the funding for state pensions coming up short. If you have worked for SooJin you can appreciate the few words of an image descriptor that she sends along with every story. Sure makes generating a concept easy when all she says is, "Image: Gap widening, or coming up short. Not enough", you don't even have to read the story but I did, I swear I did. I made 2 pieces because after the first one, I thought that I could make a better one. I sent in my favorite. Thank you, SooJin for the fun assignment!
The Widening Gap #1
KVIE PBS Art Auction 2012
posted: July 23, 2012
Couple #178 | Monotype | 12x15" Image | Oil on paper | 2011 |
TheKVIE PBS Art Auction 2012 will be televised September 28, 29 and 30, 2012. It has been 5 years since I have participated in this benefit auction and gala and I am thrilled to have my "Couple #178" selected. The last time I entered was 2007 and I was fortunate enough to be an award winner which was a huge honor and PBS did the short interview of me describing my work below. For 2012 the jury consisted of Sacramento's art royalty and the prize winning selected works will be announced next week. I've got my fingers crossed!
Woman #51 | Monotype | 12x15" Image | Oil on paper | 2006
Here are a few newly Illustrated DVD covers for the good folks at Lynda.com. The challenge of designing business application covers becomes the lack of tangible symbolism. Without the obvious metaphors and symbols of the real world I looked closely at the interface design of the applications and built my designs in a very architectural and structural manner. This set of pieces were both a challenge and a blast to create. Thank you, Lynda.com
I was happy and honored to hear that these Sea Turtle Monotypes were juried into the Illustrators 53 Institutional Exhibit. These pieces were part of a series created through an invitation by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project to participate in a show and benefit titled, "Save Them All" to help restore habitat destroyed by the BP oil spill. Thank you, Society of Illustrators!
Here are some new DVD covers for my friends at Lynda.com. The most difficult cover to solve in this suite of Illustrations was Excel which is bundled with Microsoft Office. Not much to grab onto for graphic symbolism other than staring at the interface for inspiration, I was happy with my abstraction of the bar graphs. Art Direction, Heather Stallings
Premiere Elements 9
SQLite 3 with PHP
Design work. Yes, I like to do a lot of sketches!
AutoCAD Revit 3
posted: June 28, 2010
I was on a big M.C. Escher kick while designing this title, here are todays sketches for a new Lynda.com DVD release, Revit 3. This application can be purchased within the suite of AutoCAD. Revit is purpose-built for building information modeling (BIM), Autodesk® Revit® Architecture building design software that helps architects and designers capture and analyze early concepts, and then better maintain designs through documentation and construction. Users will enjoy a more collaborative, integrated building design process by sharing essential BIM data with the partners, and use BIM workflows to help drive more efficient sustainable design analysis, clash detection, construction planning, and material fabrication. Hmm, I wonder which sketch they will pick?
Studio News April 19 - 23
posted: April 19, 2010
The New York Society of Illustrators informed me that this piece created for SooJin Buzelli at Plansponsor Magazine from the Editorial show has been selected for this years Illustrators 52 traveling show. This exhibition will be touring different galleries and schools across the United States. The tour dates are from September 2010 through July 2011.
This will be a big week for Lynda.com DVD covers. Here is a detail from my Perl 5 cover I finished last week and today I will be starting the final art for SharePoint 2007 Designer and Word 2010 and design work on SharePoint 2010. Thank you, Lynda.com for all of the fun jobs.
This week I will be making more progress on this family portrait. This is my first commission for a family portrait and I am having a blast!. This is an oil painting and it is big, 24"x31".
The Society of Illustrators is preparing a show with an environmental theme EARTH: Fragile Planet and I have been selected as one of the artists to participate in the show. The exhibit will be divided into 5 sections: Air, Earth, Water, Energy and Wildlife. I have been selected to create a piece responding to the Energy theme and I am honored and excited to get started on the piece. This show is Curated by Gregory Manchess and Jack Unruh with Co-curators Tara Jacoby and Kate Feirtag. This show is scheduled for June 3, 2010 through July 31, 2010.