Saturday, February 26, 2011

And Even More Comics

Jim Unger, creator of Herman, and Jerry Van Amerongen, creator of Ballard Street, are two of my favorite comic artists because of their deadpan humor.

Jim Unger often includes patterns in his work, applying them flatly without regard to traditional approaches to representing visual depth and volume. His iconic character types are exquisite.

Jerry Van Amerongen likes creating dramatic black and white contrasts in his compositional elements. He, too, draws great iconic character types. Here, with a few simple lines supported with bold black shadows, he achieves a striking, moody atmosphere.

This is a comic I've often reprinted on color mixing handouts for my screenprinting class.

Yes, haha. Artists need to consider the bottom line, too.

Friday, February 25, 2011

More Comics

Over the years, I've collected comics with an art theme and here are a few, for your amusement:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Cover Art From Mathematics Magazine

My niece, Susan Stromquist, created the art for the February, 2010 issue. She's Walt's daughter (nepotism, again). She, too, was working outside the box to make this image. See examples of her typical artwork on her website.

I'm not sure who was the artist who created this cover.

Amy Uyeki created the cover art for the October, 2010 issue. She is a cousin (we are a large family with many artists).

And another cover... I think Walt built this art from a diagram contained in one of the articles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

Recently, I was given the opportunity to create cover art for an upcoming issue of Mathematics Magazine, which is published by the Mathematical Association of America. My brother, Walter Stromquist, is the current editor of the Magazine, which might explain why I got the project (pure nepotism).

My job was to create an illustration related to one of articles featured inside. Working from summaries Walt sent me, I had to come up with an idea and then bring it to life in visual form. All this meant working in a way I don't normally and with unfamiliar subject matter. Quite a challenge!

Here's my illustration that will appear on the April cover. It refers to an article discussing how to draw an hyperbola using a pencil, a straw, and a string. The pattern on the male's sweater refers to another article about spacing checkers on checkerboards. 

Because I'd never worked in a comics frame style, I needed to research that particular kind of drawing. I studied a variety of comic strips to see how heads attach to bodies, how people are portrayed in profile, how depth is shown in such a simplified format, how mouths look open and closed, and facial characteristics. I realized that the special challenge of the comics style is to reduce complex visuals to basic lines, patterns and compositions without losing information, clarity of message and expressiveness.

It was a really fun project and I learned a lot! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dramatic Views Between Rain Storms

I snuck in a brisk walk this morning between heavy rainstorms in SoCal. Lots of other hill walkers had the same idea, but I didn't run into my pals Richard and Maria Harris. I think they usually go a bit later.

The air was cool, fresh and spring-like; the clouds were dancing:

 Looking up toward the top of Signal Hill from the midway point below

Looking from the top of Signal Hill toward the ocean, port, and downtown Long Beach

Friday, February 18, 2011

Update from Arkansas

The day after the armed break-in to my parents' home, I asked my mother how she was feeling about it. She said, "Well, Bob and I should have handled the situation better. We should have just told that man to LEAVE." Since then, she hasn't mentioned the incident...perhaps an upside of short term memory loss.

And Life Goes On...

I'm pleased to have been asked to contribute work to an upcoming group exhibition at Golden West College Fine Art Gallery. The show will include a wide variety of print media and visual styles by ten Southern California artists including Roxanne Sexauer, my former excellent teacher and one of my favorite SoCal printmaking artists.

You all are invited to the opening:

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 3rd, 7-9 p.m.
Golden West College Fine Art Gallery
Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest Street
Huntington Beach, CA  92647

call 714-895-8772 for more information

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A 22 Caliber Hand Gun

My Valentine's Day musings seem, suddenly, to be a part of the distant past. On Tuesday night, my parents' home was broken into by a crazed man with a gun. He was seeking money from their caregiver, a friend of his. He fired the gun, hitting no one, fortunately, and then fled. The police are looking for him.

A 22 caliber hand gun can be purchased online with 53 dollars and an adult signature upon delivery.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And A More Modern Take

Hearts for You, 2003

Have a great Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Honor of One of My Favorite Holidays

Joe found some great Valentine cards from the 1930's at the swap and here is a sampling. I surmise that animal themes were big then. 

Next time, I'll post my favorite one! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Announcing: Mid City Studio Tour 2011

Time for our biennial event! YOU are invited to my studio and 16 others in Long Beach on the weekend of June 4th and 5th. A rare opportunity to see the private work spaces of artists working in a variety of mediums. Save the date. More details to come!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Collaborative Prints

When screenprinting, the screen is attached by hinges to a back board, which serves as the surface on which the paper rests during printing. Back boards get stained with drips and drabs of ink over time and some have developed quite beautiful abstract images. Here are a few from our classroom:

He Meant It As A Compliment So I'll Take It That Way

I was doing my regular walk on Signal Hill the other day, when on a long downhill slope I crossed paths with three teenage boys.  They were doing a complicated, fast paced two step run up the hill. I yelled, "Wow! You are very impressive!" One of them replied, "Thanks! But I think YOU are impressive, walking at your age!"