Mushroom Preserve

I think I’m going to call this little scene finished.

I experimented with my mushroom building process (that was useful), I tried adding some leaf litter (useful trial, but I’m going to keep working on it), and I failed, in my judgement, with the larger plants. I’ll keep working on that one. Continue reading “Mushroom Preserve”

Mini Painting Validation

I’m back from DC with a gold medal and Best in Category (journeyman, single figure) for ‘Into the Wild‘!

Four Display Minis I Submitted to the Painting Competition at the NOVA Open 2019 in Washington DC

Read on to learn more about my championship weekend at the NOVA Open. Continue reading “Mini Painting Validation”

Shadows of the Past

Driving 8.5 hours from Pittsburgh to Connecticut, we broke up the trip by overnighting with my parents midway. I was happy to see these old friends again.

These are over twenty years old. I made them in high school when my imagination was deeply colored by the classic American weird writers Edgar Allen Poe & H.P. Lovecraft. Some classics merit acclaim, or attention, or whatever they merit chiefly due to their influence, but others stand on their own artistic achievement even today.

The urgent and concrete terror both authors can convey in their fiction holds up well to the modern reader. Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart introduced me to psychological horror around age twelve and has stuck with me for the next two and a half decades. The cataclysmic emotional release at the end of the tale demonstrated what a well crafted short story could accomplish. Lovecraft typically paints in dread rather than pandemonium. When I first discovered Lovecraft at fourteen I read (like so many of his protagonists) too much too quickly and ended up scared to walk down the dark hallway at night. I was certain that there were ghouls ready to pounce on me from the shadows!

My ceramics teacher, Jim Shirk, was a supportive mentor and always allowed me to create my own projects rather than follow his syllabus. I can remember the incredible schematic drawings he would spontaneously produce whenever we asked for creative advice and his beautiful, meticulous handwriting. Jim is a wonderful artist who, like me, loves to capture Nature’s beauty in his work. These two sculptures always evoke fond memories of my time learning from him.

MFCA

I’m back from the 2019 MFCA show in Philadelphia. I earned two bronze medals for my pieces.

Considering the quality of the entries, I was pleased with the result.

My favorite work on display was Matt DiPietro‘s bust of Conan, painted in a Frazetta style. I got to talk to Matt for about an hour. He is a great person. We talked about techniques, his business as a full-time painter, and his experiences getting to where he is now.

Many of the historical pieces were mind blowing. The techniques and stylistic norms are quite different from what I’m used to, but those old heads do know how to paint!

This incredible scratchbuilt masterpiece was voted a deserving best in show.

I got to meet many great folks, and spent an enjoyable day in the company of painters eager to share our love of mini painting. I’m hoping I get back to the show next year.

Four-Banger!

I stumbled across a flyer yesterday and today I visited Tricon, a show put on by the local chapter of IPMS. The people were great and I made some new friends.

Though most of the show was dedicated to ordinance, cars, airplanes, ships, and larger scale models & busts, my 28mm offerings did very well, earning four gold medals in an open judging competition.

I had a great time and look forward to visiting again next year. I’ll try to bring a few friends to increase the visibility of 28mm models, and also prepare some pieces that jive more with the overall settings of the show.

Woohoo!

Lights, Camera, Action!

…almost. Still working on the comms specialist, but I had to share with this with you.

Pretty bright, right?

Yeah! It’s a photo-reactive pigment so potent that it glows in daylight. Powerful enough to glow through green ink, apparently, also!

This is the product I used. My brother-in-law found it and gave it to me for Christmas.

It’s amazing and I can’t wait to experiment further. Plasma weapons might be getting a touch-up soon!

Textual Innuendo

When I create something like the Gilman House, my first step and constant reference is the actual text I’m recreating.

We learn in ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth‘ that Gilman House is yellow, the buildings are made of brick, the street is cobblestone, and the sign for the hotel is “half-effaced.”

I’ve split the difference between the color and the bricks, as I intend to do some enamel or ink weathering on the plaster. Always looks good. Continue reading “Textual Innuendo”