I’m back from DC with a gold medal and Best in Category (journeyman, single figure) for ‘Into the Wild‘!
Read on to learn more about my championship weekend at the NOVA Open. Continue reading “Mini Painting Validation”
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.
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.
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.
…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!
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.
Lovecraft has been a favorite of mine and an influence upon my thinking since high school (I turn 38 tomorrow). I can remember my terror walking down a dark empty hallway after bingeing on him for the first time. It was ‘Pickman’s Model‘ that did it!
I’m also a bibliophile.
H.P. Lovecraft died in 1937, penniless and largely ignored outside of pulp fiction circles. Most of his income he earned from ghostwriting for others, while many of his own classics initially hit the ground with a thud.
Upon his death, Lovecraft’s acolyte August Derleth attempted to find a publisher for the master’s work, but found no takers. He therefore started up Arkham House Press to issue Lovecraft’s work and that of other weird authors (including Derleth). Arkham House issued books by many great writers, including Ray Bradbury, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, and others.
They also tended to feature awesome covers!
Here is a collection of Lovecraft’s poetry, including ‘Fungi from Yuggoth.’
Frank Utpatel illustrated many Arkham House volumes, and he signed this one.
Here’s the gem of the bunch.
Derleth often posthumously ‘collaborated’ with Lovecraft, completing manuscripts of varying completeness & quality and publishing them as finished works.
Derleth takes a lot of sh*t for this, especially from self-appointed Lovecraft gatekeeper S.T. Joshi. Like Derleth, Joshi deserves a lot of credit for moving Lovecraft out of the literary shade, but, like Derleth, he can get a little possessive of his darling.
It’s true that Derleth added a binary and explicit morality that Lovecraft’s fiction absolutely denies, but without him it’s unlikely Lovecraft would have endured as he has.
This copy of ‘The Survivor’ was signed by Derleth when the seller visited him in Wisconsin decades ago.
It’s unlikely I’ll ever get ahold of ‘The Outside & Others,’ the original 1939 collection with which Derleth launched Arkham House, but these little treasures mean a lot to me.
Thanks for taking a look!
… to bring you an awesome alert!
A few years ago my favorite card game ever, Call of Cthulhu, died. Like its namesake, it slumbers and dreams still, I assure you. But officially the game died.
The game ended with a final tournament at Championship Weekend at FFG, which my best friend Tom won. As in all his previous championship victories, Tom got to design an official card for use in the game.
He & I spent countless hours playing with many great friends, and a few of us formed the core of a small but enthusiastic community here in Pennsylvania.
To honor and reward this special group of friends, Tom incorporated portraits of each of us into his last champ card.
And here we are! The world is safe for another day, though no one will ever know the mind-shattering horrors we have saved them from! AhAahaahA!!
I’m so happy my friend gave me a little slice of the minor immortality he achieved! Thanks, Magnus!