Archive for Chicago

Pyrography Artist Blair Mclean

Posted in Art, Process, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

Yesterday I talked about the dearth of pyrographers kicking it up a notch to create a higher art.  I found this guy Blair Mclean on YouTube and thought I’d point out his work as an example of the concept that I strive for.  He does some incredible straight-line images of architecture and landscapes that kind of put me in mind of art deco and Peter Kuper.  Instead of traditional burners, he uses a torch and metal straight edges.  This is awesome stuff, check out these videos of his process.

Crafty Art

Posted in Art, Process, Technique, woodburning with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

I’m counting the days down until the craft fair portion of 50/50 Pilsen, and thinking a little bit about where craft and art meet.  Art almost always involves a degree of craftsmanship, unless it’s purely conceptual. The work I’ve been doing recently involves a medium that puts most people in mind of boy scouts, grandparents, and kitschy outdoor country scenes.  Pyrography doesn’t have the popularity of, say, screenprinting, and it is far more time-consuming without the possibility of mass-production. But there’s a lot of possibility in the medium, because of the range of possible markings, from fine-detail to thicker, deeper burns.

Since the theme of this show is where art meets craft, I’ve been exploring the craftier elements of my woodburning, but really, I’m far more interested in how to incorporate this craft into paintings and drawings. Now, plenty of people consider pyrography a serious art, and so do I, but does it get the same respect as painting or sculpture? This past spring I was at the Art Chicago show at Merchandise Mart, and saw one example of pyrography. I’ve found a few cool woodburn artists trolling around the web, but ultimately, where I draw the line is whether someone is creating original subject matter with a discernible style. I’ll be interested in hearing some of the comments of the Pilsen arts community, because at this show I’ll be focusing almost exclusively on woodburn art.

We’ll see what we’ll see.

The Value of Tedium

Posted in Art, Process with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by scratchyb

I’ve been working on a project that requires some very repetitive detailed patterns. After a couple of hours, I’ve realized I’ve completed 10% of what I need done.  In short, it’s a very tedious process.

I’ve always been detail oriented to a certain degree. When I first envision an image, the detail pops out at me, but what comes out in the initial sketch is usually just a basic outline. That’s mainly from the haste of getting the idea out on paper. Then I can solidify the actual patterns and particulars during the execution of the actual piece.  And sometimes I end up committing myself to a pattern that is more than I had originally anticipated, and can eventually become very time-consuming and dull to replicate.  I almost always like the end results, provided I didn’t take any random shortcuts along the way.

There’s a number of artists that inspire me to carry on with my process, and take it even further.  For years, I’ve followed the work of Richard Kirk, who uses a meticulous and antique process called silverpoint,  which is actually drawing with silver wire on a specially prepared support.  And then just yesterday I took inspiration from wood sculptor Maskull Lasserre, who I discovered courtesy of the Dudecraft blog.

I think there’s a lot to learn from working at the detailed level. It definitely teaches patience, which I tend to run short on, but also the value of perseverance. I know from experience that the work I’m doing will pay off in the final result. And that’s a lesson for life.

Constructor Craft Fair July 9th

Posted in Art, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2011 by scratchyb

This post is waaaay late, but I have good excuses, what with a storm that blew out our power for36 hours, stomach flu, family matters, and an impromptu trip to Holland.  Holland, Michigan, that is.

So the Constructor Craft Fair happened at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn on Saturday July 9th, and it was just as much fun as last year.

Photo of setup at Constructor Craft Fair

I debuted a few new pieces there. These are a few of the new items. They’ll be appearing in my Etsy shop soon.

Piasa Bird woodburned box

 

Photo of woodburned box "Theseus and Minotaur"

Photo of art "Scorchwood"

 

Photo of art "ForkTongue"

 

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011

Something for the heat

Posted in Art, Painting, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by scratchyb

In my house, with the AC on, it’s 82 degrees.  And I’m grateful for even that.  So here’s a little piece for our friend the sun.  Please keep your flares to yourself.

Good Day Sunshine woodburn painting

 

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011

Thrillist writeup and other updates

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2011 by scratchyb

I got a little write-up in Thrillist recently.  That was cool to see, and I’ve noticed some increased traffic to my Etsy shop.

Speaking of which, I’ve posted a couple of new wood-burn and acrylic pieces on Etsy.  I’m trying to get a group of these smaller paintings out there before I start work on some of the larger ideas I have, since I already know those are going to be more involved.

Skull Priest started out as a design for a linocut, and then was turned into this woodburn.  I’m basically fulfilling my need to mess with Aztec and Mayan influences here.

Siblings was going to be more of the Aztec influence, but I’m seeing a lot more Wild Thing here.  What do you think?

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011

IF-Sweater

Posted in Art, Illustration Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by scratchyb

“While it is warm, troll-wool is terribly scratchy and uncomfortable, as anyone who has brushed up against a troll’s pelt would know.  Of course, they wouldn’t share that knowledge, because most people who came that close to a troll simply didn’t come back.  Sven’s mother had told him to always show his appreciation, and common sense told him not to offend Grandma Troll.  So he thanked her for the new, somewhat ill-fitting sweater she had knit him from the very wool off her arms.  Then he stood very still so as not to irritate his skin any further.”

From “Grandma Troll,” an imaginary fairy tale.

Illustration Friday’s theme this week was “sweater”.  I did have in mind a monster and boy, with a sweater knit from the monster’s fur. It turned into this troll idea after I thought of making the monster a grandmother, and the story fell into place in my head as I was drawing.  It’s possible this could turn into a full-fledged picture book.

 

© Eric Battaglia 2011

50/50 Pilsen

Posted in Art, craft with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by scratchyb

After all that preparing, the time is upon us.  I’m participating in 50/50 Pilsen this weekend.  This is a show that Mandy, Megan and Hesper have been planning for a while now.  I’m psyched, it seems to be coming together well.  I don’t have quite as many wood-burn products as I had hoped (and sorry, but I didn’t get pictures in time to post, I’ll post my display tomorrow, promise).  But that really doesn’t matter, I think this is still going to be an awesome show.  We’ve got some great artists and crafters here.  This weekend’s show is going to be primarily a craft show, and next weekend launches the art show.  Anyone local to Chicago, hope to see you there.

Renegade Craftin Lodge

Posted in animals, Hybrids with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by scratchyb

Some of the Creatures of the Arboretarium have made their way to the Renegade Handmade store, appearing in their Spotlight Gallery as part of the Craftin’ Lodge show.  Check it out if you are in the Chicago area, the show will run until around mid-June.  If you can’t make it, the animals can be seen online at the RenegadeHandmade site.  You can see the Racoonigator, Caterpigler, Octophant, Porcubear, Scorpmunk and Sploth there.

For the people who follow the weekly adventures of the Odjits, my posts will probably be a little irregular these next two weeks.  I’m working on a number of ideas for the Constructor Craft Fair in Berwyn June 6th.

C2E2 fun

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by scratchyb

I went to C2E2 at McCormick Place this past Saturday.  Now, I’m not a comic collector, in fact I read graphic novels about the same amount as any other genre–brushing the surface, and when I dive under, it’s usually brief.  Not because I don’t like it, but there’s only so much time and I have a lot of reading interests.  But I like comics in general, and I’m always looking for something new, something I haven’t seen before.

A couple of things that stood out for me this time (with the exception of The Courtyard, I haven’t read any of these yet):

Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian

Alan Moore’s The Courtyard (yes, I know it came out in 2003) and his forthcoming Neonomicon.  Anything Lovecraftian gets my vote over zombies any day.

Crossed, which, like The Courtyard, is published by Avatar Press, for all you rage-virus/zombie/cannibal/violence fans.

Fracture of the Universal Boy by Michael Zulli

Rassl by Jeff Smith (still rate Bone as my all-time favorite comic)

Dirk Strangely’s art caught my eye.

I was also about to buy a copy of “Where Madness Reigns: The Art of Gris Grimly” at the Baby Tattoo booth, but I walked away distracted and when I returned, all sold out.  The nice man at the booth also kindly informed me that they had sold out of the “Travis Louie’s Curiosities” the previous day.  Well, I’m not very materialistic anyway, but I was a little disappointed.