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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Masochism, Hotdogs and a Higher Authority...

Black and white line so I don't lose it in the painting!
Don't tell me artists aren't self-destructive. I just scoffed down two hotdogs ( they're Hebrew Nationals and answer to a higher authority though that probably won't help me now... ) with jalapenos, onions and mustard plus a pot of coffee. I am thinking about going for more.

Why... you ask?

This poster, shown above, is about where it now needs to be. The last time I pulled out the paints was this time last year. It is one thing to draw or sketch subject matter, but it is another matter when you are applying color to represent reality with a tool that best represents a stick with some hair glued to it. So, painting this poster can only be stalled by eating masses amounts of crap until I get so disgusted I either go to sleep or deal with my demons and start slinging some paint.

But how do I sling it? Should I use oil or acrylic. What about the backgrounds? They'd be better accomplished in acrylic, but it has been too long since I rendered people in that medium. Where's my acrylic retarder? It's probably a brick by now! I don't have a clear picture of how it all should look and I hate that! It should free me up, but it doesn't or hasn't yet. Simple requests from the client have messed with my preconceived idea of how it all should look. What should my palette be? Greens, aqua to blue drifting downward? Team colors of the polo player is green. Should I incorporate the green with the other two Mardi Gras colors and add it to the rainbow or would that freak the client out? Should the rainbow melt into the bayou or should it just be cut at nine o'clock with a hard line? How's the woman gonna fade into the background if she is not wearing black? Why would she be wearing black in the middle of a spring day? What about rim lighting on the circular clouds and what color... green? Yuck!

Damn, I hate that hand! And the woodpecker hole has become a strange tangent to the flying bird. Why didn't I see that originally? And, I'm not gonna render those polo players on their horses... I'm not, I'm not. Just go Bart Forbes on them. Wasn't that your original idea anyway? Geez, why did I offer to do this in the first place... Damn!

I really think I see this in oils... yeh, I've sort got a mental picture. If I use a dryer, it should all be dried by the time it needs to go to print.

If I start... like now.

Maybe first, I'll have just one more artery clogging hotdog!

Copyright 2012/Ben Bensen III

"I'll Drink To Me, Drink To Myself And Then I'll Just Draw All Alone...

A little tipsy sketch... and me too!
There's a secret to getting bottles, jugs, mugs, glasses, and all containers symmetrical, but when you're waiting for the ladies to finish roaming the restaurant and powdering their noses, an artist type gets bored and decides to draw his empty loving cup. He knows full well his second empty goblet of some of the world's best draft beer, Abita Brewery's "Abita Amber" will distort his soon to be off center mug.

If you look closely, there are light lines that I drew for myself to stay on course with my elipses, but as usual, it didn't work. It's subtle, but almost every oval is off center. That is, it is bent! Oh well, it was a fun way to waste away fifteen minutes anyway!

And, the liquid inside that off center mug was surely, "right on."

Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III

Saturday, April 14, 2012

So Which One Would You Choose?

I landed a commission to paint a poster for the Land Trust of Southeast Louisiana to commemorate an annual event and promote conservation in Louisiana through land grants. Every year they have a polo event to raise funds for the cause and create awareness.

Anyway, I offered to do three sketches to give the powers that be an idea of how I envisioned the poster to look taking in all the many messages they wanted to get across.  The first idea takes a conservation into an over the sofa expression of just what the polo event is really about. I used a sketch from another painting that I did where player and his noble steed were having a meeting about game strategy.

In this poster, the layout gives me a chance to show the longleaf pine savannahs of the Florida parishes here in Louisiana as a background instead of the green, green well manicured polo field. The horizontal also gives me room to add flora and fauna that are on the cusp of endangered status or on the watch list. I really like this one except the featured pine looks sick because of the crop and I don't want to bleed the top of the tree off the top of the page. Otherwise, this one is my choice.

The second idea is what I called, "Bubbles" and it is kinda feminine and fun in its approach using ovals and circles as vehicle to take your eye around for visual stroll... with champagne bubbles as your guide! It's the polo games as a social event in a fancy, frilly fund raiser way. I fear the babe is gonna be problematic though!

And lastly, is a more pragmatic and direct approach using a polo player actually planting a pine tree in the savannah. The like this idea, but haven't really solved how to get all the other messages ( Is it really necessary anyway? ) into this piece without using insets. Scale and perspective could be a problem, but I think the board would probably pick this one because it is more like a real narrative picture.

Anyway, just for fun, tell me what you think and which one you'd prefer. I'll probably get the final decision late Monday.

Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III

Friday, April 13, 2012

Portrait of an ex-Radiator...

Just a crosshatch sketch of Ed Volker with a bit of a wash!
Years ago, I planned to do this incredible painting of the New Orleans Radiators. I still have that painting but I can't decide if it is half started or half finished. I have a lot of those kind of over ambitious paintings. My intentions are good, but I get impatient and shelve it or, I get a real paying job and have to put the piece aside...

For like, Forever!

So this is just a mindless doodle I did from one of the photographs I shot for that illustration. He was much younger then, as I was when I took this shot.

Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taking Advantage of Extra Innings...

Please excuse the coffee stains!
The other night I arrived on time to pick up my son who is umpiring girls' and boys' high school baseball games. For these events, I rarely am on time because I get involved in surfing the internet at any convenient coffee house with Wi-Fi that is close to the ball field.  It is a bit different when your kid is on the field but not as a player and sometimes, it gets a little difficult to sit and listen to normal, baseball chatter especially when it involves the age old baseball tradition of...

Blaming the umpire!

Well, because this particular game went well into the night and into extra innings, I found a tissue pad in the trunk of the car and decided to sketch away. I guess it was about a twenty or thirty minute sketch.

Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Another View of Deeper Thoughts...

Thinking 'bout...
Buttered popcorn, JuJuFruits, Goobers, Raisinettes... Maybe I can phone it in. What'dya think? Oh boy!

Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III