I came across Sadie Valeri’s blog yesterday and what a great blog it is. Women Painting Women is entirely devoted to women artists and features paintings of women by women. I love the concept because, not that I think we need to distinguish between the two, but female artists often do not get the recognition that male artists do. There are many ideas as to why this is, which I won’t get into all that since I’m not looking to stand on my soapbox, just laud a fellow blogger. Anyway, I was struck by the images on her blog. The only information given is the title and size (and artist, of course), but that’s all you need, really, because it’s so moving just to look at the paintings alone. And I am thrilled to say that Sadie so kindly added my work to her blog. She chose “Beginning” from the New Realm series, which I find appropriate given the premise of the series. (You can find out more from my artist statement on my website www.AmyGuidry.com.) So check out Sadie’s blog…I’m sure you will be as excited to find it as I was.
As promised, I did an interview with my comic book artist brother, Craig. You may (or should) recall a recent post of his work on here. Okay, I’ll stop blathering now and get to the questions with this interesting artist…
Q. What’s the premise behind your comic?
A. Well, the idea came from a sketch I had done a long time before starting the comic. I just drew a couple of anthropomorphic lizards with primitive/tribal clothing and always kept them in mind. The idea for the comic’s story is inspired by my ideals concerning the planet and its inhabitants, human and non-human. I want the story to be extremely visually interesting and epic.
The lizard-man shown is one of many…a society that is in competition to dominate the life and land that surrounds them. The story will show that this is not an easy task because there are protectors of the forests who will not let their land be stolen.
Q. Do you have a title for it yet? A. Nothing as of yet…I think I just had the idea, being “lizard man,” for the character and went from there. Personally, I think “Lizard Man” would be a horrible title…the book is about more than that.
Q. Will there be any text? Is that a first in comic history or are there other comics that are sans text?
A. I had the determination to NOT put any text whatsoever in my story. I’m almost positive that I can accomplish my goal to create a comic that is all visual and interpreted through framing panels and choosing the right way to convey thoughts of the characters with expressions.
I’m not sure if there are any (successful) comics that contain no dialogue. It’s definitely not a trendy way of presenting a comic book. I feel that my idea will work well without text because of it’s content. It’s animals and a tribal society that has a language we wouldn’t understand. So rather than write text and the reader just pretends he/she can understand what they say while hearing lizard gibberish in their minds, I’ve just omitted the language barrier completely.
Q. So far all the artwork you’ve shown me is b+w, will you be sticking to this or adding any color?
A. I’m not at all against using color…I like to paint with vibrant colors, but I feel my comic is bolder with the dramatic contrast of pitch black and bright white panels and the “gray” tones that emerge from lighter pen strokes.
Q. What other comics and/or comic artists influence or inspire you?
A. I am a fan of a select few comics…I enjoy fantasy art and creative ideas in general, but haven’t really developed enough of a comic book knowledge to compete with “true” comic book fans. I am a fan of such comics as WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, MOUSEGUARD, HACK/SLASH, THE WALKING DEAD, HULK: PLANET HULK, some of the PUNISHER: MAXX series, and the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES omnibus (which is B+W, as well), HELLBOY, WE 3, I really like Todd McFarlane’s artwork itself, and Jhonen Vasquez’s work.
Q. What do you think it is about comics that have such a huge following? They’re highly popular, more so than some books even?
A. Well, I think that comic book artists/writers/creators and the characters and stories that are popular are so probably because they deserve to be. I am a huge fan of movies…and was extremely excited to see certain comic book adaptations hit the big screens as of late. I enjoyed the Watchmen adaptation a lot, as well as V for Vendetta, 300, 30 Days of Night, Batman : Begins, and especially The Dark Knight. It works only when you get a director with some talent and credibility. There are a lot of hack directors out there who may as well have filmed the flushing of a toilet rather than attempting to make a decent movie.
As far as audiences is concerned, I think a lot of people may read certain comics or see the movies without really have an genuine interest in the creativity and hard work involved. A certain character may be popular and children may drag their parents to see the latest Spiderman film, while the children are attracted to the images shown, they probably have not read a single Spiderman comic and the parents are mildly entertained.
I just like it when people who appreciate art and comics and have knowledge of those kinds of things are the ones who see the movies/read the comics and can use discretion when stating which films are good and which are not, as well as which comics deserve their success and which are popular for a character with a flashy costume and no depth story wise.
Q. Who would win in a fight? Superman or Batman?
A. Hmmm…a question that I know has been pondered over by many-a-nerd. I can say this…Batman definitely has more money than Superman. But when it comes to blows, I’m afraid that Superman would most likely win. I think they’ve done a comic with that…I’ve never read it if they have. It’s not really a fair fight if you ask me…but at least Batman doesn’t have to work some crappy job and dress like a nerd.
I think if it were about “smarts” then Batman would win. He’s the best detective around…his costume is cooler…the story is dark and interesting…overall, I prefer that Batman win. I don’t think he would, though, since Superman is the “man of steel” and can stop a bullet, locomotive, and anything else. Maybe if Batman had some kryptonite it would be fair…I’m sick of this question.
Q. If you could be a comic book character, who would you be and why?
A. I would probably like to be Rorshach from Watchmen because I think he is a great character because he’s a loner with convictions who doesn’t tolerate the world and its inhabitants’ selfishness and greed. He is a very violent character…but only against those who in all honesty deserve to be treated in that way.
Q. What is your favorite comic?
A. Probably “Bone,” which is what I’m currently reading. It’s funny and epic and is like Calvin and Hobbes meets Lord of the Rings. The art is amazing…it’s cute little cartoon characters in detailed forest scenes with creative characters and plotlines. The story is huge and I’m only about halfway through it.
Q. Do you have any info on future comics your’e working on that you’d like to share or is that top secret?
A. I’ve got some ideas…one was a story about mice, but not like Secret of Nimh mice. More realistic.
Another idea was a dog that is abducted from its home and put in an animal testing facility. That actually does occur in reality.
Q. For all your female fans out there, are you single?
A. Yes. Not married or crazy…or both.
I received some good news from Wally Workman Gallery in Austin today. They sold one of my New Realm 5 x 5 paintings while at the gallery. I recently obtained representation with them, so I am glad that they’ve sold a painting for me, especially given the timing (i.e. economy). So now my piece “Reflecting” will be in its new home soon.
If you are in Texas, you should stop by Wally Workman Gallery to view my work in person. I do not have an exhibit with them at this time, but they do have several of my paintings in the gallery. But if you are unable or if you’d like to see more of my work, you can go to my website at www.AmyGuidry.com.
I received a call the other day from an artist and gallery owner in Maryland interested in my work. I was familiar with Jill Hackney’s work and knew that she had recently opened a gallery there, so I was thrilled that she called me. Too bad I had the flu at the time, but I was surely as excited as one can be when they are lying on their deathbed. Anyway, in addition to showing at Jill’s gallery, R. Coury Fine Art Gallery, she also asked that I participate in two exhibitions. One is in conjunction with Pinkapalooza, a benefit for the Blossoms of Hope Foundation. The other is for GreenScape, a benefit for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
“Anti-Aging” will be featured in the “Hope” exhibit at R. Coury Fine Art Gallery as part of Pinkapalooza. I chose that piece because aside from having a lot of pinks and pastel colors in it, it’s also a piece about female beauty at any age. “Special Ingredients” is the painting I chose for the GreenScape exhibit which will be held at the Cotton Shed Gallery at the Savage Mill in Savage, MD. I felt this piece was appropriate for a green-themed exhibit given the rainforest destruction that occurs thanks to the fast food industry and beef industry in general. Plus there’s nothing ‘natural’ about fast food since it’s pumped full of trans fats, hormones, antibiotics, and a whole plethora of unknown substances.
So if you are in the area, go to R. Coury Fine Art Gallery for the Pinkapalooza benefit starting April 1st and open through May 15th with an auction and closing reception. The GreenScape exhibit will be April 13th and run through May 3rd with an auction and closing reception. If you’d like to learn more about these events, visit www.SavageMill.com. And if you’d like to view a larger image of these paintings, visit my website www.AmyGuidry.com.
I was trying to come up with an apt title for this post… I mentioned my brother’s (Craig) artwork before in one of my older posts. For those of you who don’t know, he has been working on a comic book for a few years now. He drew out a lot of work originally and then returned to it later and improved upon it. All of this is his own original story and line work. I think he’ll be doing the whole book in black and white. Perhaps I will interview him later as this project develops and give you all a more in-depth look into his work. Anyways, I wanted to give you a glimpse of the detailed work that he does and a look into the dark themes that often appear in his paintings and drawings. The main character in this comic is a lizard man of sorts (reminiscent of the character in one of his paintings I wrote about before). These are a few scenes of the lizard man out hunting. There’s a whole respect for animals/nature element to the story which will be flushed out as the book progresses. Craig’s work is very tedious, so it takes him forever to complete one page. However, I’ll be sure to cover this book some more in the future as he adds to it (and sends more photos!)
Yes, I’m bragging. Not often that I get to do that. I (will officially) own a piece by my friend, Troy Dugas, as of March 11th. It’s currently on display at Gallery 912 in Lafayette, LA, but after that it’s MINE… muahhahahaha (that’s my evil laugh, by the way). As luck would have it, I was dropping off my piece for the Art of Re-Use exhibit when Troy happened to show just as I was leaving. So I had to see what he brought knowing I’d want first dibs, er, I mean, knowing that I’d want to purchase a piece to support the Children’s Museum of Acadiana. When I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Not that I’m a big fan of Evangeline Maid bread (I only eat 100% whole wheat, not that processed stuff) but given the fact that I love intricate patterns, bright colors, and hell, that bread company is a Louisiana company, I knew I should buy it.
I don’t even have it here with me, so I can only hazard to guess at it’s size, but if photographic memory serves, I’d say it’s 16″ x 20.” If I’m right, you can be sure I will gloat about this in a later post. The entire piece is made up of cut-up squares of Evangeline Maid labels that are rearranged into the lovely pattern you see here. It’s then magically attached to wood- I don’t know all his secrets. Anyway, you can see more of Troy’s work on his website www.TroyDugas.com (you may have, or should have already done this if you check out my blogroll- these are important links, why else would I post them?!) And if you’re in New Orleans this month, you can see his work at Arthur Roger Gallery through the 28th. So get to steppin’!