Archive for the About This Work Category

About This Work: David Bowie

Posted in About This Work on December 3, 2009 by Kris

About This Work: David Bowie

I love Pop Art. I also love Abstract Expressionism. I also absolutely love David Bowie. It seemed to me that the three should be combined somehow, and this was the result.

I found a photo of David Bowie from his “Thin White Duke” era and played around with the contrast. I copied it over three more times and then added colour to each one. From there, I just played with a lot of brushes in Photoshop to make it look like screen printing and paintbrush strokes. The result is pretty fun, I think!

About This Work: Andy

Posted in About This Work on November 19, 2009 by Kris

About This Work: Andy

As much as I love animals, I’ve never really attempted to draw them realistically. I’ve done plenty of doodles and cartoons of them, but never really attempted a realistic drawing. A few years ago, I decided to draw one of my guinea pigs, Andy. I was really happy with how it turned out, and that I managed to capture the varying shades of colour in his fur.

This drawing is a bit bittersweet, as Andy passed away on November 12th. He was a sweet little guy who loved to cuddle. I’m glad I was able to immortalize him in one of my drawings.

About This Work: MSRP “The Dead Talk Back” EP

Posted in About This Work on November 4, 2009 by Kris

About This Work: MSRP “The Dead Talk Back” EP

The concept for the artwork was to create something that seemed pretty rock ‘n’ roll, but not too serious. Nic, MSRP‘s guitarist/vocalist/all-around jack-of-all-trades, liked some anatomy drawings I did a few years ago. I initially planned on using those, but ended up finding a website with vintage clip art taken from old textbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias. There were hundreds of anatomy drawings available, so I used those instead. I used a skull on the front cover, a heart for the inside tray, and a full skeleton on the back cover. I went for sort of an old textbook look with the text, and added sort of a fiber-looking texture to everything so it looked like it was on old paper. And, to lighten up the mood a bit, Nic said he wanted to use bright green and bright purple as the colours, since they were the “least metal” colours he could think of.

I think the artwork turned out really well, and the guys seemed to like it.

About This Work: Ed O’Brien In Blue

Posted in About This Work on September 7, 2009 by Kris

About This Work: Ed O’Brien In Blue

I’ve been creating art as long as I can remember, but I really hit my stride in high school. The work I created between 1997 and 1999 was unbelievable. During my senior year of high school, I was asked to be part of the honors art program. It was, for lack of a better term, an honor. By my senior year, most of my required classes were already taken, so I was able to fill up the majority of my schedule with art classes. I basically spent every day in the art room pumping out paintings, drawings, collages and anything else I could possibly create.

As I mentioned in my previous note, in high school, I developed the silhouette/shadow style of portraits that I enjoy painting so much. The first experiment with this style was a portrait of Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and the second was a portrait of Ed O’Brien of Radiohead. (See a theme, here?) For the portrait of Ed, I decided to use a solid background rather than the abstract expressionist-style background I normally use. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, and it went into the ever-growing stack of paintings I did. This was in 1998.

In 1999, one of my art teachers told me about an art show put on by the Walker Art Center‘s Teen Arts Council called “Hot Art Injection.” It was open to any teens in the Twin Cities area, so I submitted slides of a bunch of my artwork in hopes of getting in. I received a letter weeks later saying that they wanted “Ed O’Brien In Blue” in the exhibit. I was really excited about it. It was held at the Soap Factory, and there were a lot of excellent works in the exhibit.

During my senior year, I was in nine art exhibits (I think it was nine — it was a lot, I know that much), but the Hot Art Injection exhibit was the best one by far.

(Check out how dorky I am in that photo! I’m wearing my awesome Marilyn Manson shirt, too. My eclectic music tastes have not changed in ten years.)

About This Work: James Dean Bradfield

Posted in About This Work on September 4, 2009 by Kris

About This Work: James Dean Bradfield

I painted this portrait of James Dean Bradfield of the band Manic Street Preachers back in 2000. It’s done in a style of painting I developed back in 1998, and it’s a style I love using for portraits. I’ve always been happy with the way it turned out, and it’s been one of my favourites done in that style.

In summer of 2006, I received an e-mail from someone at Rolling Stone magazine based in Germany. James Dean Bradfield’s solo album, The Great Western, was their main featured review in an upcoming issue, and they wanted permission to use my painting of him. At first I thought it was a hoax, because I just assume anything awesome is a hoax at first (I mean, “too good to be true” and all). But, after I did some research and got reassurance from them that it wasn’t a hoax, I gave them permission to use the painting in their issue. They paid me pretty well, I thought — especially since the work was already done and they didn’t want to buy the rights to the painting or anything. And, the part that excited me is that I’ve always wanted to have my portraits featured in Rolling Stone or Spin in the reviews section, and I finally got to do it. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Yes, it was in Germany, but at least it was in a magazine, and that’s all that mattered to me.

They mailed a copy of the magazine to me when it was printed, and I can’t explain how surreal it was to see that painting in the pages of Rolling Stone.

About This Work: Franz Ferdinand Fan Club Magazine Issue 2

Posted in About This Work on September 2, 2009 by Kris

I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the works I’ve done. You know, just to get a back story about certain pieces.

Aleksandr Rodchenko’s poster design for “Kino Glaz” and the cover of issue 2 of the Franz Ferdinand Fan Club Magazine.

Franz Ferdinand Fan Club Magazine: Issue 2

Anyone who is familiar with the band Franz Ferdinand and their album and single artwork from the first two albums knows that each design pays homage to constructivist, suprematist and other minimalist art movements and works. The first few issues of the fan club magazine and accompanying material continued in this style. It was second nature to me, as I’m highly influenced by those same art movements and artists. For issue 2, I found a movie poster design for “Kino Glaz,” designed by constructivist artist and photographer, Aleksandr Rodchenko. I really loved the layout and balance of elements in the design, and decided to use that as my inspiration for the cover. Around the same time, Franz Ferdinand shot the video for their single, “Walk Away,” which was shot like an old film. I used a still of vocalist/guitarist Alex Kapranos’ eye and a still of the gal in the video for the photographic elements in my design. The colours are based on the same colours used in the band’s second album, “You Could Have It So Much Better.”

It all ties in together, and issue 2’s design is still one of my favourites.