Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tattoos, like painting, but without the wuss.

Posted by: Dave

Remember all those tattoo references we had a while back on our blog.  Well, I thought it might be a good idea to follow up on that.  Kate and I are now tattooing part time here on Vancouver Island, just two days a week.  It was our way of doing something artistic for additional income when we decided to that teaching art didn't pay very well.  Now I know what a lot of you are thinking out there, "but Dave, are you tough enough to be a tattoo artist?"  Damn right I am, I kicked some kid's ass in 7th grade, and have had a perfect fight record ever since... of 1:0.  The tattoo world is a lot of fun, but a bit different than the fine art world (which I am far more integrated into.)  It's the kind of place where if there is a work dispute, you have to go outside and duke it out in the parking lot like a real man as opposed to whine and cry about it.  I work at a biker shop right now, so pretty much by this logic I tend not to argue with people.  Ironically, I will say that this has been my first really enjoyable work environment.  We have a great team of artists where I work, and if a customer is annoying, I can always look forward to the fact that I can poke about 100,000 holes in them before they leave and they have to pay me 140 bucks an hour for the pleasure.  In addition, heavy metal is played all day and someone is likely to be headbutted if they try to slip some classical music in the cd player.

I will say that whenever I tell someone I am just meeting that I am a classical realist artist, they think of this.

But now when I tell someone I am a tattoo artist, they think of this.  The latter is way better.

Now, for the record, this in no way is going to become a tattoo oriented blog.  We still consider ourselves full time painters, but I wanted to show how having fundamental realist skills can transfer over into new mediums.  Good reference, composition, shapes, forms, edges, single light source, balls, etc are integral to both.  Below are a couple tattoos we have done and a couple pieces of tattoo flash we designed.  Enjoy.

NOTE:  The answer is no to all the guys who are going to leave comments asking for me to do their tramp stamp (looking at you Jason De Graaf).

 Hawk by Kate

Crow Skull by David

Flash by David 

Flash by Kate

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You know what really grinds my gears

Posted by: Dave

So two rants in one month isn't too bad, right? No you say?  Good, here goes.  Like a flesh eating bacteria from Thailand, this particular issue has been eating away at me for years.  I have noticed a recent trend in some art academy students in regards to their school studies.  Now for the record, I am not saying this is true of all academy students or any one academy in particular,  I am just saying there's just enough out there to really grind my gears. The aim of these students in drawing has become a game of who can fill in the weave of the paper the most with an extremely sharpened pencil point. After The Game of Mousetrap, this is perhaps the dumbest game in life to play.  Some of these students will spend a year, even up to two, on a single drawing exercise, just meticulously filling in the small pores of the paper with a needle sharp graphite point.  Next to torturing small animals, this sort of obsession is the stuff serial killers are made of.  Might as well just get out the old lotion basket and hose. 

This eventually makes their drawings "hyper" rendered and therefore allows them to be competitive somehow without actually knowing how to draw or knowing what a good drawing should even look like.   Ironically, the drawings really never even have any more form or depth.  What really annoys me is when these same students then condemn other artists who don't do this in their drawings.  I remember once seeing a figure drawing brought in by my friend that was honestly incredible.  Then some smart-ass student took a look at it and said "it's ok, but the paper is not filled in enough."  After doing a spinning roundhouse kick to the guys skull for disrespecting his sensei, I carefully explained to him why the drawing worked so well.  He was passed out on the floor so I guess my explanation really didn't matter anyway.

I feel people really need to look more to the past for information if they really want a resurgence in classical realism.  Many, though not all, students nowadays seemed to be simply too obsessed with particular technical elements while missing the big picture. Hyper rendering is NOT part of an academic tradition.  If there is one thing I have discovered in drawing, it's more about putting the right strokes and hatches in the right places rather than simply putting more of them.  The same issue can also be seen in painting.  For example, look at this painting by Dagnan Bouveret.  Super rendered right?

Wrong answer punk, look at the paint quality. It's how a piece reads from a distance that is most essential. 

Keep in mind as well that academy exercises in the 19th century ateliers took as little as 1 week and almost never more than 3 weeks to execute.  The blending came not from the point, but from stomps and other blending tools.  This is what actually allowed for efficiency.  See some examples of 19th century student work below.

I guess a lot of people are wondering what prompted this amazing rant.  Lots of academy students have been looking to me for advice recently (though I don't know why considering what a jerk I am) and I thought I would address this particular issue and give some advice.

One thing I would recommend to do is invest in some hi res images of great paintings and drawings.  If you live next to a good museum, that's even better.  Substantial knowledge can be gained just by looking at masterworks. If you really want to see how things were done in the 19th century or whenever, go look at that particular work and try to figure it out.  Don't just assume the student next to you is doing the same thing as the 19th century ateliers simply because the school advertises it. 

Go to to have your mind blown for image resources.

NOTE: Hyper rendering does have its place, but it's in photo realism, not classical realism.   The two are equal but totally different things.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

ACOPAL Needs Your Help

Posted by: Dave

For those of you who don't know,  ACOPAL is currently raising funds for the high cost of shipping and packaging of the artwork destined for China.  In addition, funding is also being raised to bring artists from the United States over to China for the exhibit in order to create a philosophical and creative exchange in the arts.  If this cultural bridge is not gapped between these two great nations, there will certainly be another world war and everyone will die.  Basically, if you don't donate money, you are killing everyone. 

In addition, I have donated a work for sale (which is big deal because I am a selfish bastard) For only 500 bucks, you can own an original Gluck or a work be another fabulous artist.  All proceeds go towards ACOPAL's goal.

Still not motivated to donate yet?  Fine, if the goal is not reached, I am going to club this newborn baby seal.  Don't believe me?  I live in Canada, clubbing seals is our specialty.  CLICK HERE to find out how to donate.  Don't click if you want me to club the seal.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The David Gluck Show: A man who isn't afraid to ask the hard questions--Interviews with Candice Bohannon and Julio Reyes

Posted by: Dave

Work by Candice Bohannon

Work by Julio Reyes


Candice Bohannon was haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. She hoped to find out more about this dream and bought a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something went wrong with the memory implantation and she remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Julio Reyes.  In real life they are married but continue to paint on Mars.


What advice do you have for young aspiring artists out there?

Julio: Be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams, but never sacrifice your integrity for the sake of an art career. A great art career without love for what you do, or respect for what you did to attain it is a tragic loss. Have faith in what you are, because that faith will be tested; and be audacious, because you will need it to courageously express a genuine vision.

Candice: Create the work you want to see out in the world. Set goals for your artwork, career, and personal life, and make those goals powerful guides for your future decisions.

How has being married to another artist affected your work? A lot of people have asked if jealousy was an issue between Kate and I, which leads me to the question; do you also sabotage the other person’s painting medium at night with Elmer’s glue when they go to bed?

Candice: Since Julio is partially colorblind, my favorite sabotage is to rearrange the colors on his palette while he is not looking and see how it affects his painting day.

I think that being married to another artist is fantastic. I benefit so much from being able to call Julio in for emergency help on a problem that is plaguing me in a piece, to critique, to reassure, to celebrate the finish of a new work, to cheer me up after the failure of an attempted piece.. Generally we leave each other alone throughout the workday unless help or opinions are asked for because each day/hour/moment can be such a personal rollercoaster in the studio.

As far as jealousy goes, we are only human and have our days, but for the most part we deal with that quite easily. I am really happy for Julio when he succeeds at something and am really hard on myself when I do not. I don’t have bad feelings towards him for succeeding; I just push myself harder to become better. We believe that our careers will see-saw throughout our lifetime together, and that my day to shine will be followed by his day to shine and in the end, we are a team working together for a team victory; so we really cheer each other on.

Julio: I like to incrementally steal all the best brushes from her studio, until all she has left are those rock hard crusty brushes that dried bent at the bottom of a backpack.

Being married to another artist has been a great blessing in my life, but I know that it can be difficult for some. A long time ago Candice and I realized that if we were to weather the pressures of two art careers under one roof, we needed to have a clear understanding of what we valued most in our life together. In the hierarchy of importance, our marriage is far more important than either of our careers. With this in mind, we work through the highs and the lows hand in hand, always knowing that our deepest commitment is to each other, and the wellness of our family. Getting this backwards I think would be the end of any married artist couple.

Where do you think “Sandwich artists” fit into the contemporary art world?

Candice: I am not sure what their future is in the art world, but I am a pretty big fan of the sandwich artists at Mr. Pickles and Togos in particular. I am a proud patron of the sandwich arts.

Julio: What she said, but I’ll have a foot-long please. With extra avocado, and bacon.

Where do you two see yourselves in 5 years in your artistic careers? 20 years? 100 years?

Candice: First of all, I would hope to still be around in 5 years, 20 years and beyond to be making career moves. All going according to my desires, in 5 years I see myself in a reputable gallery, creating the paintings drawings and sculpture that I can’t wait to see out there in the world, and continuing to show in national exhibitions. In 20, I would hope to be doing more of the same but with more stability and have a large body of work behind me that I am proud to have created. In 100 years, I hope that my works are treasured by their keepers, that they offer some form of pleasure, comfort or intellectual interaction to their owners and are a testament to the times we lived in.

Julio: In five years I want to be sculpting as much as I am currently painting and drawing. I’ve always felt most natural working 3-dimensionally, and long to return to sculpture in the round. I like to think sculptors are the lumberjacks of the art world, and doing dirty work with loud tools suits me just fine.

In twenty years, I want to look back and see a body of ambitious and sincere works that I can be proud of. I want to be healthy, in mind and body, so that I might plan well my late creative years (so no snorting coke off of dashboards on the 405 in LA!...for a while) There are some major projects, both in painting and in sculpture that I would like to see realized by then -- and would, most likely, need all the energy and durability of my youth to accomplish.

In 100 years, I hope that the legacy I left behind would be deeply cherished by those who sought and collected my work. Beyond that, I could give a rats’ ass whether I was critically hailed or my work was in museums. That’s not why I paint. All that would matter is whether or not I knew that I gave it my fullest effort….That I put all I had, and all that I could feel, into anything that I fashioned with my own hands.

I would like to discuss a very important matter. At the end of Prometheus when the ship was crashing, why were the two actors running in a straight line away from a donut shaped ship that clearly was rolling towards them? Wouldn’t they just run off to the side to avoid getting crushed? And what was up with the black gooey stuff? And why was that one android such a dick?

Julio: Could they have run off to the side to avoid getting crushed? Yes. Yes, they could have. I thought that too, but that false sense of relief after avoiding catastrophic death would only have ended in a gory surprise zombie attack.

The “black gooey stuff” was obviously from the Bog of Eternal Stench, which also most likely claimed the life of Atreyu’s horse Artax when he sank into The Swamp of Sadness.

Candice: Bwahahaaa! Seriously, not a ton of realism in that movie, from the non-scientific scientists to the non-militant military, it was pretty odd. I actually liked the android quite a bit, not only did the actor do a great job at being an android, but his character played back to the original Alien where the android’s motives proved untrustworthy. Him and the female scientist (who is my new hero - completely badass!) are the only reason I would watch that movie again. Every time a character died and those two got more camera time, the movie got better.

Where did you two get your training, or are you mostly self-taught?

Candice: We both received our Bachelor’s of Fine Art degrees from the Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, CA. That is where we first met. Julio started as an illustration major and almost dropped out after the first year because it was so disappointing to him. When he decided to go Fine Art, everything changed for him and he really excelled. I started out Fine Art but had never painted or sculpted before and was pretty nervous that everyone else would be more advanced than I was. I learned quickly though, and came to love painting and sculpting as much as I had loved drawing before. The school is small and Julio and I shared most of the same classes. I think we were always in competition with each other, a friendly competition that pushed us to do bigger and better things - it drew us closer, we are a good match.

Julio: Agreed! We got a good foundation at LCAD, but I feel like so much of what we do now in our work was self-taught. Our grad school was the school of hard knocks.

If there was one thing you two could change about the art world, what would it be?

Candice: Hmmm, it sure would be nice if there were better money in this field, but it would probably just corrupt us all, so I don’t know… I guess I just wish that the general populace knew as much about art as they did sneaker brands, what the Kardashians are up to this season or what wine goes good with fish. I sometimes feel like my field is too obscure, too uncommon, that very few people understand it or have sensitivity to it. I wish that would change, I wish that the arts played a bigger role in our culture.

Julio: The art world could probably do with less Fedoras. Yup, less Fedoras.

Joking aside, I like what Candice said. However, I think more cultural prominence for Art and Artists would probably have unintended consequences. Seeing how things are in popular culture today, I think the stage would get bigger and the spotlight brighter. Much like reality T.V. “celebrities”, artist would begin to do ANYTHING to become “Stars”. Considering how much exposure and opportunity we have to be excessively concerned with our appearances these days; I think it’s never been tougher for an artist to “find his or her own voice” and to have that voice well up out of genuine experiences. Not something hatched in the minds of producers, or on Facebook, or T.V. …I’m not really for the celebritizing of the art world. I think Art loses in that equation. It gets lost in the spectacle.

Can I borrow some money?

Candice: Sure, on one condition – you also have to pay my bills.

Julio:  I’ll send those right over.

Work by Candice Bohannon

 Work by Julio Reyes

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Trapper Strikes Again

Posted by: Dave

Welp, now that this piece has won the ARC William Bouguereau Award, I have officially milked it to death.  When I finish a successful piece like this one, I pretty much enter it into every competition expecting it to place in maybe one.  Well, this piece placed in ACOPAL, ARC, the PSoA, and another acronym I can't talk about publicly quite yet.  I'm not trying to brag here, I just find it a bit embarrassing to be honest.

The William Bouguereau Award goes to the piece which displays a strong sense of emotion, theme, and the figure.  The figure; clearly a man.  The theme; manliness.  Emotion; pfft, men don't feel emotions.  The only emotions I feel are usually rage and hunger, which usually go hand in hand. 

In addition, I placed as a finalist in the still life category, and my lovely lady placed as a finalist in still life and the figure.  

All joking aside, the ARC has truly helped my career and I would like to thank everyone there for this great honor (plus money, money rules).  A big congrats to all the other winners and finalists.