Summer Recharge/Hawkmoths

Every poem can be considered in two ways; as what the poet has to say, and as a thing that he makes.

Summers can be a strange time in the illustration business. I’ve gone through summers that kept me in the studio way too much, so much in fact, that I never had a fair chance to bake off the winter white, other years way too little, leaving me dangerously vulnerable to a staggering list of household chores long avoided. This year has been a combination of both. While the beginning of the season was crazy, the past couple of weeks have left gaps in the schedule as I wait for final manuscript approval on a book project.

It’s great to be able to get away from the day to day, to get out, enjoy the high summer sun and recharge the creative batteries. Then again, downtime has also given me more time to spend in the studio working on some personal projects like the painting posted here. With virtually all of my illustration work being produced digitally, time spent working with traditional art materials, has become very important to me. As much as I love the pluses digital media painting brings to my work, (and I have long argued that the use of digital media alone does not discount a piece’s legitimacy as Art), traditional media has a quality, feel and process that I personally find hard to replace by pushing pixels. By it’s very nature, having to mix the color you want instead of selecting or sampling it, having to “draw the line” and live with the consequences, no Undo keystroke combo, or adjustment layer revisions after all, painting with traditional materials is much more a high stakes, dare-devil ride than a computer driven creation can ever be. That’s part of the reason spending time “at the easel” instead of at the Wacom can be as valuable and re-energizing as those long rides on my bike under the summer sky. It’s not doing a thing for that chore list though.