Science fiction convention art shows are a great venue for a number of reasons. You can find anything even tangentially related to the genre, whatever your proclivities are – literature, art, comics, movies, TV shows, games, cosplay and many more. The art show is always fun. Lots of stuff to look at, and anyone can show their art, regardless of skill level.
I’ve attended many SFF conventions over the last 30 years or so, and one of the themes I’ve noticed throughout are: Cats With Wings. Most of the time, they are depicted as cute, cuddly animals, prancing around chasing butterflies or fairies. The World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) for 2016 was held in Kansas City, MO. in mid-August, so this post is a little late. I showed a few art pieces at the art show. I created a couple of versions of Cats With Wings for this show, to show along with some other related art. I wanted mine to be a little more menacing than cute, so I gave them bat wings instead of the feathered bird wings I usually see. Also, they are totally-black cats. Bat wings. Cats. Batcats. There are larger images in the SFF gallery.
Batcat 2. Prismacolor pencil on black matboard. 5×7 inches. 2016.
Batcat 1. Prismacolor pencil on black matboard. 5×7 inches. 2016.
The Sculpture Resource Center is presenting an art show at Thunder Canyon Brewery in Downtown Tucson. The theme is Nostalgia. The reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 13. For this show artists were invited to create something that had a longing for times past. I had a hard time brainstorming for a concept that would fit this theme. I wanted to find something personal that would reflect nostalgia for me.
I felt nostalgic for my childhood in the 60s. I watched a lot of television back then. I could tell what time it was based on what was on TV. Much of what I liked were movies, of all kinds. I especially loved horror, science fiction and fantasy, which are still my favorite genres in many media. I was fascinated by many actresses of those times. Even at the young age of 10, I could see it was a male-dominated world, so I noticed women who stood out in movies, especially in the genres I mentioned. For this show I thought of making art depicting women that I really felt were powerful in roles that attracted my attention. I created two pieces for this show, and I may continue with this series with other actresses.
This piece I call Ubiquitous Raquel, and it’s a tribute to Raquel Welch in the film, One Million Years B.C. This movie was released in 1966 and it propelled her to international stardom. It was a remake of a 1940s movie, One Million B.C. with Carole Lombard and Victor Mature. It depicted humans existing with dinosaurs and a number of other large creatures (Historical accuracy for some people). Ray Harryhausen did the animation for the dinosaurs. The poster of her in her fur bikini was everywhere when I was an adolescent. I created this homage from a few images I found online. I wanted a different image than what was used in the poster, but still wanted to display her famous outfit.
Ubiquitous Raquel. Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 inches. 2016
Barbara Steele is a British actress who appeared in a number of Italian movies in the 60s. She appeared in an iconic dance scene in Fellini’s 8 1/2, which Quentin Tarantino paid homage to in Pulp Fiction. She made a number of TV appearances, as well. But for me, and many others, her best roles were in the horror films. Her dark hair and pale complexion was perfect for the black and white movies which featured eerie lighting to accent the gloomy mood many of these movies depicted. I created this piece in gray tones as a tribute to her haunting beauty and titled it Dark Beautiful Steele.
Dark Beautiful Steele. Oil on canvas. 18×24 inches. 2016.
The vignettes to the right of her image, symbolize scenes from three of her movies. The top symbol is from a movie known as Black Sunday to American audiences. It’s called La Maschera del Demonio (Mask of the Demon) in Italian. The middle image symbolizes Castle of Blood or Danza Macabra. Finally, the bottom symbol shows the the blade from The Pit and the Pendulum, a Roger Corman movie in which Steele appeared with Vincent Price.
I created two new paintings for a show this past week. They will be on display at the Raices Taller Gallery and Workshop show, Aguas Sagradas (Sacred Waters). The reception is Saturday, July 2, 2016. This is their annual tribute to the monsoon season in Tucson, Arizona. It always attracts a sizeable collection of artists, and draws a big crowd for the opening reception.
The theme, Sacred Waters, can mean anything. I sometimes like to have a theme from which to work, but it can be a challenge to find something within that framework, because it can be so open to interpretation. That’s a good and a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. That is where creativity comes into play. I don’t do landscapes often, and can’t think of the last time I created one. I thought I’d go ahead and try a couple of landscapes and see what could come of it, and was happy with the results.
Harrison Road on a Monsoon Evening in Tucson. Acrylic on canvas. 2016.
Distant Storm in the Desert. Acrylic on canvas. 2016.