Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
This place was the hub of family parties and work projects all while I was growing up. I spent countless hours there taking care of the animals that we kept there to maintain the agricultural zoning as well as tending the expansive vegetable garden that my dad grew.
When my dear great Aunt Mame passed away almost a decade ago, it fell to my dad and my two uncles to figure out how to preserve the legacy of this farm for future generations. They finally came to the realization that it was impractical to keep the entire property and surrounding acreage intact
and a plan was made to preserve the home and surrounding buildings along with a key piece of the pasture land while developing the surrounding acres into a residential neighborhood.
The park land was passed to the custody of the city and the exteriors of all the buildings were stabilized and restored. The interior of the home will be restored in phase two of the project. Eventually the it will be available for recitals, weddings, family gatherings and other activities.
The paintings used on the heritage signs were all done in tribute to the place where I spent so much time as a youth and to the culture or hard work and living off the land that I was blessed to grow up with.
Other posts about these paintings and another from this place here:
Aunt Mame's Sheep
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Something's Afoot - color detail
I just finished up another really fun project for Pioneer Theatre Company's upcoming season. The play is called Something's Afoot and is a musical murder mystery farce. I know that is a mouthful, but it really is a musical comedy with tongue firmly in cheek. The premise is close to that of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians in which a group of ten strangers come together in a remote mansion. Mystery ensues as one by one they are all killed off. The movie version is played as a straight forward thriller while the stage production is played straight but for comic effect.
My first proposal was to take each of the characters and portray them as photos on the entry wall of the ornate mansion with one of the instruments of death (the noose) dangling from above. The concept was not initially embraced mainly because the noose does not play a part in the story. I take blame for missing that detail. I was next asked to draft an idea as suggested by the theater director in the art would show the young romantic couple with one of the dearly departed in the background.
The resulting concept, which I actually liked, was also shot down as being too cold. I suggested changing the expressions to something more whimsical, but in a case of "what goes around, comes around" we went back to the original concept but with a chandelier playing the part of the noose and with revised facial expressions.
In this version, many of the people react with surprise or suspicion to the other characters around them. Nobody was wild about the wallpaper pattern or color, so I found another option from a free stock site which I then modified and expanded to work in the background. All of the frame designs were based on vintage frames as was the chandelier which was originally found in a 1920's Sears type catalog.
In the course of deciding what color palette to use, I thought it would be really cool to just go with a "Film Noir" effect and leave the the portraits as black and white. In the end, I shifted them to a slight sepia tone to prevent them from looking too "blue". The colorized detail crop at the top of the post was done to pop for web applications but most of the uses will be as they appear in this final version.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Here is the preliminary drawing
Here is the second spread illustration
Saturday, May 25, 2013
As an illustrator I enjoy seeing how others tell stories and the pains they go to to make things feel "right", so I jumped at the chance to visit the recreated Holy Land. I had seen some of the short New Testament film clips, so I knew that the set was impressive, but I was not prepared for the level of design and craftsmanship that went into this layout. Most movie sets are built to last the life of the movie shoot and are then either dismantled or even left to disintegrate in the the weather. This set however was built to last at least 20 years. In that regard, it felt more like the set pieces you would see in Disneyland, minus the props and set dressings. All of the angles and layouts were aligned to take advantage of sunlight and shadow at any time of the day. The sheer number of possible camera angles and shots was mind boggling. I felt like I really was walking the streets of ancient Jerusalem.
We toured the complex during the last day of filming and we got to see some of the scene rehearsal for the execution of the apostle Paul. The costuming was amazing in detail and certainly up to Hollywood standards. While we roamed the set pieces, I got a glimpse into what an amazing and integrated process making a film must be. A set decorator was even sponging different earth colors onto a faux stone wall to pop a little more color right before the film rolled.
I shot tons of photos, learned a lot and was inspired for possible future Christ centered works of art during my tour. Unfortunately, I signed a non disclosure on those photos as part of gaining access, so I can't show any of mine. All of these images are all floating online.
Coincidentally, today the Deseret News ran a nice feature on the Jerusalem movie set that you can read here.
The LDS church wants the world to enjoy these short films on the life of Christ and have made them available for everyone. All the videos are available for free viewing here.