Wednesday, November 25, 2015

 I have a question. I did raise all of my original art 1.25% in September 15th, which, I will not budge on. Why, they are my children. Some are better paintings than others technically, some are better because they are made with extreme passion, (well, all of my children (paintings) were crafted with passion) - that's a given with a good artist that has given their life, blood and soul to their craft. Some are created in flashes of lightning when the lightning strikes, I know to move and jump at the chance and paint. Most if not all artists compare themselves with other artists just like I used to. I stopped because I realized one day that I'm a very good artist, maybe a great one, but after boasting those words, I'm still VERY humbled by the artists, younger and older than me that can draw and paint circles around me in figure, in painting, in landscapes, etc. I'm not the worst, I'm not the best. There are many artists that look up to my work and I look up to many artists works. There are various levels an artists finds themselves at in and throughout their lives. Many thousands of people have praised my work and loved what they saw but my work comes from has been blessed by the great creator who deserves the praise, I know that. My work has been called the best work they have ever seen and been moved by even though they have seen live, throughout various museums in the world the greatest paintings in history. A Hindu scholar and Doctorate once called my work the perfect combination of the Sublime and the Profane (meaning the best of both worlds; the profane is here, Earth, the Sublime are the heavens Shiva presides over in their faith). My art has been know to actually calm and sedate extreme cases of anxiety and other mental illnesses, some very serious. I don't compare myself or my work to anyone anymore. I'm done with competitions, I now look up to my contemporary masters and they me plenty of challenges for me to strive for, to strive for superior excellence in figure painting, clothing (yes, folds are hard), hands, feet, metal reflections, you name it. They are the mentors I look up to and they are legion (a lot), Tom Durham (www.TomDurhamSculpture.com), www..pjartworks.com (Patrick Jones), Proko (free really cool tutorials) you tube! - Tom Wood (www.TomWoodFantasyArt.com), Alex Nino, then there are the technical masters - Syd Mead, Joe Johnston (new Star Wars art director who did IV, V and VI) with the late, great Ralph McQuarrie, for whom, without his paintings, we would have never had Star Wars, Daniel Simon, Ryan Church, (all the incredible new comic artists that kick serious ass, Tom Fleming, Boris and Julie Vallejo, H. R. Giger, John Berkey, The late GREAT FRANK FRAZETTA (www.FrazettaGirls.com), Edward Reed - http://www.edwardreed.com/welcome.html, Dru Blair (Serious Realism to the maximum) - youtube - or google "This is not a photograph"....and more. Those words being said, these modern artist that live today and many more along with the great masters of the past five centuries, give me something to forever strive for. No artist is really the "best", there is no competition, there is only levels to strive for to become better and better. Most people give up feeling their work has to be "perfect" thanks to today's "competitive" world, when they should be focusing on practice, practice, practice and losing fear for they are creating work no one else in the entire universe can duplicate. There are no "judgements", only art, art that moves a soul, art that strives to make others think, relax, be reminded of magic and awe of creation and destruction, the wonders of the universe. I will say it's important, very important to practice the rules of art, then, and really only then, make your own rules. There is not such thing as perfection in art, only your heart, and your soul, which I will not sell, and hence I will not sell for a "discount" for my one of a kind in the entire universe or multi-verses, nine dimensions known now to modern physicists, probably more coming, quantum lives and theories, M-Theory, String Theory, etc. So if you are blessed enough to have one of my original paintings, take care of them, they will probably pay for your grandchild's house and land one day. I still know everyone in my head who has one and I am currently making an official provenance of records of who has what painting or series of paintings. All of this long winded speech said, I do sell prints, giclee's necklaces that I can give a discount on for they are reproductions, so, since there is a "Black Friday", anyone want to recommend an offer I can give they would like? I listen to people and their ideas for we artists, believe it or not, don't know everything. I am booked for the next several months on various commissions, so if you want an original creation, book cover, logo design, let me know so I can put your request and official down-payment and schedule of completion on my whiteboard. BTW, I do offer flexible lay-away plans for original art and all one has to do is lay down a percentage of a painting and it becomes a "held" piece until paid in full and they can own an original James Christopher Hill painting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Now is your one and only chance to purchase one of the newest style and very limited highest quality art books in the world - They are limited to only 500 Signed and Numbered books of 120 of the Worlds BEST top Sci-fi/Fantasy Illustrators.  Each artist gets their own 2 solid pages on the best quality silk gloss stock paper - The one side is the actual art plate (Image) and the other side is the artists' bio, explanation of the particular God or Goddess they have chosen (only one artist can do a specific God and Goddess so no repeats, from around the world! - The more you give, the more you get.  Giving starts at $10 for investments, but watch the video and you will see what you can get for your money.  $120 buys the book, but invest more, and you get more - $3,000 gets you your very own Larry Elmore Original Painting! There will also be a one of a kind Lord of the Rings painting offered and much more depending on the donation.  - Check it out - ONLY 18 DAYS LEFT!!!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523185609/gods-and-goddesses-vol-2-the-fantasy-illustration?ref=video

 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In case all of you are wondering where are my latest paintings, here's what's been happening. There is an old saying "Time to go back to to drawing board". It means if something is not working the way you want, try again, re-invent, learn, make mistakes, keep going back to the drawing board over and over until you get it right. Over the past six months, I've decided to focus my energies on perfecting and honing my skills as an artist to another whole new level of quality and detail. All of my life, especially when I was a kid, I used to draw in extreme details when I was 10, 11, 12, etc. I like accuracy but I got frustrated when I couldn't achieve quality work like I was first seeing by artists like Chris Foss, Joe Johnston, Roger Dean and Ralph McQuarrie. I would try with colored pencils, (fail, pastels, fail, markers, fail). I would use any and all drafting templates architectural, electrical, standard, etc and I had no idea about different grades of lead graphite from 6H to 6B range. I just took a no. 2 pencil and pushed it to the limits I knew. I tried acrylic and oil painting and got frustrated because what I saw in my head was NOT what came out on paper. I would draw over and over, paint over and over until I got something I was proud of. In High School in my junior year, I finally took an art class only to be told that me and another great artist, Edward Reed who sat across from me and became my best friend, "there was nothing they could teach us as we were more talented" than the teacher. It was a bit frustrating and the only thing that kept me sane was my friend Ed to "compete" with in a friendly "throw down the gauntlet style. We used to joke with each other after doing a carefully hand-drawn portrait, "Top that dude!", which of course we strived to do. We did good, especially with portraits but we were bored, we had reached a wall, a limit of what could be achieved. Without the proper teachers and influences to guide us, to push us to the next levels, we got stuck. Luckily Ed found airbrushing and started to learn from some of the world's leading airbrush artists and I discovered H.R. Giger and Syd Mead around the same time. No one told us the path to choose, we had to blaze our own. There were gateways to Hell we were forced to go through due to unforeseen circumstances and we persevered, but like a good Battleship like the Galactica, we took a heavy beating from the world of reality. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong influences. That's why I don't want to hear from the younger crowd today any excuses of why they can't achieve greatness. They have access to amazing teachers online, the web, the Gnomon School training, cool software and drawing boards (Wacom), and amazing programs both free and powerful or established, costly but effective programs that allow a person that has a home computer to do anything now. They have no excuses except they can pull the lazy card. You get what you put into it. You work hard to create great work and you stay humble so you can always learn from others and keep and open mind to listen to what the masters can teach you every day! So, here I am at 49, I've made a good career as a fairly accomplished artist. Guess what, I'm going back to the drawing board everyday to relearn the basics, the proper geometrics and mathematical formulas for not good but great drawing and sketching that will translate better to better, more high quality master works. In other words, I'm re-practicing and re-training my brain and my hands to learn better ways of creating the images I want and have wanted to create since I was a child and finally we have the ability, knowledge, experience and wherewithal to do so; to execute not good, but great pieces of art that will stop even more people in their tracks to say around the world "Have you seen this guy's work!?!!?" It's not an ego thing, it really isn't, it's personal, it's a challenge that was given to me and I accepted it when I was 10. It's now time to start "proving" it like never before. So, like Master Yoda would say, I have to unlearn what I've learned and learn the better ways, the correct ways that are the slightest nuance people see without knowing it in my works. It's what separates the good from the great. I will never be the "best artist in the world" - There is no such thing. There have been the trail-blazers in the past from DaVinci to Frazetta to the modern masters. I want to create work like they do with figures, with animals. I want to paint more like the quality and precision of Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie, Daniel Simon and Stephen Martinaire' and the raw passion and vibrancy of John Pitre and John Berkey. Finally if I can add the haunting mystery of Beksinski and H.R. Giger and combine that with the sheer raw talent of Frank Frazetta; I might have something I'm so proud of that I can go to my creator with like a child ready to show their parents - "Mom, Dad, Look what I made for you!". I love my work, the quality, the passion, the beauty but there can be so much more to create that's in my mind's eye. I've learned more in the past two months concerning the mass connection of music, mathematics, art and sacred geometry that I ever had before reading tons of books and while I continue to "re-learn" how to paint a human being like a master, there will be no rest for me. It's time to awaken the Sleeper and Rise from the ashes of Brimstone like a Phoenix and play Daedalus as Icarus flew too high. We can not be like Prometheus. We have to craw before we walk and we have to walk before we can dance. So I'm back to learning new and better techniques that ever before!





Friday, November 6, 2015

Here are some new sketches I created while studying a Gladiator Star Destroyer from a 4" model on November 6th, 2015. 





Soon, I'll start working on the fine art Oil painting.  - www.JamesHillGallery.com

Monday, November 2, 2015

Forget paying huge money for Art College now, you have ALL you need right before you!

Lately in the past two years, a lot of friends and fans ask me about if their child should attend art college. Most of the time, I generally get to meet some very, very talented young kids ages 10-14 on average when their parents stop by my various booths at various comic conventions that really have the desire to be a better artists.

Well, we live in a completely different world than I grew up with in 1970's and 80's. There was not real internet, no online videos or really in-depth training for a good price from various famous and extremely talented fine artists that are in the illustration field, the computer animation field and of course the comic book industry. In the past 40 years of my life as I've seen art unfold each year, I am more and more and more amazed at the skill level these young kids are demonstrating. At the same time, I get stunned when these young kids and young adults say, they need help, bored, they need teachers, etc.

Sorry colleges and art schools, but the wheels have turned as of the past 10 years and the rules are changing. 17 years ago, I graduated from one of the most prestigious art colleges in the world with honors. Various major companies like Disney, ILM and Interplay along with Pixar, etc. were all choosing me and my work to actually interview me. I was interviewed by Disney several times either for being an animator or a background painter. I even made the top 4 choices for Animation Boot Camp where they select the best possible candidates. I decided then and there that character animation really wasn't my "bag" and my good friend Peter Choe was one of the candidates and he had character animation and figure drawing down. He's an amazing artist that blew me away with his, what seems so easy for him, amazing talent, when I met him in college. He deserved to go, not me. He did. I, however, like creating worlds, environments, life, so background painting and matte painting really, really appealed to me along with concept and industrial design. I still do create worlds and only now I'm starting to add in people as I've learned architectural perspective drawing and painting, environmental painting, various starships and gadgets along with mythological elements in my paintings that tell a story. I also love Conceptual Design and Painting! I am only now (in the past few years) adding the final layer of the paintings, people. People that look good in the painting and not "disjointed", average or the same as everyone else. That's really hard for me and a real challenge. The levels of knowledge a true master must have starts from Anatomy, physiology, philosophy, gesture, motion, line(very important), form, value and mathematical theory, sacred geometry and accurate perspective to a final believable and stunning composition with using various numerical calculations focusing on the Fibonacci sequence, golden mean, rules of 3, etc. The hundreds of years of learned knowledge and practice and skill can now be amazingly condensed in just several years apparently, as I marvel at the modern sci-fi/fantasy illustrators that bless Illuxcon. These are the modern masters. My inspirations are Frank Frazetta, Boris and Julie Valejo, Giger, Syd Mead, John Berkey, Jeffery Jones (CJ), Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarie, Donato Giancola, Patrick Jones, Tom Fleming, Tom Wood and my great friend Tom Durham along with the new modern masters of digital and traditional painting techniques that would blow the masters away combined with numerous other amazing and show stopping artists that I discover every day and am humbled by their stunning work. It's the bar I'm trying hard to achieve.

Here's the problem as I get to the point of my ramble of the greats and what inspired me as a child and inspires me now. The artist Brom wrote a great article a couple of years ago that would probably piss off a lot of art colleges now, but the truth has to be told. When I add up the cost of going to art college after giving up a $50,000 a year (average sum and conservative estimate) job during the early 90's to attend Ringling, after graduating, I had spent an estimated $350,000 from 1994 - 1998 as a conservative cost analysis, i.e. a penny saved is a penny earned. That was 17 years ago. Now a good art college like Ringling cost about $37,000 a year to attend from what I heard from several friends who have attended lately. When you take into account living expenses, food, etc, books, lab fees, tools of the trade you are studying, you will have probably spent about $200,000 just for college alone to become an artist and get a job.

Many years ago, Art College was essential for so many beside the rare exceptions of gifted geniuses, but they still had a master to teach them the skills and hone them to become great artists. A young person now that graduates from Art College faces a very uncertain future as digital technology and serious competition from all angles along with so many artists not following ethical pricing and guidelines and demanding what they are worth and working for pennies on the dollar or gladly giving up their rights to a creation they made in a corporate "logo" contest or doing work for $10 an hour when one used to be paid $90-$100 an hour back in the 80's! Bottom line, the competition is bloody and fierce.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any young person can't make it successfully, I'm just saying the rules have changed since the 70's and 80's and no one is wanting to pay an artist what they are really worth as they think it's "fun" and easy when it's one of the most challenging and soul-wrenching journeys one could make in their lifetime. We artists are called to be artists, we really don't have a choice. No we can easily get a job as a computer programmer, doctor, lawyer and pay the same amount for college and make great money, but it's not in our programming and our soul.

So what's the solution!?!? Simple, I tell young people and their parents now; if the kids are self-disciplined, willing to learn each day, take constructive criticism ONLY when they ask for it, and want to grow and become better along with a driving fire and passion that God gives us; as we can not ignore any more than a Shaman can ignore their calling. It's in our soul and blood. We HAVE to be an artist for a reason. The real trick of life is finding out why?!? Another trick to bypass expensive schools that leave kids in huge debt and launched into a formidable world of amazing competition from every angle along with luck, fate, destiny, life; is and has been laid right before our eyes now. Opportunities I never knew when I drew and sketched from 5 years on....growing up in an artistic town, but still a rather repressed and remote region isolated from real artistic mastery, Kids now can and do have access to incredible, unbelievable resources from every angle to exponentially accelerate the learning curve that we, during the 70's on never had before.

Here's the bottom line, unless you or your parents are well off, forget art college, as if you want to be a successful artist, take business and time management along with financial management courses instead. Get a degree in that and then go make art, music, etc. Mick Jagger has a Masters Degree in Financial and Business Management. He is one of the reasons the Rolling Stones (all members, David Bowie and other friends are so rich). He taught them financial marketing and planning. They made their music, but they were mindful of the money that it takes to become financially and solid successful millionaires for the rest of their lives.

Artists can do the same. Now kids have access just by clicking you-tube and getting literally thousands, possibly millions of online tutorials, videos and more from generous and very gifted masters willing to share their learned secrets for a penny on the dollar for the knowledge. Here are some of the the greatest resources for learning - The Digital Academy, The Gnomon Workshop $500 a year for full access to all of their thousands of hours of learning from industry professionals directly, Ponko - http://www.proko.com/figure-drawing-fundamentals-course/, Feng Zhu, Linda.com. We never had this resource before! Books, DVD training, Libraries with Dvd's you can check out that teach from the basics to advanced knowledge. When I hear an excuse from a younger person of they don't have any way to learn, etc. I immediately tell them to take heart, save their money and just watch the videos and learn by watching the masters demonstrate live how they do their magic! www.pjartworks.com is another great master named Patrick Jones that can teach you far more. Then there are training (how to) dvd's from Tom Fleming, Donata Giancola, Syd Mead, and many, many more. This is a whole lot cheaper than art college sorry to say, but it's the way to go, but ONLY if you have the drive, passion, fire and calling to be an artist. Only then you will succeed, but now, there is NO reason you can't learn more each day and become a master even at an early age of 10 years old! I see 16 year old that can paint and draw circles around successful artists but be mindful to listen and learn from the older masters for they have the lifetime of knowledge to teach you more. Learn Art History, (Libraries - yes, REAL art books and read, read, read). Always sketch, build your visual vocabulary and rather than play video games, give yourself an hour each day to learn by watching a great online or purchased video. All the information you need is out their for the taking now! Finally, don't be intimidated to ask and show an artist you look up to to critique and give you pointers. True artists love to talk and share their skills and their knowledge with all. It's a true compliment! Now, go forth, change the world!

This course is approachable enough for beginners and detailed enough for advanced artists. My philosophy is to teach timeless concepts in an…
proko.com

Thursday, October 29, 2015

This past weekend at the Arts and Literary Festival held annual in Beaufort County was a great treat for me as the show was full of wonderful people located at the Frampton Plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Artisans and Writers were there to display their latest creations.  Even John Wayne's Grandson and his name is John Wayne as well, he even looks like the "Duke" and was there selling his history books about the South after the civil war.  I also purchased Selling on Main Street - a great book, but I'll talk about those books in my next blog along with Virginia Adams. No, in this entry, I want to tell you about another amazing writer, producer, creator, Joel Eisenberg.

I want to discuss this incredible new book series created and written by Hollywood Producer and Writer Joel Eisenberg.  The book is called The Chronicles of Ara: Creation - and you can find it here for sale at http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Ara-Creation-Joel-Eisenberg/dp/0986195332/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446113285&sr=8-1&keywords=joel+eisenberg.  


"Joel working at his desk"

About the Author

Joel Eisenberg has been interested in the mechanics behind artistic creation, an ongoing theme of the Chronicles of Ara series, since he penned the non-fiction How to Survive a Day Job in 2004. Interviewing 70+ professional creatives, including celebrities from several artistic industries, he credits his “mentor in a box” tome with hastening the realization of his dad’s inspiring words from forty years ago. Writing a novel with similar objectives, much less a series, has been on his bucket list since. Professionally, Joel has worked primarily in the movie and television industries as a writer and producer. The film he is most proud of, April Showers, which he executive produced, was based on the Columbine school shooting tragedy. He is a former Special Education teacher and supports school safety causes. Joel lives with the only woman in the world who could put up with him, his wife, Lorie, and their rescue dog (repeating a not-so-subtle message there), Koko, in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Hillard grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, and Grand Junction, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University, and also earned a degree in Philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepreneur, Steve was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter, and a practicing litigation attorney. He is the founder of Council Tree Investors, a private equity fund involved in the entertainment and telecom industries. Steve has also been an active philanthropist, focusing primarily on higher education, as well as at-risk Latino and indigenous youth, at the Escuela Tlatelolco in Denver, Colorado. In 2011, Steve published Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien, which sparked international controversy, became an Amazon Best Seller, received a national prize and was subsequently published world-wide in Spanish by Grupo Planeta. In addition to collaborative efforts with his partner, Joel Eisenberg, on the Chronicles of Ara, Steve is developing other projects. These include an untitled prequel to Mirkwood; Farway Canyon, a retro-horror graphic novel about radiation, blobs, and (of course) Cold War zombies, and KNOLL, a novel about JFK, Carlos Marcello, Elvis, the NSA, and Edward Snowden. He resides with his wife, Sharmaine, in San Antonio, Texas. Joel and Steve can be contacted directly through their author page, www.eisenbergandhillard.com.

Recently as of Saturday on Variety News, this book has been optioned for a new pilot series of 8 hours for prime-time viewing on a major television network.  (I'd read the books first for there are more coming, 2 are already completed along with Perdition).....Both are available through Amazon via limited edition hard cover book, paperback or kindle.  It is an amazing read and I highly recommend this book to anyone of loved Dan Brown's books such as The Davinci Code or Angels and Demons starring Tom Hanks; or even better and more "cerebral" Umberto Eco's - The Name of the Rose (now a major motion picture starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater) or Foucault's Pendulum.

A must buy for anyone who loves mystery, secret codes, thriller adventures.

James

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The artist I want to discuss today is simply another amazing artist named Paul Winter - https://www.facebook.com/winterart18?fref=photo that asked me what I thought of his work.  In a word that if you look up the real meaning...."incredible!" His work reminds me a bit of another great monster artist named Basil Gogos - www.BasilGogos.net.

Paul's work is simply stunning and if I could, I'd have everyone of his pieces. He paints subject matter that I love (Classic Horror Film Icons) and beautiful portraits! I'm proud to say that I will be getting a print of Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as they were the three greats of 50's to early 70's film classics.  They cringed, if you pardon the pun, at the idea that the BBC created a rating for all films we now know today as HORROR.  When color movies became more prevalent, suddenly the BBC saw blood as red and were suddenly disgusted as many on the BBC sensor board decided to brand any movie in the genre with an H rating for "Horrible".  The big three were, another pun I know, mortified! They felt by doing beautifully done Edgar Allen Poe films and of course the classics of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman that their films were not horrible but adult "Fairy Tales"; i.e., don't play God, don't make a deal with the devil, don't trust strangers, avoid addictions, etc.  Instead they found their lives' work, as they were all classically trained actors, suddenly degraded by the H rating and to them it was offensive to call their work "Horror" films.  Time has proved, though, that they are the masters and the films are still the best films around of that genre to watch.  Paul clearly captures the energy, excitement and magnificence of the great movies in his paintings.  The reason I compare his work with the modern day master Basil Gogos is the precision of the likeness of his subject matter and the color ranges which few artists dare try and they both pull off the multi-color range perfectly.  Take a look at Paul's Winter's work and you will see how great he is and how you would probably want to hire him for a great book cover instead of some simple "photograph" or graphic to save money.  You get what you pay for and if you pay a little extra, you get a cover that WILL sell your book or your movie.  Paul is a wonderful person and great to work with and obviously very prolific.  Take a look at his work at this link and enjoy his masterpieces.  I do.  https://www.facebook.com/winterart18?fref=photo.  Here are a few samples of his work...








Friday, April 17, 2015

I met an amazingly talented artist this weekend at Megacon.  Here is her link - check out her work which is amazing! She has also begun a series of fantasy novels.   https://www.facebook.com/nenethomas?fref=ts

Monday, April 6, 2015

I wanna turn you guys onto a fantastic artist called Gregbo Watson  - https://www.facebook.com/gregbowatson?fref=ts (Facebook Fan Page) - He's simply an amazing artist and great guy to meet. I love his style of art.  I've always admired comic styled artists that can draw a person in a unique style like the other master comic artists and his work just stands out nicely among thousands of very talented comic artists.  His work is both bold and whimsical and worth taking a look at.  Check out his Facebook Fanpage and see what I mean.   Wonderful work!



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

This weekend I had the honor of getting to talk more with Sarah Ann Taylor Frazetta, the granddaughter of the Master Frank Frazetta.  If you don't know who Mr. Frazetta is, turn around and run, don't walk, run to your nearest library and research this 20th century modern fantasy art illustration painter.  Because of him, he lead the way for countless wanna be artists to follow in his footsteps to become one of the greatest fantasy art illustrators in the world.  His influence is seen everywhere from books, to magazines, comics, graphic novels, movies, television and just about everywhere you look.  He had a distinctive style of  painting people, animals and situations that not only drew your attention instantly, you couldn't look away from each painting.  Here is his official link that has been created to carry on his legacy by his daughter Holly and his granddaughters.  http://frazettagirls.com   Take a look at his work if you don't know about him as you will very soon if you are from a younger generation thanks to Fire and Ice being recreated by Robert Rodriguez and you will see why he is the master of modern fantasy art that inspired Boris and Julie Vallejo, the Hildebrant brothers,  Bernie Wrigtson, Simon Beasley and many, many more artists that all owe a bit of their style to Frank and his creations.  The more you looked at his work, the more you saw in his pieces. He was a mufti-dimensional artist that could draw anything and anyone with his charismatic enthusiasm.  He drew women and men as they really were, not some fantastical or comical impossibly shaped "perfect" woman, but a real woman, with muscles, fat, tendons, bones and movement that could attract any man and most women for that matter.  His men were the definition of true bad-ass titans, alpha males that looked like they could conquer any world, and his women were strong and powerful.  He is also the first Fantasy illustrator that broke the mold and division bell between the fine art world and the Fantasy world.  Death Dealer has now sold for over $1,000,000 and his originals are quickly skyrocketing in value.

Because I spent time this weekend getting to know Sarah, Frank's Granddaughter more, and just looking over extensively his latest release book called Frazetta II, I'm inspired to write this article which now leads a great friend of mine I met many years ago named Allegra to ask about her being a good muse for people.  When people, including famous comic and graphic artists see my painting of her, they know her.


http://www.jameshillgallery.com/#/gallery/portraits-and-figures/the-sultans-muse/

She's famous now as a cosplay girl and dare I say an enchanting muse for artists. I want to paint at least six images I have seen of her from various photographic masters while she usually wears Organic Armor accessories and beautiful clothing that simply accentuate her beauty and curvacious body.  I have a strong feeling Frank would have loved to have her as a model.  Why do I draw a comparison between Mr. Frazetta, the master and Allegriana is because they both had real passion for what they did.  He was the master at painting scenes like his famous Conan the Barbarian paintings for the book covers or of John Carter of Mars to various other fantasy works and she is quickly becoming the select choice of many photographers because of her stunning beauty and her bubbly personality that is humble enough to work with the artist to create their vision and that's just what a good muse does.  They inspire, they ignite passion and flame for creation.  Allegra does just that.  She's intelligent, witty, charming and loving and is not stuck on herself, but easily approachable and loves most everyone and most everyone loves her.  As artists and photographers scramble to get a chance to work with her, she tries hard to accommodate their needs to create and make their visions come to life.  She is also a great creator herself dreaming up fantastical costumes to wear during various conventions and she has smile that lights up a room of people.  It's no wonder so many conventions scramble to ask her to be a guest.  Her boyfriend is an amazing creator of costumes and armor and together, they are a force that is unstoppable; very much Frank and his wife Ellie were.  She is a great model to work with and a very giving and kind person.  If you are an artist or photographer or a person running a booth at a convention and need assistance or want a start at their booth, she is the girl to hire.  She is frequently asked to be a guest speaker now at various South-Eastern conventions and she does a great job discussing Cosplay and modeling/acting.  Here are some of her photos to give you a good idea of her talents and her fanpage on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/Allegriana















She's worth it! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Went to the SC ComicCon this past weekend and setup a table there. Met more good friends, amazing artists and vendors and had a great time selling my art! Here are some of the other amazing artists that showed their work....
Andrew Bones - www.etsy.com/shop/Bonesart
Mark Poole - www.MarkPoole.net
Dimitri - www.etsy.com/shop/PaintingsbyDimitri
NEN - nen@incapax.net
http://www.tanglewylde.com/


https://www.facebook.com/notes/jr-mounts/scairy-tales-snombies-musical-is-at-64-on-kickstarter/720348231351809?pnref=lhc

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

For the artists out there trying to sell your work! URGENT...Art print bins - where to get them....

People are always asking me where I get those "neat" print bins for shows....Well, here is a good source and this week they are 50% off! I highly recommend the Medium Size bin.  They fold up and are easy to transport but look professional......http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/studio-furniture/print-and-drying-racks/canvas-print-racks.htm

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why am I an Artist and not some Rich Lawyer or Doctor, etc.

All of my life, I've wanted to create new worlds. My first clear memory of television was the Moon Landing at 3.5 years old (yep I saw the first landing on the moon) and I remember my parents crying with joy and their looks of amazement as we touched down on another planet. I vaguely remember the television screen but I do remember the landing and seeing it live. The family gathered around, I remember the den with the green carpet, everyone with their eyes glued to the television as the the words that shook the world were said.  "Houston, The Eagle has Landed". Then came the words...."That's one small step for man, one Giant leap for mankind!" - Neil Armstrong.....



I wonder if that moment solidified the rest of my life and my dreams of changing the world and my extreme love for anything science fiction. When I was 5, I remember watching reruns of Star Trek.  That did it! I was hooked and inspired me to draw as best I could what I saw and what I imagined.  I remember asking my father as I watched the "clear and beautiful" images dancing with vibrant color of beeping, chirping small lights on consoles, crystals that lit up like Christmas and the red rails on the Bridge.  I inquired to my father, "what is that room and what are those things lighting up and changing?!?!" I was excited at the visuals and my eyes fixed on the screen.  He said, "It's a bridge son and those lights are annunciator lights for computers."  I laughed and told him "That's no bridge Dad, bridges are roads that go over water".  My father was an Electrical Engineer and he patiently explained the answers as more questions came from my mouth, "why is that room called a bridge then, what are those lights blinking on and off for? What is that place?" Then came the shots of the whole ship in space.  "Now what is that Dad? Where are they!?"  My father replied "That's a Spaceship and it's full of people traveling through space to another planet".  Lightning fired in my mind! The Promethium spark of fire ignited my imagination as he explained to me about space, how big it is and why they need a spaceship to go vast distances to new worlds.  That was the moment I took paper and pencil in my hand and started drawing the Enterprise over and over again.  The bridge, the chair, the lights.  I quickly became frustrated as I couldn't get on paper what was in my mind.  I wanted my drawings to look as good as what I saw.



Over the next 10 years, I would be exposed to amazing music from Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Kansas, ELO, Boston, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles along with Creedance....I remember waiting on the floor of the theater for hours to see movies like Star Wars, Jaws and Close Encounters.  I remember being amazed as skeletons and stone statues of Shiva came to life on the theater screen while I watched The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and marvel at the brilliance of Ray Harryhousen.


At 9 years old, I remember watching Logan's Run in the large screen cinema after eagerly waiting for months to see the film. After seeing the movie on the big screen I knew then I wanted to grow up to create that city, that domed world that at the time looked mind blowing.






I then saw 2001 A Space Odyssey on television as my father allowed me to stay up until 12:00 on a Sunday night before school as I was amazed at how "real" everything looked.  Then, finally at eleven years old, after waiting for hours on the floor in the mall, I saw Star Wars for the first time.  I remember seeing the Starship moving across the screen that looked real and then seeing a larger ship that seemed to go on forever before the reveal of the lights from the glow of the massive engine exhausts of the Imperial Cruiser.  I watched in amazement as the story came to life in a believable universe with realistic looking special effects and spaceships that took my whole world by storm.  It wasn't the storyline or the characters so much that hooked me, it was the models, the sets, the worlds that I saw and at that moment I realized that my life would be filled with trying to create something like Star Wars.  I wasn't interested in being the star of the show, I just wanted to be the person behind the scenes that created the worlds, the machines, the starships and the robots along with all the elaborate but believable technology.  I watched that movie 37 times in the theater.




During that time I practiced drawing and painting constantly spaceships, battle scenes, worlds, cities, fortresses and those were the happiest days of my life as nothing was impossible.  I just knew in my heart I would become the next George Lucas or Steven Spielburg.  I grew up having that belief as I practiced drawing and creating art and in high school I won pretty much every award including bringing back to Berkeley County the State Art Award to my city after Charleston held that title for 20 years. Unfortunately a wrench was thrown in the cogs of creation as I listened to other people tell me what i should paint. "people like barns, beaches, portraits, Charleston scenes, landscapes of this world. You should paint those things".  I was naive enough to listen to the bad advice and my "destiny" was averted for the time being.  Of course there was another "dangerous" distraction that would come along that I had no control over....Adolescence, , Partying and dating Girls. I also discovered the Apple II and TRS 80 Computers and became hooked on computer programming.  Being a sci-fi nerd and a being locked away inside a small room with 4 computers and working with large VAX systems at 15 made me an interesting geek that also loved to party and socialize!  So down went the pencils and the world of parties, girls, computers and liqueur would alter my path for a while. I also believed a lie that I was too young to sell my art and start making money with it. Big mistakes all around except learning computers.

By the time I was 22, after attaining a Marketing Associates degree along with Engineering drafting and design at a local vocational college, I did go back to drawing and painting and even airbrushing whilst drafting at a day job as I had been a manual board drafter since I was 18.  I was also one of the first CAD operators as I was hooked on computers since 15 (1982) and programming languages as I tried to learn Assembly and Hexidicimal along with COBOL and Fortran. My mind just wasn't that focused then. I then studied Architectural design along with civil, electrical and mechanical design.  I also wanted to be an architect since childhood.  I believed the lie that people were telling me that artists don't make money and could not make a real living drawing or sketching. What they should have said was, "You Can make money, a lot of it if you practice your craft daily and learn business at the same time).  Most artists are amazing but know very little about the business models that are needed to make their paintings and creations financially stable and desirable to where the escalate in value. I agree, however, that an artist needs a good team of motivated people around them to help launch and motivate their careers. I made up excuse after excuse of why I didn't pursue an art or film career. Then, at 24, I dared to open an art gallery in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, a very historic city of America filled with beautiful architectural masterpieces of Antebellum Architecture.  At that time mainly every gallery only sold or were interested in tame and "safe" tourist art and not progressive art at all for sales nor were the buyers.  They wanted paintings of the city, wildlife and landscapes of the city and the surrounding lands of Charleston that they either visited or lived in.  I decided I would dare showcase alternative art and not the art of Charleston that catered to tourists as so many of my artist friends painted those various scenes and no doubt were fantastic at it.  It just wasn't in my heart to repeat what other people do and do well.  However, after almost a year of running a gallery, working three side jobs and getting various commissions to keep the doors open, unforeseen circumstances arose that were beyond my control and my gallery had to close.  Depression sank in and so did partying and distractions from art.

Shortly thereafter, I met my first wife and decided to work very hard for 3 years working on average 90-110 hours per week drafting both for the government and for private and commercial clients on a freelance basis. That's what a good husband should do right? Provide? Day job and side work kept me working around the clock and then At 27, I couldn't take living a lie anymore as my soul demanded of me to return to art.  I applied at Ringling College of Art and Design.  They choose about 45 students out of over 1000-2000 entries per year per major, hence the college was a very difficult college to get into and I told myself, if they did let me in, we would move to Sarasota, Florida and I would go study art formally. I was accepted and so after my wife finished med school, we bought a nice house near the beach and settled in as I started my first year of college at 28.

I learned that computer animation was the back door to getting to work with Industrial Light and Magic and George Lucas along with Steven Speilburg; so I chose the CA major so I could get back on track of my childhood dream.  As I studied hard and devoted my life to the pursuit of art, I lost everything in my life around me, my first wife, as we simply drifted apart by not spending time together though we did part amicably which made a divorce SO much easier, our house as I just let her have it, my good paying jobs, and all my investments and money all in pursuit of being an artist and learning formally the craft. I buried myself in my school, made a great GPA near 4.0 every year, but doubt and fear swept in over and over again as various circumstances arose and I was nearing my 4th year of college and then graduation. What would the future hold? What would I have to show for spending almost $350,000 of my life's finances and losing a wife, becoming bankrupt and losing my home?  Would the journey of my first 30 years of life into a slow descent into Purgatory and then into the 9 levels of Hell be worth chasing a dream? ....tune in later to find out the answer......