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 (, (Patrick Jones), Proko (free really cool tutorials) you tube! - Tom Wood (, 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 (, Edward Reed -, 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!!!


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.  -

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 -, Feng Zhu, 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! 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…