Jeffrey Catherine Jones has died. I was checking out some of my favorite sites yesterday when I came across this on George Pratt’s site. Jeff Jones was one of my art heroes. Growing up, I like many others coming of age in the seventies saw his work everywhere but the classic art book “The Studio” changed everything for so many of us. The Studio lifted the curtain for us sheltered wanna-be’s and showed us four amazing artists in their working environment, it made us hungry to be one of them. They were modern Pre-Raphaelites or art rock stars. The studio only lasted a few years but those guys created some real magic. I loved all four of them but Jones work was closest to mine spiritually. I picked up the recent art book “Jeffrey Jones: A Life in Art” last Christmas and it was there I learned of his gender change, I thought it must have been a tough thing to go through so late in life. From what I have read he/she was quiet, humble and generous and I found that out to be true as I met him in the 90′s and showed him my sketch book. He looked at every page and quietly handed it back to me, I asked him if he had any advice and he said “keep doing what your doing”. Thank you Jeffrey for many happy viewings of your art.
My friend Pete Ruiz just showed me this video and it illustrates the staggering amount of work it takes to put these Google museum projects together.
Art Project Behind the Scenes
Last Friday I took some time off to put my geek on and take in the Long Beach Comic Con where not one but 2 of my art heroes attended –Bernie Wrightson and Mike Mignola. I had a near miss with Mr. Wrightson but I did manage to meet Mr. Mignola and he is a very gracious and humble guy. He doesn’t know me from a hill of beans but there I stood geeking out and managing to have a coherent conversation. He was gracious enough to sign one of his sketchbooks for me and included a neat little doodle. I gave him one of my post-it sketches and he responded “That’s great” which made my day. -Of course I got the better end of the trade, and what a perfect Halloween post -a photo of the creator of Hellboy.
I’ve just viewed a disturbing, scathing, depressing, and accurate assessment of the art world that makes so much sense I have to share it. Through most of my adult life the art world has mystified me with its embrace of work I thought marginal, yet fetching millions of dollars. What was I missing? I grew up in a very humble home and I can still barely call myself middle class but I have always had a love for art. When I went to art school conceptual art ruled the day and I wanted to make images of real things, so I wound up in the commercial art world. In my early twenties I discovered Robert Hughes and though I thought him a bit stuffy I always thought his observations were important. I read his book “the Shock of the New” before I knew it was a TV series and thoroughly enjoyed it wondering why this stuff wasn’t spoken of in my college art history classes. This documentary shows he hasn’t lost his eye or his keen powers of observation. This film helps me put the pieces together in a satisfactory way that answers a lot of my questions about why I never fit in to the art world at large. Very Interesting stuff. Unfortunately it has been removed from YouTube so I removed the link. Last I checked it was here:
Today is my birthday, and I am honored to share it with one of my art heroes, Jack “King” Kirby. He has been written about so often I won’t bore you too much, but suffice it to say he is on most everyone’s top ten lists of greatest comic book artists ever. He had such strange and wonderful ideas about everything and could draw faster than anyone in his day. I think he was one of the first to take comics seriously enough to devote his life to it. He was also a very generous man with his time, stories are numerous of fans who would drop in on him and he would treat them all as an honored guest. He moved to Thousand Oaks (from New York) in the early seventies, about the time I discovered comics and had I any clue the man lived so close to me I would have found my way to his studio to pour out my gratitude and admiration for so many hours of entertainment and inspiration. He died in ’94 but his legend lives on.
Here is a short clip I found on You Tube from the long out of print video “The Masters of Comic Book Art” introduced by Harlan Ellison:
I just found out Frank died about 10 hours ago. He was a legend and one of my art heros, he seemed like a really decent man and a monster talent who influenced several generations. He will be sorely missed.
Above is “Silver Warrior” -one one of my all time favorite Frazetta paintings.
Okay this is just too cool. I found this on the Drawn! site. It’s a film by Andreas Hykade, in the National Film Board of Canada competition and it reminds me of my miss-spent youth attending all those animation festivals back in the day. Be warned there are a few abstract naughty bits.