Here is a new style for doing steps. I like it!
I've mentioned often how the Larry Evans maze books influenced me as a kid. His first two books were published in 1976 and 1977. I was 10-years old. The introduction said to not solve the puzzles with pen or pencil, so I was able to run the mazes over and over again. I would practice drawing my own mazes. When learning perspective, I would attempt rectangular tube mazes similar to the works in his books. Hose mazes, landscape mazes- I have been drawing mazes ever since.
My original Evans books were lost, probably to my younger siblings. Recently, as I was finishing my first book for Chronicle, I thought it might be fun to see those early books again. Once I shipped my final work, I hit eBay to see if I could find those books from my childhood.
Six new PosIt mazes for the Sticky Show in Vancouver! by Hot Art Wet City . Curated by Flavia C; IG@catscanpuke and Jeff Chiba Sterns; IG@meditatingbunny . Inspired by the Giant Robot Post It show, it is a great way to score tiny, original art from local and international artists!
So, while you’re in Vancouver on Saturday, March 30, go to the show. Buy Flavia’s art. Maybe one of mine. Snap some selfies. One night and cash only.
— April 11 Follow up: 5 of these cuties sold!!
Working on a fairly large red and blue ballpoint commission based on the maze from my December post. It’s too fun!
Any larger, I’d have to work on an easel or wall.
The maze is created in the red ballpoint. I did use light pencil guidelines for the isometric grid.
Though I used a grid, I still kept the buildings and paths kind of loose.
Cleaning the pens as I draw. I love my Zebra pens!
How many bicycles? How many cats? Can you find the cannon?
Giant Robot Gallery in Los Angeles has an annual group show where hundreds of artists are invited to submit small, 3x3” works on Post-It notes. The pieces can be bought for $25. It can be a fun way to score original art from your favorite artists and illustrators or discover new stuff. After the initial week or two, the unsold work goes online. (Now online for purchase!)
Here are some of the pieces I sent in for this year:
Here is the art I picked up last year:
You may remember Giant Robot as a magazine in the 1990’s-2000’s. The magazine was all about West Coast, Asian-American and Asian pop culture. I devoured every issue. The editor then, Eric Nakamura, created the Giant Robot brand and runs the current gallery in Los Angeles. The gallery continues to promote Asian-American artists and West Coast pop and street art. Everyone should follow.
Read this article about the Post-It show, Nakamura, and the artists at My Modern Met —>
So all my morning painting, ink detail drawing, IG following, and frame building has brought me to this. My first oil painting maze.. I am kind of super excited, because it is freaking awesome. That said, it is 10,000 miles from where I want to be.
I made frames to hold my oil study panels. They turned out pretty great.
Frames are pine edge molding, mitered and glued. Glued cloth strips for additional strength. Black acid free matte board sets the painting back from the frame. Glazing points used to hold work in frame. Framed primed and painted with several coats of semi-gloss black acrylic.
Tackling more detail in these ballpoint mazes. I make the initial drawing in red ballpoint, then deepen the shadows and paths with blue and a little black Micron pen.
Check out my maze in the September issue of Les Explorateurs!! French Canadian science and nature magazine for kids. There will be new mazes in at least 3 upcoming issues! 🎉 I’m super excited! Plus: meerkats!
I’m trying to paint every morning.
All the paintings are oil studies and started around 6am. The scene is facing west toward the Whitestone Bridge and Manhattan. I adjust the horizon depending if I want to paint the foreground water, which is especially challenging. The short term goal is teaching discipline, and, in a couple of months, have enough to fill a really big wall. Long term, I want a better grasp of the medium so I can dump 50 hours on a painting (a maze?) and not be overly disappointed!
The panels are gessoed hardboard, 8”x12”
All these and more are now for sale in my shop!
In April, I visited the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida. Winding paths through palm gardens and monumental sculptures- it’s perfect. I took many pictures... Norton’s towering Gate sculptures loom out of the foliage or are revealed around bends of the path.
This summer I made a maze based on the gardens. Here is a detail.
You can see the full puzzle on my Twitter!
I find making circular mazes a challenge. I have designed a few flat circular puzzles and then redrawn them as steps and buildings, but the results are unsatisfactory. The final work feels heavy and burdensome. They are overly complicated. So when I discovered Henry Cheung’s Instagram feed @henryscheung I was inspired! He photographs the circle mazes he has elegantly doodled in coffee shops adjacent to lattes on warm surfaces of wood, tile, or stone.
After liking a bunch of his photos, Henry and I chatted about mazes. He was cool with me trying to convert one of his puzzles into my style! I printed out a few and got to sketching. The first one was a little lumpy. For my second attempt, I laid down some guidelines to keep the isometric under control. This was better.
I drew my version too small. I wanted more detail, so I scaled it up to ink onto larger watercolor paper. I will eventually paint it, but for now I’m happy with the digital coloring. This way I can play with color choices before laying down the real thing!
The final result is great. Collaborations are awesome! Follow @henryscheung on Instagram, your feed will be more beautiful.
The previously posted towers were studies for this new watercolor maze. The colors are more gentle than my earlier trials.
These are Strathmore watercolor postcards. Studies for a larger piece coming soon!
Want something new almost every day? Follow my Instagram! It’s much less formal than this blog. Sometimes I post mazes, but often I post other projects I’m working on. Here are my last three posts:
Ballpoint practice with White House chief of staff John Kelly. I’m not a fan, just think he has an interesting face. He reminds me of the cop played by Richard Burgi in the Firefly episode “The Message”.
Also getting into relief print. I was totally into woodblock as a younger man and have been carving again. You can see that my skills are a bit rusty, but my work translates well. Follow my progress on Instagram!
Last year I printed promotional postcards to share at signings and with bookstores and contacts. I used the online company, Next Day Flyers. One of the folks at the company liked the cards so much, they wanted to do an interview about the book, my work, and why I chose Next Day Flyers! Check it out —>
Next Day Flyers did a great job. I had not had anything printed for a while and settled on them based on rating and price. Since I had plenty of time, turn-around was not an issue. It was important that the card felt like a traditional postcard to be saved and not like a throwaway advertisement. I did a little research on card weights, sizes, and finishes and found just what I needed in their inventory. I designed my cards in Photoshop and uploaded my art into their template. The template is straight-forward with layers, guidelines and font choices. The cards arrived on schedule.
I’m glad I did my research and the final product turned out perfect!
Oh, if you want a postcard, just send me an email. Be sure to let me know if you want it with a message or pristine in an envelope.
Here’s a little maze I did in ballpoint pen. Unusually, I didn’t lay it out first, just started in the uppper left and worked across the page. Real iRobot plotter style.
Check out my Threadless shop! Many colors and styles for men, women, and kids!
More designs coming soon!