Worst week ever – Rabies

My S/O and I adopted a kitten. The kitten began to have seizures. We called the shelter and they told us just to keep an eye on her. The seizures got worse and one not she couldn’t walk straight after a five minute seizure. So, we took her into the emergency vet. The vet told us the shelter was full of shit and we should have brought her in immediately because seizures are rare in kittens. Epilepsy doesn’t show up until they are at least one year old, apparently. Given the kitten was a rescue, the vet was very concerned she had rabies. We made the hard decision to put her down and get her tested. Unfortunately we also had to go get rabies vaccines which made us both feel sick (I vomited for times after the IGG shots). My anxiety tempered the grief and convinced me it was too late and I was going to die of rabies.

The kitten didn’t have rabies, she had a rare brain infection. I think we did the right thing by putting her down, as she wouldn’t have made it either way, but it was a horrible week. This drawing is a representation of what it felt like.

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Cheers,

Blu

Prosthetic – Painting + Tshirt

I like how this one turned out. I wanted the cyborg/robot to appear somewhat damaged and unsure of itself. I think that was captured with some of the erratic shading and effects. I wanted less explicit detail as well, so a lot of the parts are suggested. I kept the color pallet simple so it would look more like splashes of paint or brands then the actual color of the android.

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I put a lot of work in making the frame. I’m not very good at frames but I recognize how important they are for T-shirts. A lot of my work is too complicated to put on a shirt and the frame helps simplify it so it can be printed on different colors of shirts.

Capture

 

Cheers,

Blu

Dilaudid – Abstract Painting

I wanted to focus more on the emotional side of the textures and colors for this one, so I obscured the subjects face with a smoky effect and worked his form into the body of the painting. I wanted all the transitions and blending to feel really natural and for lack of a better term, ‘two-dimensional’. Even with all the layers I think I largly accomplished that goal while keeping a lot of the shapes and contour interesting/engaging for those who want to take a closer work. The text is in Greek and Latin and deals with concepts of addiction, hence the name.

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I think the interplay between the cross hatching and low opacity shapes created a futuristic sort of vibe that I kind of liked paired with the theme.

 

Cheers,

Blu

2077 – My submission to the 43rd annual artcall

A futuristic portrait with an abstract background. I put a lot of work into fading the detail from blurry to sharp at the mechanical eye and sunglasses. I did this mostly by using more pen-strokes and splotchier shading in the face, hat, and hair. The background took a significant amount of time to construct as well, and I’m proud of how it turned out. The buildings were traced from a photo of Manhattan. There was originally a creepy painted face in the top right, but my friend pointed out that it took away too much focus from the eye and face.

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Here is the piece without masking the painted face:

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I’m interested in whether you all think it is better with or without the face. I’d greatly appreciate the opinions!

 

Cheers,

Blu

Burst and Decay – Mixed Media portrait

Bit of a splatter portrait with composite elements. I wanted to set up a cool illusion with the main portrait sharing eyes with the inked figures and I think it turned out pretty interesting. Not too much to say, I think some of my blending got sloppy but the lips turned out very well (I very often struggle with hyper realism in lips).

Anyway, the workflow was more straightforward than it probably looks. I sketched the face on watercolor paper in ink, did some basic shading to paint over. I was heavier in the areas with less detail to draw focus to the eyes and mouth. Did a lot of basic splatter effects around the edges of the face, then painted the skin. After that I blended the components and added the red splash, the buildings, comic book photos, and clouds composite style. Blended those and finished up.

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Watchers – Painting

A mixed media painting on cold-press. Ink, watercolor, and photo-manipulation for the geometric overlay of the ink-splatter. The face near the middle connected to the smoke is actually a portrait I did when I was first getting into digital and mixed media. It saved me a lot of time to use that and I think it looks pretty interesting.

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copr Blu-Art 2018, all rights reserved.

Gemini – Mixed Media Painting

Another piece of my long standing zodiac project. This one means a lot to me. One of my best friends fell thirty feet in a climbing accident and hit his head on a rock. It took the doctors three days to determine he was brain dead. They took him off support last Saturday. He was a Gemini and my friend Kendra and I created a unique version of the image for his birthday, which was a week before the accident. He never got to see it finished, but I think he would’ve liked it. He was always supportive of my art. He was probably my only fan when I first started. He was just a good friend, always there for me, even when I wasn’t there for me, and even when I wasn’t there for him.

Gemini 93×104 inches

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copr blu-art, Kochre, and arctic-ink 2018

Some minor issues, but we’ll fix them.

Vertebra – Photo-manipulation

A straight photo-manipulation my friend and I made using a mix of personal and free assets. It was a fun day trip driving out to Des Moines to gather a plethora of photos, and this is what we came up with. I think it could have gone a lot worse considering our relative inexperience with photography.

Putting it together was also difficult, as we had something like three hundred pictures to comb through. Anyway, I had fun putting it together!

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copr Blu-art 2018

Amalgam

One of my first attempts at a piece with an invisible background (not easy the way I paint). My style breaks down in cleanliness a little when you take away the background which I usually use for positive and negative space interplay, but this came out alright. It’s a little confusing to look at but it’s also a T-shirt design and I kind of like that it looks like a simple shape from far away but is also rather detailed up close.

It’s a mixed media piece. The women were done in ink while the buildings were photo manipulated into a fractal pattern. The pain splatters and textured splashes were painted digitally.

 

 

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Here’s some examples of how it looks printed:

Capture

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Anyway, had a lot of fun putting this together between exams and ER shifts this weekend.

 

Here’s a link to the store page if anyone is interested: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/t-shirt/men/metric-rain/952154/2

V – I miss you

Time lost up front.

You fell and it’s to late too fix the hole in your head.

So I’ll be there when they say it’s time, because I wasn’t there when I should’ve been. Time paid back in half…at best. Still, I’ll be there when they set you free, of that prison gravity put you in.

And at least your valves will work for someone who didn’t fall, but if I’m being honest I don’t care. Because their brain isn’t yours. There’s a romantic something to be found in the fact your heart will be pumping for someone else, but I liked your brain better than your heart. It was a good heart. You ran eight miles a day and left me in the dust whenever I tried to tag along.

I could blame the pseudo-asthma but the truth is you had a better heart. Figuratively and literally; a better heart. Which brings me back to the construct of you; your brain. Your dead brain. You survived the surgery and suddenly Kendra was right to have driven straight to Madison. You pushed through. But, it’s just as well, I’ll get to see you but I owe her an apology. The surgeon said you had three hours and I had eight hours of pavement to cover. So I cried instead.

Then we thought you were alive again. Until they couldn’t wake you up. So I cried again and at least Kendra was back to cry with me. I know I need to be there for her more than I have been too.

Still.

Fuck you for not using ropes. And fuck me for thinking it was cool every time you scaled a building or cliff face without them. Fuck me for not loving you back when you needed it and fuck me for taking so long to realize you were still my best friend. Fuck me for assuming you wanted nothing to do with me over that lie.

At least we figured it out near the end. Figured out we still needed each other.

And I know you want to leave now. I know you don’t want to be trapped in a coma. I know you don’t want to be buried so we’ll scatter you where you said.

Thank you for everything. Thank you for convincing me to keep arting, thank you for playing Borderlands 2 with me everyday after school for over a year because you knew I was lonely, and thank you for being there that summer during my surgery. Thank you for helping me cook for French class and convincing everyone I did it alone while I was in the other room. Thank you for thinking I was worth keeping around, and for believing in fate and love when I couldn’t seem to comprehend either. Thank you for taking the time to help me learn. I love you V.

And I’ll be there when they pull the plug and cut out your valves.