Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Middle of Summer and Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Travel Channel
I'll start off this month's entry with a small but heartfelt bit in memoriam to a fellow whom I'd never met, but did admire. In many ways, I found inspiration from him in travel, writing, photography, and views of my natural surroundings.

Chef, author, traveler, outspoken voice.

Anthony Bourdain, was the sort of personality that I found endlessly intriguing, but also wonderfully unapologetic. His regard and respect for the hard working Spanish-speaking immigrants hailing from Mexico, Ecuador, and other Central/South American countries, who are cooks and chefs in many American hole in the wall and upscale establishments was well known. He saw them as talented and invaluable, yet underpaid and unrecognized, even though they have become the backbone of the U.S. restaurant industry.

He was actually on my mind, as just this past weekend, I ate at this little underground hole in the wall eatery named Bernardo's Burritos in Des Moines. It was a no frills and dimly lit affair, run by a young Hispanic man, with an assembly line of ingredients that he used to either make $3 tacos or $8 burritos with. I got the $8 burrito, and if I'd had the space, I'd have gotten another one.
If you want to see what else they have there, check it out at 215 4th St. in downtown Des Moines. Little pricey, but it was really good food. It did echo your average Chipotle in some ways though, and was aimed at the late night crowd.
Bourdain was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and he would be the first one to have said it, tinged with a curse word in the affirmation of it. He was worldly, infinitely curious, blunt, and known to be as engaging as he was off putting depending on his mood and the bearing of fellows in his company, and the food on his plate.

He was always one I'd hope to meet someday, and yet again, I have to scratch one more name off of the crumpled list in my wallet. Wherever you are sir, may the adventures and cuisine be literally out of this world for you.

Art efforts and creations.

I handed off a newly completed Frankenstein's Monster's Head, into the hands of my friend and art show organizer, D Ryan Allen. He had supplied plaster heads for artists to customize for a series of shows celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelly's work, "Frankenstein - or the Modern Prometheus", which was released on January 1, 1818.
I'd never worked on painting plaster before. But this first foray into painting on it, went really well.
I'd meant to chronicle this effort in video, but time constraints left me with little time to get work in on it, much less setting up lighting and the right setup for filming. I did get a few in process photos of before and after. The head as noted earlier is plaster, that I'd base coated with a gray acrylic from IronLak's Sugar Artists' Acrylic Spray Paint line. I need to do a user review and specific project with these paints, because the acrylic was buttery smooth in propelling, evenness of coat, and color lay, and I was astounded by the way low odor that it expelled.

Other art efforts as of recently are including me doing some spot illustrations for Brass Engine Production's upcoming game release of Thief's Hoard, which will be launching on KickStarter soon. Expect to see that flooding my Twitter feed on that day and for the next few weeks afterwards.
Close up preview of one of the spot illustrations for Thief's Hoard.
I've also rebranded/restarted my wood block series into something I'm calling StoryBlocks, which are more of a three dimensional comic panel, or spot illustration. The first three out of the gate are Sonic, a Werewolf, and Wonder Woman. These will be up for sale online soon, and I'll have a video explaining the upgrades and extra art involvement in these works compared to the previous wood panel series I did, including the new pricing structure on these.
In progress Wonder Woman, with others drying behind her.
On that note, I will be having a series of listings of remaining older works, for sale. Like a real sale. Like the kind of sale that if you like it, you can offer what you want to pay for it, and it's yours sort of sale. I'm still working out the details and set up on that, and I have a variety of sized works that will be available.

From slumber, to soil, to sun.

I regard gardening, the little that I do of it, to be an art form of sorts, except the challenge is to consistently nurture the initial seeds, to grow and mature into a final form of physical, and to a degree, mental release. I'd let a few years go by without any plants, and felt something missing in me. Now, I've got a fair few little sprouted seedlings enjoying the current influx of rain and warm weather.
Little watermelon plants who had been in a slumber in my refrigerator for about 3 to 5 years, amazingly sprouted very well. 

Life imitates Art.

Over the years, I've gotten a lot of images that didn't really fit in with normal updates, at least thematically, but it struck me that I could feature a random odd one every update, just for fun.
A modern moment of life no doubt inspired by "Creation of Adam" (Italian: Creazione di Adamo), a fresco painted by Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, c. 1508–1512. This is also the standard way to pay for a burger and fries in the midwest. No really.
Because I've had some people at shows ask me for a streamlined information area for links on various subject matters I write about in my entries, I've decided to now add what you see just below, a "links of interest" area highlighting the subjects that were in the blog entry. Thanks so much Jenna W. for suggesting this at NakaKon earlier this year.

Links of interest:

Until next time, support your local artists and businesses. Be kind to your fellow beings. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days.

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist

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