Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Long time no see

"Silly Games"

Wow it has been a while since I posted one of these. This is all work from my recent show up in Oakland. I took a little different approach to making work this go around. There was no nonstop sketching and redrawing leading to carefully transferred pencil lines on watercolor paper. Instead I drew directly onto my final surface and when the drawing was finished in pencil it all got inked and finished. No more fussing about.

My inspiration this go around was old fashioned pinups, in particular sepia toned erotica postcards from the early part of the 20th Century.

Response was good, although my friends kept asking me what was up with all the boobies (or at least a few people did). That is probably because I have never blatantly drawn women in various forms of undress. Maybe it was my Catholic upbringing but I never felt I had an excuse to draw nudity. I’m glad they all went over well and that I am not perceived as totally shameless.

(This is a big post but thankfully there are very little words. I apologize for some of the image quality, but my computer crashed before I left for Oakland. So as of now I only have digital camera photos of the work hanging in the gallery.)

“Silly Games Detail”


“S.O.S. detail”

“Lift Off”

“Practice Makes Perfect”

“Practice detail”

“Secret Identity”

“Secret Identity detail”

“Stars and Dandelions”

“Stars and Dandelions detail”

“When I Lost You”

“Dream Girl”

“Dream Girl detail”

An interesting thing happened in the development of this project. I began wanting to just make some vapid straight up pin up drawings. However my brain kept working out stories for all of these ladies. No so much full narratives but small vignettes about who they are and what their deal is. This is why so many have costumes instead of just scarfs and blankets and sexy pot poses. I love the idea that “the clothes make the woman” and can tell so much about a character. When there were no clothes I used the setting as the costume. The brown drawings became scenes out of the lives of these anonymous women I made up.

“Party Animal”

“Party Animal detail”

“Marker Girl one”

These were very quick drawings I did before the show. I am trying to work looser and in a much more stylized way these days. So I’ll sit down and just try to crank out some caricature style drawings to get out of my usual way of working. My work holds together because of the types of subjects I depict. Stylistically though I worry that I’m all over the map (sometimes realistic, other times cartoony).

“Marker Girl 2”

“Marker Girl 3”

I don’t know if this is a good direction for full illustrations. They sure are fun to do though.

“Lost in Space (shaky camera version)”

“Fish out of Water”

What does it all mean? That seems to be the question everyone wants to know when they look at my work. At once it is flattering especially since my work is so narrative. Yet I like it when a viewer makes up their own story from the clues I have left in an illustration. Rather than having me just give it up. But my work is very narrative based so I shouldn’t complain.

With that said (since someone asked) the “Fish Out of Water” painting is about interacting with the opposite sex. Particularly when one is single and ready to mingle at bars and such. I became single at a time when other friends of mine also found themselves girl-less. Guys love to sit around and talk themselves up. When we go out we try to put our game face and best cologne fully convinced that we could have any woman at the bar.

The truth is though women make most of us nervous, especially the ones we are most attracted to. So our little shark boy has dressed himself up as a predator of sorts to get ready to hunt so to speak. Yet at the first sight of a beautiful mermaid…he falls apart. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not.

I like that some people find my work cute and I find my subject mater totally heartbreaking and uncomfortably personal…but you know in a humorous sort t of way.

“ Strings”

As for this one... well I’m still trying to figure it out. I explain it by saying that it's based on how pretty girls get surrounded by desperate guys at bars and at work to an almost suffocating degree. Yet there is that part of them that enjoys the attention.

However the truth is that the image of a girl wearing/bound by paper men just poped into my head and I thought it was relevent to what I was doing at the time(and also beautiful).

Sometimes that's all you need.
Well I'm out for now thanks for everyone that came out. The reception was loads of fun and the show runs all month so don't miss it!

Till later

Friday, June 09, 2006

Chapter Two: Up Up and Away!

"Are you ready for dis?!"

The end of May came upon me faster than a speeding bullet. Reflecting now I can’t believe it went by so fast. With a week and a half left to go I accompanied Ryan to one last Oakland party with a superhero theme.

Ryan went as “ Super Market” and was by far the cleverest character there. All the East Bay art kids were there so it was cool to hang out and say a whole bunch of goodbyes in one night.

Then it was the day before; I drove around Oakland taking some final reference photos of my favorite places. Number one on the list will always be the Oakland Tribune building. When I first moved up north I had a view of this tower and always expected to see Batman swing across it. I have consistently drawn it since and have no shame for how many times it will pop up in my work.

On that same note Paula’s face pops up quite often in my work too. Earlier in the month I was drawing an ad for my work and I needed a cute face to draw.

So I whipped out this pseudo likeness of Paula toot sweet. I have drawn this girl so many times that I could do it in my sleep. Now that I have left Oakland who is going to pose in all my illustrations?

Here I am the night before I leave, about to have some drinks with a few people. After this photo was taken I went from zero to drunk in under twenty minute. That is what happens when you leave town and everyone wants to buy you drinks.

I am not too good with sentimentality especially in regards to having to leave all my great buddies. I am also not to good saying goodbye. I like being the center of attention (obviously), but I don’t like to get too weepy in front of people. But I’m glad it was an emotional send off.

I am not much of a crying person, hell I laughed when Bambies' mom died in that tragic scene at the tender age of 8 ( Momma? Momma?” comedy gold). Yet As I left the next morning I was so overcome with such sadness that the water works wouldn’t stop. I know that I made the right choice to move forward and out of "The Bay", but saying bye to the last five years, my college days, and all my dearest friends was one of the hardest things I have had to do.

So to wrap up here are some photos from the drive down taken when I wasn’t singing along to "Lights" by Journey and Crying at the poignancy of the line: " When the lights go down in the city...Oh I want to be dooooowwwnn in the city!" .

" That is just damn good Advice"

" Who decided that this particular AMPM needed a metal dino skeleton?"

"Illegible Sky writing...AXU? That is how I would sky write."

When I got home I was restless so my Brother (whom I’ll be living with) dragged me out to a Toga Party by USC.

"My bro says" Silence Christians or you'll be sent to the lions den!" But the man behind him is being lit by his divine goodness"

As you might imagine I am not a Toga Party kind of guy, so I refused to wear one (because it would clash with my fancy boots.) Since it was the first and most likely last one I’ll go to I did some documenting of the festivities.

Just a week before I attended another cramped party house talking with a bunch of art students dressed as Superheros, now I was hanging with a bunch of Coeds in loose fitting pants and halter tops playing ping pong themed drinking games. Weird and out of place does not begin to describe how I felt.

Up north I was the loud Mexican at the art party and was a novelty because of all the skinny white hipster around. But now I am just another loud Mexican,and we are a dime a dozen here! What am I gonna do now for attention? I am going to have to learn to belly dance or eat fire.

Anyway I had a good time at the toga party regardless.

Well Oakland Goodbye, I'll always love you.

Los Angeles, I'm yours! Even with all your "dolor and decay".

More stuff is a poppin' I now have two new jobs...but that is another story.

Till Later,


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chapter One: Brass and Moving Boxes

Oh lord it has been too long ! A big move and many tearful hugs and kisses later I am in Los Angeles now.

Well it is time to get this blog back on track. Here is the story of May in two parts.

Chapter One: Brass and moving boxes

A group show with about eight other artists opened up the month. The experience of hanging the work was fun and grueling as about 200 paintings in total were involved.

The show went of like Gangbusters and quite a bit of work sold. Hooray for all involved. However everything leading up to the show was a nightmare. Not only was our setup time mistakenly set up wrong twice…but when we did show up to finally hang work there were other complications. When we arrived at the gallery there was a brass band playing crazy circus music right in the gallery. After much negotiation we allowed them two more hours to finish practice while we got ready (i.e. got beer and burritos).

We started hanging work near the end of the Circus Band’s practice when their striped stocking wearing leader came over to us and asked if they were really that much of a bother and could they keep playing in the gallery.

Now…I don’t know how many of you have tried to arrange 200 paintings while a tuba blares at you from two feet away. As you can imagine it is fairly difficult. So they ended up relocating for the next two hours outside. Sensibly a band would head down the street, but our dear friends in the art school brass cabaret decided that the best acoustics were directly out the front door.

We toughed through it and the show turned out great.

How did we ever manage to do it? Tuborg baby…Copenhagen’s finest .50-cent beer!

After the show I received a vision from above telling me it was time to move back to Los Angeles. Zombie Darwin visited me riding a beam of light and together with his cheetah woman bride we decided it was best if I moved down south for a spell.

" Chaz Darwin in Zombie mode"

So I got to packing, and with my Boone companion Roboraptor we decided which belongings would stay and which would go.

The middle of the month was filled with making arrangements working my butt off and then of course beginning to say goodbye to all the homies in Oaktown. Over the month I got two illustration jobs that both went off well. Not necessarily my best work…but regardless I can’t believe people want to pay me for this. I love illustrating. The first was for an article about Corporations hiring people to predict trends and shifts in the marketplace. The bright yellow image is about how well the California Supreme court justices get along.

Stay tuned for the next Chapter!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The A is for " Annihilation "

This weekend I had to draw a self-portrait…that’s me with the tie on.

I am going to be in a show with about seven other illustrators this coming May at Lobot Gallery in Oakland. The title of the show is “The Lineup” and the card will feature self portraits of us all standing in front of a police line up. So I had to draw a head to toe depiction of my stunning good looks, which I have never done before.

It is funny drawing yourself man I have a very prominent nose. I am all nose in this drawing. I should have just drawn a large nose with legs popping out of the nostrils and a bandana on. I could have had a flag waving in the background with the words “Born in the USA” behind me. Now that would have been a good drawing.

"The nose in question...that's me on the left"

All in all I am happy with this drawing, I feel that it is more honest than other attempts at drawing myself. It is time everyone knows about my robot dinosaurs, and that I'm not to be trifled with.

When I first sketched this out I was having one of those amazing days where everything I draw turns to gold, every loving stroke could cure rare diseases.

On this day I picked up the idea from the last post with the girl playing piano and am working on the whole drawing now. Here is the face. I have tried to get this one together for a while now and am happy that stylistically it is starting to go somewhere.

"This face drew itself by a remote connection with Pluto"

The rest of the drawing delights me and I’ll show it once it is further along. Also I have been gabbing on and on about this new paint (Cell Vinyl) that is now in my possession. I have been playing around with it but don’t have a whole bunch to show except for this drawing of Anne Hathaway (the actress)...

... and there is also this one of a friend...which looks nothing like her.

I intend on doing a bunch of small portraits like this in order to help me learn how to manage the paint better. I want a small army of them by May for this Illustration show. I want to do some more famous people, but I want real people too and fictional characters as well. If you want me to paint you …yes you I will do so. Just email me your photo I'm at:

Be warned I may draw you as a large nose with legs popping out singing “Free Bird”.

This offer does not apply to anyone in either Nigeria or England who wants me to transfer over a billion dollars to some secret American bank account.

What’s up with that!

Vincent A. Perea