Sidenote at the Art Exhibition

My brother-in-law, Jerome Lynch, texted this to me. My youngest sister, of four, Melissa, died two years ago.  She was an artist with skills I seem to be able to only aspire to achieve.  She could do portraits, live, a sketch in her mind a finished piece of art in anyone else’s.  If a rendering can capture a soul or a spirit, she was the eye and hand and heart and mind capable of accomplishing that deed.  That feat.  That goal.

Magic.

When I told Melissa that, with my limited time for things artistic, I could either turn out some quick drawings, or considerably fewer quality works.  “Oh, go for the quality,” she said, “Definitely.”  Jerome told me Melissa would go back into works he thought were perfect, editing, fussing, making subtle changes.  Jerome knew his wife couldn’t be satisfied with something that didn’t live up to the vision in her mind.

He knew, as I know, as Melissa knew the fear of touching a work that you’re pretty happy with, knowing you are as apt to make a mistake that will ruin it as you are to add something that will make it… better.

Better.  We always want our little stop-motion illustrations, our attempts at capturing a specific moment or mood or memory, or magic, a bit better.

“Oh,” Jerome said, “she’d put more time into piece, and then I’d have to go, ‘oh, so that’s what she was going for.'”  Yes. Always.

JEROME sent me a text saying some of Melissa’s art works were part of an exhibition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Their son, Fergus, had written this note to go along with his mother’s paintings:

                                                MELISSA LYNCH

 I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MY MOM’S CREATIVE JOURNEY AS I SAW IT.                                                           She had begun a new chapter and desired to diverge from the business of perfecting the craft,               Of honing technical skills.                                                                                                                                         She was striving to communicate, not only in a visual medium,                                                                             But in a more fundamental language.                                                                                                                    She was seeking to speak in a way only truthful art can.                                                                                   Her struggles with mortality cleared a passageway for this expression                                                         And freed a voice within which spoke of wounds, fear, anxiety,                                                                      But, also, of the glory of our imperfect lives.

 In some of these works you can find tool marks,                                                                                              Damage control,                                                                                                                                                             And the tragic scars borne from deep wounds stitched together in an unsterilized environment.     Melissa sought to free her expression through honesty and vulnerability.                                                   This work helped her to experience true healing;                                                                                                 To rise out of the existential fear                                                                                                                                 And into the light of peaceful acceptance                                                                                                           And the joys of creation.                                                                                                                                               Her trials have ended                                                                                                                                                     But the experience is human                                                                                                                                      And one we all should be lucky to share.

by Fergus Lynch 

TEXT-Thanks. Great words from Fergus. I try very hard to channel Melissa in my work.

TEXT- Yeah, there was some poetry in the exhibition and I thought this artist statement outdid the other work. 

Indeed. 

cropped-melissa-horses-w-drawing.jpg

 

by way of explanation: TOP- Melissa did the drawing, one of her friends supplied the horses (I started out drawing surfing, Melissa horses). Composite: Top left- Melissa and me at Seaside; top right- Jerome and Fergus taking photos where locals don’t like photos taken (unless they’re ripping, and then not for circulation); Three portions of larger illustration (when I was showing a client some of my works, she zoned in on this drawing); Lower right- A drawing Melissa did for a short story I wrote.  I told her the skeleton might be a bit of overkill.  In retrospect… I have to think about it.  Check out the skilled rendering of the feet and hands, the perspective, the… magic.

MEANWHILE- It’s stormy, doesn’t necessarily translate to awesome surf.

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Logo me This

This is partially for Tyler Meeks, owner/operator of DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE.  We’re teaming up on some t-shirts; and have been working on the logo design for a while.  We have some accumulated shirts, mostly dark, in a variety of colors and sizes, plus black.

I have some dark and black shirts ready for my next LIMITED EDITION of custom ORIGINAL ERWIN shirts, and a new design (again, based on one of my favorite illustrations), but wanted to rework my logo.

SO, here’s the Disco Bay Logo (and I’ll probably redo the lettering) necessary for printing white on darker shirts:  And here’s my current logo and my next graphic, logo on the front, image on the back:

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It is a bit of a brain tease, but you/we/I have to imagine everything that is black on the illustration being white on the t-shirt.  Hoping to go to the screenprinters tomorrow.  Shirts available soon.  Gotta go.

Original Erwins in the Works

AFTER a lot of discussion, TYLER MEEKS, owner of the DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE, and I are finally almost ready to combo up on some new t shirts.  ALMOST.

TYLER’S SHOP is conveniently located on Surf Route 101 in Discovery Bay.  Selling new and consignment and used equipment and gear (assuming these might be different things) for hikers and bikers and kayakers and climbers-and-droppers, surfers (includes novices, kooks, aficionados/enthusiasts, dominators, rippers, Hobuckers, Hodads, surf power couples, real-and/or in-denial Hipsters, possibly a few posers) make up about 20-25% of Disco Bay’s customer base, and, accordingly, Tyler and I are working on some shirts that might appeal to a wider cast of characters.

DISCOVERY BAY is really close to the crossroad with Highway 20 (leading to and from Port Townsend, and, with ferry service, Whidbey Island and environs north and east), and Highway 104 (to and from the Hood Canal Bridge, and through ferries and bridges, Seattle/Tacoma/Fremont/Fife/Chicago).

SURF ROUTE 101, I should add, connects the NORTH OLYMPIC PENINSULA with areas to the south.  It’s not uncommon to see surfers from, say, WESTPORT or SEASIDE or, I’ve heard, California, heading north hoping for a swell direction they think might be favorable to waves on the STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA.  As such, they are, no doubt, passing surfers from here headed south.

ANYWAY, we’re actually planning on getting some shirts to the silkscreeners with the Disco Bay logo on the front, medium-sized (if that makes some sense), and some others with the logo smaller, to one side (over the heart is the norm), and an ORIGINAL ERWIN illustration on the back.

 

The image on the right was used for a limited run (and they are all, and will be, limited runs) of shirts a while back.  I sold some to friends, Tyler sold some.  They’re all gone. GONE.  If you have one, you might not want to screw it up as I have with several of the shirts I saved for myself.

ANYWAY, here’s, reworked from one of my favorites of my illustrations (and I’m getting more and more critical of my own work- almost as critical as I am of other people’s) a design for the back of some upcoming shirts:

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Here is the based-on illustration and my own logo (still working on tightening it up):

 

When drawing something for t-shirts, the finer lines might not show up. I’m not fond of big areas of color/ink- they feel weird on the back, and, no, not going for that.  AND, adding color costs more to produce, adding to the ask from the customer.  AS DOES, of course, having a logo on the front and art on the back.  STILL, going for it.  SOON.

MEANWHILE, I do want to write something about the difference between dominating and ripping.  I’ll be thinking about it while I’m driving, out on SURF ROUTE 101.