What I Love...
Artists I admire
The artists that I admire do not necessarily express my worldview or experience; but actually, excite me, disturb me, put me in awe… and push me out of my center. I appreciate art across many schools and disciplines. The work of David Lynch; both filmmaker, musician, and painter, is perennially unsettling.
Old favorites include the drama of Caravaggio, Hockney, Cézanne, Masaccio’s Trinity, Artemisia Gentileschi, Ridgway-Knight, Rembrandt, Leonardo… Manet, Winston Smith, Picasso, Turner, Constable, Durer, Rockwell, Duchamp, Van Gogh, Jules Worms, Hamilton, Gris, Warhol, Escher, Van Eyck, Georgia O'Keefe, Bierstadt, Braque, Frazetta, J.C. Leyendecker, Chagall, Ernst… Dora Maar, and Dali of course, and his mindscapes of the ID. Roger Dean’s fantastical watercolors transport me to an alternate universe.
Love comic book art! From Asterisk to Superman: Crumb to Kirby, Wood, Jean Giraud, Wrightson, Kubert, Steranko, Adams, Marie Severin, Alex Ross, and Dave McKean. Mondrian’s plasticity works have always intrigued me, there is so much modernity and graphic design layout to his jazz-inspired art. I even have recently come to appreciate Mark Rothko’s huge, enveloping canvases.
I haven’t even mentioned Rosa Bonheur, Bosch, Banksy, Bruegel, Millet, the nine-old-men-of-Disney + Mary Blair, Chuck Jones, Saul Bass, Neville Brody, or any other digital artists and animators (see what I did there?).
My best friend happens to be a superb artist (I don’t state that lightly); Antoni Tran... but, like me; lacks the name-recognition. The End is Listless, so they say. This does not even begin to include the many writers, directors, actors, musicians, and other influences and origins that are also my inspiration. In no particular order: Thanks Dad, Amiga, Koltron Joe Herreges, Carl Sagan, Goons, Jim Steranko & his Histories, David Bowie, Frank Miller, Bunuel, Harlan Ellison, Stanley Kubrick, HR Geiger, US Army Aviation, Scorsese, Andy Warhol, UK, Billy Friedkin, Mum, Joe Kubert, Ray Bradbury, 8/16mm Movie Nights, Proust “La Recherche Du Temps Perdu”, Roxy Music, Monty Python, Underground Records, David Lynch, Masters, Beatles, Jigglin’ Jules, Christopher Hitchens, Books Inc, Comics, all the crew at Hart, Quantum Physics, not Quantum Physics, All the parts of Bell’ that was not Hell; Mr Harville – Mr Alessandri – Mr Doyle – Mr Sullivan Lit of the Holocaust, Joe Davis, Stephen King, Nancy Langstaff, Canon Glass, Issac Asimov, Caravaggio, The Yes, Erik Sykes, Frank Herbert, DKs, Apple Mac iPhone, James Joyce, Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features, Morrissey, The New Tate, Mylene Farmer, Mr. Tran, Alan Light’s Comic Buyers Guide, Uncle Bob & Auntie Joyce, (early) Peter Sellars, Kurt Vonnegut, Rembrandt, Ruth Bothne, (early) SJ and SC Flea Markets, Mobius, Steve & Brian Levine, Seanster, Pet Shop Boys, Tower Records, SwanAnderson, Orson Welles, Video Toaster & Friends – HT Electronics, Jose Cardoza, Star Trek, James Joyce, Gus’s, Kevin Hudspith (for all you introduced me to (you have no idea), Spike Milligan, Picasso, AndyT, Frank Frazetta, Malik, Boris, Auntie Sheila, Uncle Harry, JRR Tolkien, (early) Recycle Books, Marc Chagall, Richard Dawkins, (early) Chris Nolan, Superman, Batman, et al, Dear Old Blighty, Robert E Howard, Virgil Finley, The Late Great Voice Don Hayward, Dali is Dali, Flipper, Arthur C Clark “in a stunning dress with matching pearls, looks like a Burnoose, you know like….” plus Neal Adams, Sean Browne, Bob Sidebottom’s Comic Collector’s Shop, David Fincher, Michael Bentine, Matrox Digisuite, Rodney B Gibbs, WindowsNT3.51/PentiumPro 200, Jack King Kirby, Denny O’Neil, Barry Windsor Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Bernie Wrightson, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore! and so many others….
All of these artists are of disparate times, places, and styles; yet they manage to speak directly to me. Such is the power of art. I visit museums once a month or so for that very reason. A new exhibit re-energizes me; then I rush back and create art again (not emulating the styles seen, but tapping that energy).
The Bob Wilkins
Here then, are some of my favorite art sites:
The Haggin Museum - The Haggin Museum in Stockton, California is a hidden gem; wonderful examples of Bierstadt's paintings reside there. Free entry on the first Saturday of every month!
No Film School - Ok, this breaks the rules a little of "art sites", but FILM is a visual art, and its in my blood. No Film School offers tips n' tricks, equipment reviews, and critiques of all things film. Mise-en-scène anyone?
Creative Bloq - This is a how-to site from UK that covers it all; Graphic Design, Typography, Illustration, and Web Design. (Commercial Art). Artists are featured, trends explored, and essential training delivered.
Adobe Behance - A free Behance Portfolio site is included with every Creative Cloud subscription. This is THEE go-to site for inspiration; by exploring and interacting with thousands of fellow artists.
Creative Market - A venue to pickup inexpensive templates, backgrounds, photographs and the like... and a marketplace for artists to sell their work! Subscribe to their FREE newsletter, and receive six FREE goodies from different artists every week!
Tate Modern - I visited this London, UK modern art museum a few years ago; fantastica! An old power station is transformed into a light, airy, architectural wonder; and houses a premiere collection of modern art from around the world!
Creature Features' Bob Wilkins
“Interview From Beyond The Grave”
If you don’t know who Bob Wilkins is . . . you're WRONG! He was a Writer, Advertising Professional, TV Producer, Captain Cosmic!, and Host of “Creature Features,” a classic show in the San Francisco Bay Area many years ago. In the Pre-Internet, Pre-Cable days, he was the “Brains” (Bwahahaha) behind a couple of shows that ran for many, many years.
These TV Shows featured very BAD (good) genre films like “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Attack of the Mushroom People”, along with classics like “Night Of The Living Dead”, “Dracula Has Risen From The Grave”, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, and “Golden Voyage Of Sinbad.”
The best part of his show was the very GOOD interviews he did of the likes of Bela Lugosi, Leonard Nimoy, Ray Harryhausen, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Gene Roddenberry, Harrison Ford, and so many more. It was also a great place to hear about upcoming Comic Book and Trek conventions. He accomplished this from a rocking chair, wielding a cigar and a dry acerbic, deadpan, wit. “Our second film is “Monster From the Ocean Floor,” . . . “This movie is so bad that it was delivered to Channel 2 in a brown paper bag. When we’re through showing it tonight, it will be part of a garage sale in Alameda tomorrow.”
In later years he ran his own Advertising Agency, doing work for many of the big casinos in Reno, Nevada. He still popped up at conventions, and even acted in several films, as well as producing the documentary “Watch Horror Films, Keep America Strong!”. Film critic Bob Shaw and Host John Stanley (remember them?) got their start via the Wilkins-sphere. So did I, in a manner of speaking. Read the end of this for an interview I did of Mr. Wilkins, many years ago for my Fanzine, "I D E A T I O N."
When I was very young, my friends Steve Levine, Brian Levine, and I, created a fanzine called “I D E A T I O N” about all things Comics, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, and Star Trek. It contained our original Artwork and Writing. I interviewed Bob Wilkins, and it has not seen the light of day since it was originally published. Mr. Wilkins was cordial, and patient, and spent a long time answering my questions (for FREE!) . . . he treated me like an adult, and I will never forget that experience.
I credit his show, along with our family “Movie Night” — where my Dad projected 16mm films of the likes of “Citizen Kane”, “The Red Balloon”, “Laurel & Hardy” shorts, and even my FIRST Corporate/Industrial video “Kikkoman Soy Sauce”! — as being important Sparks, which Ignited my love of film. Bob Wilkins was one of my seminal influences for Things Fantastic… and a great source of information and entertainment. Bob Wilkins passed on in 2009. He is missed.
Click the images in the slideshow, to read the interview. Sample pages below are from the fanzine. Apologies for the quality.. Think of it as “Primitive Art”, as we created it when we were only twelve and thirteen years old!