Art

Art is a celebration of God’s gifts

art awakens the senses
composing reflections from life’s reasoned fences
encoded skill and mind is the foundry
beyond the grip of night’s emotional boundary

Casting Art to the Net

Art is currently mostly a collection of my early years work with a recent side trip or two. I try to make it interesting with exposition.

Beatles

1975 – Acrylic and ink on acetate

This was my first work in this medium (animation cel)… I found it when cleaning out my files while sheltering in place from COVID-19.

I had mistakenly painted George’s pants yellow before painting the Yellow Submarine so I opted to paint the submarine tail red instead of starting over… illustrative proof that two wrongs don’t make a right!

Mickey Mouse

1981 – Printers Ink on White Corrugated Board

I grew up on cartoons and Mickey was one of my favorites. He was a good guy. But he didn’t finish last. He was a soft spoken hero.

Santa Mickey

The bottom Mickey Mouse image in the top photo and the Santa Mickey in the above photo are cutouts from a POP display (point of purchase) for Christmas candy that I designed the graphics for during my art career. The display was made of cardboard and the candy was Lifesavers in a Mickey Mouse cartoon themed package.

I was a commercial artist before computers came along. Back then artists worked on a drawing table. Everything was done by hand. Drawing Mickey was the most fun I had as a professional artist and is the only commercial art from that career that I’m featuring on Ed’s Art.

The Mickey Mouse POP cutouts hang on my wall along with the two Disney signs that my wife gave me to help decorate my studio, office, cave.

Ken’s Ride

1979 – Acrylic and ink on acetate

And I’m hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway…” lyric quote from the band Genesis, Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, released 1974

The highlights I painted on the windshields reminds me of the inevitable bug collisions. I reckon it’s a good argument for a full face helmet…

Motorcycles are great fun but not without risk. They can be very maneuverable but are no match for any automobile that swerves or pulls out in front of you. 

Angle Wrangle

1982 – 11×14 Lithograph 

A fun project! I printed several of these with the intent to sell them but didn’t. I completed the entire graphics production including sketch, pen and ink, rubylith color overlay, grayscale screens, camera ready mechanical, graphic arts camera work and printing on a 1250 Multilith offset printing press.

Dragon One

1971 – Pen and ink on paper

Too scary for toddlers, this is my first pen and ink of this dragon. I found it when cleaning out my files while sheltering in place.

Traversity

1980 – Metal Etching/Carving

I made two of these (left and right) for my 1979 Kawasaki LTD 1000 motorcycle (below). The two holes align with a gas tank mounting bracket. It started as a pen and ink drawing that was etched in magnesium (thanks to my friend Dub) then I carved it out of the etch panel and painted it gold to match the LTD’s blue and gold pinstriping.

Circa 1980, me and my American built Japanese cruiser

Fireworks

1976 – Watercolor on watercolor pad

This painting of “my Dragon” is the third of a set of three storyboard watercolors that were inspired by Gandalf’s fireworks at Bilbo’s Magnificent Party from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Balance

1977 – Acrylic and ink on acetate

This painting may be the closest I’ve come to perfection. 

This animation cel is my most mysterious work. It started as a drawer handle sketch to get my mind off of suicide and evolved.

I felt more and more spiritually inspired as this piece developed. It’s called Balance due to its symmetry and the healing I experienced crafting it. 

If you look closely at the center of the image (see detail) you will notice two separate heads merging together to form a third… two looking toward the center and one looking at you, three perspectives from one source… a symbolic model of the Christian Holy Trinity.

The overall image gives the impression of an evil but beautiful dragon.

Satan plays a key role in our spiritual development.

Log Cabin Church

1978 – Pencil Drawing
This was my study for the painting below.

1981 – Acrylic watercolor on illustration board

This Log Cabin Church painting is my personal favorite work. My adopted mom always said this was my masterpiece. I discovered this beautiful church in 1973. I saw the buildings as reflecting the two testaments of the Christian Bible.

“Old Testament” (log cabin) – the Tabernacle was built of cloth and wood, see Exodus 26

“New Testament” (stone building) – “And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.“, Matthew 16:18 NIV.

The ghostly shadow in the painting that’s approaching the front of the stone church is symbolic of the evil that constantly challenges us all, see Romans 12:21. I took artistic license there and replaced the road that runs directly in front, (see pencil drawing).

In 1981 the stone church front doors were green but have since been painted red.

see blog (Home) Log Cabin Church for more

The Lamp

1974 – Pen and Ink on paper

Grasp as in “Get a Grip”… This drawing symbolizes Satan’s spiritual posturing. Satan is perched with a grip on the earth as he’s reaching out to take hold of our spirit. We frequently deal with his influence as we grow through life.

Satan is God’s creation to help us develop as we grow. God knows we’re not perfect and the devil provides us with spiritual challenges such that we have to make choices in our behavior. We can develop into honest and good Jesus followers or become dishonest and evil Satan followers.

The devil seeks us and Jesus wants us to do the seeking. It’s part of God’s good and perfect plan.

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”  Luke 11:33-36 NIV

Search Light

climbing the tree
what to see
dare we aspire
a journey higher
to find key
beyond the lee
stars of fire
twigs of pyre
every soul be
on blended knee
light we acquire
evil will expire

Portal

1971 – Original pencil sketch

2008 – Wacom Intuos3 Drawing Tablet, MS Paint

We celebrate Jesus Christ’s Birth on December 25. Such a humble beginning for the Savior of mankind. And what a strong mother Mary must have been to travel over one hundred miles in those days from Nazareth to Bethlehem at nine months pregnant! see Luke 2:1-21 

Portal is a study for a family Christmas card. The three stars are symbolic of the Trinity. Santa is symbolic of us humans. Overall, Portal is symbolizing the transition from this life to the afterlife. see Isaiah 65:17 

With Santa, the evil that we dealt with in this life is blowing away into flames of the second death. The flames trailing off Santa’s eyebrows and hat brim represent the internal self-destructive thoughts many of us fight. The dragon’s head in the beard is dissipating into flames symbolic of the external evils that we dealt with in this life’s worldleaving our memory. Evil is always closer to us in this life than we like. see Revelation 12:9 

Space is Out There

“My God, it’s full of stars!”

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  Psalms 19:1-(3.5) NIV

Thanks to folks such as the good people at APOD we have at our Internet fingertips an impressively large quantity of very high quality artistic and scientific images from the seeable universe. Their Astronomy Picture of the Day featured images are wonders to behold and many would argue enough for our astronomical appetite. But for others the thought of exploring space from the comfort of a faster than light starship is a bit more palate pleasing.

Unfortunately, travel to even our closest stellar neighbor is well beyond a reasonable human journey today. However, these distant space traveling dreams so many of us have likely indicate possibility. I believe we look and outreach with hope to the heavens because it’s part of our nature.

How the star trekking dream is fulfilled, who can say.

Maybe Heaven holds the answer!

life’s flame burns like fusion
propagating emotion like starlit nebulae
who can hide from its beckoning
to the stars
onward outward
ever reaching…
for love’s reward

Space Traveler

“For now we see through a glass, darkly;”

1978 – Acrylic and ink on acetate with background photographic print

This is my rendition of Ed White’s historic 1965 spacewalk. The above space traveler was drawn with black ink on one side and painted on the opposite side with acrylic in the fashion of early animation cel production.

HummerHead I

September 1992 – Computer Animation

Commodore Amiga 3000, Imagine 3D 2.0 software – This work won honorable mention in a national Computer Animation competition for the Amiga computer. Unfortunately, this digitized video is made from a VHS tape recording. I no longer have the Amiga computer this was built on that would provide a sharper image.

The overall theme for HummerHead is that much of our inspiration and inventiveness comes to us by studying nature.

When we do finally realize how to build a starship, it will be with God’s help.

see blog (Home) Starship for more

Freedom’s Elation!

January 3, 2020 – Retirement is an emotional emancipation. All of a sudden, deadlines and commitments vanish like nighttime sparks from a roaring fire. 

Now what?

Something has to take the place of the energy you spent every day for umpteen gazzillion years at work. So find a hobby… get a recreational job. Do something to reward yourself for all that career work. You deserve it!

As for me!

The Net

January 2020 – Internet Circuit Board (partial view)

The above colorful picture is a raster graphics image of my career final PCB design. It’s a pseudo partial “X-ray” rough representation of a small portion of a cable modem Internet circuit board. The actual production graphics data is rendered in a CAD tool then manufactured from multiple individual layers of copyrighted proprietary vector graphics artwork (not shown here). You might have a “real” one of these in your home.

Covid

March 2020 – Watercolor on watercolor pad

I originally started drawing this dragon in 1971 (see Dragon One). He’s always been full of mischief, but I hadn’t thought about naming him until deadly COVID-19 hit.

Flames

April 2020 – Acrylic and ink on acetate

This animation cel character painting cartoon of Covid was another post-retirement refresher project for me. One thing that you might find interesting about painting on transparent acetate is that the cartoon is viewed from the opposite side from where the paint is applied so that the brush strokes aren’t visible. That means the highlights are painted first then background last. For example, the flames’ red highlights were painted first, orange second and yellow background last. So that in viewing from the opposite side through the clear acetate, the red highlights appear to be on top. In contrast, on canvas and illustration board, two common examples, paint is normally applied background first and highlights last.

Princess Ariel

August 2020 – Ink on acetate

This is the second step in producing an animation cel. In this case, I traced a print of Glen Keane’s rendering. Usually my first step is a pencil drawing on paper then trace my drawing using a rapidigraph pen or ink brush on the acetate as shown above. The $1.00 cotton garden glove with thumb and two fingers removed is the same one I’ve used since my Beatles painting. The glove protects the acetate from my skin and the fingers are cut out to help with drawing and painting control.

In the early days there was usually an assembly line team of artists employed to produce each individual cel for a commercial production animated film. First an animator would sketch broad step character positions on paper. Next cel artists would trace the sketches with ink on acetate. The cel artist would bridge the motion sequences by drawing the character positions between the broad step animator’s sketches. The cels were then painted with acrylic by cel painting artists.

Ariel Mermaid

September 2020 – Acrylic and ink on acetate 

This is the third and final step in producing a cel. This painting is a present for my favorite oldest daughter’s toddler. ❤️ The “apple of my eye” granddaughter. She loves this Disney character and calls her “Ariel Mermaid“.

This work actually combines my Princess Ariel cel with my Sebastian and Flounder cel to make a single picture frame from two cels. Since acetate is transparent, multiple production cel artists were able to work on separate characters at the same time then overlap them for one camera film frame.

Typically there are 24 individual camera frames per second of animated film. Disney’s first feature length animated film, Snow White (released 1937), contains hundreds of thousands of drawings done by a team of 750 artists. This traditional by hand labor intensive method of animation has since been outdated by computers.

Princess Ariel was created by Glen Keane.

Sebastian and Flounder were created by Ron Clements and John Musker.

Princess Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder are copyrighted by Disney.

Gulf Sunrise

work, sing and play
like the songbird greets the sun
with thanks for a new day
and grace from an old one

Most definitely a loving God’s Art moment!

Above is my very patient, youngest daughter Katie’s photograph of the sunrise beach scene I hope to paint at some point.

Both my daughters love the beach. They get that trait from their mom!

The beach gives us an unobstructed view of the sun rising above the gulf’s surface. It’s amazing to watch how fast the sun climbs in the beautifully colored sky. Close to 902 mph at this particular latitude.

The clouds make a clever natural Artist’s frame for the magnificent Florida sun.

Back to Work

August 2021 – After eighteen months of retirement, I received a phone call from my good friend Billy W. at work. They needed some CAD support and Billy wanted to know if I knew anyone who would be interested.

I volunteered to come back out of retirement with the caveat that I am old and might be temporary… When you get old, you realize just how short life really is and you’re not afraid to tell others that you’re old!

In fact, there’s knowledge in being old. You’ve already done the stupid things that youngsters have yet to experience. So you’re kind of a “stupid” guru by the time you reach “oldenhood”. And BECAUSE you’re old, you can make up words without shame or remorse.

Besides, since you’re not dead, you’re not done with doing stupid things!

Guess this old horse wasn’t quite ready for the pasture!

August 2022 – After twelve months I’m gradually getting back into the retirement saddle again. Work is slowly slowing down and I think that I will soon be repeating the Freedom’s Elation goofing off for a living thingy!

Ed Caldwell (Bear)
Casting Art to the Net

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