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The End of the Series

Think of a visual representation of a statements or concept, as a series or a single image.

Consider a style or media that would be striking, and imagine it taken to a level beyond your ability.

Research said media if it is new, and think on the concept or image for a while – but not so long that something new takes its place – because the longer this thought process, the more ambitious it should become.

Once the thought of even trying begins to fill you with an equal level of dread and excitement, begin.. even if it is after your bed time.

Don’t stop until it is looking as good you had hoped, because this is the *true* starting point. Now work to take it even further, as far as the piece demands, beyond whatever level of ability you  thought you were limited by.

Walk away regularly with the image in your head, process it, think of the parts you like, the things you don’t, and things you would like to add.

Remove and go over anything you have doubts about without mercy.

Add in only what won’t crowd the piece

When you reach the point where any change will only make it “different”, but not “better”, you are done.

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things by breakfast”, is a good phrase to remember.

Most *Everyone* draws at some point in their life. Those who are intrigued by failure, inspired by the seemingly impossible, continue beyond the point of jagged teeth and crayoned stick fingers.

An artist should never seek to do what they already know they *can* do – and perhaps such is the evil in commissions, which are most often specified according to past works, and limited by scope. Not that all commissions are bad – an artist must accept only those that allow the artist a fair share of creative freedom, as well as room, opportunity, or even obligation to try something new.

An artist who finds himself or herself with extra money, tends to spend it exploring a new mode of art, a new mode of printing, or trying to break into some bigger and more time-involved media or project. It isn’t that we are without wisdom, we know what is wise, and choose to ignore it out of a strong and passionate love for art. Buy canvas, sell paintings, buy scanner, sell reproductions, buy printer, sell giclees, buy lithography press, sell lithographs, buy bigger canvas and better paints, sell paintings, fret over a choice between crowns or a big chunk of marble, sell sculpture, buy clove oil … some ramen noodles …and a better chisel.

When I first started the “Airships and Tentacles” series, in wow… 2006… I don’t even think that “Air Kraken” was a word yet, though I could very well be wrong. I can’t remember specifically, but given Final Fantasy’s tendency to make *some* version of every base creature for each and every environment, it would be insane if they never had some sort of airborne cephalopod in all those years.

Yes, It is foolish of anyone to believe they invented anything… logs and stones rolled down hills long before the wheel, and there is sure to be a comic book from the 60s or illustration from the 1800s with flying cephalopods *somewhere* – and a hundred movies and books in-between. I am only saying I hadn’t yet seen them in paintings, especially luminist and/or American arts-movement-styled paintings, and I thought it would be fun to add hints of in the first painting – and loved that touch enough to continue it through the series.

The Rescue -Steampunk Airship painting featuring Abney Park's HMS Ophelia

My airships, started with a commission for Robert of Abney Park, based on the existing designs by Eliza Gauger, which may or may not have been based somewhat on an equal interest in things such as Final Fantasy. The fun of imagination, came more in execution and styling, and moreso in the landscapes themselves. Over time, as the result of much research on bag sizes, gas content, altitude, temperature, etc… balloon sizes grew, ship sizes and engines shrank – I also started to lean more towards the stylings of DaVinci for wings and other parts – and mixed a bit of the aesthetic stylings from my favorites like Derek Riggs, Michael Whelan, Brom, Bethalynne Bajema, Gustave Dore, Pieter Breughel (E&Y), Zdzislaw Beksinski, and others wherever characters, creatures, scenery, or technology allowed.

Anyway, I wanted to do a series of what is essentially landscape art, explored by this fascinating mode of travel – as a means of adding a human element for the viewer to view through, without focusing on figures so much as to make it “character art”.

I sought to combine Lovecraftian elements and mythos with Vernian machines and aptly romanticized visions of exploration; in this, I also wanted to hide every bit of my usual dark and spooky art in such a way that it goes mostly to completely unnoticed.

The latter is most likely why this series was the first series I ever did that people *both* liked, *and* would hang on their walls (Criteria: Does not scare children, much; Does not creep in-laws and future in-laws out; Does not give the potential future girlfriend reason for pause; Does not get a cubicle-dweller fired).

Shadow, Mist and Stone: The last of the series
Shadow, Mist and Stone: The last of the series (crop)
Shadow, Mist and Stone: The last of the series
Shadow, Mist and Stone: crop 2
Shadow, Mist and Stone: full view
Shadow, Mist and Stone: full view. This, the last of these images is finally available as a giclee on fine art paper, a giclee on canvas, and a metallic print at our Etsy store: http://ettadiem.etsy.com

I *thought* I was going to explore this into many, many other types of media – and planned to have a sculpture in wood and a sculpture in metal in the series of nothing else. But, I’ve done more paintings in this series than I intended to, and many, many engravings. The very last painting ships out tomorrow… technically that is not true, because there will be *some* of that in the Infernal device – but I am counting that as my sculpture piece to complete the series.

I’ve got one hell of a collection together in this – plenty enough for the book I committed myself to making works for. I’ll be releasing it in a time when dirigibles and flying Cephalopods have over these years become an odd sort of ‘norm’ (a subcultural standard that to most, comes out of *nowhere* for no apparent reason). The journey has been in interesting one, and I feel that alone merits the book’s release if nothing else… pending until all this Infernal Device stuff is under control.

Thank you everyone who supported the making of this series by buying prints, sharing links and such – and of course thank you  everyone who continues to do so.

I really have no idea what I am going to do from here, because I have *many* ideas and will have to choose one, or combine a few – but whatever I am thinking, I am sure going to look forward to it the moment I allow myself to look forward to other things.

Right now I am looking forward to getting the first build of the Infernal Device done, and looking to make it better than anything I could ever possibly do.

In celebration of the closing of the series (okay… I really need money to get my butt to Maker Faire Detroit), I am making large giclees of the very first image from this series available online. They are 30 inches by 24 (printed area is slightly less), and they are printed on fine art rag paper. I will also sign and date these. These are not limited editions – the reason is that the metallics and canvas prints I sold as limited editions, must always remain more special than any version I put out afterward. These are prints I make available in small quantities at conventions, with no set number to be made – but they beautiful, high quality, and they are the biggest prints of this  image you can get without buying one of the 4 remaining giclees on canvas.

If you would like one, these few prints are available HERE – and are only $100 until they  are gone.

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New Wallpaper: Lost City 1280 x 960

Not the greatest scan… alright, it is a shite scan. But, I killed the big scanner and the Lexmark scanner is never good for anything save for documents. So, the subtle clouds and color in the sky are somewhat washed out, and some detail is lost as well.

Regardless, being wallpaper and all, I figured it’d at least give you a chance to preview this image whilst I work to make what I need to get a good scan of some of these recent works.

Lost-City-Desktop Wallpaper
Lost-City-Desktop Wallpaper
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New Wallpaper: The Ruins 1280×800

This piece is somewhat based on my collaborative work with Bethalynne Bajema … That 30 foot x 10 foot mural we have sitting in our garage awaiting a studio space to display it in.

The mountain city-scape in this picture is *heavily* influenced by her creations, as well as my desire to see them as functional parts of a mountain landscape.

The original is available here: [link]

35 signed, dated, Limited Edition Giclees ($90) are available here – but the first ten are available at $55 here: [link]

The-Ruins-1280x800 Steampunk Fantasy Art Desktop Wallpaper by Myke Amend
The-Ruins-1280x800 Desktop Wallpaper by Myke Amend
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Rescue Sale

Long story short: The Rescue 11×14 Metallic prints are on sale for only $24 through Mid-December [here]

The Rescue (featuring Abney Park's HMS Ophelia) can be found in my store (click the Store link at the top of any page)

I am at month 7 of trying to get an issue resolved with the printing company who used to be my favorite. 7 months of getting no response back here or there, or a simple “cut and paste” via phone or email.

Their customer service has recently upgraded to an email here or there, and actually trying to sort the problem out, but mostly a lot of “I’ll be in touch tomorrow”, followed by a 2 day wait and me trying again.

Fortunately, I found another company to order through… though this did not help me much for SteamconII, the World Steam Expo, or the 7 months of added expense/time ordering elsewhere, printing locally, and/or looking for other elsewheres to order from…. the prints are every bit as beautiful as the sort of quality I once expected from my former printing company (though they cost me about double if I don’t order in bulk).

Of course all this chaos had to be happening during Holiday rush, and I neglected to put up any sales…

I am at the point where, in a few days (December 15th), it will be too late to order from me and expect your gift orders to arrive in time for gift-wrapping and giving.

… Except…

I plan to order a huge re-stock on 11×14 Metallics of “The Rescue”… that pesky best-seller I wasn’t able to send to Steamcon this year.

So, if you already have this print but would like to give one to someone else, or if you haven’t yet gotten one for yourself, I am selling these for only $24 through December 16th, maybe till December 20th if supplies on-hand hold out.

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Undeath from Above

Undeath fromabove detail 1
Undeath from Above detail 1
Undeath fromabove detail 2
Undeath from Above detail 2
Undeath from Above
Undeath from Above

The original was drawn in pen and ink on 11×14 inch Bristol Board, I did the coloring with my 4-year old Adesso drawing tablet so as to preserve the pen and ink original.

The Black and White version is the Cover for Gatehouse Gazette #14, my third cover for them.

I am making only 20 of these full-sized giclees. Total size with 1? border is about 13×16 inches. They are printed on cotton-weave fine art rag paper in archival pigment inks for the sort of superior clarity and color quality expected from a giclee print.

The giclees are available at a reduced price of $55, HERE

8×10 inch metallic prints are also available, and also at a reduced price ($15), HERE.

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Art! Troglodites Hate It, but You’ll Love It!

Does your summer shelter need windows to elsewhere, but without that annoying heat caused by sunlight? Tired of the warmth radiated by television, computers, and other electronic devices? Would you like the have images to liven up your place, without the annoyance of sound, and without the pesky associated energy costs of batteries and outlets?

You should try “Art”!

Art is 100% energy efficient, requires no outlets, and will continue to work day or night, even during power outages and Zombie Apocalypse (natural light source required for optimal enjoyment). Unlike money, which depends on a reliable system of government, art can be traded for gold, tools, women, men, chickens, or circus bears in post-apocalyptic settings, save for those dominated by troglodites and C.H.U.D.s, and it even serves as highly-prized contraband in every dystopian oligarchal collectivist society.

Concerned about your safety? Well, with the wonder of art, most any dangerous beast or precarious situation can be safely contained within a handy frame (not included)!!! Art has, in many tests, been proven to contain everything from ravenous krakens to the Civil War; Even ancient gods have a significant amount of difficulty escaping the confines of a well-crafted image: Play your records backwards day or night next to art, and if your soul is devoured, or sanity eaten, refunds will be the last of your concerns, guaranteed!

Need a friend? You can talk to art. Art will never interrupt or recommend you get professional help. Art will never, ever eat the snacks that were obviously yours because you wrote your name all over it in red marker; Art will never go to a party without you and then say it was studying all night.

Need a better view? Dread the expense of moving? Is it illegal in your area to asplode that ugly neighboring house or apartment building? Replace that ugly view with an always-pleasant view of another world, no more wondering “What are they doing over there?”; With art you can overwrite their existence safely, and without the fuss of jail time or mental wards. You can even place Art in areas without windows for an easy-to-install added viewing space(“easy-to-install” requires some working understanding of hammer physics and wall technology)!!!

But wait! Art is now available with your choice of discounts!! Read below !!!

Both discounts are valid at https://mykeamend.com/new/products-page/ and are simple to claim (just key in the coupon codes below at checkout).

1) Free Shipping (USA on all standard items. Basically, $5 off – since my flat rate, site-wide price for shipping in the US is $5. For original artworks and overseas shipping, this coupon simply takes $5 off of shipping.

Just enter “freeship” (without the quotation marks) at checkout.

2) 10% off. Yep, 10% off your entire order, including original artworks and other one of a kind items. The 10% off even applies to already sale-priced items.

Just enter “10p” (without the quotation marks) at checkout.

Offers are valid now, through whenever, which will likely be a week from now… though you should jump on it now so you don’t forget later, miss out on this incredible deal, and spend eternity in regret as a whino or one of those people who scream threatening words at trash bins. Websites are standing by.

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New Desert Shadows Wallpaper

Cropped from the full-size piece to feature the airship only to make for a more up close, boldly detailed, and vivid view of the work (available as 18×12 metallic prints, and as 36×24 giclees on canvas in my store)

This desktop is 1800 x 1200, but can be resized or stretched to fit your needs.

Enjoy!

Desert Shadows 1200 x 800 Desktop
Desert Shadows 1200 x 800 Desktop
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Lift Off Show in Alhambra, CA Jan 9th thru Feb 1

Today, I sent off three giclees to Gallery Nucleus for the “Lift Off!” art show, adding subtle miniature new artworks within each piece including (but not limited to) added airships, additional polar bears, bottles of rum, additional cephalopods, brightened constellations and other details in order to make each giclee its own unique piece of art.

For these I not only hand-stretched and varnished each one, but I have-made the supporting wood frames with a lot of extra care. I took some photos as I went, though admittedly it is hard to take photos of oneself working without use of a tripod, timer, and a lot of shots. Anyway, I got enough good shots to put together the tutorial this site has been needing for stretching and mounting canvas prints (Shipping giclees unstretched is a greener, less expensive solution – and stretching is not all that hard or expensive to do).

Oh… the show details…

Take Flight!
January 9th (opening reception) thru January 30th

GALLERY NUCLEUS
210 EAST MAIN ST
ALHAMBRA,
CA 91801
http://www.gallerynucleus.com

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Clockwork Cheshire Cat and Mechanical Moon Men

I haven’t been updating much, you may have noticed – Web and print ad work for clients, as well as the last of the commissioned paintings have kept me busy.

The painting I am working on is a  large one; and since I work in the same amount of detail whether working small or large, it is still going to be a while before I get that one finished.

Most of my client work is for a studio that works with Disney, hosting art events for Disney artists, and selling special edition Disney merchandise; I have a large portfolio of fliers, print ads, and web work relating to these things – and perhaps this is beginning to sink a bit into what I do in my free time – as I just had to do my own version of the Cheshire Cat to round out this last series of engravings (below top).

This recent series began with my needing to get the cover art for the Halloween issue of Gatehouse Gazette (below bottom), and since I buy these things in threes, and cannot resist a fresh plate to engrave on, I ended up using more time that I had scrawling out designs in tiny detail – and I’ll tell ya – my hands and eyes are hating me for it right now.

Well, at least I managed another black and white for my “Airships and Tentacles” series – a series I realized this week I have yet to get around to posting an actual premise for. Innsmouth Free Press will be getting that info first, as I have an upcoming interview with them, and they asked the question.

Speaking of interviews, if you have the time, take a look at my recent one with Dark Roasted Blend (which was also picked up by IO9)

Also, I am pleased to announce, that my painting “Sabicu” will be the cover image for the upcoming installment of the amazing fantasy magazine: Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Anyway… the art… below… BTW metallic prints and giclees of these are available in the Store

Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat


Attack from Planet Moon

Attack from Planet Moon (yes, it is a silly title for a silly picture)

I have a Special Plan for this World
I Have Special Plans for this World (Cover for Gatehouse Gazette October)

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Happy Accident – new print available

I love the printer I work with. They are not only fantastic at what they do, but wonderful to deal with

When I mess up the lines of communication, sometimes some really nice things can happen, such as this new 24×12 inch giclee of “the Machine”

camera phone pic of the thing stretched and mounted
camera phone pic of the thing stretched and mounted

I switched this order over to them because the last printer took forever (months) getting the artist’s prints from this batch to me.

I could not make up my mind if I wanted a new proof or not, first I did want one at half size, then I didn’t.

The reason being was that I already had their color profiles, and they matched up perfectly with those of the printer I had used to make the artist’s prints for this series.

Even though I did not need one, my first impression was to get a proof anyway, just to be thorough – but I decided instead to go ahead and print full-size, just in case it came out right. Choosing a different printer to run the series meant another artist print was called for – and this would be one of them.

Well, in my back and forth, I ended up with a 24 x 12 inch print instead of the 48 x 12. I thought I would sell this smaller artists print as just that… but when I stretched and mounted it, I realized it was the perfect size:

At 24 inches wide, it fills a decent amount of wall space. It looks great at this size, and is probably the smallest this wide-format image could be printed and still show all the detail and give the same feel. Most importantly – it offers a cheaper alternative to the huge 48 x 24 prints, which are a bear to stretch, mount, and ship (finding 48″ stretcher bars is tough, finding a 52x28x3 inch box is tough, shipping it out is very expensive).

On the 48×24 inch machine print in particular – I have had a lot of people tell me they really want one, but, as no surprise, things are too tight at the moment for large purchases. It does sadden me a bit that I cannot go any lower on the big ones, but I can offer alternate sizes.

Stretched and mounted, these are $165, but are reduced through this week to $125 (my typical introductory price thing). I do this because I know that seeing my art on the walls of people’s homes, makes people want one for themselves.