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Evolution

In the, wow, nearly 20 years of this site, 10 years at this domain, a lot has changed, and will continue to change.

I’ve been in the middle of another major site overhaul for starters, so you might see some things shift here or there even as you browse.

The store will continue to work as usual, and will continue to carry many, many art prints, art originals, and other things – but I am working hard to get the gallery filled with the 100-some images I have available, in order to make it much easier to see what types and sizes of prints are available for each artwork all in one place… because I realize it can be rather overwhelming to sift through 400 items and feel you are miking the best choice.

I’ve removed eyesores like the facebook feed and the twitter feed, because they took up a lot of space – and it was silly to have them, since you are already here, and most posts over there are about things that are available here.

I’ve also removed them because, well, I am going to use them both a lot less often. Twitter really just seems like a lot of people talking into the wind to imaginary friends, Tumblr and Pinterest seem to be the sport of sharing as many images as possible as quickly as possible, Livejournal is filled with Russian spambots where people once were, and Facebook, since they started promoted posts – well, for 800-some people I see a little “10 people saw this post” at the bottom “insights”, and it all seems pretty pointless.

… as does the internet in general, if all it is to be is a billion people slaving away at sharing things quickly, forgetting moments later for the next sharable thing… not visiting sites, or reading articles, just “liking” them and sharing.

… it isn’t exciting anymore; It isn’t even pleasurable or relaxing anymore – just mind-numbing addictive boredom and a day filled with forgettable moments… click – share – click – share – comment – click – share…

Though I spent a lot of time building up readership on facebook – as have many others with their pages: the best solution seems to be if everyone were to go and start that again elsewhere. I’ll only be there, in the sense that my posts from here will feed into my “fan page”… at least until they make that a paid service too.

On the up-side, this has forced me to get back to what I shouldn’t have stopped doing: updating right here – like I did years ago, finding a few things that well-worth blogging about and putting some effort into sharing as articles and reviews worth typing about, rather than all sorts of things “sort-of ” worth sharing at the click of a button.

I don’t have a mailing list in place yet, one of a hundred things on the slate for these next few days… but if you have a decent browser – there is an rss button at the top.

Please check back often; Aside from posting new artworks and books and such things here, and special offers, I plan to return to posting about music, the art of others, event reviews, and whatever else fits well in this space.

If you came here looking for special offers, well, there are many new prints being added in the process of building the gallery, and many products being marked down until the end of December.

If you would like to see those specials, you can now find many of the newest deals through the gallery.

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The Mighty Bloop

Painted in acrylic on tempered hardboard backed with birch, 12 by 24 inches – added to the airships and tentacles series because I might as well – since the book is not yet compiled and won’t be in time for Holiday selling.

I’ve been having a rather not so spectacular month – with lots of things I need to catch up on, and sickness, fatigue, and finances getting in the way at every turn it seems. Christmas season is always terrible on artists, especially us for some reason – and we hoped to be on top of it this year by finally offering calendars and greeting cards… all we ended up doing was using a lot of valuable time laying these things out – and though I closed down most of my store to get people to shop over there, I think all I have done is to cut ourselves further out of holiday sales.

When there is nothing else I can do, I paint – and this one is the product of a few multi-day – never leaving my table except for restroom breaks – sessions.

The original, since it is already made, can ship immediately, but the giclees cannot ship before the 20th… making them scary last minute gifts, especially with all the last minute and overdue shipping I need to catch up on.

If this painting sells, I will be super happy, and able to catch up on many things, I’ll even be able to visit family for the Holidays – which would be super-awesome.

If it doesn’t sell by then, well, I’ll mark the thing back up to $2400 or more, and just count on it to sell when it sells.

Available as a giclee here: https://mykeamend.com/new/products-page/all-products/the-mighty-bloop-24×12-inch-signed-limited-giclee/

Original Painting Available here (until the 11th, then if it hasn’t sold that day, it’ll be available here again): https://mykeamend.com/new/products-page/all-products/the-mighty-bloop-24×12-inch-acrylic-on-board-painting/

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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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Colour from Space

Dead Sea Painting by Myke Amend
Dead Sea Painting by Myke Amend

An experiment in color, recently completed as a commission for Mike Skoog, wherein he asked if I could do something small enough for his music room, and more colorful than my standard muted palettes.

I went the more impressionistic route with this one, and instead of starting with the colors as I wanted them, I started with the nearest primary colors in their place, and worked downward in saturation and sideways in hue, until I reached this point.

Details are painted so incredibly thin, that I practically painted them with the very corner of a single hair, dropping molecules of paint in a line for stitches and ropes and other details. In this, I am reminded that working smaller is actually harder, not easier, because I still feel compelled to add my standard amount of detail…but in a smaller space (which means eye-strain and neck cramps in spades, and a more time-consuming work).

All the same, sometimes I like working small just for the opportunity to test my patience and practice my hand.

That was the second to last of all the commissions that remained on my plate before Artprize… one more to go, then I am my own man until I sell another…

Signed and dated giclees of this are available for only $25 here for a limited time, or $30 through Etsy

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Big Framing Adventure

When it comes to the expense of framing, shipping, the gallery’s percentage cut, the risk of needing to have things shipped back afterward, and all those instances where art gets stolen or damaged somewhere along the way, galleries close unannounced, or maybe never even existed – well, gallery showings are the sort of anxiety that I often find myself trying to avoid. For this reason I tend to prefer conventions if possible, or shows that are actually within driving distance.

And in those instances, I still often find myself in this sort of panicked state over things: Logistics, packing, unpacking, hanging, being around people all come in to play – but the highest anxiety of all, tends to come with framing.

Since I make most of my sales online, and since frames add significantly to the online selling price, and to the shipping cost – I tend to send my large originals unframed, unless otherwise requested – which means that I never bother framing them at all – until that rare chance to show someplace worthwhile and drivable presents itself… as things with galleries go, which often starts with a “showtime is two weeks from now and we need these in a few days”.

Being an artist, I never have money laying around to frame one piece, let alone three or five. If I ever find myself with a handful of bills to call my own, the money typically goes toward re-stocking on shipping tubes, getting a new run of merch made, having a run of prints printed, buying new canvas, new paints, something entirely new to try my hand at, or bigger and better versions of things I have, for making a bigger and better piece I’ve dreamed of being able to make.

If you are an artist who has ever needed something custom-framed for a coming show, and find that the framing stores have closed – or just cannot afford to have frames done at a gallery, or even craft store – a table saw (or a hand saw and a miter box) are often a god-send.

I typically make some pretty nice frames – though not as wonderfully ornate as those made from the sort of moulding that one can only get through a framing store, they are made from real wood – most often some really good real wood, and are incredibly durable and made to last. They also have a bit of hand-made charm to them, and often are a bit of artwork in their own.

Sometimes I add polymer clay, brass fittings, brass chains and ornaments, decorative tacks, wood appliques, or designs I have cut with a scroll saw; Sometimes I accent them through pyrography, or intricate carved details – they sky is pretty much the limit when making one’s own frames…

Well, the sky, time, and money…

This is one of those instances where money and time factored in more than most. This frame was not made from the chunk of fire maple I am saving for something, or the strip of cherry I am saving for something else – it was made from used pine, which came from supports for a stage set – though I almost used an antique door or two to have harder wood in this mix without using my reserved pieces.

Step 0: (Materials and Preparation):

Materials: Wood, wood glue

Tools: Saw, miter box (can be made with wood and saw), table saw (optional), clamps or straps or a bit of ingenuity to hold pieces tight until the glue dries, sand paper.

Recommended: Something to make the wood something more than just flat and boxy – such as a router, Wood burner, rotary tool, scroll saw, bits to decorate the frames with such as brass cabinet knobs, bits of chain.. the sky is the limit. Really, it depends on how intricate and perfect you want them – you can make them anything from folksy and bare, to contemporary and smooth/plain, to fine works of wood-crafting, to works of art in their own.

Preparation: I cut the pine pieces long-way with the table saw to make sure I had enough pieces, and that they were equally broad and equally thick. For the main part of the frame, I made two pieces that were 8 feet long, 3 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. From a 2×4 stud, I also made 2 pieces that were 8 feet long, 1 inch wide, and half an inch thick. You can skip that step if you can get to a hardware store and buy wood in this size – I recommend a few strips of select pine (heartwood pine) – It acts like hardwood, feels like hardwood, even *counts* as a hardwood to some – and is only about $3 a strip at Home Depot – buy 2 1x2s, 1x3s, or 1x4s, and one 1×1 – and you won’t need to do any length-wise cutting. If you do not have a table saw, a handsaw and a miter box will do. If you do not have a miter box – make one (3 pieces of wood, plus wood glue (or nails) and something the measure a 45 degree angle with). A good string wood glue in necessary. Ratcheting straps (tow straps) or corner clamps, or maybe even bar clamps if they are big enough for what you are working on – will save you a lot of frustration. Without pressure, the wood glue will take forever to dry, and your bonds will not be as strong or as clean. Paint, or wood stain, will probably also come in handy.

_Preview_.JPEG First step was to make a basic frame with an inside dimensions of 49×30 and outside dimension of 55 x 36. This construct is just flat wood and 45 degree angles – nothing fancy – all done with a table saw and an angle jig.
Frame in the worksA good amount of wood glue on the edges and some corner clamps made a boxy “finished” frame. Clamp tight, and let the glue dry at least 15 minutes. The tighter you clamp it, the better the glue will penetrate, the thinner it will fan out, and the faster it will dry.

Then I made another such piece one out of thinner wood strips (which I cut off a bigger piece with the table saw), this one with 1/4 of an inch less for the inner diameter.

When the pieces for this “smaller” frame were done, I rounded their edges on the routing table, and then glued them together on the main frame – creating a lip big enough to hold in the painting but still covering as little of its edges as possible. (You can see what it looks like attached to the frame in the above image, and you can see a cross-section of the routed pieces in the image below)

_Preview_.JPEG_Preview_.JPEG

Frame in the worksA wider view of the frame with the second “frame” glued to its top.
Gessoed FrameI added some wood appliques (available at Home Depot, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby) to dress up the corners some; I then took to covering the thing in a thin layer of gesso so the paint holds on better. Typically my finishing would mean I would stain, wipe, stain, wipe, stain, wipe, smooth, varnish, smooth, varnish, smooth, varnish… but such is a three day process (if I don’t miss a beat). I needed to get this frame done by morning- so…
_Preview_.JPEGI added a metallic finish to it (silver spraypaint), then soaked it in watered-down black acrylic, then wiped up the black save for the crevices, then brushed over it in black, and wiped the black away from the part that borders the painting. It looks like it is hewn out of decades-neglected silver or maybe pewter.

If I could go back and do it again (which I may someday down the line) I’d faux finish it a deep red oak. I thought about doing this – but I’d like to see if I can get two hours rest in before we have to leave.

FinishedThis painting is just popped into the back. I typically cover the back with some really heavy craft paper – but I don’t have nearly enough on hand for that. The hanging wire is fastened into the painting itself on this piece, the the frame is more of a decorative surround, not a means to hang by. I may however move the hanging wire to the frame, just to be ‘normal’.

Below are some pics from another frame in progress. I routed both edges on one side (the inside edge), and rounded just one on the outside edge. The painting (a thin painting on hardboard) will rest within the router-made recess made in the inside edge). The outer edge has only one flat side so the assembled frame will sit flush against the wall.

I will probably stain and varnish this one – and will probably simulate the look of an age-old frame with multiple layers of stain, and leaving bits of extra stain in the crevices with each step.

_Preview_.JPEG_Preview_.JPEG_Preview_.JPEGStained

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Sneak Peek of the Mural from the Destination 1111 Show

Work in Progress - 30 foot wall mural by Bethalynne Bajema and Myke Amend
Work in Progress - 30 foot wall mural by Bethalynne Bajema and Myke Amend

Work in Progress - 30 foot wall mural by Bethalynne Bajema and Myke Amend
Work in Progress - 30 foot wall mural by Bethalynne Bajema and Myke Amend

Bethalynne and I set out to complete this mural by the end of Destination 1111. We painted till 1AM during the days leading up to the event; We also painted during the event all the way up to the event’s closing, but each of us got taken away from the project for carious things over the weekend more than expected – most of these distractions being pretty awesome ones. It was nearly complete when we left 1111, but tomorrow we’ll have to have it hauled home and finish it in the garage… it should be done this week.

So… anyone in need of over 30 feet of artwork for their home? … It *is* sectional (3 ten foot panels)…

Oh… I do a lot of gum chewing and mumbling in this film, as I had no idea there was a camera on me…

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Big Canvas Sale!

The Machine - By Myke Amend, available as a gicleeWhy??  Well… I was going through and testing my cart, and found that the price for giclees on canvas did not auto-update inline when selecting canvas stretching mounting options.

I also realized that about the time I started offering these options, I started selling the things a lot less often.

Maybe it was too confusing, maybe too many options makes it harder to choose, maybe it was the price difference from page to shopping cart, or all of the above – but since I was editing all of these, I decided it would be a good time to make a sale of some sort, and to make it big.

So, here it is – All giclees are priced drastically below normal, and the shipping fees that *should* be there $30 in shipping for most, are not there at all… yep.. $5 flat rate shipping on all orders.

All giclees are printed in Archival pigment inks on archival canvas, and protected by a UV-resistant coating for an estimated archival rating of $200+ years.

These beautiful and super-accurate reproductions are pretty much indistinguishable from the original paintings, and most are limited to 50 or less… that means that out of 60-some billion people, only 50 will own a print – ever.

These come with certificates of authenticity, printed on Hahnemuhle fine art paper, signed and numbered by me, with matching serialized holograms affixed to the certificate and the back of the canvas, to protect the value of your investment, and because they are shiny.

I put them all nice and neatly into one section, the “Canvas Sale” Section, here: https://mykeamend.com/new/products-page/canvas-sale/

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Old Becomes New

It was brought to my attention yesterday that there were a number of prints which were not available in the current incarnation of my site – the result of starting anew on the store I suppose.

Looking through the collection, and cross-comparing, I’ve found at least 40 available prints of at least 15 artworks which never made it back to this site when the rebuild was done.

I’ve added a few tonight, and may add a few more soon. Mostly these are my darker works from over previous years.

I’d also like to start moving ahead and making screen printings of a lot of my engraved images, though I am not quite sure if I am going to make special screen prints for wall hanging, t-shirts, or other items in this course – I believe I will be leaning more towards the t-shirts, bandanas and patches – as I’ve already giclees of most of the engravings.

There will also be some books returning. I am remixing my comic book, starting from the ground up in a lot of places, deleting scenes, adding new ones – and leaning more towards the serious and slightly comedic intended work – less towards the wacky shock humor bit it had become. I’ll have related merch for that when done, but if anyone is interested in any of the remaining comics (there were only 100 of which printed), well just go ahead and contact me for those.

My children’s book, 2 years in the not-making, is next on the slate – I do however have two painting commissions to finish (one of which a book cover for a fave author), and some book illustration (interior work) to do for another author friend of mine.

Anyway – I see a lot of great things coming for this site, and will have a lot of news to give in the coming year. I have a good feeling I will find more time to get more of these projects off my plate come January – but for now – watch for the release of two new paintings (and giclees from them) sometime between December 25th and January 10th.

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Of Books and Other Things

I’m getting closer to being done with this series, and finished with the book… well, the art book anyway.

The shirts and bandanas will likely be available months before the book – They will be decorated by the cover image, but not the cover text, and are pretty amazing. I’ll be screen printing all of these on my own this time around – hopefully that will make them extra special, at least to to some people.

Airships and Tentacles
Airships and Tentacles

I was going to wrap the book up with some pencil and pen and ink work, some watercolors and gouache, but I’ve received a book cover commission from an artist I could not stand to have turned down, and that author wanted something similar to what I’ve been doing. I’ve also been asked to do some similar-themed interior illustrations for another author as well. So, this book will be delayed by a hair, but will also be several pages thicker when released.

Anyway, this post has knocked down the post for the November Sale, so I am just going to remind you here that through November 1st through November 31st of every year, my prices are their very, very lowest (because I don’t want to be buried in shipments the week before the Gift-Giving Season). You might want to take a look around my store (if not the entire store, look at the November Sale Section).

Here are some items which are coming soon, though maybe not in time for Christmas. The shirt is now available – though the tonal striped tees I wanted originally are no longer being made by the manufacturer… bummer:

One-Color Four Corners Airships and Tentacles Bandana
One-Color Four Corners Airships and Tentacles Bandana
Two-Color Forehead decoration Airships and Tentacles Bandan
Two-Color Forehead decoration Airships and Tentacles Bandan
One-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
One-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
Two-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
Two-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee