Like I mentioned yesterday, instead of class, we all went to downtown Disney for the Festival of the Masters art show.

In order for us to go there instead of class today, our instructor, Grace asked us to find some artist we liked and turn it in a small interview on Monday. I didn’t want to do a standard book report, so I decided to combine it with todays blog post.

The first thing I wanted to check out was the chalk artist.

This setup was pretty cool, but not as neat as I expected. They had “the masters” draw an image then have students try to recreate it. I had just gotten there and didn’t see any masters so I moved on to something a lot more interesting.

LEGOS!

Being from Orlando, I’ve seen legoland a bunch of times, but they had some displays that I had never seen before that really caught my eye.

But, as cool as legos are, I wouldn’t call these masters either.

I didn’t find anyone I really liked until I came across Jeannie and Sam Maddox. Jeannie is the artist, and she does some amazing things with acrylic paints and canvas

That’s not a photograph, she painted that by hand. They had an unfinished work as an example.

Jeannie wasn’t available when I was there, but her husband Sam was more then happy to answer some of my questions.

“what would you say is the main inspiration?”
“water. she really loves water and enjoys drawing people swimming, especially women.”
“later today, I’m going to try acrylic painting for the first time. Do you have any advice for a budding artist such as myself?”
“don’t wait for your muse. that m-u-s-e not moose. if you sit around and wait it will never happen.”

I was very much impressed with Maddox’s work, a quick peak at their website www.jeanniemaddox.com showed a wide array of interesting pieces, way above my price range though, averaging more then 8 grand a pop.

Walking further down the isles, I found that official Disney guys were giving classes in how to draw Mickey Mouse. Knowing that this was my only chance to draw Mikey without a cease and desist, AND the only art I could afford today, I went ahead and joined them.

Although technically a loophole, I decided that these would be my second set of masters to question.

“I would ask you how you develop your ideas, but I’m guessing that’s not really up to you.”
“yea, not really, but we like drawing Disney characters and teaching others so it works out”
“where do you draw your inspiration?”
“well, we like the wholesomeness of it, it’s a main reason I work for the park.”
“I’m sure paying the rent doesn’t hurt either”
“yea that’s true, neither is free park admission”
“what advice would you offer to someone just starting out like me?”
“we’ll you’re pretty good already, I say just stick to it and you’ll be great!”

In my art class, I’m not exactly a beacon of perfection, but I didn’t do bad with my Mickey

My ‘teachers’ gave me an A – It’s my first A I’ve gotten all month – I’m gonna turn it in for extra credit.

Although there was a lot of great art around, there was really only one tent I found really inspiring, and that’s Rick Abrams. The thing about Rick that liked is when I saw this painting – its acrylic on plexi glass btw – I asked him “is this actually patriotic or was it parody.”

“I think it’s patriotic.” he said “you have to be careful with this, cus the liberals around here don’t like this stuff.”

“so why did you do it?”
“I like death. all kinds of death. you know, murder, killing, abortion. that kid of thing”
“I like pop art, where do you get your main inspiration?”
“I like to find old art from the 50′s once I find something I like, I work it into the painting.”
“why do you paint on plexi glass?”
“because it creates a smoother appearance then then normal painting, cus you can’t see my brush strokes. and because…” Rick then looks behind him to make sure the other tent artist is out of earshot. “because you have to be different to survive out here, everyone has normal painting crap, hardly anyone has what I’ve got”
“do you make most of your profit at these shows”
“yea, and thankfully a pretty good profit. I’m not doing bad”
“I’m going to try painting a masterpiece for the first time later today. Do you have any advice for a budding artist such as myself?”
“find something that sells, paint it, change it by 10 percent and call it your own art.”
“I really like what you’ve done here, and I think I’m going to try it. that ok with you?”
“yea, you can rip me off. go for it”
I took his card, and didn’t realize until I got home how appropriate it was

Rick managed to impress me enough to change my entire acrylic project, and I think that qualifies as a master, at least it does to me.

I did see a few other interesting things. For example I really liked the way the price was put on this sculpture.

he made the price a part of the art, and I thought that was a great idea.

I was also impressed with the detail of these wooden sculptures.

But as interesting as these things where, I really didn’t find anyone else I wanted to interview, so I decided to call it a day.

I was going to start my acrylic-on-plexi project but unfortunately it turns out the piece of plexi I had wasn’t going to work so I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to start it. More on that later.

In closing, special thanks to Grace, the Design and Art Theory instructors, and Fullsail for seeing the benefit of going to this instead of having us go through the gears of class. I think it was very much worth it.