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Bill Mayer
The NINTH ANNUAL BLAB! SHOW
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I had a chance to do a few new paintings for the up coming in September.  Such pressure, so many talented artist... But so much fun...even after Monte picked his four for the show I had another in my head just had to get down on paper. The series started off as a sort contrast between light and dark. Somehow it all went to the dark side. I had two dark images Mother Of Crows and Death Of Crows. Each representing a kind of nihilist view of crows. The Death of Crows I saw as a dark angel on the oil soaked beach with eggs that blend into the stones. I wanted the image charred and dark like coal. The Mother Of Crows I also saw as dark and hopeless.  When I got to the forth painting I think I was just tired of the "Birds" and wanted to try something different. I have this stuffed standing goat in my house that has a little stand that reads "Pull My Tail". Seemed like a natural subject. I played around with a more neutral palette that seemed to add to the moodiness of the piece. A last little thought was to put the crows coming out of his pipe. Like Swifts at dusk around a chimney." The Amphibious Ambition"  Seemed like a likely Cliche´. A variation on the frog prince. I hadn't cleaned my palette so grey and moody just like the Goat. I thought it would be funny to put him in kind of a variation on a French Soldiers uniform. One of my interns Denise Planche said she thought he had a "Tadpolian Complex".... Pretty funny.
 
Lots of great art in here! Check it out...
"Death of Crows" © BIll Mayer 2014
"Smoking Crows" © BIll Mayer 2014
"Mother of Crows" © BIll Mayer 2014
"Amphibious Ambition" © BIll Mayer 2014
"The White bird" Came from JM Berry's book The Little White Bird, a melancholy story about the loss of a child. It's the first place Peter Pan appears. Symbolism in the cross like composition, the stork, the Child's gown and the water. the dark cloudy sky. All to draw a subliminal feeling of sadness and accentuate the loss. This one was not chosen but was one of my favorites.
"The White Bird" © BIll Mayer 2014
This little gouache illustration I called "The Land O' Plenty"...." Night of the Lepus" was a quick little study I thought it would be funny to add huge carrots onto the mountains in the background. this time  more of a warm color tone to acetate the orange of the carrots.( not part of the BLAB!)
"Land O' Plenty" © Bill Mayer 2014

Saving Big Data from Itself
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All Art © Bill Mayer 2014
This was a fun job for Jason Mischka at Scientific American about things companies could do to make their "Big Data" more secure. My initial ideas were based on the needle in a hay stack cliché. l think where we ended up was a much more powerful and compelling image. I wanted to give it a kind of strong Deco feeling, a giant tower with tiny figures trying to hold it all together. 
I decided to make the tower alive and give it a face, something to imply a sense of intelligence. Naturally they seemed to take on kind of an easter island feeling. In my thumbnail i had a bunch of towers going of into the distance, In the final I scrapped these extras because they seemmed distracting from the core of the idea. Intially I had thought about paiting this illustration, but now that it moved in this tower direction iseemed better to to an airbrush and digital variation. I ended up painting the little figures small in gouach and stripped them together in Photoshop.. Tillted the tower over to make it appear more dramatic.
 Jason wanted to make sure some of the people were women and that they looked like they were holding it together, not tearing the tower down. I had really thought about that but the figures were so small i didn't think it was that important. Small adjustments and on to the final.
I liked the moody monochromatic background and pushing the figures into the shadow of the tower. More cracks.. Bigger pieces falling down. Last minute I tried larger mouth... I think it worked better...Maybe.. anyway, small change.
Beautiful type is always a joy to see.Here it is all put together. Beautiful design...
So much fun working with Jason Mischka , Scientific American. Truly a great collaberation. Big thanks for a chance to work on a really fun prodject.
Marie's New Hat or, Le Nouveau Chapeau de Marie
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In the first painting I used her head like a vase filled with flowers... Yeah okay a little morbid but I was digging the death and flowers thing. All Art © Bill Mayer 2014
Two new little portraits I was playing around with.

I had been painting a lot of animals lately and thought it would be fun to try some human subjects. Intially I had thought about a typical, headless, portrait of Marie Antionette. Something not quite normal... I had two ideas, and I couldn't decide which I liked better, so I did both.
In this version I tried to use the flowers in place of the head... Of course, it is a parody of a painting of Marie Antoinette, at age 12. by Martin van Meytens, circa 1767-1768. © Bill Mayer 2014
The first portraits were so complicated, I wanted to try something a little simpler. I remembered an image I had scribbled on the back of an envelope I mailed a friend, which was the inspiration for this little portrait of Erykah Badu...  fun little experiment. I will try a few more and post them later. 
FrogFolio 2014
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© Bill Mayer 2014 Dellas Graphics Frogfolio
Always the highlight of my year to do another FrogFolio illustration for JIm Burke. Thanks JImmy, for keeping alive... Keep those frogs from Croakin'... This year I was a little busy, so last minute effort. I chose the Tattooed frog, getting a a few more empty spots filled... Deadline Friday the 13th, and it's a Honey Moon.... Super lucky Bull Frog covered in Bug tatts... Much fun!
When I started this Illustration I had a couple ideas, but not much time to decide. So I did a dozen thumbnails... Carney Clown and Day of The Dead were top runners up, but Tattooed Frog gets the nod and we're off and running.

I had sketched off the tattoos in my sketchbook but left it on the coffee table at home. so I started this bug version but scrapped it at first because to me it seemed like it needed more traditional, old-style tattoos.

Change my mind again when the traditional tattoos were not reading fast enough as "Bugs". so back to this version.... Had I had a little more time I am sure I would redo them to some hybrid version but deadline is tight. Added details like stains on the tent, a few patches...a little more trash on the ground...and SHIP IT!
© Bill Mayer 2014 Dellas Graphics Frogfolio
It is such an honor  to be included in such a prestigious melee of talented illustrators, Carl Wiens fabulous robotic frog... so nice...(Chris Payne- Your pieces showed up on FB before I started mine ... lot of pressure, dude !)Victor Junaz, Wesley Albrook, John Dykes, Melanie Reim...so many great artists.  
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