A brief note

SWart Studio - Steven DerrickI’ve just signed on to teach teen and adult Saturday classes for the winter term at the Menino Arts Center, starting in January (more info soon). I’ll also be teaching weekday afternoons and evenings for Culture for Change in downtown Boston, as well as at the Brookline Arts Center. I can’t express how grateful I am for these opportunities to continue teaching. When I decided to step away from public school, I was a little nervous. I felt like a recording artist without a major label. But in hindsight it’s exactly what I needed creatively. I’ve given myself a year to devote the proper amount of time needed in the studio, as well as teaching part-time on the side. Come next fall, my plans may change, but I’m focusing on what I have set before me and giving it my all. Thank you to all the friends, families, and fellow artists who have showered me with support. I love you all, truly.

A new works in progress page!

I’m on a new mission to complete at least one ten minute sketch per day. After the time limit has been reached, I have to stop and leave written comments on what needs work and what was done well. I’m hoping this will strengthen my work as an artist and make me more aware of my weaknesses. In addition to creating a tumblr page that I use to find and post references for my work, I’ve added a works-in-progress page where I plan on creating an online diary with images of my progress.

Click on the image below to see how things are developing.


The process of an artist, Step One.

ImageIt starts with an idea.

Planning for my latest painting began from a backup story in Wonder Woman #316, 1984. I loved the dramatic pose of the Huntress with a long, dark cape draped down her sides with her arms raised high. I remember a similar pose from a production still of Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), from the Sixties, Batman, TV series.

Then I remembered Frank Langella as the evil sorcerer, Skeletor, from the Masters of the Universe film. I loved the actor’s flair with his black cloak, as his extensive skull makeup allowed little movement of his face, but the makeup/mask was terrifying on its own. Fashion is an extension of one’s self, of their emotions, this is utilized in much of my work. The Huntress (great name) pose, the cloak, and the skull face would be used to show a duality between beauty and ugliness. Sex, tainted with evil. But because I’m predominately a happy person, I want this painting to reflect that as well.

As of late, I’ve been digging into Diana Ross’ back catalog of lesser known music from the early Eighties. The music videos Dirty Looks, Eaten Alive, and, Pieces of Ice are prime examples of fashion and fades of the era. I appreciate Ross’ commanding presence in front of a camera or on stage. The latter two videos resemble bad B horror films, a notorious source of regular inspiration for my work. I could incorporate Ross’ beauty and the beastly nature of her videos into my skull faced heroine. This would soften the wickedness of the figure, but also enhance the over all mood of the piece.

Within minutes I suddenly had a reference sheet cobbled together and I’m now eager to begin sketching out designs for the upcoming, “Glamor Gore” painting, working title.