Saturday, December 22, 2012

Some more thoughts nearing year's end

I was really quite surprised when writing my earlier post about my art acquisitions this year. I have accumulated quite a bit of quality art in the past year. As I said in that post, I sold quite a bit of art this year to fund all this new stuff - so I do not know why I am so surprised. But I decided I need to break it up into a few posts to really review it properly. Here is the second in a series of three! So important it needs three posts, eh? Not so much as that I get bored easily and need three attempts to get it all in there.

Paul Smith - Baron Mordo

The piece above and its' companion below have long been among art that I have seen for sale on CAF and coveted for years. Well, not too long ago the previous owner posted a few things for sale and I asked if he still owned these pieces. Clea was long gone and himself was too expensive right now, but The Baron and Dormammu were available. I paid my money and the deal was done. Thank you to the wrangler for letting these go.

Paul Smith - The Dread Dormammu

The piece below was a long time coming. I had been trying to get a commission from Matt Smith, aka Matthew Dow Smith, when he decided he would try this new kickstarter thing. He suggested that if I pledged to his kickstarter drive I would get my commission. Long story short I pledged an amount he reported to find very generous and we decided on Doctor Strange and Hellboy versus Cthulhu monster 11X17. I was very happy but the commission never materialized. (The kickstarter project was funded but has still not yet materialized.) I forget how long passed, but Matt was scheduled to be about 2 hours away signing with a bunch of legends like Walt and Weezy Simonson and Dan Green, among others. I always wanted to meet Dan Green, and relayed to Matt that I would be at the store when the signing would occur. I got to talk to Walt and Weezie, and enjoyed meeting Dan Green for the first time as well. Even if he did inform me that, although extremely similar, the interior page I owned from Into Shamballa was NOT the same image used as the cover for the soft cover edition. And then sure enough Matt Smith said he had my art. And he handed me something that made me so happy.

Matt Smith depicts Hell for Hellboy and Doctor Strange
Somewhere along the way I also inquired about a commission from Azpiri.It didn't happen, but he must have liked the idea because immediately afterwards the painting below popped up on his rep's web site. It is tiny but I had to have it.

Azpiri does Clea
I mentioned Andy MacDonald last time when I displayed the awesome Mephisto Drinks The Defenders piece he did for me. Another theme I was lucky to have him contribute to this year was my penchant for having modern artists re-create the cover to Silver Surfer 4, originally drawn by the late great John Buscema. Big John had big shoes that many artists struggle to fill, and I thought it would be great to see how people react to the particular challenges that SS4 presents. There are two full figures on the vertical page and the art suggests the sheer power about to be unleashed when these two great beings clash in a way very few artists could achieve. I got a few of these and two are presented below. Andy MacDonald went full out as you can see. He never fails to disappoint and I was very happy when I got this.

homage to Big John Buscema - SS4 cover homage by Andy MacDonald
I was also fortunate to have Tom Raney homage this cover this year as well. Tom has been offering commissions through his deviant art account on a fairly regular basis and when you get stuff like this as a result you tend to become a repeat customer. I am really moving away from smaller commissions to larger commissions and larger published pieces, but as long as Tom takes a list I will try to get on it. He is working through a list right now as a matter of fact and I should have a Jack Knight Starman as a result pretty soon.
homage to Big John Buscema - SS4 cover homage by Tom Raney
One of the other commission themes I have going is to get artists to provide homages to the Michael Golden Dr. Strange portfolio plates. Early in the year JK Woodward tackled this theme and provided me with the wonderful watercolor piece you see below. This is a take on Plate 1 - The Ancient One and is a wonderful addition to my collection. JK should be getting me his take on the Nightmare plate early next year.

JK Woodward watercolor homage to Michael Golden
And once again I must say how blessed I am. I was able to purchase the Barry Windsor-Smith page from issue 236 of Daredevil from Bechara at a comic art con. Now I have two pages from this issue. Some of the issue was inked by Bob Wiacek and Barry inked the rest, so when Bob was at this year's NYCC I brought both pages to him to see if he worked on them. Nope, he didn't work on either he told me. I then brought the pages over and showed them off to Jim Cheung. Jim and I have toalked in the past about my love for BWS and Jim seems to be a fan as well. I showed him the pages and he was kind enough to show his envy. When I recounted Bob's information Jim looked at me kinda funny and said it was pretty obvious Barry inked the pages. And then he showed me why he said it and I felt foolish that in the few moments he had looked at the pages he had seen more than I had seen since owning them. For instance, look at the last panel on the page below. The strokes on Black Widows left leg are "Barry strokes" (as Jim called them). I laughed as soon as he showed me because it is so true. It was a meaningful moment for me, as it reminded me to really look at and appreciate the pages I own.

Daredevil page by Barry Windsor-Smith, pencils and inks
More next week or so. You know I got some Starman this year. Yeah boyee!

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