Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Acadian Troll"

"Who's that tripping over my bridge..."

Stemming from last summer's internship experience reviving pen & ink pieces along with exploring an altogether different and darker aspect of Acadia. Briefly alluded to the initial concept back in an earlier post: the original inspiration came about from a doodle done while out hiking around the park one fine day. 

A similar/parallel thought processes went into developing this troll character as it did with the Squonk (backlink). The ol' moose-nose makes an appearance, along with the g-friend humoring requests for taking more weird reference photos (see below). Which in turn gave me no end of new ideas on what to do next Halloween... And as with another, earlier panel's philosophical/compositional framework, the depicted environment is largely an imaginary assemblage of different elements. Meaning, aside from the huge, hairy monster, it's all completely made up. Needless to say taking a hike with me can sometimes be an adventure, if not an exercise in make-believe. After investing some time on lots and lots of little dots - "stipple cripple" - I had some fun experimenting with random Photoshop filters. After flailing about for hours with different masks and blends, I discovered the joy of the "Apply Image" function, which yielded another bewildering host of variations on the theme. *Big hat-tip to photographer Jerry Jones and his fabulous Shadowhouse Creations blog for uploading cool textures to play with. Still, technological advances aside, can't fix stupid, digitally or otherwise - there are a couple glaring mistakes with the basic drawing (booyay for linear perspective) that are filed away under "next time I'll get it better." At the very least now there's another print to offer for sale at an upcoming exhibit, signing and/or convention table. Work like this always reminds me of my de-formative years, as I was brought up on fairy tales and mythology (the legendary Maine Minotaur?): perhaps one of the greatest influences for growing up a freethinker and skeptic as far as "modern" religion goes. On the artistic side, one of the most lasting inspirations from my childhood was the illustrations of the Swedish artist John Bauer, most notably his iconic trolls. Since I'm now well on my way to hoofing it across the majority of established trails in Acadia, as of late we've begun checking out the network of carriage roads where most of these photogenic stone bridges are to be found. Sketchbook and camera in hand, I'm collecting as much reference material while on these little sorties in hopes of generating a little side-body of work along this narrative. Maybe a cryprozoological field-guide of sorts of an unexplored, mysterious side to the Park. Soon as I gets me some more billy goats...

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up..."