Category Archives: General Musings

Dana Gould plays Helium Comedy in Portland (and I made a poster for it!)

I recently had the very good fortune to do some work for one of the smartest comedians working right now, Dana Gould. He has a new stand up show that he has been performing at clubs all around the country. On March 24 through 26, he will be bringing it to the Helium Comedy club in Portland, OR. To promote this series of stand up performances, Dana has commissioned several artists to create a unique poster for each venue on the schedule. On this occasion, it was my turn.

For those that don’t know Dana, in addition to being a top shelf humorist he is also know for being a tremendous geek. He has a tremendous love for all things science fiction and horror with special places in his heart reserved for the works of Ed Wood, and the “Planet of the Apes” film series. This is obviously something he and I have in common. We first met many years ago, back during my Makeup Effects days, when he came to K.N.B. EFX Group looking for like-minded folks to help bring his MTV puppet show “Super Adventure Team” to life. We bonded over Apes and Monsters and have been friends ever since. Over the years, Dana has asked me to create various pieces of personal art for him. The jobs are always fun and challenging. This time was no different.

The brief for this assignment was simple; create a parody of the cover art to the legendary EC comics “Tales From The Crypt” Issue Number 24. This is the original piece.

Thanks to mycomicshop.com for the image

Thanks to mycomicshop.com for the image

Like the other posters in the series, simplicity was the key. Even though we batted around various ideas, we decided to just stick with the close approximation of the original Feldstein art. After working on the composition, and the DG likeness, this is MY version.

Dana Gould Helium Comedy Poster Art by Mark Tavares

“Dana Gould Helium Comedy Poster” 11 x 17. Brush and Ink on Bristol Board with Digital Coloring and Text. © Mark Tavares

I am actually quite proud of this piece. In the past when I have done this kind of comic book style ink and coloring, I would get carried away with the inking details which I would then muddy up with too much digital color. This time I worked hard to restrain those tendencies and I believe it paid off.

As with his other shows, I believe Dana will be having some prints made which he will sign and sell at the show this weekend. I will also put them up on my print store sometime next week should anyone be interested. I’ll just make sure it’s cool with Dana first though.

If you happen to be in the Portland area this weekend, go check out his show! Tell him I sent you! http://portland.heliumcomedy.com/events/9118

Thanks for looking!

 

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Happy Birthday David Lynch

I am a little late on posting this here, I know, but Happy Birthday David Lynch! This is a little something I painted as a sort of birthday card to the famed director and monument to Eccentricity.

Happy Birthday David Lynch painting by Mark Tavares

“Happy Birthday David Lynch” Acrylic on Bristol Board. 14 x 17. © Mark Tavares

Given that a new “Twin Peaks” is on it’s way to screens sometime in the next..however many years, I thought this would be an appropriate background.

Thanks for looking!

Also posted in Art for Sale, Caricature, Celebrity, New Art, Television, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year 2016!

Welcome to the brand new year everyone! My family and I had a wonderful Holiday. I hope you all did as well.

One of the great things that happens around this time of year is the “SyFy” channel’s three day marathon of “Twilight Zone” episodes. Just having them on during the day as we went about our Holiday routine provided a wonderful soundtrack to our New Year’s weekend. Rod Serling’s creation while dated in some superficial aspects, continues to stand the test of time. The stories are as powerful today as they were when first broadcast.

Rod Serling himself has always been a fascinating character to me. His onscreen manner as the host of  “The Twilight Zone” with his trademark tight-lipped delivery and ever-present cigarette is the stuff of TV legend. I had made attempts in the past to capture his likeness in a sketch but I was never completely successful. Having binge watched all five seasons over the weekend, and then having seen a fellow artist’s rendering of the man, I was inspired to try to capture Mr. Serling’s likeness once more.

Oil Painting of Rod Serling by Mark Tavares

“Rod Serling” 16 x 20. Oil and Acrylic on Canvas Board. © Mark Tavares

Not a bad way to start the new year, if you ask me! As with my other works, this painting is for sale. Please contact me if interested. I will also be selling prints through my Fine Art America store.

I am looking forward to the artistic challenges this new year will bring, both with my personal work and the reinvigorating of my business, Humerus. Of course, commission work is always welcome! 🙂

Thanks for looking and have a Happy 2016!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Happy New Year, New Art, Paintings for Sale, Television, Things that Inspire, Twilight Zone Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Atomic Tiki Terrors Art Show

Creatures Features in Burbank, one of my favorite galleries, has invited me and a slew of other terrific artists to join in their brand new “Atomic Tiki Terrors” art show. It opens on July 19 and runs through August 9, 2015. It is a combination of two Mid Century American fads which are just as popular today as they were back then; Tiki Culture and The Monster Craze. Both were part of the fallout (pun intended) of the Cold War era. The possibility of Nuclear Annihilation drove Americans to drown their fears in fruity tropical drinks and lounge music, or to seek out Monster movies and television shows which provided scares, jumps, and the promise of escape from the all too real terror that surround them daily.

For my Atomic/Tiki mashup, I went back to one of the favorite monsters of my youth. When I was just the right age, I saw a little black and white film called “War of the Colossal Beast”, which was the sequel to AIP’s “The Amazing Colossal Man”. The films tell the tale of Air Force Col. Glen Manning who bravely disobeys orders and tries to rescue some folks who crashed their light plane into the Nevada Test Site. Unfortunately for Glen, he is unable to reach the plane before the “Plutonium Bomb” they were testing detonates, showering him with radiation. Instead of killing him though, the extreme radiation causes Glen’s cells to grow rapidly, repairing his injuries, and causing him to grow to 60 feet tall. The rapid growth takes both his hair and his sanity. Eventually, the madness causes Glen to escape his military handlers and run rampant through the Las Vegas strip, causing untold toy car damage. He is finally herded to Boulder Dam where he is forced over the edge by a bazooka shot. He falls to his death, or DOES HE? In “War” we find out the fall didn’t kill Manning. It only ripped half his face off and caused severe brain damage. The gory exposed skull makeup, necessary because they had to use a different actor to play Manning, was paired with some impressive sound work.  The Beast couldn’t speak. He could only growl and yell. With an appropriate amount of echo added, he is a giant after all, it made the Beast truly frightening for a young Monster Kid like me.

The Monster was set. Now I had to figure out what to do with him. The Tiki-themed paintings I researched always depicted a lush, tranquil setting. Music was a key factor as well. I thought the juxtaposition of a raging, howling mad Beast who could not speak, serenading a beautiful woman with giant Ukulele music would be a hoot. Trust me, when you see the film you will agree. So, here it is, “Colossal Lullaby” for your review.

Colossal Lullaby painting by Mark Tavares

“Colossal Lullaby” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Oak Panel. © Mark Tavares

The show has a great collection of art on display. If you like “low” art and have a thing for the Monsters, this show is for you, baby! Thanks for looking!

-Mark

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Happy Birthday Rick Baker!

Award-winning Makeup Artist and Mentor to generations of Effects Artists, Rick Baker, celebrated his Birthday yesterday. I sketched this out as a Birthday “card” in honor of the event. Happy Birthday Rick Baker!

"Happy Birthday Rick Baker 2014" 10 x 8. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Happy Birthday Rick Baker 2014” 10 x 8. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Also posted in New Art, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

The Enchanted World of Rankin Bass

Opening this weekend (12/6/2014) is “The Enchanted World of Rankin Bass” Group Art Show at, you guessed it, Creature Features in Burbank! Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass were the producers of some of the most beloved Holiday programming on American television. The animated tales of “Rudolph”, “Frosty”, and “Kris Kringle” were required Holiday viewing in my household. The duo was also responsible for other non-Holiday animated and live action fare that is equally beloved.

One such project was “Mad Monster Party”. As the name implies, it was all about Monsters! If that wasn’t enough, voices were supplied by the likes of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller. I won’t bore you with plot details. Suffice it to say, Monster Kids everywhere hold it in high regard. Being one of those Monster Kids myself, this was to be my inspiration for my contribution to the art show. As with my two previous show entries, “Creeper” and “Mansley Robot Fighter”, I decided to stay away from direct representations of the characters. There would already be plenty of those on display. I didn’t feel I could do anything different enough to separate me from the other excellent artists in the show. Once again, I took the characters in a “real world” direction. Here is how they appear in the show.

The Monster and his Mate from "Mad Monster Party" Photo courtesy of & © Rankin/Bass Productions and Embassy Pictures

The Monster and his Mate from “Mad Monster Party” Photo courtesy of & © Rankin/Bass Productions and Embassy Pictures

..and this is my depiction!

"The Monster and his More Intelligent Mate"  18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“The Monster and his More Intelligent Mate” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

I only had time to do one portrait. However, I liked how this came out so much that I might go back and do the rest of the “real world” versions.

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

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October Shadows 2014

Another October is upon us and that means it’s time to get my Halloween on! A big part of that is being able to participate once more in Taylor White’s fabulous “October Shadows 2014” Group Art Show at the Creature Features Gallery in Burbank. As in the past, the show celebrates the traditional iconography of Halloween. Artists had to incorporate Witches, Pumpkins, Bats, Cats, etc. into their works in order to be accepted into the show.

I wanted to tackle a Witch portrait, and there is no more iconic a witch than the infamous Elphaba Thropp, a.k.a. The Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz”. The character, immortalized on film by the equally iconic Margaret Hamilton, has been painted time and again. In trying for a fresh take, I was inspired by the self portraits of renowned artist, Frida Kahlo. One painting in particular shows the artist posed against a backdrop of tropical flora and surrounded by monkeys. The connection to the Wicked Witch and her Flying Monkeys was inescapable. I had my take.

I present to you, “Portrait of Wickedness”!

"Portrait of Wickedness"  24 x 30. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Portrait of Wickedness” 24 x 30. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

The show runs through Halloween. You can find information at www.creaturefeatures.com. In case you are interested, this painting is for sale. Contact me for details. Prints are available HERE!

Thanks for looking! Happy Almost-Halloween!!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Halloween, New Art, Paintings for Sale, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Planet of the Apes Art Show

There are a couple of fun things to report. I am joining a group show in June, and possibly one in May! They are both being held at the same place, Creature Features in Burbank, CA (www.creaturefeatures.com). The show in June takes on the “Planet of the Apes” film franchise and features all manner of Planet of the Apes Art. It coincides with the release of the new film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. I have a couple of ideas for paintings, one of which will feature the makeup artists who were responsible for creating the groundbreaking look of the original series characters, as well as inspiring folks like me to pursue makeup as a career. Here are the first sketches. There will be more to come as I progress.

Painted sketch of Makeup Artist John Chambers

7 x 9. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

7 x 9. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

7 x 9. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

I did mention another show, didn’t I? Well, Creature Features is also doing a group show in May to coincide with the release of the brand new “Godzilla” film. Exciting stuff! I wasn’t aware of the show until recently. I was going to bypass it and put all my energy into the “Apes” project. However, a few ideas have popped into my brain for that show as well. Stay tuned! It’s going to be a busy couple of months!

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

Also posted in Make-up Effects, New Art, Paintings for Sale Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Barack Obama wrapped in Red Tape

Hello again!

I am back with another portfolio piece to demonstrate my range beyond the Hollywood celebrity portrait. This is “Barack Obama wrapped in Red Tape”. It’s not a statement of any political belief or party affiliation. It is simply another type of image I might be called on to create for the cover of a Monthly News Magazine. As we are always approaching a new election cycle, it is good for me to show I can handle a Politician’s likeness.

Painting of President Barack Obama surrounded by Government Red Tape

15 x 20. Oil and Acrylic on Gessoed Illustration Board. © Mark Tavares

I hope you like it! Thanks for looking!!

-Mark

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Stuart Freeborn (1914 – 2013)

The Make-up Industry lost a giant this week, with the passing of Stuart Freeborn.

Over a 60 year career, he created an amazing array of memorable characters. I won’t go into a breakdown of his career accomplishments here. There are many other sites that have already covered it much better than I could. What I will say is that while he worked on a huge variety of feature films, it was his contributions to the a little film series called “Star Wars”, in particular the creation of it’s most famous Jedi, that had the greatest impact on me. As I have stated before, “Star Wars” cemented my desire to work in Special Effects. It seemed like every magazine on the subject always had a picture of Stuart, or his wife or son, brushing out Chewbacca’s coat or doing touch ups on his mask.

Even though they may have been staged publicity shots, I always loved the way Stuart would always be shown in the lab, wearing a nice dress shirt and cravat under a beige Artist’s smock. My favorite of all those “in progress” shots shows Stuart working on a sculpture of Yoda’s head. What makes it special for me is that, in addition to his usual professional attire, he is also wearing a “Superman” watch. It’s a nice, whimsical touch.

20101031_yodac6_bg

In honor of his passing, I thought I might paint up my own take on that moment of film history.

Stuart Freeborn working on a sculpture of Yoda

Celebrating the life and career of British Make-up and Special Effects artist, Stuart Freeborn, who created the most recognized Jedi in all the Universe.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Freeborn. Thank you for all the inspiration.

-Mark T

Also posted in Make-up Effects, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized