Category Archives: New Art

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017..if just a little bit late!

I would have reported in sooner, but things have been hopping right from the start of 2017. I am actually working on a film project for the first tine in quite some doing some cartoony character/product designs. It is a lot of fun but also quite hush-hush. When I am able to say more, I will update the blog.

On the personal side, I have a number of new irons in the fire. A wonderful gallery called the “Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum” in Burbank recently premiered a “Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock” themed group show. A number of folks I know were participating and I thought I should try to get in on the action. Despite being overbooked, the gallery owners very graciously allowed me to enter a painting. The Rod Serling portrait that appears on my portfolio page is now hanging on their walls. It was an amazing show that had crowds lined up around the block. I was quite proud to be part of this event and I hope I will get the opportunity to do more shows with them.

I also had an idea for an original Hitchcock-themed piece, but there was no time to work on it as my friends at the Creature Features Gallery right down the street from the Bearded Lady announced a slew of group shows for the first half of the year. The first one was timed to coincide with the release of the new film, “Kong Skull Island”. This show was headlined by master illustrator and Kong enthusiast William Stout. They also had their usual array of fantastic artists covering the walls with all things King Kong.

For my painting, I decided I would take a satirical swipe at the 1976 Dino DeLaurentis produced remake of “King Kong”. From a young age I have been fascinated with the saga of bringing this particular beast to the screen. For those not in the know, DeLaurentis decided that for his film, they would forego the traditional stop-motion animation that brought the original giant gorilla to life. Instead, they would utilize a combination of newer techniques; a performer in a gorilla suit and a full-sized robotic Kong. For the suit fabrication and performance, the production hired a then up and coming Rick Baker. You might remember him as the Oscar winning makeup artist behind “An American Werewolf in London”, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” among many others. For the mechanical version, DeLaurentis hired his friend, mechanical effects artist Carlo Rambaldi (“Alien”, E.T.”, “Dune”).

The story is long and there are several places on the web that probably tell it better than I could. Suffice it to say, Rick Baker has always regarded “Kong” as one of his worst job experiences. From the get-go he wasn’t treated with much respect. Being an ape enthusiast, Baker and team lovingly crafted the suit to look as much like a real gorilla as possible. Rambaldi’s robot looked like a bad wax museum display, but hey, it was BIG! The only problem was, it didn’t really work! Wearing the technically groundbreaking but cumbersome ape suit must have been torture. However, because Rambaldi’s full size ape was an unmitigated disaster and can only be seen in pretty much one or two shots near the end of the film, 99.98% of the shots had to be done with Rick Baker ape-ing it up on miniature sets. After all that work, guess who gets a special acknowledgement card at the end of the film AND a Special Achievement Academy Award at the Oscars that year? Yup! Carlo. While I always thought they had blinders on when it came to the quality of Rambaldi’s work, it turns out that may not have been true after all. I read somewhere recently that DeLaurentis knew early on that the full sized versions of Kong just weren’t going to work. He turned lemons into lemonade by inviting the press to the first day of shooting with the robot Kong. They got to see it do the one or two simple things it could do, and assumed that was how the effects would be achieved. Essentially, DeLaurentis..lied!

In my painting, I wanted to show these two versions fighting against each other. I knew that the robot Kong wouldn’t last through more than one punch. This idea immediately called to mind the famous Life photograph of Muhammad Ali standing over a fallen Sonny Liston who took a dive in the first minute of the first round of their second fight in 1965. This provided everything I needed for the painting. I added my usual “eye pops” for those who get the in-jokes. Here now for your perusal, “The Crumble in the Jungle”…

The Crumble in the Jungle painting

“The Crumble in the Jungle” 36 x 24. Acrylic on Canvas. © Mark Tavares

I hope you liked it. The painting will be on display, for sale, at the Gallery for the next week or so. There are also numbered prints for sale. Head to the Creature Features website for info!

More to come! Thanks for reading!

-Mark

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Willy Wonka meets James Bond

Willy Wonka meets James Bond!

Hello all! Once again, I find myself fortunate enough to be participating in another fun group art show hosted by the Creature Features Gallery in Burbank, CA. This show is called “Twits, Whizzpoppers, and Snozberries – The Roald Dahl Group Art Show”. As the title suggests, the show is paying tribute to Mr. Roald Dahl, the author of such classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “James and the Giant Peach”, and “The BFG” (the movie adaptation of which opens quite soon). For my contribution to the show, I went for a mashup, sort of Willy Wonka meets James Bond.

James Bond?

For those who might not be aware, Mr. Dahl in addition to writing the above mentioned children’s classics, also penned the screenplay to the James Bond film, “You Only Live Twice”. To promote the film, legendary painter and illustrator Robert McGinnis was brought in to create what I feel is some of the best key poster art ever realized for a Bond film. One piece in particular is his interpretation of a moment from the film wherein Bond, played by Sean Connery, is being bathed by several lovely Japanese women. It’s a ridiculously sexist image that perfectly encapsulates the James Bond attitude of that era. To drop Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka character into that visual along with a few OompaLoompas to me felt like the perfect way to push it all over into absurdity. So, here it is!

"The Suspense is Terrible" painting by Mark Tavares, a Willy Wonka meets James Bond mashup

“The Suspense is Terrible..I hope it lasts!” © Mark Tavares 24 x 18. Acrylic on Masonite.

The show opened on 6/26/2016 and will run for the next couple of weeks. The painting is for sale. There are also a very limited run of numbered prints available for purchase at the show. If none of that works for you, you can always purchase a print from my online print store by clicking on this link, or hitting the Buy Prints link over in the menu!

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

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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, General Musings, 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, General Musings, Happy New Year, Paintings for Sale, Television, Things that Inspire, Twilight Zone Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tiki Toons Show at Van Eaton Galleries

Mahalo! Tiki culture is experiencing a bit of an upswing again in my particular art world. I am entered in TWO shows with a Polynesian theme. The first starts tonight at the Van Eaton Animation Gallery in Sherman Oaks, CA. Artists are required to create art featuring any animated character, naturally, in a Tiki setting. Here is my entry entitled, “Paradise De Vil”.

Paradise De Vil by Mark Tavares

“Paradise De Vil” 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

The painting is for sale. I will also have prints available shortly through my Fine Art America store.

Yes, those are dog collars she is wearing for bracelets. I don’t know what is wrong with me.. 🙂

Head to Van Eaton Galleries website for more info!

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Caricature, Gallery Showings, Paintings for Sale, Site Business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Mad Men” takes its final Bow

Now that “Justified” is about to head off into the history books, another show has returned to play out it’s final act. As of this writing, “Mad Men” is airing it’s final six or so episodes. I have to admit, I never got into the series. My wife and I watched the first season on DVD. We saw it through to the end, but it never grabbed us the way it has so many others. Even so, I do appreciate how the show has managed to truly capture the visual style of the era in which it exists. So, to usher it on it’s way, I thought I would try to channel a little Robert McGinnis and paint a few portraits of the stylish residents of the “Mad Men” universe starting with everyone’s favorite redhead!

"Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway" 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. © Mark Tavares

“Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway” 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. © Mark Tavares

More to come! Thanks for looking!

Also posted in Television, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 General Musings, Things that Inspire, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Iron Giant 15th Anniversary

Once again, Creature Features is sponsoring an exciting Group Art Show and I am very proud to be included in it. This year, the animated classic “Iron Giant” turns 15. The folks at Creature Features put together a fun show with a lot of great artists to celebrate the occasion. The show opened last evening, 11/8, and will run through Sunday 11/23.

My contribution drew inspiration from the magnificent painted covers of classic Gold Key comic books like, “Lost in Space”, “Dr. Solar”, “Turok, Son of Stone”, and my favorite, “Magnus Robot Fighter”. Like “Magnus”, the Iron Giant’s antagonist, Kent Mansley, thought of himself as a “Robot Fighter”. He would, of course, be cast as the hero in his own “Alternate Universe” comic book. He even has a name very similar to “Magnus”. So, there is was. Once I had finished the painting, the project wasn’t going to be complete until I scanned it and put together a composite of the full “cover” in Photoshop. Here they both are, side by side…

"Cover Art to Mansley Robot Fighter Issue #15"   18 x 24.  Acrylic on Masonite. ©Mark Tavares

“Cover Art to Mansley Robot Fighter Issue #15” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. ©Mark Tavares

Prints will be available in my Fine Art America store very soon! Thanks for looking!!

-Mark

Also posted in Art for Sale, Gallery Showings, Paintings for Sale Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

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, General Musings, Halloween, Paintings for Sale, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Big Daddy Roth revisited

This Labor Day weekend saw the opening of another art show at “Creature Features Gallery in downtown Burbank, CA. This show is called “MonsterFink” and it celebrates the grotesquely beautiful Monsters and Cars art created by the legendary Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and the slew of imitators to come after him. The walls were lined with paintings and sculptures all sporting day-glo paint jobs. The art may have been low brow but the quality was high! In addition to the visual delights, the band “Boss Fink” rocked the crowd while a slew of hot rods cruised Magnolia Ave thanks to the good folks at “Autobooks” next door.

Do check out the show if you can. There is a lot of fun stuff to take in! All the art is for sale. However, if you are operating on limited funds, you can also buy prints of the amazing work, including MINE! Speaking of which, here it is!

 

"Hybrid Fink" 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Hybrid Fink” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

 

Thanks for looking!

-Mark

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