Archive for the ‘Artwork’ Category

Elliott And Captain Underpants

It was only a matter of time, but Elliott has found out about Blogtober. He knows I made a couple of posts about him and now he wants EVERY post to be about him. He’s got a lot of ideas too. It’s adorable. He really wants everybody to see the Captain Underpants cut out that he made.

Elliott is super into cut outs, which I think is awesome. When I first starting using epoxy resin to cover my paintings back in 2004 the majority of my work was cut outs glued to painted wood panels. Like this:

Let’s just say cut outs are dear to my heart and I love that Elliott is making them and totally discovered them on his own.

After he made the BIG Captain Underpants he decided a smaller one needed to be made for on-the-go purposes. Elliott is totally one of those kids that has to grab as many things as possible as he walks out the door because he “needs” them wherever he goes. He’ll stuff his backpack to full capacity with Hot Wheels and plushies and things he “needs” and then he’ll never even open the backpack while we’re out and about. Anyway, this smaller Captain Underpants gets to go on adventures like trips to Trader Joe’s and whatnot. Although, now I think it might be crumpled up in the bottom of his backpack. So, it’s a good thing I took this photo when I did.

Oh yeah, he said it’s very important for you to know that the cape is a separate cut out piece that he taped on the back of Captain Underpants. I took a photo of the cape, but it didn’t quite capture the full glory of what the cape stands for, so you’ll just have to trust me.

That’s it for now.
Y’all have a good weekend!

– Jeff

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In other news:
– It’s Open Studios Tour in SLO County this weekend and next. Go check out some art! For more info visit: Arts Obispo
– I’ll be at Viva Paso all weekend. Come by and check out some art and all of the other goodies we have to offer. 1211 Pine in downtown Paso Robles.
– If you have a 10 year old or younger have them check out The Elliott Show.

Time Lapse Tuesday: Pirate Digital Doodle

So, I got this GREAT idea last month. You know how every day is National Something Day? Like, National Donut Day, which is one of my personal favorites. Well, for every day of the year there are actually multiple things honoring all kinds of random shit for that particular day. There is even a National Day Calendar to keep track of all of them. Take today, for example. You may not know it. In fact, you probably shouldn’t know it and I almost feel bad taking up your time telling you, but today is National Cheese Curd Day. It’s also National Grouch Day as well as National I Love Lucy Day. Why do any of these things get a day? I have no idea, but back on September 19 it was National Talk Like A Pirate Day. And this is where my GREAT idea came from. I figured I could use the absurdity of some of these National Days as a prompt for something to draw.

True to form, I did it once and then never again. I actually attempted a few more, but ditched those digital doodles because other things took priority. I do love the idea though and totally encourage you to give it a try if you find yourself stumped on what to draw on any particular day. What made it a GREAT idea to me is the hashtag possibilities. Obviously, I am not the first person to think of this. National Talk Like A Pirate Day was trending on Twitter and there were a lot people using #nationaltalklikeapirateday on Instagram, so it could be a good way to find some like minded individuals as well as promote your art and maybe pick a up a few fans along the way. Ok, enough jibber jabber. Here’s the time lapse.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching and hanging out.
See ya!

– Jeff

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Was that enough? Are you not satisfied yet? Well then…
Check out these “stump paintings” from five years ago.
If you like painting time lapses here are some more.

New Koi Journals Are Here

Super stoked to add a new design to my line of journals/notebooks!

But here’s the thing. I have to be honest with you. This Koi Journal has been available at Viva Paso since July. Guess what? This is how long it’s taken me just to take photos of it and make it available online. Can you say procrastinate? I can. I live it!

I’m not happy about my procrastination, but I do have other things going on so it can be difficult to decide what’s a real priority. Anyway, here a couple more photos of it.

And here are the details:
– paperback
– 6″ x 9″
– 120 lined pages

That pretty much sums it up. It’s a great size for on the go writing, to-do list making, journaling, etc. If you’d like to order one that would be super awesome. You can always come into Viva Paso (1211 Pine St. in downtown Paso Robles) to pick one up or you can now order online at: Jeff’s Koi Fish Journal

Thanks for looking!
And happy journaling.

– Jeff

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Need more of me in your life? Probably not, but in case you do…
Follow on Twitter: @jeffclaassen
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Subscribe to my YouTube channel: youtube.com/jeffclaassen

Elliott’s Awesome Monsters

A couple of weeks ago I came home to these drawings waiting for me on the kitchen table.


Obviously, I love them. It’s just so cute. In the second photo you can see one sad girl, which is funny because he usually makes everything happy. My guess is he wasn’t pleased with the sad girl, but tried it out because that’s how I drew it, then immediately drew another one, but with a smile. I can only assume that he circled the happy one to designate it as the one to pay attention to.

As adorable as it as that he would copy me, make no mistake, this kid does not need any inspiration. Check these out. He has his own style totally unique to him. I love these.


He drew these because it’s October and he’s super excited about Halloween. He calls them Spooky Chomps. Even with the spiky teeth the Spooky Chomps are still cute and happy. One of my all time favorite things he’s drawn though is this window drawing. His grandparents keep glass markers in the house and as soon as Elliott found them he went to town on the slider.

Oh, I love it so much! For years he’s had a thing for drawing cyclops and triclops creatures, but he always makes them so cute and endearing that you just want to squeeze them.

That’s it for now. Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

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Not sick of me yet? Great!
Check out this Pumpkin Spice post from five years ago.
Watch a time lapse of me painting a Blockhead Owl.
Follow on Instagram: @jeffclaassen

Three Project Videos I Never Posted

Hello and happy Sunday!

Six days into daily blogging and I have no regrets. Yet. Today I’m taking it easy and posting some videos that have been on my channel for awhile, but I never shared them on here because I’ve been a bad blogger. On the real, making videos and writing blog posts is something I would love to do full time. I’ll try not to whine too much, but running a retail shop is a pretty demanding job, especially when you’re the one responsible for making a lot of the products in the shop. On the plus side, as an artist it’s really incredible to have a venue to sell my creations in. Ok, now on with the videos.

This first one is a late night vinyl sticker cutting session. I treated myself to a Cricut at the beginning of the year because besides wanting to make videos and blog full time, I also dream about being a crafty stay at home mom. Jokes aside (sorry fellow Cricut owners), the Cricut is a pretty amazing machine. Ok, here you go. Late night sticker making at Viva Paso.

This next one actually goes hand in hand with yesterday’s post about hanging artwork. It just goes to prove that I am constantly chasing this goal of getting 100 pieces of art on the walls. It’s a great goal to be chasing and if you think about it, if I wasn’t chasing it that would mean people are not buying artwork and I really like that people buy artwork. Thanks, art supporters! Anyway, this is basically a video version of yesterday’s post.

I probably don’t need to share this next one because I just realized it’s similar to the last one, but what the hell else am I going to do? Also, it’s only 1 minute and 19 seconds. In this video I focus more on how I view wall space in my shop as valuable real estate. It’s a very short video. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for watching!
-Jeff

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If you want to keep this party going…
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
Follow on Twitter.
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New Work And A Little Behind The Scenes

This is how the main art wall looked when I got to work this morning.

The goal that I am always striving for in my shop is to have 100 pieces of art hanging on the walls. And if I can’t fit that many on the walls then I am almost willing to say “on display” because I do have matted prints that sit on a shelf and every once in a while I have framed pieces on a shelf too. But here’s the thing, I feel like that’s cheating because it would be SOOOOOOO easy to mat a bunch of prints in those clear sleeves you’ve probably seen around. I have nothing against those and I have them too, but I could easily order a bunch of mats and literally have 100 pieces of art “on display” within one week.

As of this typing I now have 38 pieces of art on the walls. I have 10 matted/sleeved prints and 2 framed prints on a shelf. So, technically, I have 50 art pieces on display. I’m exactly halfway to meeting my goal, but that doesn’t discourage me. It gives me something to work towards. This goal is almost unattainable because every time I sell a piece it’s like a step backwards, but I want to sell pieces, so this is one of the few goals in life where taking a step backwards works in my favor. Trust me, if I never meet this goal, but continue to sell artwork I’m a winner at the end of the day. With that said, today was a day where I was able to add pieces to the wall and here’s how that went.


I started the day with these 6 prints mounted on wood panels that needed to get wired and hung.


Wire is one of those things an artist can never have enough of. When I buy it I usually buy a few packs at a time and always think, “I’ll never run of of wire again!” Until I do.


This image is from a few years ago, but I’ve never had it available as a print on wood until a couple of weeks ago.


This is what the back of my limited edition prints on wood look like. Title written all sloppy like, numbered edition of 50, signed, dated, and wired. Ready to hang before you even get home (or right out of the box if you order online.)


I usually put this style of framed print on a different wall, but between you and me there was some space to fill on the main art wall and these fit perfectly. These are a couple of classic images that I haven’t had available for awhile, so it’s fun to see them again.

Here is the before photo. I posted it at the top of this post, but figured I’d put it here too just so you don’t have to scroll up and down the screen to compare the before and after photos.


There are only 7 new things on the wall, so it’s not a drastic difference, but it’s looking a little more full, which is good.

And that’s it for now. Day 5 of Blogtober is complete.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

New Snowflake Version

This is my latest in the ongoing “Some Bitch Stole My Lunch Money” series. I don’t normally get to art speaky…or maybe I do without realizing it. I try not to because it can be such a bore sometimes, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that a lot of people enjoy hearing the backstory about how a piece is made. I really try to avoid the REAL art speaky bit of talking about he meaning of a painting and whatnot. That can get a bit lofty and as a creator I quite fancy the idea that the viewer has a responsibility to bring something to the table. The image should invoke some sort of emotion for the viewer and with that the viewer adds the meaning. And look, just like that, I got all art speaky on you without even realizing it. Ughh…somebody slap me! Let’s get back on track…

Ok, so this piece is very interesting to me. It’s impossible to see in a photo, especially a straight on photo and in person it’s even difficult to see unless you are really looking for it, but it’s there. Here’s a close up I’d like you to take a look at.

What I hope you can see in the above photo is the different layers and how some things are floating between layers of resin. I coat almost every single one of my paintings with a thick clear resin. Normally, it’s pretty straight forward. I paint on a wood panel and when I’m done I do the resin pour. With this one I painted the green background and poured the resin over it while the paint was still wet. Then I splattered some white paint on top of the wet resin. As you know, I love drips and splatters. Splatters usually end up looking like a bunch of random polka dots, but these splatters had this interesting reaction with the resin and sort of spread out and splintered giving them more of a snowflake look than a splatter, which I totally embraced. When that layer of resin dried I put the “Some Bitch” girl over the top and then poured another layer of resin over that. If you look close you can see a slight shadow under her as well as some of the snowflakes. And on closer inspection, which is a lot easier in person, you can see that some of the green swirls of paint are floating in the resin above the first layer of green background. Fun stuff. Yeah, I’m art nerding.

And that’s a wrap!

Now, since I have bills to pay, if you’d like to add the “Some Bitch Stole My Lunch Money” (snowflake version) to your collection that would be super awesome. She’s available right here.

Oh, and here’s some bonus photos of two new paintings I’m working on that were done using the same process of pouring resin over wet paint.

As always, thanks for looking!
– Jeff

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Need more of me in your life?
Follow on the IG: @jeffclaassen
Watch on the YT: youtube.com/jeffclaassen

I’m An Appropriation Artist Now

Yes, it’s true. Not really though. I could never give up “my” art to be a full fledged appropriation artist. I just don’t have it in me. Sort of like how I don’t think I could ever be a full on abstract artist. At least not at this moment in time. With that said, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and play around with the idea of making appropriation art and Jiminy Cricket’s head was just too perfect for the faces I like to paint.

For a long time he lived on my iPad. Just him with a solid white background. It didn’t seem fitting to throw him over the top of one of my typical layered and textured abstract backgrounds. Eventually, I started looking through my photos and came across this one I took in the subway and it seemed to work.

After Jiminy I started making a list of cartoons that I watched as a kid and scoured the internet looking for images that I thought one of my faces would work well with. For some crazy reason I thought this image of Fred Flintstone would work well.

It turned out way uglier than I had anticipated, but that made me laugh and what’s better than cracking up at your own jokes. Nothing! Like Jiminy, I needed a background and found this photo I took one early morning in front of Sunshine Donuts. It seemed to work too.

I watched A LOT of cartoons as a kid, so the list I created is quite long. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to making all of them, but it’s been a fun escape from what I normally do.

Hope you enjoyed them.
– Jeff

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Not bored yet? Want to hang out a little longer?
Check out my YouTube Channel.
Stalk me on Instagram.

Oh yeah, boring BONUS stuff for those of you that want to read about the process. So, I found an image of the character I wanted to appropriate online and saved it on my iPad. Then I used the Procreate app to make the artwork. Procreate is now my go-to art app. I use it more than any of the others. I also use the Apple Pencil and if you draw a lot on an iPad I highly recommend it. It actually has made making digital are a lot more fun for me and I’ve had a big problem with making digital art in the past. Ok, see you next time.

New Painting And Video: A Fine Frenzy


(* Disclaimer: Although the title of this post is “New Painting And Video” the truth is that the painting was made last summer, but it is new to you and to this blog. With that said, let’s continue.)

I don’t talk much in my videos. Or at least I try not to because it makes me cringe when I have to watch/listen to myself when I’m editing video. Anyway, how this painting came to be is very interesting to me and I wanted to share the story. If you’re only here for the video then feel free to scroll down and skip all this gibberish. If you’re a loyal reader/voyeur of this blog you might remember my “Secret To Selling Art” post from last August (I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner last night, so if you remember my blog posts from 11 months ago you should seek professional help.) Well, the story of this painting is even crazier than the story about the painting from that post. In the chance that you don’t know, I am a bit obsessed with stories about synchronicity or, for the layman that’s not referencing Wikipedia while typing their blog trying to appear smarter than they actually are, “meaningful coincidences”. That’s right, coincidences do not exist. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don’t understand the reason, but let’s not get into that here because it’s a rabbit hole best saved for another day. I’m also quite fascinated with the butterfly effect. I think the two theories work hand in hand to some extent. Anyway, enough psychobabble, let’s get on with it already.

Back in 2008-2009 my sister and her husband opened a pizza restaurant. One of their employees, Amy, liked my artwork. Well, let’s be honest, ALL of their employees probably adored my artwork 😜. Fast forward 10 years or so and Amy walks into my shop in Paso Robles. We chit chat about Pizza Fusion and whatnot. I have this canvas print on the wall called “Gone But Not Forgotten” and she tells me it would look great in this black and white themed room in her house.

She wants to buy it, but it’s not quite what she’s looking for. She wants something bigger and vertical and, if possible, with a little gold added for fun because the room she wants to hang it in has some gold accents. Naturally, I said I could paint her one.

And that’s how a commission painting comes about. Some of them take 10 years to happen and others happen in 10 seconds. Here’s a time lapse of making Amy’s painting.

Bored yet? No? Well, shit…let’s just keep this thing going, shall we? So, what does this have to do with synchronicity? Remember, “synchronicity” means “meaningful coincidence”. You would never think that my sister and her husband opening a pizza restaurant would result in me getting a commission job 10 years later. Amy walking into my shop was not just a meaningless coincidence. Synchronicity was at work here. It had been years in the making and I find that incredibly fascinating.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Probably. As cliché as it sounds, good things can come from anywhere and they can be totally unexpected. I think the lesson here is to continue to put yourself out there. Being an artist can be frustrating and it’s easy to get jaded when things feel like they are not working in your favor. I can’t tell you how often I think of deleting my Instgram account and my YouTube channel while spiraling in a fit of frustration. But, I don’t because I remember stories like this one and remind myself that we just never know when something we do (like meeting somebody 10 years ago) will have a positive impact (getting commissioned to make a painting) on us later.

What are your thoughts or crazy stories about synchronicity? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

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Still not bored? Wow…
Then you should follow me on Twitter.
And probably Instagram too. Before I delete it.
And while you’re at it, what the heck, check out some of my videos. Before I delete them too.
Also, please share this with all your artsy friends. Thanks!

Time Lapse Tuesday: Hand Painted Slingshot And One Mini Canvas

I can’t possibly be the first person to think of “Time Lapse Tuesday”, but something tells me it’s not anything that’s really going to catch on. However, that did not stop me from making this video last week. Per usual, I forgot to post about it here and had to wait a full week just for it to be “Tuesday” again. Anyway, enough blabbering. Check out the video!

I hope you enjoyed that. Trust me, I am trying to figure out a way to make art videos a little more exciting and I’m totally stumped. If you have any suggestions hit me up. Anyway…

I painted a bunch of slingshots back in May, which you might have seen on Instagram, but I am pretty sure posting them here was another forgotten task. Until now!

I pretty much gave myself a headache coming up with clever names like, “Billy The Bearded Bombarder”, “Torpedo Tim”, and “Freddie Fling”, which will surely bring joy to all who love the pleasure only a slingshot can provide.

If you’d like one of these hand painted beauties please check them out in my shop. They are $30 each and right now there are still 4 available.

And, our dear “Julien” is patiently awaiting to be adopted by a caring, but charmingly dysfunctional, family. If that sounds like you then click here.

That’s it for now. As always, thanks for reading!

– Jeff

New Video: Making a Timelapse With Procreate And Why I Hate Digital Art

I’m calling him “Truth Seeker”. Anyway, I’ve been using the Procreate app very sporadically since I first downloaded it a few months ago….until now! The past couple of weeks I’ve been using it a lot more and am starting to see that I finally “get” it. Let me explain. Obviously, I get how a drawing app works, but you know when you use something for the first time there is a bit of a learning curve and the only way to understand the thing is to spend time with it? Well, I finally reached a point where I’ve spent enough time with Procreate that I feel a lot more comfortable with it now. I’ve seen and used a lot of the features it offers and there is no doubt why it’s become the industry standard for drawing apps. Even my 6 year old loves it.

He sort of gets it too. Admittedly, the app has so many features and ways to customize brushes and whatnot that I will never be an expert with it, but if a 6 year old can have fun and be creative with it you know you have something awesome on your hands. I sat with him and showed him a few things like how to pick/change colors, brushes, and brush size. He didn’t quite get the idea of using layers, which makes perfect sense because when you’re 6 and used to working with markers and paper there are no layers. You just draw your thing and you color it in. Done.

If you have a minute please check out this video.

If you know me, you should know how uncomfortable I am talking to the camera, but I’d like to go a little deeper about my hang-up with digital art. When you’ve done something one way for 30 years it can be a bit of a challenge to change your ways. At a very young age I stopped drawing with pencils and only used ballpoint pens. It probably has something to do with commitment issues because using a pencil means you can erase what you don’t like. In other words, there is no commitment with a pencil. With a pen I forced myself to deal with whatever I put down on paper. If I drew a face and one eye was bigger than the other eye I had to deal with that imperfection. If I accidentally smeared the ink I would have to turn that smudge into something and work it into the drawing somehow. I’ve always loved this type of inventing and letting chance play a role in the creative process. Digital drawing throws all of that out the window because it’s so easy to erase or undo your last step. Just in the past week I’ve started to get over this hang up of mine and am trying really hard to think of erasing as a tool instead of a hindrance. Using the “undo” option as a benefit as opposed to seeing it as a handicap.

This probably seems obvious, but painting with a brush on a wood panel is different than using an apple pencil on the glass surface of an iPad. Even though I know they are different my problem is that I’ve been thinking of drawing apps this whole time as synonymous with painting. Sort of like how driving one car is practically the same exact experience as driving a different car. You might have to adjust the seat and mirrors, but the steering wheel works the same. The reality is that making digital art on an iPad is wildly different than painting on a wood panel or a canvas. Instead of throwing the two in the same category and thinking of them as being synonymous I should have been thinking that the two are synonymous with creating, not painting. Now that I’ve come to this realization it’s getting easier for me to embrace and enjoy making digital art. It’s a totally different beast and needs to be treated as such. Why am I talking about this? Because making art, whether digital or physical should always be fun. It can and should be challenging at times because that means you’re making progress, but it’s not supposed to make you frustrated or mad and that’s what drawing on the iPad was doing to me. It was making me mad, which is crazy because I love creating and making things. What it comes down to is this. I was using a hacksaw to do the job of a hammer. I was putting a band aid on my elbow when I had a skinned knee. I was boiling an egg when…oh, I don’t know, but you get the picture.

I’m not sure if you’ve had this or a similar hang-up, but the lesson here is something I got from watching Big Hero 6 last night. “Look for a new angle.” If it worked for Hiro it can work for me. Thanks, Tadashi.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

P.S. – Spoiler alert, but Tadashi should totally not have been killed. Freaking Disney!

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I know that was a lot, but if you’re not sick of me yet…
Follow on IG: @jeffclaassen
Subscribe to my channel, or at least watch some of my videos.

We’re Not Bringing That Fraudulent Shit

Nope, this is the Real Deal Holyfield.

We’re talking REAL cactus with REAL spikes.

And hey, while we’re here, we might as well promote something. After all, we do have bills to pay and food to eat and whatnot. Check it!

Yes, we are experimenting with our Viva Paso online shop and offering FREE shipping on ALL items. No coupon code or any B.S. Just straight up free shipping for you. Happy shopping!

In art news…
I haven’t been very productive lately, which bums me out, but I’ve been using the Procreate app on the iPad and it’s super awesome. For me, NOTHING (at least at this point in my life) could ever replace brushes, ink, paint, and wood, but those 4 things are not the most convenient items to carry around when you’re on the go. I mostly draw using the iPad during Elliott’s gymnastics class or late at night in bed while Coral is listening to an audio book or watching videos about WWII. She loves that stuff. Anyway, Procreate has this really cool feature where it records everything you draw and then you can export the file to your camera roll, email, etc. and have a time lapse of your drawing. It’s the easiest way I have ever seen to make an art time lapse. It’s amazing. Check out the video!

I hope that was worth your while. Thanks for reading/watching and have a great weekend!
– Jeff

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In case that wasn’t enough of me:
– check out my instagraham cracker: @jeffclaassen
– watch all the videos.
– And, of course, read all about The Bite Fight. It has nothing to do with me at all, but still.

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