Monthly Archives: January 2013

Nothing Ever Stays the Same and Nothing’s Explained in Progress

Here it is with the sign painted. I didn’t paint the lights on the front of the arrow yet. Sign Painted Only Brian Higbee

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Filed under Painting

Nothing Ever Stays the Same and Nothing’s Explained in Progress

Here’s a photo of the progression of the sign painting that I’m working on. This is the first stage and it involves using thinned ultramarine blue oil paint to cover the background that is going to be black. Today I’m going to finish painting the sign and when I’m done, I’ll paint the background with black that I make using Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. After I paint the background black, I’ll use a balled-up T-shirt to flatten the brush strokes and create a muted surface.

Sign Blue Only Brian Higbee

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Nothing Ever Stays the Same and Nothing’s Explained Watercolor, If I should Die Before You Do and From the Light Above

I made a watercolor study today of a photograph of a lit up sign. I took the photograph a couple of summers ago at a county fair back in Pennsylvania;It’s sitting on top of a roof and it doesn’t say anything which is what I like about it. I’ve taken a lot of photographs over the years of empty signs but this is the first one I’ve decided to paint. I did paint a sign from China called The Message Was Clear but I actually took the numbers and chinese characters out of the photograph in the final composition in order to make the sign empty for the painting. I made the watercolor study today because I’m thinking about making a larger oil on canvas version and I wanted to figure out how much black I want to use;I think that I’m going to black out the reflection of the light on the roof and only paint the sign. I’m also going to black out any background information since it will only distract from the light.

This painting reminds me of From the Light Above and also of If I Should Die Before You Do which I also made a watercolor study for but was destroyed by flies. Below is the watercolor from today called Nothing Ever Stays the Same and Nothing’s Explained, From the Light Above and If I Should Die Before You Do study and final painting.

Sign on Roof Watercolor By Brian Higbee

From the Light Above by Brian HigbeeIf_I_Should_Die_Before_You_Watercolor-Brian-Higbee If_I_Should_Die_Before_You-Brian-Higbee

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F-117 and 300+ Predator Drone Stencils

I made 2 stencils yesterday that I want to use to spray paint around my neighborhood. I see a lot of graffiti around but most of the time I think that it doesn’t seem to mean anything. I want to put something out there  that at least might make people think and not just be a cool looking design or my name. I started with the F-117 stencil. This is an image that I’ve used before many years ago. I painted one that was silver on silver. It turned out well but it was impossible to photograph. I also used the F-117 for The Shadow. The F-117 is a US Military Stealth Fighter and is used for its ability to strike while remaining undetected. It was widely used in Iraq. The second stencil I made was the Predator Drone. I later added the 300+ which is the amount of air strikes that the Obama administration has carried using Predator Drones on the Pakistani people. Here are some statistics from Wikipedia:

  • Total reported killed: 2,586 – 3,375
  • Civilians reported killed: 472 – 885
  • Children reported killed: 176

It’s cold out now so I’m not sure how many stencils I’ll actually make out on the street. We’ll see. These were made in the stairwell where I live.

F-117 StencilPredator Drone 300+ Stencil

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Filed under Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, Painting

The Birds of Extinction (North America) Target Linoleum Prints

In 2011, Artcodex, a collective that I’m part of, decided to make a zine called Flat Screen TV for a show down at Space 1026 in Philadelphia. The zine dealt with “narratives of extinction, parasitism and symbiosis, and hermaphroditism” and I decided that for the project I wanted to make a series of large fold out targets used for shooting practice that depicted extinct birds from North America. I used to be a printmaker and I was interested in finding a project to try linoleum cutting out on since I had never really tried it before. This was the perfect opportunity so I bought a linoleum cutter and some linoleum blocks and got to work. The first block I cut, a carrier pigeon, was a failure due to its lack of detail so I searched for birds with more intricate patterns. As I progressed I got better and better at controlling the blades of my tool and was able, in the end, to create very detailed relief cuts. I printed each block as I went in order to find a print that I could use for the final poster. I had decided in the beginning that it would be too difficult to actually cut out targets and lettering in the linoleum so I knew that the final product would be a combination of scanned hand printed relief prints mixed with computer generated graphics. I set out to find vintage targets to use as references for my posters;the best ones came from Sears Roebuck and I copied them so I could steal their formatting and target graphics. I decided to make 4 different centerfold posters so I designed them each with a different number of birds on them and with different kinds of targets on them. They were finally printed at 11″x17 and put in the centerfold of the zine. I’m not sure how these pieces fit in with the rest of my work and the prints themselves, without the targets, really aren’t that interesting to look at. Here are the 4 target posters:

Black Mamo Dusky Seaside Sparrow Eskimo Curlew Heath Hen

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Filed under Drawing/Works on Paper

The Black Box (Downing of Air Force One) and Epicenter City (Detail)

This is a photograph of The Black Box (Downing of Air Force One) that I took a long time ago and forgot about until I found it on the web. The_Black_Box_Detail_Brian_Higbee_Associated_Artists_for_Propaganda_Research The effect was made by accident because of the focus on my camera. The same effect happened in the detail shot of The Wall.  What I like about it is that it blurs the foreground and the background which is a technique that photographers use to make their photographs look like model landscapes. It’s called Diorama  Effect and it’s an easy effect to produce and creates some interesting photographs. I’ve often thought about photographing my model landscapes like this but have always decided not to. The reason I don’t is because then the photograph becomes art as well and the relationship between documentation and art become blurred and complex. I try and photograph my work so that it is as accurate of a representation of the work as possible. Below, just for fun, I used the Diorama Effect on a detail shot of Epicenter City. Epicenter_City Detail_2_Brian_Higbee_Associated_Artists_for_Propaganda_Research

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Filed under Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, Sculpture, Small Scale Model