jump to navigation

Art August 17, 2013

Posted by Sobek in Art.

Haven’t put up one of these posts in a while.

This one was for my youngest brother’s wedding.  He was married in October, 2009, and I gave it to him last July.


And here’s the one I’m working on for my older brother, who was married last summer.  The way I figure it, I have until 2016 to get it done.

I’m thinking about green and silver for this one, but I haven’t decided yet.  I started it several months ago, got the center design done, and the Hebrew text, and then it sat in storage until two nights ago when I finally had some inspiration again.  It comes in fits and starts.


1. Sobek - August 17, 2013

Oh, this one that I’m doing now is the last that I have to do for a sibling wedding present, and then I’m free at last (note to siblings: if you get divorced and re-married, you don’t get another one). Mrs. S recommends I start selling them. I don’t know if it would be worth it, what with how long they take.

2. Pupster - August 17, 2013


3. Tushar - August 17, 2013

Sobek, beautiful as usual.
It is one thing to sell something you already have, but making them for the purpose of selling may not be lucrative. The effort that goes into this is immeasurable. Now, if someone is offering hundreds of thousands of dollars…..

4. daveintexas - August 17, 2013

I like the horseys

5. Retired Geezer - August 17, 2013

I’m thinking you could get a sponsorship from Pilot(tm) Pens.

6. geoff - August 17, 2013

Perhaps changing the medium would up the sales price. Blood on human skin, for example…

7. Sobek - August 17, 2013

Geoff, you’re a disturbed man.

8. Michael - August 17, 2013

Yes, Geoff, you are sick to suggest skin as a medium.

I’m thinking Sobek should graduate to velvet as his medium, depicting Elvis (of course) doing the walk-like-an-Egyptian pose, surrounded by minutely detailed Coptic renderings of the lyrics for “Love Me Tender,” and geometric designs signifying royalty like scepters and crowns. That would sell.

9. geoff - August 17, 2013

Well, they kind of remind me of what illuminations of the Necronomicon ought to look like.

thirdnews - August 17, 2013

geoff Abdul, I told you to stop time-traveling -it screws up the time continuum ;-(

10. thirdnews - August 17, 2013

why the hell doesn’t HTML work!!!!

11. geoff - August 17, 2013

Well, they kind of remind me of what illuminations of the Necronomicon ought to look like.

I mean that in a totally good way, BTW. I always thought that if you were writing a book as important as the Necronomicon, you ought to have classy illuminations full of geometric secrets, rather than macabre illustrations or just a bunch of pentangles.

12. Sobek - August 17, 2013

Hey, you guys remember that one time Dave opened up the Necronomicon? That was cool.

13. Tushar - August 17, 2013

>>you guys remember that one time Dave opened up the Necronomicon?

Vividly. The opening of the Necronomicon summoned Cthulhu. Thankfully Cthulhu saw Dave and Rosetta having an intimate moment, said, “Eff that”, and crawled back into R’lyeh.

14. daveintexas - August 17, 2013
15. lauraw - August 17, 2013

You have a set of rules for creating these pieces. Have you verbalized them?

16. daveintexas - August 17, 2013

have you figured out sales taxes?

17. Sobek - August 18, 2013

Sort of. Also, I have rules, but rules are made to be broken.

1. They all have to have some foreign text as part of the structure. I broke this on the very first one I did, because this wasn’t really a series until #2 or #3. And #1 was so long ago, I wasn’t yet into exotic languages. I broke it again on #7, where the Japanese script is
a critical part, but not a structural part. #7 is really pretty far off-script.

2. I can’t repeat a language. I broke that rule as of # 5 (my second Arabic piece). That rule has pretty much been abandoned, as I’m at three for Arabic and I’m working on my fourth Hebrew. #3 was Italian, and I decided that Latin scripts don’t work out so well for my purposes.

3. Each has to have one (and only one) color other than black. I broke that on #1, which was only black and white, and then again on #6, which had blue, green and purple. #9 had silver and red, but the red was very minimal. #11 will have green and silver, and I’ll keep them minimal, too, I think. #7 was black and white, unless you count grey from where I brushed on a very thin wash of ink.

4. Don’t repeat a color. Broke that on #6 when I included blue, and it’s pretty much out the window.

5. Keep the piece unified. This is hard to quantify, but I know when I’ve broken it. The different elements have to work with each other, rather than be just a few designs that happen to be on the same piece. I had a really hard time with this on #10 (the horse one, above) for a long time, after I had the horses and the cuneiform text, and I couldn’t think of anything that would fit the theme and also look unified. I’m very happy with the final result, but it was hard to achieve.

6. Keep the right balance of light, medium and dark density. This was the sticking point with #9. I had a cool star pattern made from the negative space that I liked a lot, but it made too much white space, and the whole piece suffered as a result. I had to bite the bullet and put in some dark patches, and the whole thing was transformed. I knew I had made the right decision, even though I lost my star in the process.

7. The biggest question mark for the “rules” is knowing when to stop. I always reach a point where I think, “am I done here? I have no idea.” Maybe adding a new element would improve it, or maybe it would screw everything up and make it too busy, or destroy the light/dark balance. And of course, that’s a terrifying question after you’ve put 100 hours of effort into something. #11 (my work in progress) isn’t close to done, that much I can tell, but sooner or later I’ll have to ask myself that question, and probably more than once.

It’s happened often that I’ve said, “good, all done,” and then taken it back and added something else. I’ve never been unhappy with my decision to add something, because I can always tell if there’s something missing. But sometimes I don’t want to admit that, if I’ve been working on it forever and I’m tired and want to move on to something else.

8. Include elements from more than one religious tradition. Broke that one on 1 and 3. But I’m giving myself a pretty loose definition there, so that’s not so hard. I really want to teach myself the Sanskrit alphabet so I can do something in Sanskrit or Hindi, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I figure if anyone will be cool with me mixing religious traditions together wily nilly, it’s a Hindu.

18. Retired Geezer - August 18, 2013

Those are pretty cool rules.

Here’s something I identified with:

But sometimes I don’t want to admit that, if I’ve been working on it forever and I’m tired and want to move on to something else.

19. Skinbad - August 18, 2013

9. No dotting “i”s with little hearts.

20. Pupster - August 18, 2013

10. No fat chicks.

21. Tushar - August 18, 2013

Sobek is a rule breaking renegade. He did not leave a single one unbroken.

22. Sobek - August 18, 2013

I haven’t broken Rule 6 yet.

Another that I haven’t broken, but that I’m thinking about breaking, is the size requirement. These things tend to measure about 2 feet across, although some have been a little smaller. After I finish #11, I’m thinking about doing some much smaller ones, less than a foot.

I also haven’t broken Rule 10.

23. Tushar - August 19, 2013

Sobek, you have my enthusiastic support in mixing Hindu elements with others. I would support you less enthusiastically if the other religion is mostly known for being very peaceful.

24. Retired Geezer - August 19, 2013

First rule of Art Club: Don’t talk about Art Club.

25. lauraw - August 19, 2013

Very interesting, Sobek! I like your use of rules.

You’re leaving out some rules. I don’t think you’re avoiding verbalizing them, I think you take them for granted because they are organic expressions of your character.

Like about the symmetry. It is relentless. I love the symmetry, because it is so *you*; I hate the symmetry, because I am a symmetry-smasher in my own life whenever I get the chance.

It is something I can’t do. Precision, I can do. Symmetry? Every bit of me wants to unravel or smush a corner of it so it isn’t so perfect and rigid all the time.

But, it’s you. It’s Sobek art. A version of you.

26. Sobek - August 20, 2013

Symmetry is critical, but I broke that rule on #7 as well. There’s balance, but not symmetry.

27. Sobek - August 20, 2013

Also, no more than one language. I haven’t broken that rule.

Tushar, I throw in Islamic elements all the time. Muslims have made some amazing art.

28. For the Sake of Convenience… | Innocent Bystanders - August 20, 2013

[…] numbered my art pieces in my description of the rules, but I don’t think anyone but me knows which are which (or has seen them all), so here you […]

29. Tushar - August 20, 2013

Sobek, I said I would still support you, just less enthusiastically.

30. daveintexas - August 20, 2013

symmetry is for fags

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: