Acrylic on canvas 24"X30"
Old pulp novel version.
I wish I had a better photo then these taken with my phone.
From time to time I have the opportunity to add another page in the continuing saga of the Bortnik family. I have been doing so for neigh on 10 years and it's always a project that I look forward to. Thanks to Bob and Robyn.
A Cabernet Sauvignon with legs. Label design by Gaelan Kelly
I'm happy to announce that I am (finally) showing my collection of fictional maps!
Twelve maps are on display now at the Humming Bird Saloon in Columbia Cit (they also have shuffleboard!)
This project began as a collection for the enjoyment of my kids. For each new book we read together I would make a map from the book; for the books I read were well known for the maps they included on their inside jackets. This process involved finding an old black and white scan from preferably the first edition of a book. I would then painstakingly paint on top of the reproduction to add color and dimension. Finally, I go back with a fine point pen to reestablish important details and flourishes. Not the same process I have used for the original maps I have created in the past but I needed to retain the familiarity that these maps would have with their readers. And with me for that matter.
First up (way back last year) was The Hobbit and it's corresponding map of Middle Earth. My kids and I could track Bilbo and the Dwarves along their path to the Lonely Mountain. Then came Treasure Island! One can't read about Jim, Long John and Old Ben Gunn without a treasure map! ...And things kind of snowballed from there. After a while I started expanding beyond what I was reading to my children to things I was reading (or had read). Things like H.P. Lovecraft, and Jules Verne then eventually to classic monster movies.
I have more then what is on display at the Hummingbird Saloon (many!) but framing is expensive so I opted to display those maps that got the project running in the beginning and would be most recognizable to non-fictional cartography junkies.
I hope you take the time to go check them out! -G
Recently I have begun accepting commissions for those that wish to have a few classic maps with a hand made touch. Interested parties can contact me here.
My Kids /
This Christmas I decided to do something I usually try to avoid, painting my kids. Kids are hard, especially one's own kids. They are all soft edges and cheeks plus the painting has to actually look like them! More daunting if you end up giving the painting to your mom. Like I did.
Today I received a lovely package from Michael Demetrus of Chicago's Finch Beer Company. It contained a few bottles of Michael's Fascist Pig Ale, Finch's newest beer with a label designed by Gaelan Kelly Creative! Description from the bottle:
"A deep red malt-forward ale brewed with plenty of caramel malts and a touch of rye. Brewed and dry-hopped with Palisade and Zythos hops."
I've always wanted to try my hand at a beer bottle and thanks to Michael I got the opportunity. Unfortunately this Ale is only available in Chicago and outlying areas but if you live in the windy city I recommend heading to your nearest pub and asking about it. You can also find bars and restaurants that carry Fascist Pig Ale at Finch's website.
Finally, a bit of insider trivia, the loud shirt that the Fascist Pig is sporting on the label is the same shirt Tony Montana wears in Scarface.
PS, Mick D is also a crossword constructor, you can find some of his killer crosswords in my links section.
Nostalgia is definitely an "it" thing these days. For better or worst most of us hold certain things from our past in a kind of religious regard, elevating even old toys to huge significance in our minds. Sometimes it leeks out when we least expect it, "They can't remake The Karate Kid! That movie is art for cristsake!". I'm definitely guilty of this, I've saved all my old toys from when I was a kid and now they are being played with by my kids. I have to say it does feel like a little piece of me dies every time one of my children pops the head off an old Star Wars guy.
There is a second layer of reverential nostalgia at play for many of us and certainly with me. The place I grew up, the neighborhood I spent my entire childhood and all the explorations, mock-battles, forts, races and treasures that were a part of that place. For me, my siblings and the other kids in the neighborhood (that I'm still in contact with), I've made a map of all our childhood haunts (though not our teen haunts). I've tried to include all the geographical names I could remember as well as any points of interest that I could recall.
Obviously I'm doubling-down on that whole reverential nostalgia thing here.
This is who I see in my head when I listen to NPR these days... PART 2! I had such a great reaction to part 1 in this series and want to thank everyone who sent me messages and shared it with their friends.
The fact is that the folks at NPR have difficult names to spell (this coming from someone named Gaelan). So it's probably no suprise to anybody that after I had finished with the drawings I needed to go online to find the correct spelling and fill in the names. This was (for the most part) the first time I actually saw what these NPR personalities really looked like. Turns out their photos are all over NPR.org, huh, who knew?
So, once again sorry in advance, but between you and me... I understand why they say "If you must choose between printing the legend or the truth, print the legend." Zing!...*sigh.
A final thought: I still can't find what this "Tori Malateo" character looks like. The dude is an enigma wrapped in a riddle topped with a catchy nick-name.
UPDATE: It's Torey Malatia! See what happens when you search a wrong spelling? I blame Google, and myself... And society.