Mad About Cartoons

Bill Wray is trying to make the transition fine art but is known as a cartoonist, a background painter/ Art director and sometimes animation director. This will be the place he post his ocasional animation and cartooning work and also be a place to bitch or wax sentimentally about cartoons in general. It’s been a love and hate relationship for many years and the long journey may not be quite over.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Elvis Impersonator unfinished





Here is me taking a wack at wacky cartoon style oil painting. This is only a small part of a bigger painting based on an A Greek Elvis impersonator playing at a local park in Sierra Madre. It's funny how if I work in brown tones my stuff ends up looking a little like Glenn Barr. That’s one of the reasons I don't do the Juxpose thing. I feel like I was one of the granddaddies of it, yet no gallery knows it and I don't want to start at the bottom and put in years into selling to get to where Glen is. The subjects I would have love to have done: Mary Blair meets the Flintstones , crossed with Big Daddy Roth, Frenching Robert Mc Ginnis have been done well by others. I'd be coming into a world I helped get started with Ren and Stimpy and seem like a was copping everyone else. That's why I decided to do the modern landscape thing. I wanted to try something new and also work hard at it and learn and explore a different see of my brain.

19 Comments:

Blogger Brothergrimm said...

I never realized you had this blog until you mentioned it. I'm not big on the babies (I don't care for cartoon babies much anyway), but I am a fan of the ONE Korgoth cartoon I saw (are any more coming?), and I love the cartoonish Elvis. I don't think I've seen cartoon realism in oil much before, so kudos there.

9:01 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Check out Glenn Barr, but he does use acrylics. Not that there is anyting wrong with that. there are a buch of folks doing it, not many well... but why sling mud? I like Joe Soren.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Brothergrimm said...

Wow, those two are cool. I especially love Barr's "Dissention Hotel", although I thought it was funny he thought to includ the little micro waves emanating from the satellite dish. I wouldn't be so keen on Soren's bodies if it weren't for the creepy baby-faces with beady eyes. I love whn pictures seem like they should look cute but have something intentionally seriously wrong with the physical appearance of their characters (despite my love for realism).

1:06 AM  
Blogger Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

Hey Bill, great to see some of your new cartoon stuff! I see what you mean with the JUXTAPOZ-thing, and it's a bad thing that your cartoon art doesn't get the respect it really deserves...there's so much bad art out there that DOES get respect it doesn't deserve...IMO you're in the top 5 of all the "JUXTAPOZ"-artists...

3:33 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Glenn is amazing. Joe makes you think he could draw well if he wanted to... that's all that matters.

4:35 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey thor,

If I wanted it bad enough, I chould get a good position in the painted Cartoon world, it just seems to hard to do the easy thing... I don't know if that makes any sense...

4:37 PM  
Blogger murrayb said...

Interesting, I always wondered why I never saw your work in Juxtapoz.
Anyways, I don't understand this weird vinyl statue making, gallery showing, Hipster aspect of art(seems mostly tied to animation) being as far away from the LA scene as is geographically possible on this continent. I'll occassionally buy the magazine, But I'm a big nerd. Are rich hipster geeks buying the actual art? Are juxtoposers finally living up to this ideal?
Not that $ is everyone's measure of sucess, Just curious. Hell, I recently read ayn rand's "the fountainhead" and got depressed we have to fight tooth and nail for the privilege to make filler for cereal and toy commercials.

- I love your plein air/photo reference paintings, but I've never had anything meaningful to say about them other than "wow","great"or"feels lonely". You could merge your two blogs,and put a cartoon figure in them, sort of a post post post modernism/neo impressionism(see? I told you I had nothing meaningful to say)

-Have you ever tried digital painting? (I assume you hate it, being able to paint "for real".)

- Korgoth was great, Nice to see some quality stuff.You guys really managed to pull off the tounge in cheek frazetta feel.I really hope it gets picked up soon.

-Would it be presumptuous to request some hellboy jr. production art/sketches?

Ok, Ill shut up now.
Long time fan, Murray Bain

8:45 PM  
Blogger Brothergrimm said...

I love Ayn Rand! The Fountainhead is really wordy, though, and can get extremely tedious to keep up with the message. I go for Atlas Shrugged more.
If I didn't already claim the Anthropologist Jolly Roger as my symbol, I probably would have picked one with a dollar sign in it.

11:01 PM  
Blogger S.G.A said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:56 PM  
Blogger S.G.A said...

I am sure you are well appreciated,
Glenn Barr is OK , but I saw him always as a second rate Bil Wray.
he's got his own thing but I alway s think Ken kelly when I see his stuff.
I say go for it .
You have it all over these other guys,
Alot of this Juxtapoz stuff is a real yawn.
Show 'em how it's done Mr. Wray!
No shit!

10:01 PM  
Blogger S.G.A said...

Artists know who you are ,... They are copying you.
How can those cut rate versions be better than the real thing.

Get yourself that gallery money $$$$$ an give us all great stuff to look at!
Juxtapoz fuxtapoz

10:06 PM  
Blogger Gabriel said...

shit, I didn't know this blog existed. I like your serious one a lot, Bill, but I always missed your cartoony stuff!

6:34 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Murray, I got quite a lot out of what you said feel free to blather on anytime. Certainly my art is evolving and maybe it will ultimately be a combination of both worlds. It seems inevitable as I get bored easily. I'm a big fan Of Jack Levine, he mixes both real and cartoon and come out with a great social commentary.

3:58 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

SGA,
I have to take exception with you. I know your heart is in the right place, but the last thing I want to do is put Glen Down in anyway. I hired him on R and S simply because he was already great. Lots of people did the painted cartoon thing before me. I love his work. I just feel in general it's to tough for me to mine the old world of sixties media in any kind of a fresh way. He did that so well, then sort of evolved his own thing out of it. I tried to join the games a years or two ago and I failed to get myself excited enough to pursue it, I just can't do cartoon paintings for $150 untill I'm known, it's to demoralizing. that not Glenn's fault, it's mine.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

Yeah, now that you mentioned it: I see the Jack Levine-influence in this piece...

3:39 AM  
Blogger bajel said...

i like this discussion i cant wait too see what happens with your stuff bill wray cause i love both. i also really like glenn barr and joe sorren though i think they're pretty different. and it is crazy how a nice oil painting can add to that kind of stuff. acrylic is awesome and drys fast and those guys colors are amazing, but i have to say i think joe sorrens stuff took a step up when he went with oils. juxtopose has kind of turned into a sears catolouge for me, or a people magazine of "urban(or whatever)" art, though theres still a handfull of interesting stuff. i'd like to hear more about who you like in this 'cartoony', for lack of a better word maybe, genre. i was alwayse into charles bragg, philip guston also i like that jack levine. i was also fond of natalie ancencios, havent seen much of her stuff in a while though, also this australian guy Shawn Tan, he is awesome. anyway found this stuff interesting so i ranted on a friday morning. thanks your stuff is awesome..

11:34 AM  
Blogger DrSpecter said...

I love Glenn Barr, and look at Haunted Paradise constantly. His brush-work is just amazingly loose and energetic, while his paintings remain very well-composed. There's definitely a similarity in style with the above, but I'd love to see a Juxtapoz devoted to your work. That mag has been sort of hard-up for material, and it's just long over-due. And when you look at it, Ryden and Schorr aren't exactly night and day in terms of technique.

I come at it from the other direction-- I'm an animator who wants to revitalize animation with some B-movie/lowbrow aesthetics. And yes, the first year of Ren and Stimpy did it beautifully! And the Samurai Jack BG's have been an inspiration. You're the drinking man's Maurice Noble!

5:50 PM  
Blogger cvxv said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:12 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I'm beginning to find a definition of the juxtapoze thingee stuff... anyhow.

I really like the kind of lost expression on the face of the elvis impersonator - impersonating something that he will never be and stuff.

I wonder if anyone here has seen "Bubba Ho-Tep", where the real Elvis at the age of about sixty or so has to live the life of an Elvis impersonator and... pretty complicated story. But a great film.

6:29 PM  

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