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The Golem of Prague
The Golem of Prague, 12"x 16", Oil on Paper on Masonite, 2013.
in August, at Gen Con Indy, I was approached by a man who was starting a
book called "Lands and Legends". It is a book of illustrations based
on various myths, legends and fantastic places, from all cultures
around the world. I was saying yes to his pitch in no time. There
was already a huge list of amazing illustrators involved and he had a
great financial plan for this book that would involve a Kickstarter
campaign. He had a list of ideas for various subjects that would meet
his criteria, as I glossed over the list, "The Golem of Prague"
jumped out at me and my mind was made up that this was my subject matter. The Golem has been a subject I have
wanted to paint since I came back from Prague four years ago. I went to
a service in the Old New Synagogue (depicted in the background of the painting) with my Wife and Father-In-Law,
knowing full well that what was left of the Golem was still living in
the attic above me.
was a tough challenge, I had to depict this story in a way which would
not come off as Anti-Semitic to the casual viewer. The story is, Rabbi
Loew created this Golem to protect his Jewish community from the
Christians who were accusing and killing them due to a rumor that the
Jews were committing Blood Libel. This was a completely false accusation, but
Christians were killing Jews nonetheless. Eventually, after saving many
people, the Golem stops working properly and it goes on a warpath. The
Rabbi turns the Golem off by rubbing one of the letters off it's
forehead, changing the phrase from "Truth" to "Death". I didn't want to
show Christians as being the victims of an awful monster gone haywire,
so I came up with a more delicate moment, when the Rabbi turns his
creation off, ending his relationship with a being he treated like a
child. I hope this came out looking true to the story, and interesting
as a composition.
Soon after I finished the Warhammer: Invasion pieces, I was asked to contribute to the Valar Dohaeris deck in the Game of Thrones LCG. The AD asked me to do a character card of Shireen Baratheon. She is the daughter of Stannis Baratheon and she has Greyscale on her cheek and neck. The AD wanted an image of her looking up at a giant at The Wall, and he wanted it from the perspective of the giant.
I am pretty obsessed with the Song of Fire and Ice series, so this was a true honor for me. This might be a fairly minor character, but just the idea that George R.R. Martin had to give the final OK on the image just makes me so happy.
This is a piece I painted for Fantasy Flight Games from about a year ago. It was painted for their "Escape from Mt. Gram" deck for their Lord of the Rings LCG. The description was just to depict a goblin ringing a bell of sorts made from the armor of past victims. I hadn't really done any evil creatures in a very long time, so I wanted to really show that I can handle the darker side of Lord of the Rings. Also, I had recently dove head first into Death/Black Metal music and I was really jonesin' for a good demonic painting to paint.
I had a great time working on the sketch, and the Art Director liked how it looked, so it was approved for the painting stage without any changes. As you can see, I kinda get a general composition worked out, but I do a good amount of improvising during the painting stage. Also, I don't do color comps too often. Like, never...since college. Of course I would, if the job called for it, but the colors are pretty much worked out …
For the past few months, I have been painting a bunch of small paintings of prehistoric creatures. I have always had a few small, more affordable paintings to sell at the conventions I attend, and this is my newest series. I feel like most people are not able to buy art at the prices artist ask, especially the big pieces, and they are forced to buy prints. Prints are great, I have quite a few myself, but they are nothing like the real thing. So I always make a more affordable series of paintings. Here are the Prehistoric Creatures I have painted so far:
These are all in order of when I created them. I just finished the Woolly Mammoth yesterday. I am currently working on another one, that will be unveiled in a couple days, but if there are any commission requests or interest in any of these that are still available, please contact me at email@example.com.