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All images, photos, and video excluding advertising and google generated content, or unless otherwise labeled, are Copyright Jephyr (Jeff Curtis). All Rights Reserved.

These images are not in the public domain. Contact me for licensing terms and pricing.

Unauthorized or unlicensed use for all commercial and personal applications is prohibited.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jephyr's Newest Digital Painting: "Doc"


A while back I made a very quick digital sketch of a character.

As with a lot of my concepts, I really didn't have an idea in mind as I did itand though it was very loose and unrefinedthere was something I kind of liked about him.

I saved the sketch to a folder (and named the character "Doc") and periodically I would open that sketch in my software, fire up my Wacom Intuos stylus, and tinker around with itpainting a little here and there.

I admit thatalthough I generally liked the characterit was a struggle to "bring him to life".

Recently, though, I was getting closer and closer to feeling like I had him completedand one day while I worked on him, I moved the software interface over as I attended to something else.

 When I looked back at my digital painting it seemed that "Doc" was peering at me around other windows I had open on my computer.

So I decided to paint a wall or column he's looking around (and add his hand resting on it), and felt this was the final piece of the "puzzle"making the over-all image WAY more powerful.

"Doc" - Work In Progress Digital Painting - Copyright, 2016 - Jephyr! - All Rights Reserved
"Doc" - Work In Progress Digital Painting - Copyright, 2016 - Jephyr!


My hero, the late Frank Frazetta, defended his decision to work on paintings until he was satisfied that they were "done", even AFTER he'd sold the rights to a publisher and they'd achieved a lot of acclaim.

Though, I cannot put myself in the same company as Frazetta when it comes to my skill right now (but I'm working on it...SERIOUSLY), I'll reserve the right to call what I'm presenting today a "work in progress" and may continue to paint on Doc until I feel he is "finished."

Anyway...I'll share him now as seen at the top of this postand will update here down the road if I work on him some more.

Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at Doc.

See you soon!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Student's Modern Art Museum Glasses Prank

Buzzfeed article:  A teenage prankster has fooled scores of art lovers into believing his glasses were a modern masterpiece in a hilarious stunt at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

As someone who has spent years dedicating myself, first to becoming a musician...and now a visual artist...I am continually amazed by how easily some people are fooled by "art".

For some reason, the average person is not as easily fooled by what "music" is.

If someone takes musical instruments and simply smashes them with a sledge-hammer and stomps on them with their feet...very few might be convinced that it was "music"...or would consider spending money on a recording of it...or would rush to plunk down their hard earned moolah for a night at a "concert" of it.


And yet...for some reason the human eye/mind is more easily "tricked" by those in the "visual" arts.

Photo from Buzzfeed article:
Photo from Buzzfeed article:

Give someone a canvas...and have them randomly toss paint at it...and far too many peeps will stand around and study it...searching for its "deeper" meaning.

Or if an "artist" goes to Toys-R-Us...buys a doll and smears it with...umm...whatever...and it winds up in a museum...a crowd (figurative and otherwise) will stand around and ooh and aah...and talk about how brave, daring and innovative the "artist" is.

Would any of us take the same approach with music?  Would we applaud a guy sitting at a coffee house making guttural grunts and noises, and pounding on a guitar without any strings...and talk about how meaningful and deep his "music" is??

This may happen in some circles...but for the large majority of us...this would be madness!

I even knew a fellow artist once, who vigorously argued the merits of an "artwork", when we were looking at a "painting" in which the artist had only painted the entire canvas an ugly, dark brown and then slashed a black scrawl across it with a large brush. 


Even later when some of the FAMOUS people creating this kind of "art" admit they are pulling a "joke" on the well-meaning art crowd...their status as an "artist" remains changed.

I'll NEVER understand it.

And I'm always telling everyone who will listen that  the King isn't wearing any clothes!!!

Photo from Buzzfeed article:
Photo from Buzzfeed article:

To illustrate this point:

Buzzfeed has published a story about a teen, TJ Khayatan, 17, who was unimpressed by most of the modern "art" that he'd just seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

"Khayatan told BuzzFeed [...] that one example in particular puzzled them.

'We stumbled upon a stuffed animal on a gray blanket and questioned if this was really impressive to some of the nearby people,' he said.

Photo from Buzzfeed article:
Photo from Buzzfeed article:

It was then that the teens decided to put a pair of glasses on the floor facing the room, to see how people would react."

According to the Buzzfeed article museum patrons were soon gathered around the "artwork"...some even taking photos of it.

"On Monday, Khayatan posted [pics of the stunt] to Twitter and got a very strong reaction from people. The pics quickly went viral, and have over 32,000 retweets and 36,000 likes to date."  [As of May 25, 2016] 

No doubt...there are some who are so committed to "modern" art...that this stunt (and Buzzfeed's article and THIS post about it) has enraged you.

To that I can only offer my deepest sympathies!

: ) 
Photo from Buzzfeed article:
Photo from Buzzfeed article:

Thanks for stopping by!


Please come by my Show every Thursday all summer long...where I take a chain saw to a pile of stringed instruments.

Critics have described the "music" as simply "breathtaking"!!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jephyr's Public Art Installation In Tempe, Arizona


Another summer is almost upon us here in the desert...but it has been a very cool perhaps that'll mean good things for my cooling bill over the next few months.

: P


I'm getting caught up after another busy semester or two...and wanted to share some great news that I hadn't posted here yet.


Photo of David Higley, Ashley Bernnardo, and Jephyr's Public Art Sculpture in the City of Tempe
Photo of David Higley, Ashley Bernnardo, and Jephyr's Public Art Sculpture in the City of Tempe

Last year I took a sculpture class at  Mesa Community College (MCC) and our instructor,
Sandra Luehrsen, made an announcement that the platForm Public Art Installation Program was looking for student proposals.

So I partnered with two other students from that class, David Higley and Ashley Bennardo, and we created a sculpture design and submitted a proposal for it.

Photo of David Higley, Ashley Bernnardo, and Jephyr's Public Art Sculpture in the City of Tempe
Photo of David Higley, Ashley Bernnardo, and Jephyr's
Public Art Sculpture in the City of Tempe

 platFORM is described on the City of Tempe website as "a public art program in partnership with the Cities of Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Surprise that gives currently-enrolled Arizona student-artists the opportunity to create artwork for temporary showcase in public places.

platFORM aims to prepare emerging artists for future public art opportunities and to gain a wider exposure for their work"

Our proposal was accepted by the City of Tempe, and we were given and we were given a $3,000.00 Grant.  David Higley oversaw construction of our design during the summer of 2015.

The completed sculpture was installed  September 2015 at the new Bike Corral at the Tempe Beach Park on the corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway near ASU, and will be in place through September 2016.

You can read more about our project and see additional photos of it here:

City Of Tempe - Website Info On Our platFORM Installation

MCC's Newspaper ran a news release about our platFORM sculpture as well and you can see that here:

MCC - Mesa Legend Newspaper Article

The sculpture is 8’ Tall - On a 30 x 30” triangular base and is made from Dyed Concrete, Glass, Steel, with LED Lights and Solar Panels to power it after the sun goes down.

If you live in the area...please stop by and check it out....and if you do please let me know in the comments below.


Thanks as always for stopping by!

See you soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jephyr's Photoshop Pics Chosen For The Spring Student Art Show


I normally attend Mesa Community College, but as I inch closer to my degree I'm in a bigger hurry to take the classes I need.

After a "Grad Check", I had a short list of classes I'd need to finish my Fine Art and Digital Illustration degrees.

Before the Spring semester I was down to just two Computer Art classes but I couldn't work out taking them at MCC, so I expanded my search of other Maricopa Community Colleges that it's part of.

I did find one, a Photoshop class I needed at Chandler/Gilbert Community College.  I'd never even been there so I drove there one day and discovered it wasn't much further from me than MCC.  So I registered and the next thing I knew I was taking a class for the first time at another college in the system.

It turned out to be a really good experience.  I felt rejuvenated taking a class where I felt unknown, and like I could have a "clean slate" as far as past expectations.  Not that I've ever really had a problem at MCC...but though I can't explain it...that's how I was feeling.

Over-all I had a very good experience, learned a lot, and added to my portfolio. 

Anyway, I hope to be able to share more about the semester in other posts but I'll get on with today's.


I was very honored to have two of my class projects from this semester chosen by my instructor, Robert Burget, to be included in the 2016 Chandler/Gilbert Student Art Show which I'll share below.

"Desert Dreams" - Photograph/Tryiptych - Copyright 2016, Jephyr

Above:  Our instructor asked us to create a Triptych using our Photography.  Since I'd spent a good portion of 2015 shooting photos all over Arizona I put this series of images together.

The awesome guy in the center is "Teton Ken" who I met at an exhibition at the Superstition Mountain Museum north of Apache Junction, Arizona, in 2015.   He plays a prospector and totally looks the part...and was a lot of fun to talk to!  

The landscape to the left is a distant view of the nearby Weaver's Needle, and to the right is a view of the Superstition Mountains...which come complete with a history of gold mining and the legend of the Lost Dutchman's Mine. 

ART 270 - Photographic Process Imitation - Woodbury Type Cabinet Card - Copyright 2016 - Jephyr
ART 270 - Photographic Process Imitation - Woodbury Type Cabinet Card - Copyright 2016 - Jephyr

Above:  This second image is from our Historical Photography Process Project where we were asked to research old photography methods, choose one, and create an imitation of it.

I found myself really drawn to a process called a Woodbury Type, which was widely used between 1864 and 1910.  It created rich, warm single toned images, mostly in shades of brown, and was often used in printing "Cabinet Cards" which people of the time gave to each calling cards or for advertisements and so on.

I imitated Cabinet Cards like those I'd seen from that era...and added a saying like ones often found on the originals...although I couldn't resist adding a touch of humor.

: )


Well, that's it for now, thanks as always for stopping by!

See you next time!