Linda Adair spends her days sketching, photographing model shoots and everything that goes into painting traditional oil paintings primarily in the SF/F genre in Sydney, Australia. In her spare time, this Chesley-nominated artist likes dancing, gourmet cooking and travelling with her husband and three kids. She has exhibited in the Main Show at IlluXcon 2014 in Allentown, PA and you can catch her again this year at that same show October 21st through 25th. She is available for commissions and is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for her new book Metal Etched Memories. Follow LInda at her website and on Facebook.
by Linda Adair
The Story of The Constant Man and METAL ETCHED MEMORIES
The Constant Man wasn’t a character so much as an ideal. An attentive and inquisitive being, journeying through time in search of the essence of what humanness is. I’ve been working on this particular theme over the past year and it has grown to become a fantastic journey. I’ve always loved imaginary realism and when I first began to work on this idea through a couple of paintings last year, the character of the Constant Man began to take on a life of his own and I realized that I just had to explore it further. From all of this came a series of paintings, pencil drawings and sketches, all of which I’ve collected into an art book titled Metal Etched Memories.
In the book there is also a short story telling of some of his memories, and it drives the narrative describing this perfect man. He is a gentleman and a scholar, an adventurer and connoisseur of the finest and most lovely of everything. The story touches on his many adventures as a handsome, mysterious, Casanova-type, with elements of noir, danger, high adventure and romance. In different era’s he finds himself in different countries, having adventures and making friends. Through these friendships he learns more about what it means to be human. I wanted to explore the world of the Constant Man as he experiences life over half a century through the many human encounters and adventures he embarks on. I hope readers can experience his struggle as he endeavors to preserve the many memories he has gained, or risk losing everything in one small moment in time. The book covers only a few decades in his journey, but there are more paintings and more stories to tell.
When creating the paintings, I usually start with a sketch in my moleskine sketchbook, and the sketches can be rather rough. So long as it has the setting and feeling that I’m trying to convey, with just enough to help me map out the setting, camera angle etc. that’s all I need. Sometimes if the original sketch is flowing I can pretty much get the feel of the piece right away. From there I can I set up a model photo shoot to capture the setting in more detail. These shoots are usually very informal as they’re intended to be used as a study. I’m not worried about perfection in the photos, and I tend to make props as needed with household items, just to get a better feel for the lighting and color of the final piece.
Once that is done I take the photos into Photoshop and do a rough Frankenstein-style piecing together with additional digital drawing on top to work out some of the potential problems with angles and lighting, feel and texture. For example, speaking of household items, I used the base of my chrome smoothie blender to help me capture the glint of light on metal to get the look of his head just right. After that, I might do a value sketch or color study in traditional materials. In this case, it was fairly straight-forward so I went directly into the oil painting.
Each of the paintings and drawings created for this book have been like putting a puzzle together, in that the art has informed and inspired the story. And through creating the story it has inspired further paintings. This has been one of the most fun and engaging projects I’ve worked on to date and I’m so happy that I can now share it with readers and art lovers everywhere. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will visit and back my Kickstarter project so I can publish the book and share this art and story with more people.