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EnginArtists Myke Amend, Steve Brook, and Todd Cahill are building a massive wind, steam, and solar powered mechanical sculpture.
349 backers pledged $12,267 to help bring this project to life.

The Painted Parts

Though we're trying to keep a lot of the great things in this project under wraps, it stands to reason that keeping it all *too* secret, can get in the way of all the fund-raising we need to do.

And since I have yet to tell anyone about my ideas for the painting, I figured I might go a bit more into that, since the name "The Infernal Device" could have any number of meanings, and bring any number of visions to mind for the reader.

The painting for "The Infernal Device", is a sort of Marriage of Heaven and Hell, to be done in Flemish hand (Bosch, Breughel), but instead applying the classical/romantic concept to mankind's trek into, through, and beyond the industrial revolution... all of which with a speculative fiction/steampunk feel, in right to left repeating fashion...

Needless to say, this is going to be an awesome challenge, and I am really looking forward to it.

I'll be painting this one in acrylic, due to time constraints, especially with all the time I am bound to spend just trying to raise funds for the rest of the piece.... which sounds strange to most, as people tend to think acrylics are not as spectacular as oils are.

Though I really love oils for their blends and the ease at getting vivid and luminescent coloring - very few of my works are in oil. Many people end to be pretty surprised when I tell them this, having been certain they were staring at an oil painting...

Growing up poor and having little money for supplies (let alone being without any great art programs in public schools), I worked very, very hard to emulate the works of my favorite artists - never knowing how much more simple oils would make that task... in earlier years not really knowing that these works were done in oils. So, I frustrated myself night after night, working hard to figure out, to train my hand how to get the sort of smooth gradients and blending, the sort of fantastic realism, seen in the many paintings I loved.

In over a decade of painting, from early high school into my twenties, I learned to move my brush quickly, to add more water, to always keep the surface and brush wet and I moved paint around and blended it together. I also learned how to very gradually change colors and shade in microscopic-thin layers, as did I learn how the perils of losing luster through laying down layers and colors in the wrong order. I trained my hand and eye on the finest of details, micro-thin one-hair thick brushes making for the last fifty to a hundred hours on any given piece - and I dedicated myself to that detail:making each tiny object within any painting its own individual work of art.

Since then, I've learned to do oils as well, and to do them properly - with the same attention to detail, surface quality, and archival quality as my other paintings. However - I also find that often, the painting wants to be born right away, with very few delays - and the sorts of drying agents I would need to that purpose would leave me uncertain that the work could last into the next few hundred to a thousand years, as I would prefer.

So, I work on one oil piece, in the time that I turn out five or more pieces in other media, so I can allow proper curing time, and lay down fat over lean as intended without too many uncertainties in the mix.

This pieces if going to be outdoors, and exposed to varying degrees of moisture, it will need to be on a surface suitable to not dry rot or mold, and it will have to have a proper varnishing and UV coating, if it is to serve its purpose for the next 100 years (though we would really love to see it hide from the sun for a thousand years in a museum), we need to take these things into account.

What I will be offering however, is a chance to see another modern painting, with the attention to quality and detail found before these modern days of fast food art, that you probably won't believe was done in acrylic paints...

This is the spirit of Steampunk: Marrying the old with the new, longing for the days of quality and pride in every piece of work, with engineering and art intermingled as one.

Thank you for reading - and I *do* hope you will become a part of this project, and encourage others to do the same. I desire nothing more than to make a beyond-amazing work of art for you, and for future generations as well.

Thank you for making this happen,

- Myke Amend


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