November 30, 2011

Calgary Journal Article + Window farms

Talk about timing....
I just finished teaching my canvas building workshop, and then yesterday's blog post ended off with my belief in integrity and quality craftsmanship when building a support for painting. Then I get this link from writer Hannah Kost...

Check out the article Here:

My two favourite bits:

"He helped give me that motivation because he's positive. He's patient and he's funny. He lives his life the way he wants to live his life. It's inspiring."
~Katie Dick (past participant)

"Batista's studio is full of his work, intricate oil paintings washed in gold and silver; the building is hushed, the wood floor scuffed and colour-stained. The quiet of the space is of great contrast to Batista himself, who is lively, engaging and quick."
~Hannah Kost


Today, I pledged to Kickstarter to support You should check it out, its pure genius. The low down: Basically it's an automated system to start growing a vertical garden in your window. Its perfect for everybody who likes to eat, you can grow it yourself with minimal effort and nearly everybody has a window where they live. We each need to reduce our carbon foot print, and save money here is a simple solution!

Go here to pledge: 

Ted Talks video:

Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment 

I can't wait until March 2012 when my columns arrive!


November 29, 2011

One happy customer!

Here is proof....

Well, another baby has left the roost. Cloridna got her commissioned painting, for her book cover. She brought her partner and little one down for a fun "mini show", ie. studio visit and freight elevator driver training for her son Jack. Jack asked if I could illustrate his book too ;)

I cant wait to see how this one turns out once it is in print!

Notice all the blank canvases in the background, I spent 5 hrs. on a roll stretching and applying gesso some new canvases. They take up the entire studio space.

I take a tremendous amount of pride in what I do. It is incredibly important that I create the best quality work i can. Even the sh*ttier aspects of my work need this same respect. Nobody really thinks about what is behind the image. I take the time and put for the the effort to build strong stable and well stretched surfaces with high quality weaves of 10 - 15 oz. canvas.

Its important, its also a lot of work. But then again, why spend 100 hours on some low quality surface. My art is my legacy, so it needs to be built tough so it will last.

To me this is like ART PORN! I get excited just thinking about the potential an the happiness each one of these brings =;) Then again, I am reminded by the fact that it'll still take me hours to finish the sanding and additional coats to get the surface just right.

November 28, 2011

Aboriginal Youth Canvas Building Workshop

My past week has been very full. I taught a two day canvas building workshop to aboriginal teens. This is the second installation of a project put together by USAY (Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth)
" Learn from a professional artist how to build your own canvases.  This free 2 day workshop gives participants the materials and the opportunity to learn the skills for canvas building and to mingle with some like-minded artists.
Participants receive bus tickets, lunch and snacks both days, and get to walk home at the end of the 2 days with the canvases they build!"

 Here is Artist Jesse Gouchey <-- (click here to see his work) stretching some canvases.

What an awesome opportunity, USAY generously provided this course for free and the participants get to take away the primed canvases they've stretched!  USAY also brought us lunch and all the tools and equipment necessary to run the workshop. I provided the space and know how. The Calgary Journal's writer Hanah Kosst did a story on us, so keep a look out for it.


There must be something in the air ;)


 The Underground Art Show went very well, for me. I got tons of positive feedback but only this one picture. There are a bunch of people around my work. I also made some new acquaintances.

This morning, I got a bunch of positive emails and messages, must be the wake of my show?  This great note from a fellow artist and friend today on my FB artist page:

"Brian BATISTA IS A BRILLIANT and STRONG VISIONARY. Whose VISIONS have SPLENDID EFFECT on the VIEWER creating a sense of CALM and EASE whether it be video, sculptural or works done on canvas and paper Brian's work is always stimulating in a POSITIVE WAY. His COLORS are JOYFUL, VIBRANT and INVIGORATING. His Subject matter COMPELLING CHECK OUT HIS WORK"
-Richard Rossetto
 and this from Karl Withak Schmauder
"Awesome stuff man...the colors, the detail...the story...amazing detail..really spot on...keep up the funtastic work."
 I will !  (That is as long as I can eat an have a roof over my head)

November 22, 2011

Glenbow Presentation +++

+ Well, I dropped off my artwork to the Inside Gallery for the "Outside the Box" Show happening this Thursday evening @ 1407, 11th Ave SW. Be there! 

+ I awoke to some good news, I got the show I applied for at the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts Window gallery. The work will consist of selected works from my Sacred Images collection and is slated for January 10- March 13, 2013. Yess! (Fist pump)

+ Then I saw this link and wanted to share ;)


CLICK Here to read the Glenbow Museum's review of my artist talk for their PIVOT Group.

I  "enthralled Pivot members with an extremely lively – and more than occasionally risque" presentation.

 But don't take my word for it!


November 21, 2011

Current incarnation.......

The Wheel of Deluded Existence
From 50 to 75 hrs.

So after the Horror show, I took a bit more time to gestate on advancing on this canvas while working on an assortment of other pieces.  Here is the Wheel of Deluded Existence after I created two stencils and began back into the background.  I tamped the zinc white for the clouds and brushed in the iridescent bronze for the flames around the central deity.

I am really happy with how it has come along to this point, the background details are really helping to make this thangka inspire painting vibrate how I like.

I put in another long night after working all day at the Glenbow teaching Flipbooks and Zoetropes as part of their "week-end at the  museum" education program.  I decided to spend most of the time enhancing the golden ropes surrounding the wheel. I drew in with sharpie outlines and fine details on the wheel. Later, I added the light yellow high lights, dot by dot, it may have taken some time but it really makes it pop!

This helped me to decided what colors and details to add to the rest of it. I highlighted golds, drew in wood grain, gave all their clothing a high light, painted in clouds added texture to rocks and concrete.

 I also outlined the Buddhas, and put some wavy energetic line details to their body halos.  The above photo from my iphone with some reflection from the flash should give a general idea how the piece is shaping up. My work is very difficult to photograph because of all the different materials that reflect. Also the lights in my studio often throw off the color on my photos....color balanced fluorescent bulbs. Aaaargh!!!!! You should see it in person.  (Details on how to make this happen , below)
Here is a detail that shows the lighter blue outline around the edge. You are better able to see  the glittery black skin, some of the high lights, the flames and pattern on some of the fabric.
This is the face of the deity in so far, reminding you to be mindful of your P's ad Q's. I have painted the back with some Gesso and will be writing down critical information for the upcoming show. I will be dropping off the work to Daniel Sponagle and Damien Manchuck for the "Out of the Box" exhibition happening THIS THURSDAY @ 1407 - 11th ST SW!

Come by and see this work and work by over a dozen other fantastic artists!


November 18, 2011

Trix are for kids, these drawings aren't

Late night and inspired by debris still left in my brain from growing up with TV in the 80's. The intensity of my copic markers is very conducive  for making these types of cartoon images.

 Here is a very cheerful care bear with a magical care bear stare. Better than my original idea: an inserted rainbow butt plug, instead have an cheerful rainbow shooting out.

"follow you nose, it always knows!"


November 17, 2011

Does this mean I'm Horny?!

Here are some horny little devils.

I really like playing with color, especially with these copic markers. They were also relatively quick to do each night, that I like too. These sketches remind me of my desire to finish a series I begun on the 7 deadly sins as monsters. Hmmmm. Thought wheels turning....

The background on this Bacchus sketch is actually Sharpie marker (not copic).
Whatever is at hand I tend to use, including toothpaste ;)

 This one is a little more stoic and serious and somewhat feminine. The yellow - pink blend brings out the 80's. I remember when I was growing up I would but role playing games manuals, not for the game, I never played, but the cool art, all the ink drawn creature creations.

This one takes it to the next level of outta hand. Rainbow tile disco dance floor. Drip and body pattern as well as tartan on the wings. A unicron horn and no testes. Clearly this glutton has a "dickdoo".

November 14, 2011

What I did with your mother last night.....

“I wouldn't touch her even if she had the cure for homosexuality”~ Oscar Wilde

Mom jokes! My room mate thinks they should be outlawed. He's incredibly sensitive about his mom, other peoples mom's are fair game though! It makes it that much easier to bug him, besides..... his mom and I had a blast the other night and I thought he should know about it. I hope she invites me over for dinner again, it was so delicious = ;P

Here is my sketch of a grumpy purple people eater...

Help me come up with a punch line to fill his voice bubble.

Do it now!

Here are a few that were given on Facebook:

Ola Birch thirsty for brain? :)

Javier Palomino How's about this– "I'm really looking to expand my social circle"

Deborah Desmarais thought I was supposed to be flyin'...?

Catherine Cartmill Banff is pretty but I miss the all you can eat places in New York

Bex Some days get the most of ya and really suck; But hey on the bright side least i don't only have one eye



Raising the bar(n)

After coming home from helping out on Grant''s Quonset raising. I was super tired, laid my head down and at about 8-9pm I got restless, got up and decide to head to the studio. I worked on my piece for the upcoming unerground show and created a new series of small graphical works inspired by Haida designs (more to come on this in a future post). It felt like 11pm when I realized it was about 2:30 am. I headed home, pumped from the successful night in the studio. But I needed to get in between the covers, and quick. I had to help out with the Quonset the next day and 4 hours of sleep wasn't going to cut it. Although, it did, in this case. Sunday morning, I got my ass up, and was the first one to show up to help with raising the barn.

 Grant, pulling on his rope.

You can get a sense of how big this thing really is. We put it up old fashioned style: man power, rickety balancing rigs and tons of rope stabilizers. It took all day and the metal was bending like a snake. It was cold and we were undermanned. For a bit there I was pretty worried we wouldn't make any headway and that someone would get their fingers taken off, or worse decapitated.

 By the end of the evening we had two ribs up which offered great stability as the wind blew. I spent the last bit of my night up the ladder on the left screwing in bolts. Afterward I was able to enjoy some superior fried chicken and a bit of warmth. I relaxed the evening away with some good eats and both TRON movies, back to back.

November 12, 2011

from Russia with love

We live in a magical fairytale land that charms the eye. After all the the eye of the beholder who decided his/her perception....... What I choose to see is that this world is for use to make more enchanting. 

Yesterday, the 11.11.11th, My truck turned over to 1100011. I spent the majority of the day in the studio creating a bunch of new work that I'm excited to see where it takes me. I put some time on for my piece for the Underground Gallery's 'Out of the Box' group exhibition, and got over the hurdle with my piece for Travisty. I knew I had to attend a good old fashioned Quanset a building party at Grant Poier's house the next day. Just to be sure, I stayed outta trouble and stayed at home to make a couple of drawings.

Some of you may recognize this image if you have an AAA membership. Really, I wanted to highlight my Copic colors, 'cause the color is what enchanting my eye is all about!

But just as interesting is the back of the page.This looks like watercolor to me.
I might try to color from the back on a future drawing.

Bunnies in the bushes...little shits!

Today I also saw two cute bunnies hopping about as we worked on assembling the quanset pieces.  Bunnies not hares! Escape pets with breeding gone awry. Soooo cute and stupid....... and relatively comfortable around humans. Hopping meals. There is a bounty of wildlife in Grant's backyard shire, it is very enchanting indeed;)

 for the lady readers who are wondering how long grants Caulk is....

As for tomorrow, I just hope the snow doesn't fall on our little quanset raising project.  If its cold and snowy, less people will show and it will turn into a ridiculous hell for those of us who do. How it goes, nobody knows...... 

Tomorrow's agenda: Erecting and Caulking.
Followed by the men standing around drinking an smoking.
It is going to be a dream studio when it's done.


November 11, 2011

Childrens book cover


I spent a long night in the studio getting this painting to a happy place. I painted in Eleanor's boots red with an yellow ochre gum bottom.  I added little mushrooms to the foreground. I outlined the tree to make it pop, and added shadows. I also made the stone glow more brightly. There is a spiral of leaves blowing down that traces the eye line from the owl, to the girl and down to the stone. And from her hand on a ribbon hangs the key of Amajara.

This photo was taken on my Iphone under my studio fluorescent lights, so the colors are a bit off and its blurry. My next step is to get a professional photo or scan so I can do a little bit of clean up and deliver the goods. Not only did I paint this painting for the cover, the author gets the original artwork = Bonus!

Here is a better close up to show some of the detail.  I also really like this composition, cropped in, it could be the cover itself. Just a thought!

November 10, 2011

Climb the tree

I got the little girl, Eleanor, painted into the tree. She is wearing a long purple Sunday dress with 4 big pockets and buttons down the front. I even put a matching ribbon in her hair. I still have to paint in her boots, and maybe the key of Amajara dangling from her hand, though I will need the tiniest brush possible to do that!

November 9, 2011

New sketchbook (white cover) + Copic colors

My last sketchbook, the beautiful one from FROSST books, is somewhere in the states, having been left behind after Burning man, along with my favorite pens. So I had to get a new one. Why draw on loose sheets and loose the drawings when you can keep them in your trusty sketchbook?  Anyhow, this new sketchbook is totally white. I got it on sale with pencils for $12.60 ( it was 40%) off at Inglewood Art Supply. I covered it in saran wrap to protect it's pristine white "pleathery" cover.

R, O, Y, G,.....

As usual I need to take an inventory of my Copic colors, and see how they work with the new sketchbook paper an what color they come out. Here is my current collection at the back of the sketchbook.

B, I, V,.....

Plus a little bleed through of the paper. I have to remember to draw over a sheet so it doesn't pass through to the next page. Below are my brown and skin tones. Unfortunately, I already have to replace the ink in some of these 'cause I use them up already. I love that you can refill these markers! Their base is made up of Ethanol, 77% Ethyl Alcohol, I wonder where I can get a large jug of that stuff for blending, any one out there have any connects?

While I am on the subject of beautiful bright colors, I want to aim your attention to a new link on my website, it is for a friends gorgeous mosaic creations.  "Extraordinary beauty in your everyday life." Check them out, little pieces of color meticulously placed to create gorgeous mosaics. His website is :

Before we go on.....

What color should I make her Sunday dress? 

This is the idea I have for painting the girl sitting in the tree for the front cover of the book. Before I go on with it though, I have a few things I need to iron out and I want to know if I am headed the right direction. Clorinda, can you find a quick reference and email it to me so I have in mind what you are imagining. If you have a picture of you as a little girl in a tree.... you better not be holding out!   I imagine her footwear more like rain boots since she's run outside to climb a tree. Examples are very helpful.
 Q: What type of sleeves should a proper Sunday dress have, a bow, V neck with lace? 

 This sketch up was done with Copic markers and if all goes as planned the character will be added to the crook of the tree in the painting below ;)

Notice the fall leaves and the Stone of Amajara is glowing BLUE now. The colors are off, I have been snapping these with my iphone camera under fluorescent lights in my studio. But you get the idea. I am going to paint over the owls bright white face, I think he looks much better like before in silhouette. We are getting close to the finish line!

November 8, 2011

The Key of Amajara

Here is the finished key of Amajara based on the calligraphy the author selected from my previous post. I cant decide which direction looks best.  I could add some scratches and make it look like a photocopy of a woodblock print, or to just to make it look much older. It can also be turned it into a complete silhouette, so no nuances of shine, just straight black and white. It can be used on the back cover or as little chapter headings, but remember if it is small it will have far less detail.

Wet the appetite....

Here are a few additional sketches I did for C.B.'s upcoming publication.

Some concepts for the Key of Amajara. It could be a small black and white image on every new chapter page. I was thinking of a nice calligraphy 'A' on the back of a skeleton key.
 The evil Count Palavar.  He is part bird skeleton with a human skull. His eyes have a deep red glow but since the work is only black and white I can't show that here. I  wanted to show him in flight ready to strike with his talons. Without wings how would he fly? Magic of course!

Here is a portrait of Frowlus, Owls friend, a clumsy white stork with over trusty sized flight goggles.

Something that still needs considering is the additional back cover. It needs something, I agreed to paint an original work for the front, but we need something on the back, maybe one of these in muted tones. More to come =;)