Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Altered Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all of you! As always, thanks for your praise and support!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nouveau, Nouveau, Nouveau

I've had Alphonse Mucha on my brain every since I completed my first Black Lotus alter over a year and a half ago. It's easily the most time intensive work I produce, but the results tend to get the biggest reactions out of people. I've been doing a few here and there since the Lotus, but the most ambitious project came a couple months back at Gen Con Indy. The task was to produce a full set of Art Nouveau-inspired Power Nine.

I just finished the second in the set, a Mox Pearl:

And I was thinking, while I'm at it, why not update the running tally on Nouveau alters, into a nice, downloadable wallpaper (open in a new window/tab). Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grab Bag VII

We're quickly approaching the end of 2012, marking the second year of altering full-time! I'm as busy as ever these days; here's a recap of what's been going on the past couple of weeks.

A couple of Futurama-inspired works.

Based on John William Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott.

Who can argue with a little more Alex Grey?
Well, after completing a second one, I can. At least for a couple of months. 

Alice in Wonderland, based on a drawing by John Tenniel.

I collaged a couple of screen shots from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 
to put this one together. One of my favorite movies.

And rounding out with one more Mucha-inspired piece. 
One of my favorites to date.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mark Poole's Broken Hand

Mark Poole never really broke his hand. At least, not to my knowledge. But that's what you'd have to believe to think he signed this:

Yikes. Story goes one of the past owners of this Library tried to alter the sky and didn't really appreciate the results. To try and salvage their efforts, a crude Mark Poole forgery was tacked on. Take special notice of the missing 'L.' No doubt the card needed help. 

Several hours of restoration later and we're looking close to good as new. A fresh Van Gogh-inspired Library!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Steve's Candelabra

No one really knows who Steve was. One thing's for sure, he was quite possessive.

About a month ago a client approached me about fixing up this poor Candelabra. He didn't have any idea who Steve was, but surely this card was no longer Steve's to claim. Painting over the text box was simple enough. But why stop there? The corners were a little rough. Why not an extension? The art wasn't lending itself to anything exciting. More flat orange and  pale pink didn't seem like the way to go. After some brief research I suggested incorporating Pietre Claesz's 1630 painting, Vanitas Still Life.

I've sort of been looking for an opportunity to work with a Dutch still life and the Candelabra fit well into the composition. As an unexpected bonus, the candelabra's saturated colors push forward while the desaturated palette of the reproduction recedes. Here's the work in-progress...

...and here's the finished version. Condolences Steve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grab Bag VI

Here's a look at what I've been working since my last post...

An old sight from Magic's past.

Alex Grey inspired Mana Drain. 
My first of both if I'm not mistaken.

You're the best. Around.

Another Tony Moore Walking Dead.

And finally, a Peter Arno Momir Vig. 
EDH General of Pro Tour Historian, Brian David-Marshall!

As always, more to come! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @klug_alters. And like the Facebook page!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Back in the 7th grade I scanned in artwork for the first time. One thing I remember is how fascinated I was at seeing the medium magnified several times on the computer screen. It's one of those weirdo artsy things that still intrigues me. When I'm at a museum, I like to get as close to paintings as possible. There's nothing like seeing the hand of the artist. 

Today I'm showing my most recent alter based on Finnish artist Eero Järnefelt's 1893 painting Burning the Brushwood

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seeing Double

Recently a client approached me about creating an alter similar to Army of the Damned I did back in January. With each new painting, I always like to reference something new instead of simply rehashing an image I've already worked on. I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead comic series, specifically the first several issues Tony Moore worked on until Charlie Adlard replaced him.

I suggested recreating a one of Moore's nice black and white splash panels that had a lot of great detail, but also offered an alternative color piece from the cover of The Walking Dead #16.

He generously offered to commission both!

It was cool to see how a particular concept can go in two separate directions. Both reference the same artist and subject matter, but possess their own unique character. A joy to work on!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GenCon Indy Part II

What a week! GenCon Indy 2012 is in the history books and this year's may have been the best yet for me. Let's jump right in - shall we?

I arrived in Indianapolis early Wednesday afternoon and after an hour or two of getting things in order an EDH game was already in the works. The table was Adam Styborski, Brian David-Marshall, Trick Jarrett, David Williams, and Sheldon Menery. Sheldon was to my left, and as I pulled out my Heartless Hidetsugu to begin the game he glanced down at it.

"Oh, so this is damage, not life loss? Interesting..."

Turn four I'm able to play Heartless off a Mind Stone, bond with a Lightning Mauler and pass the turn. Play comes around the table and on Sheldon's endstep I activate Hidetsugu.

"I have a response." Sheldon says.

"Am I dead?" I reply, and this happens:

Take 100. 

EDH is not about winning or losing, it's about the stories. This, for example, happened later in the day:

I know what fun is, and I enjoy it immensely. 

That night I had the pleasure to roping some more of the WotC crew into cubing with my common/uncommon build. 

In pack two, Brian was fairly amused by this four-card pack I passed him:

Uh. What?! 

With one cube under my belt I couldn't help but start a Rotisserie draft after browsing the main convention Thursday morning. A Rotisserie takes place face up, wherein you draft from a pool containing one of every card in a set. In this case, it was my common/uncommon cube again.

Needless to say I was very happy with my deck:

Thursday evening, friends Adam Prosak and Taylor Gunn taught me how to play Cryptozic's Food Fight. The game is essentially a version of War with draft, number modifiers, a ridiculous food theme, and awesome art mixed in. I highly recommend it.

The game also has these round cardboard "mints" used to represent your number of wins in a round. Obviously when Mark Sun entered the hall late I couldn't help myself. 

Brillant artistic cropping by Taylor Gunn. 

Friday morning I decided to play a little more EDH:

Don't judge me.

At lunch a few friends decided a mixed-set Team Rochester draft was in order. I didn't need much convincing to join in. One free credit card game meal later, we headed back to the dealer hall to obtain our sets. 

The rules were simple: $20 maximum budget per player, no Un-sets. Despite a little difficulty trying to find 10+ year old packs, we did manage to find some of the Alara block foil boosters for $6!

After winning the draft everyone headed off to dinner at Fogo de Chao. Sitting down at our table I couldn't help but get a little teary about the absence of good friend Sam Stoddard. The last time I had Fogo'd was with Sam before he landed an internship at WotC that prevented him from attending this year's GenCon. I never visit the salad bar at Fogo, but Sam always likes to indulge in a little salmon and prosciutto. I decided I had to pay tribute. 

Here's to you Stod. 

With all the gaming, eating, and goofing off, it could have been easy to miss a huge professional Magic tournament happening just feet away in the TCG hall. I managed to snap a shot of the USA battling Team Brazil in the WMC.

Surprisingly, Fogo was not the best meal for me on the weekend. Back at GP Columbus, Sheldon Menery prompted me to visit St. Elmo's/Harry & Izzy's (they share the same kitchen) while I was in Indy. Specifically, I needed to try their shrimp cocktail. It was BDM who clued me in on their prime rib sandwich. Both were indescribably amazing. 

So good, I visited again the following day. 

Sunday I browsed the main convention hall one last time and stumbled upon this fellow. For those that don't know, this is a Dalek a la Dr. Who. A mutant cyborg with a passion to EXTERMINATE! I heard through the grape vine that this guy was on point all weekend. Apparently a gentleman was photographing the costume exclaiming, "This is so awesome! I never want to leave!" Setting up the Dalek's reply, "That can be arranged." 

Best. Cosplay. Ever.

Of course, I also grabbed the obligatory Magic statue photos. 

With the convention wrapping up Sunday afternoon a group headed back to one of our hotels to cube a final time. As it turned out, the 18th floor had a great space with a lot more light than your average gaming venue. 

Awesome space. Awesome people. What more can you ask for?

Heading into the evening, another round of EDH got started up, including none other than Hall of Fame member, Bob Maher. He absolutely demolished the table in the first game, dealing 60+ damage in a single turn. In the second game I repaid the favor with a turn one Black Vise, turn two Ankh of Mishra. Ultimately Bob still managed to knock out two players but had too little life to stabilize. 

Started the weekend with a loss, ended on a win. Brought home more stories than I can count. 

Hopefully this is proof enough that GenCon truly is one of the most amazing weekends of the year. Thanks to all of those that I had the opportunity to meet this weekend; who I talked, gamed, and dined with; to those that complimented my work and encouraged me to keep doing it! I means more than you know! 

See you next year,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

GenCon Indy Part I

GenCon Indy is upon us! The convention opens bright and early Thursday morning and I'm incredibly excited for what always turns out to be an amazing four days.

This year I've decided to do a little pre-post entry on the blog. I'm always terrible at documenting the weekend so hopefully this will motivate me to pull out my camera every once and a while. I have some loose plans for the trip so let's lay those out.

GenCon offers the opportunity to game, literally non-stop. The TCG hall is open 24-hours so you can believe I'll be cubing quite a bit. The expectation is to average 2-3 drafts a day. Over four days that's 8-12 drafts. Be it a 2-man, 6-man, 8-man, Winston, Winchester, Rochester, Rotisserie; cubing will be had. My weapon of choice will be my awesome common/uncommon build.

Last year the con gave me the inspiration to build an EDH for such occasions where someone wants to challenge me. I don't play a much of the format at all, but it's nice to have an outlet to Goblin Game. If you're up for a battle and you see me, just ask!

Of course I expect to talk a bit of shop the next couple of days. If you're interested in alters or altering I'm more than happy to have a conversation and answer any questions. I should also have a few pieces on me that haven't been sent out, if anyone's interested in seeing some work in person. 

Finally I want to warn anyone attending the event to remain vigilant in keeping an eye on your bags and cards. I hate to end this post on a down note, but anytime there are crowds of people carrying lots of valuable items, there will be theft. Last year GenCon was no exception to the rule and the event was soured for many attendees, out thousands of dollars, with the police and event staff unable to offer much assistance. 

A little advice off the top of my head: 
- Travel light. Only carry on you items you plan to use/sell on the day. 
- Stay physically connected with your bag. Setting it on a chair or between your feet is not necessarily a good safeguard. 
- Be aware of your surroundings. The more crowded an area is, the more susceptible you are to be taken advantage of. 

These words aren't meant to spoil the convention, but to remind everyone of the risk. I for one cannot wait to head out Wednesday morning. Have a great time and I'll see you there!

PS. Don't forget to check out the Magic World Cup that will be going down onsite and cheer for the US team!

Monday, August 6, 2012


My most recent long-term project has been a series of Alpha and Beta basic lands featuring the works of Salvador Dali. I posted a few in May, but since it's always fun to see things come together let's do just that.

And here we have some larger images of some of the newer additions.