Walter Moore studied Graphic Design at the University of Alabama, and can still hear Professor Richard Brough’s voice while he works.
Some of Walter’s first jobs involved the various steps of silkscreen printing with Rick Rush in Tuscaloosa and at Tiger Rags in Auburn. He was a computer artist on Apple IIEs, among other vanished pieces of tech, designing touch-screen ads for welcome centers around the South. Walter freelanced as an illustrator for science-fiction and fantasy games and stories, becoming a regular contributor to Tadashi Ehara’s Different Worlds magazine, among others. He later picked up a looser freehand style when working on hundreds of cartoons for language instruction websites for the University of Texas, sites which are still active today:
Tex’s French Grammar https://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/
and Grimm Grammar (for German) https://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/
So why Apes? Walter’s wife Lisa has always called him “Ape,” and in return Walter would leave her notes or send her postcards with a cartoon Ape doing whatever Walter was up to that day. One day in 2012 Walter was trying to think of something to sell online, and finally listened to Lisa who’d been saying he should sell more of the Ape cartoons that she loved.
It took off. For several years Walter sold exclusively online, but recently started exhibiting in local shows as well as in Stephen Smith Fine Art (Fairfield) and Roots and Wings (Selma.) Walter has continued with pen and ink, as well as acrylic painting, mixed media, and block printing. His originals are available on Etsy, and sites such as Redbubble offer reproductions on clothing, coffee mugs, and more.
For paintings I like to buy dozens of blank canvases, rig them with hardware, and hang them all over the house. This gives me storage space as well as incentive to work on them. Next I will take a few down, and mix background colors directly on the canvas with a flat brush, to get a streaky look that I first enjoyed in the work of N. Scott Carroll and so I stole it from him.
When all that is dry, I paint a faux black gallery-wrap frame around the sides to set off the colors, and also to make life easier when I inevitably bump or scratch the edge of a painting-- no need to remix colors to match the edge when the edge is plain black.
For the image, I build it up with layers of white undercoat. I actually do a lot of the shading with this undercoat. Over that I will lay a series of stains as well as areas built up of more shadows and highlights.
The final touch is when I add calligraphic black outlines. I am originally a pen and ink cartoonist with some silkscreen experience, so hopefully that comes through in the final look.
Lately I have been learning to block print, so I have been enjoying filling the house with print runs done on recycled cardboard panels. Occasionally I will prep the cardboard with various colors left over from a painting session. In any case, most of my prints have hand-painted details as well.