Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Old Man and the Desert

Not the sea. My paintings are currently getting looser & denser...this one didn't make sense to me until I changed the background from blue to "desert" tones...then the idea crystalized. It can happen like that sometimes.

The Old Man and the Desert, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 14" x 11"
Earlier version


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Watcher From the Deep

A new acrylic on MDF (fiberboard), a quite dark image of an underwater sort of nature. I've been looking at a lot of Symbolist art from the 19th century recently, which may be applicable...

The Watcher From the Deep, 2017, acrylic on MDF, 9" diameter

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Found on the Web: How to communicate with people who are always bad

That's what the text on the image below says, apparently. It's my "Narcissus" painting from 1991, which has been edited a bit. I wonder if the "always bad" thing refers to borrowing artwork from other web sites & not crediting it...I think maybe it does. From a Russian web site that I'm not going to link to.

Bad Narcissus, from Russia with love

Monday, April 17, 2017

New UDHR Poster / Article 25

From the series of paintings that I created around 25 years ago to illuminate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). There are actually 2 series of paintings—one without text at the top, the other with Spanish text. The Spanish series was created in Spain, just outside of Sevilla, at a friend's apartment. The friend was going to continue exhibiting it around Spain, but he became busy with other things, so he returned the paintings to me many years ago. In any case, the other day I got an email from the University of Toronto asking for permission to use the Article 25 (concerning health & well-being) painting on a poster. When the email arrived, I was out having lunch as the Internet was down in the house. We were also preparing to leave for a UK visit the next day. I hurriedly emailed a friend (thanks, Ricardo!) who helped me make photos of the 2 versions of Article 25 (non-text & Spanish text), which we sent to Lisa in Toronto. She chose the Spanish version (with the text cropped out) for the poster, which you see below.

Some links:
University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs
UDHR Art web site (the complete series of paintings & drawings)

UHDR Article 25 on University of Toronto (Munk School of Global Affairs) poster

Friday, March 31, 2017

Seven (Deadly Sins)

I mentioned the other day that I was thinking of doing a "frontispiece" for the 7 Deadly Sins, so here it is, a column made up of many souls/sinners in the shape of a "7".

Seven, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9".
And here it is along with the other images:
The Seven Deadly Sins, 2017

Seven Deadly Sins, 2013 ink drawings

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Seven Deadly Sins 2017 & 2013

While still intending to do a "cover" piece for this series, in the meantime I've created a montage of the 7 pieces & also added for comparison the original drawings, done back in 2013. Now to let the dust settle & consider how to move forward to the definitive versions.

In case your Latin is not so good, from left to right:
1. Lust 2. Gluttony 3. Greed 4. Sloth 5. Wrath 6. Envy 7. Pride

Seven Deadly Sins, 2017 painted versions
Seven Deadly Sins, 2013 ink drawings
The typeface used, btw, is called "Good City Modern".

Luxuria / Lust (7 Deadly Sins)

Trapped in the fires of lust...

This is the final small painting-sketch in this series, though I intend to do a piece that would serve as a kind of frontispiece to the group, & create a montage of all the images in one piece as I did previously. That should be appearing soon...

This was (perhaps oddly, as when I did the drawings, I did this sin first) the most difficult to envision, required the most work, & came out the darkest of the seven images.

Luxuria / Lust, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Avaricia / Greed (7 Deadly Sins)

This is the sixth out of seven (see below) small sketch-paintings of the 7 Deadly Sins. Only one left to go...

Avaricia / Greed, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Portrait Revolution Art Book

Thanks to Martin Beek in the UK who just sent me a scan of the page in "Portrait Revolution" that has my ink portrait of Mariah O'Neill on it. This is from Julia Kay's Portrait Party, an international art project that I was part of — I did a number of portrait pieces for the project a few years ago via Flickr. Click the links for the UK & US versions via Amazon.

From Portrait Revolution, Julia Kay's Portrait Party

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Invidia / Envy (7 Deadly Sins)

The latest (5 out of 7 done) in the series of small sketch-paintings. I think this one is my favorite so far...the grasping tendrils of envy...

Invidia / Envy, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Gula / Gluttony (7 Deadly Sins)

Continuing with the Seven Deadly Sins painted series...these are intermediate painted sketches on a fairly small scale (inspired by the series of drawings I did back in 2013). When these are done, I'll try & synthesize between these & the drawings to come up with a large-scale series of paintings (or drawings?).

Gula / Gluttony, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Superbia / Pride (7 Deadly Sins)

This just in—the latest in the painted (study) series for the Seven Deadly Sins. Also entitled "The King of Pride".

Superbia / Pride, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Ira / Wrath (7 Deadly Sins)

Second in the series of monochrome painted (mostly) studies for the 7 Deadly Sins series. Ultimately, I will create large versions of these.

Ira / Wrath, 2017, acrylic, ink & carbon on gray-brown gessoed panel, 12" x 9"

It's a Small World

Small acrylic painting on rag paper. This may be an early version of a book cover image, but too early to tell. Stay tuned on that.

It's a Small World, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 5.75" approx.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Angel and the Cataclysm

This is a small piece painted on the four sides of a wooden block sized 5.5" high x 3.5"wide x 1.5"deep approx. I've presented it here scanned & laid out as a series of flat images. I think it works quite well, but is intended to be seen in three dimensions...the disjointedness becomes more apparent when seen as a continuous flat image.

The Angel and the Cataclysm, 2017, acrylic on wood, 5.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" approx.

And in the negative zone...

Acedia / Sloth (7 Deadly Sins)

From the Seven Deadly Sins. A while ago (2013) I did some sketches of the 7 Deadly Sins with the aim of one day doing more finished pieces—paintings, probably. Here is the first one; Sloth. This is a fairly small version, also, so ultimately I might do larger versions. We'll see how it goes.

Acedia / Sloth, 2017, acrylic & carbon on gessoed panel, 12" x 9"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In the Kingdom of Fools and Madmen

A new drawing, inspired by Leonardo's drawings of lunatics and grotesques, by Bosch & Breughel's beggars and demons, by Ensor's masks and heads...you know, the usual suspects...

In the Kingdom of Fools and Madmen, 2017, soluble carbon on paper, 24" x 18".

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Return of the Titan

From time to time I've made drawings of titans, colossi, giants, etc. Here is another one. Partly inspired by Goya's painting The Colossus, also partly inspired by a Japanese anime series called Attack on Titan (which I struggled through, as I don't much care for anime in general), and mostly inspired by the fact that I like the idea of colossi...

Return of the Titan, 2017, soluble graphite on paper, 24" x 18"

Friday, March 10, 2017

Materials Matter: Soluble Carbon

Here is the product I've been using for my drawings lately. It's a "disc" (though it's mostly square) of solid carbon. It's easier to use than ink, for me, as I just dip the brush in water & then soak up some of the diluted carbon. Sort of like watercolor, which I don't use. I am in no way affiliated with this company (Art Graf), though if they want to make me an offer...
Also, it's made in Portugal, one of my favorite countries (though I haven't been there in many years).

The front of the packet

The details...now you know about as much as I do

When Time Has No Meaning

Another large-ish drawing with the soluble carbon, which is working well for me. I may never use actual ink again...

When Time Has No Meaning, 2017, soluble carbon on paper, 24" x 18".

Materials Matter: The Color (Brilliant) Purple

I thought I'd take a photo of the actual tube of Brilliant Purple Liquitex acrylic color, as it's almost an artifact in & of itself. I must have bought this years ago, as it's covered in paint splashes & the cap of the tube itself is brittle & falling apart. The tube is still mostly full, as it's a color I rarely use. See the 2 postings under this one for examples of recent usage.

Brilliant Purple Liquitex paint tube: kids, remember to look after your materials, & they will look after you.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Wide Awake & Alive

I did this new small piece as a companion to the previous one (see post below). I'm probably not going to do more purple (mauve?) pieces, these 2 seem to be enough. Fun fact: the purple acrylic paint is by Liquitex and is called "Brilliant Purple".

Wide Awake & Alive, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 5.75" approx.

Purple Dreamer

One of the final small paintings on handmade rag paper (I'm running out of the packet I bought). I don't usually use purple very much—it's a difficult color to work with, but I thought it worked well here, to give a dreamy, mystical feeling to the piece. I liked this piece so much, I made it the featured image on my web site's home page.

Purple Dreamer, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 5.75" approx.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Leda and the Swan

Another treatment of a mythological theme that I've rendered before.

Leda and the Swan, 2017, soluble carbon on paper, 24" x 18". Private collection.

After the Rain...

...the world will be clean again. Another acrylic landscape painting (almost completely abstract) on the handmade rag paper. I have a certain kind of landscape image in my mind that I'm trying to get down in paint, & this is the closest I've come so far...

After the Rain, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 5.75" x 8" approx.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Distant Mountains

Almost a painting about nothing...in fact there are many layers buried underneath, and it's a painting about mountains.

Toward the Distant Mountains, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 5.75" x 8" approx.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Approaching Storm

Here are 3 versions of a new small piece, done on handmade Indian rag paper that I bought a small bundle of recently. I suppose it's apocalyptic in nature, but it could be seen in various ways...

The original drawing was done with a gel ink pen (a cheap writing pen bought from the local pharmacy or Staples, I can't remember), the second one is digitally processed, & the final version has acrylic color (images from bottom to top below).

The Approaching Storm, 2017, gel ink pen & acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 5.5" approx.

The Approaching Storm, digital edit

The Approaching Storm, gel ink pen

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Tower of Humanity 2015-17

This is an example of a painting that I did a couple of years ago (2015) & was reasonably (but not completely) happy with. It's been propped on a small set of drawers in the living room/office for ages, & I've looked at it from time to time. The other day, I decided what was wrong with it was the sky, so I took it & repainted that. Normally, I don't like to "fix" paintings so long after the fact, but in this case I think it worked out for the better...I also changed the title to one that I now prefer, & painted in a tiny bit of background (small triangle of distant background to the left of the "building") to balance out the composition.

The Tower of Humanity, sky repainted 2017, acrylic on board, 16" x 12"
Human Monument, 2015, acrylic on board, 16" x 12".

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Enwrapped

A small drawing on handmade Indian paper, done with soluble carbon (not ink) and a brush. The carbon was much darker than I expected, & is at least partially erasable, so this might work as a drawing medium that gives me the richness of ink but with more flexibility...further study is needed...

Enwrapped, 2017, brush & soluble carbon on handmade paper, 8.5" x 6" approx.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

On the scanner: Mexican chocolate bar wrapper

The first in a possible new series of blog postings where I scan something interesting, artistic or otherwise: my daughter was recently on vacation in Mexico, & among the gifts she returned with was this chocolate bar, which I thought was worth the time to scan. On the right of the image is Spanish/English text which describes the imagery better than I could. Click on the image to zoom in for more legible text.

Mexican chocolate bar wrapper

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fun with Glitches

I was just playing around with a glitch generator on this web site: http://jkirchartz.com/Glitchy3bitdither/GlitchCruiser.html
Basically, glitch art mimics various "errors" that can occur on computer & video screens, for example when interference, scanlines, noise, ghosting etc. appear in digital images. It's an interesting way to corrupt & destroy your artwork (virtually) & can bring out all kinds of random characteristics that might possibly be beautiful in themselves and/or lead to other creative ideas (or not). Here are a few I created...I could have gone much further, but felt that I wanted to retain something of  the original image (Asleep in the Abyss). Enjoy.

Asleep in the Abyss, 2002, brush & ink on paper, 6" x 5.5"





The Veiling of the Bride

Two versions of a new drawing piece—the first was done on a circle of cardboard that came in a frozen pizza packet (waste not, want not), the second, more worked version is on actual drawing paper. The first one is simpler, the second much more complex—I like both for those reasons.

The Veiling of the Bride, 2017, ink on cardboard, 10.75" diameter approx.

The Veiling of the Bride, 2017, ink on paper, 24" x 18".

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bruegel

I was in Saugerties today (nearby town across the Hudson River from here) in a used bookstore...there is a very nice one there called "Our Bookshop", where I found this large Bruegel book. The book is from 1987, so the printing quality is a little dated, but it seems to be filled with wonderful images. I've always liked Breugel, with his drawings & paintings packed full of interesting, beautiful & grotesque detail, so I'm preparing to feast on this. And it was only $12. Bargain.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Rocks of Oblivion

A fairly densely drawn new piece, pushing the number of brushed-in lines to some kind of extreme. I was wondering if it would be too much, but perhaps not...

The Rocks of Oblivion, 2017, 24" x 18"

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Isle of the Cyclops

Continuing the island theme (see postings below), here is a small tondo of the fictional Isle of the Cyclops...inspired in part by Böcklin's Isle of the Dead, but with my own twist.

The Isle of the Cyclops, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 6.5" diameter approx.