Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Poet Sleeps

Before the year ends, here's another new drawing:

The Poet Sleeps

Brush & ink on paper, 2006, 12" x 12". Another "eyes closed" kind of head, which is probably a metaphor for the imagination or something (solipsism?). Reminds me in terms of feel of Rilke, which also reminds me I should really finish my unfinished Duino Elegies series of paintings/large painted drawings...maybe in 2007...


After that last batch, here's something a bit more familiar:


White acrylic on black posterboard, 2006, 15" x 12". One of my "negative" works. I like the odd sense of dislocation that happens when the lines are white & the field is black. From an endless series (many of my series are open-ended).


While we're on the subject of odd stuff (post below this one), here's another one that doesn't quite fit into my oeuvre:


Brush & ink on paper, 2006, 12" x 12". I guess what unites this image with the one below is a dark sense of humor that doesn't usually pervade my work as much. I normally avoid irony like the plague (it's so been done), but maybe this is as close as I get.

Sister Ray

This one's an oddity:

Sister Ray

Brush & ink on paper, 2006, 12" x 12". I did it the other day. Occasionally, images come out that really don't relate that much to my "mainstream" work, & this is one. But, I thought I'd put it up here. Apologies to the Velvet Underground for stealing their song title (not really) -- there is no discernible relation between the image & the song, except for the title.

Head for Riccardo

Another one (see post below):

Head for Riccardo

Acrylic on board, 2006, 12" x 9". Stephen & Riccardo are two guys in Australia I met over the Internet & kind of lost touch with over the last year.

Head for Stephen

Here's a small painting I did months ago & have been meaning to photograph & upload:

Head for Stephen

Acrylic on board, 2006, 12" x 9". It's the end of the year & I'm trying to finish off all those little things that built up & never got done. A few more coming...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bone Tree painting

Here's a new small painting based on the "Bone Tree" image from the sketchbook a few entries below:

Bone Tree

Acrylic on board, 10" x 8". Scanned in directly from my flatbed scanner. I'll probably do a larger, more finished version of this at some point (soon?). I hadn't done a color painting for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to get back into that before the end of the year...Happy Holidays, BTW...

Sketchbook page 31 -- Hollow Obelisk

Another page from the new sketchbook:

Page 31 -- Hollow Obelisk

I'll probably post a few more images from the sketchbook, but at this point I really want to create some new work...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sketchbook page 98 -- Tower

Another page from the new sketchbook:

Sketchbook page 98 -- Tower

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sketchbook page 134 -- Bone Tree

Here's page 134 of the new sketchbook, which I'm entitling "Bone Tree":

Page 134 -- Bone Tree

This may become a painting or more finished work at some later (or sooner) date...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Page 148 -- Knee 2

Page 148 is a similar image to the one in the previous post. It was actually done first, as I recall:

Page 148 -- Knee 2

But, I'm calling it "Knee 2" because I put the other one up first. So, not all the images are so semi-automatic. Sometimes, I would do one & then do its reflection on the facing page in the sketchbook. By "reflection", I mean its counterpart, not mirror image as such.

Page 147 -- Knee

Here's page 147:

Page 147 -- Knee

I'm calling it "Knee", as that's what it looks like. I did most of these images without too many preconceptions, semi-automatic drawings, I guess. There are lots of body parts, figures, torsos, heads, anthropomorphic objects, landscape bits, & so on. In a way, the usual themes, but also full of little surprises.

Page 33

Here's page 33 from the sketchbook:

Sketchbook page 33

It's another headlike object, not surprising, as that's a major theme. I liked the ambiguity in this one -- is the head cut off at the top, or is that some kind of a mouth? FYI, the sketchbook took around a month to complete.

Page count

I've just counted & numbered the pages in the sketchbook. There are 158. The "Head" image below is page 103, FYI. All the drawings are done in brush & ink. I started (mostly) with some fairly random strokes in watery ink, then used dark strokes to fill in the rest of the drawing, not caring too much what I was doing. I'm quite happy with the results. More images to follow shortly...I'm not going to put up all 158 -- just 5 or 6 at this point...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Page from sketchbook

Here's a page I selected at random:

Page from sketchbook

That's from approximately in the middle of the book. It's a study of a head, obviously. I wanted the images in the book to be looser than some of my more finished works, to let the floodgates open, if I could. I can see influences of Picasso, Bacon & Guston in there...but that's not really the point. The point, if there was one, was to develop a fluency & break through to some new ground, to not really think too much about what I was doing & just let as much as possible come out in terms of raw creativity. Whatever that means.

New Sketchbook back cover

Here's the back cover of the sketchbook:

Sketchbook back cover

Size of the book is 11" x 8.5". It's made of recycled paper, & I found it while at Wal-Mart.

New Sketchbook

Here's the cover of a sketchbook I literally just finished:

Sketchbook cover

It's been a while since I filled an actual sketchbook from start to finish. I'll be posting some random (or not-so-random) images over the next few days...

Monday, December 18, 2006


I always was fond of those strange outcroppings of rock in Netherlandish art (Breughel et al). This is one of my versions. Oddly, the Netherlands are quite flat in their topography, so that makes the whole idea doubly exotic...


Acrylic on board, 2006, 12" x 9".

Slight Name Change

I've just renamed this blog to "Ayton Art Blog" -- it's a bit shorter & seemed better. I trust this will not confuse anyone too much.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


While I'm in uploading new art mode, here's another one:


Brush & ink on paper, 2006, 12" x 12". I do a lot of heads, this is a "post-human" one, for want of a better word. I do the human head in various layers -- "normal" heads, masked or covered heads, heads with layers or coverings removed & the soul laid bare (if you will). This is one of the latter category, I suppose.

Sightless, Flightless Bird

Here's a drawing I did a week or two ago:

Sightless, Flightless Bird

Brush & ink on paper, 2006, 12" x 12". It's kind of a metaphor for how I feel sometimes, when nothing seems to be going right. Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often.

Deleted Human

Here's a drawing I did around the time of The War Room:

Depleted Human

"Depleted Human", brush & ink on paper, 2003, 14" x 11". It was recently "censored" (removed) from a popular art portfolio site (which shall remain nameless), which led to me canceling my account. It was also published in a book, "Writing the World: On Globalization" (Terra Nova/MIT Press) in 2005. While the image is a little dark in subject matter, I was actually surprised when it was removed from the site mentioned above. Anyway, here it is in all its glory. Hope it's not too shocking...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Heads Video

This is a movie I made with some drawings of heads set to a simple soundtrack of manipulated sampled voice & computer-synthesized bells...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2nd Ayton Art Video

Here's my second version of a promo video. This time the movie was generated from Picasa 2, the soundtrack composed in Ableton Live Lite with the included midi instruments, and the whole thing put together in Windows Movie Maker.

Note: I played the music on the computer keyboard, as I don't have an actual midi keyboard. Yet.