Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nothing much to report....

Still have the vestiges of the flu...started working on the rough sketches for Shadow Bay chapter 6...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unseen drawings from my archives

On my other blog (the WordPress one), I just uploaded several drawings & sketches that were (as far as I know & remember) previously unseen. Here is one of them:

That's "Head with Eye" from 1992, rotring pen on paper, 6" x 4".

See the rest at More will most likely be posted soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Strange Figurations at the Limner Gallery, Oct 3rd

While I was up in Hudson NY at the Limner Gallery yesterday to pick up a couple of copies of Direct Art Magazine (see post below), Tim Slowinski (artist, gallery owner) was laying out works for next week's show, Strange Figurations. I'm not in the show, probably because I didn't get around to entering anything for it. Anyhow, I wasn't in the gallery very long, but Tim did have several pieces of artwork for the show spread around, some already on the walls & some on the floor propped against the wall.

Here is the postcard announcing the show:

You can click on the image for a better view.

Here is the back of the card:

Again, if you click on the image, you will get a more legible version.

The 2 pieces that were present yesterday that really caught my eye were 2 very small, jewel-like oils on panel by Tim French. Apparently, they caught Slowinski's eye, too, as he put one of them very prominently on the front of the postcard, the 3-eyed smoking dude called "Obey." I was really struck by those 2 pieces, so I thought I'd give a mention to Tim (or Timothy) French. I've seen a few pieces of his work before at Limner, & I really feel that he has something that stands out & his work just seems to get better & better. Here is a link to his web site:

Here is his artist page on the Limner web site:

And, finally, here is the Limner preview page for the Strange Figurations show:

Actually, the above link seems to represent whatever the current exhibit is, so if you view this in a couple of months from now, it will probably be something very different.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Direct Art Magazine, volume 16

Here I am on page 51 of the latest Direct Art Magazine, out now:

The drawing is "Future Human", & its actual size is 23.5" x 18" (not as stated in the magazine.) If you click on the image, you should be able to see a more legible version.

Here is the short text I wrote to go with the drawing:

"The Future Human drawing is a dystopian image of a cybernetic future, where we are all so connected to the Internet (or its distant descendent) and machines in general that we have become disconnected from our own humanity. The drawing depicts the moment of realization, where it finally becomes apparent that the evolutionary road we have been blindly following is a dead end. Much of my work is a warning against the folly of human nature, and I hope that I am wrong in this case, or if I am right, someone might see my warning in time. Turn off your computer, disconnect from the system, go for a walk in the park. This has just been a bad dream."

Here is the cover:

Very nice drawing by Ben Tolman.

Here is a link to the web site for the magazine & Limner Gallery.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Into The Abyss...

Mind your head on your way in & out...that's a cryptic reference...

Shadow Bay chapter 5 is now live.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Or, Shadow Bay chapter 5:

Coming soon...

Was out of commission...

Just recovering from a 24-hour flu virus kind of thing. Funny how that can knock the wind out of your sails...Shadow Bay chapter 5 is in the works. Should be going up in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Metal Machine Music

As I just had the septic tank pumped out (the truck literally just left), this seemed to be a good time to write about Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music." I've been very fond of Lou for years, since maybe "Transformer" & backtracking beyond that to the Velvet Underground. Like Iggy Pop (though less so), he's a kind of power source or touchstone I can plug into from time to time. Anyway, it seems that back in 1975, Lou released this double album of guitar feedback & noise called Metal Machine Music. I saw it in stores at the time, but was aware of its reputation as a godawful unlistenable artifact allegedly released by Lou to fulfill his contract with his record label. So, over the years, while I'd occasionally wonder about the thing, I never managed to check out its contents. Lovely cover, though:

I swiped that off of some random web site. Let me know if I'm breaking the law here...

So, anyway, today as I was waiting for the truck to finish pumping out around a decade of raw sewage, I was mindlessly surfing on Google & found an interesting blog that had a link to a page with 20 second musical (I use the term loosely, ha ha) samples of Lou's opus...

And the verdict is: not bad. In my capacity as an occasional guitar abuser, I feel I have some minimal authority to proclaim on this. For 20 seconds, the content sounds quite reasonable, especially in the light of popular musical advances since the advent of MMM. I'm thinking Industrial Music & so on. Even stuff at the time or just after (Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubauten, etc) was not so far away from this. For 20 seconds or so, the textures of whining feedback layered on top of each other (apparently) are almost "pleasing" in some ways. I've heard worse. What it really reminds me of is when sometimes bands, at the end of their set, would leave all of the guitars propped against the amplifiers, still turned on, & a sort of random howling noise would ensue. Then, either the band would come back for an encore, or the roadies would eventually wake up & turn the stuff off. So, now I (& you) know a little of the mysteries of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.

And, since the truck is gone & the air is starting to clear, tis time to get back to Shadow Bay, I suppose...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Last Surrealist, 2003

Here's the third of a triumvirate of works I'd pretty much forgotten about from 2003:

The Last Surrealist, 2003, brush & ink on paper, 25" x 20" approx.

At the time, I think, it reminded me too much of Dali. Now, I don't mind so much.

Narcissus Descending, 2003

Apparently, 2003 was a good year for half-forgotten gems. Here is another drawing from that year:

Narcissus Descending, 2003, brush & ink on paper, 25" x 20" approx.

From a series of works depicting Narcissus, probably too numerous to mention.

The Devourer, 2003

I was just poking around in my hard drive (as you do), when I came across this brush & ink drawing from 2003:

The Devourer, 2003, brush & ink on paper, 25" x 20" approx.

This was a piece that I pretty much had forgotten about, until I saw it again just now. At the time, I guess I didn't think too much of it, but now it strikes me as quite good & worth posting here. It's kind of a combination of Arcimboldo (who made heads etc. out of various objects) & Breughel the Elder, or Bosch. Anyway, here it is.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Woman's Head in Raw Color

This one started out as an ink drawing (a la the one 2 posts below) that refused to resolve itself, so it wound up becoming an acrylic painting in a more expressionist mode:

Woman's Head in Raw Color, 2009, ink & acrylic on paper, 14" x 11".

Time will tell, but I think the piece works...

I changed the title...

I've just updated the title in the header of this blog to read "William T. Ayton Art Blog" instead of "Ayton Art Blog." Not a huge difference -- I just did it to be slightly more search-engine friendly. I have no idea if this will work.

Head In Eternity

A brush & ink drawing of an aging head surrounded by mountains:

Head In Eternity, 2009, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 11".

A familiar theme...maybe I just like drawing heads and mountains...

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm not telling them a thing...

The official business card (actually, a teaser promotional device) for Shadow Bay:

The above is scanned in from the original card, which explains why you can see the surface texture if you look closely.

It's a standard-sized business card (about 2" x 3.5".) If anyone would like a card, drop me a line & I'll sign it the back of it & mail it to you. Would also like to remind folks that the noir graphic novel-blog (written by Donald J. Rothschild) is now flagged (by us) as having adult content, in fairness to anyone who might be shocked or disturbed by that kind of thing...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shadow Bay chapter 4 is up...

This is to announce that Donald J. Rothschild (words) & myself (art) have just published chapter 4 of Shadow Bay, our noir-graphic-novel-blog. We've put an adult content warning on it as things get a bit, er, grown-up in this chapter...

Above: one of the safer, more family-friendly images from the chapter.

Click here for Shadow Bay. You just have to click a button that says you don't mind "adult" content to view the chapter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Return of Jürgen Waxweiler

I just got this postcard today from my German sculptor friend Jürgen Waxweiler:

[click on the images for a better view]

The last time Jürgen sent me a postcard announcing an exhibit, it took me weeks to get it up on the blog, by which time the show was over, or almost over. This time, I'm cutting to the chase. Here are the details:

I met Jürgen what seems like two lifetimes ago, but it was only two years, at the Museum on the Seam show, "Bare Life" in Jerusalem. It was a great show & I'm glad to see that Jürgen is still working away & showing his work. If you're reading this & near his studio, please go along & say hi.

Above: close-up of Jürgen.

Check out his web site's news page for this & other news items.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shadow Bay image -- before & after

Here are 2 versions of the same image from Shadow Bay, chapter 4:

Version 1: pencil & china marker on card.

Version 2: pencil, china marker & acrylic paint on card. After the acrylic paint, I emphasized the black outlines again in china marker.

It's interesting to see how the gray tones add depth & atmosphere to a piece. Although I liked the earlier version, I think the monochrome tones add a lot. Also interesting to see how the image subtly changes -- lines, details & so on. Personally, I like to see behind the curtain once in a while & get a glimpse of the artist's process. I hope you do, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Another preparatory drawing from Shadow Bay:

I thought the piece stood quite well on its own in its unfinished state.

We are going to have to flag the blog as "adult" with this chapter, I think. It's interesting to try & depict lust in a reasonably inoffensive way, not that I mind risking offending people if the situation demands it. When this has had gray tones applied it may be more or less graphic. I'll try & remember to post the finished version here.

And here is the finished one [added Sept. 16, 2009]:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shadow Bay chapter 4

Right now we're (Donald Rothschild & I) working on the next instalment of our noir-novel-blog-collaboration, Shadow Bay:

That's an unfinished line drawing that will be painted & detailed in acrylic for a scene in a restaurant. The blog/novel has been on hiatus for a while, due to vacations & other stuff, but it's time to get back to work on that. I hope to be posting the finished chapter fairly soon.

I'm trying a slightly new (for me) system with the artwork in this chapter. Previously, I had done each image one by one, more or less finishing one before moving on to the next. This time, I'm doing fairly loose line drawings first, so that any edits can be ironed out at an early stage, then going back & painting the tones & details in. We'll see how it goes. I'm still at the early drawing stage.

The other good thing about Shadow Bay is that it keeps me out of a rut in that I'm creating images that I wouldn't normally think of, as they're dictated somewhat by Donald's written script. It is a potentially huge project -- around 17 chapters with 10-20 images per chapter (or more.) Do the math. Still, we shall see how it goes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Final day of the Ayton Artwork a Day blog

I just put up the final piece of artwork on that blog. You'll have to click here to see it.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Head Fused With Rocky Landscape

Since I finished the Silverpoint a Day blog, I haven't done many of those, so here is a new one:

Head Fused With Rocky Landscape, 2009, silverpoint on prepared card, 10" x 8".

I like heads & I like rocky landscapes, so it's only logical to combine the two.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Profile of a Woman with Eyes Closed

Just a simple pencil outline sketch, mostly:

Profile of a Woman with Eyes Closed, 2009, pencil on paper, 11" x 8.5".

Sometimes, the simple ones are the most effective.

I also added this to the Ayton Artwork a Day blog.

Rock Formation Face

Have been busy getting the kids back to school, etc., so I've only had the chance today to really do an extended doodle, almost:

Rock Formation Face, 2009, marker on paper, 11" x 8.5".

Sketch of a Head with Long Hair

This was originally a throwaway sketch I was doodling the other night:

Sketch of a Head with Long Hair, 2009, pencil & markers on paper, 11" x 8.5".

However, I thought maybe there was something there, so I reworked the original pencil/marker drawing with a fine-line marker. I think it's an interesting piece.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sketch of the Tree Man

Here is a late-night sketch:

Sketch of the Tree Man, 2009, ink pen on computer paper, 11" x 8.5".

I thought it was worth posting. Probably influenced by Bosch.

Final week of the Ayton Artwork a Day blog...

This is just a note to say that my Ayton Artwork a Day blog is winding up this week (today is day 46.) To celebrate this fact, the prices on the works available this week will be even lower than their usual already low prices. I'm setting prices this week at $50 per item (includes US shipping) or $55 outside the US (includes non-US shipping.)

Above: today's piece.

This could be your last chance to acquire some of my artwork for incredibly favorable prices...


Sunday, September 06, 2009

From the Hudson Valley News

Short article on the new show from the Sept. 2, 2009 Hudson Valley News:

If you click on the .jpg above, you'll see a larger version which is legible.

I should mention that I've cut off Jim's painting which was at the bottom of this article -- I couldn't get the entire thing on the scanner.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Exhibit opens today

Here is the flyer for the show that opens today in Rhinebeck:

Please click on the graphic for a more legible version.

Jim's landscapes are in the front section, I'm in the back. For me, it was kind of a last-minute thing, as Jim offered me the space that he didn't really have enough pieces to fill. I have 18 artworks in the show, dating from 2006-2009. I have 4 large paintings (from 2006, the oldest works in the show), plus a few new smallish paintings, some ink drawings & silverpoints.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Brush & ink drawing on a classical theme:

Medea, 2009, brush & ink on card, 10" x 8".

The original vengeful woman, perhaps. Read about Medea on Wikepedia here.

Old Man and Tower

Another ink drawing:

Old Man and Tower, 2009, ink & brush on card, 10" x 8".

Another meditation on old & age & time...seems to be a little series in progress here, but this is probably the last for now. May show up in my little exhibit locally.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Old Age and Eternity

Here is a new silverpoint drawing on a green ground:

Old Age and Eternity, 2009, silverpoint drawing on a light green ground on card, 10" x 8".

Guess I must be feeling my age. Actually, I was at the dentist today for a checkup & I have an abcess, so I'm on antibiotics which make me feel like my face was trampled by a horse. A quite small horse, so it's not too bad.

Angel & Sun

Another new angel/winged man drawing:

Angel & Sun, 2009, brush & ink on card, 10" x 8".

I also posted a darker "angel" image on the Ayton Artwork a Day blog today.

Another candidate for my upcoming small show in Rhinebeck. I'm putting the artwork up on Friday, so not much time left for this.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Angel & the Cave

This is a small colored ink drawing that was originally intended for the Ayton Artwork a Day blog, but needed some more work:

The Angel & the Cave, 2009, ink & acrylic on card, 10" x 8".

I may put this in the small Rhinebeck show coming up.

A winged earthbound angel pointing upwards, while the chasm looms...

Leda Waiting

Another Leda image from what is apparently a series:

Leda Waiting in a Rocky Landscape, 2009, brush & ink on card, 10" x 8".

This is from the image pool for my upcoming small exhibit.