Monday, August 30, 2010

Rise of the Red Dragon

New & possibly unfinished acrylic painting on board, partly inspired by the Book of Revelations...

Rise of the Red Dragon, 2010, acrylic on board, 14" x 11".

Scanned directly from the painting in 2 sections, then reattached in Photoshop.

Double-page figure drawings from Souls sketchbook

Here is a short series of figure drawings from my ongoing sketchbook which feature figures spanning the double-page spreads.

fallen, pages 73 & 74

arisen, pages 75 & 76

dream the world dream, pages 77 & 78

This sketchbook is now half-full, I believe.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Other digital processing with "find edges"

Here are some other examples (see previous post) of drawings enhanced with the Adobe Fireworks "find edges" filter. Using this particular filter produces a negative image with white lines on black, so I reverse the image back to positive with the "invert" command.

By the stream, 2010, sharpie on paper, 7" diameter.

By the stream, digitally processed with "find edges"

Into the wheel, 2010, sharpie on paper, 7" diameter.

Into the wheel, digitally processed with "find edges"

Mortality, 2010, sharpie on paper, 7" diameter.

Mortality, digitally processed with "find edges"

Astarte in ink & digital

Here is a comparison between 2 versions of the same image. The first is digitally enhanced with a "find edges" filter, which has the effect of emphasizing the structure of the drawing & removing tonal variations...the second image is the original drawing. I think I vastly prefer the digital version...I tend to avoid processing my own art, but in this case I think it works...

Digitally processed

Ink (sharpie fine-line marker) version, diamter 7" approx.

Final version in blue with acrylic.

Mortality & tondos

I've been experimenting with the tondo (or "round") format today, partially inspired by my collaboration with Tim Lowly, who has used the format often. I'm particularly happy with the "Mortality" one, but I think there is a lot of potential here, & also in other geometric shapes other than rectangles...

Mortality, 2010, sharpie on paper, diameter of drawing 7" approx.

when all knowledge is revealed, 2010, brush & ink on paper, diameter of drawing 7" approx.

the third oracle, 2010, brush & ink on paper, diameter of drawing 7" approx. The other 2 are on Flickr.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Narcissus' Mirror

This is a new piece in ink on cardboard (taken originally from the back of a sketchbook) with no white highlighting. It's a very simple piece, but effective for all that, I think.

Narcissus' Mirror, 2010, ink on cardboard, 8" x 6".

Monday, August 23, 2010

Heyday's Edinburgh

Here are some scans of the packaging of the CD from the band I was in around 25 years's been a long wait, but finally the music is widely available.

Above: front cover.

Above: back of the CD booklet...I'm in the top photo on the left.

Track Listing:
1. Sad And Blue
2. Let Go
3. Pack On Your Back
4. Golden
5. Pull Up A Chair
6. Talk To Me
7. Shape
8. Good Time Now (live)
9. Johny's Land (live)

I play keyboards on the first 7 tracks. The last 2 songs are live, & recorded after I had left the band. The music is 1980s alternative pop music, I guess. To me it still sounds timeless, despite the fact that these are really demos and live tracks (the live ones suffer a little from poor recording). The songs (written by Stephen H. Harrison) are potential classics of love, angst & Edinburgh life. Well worth a listen...

Here is the Facebook page.

You can buy the CD from here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This is a small ink drawing done originally for The Book of Souls (possibly), but now I'm not sure. It stands on its own quite well.

Wilderness, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5"

More Souls sketchbook double-page spreads

Here are some more double pages from the Souls sketchbook:

los gemelos (the twins), pages 61 & 62.

crease | Soul of the Machine, pages 63 & 64.

Soul of a Star, pages 65 & 66.

bug | Calling Dr. Rorschach, pages 67 & 68.

The last 3 images are "crease" drawings -- I'm calling them that in that they utilize the crease in between the individual pages in a deliberate manner.

Friday, August 13, 2010


New smallish drawing...this one is of a woman in an interior, which is a little bit of a departure & maybe a new direction of sorts...

goodnight, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5".

The Origin of Souls

Another new drawing that may or may not find its way into The Book of Souls...

The Origin of Souls, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5".

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Another new, larger-scale drawing...getting used to having more space to draw in...

Withering, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 14".

Density Venus

This is a somewhat larger-scale drawing than most I've been doing recently. It started off quite simply, but then as I worked more & more into it, it got much more dense, hence the title...

Density Venus, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 14".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Medusa 2003

Another recently rediscovered & previously overlooked drawing...a version of Medusa (of which I have many) from 2003.

Medusa, 2003, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 11".

Study of a Woman's Head from 2006

I was going through piles of drawings in my studio again, looking for a particular piece (not this one) to photograph, and of course I found several interesting half-forgotten works. So I photographed a few. This is a pretty good study of a woman's head from 4 years ago that I don't think I shot at the time.

Study of a Woman's Head, 2006, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 11".

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A few notes about the Souls sketcbook

I just wanted to jot down a couple of ideas here:

1. I like the fact that the sketchbook is made of recycled paper. I also like the fact that I bought it at WalMart.

2. The light brownish color of the pages appeals to me. It reminds me of Art Brut or Outsider Art works done by people in obscurity, poverty, mental institutions, etc. It also suggests cheap materials, impermanence & so on.

3. While this is a sketchbook, the pieces in it tend to be somewhat finished. While I like "true" sketchbooks filled with random ideas & half-finished thoughts & fragments, I tend to finish things. While some of the images are definitely better quality (on various levels) than others, they are mostly fairly well conceptualized artworks.

4. This is the third such sketchbook I've done (in this physical format.) The other 2 were done in 2006-2007, being titled "Nov-Dec 2006" & "Hell 2007". All the sketchbooks have the same number of pages, I believe, being 158, as far as I can tell. I've only scanned in a small number of images from the first 2. I just looked through them & there are many other worthwhile images, so I may scan those in in the near future.

I will probably think of other things to say / write, but the above should suffice for now.

More doubles from the Souls sketchbook

Here are some more 2-page spreads from the Souls sketchbook. This seems to have become the format for the book, for now at least. This sketchbook also parallels the collaboration with Tim Lowly, The Book of Souls. I'm not sure how they interact, or even if they should. In some ways they are similar, in others rather different. I think I'm using the sketchbook to explore some of my wilder ideas, whereas the "book" (which is a virtual book at the moment, but may become a book about the virtual book) with Tim is a more formal work. However, that is not entirely true, as some of the ideas & images from the sketchbook may bleed over to The Book of Souls. When the dust has finally settled, I'll be able to see all of this more clearly. Anyway, here are the double-page images:

Pages 51-52. I feel my spirits fly.

Pages 53-54. The Art of Discourse.

Pages 55-56. merge.

Pages 57-58. a mortal coil.

Pages 59-60. The Shadow of Your Soul.

Clicking on the images will take you to substantially larger versions. You'll have to use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

I realize that the capitalization of the titles is a bit quirky...these are the original titles I gave the pieces. The lowercase titles are somehow different & less formal than the capitalized ones...

More images to be posted. I don't know if the entire sketchbook will consist of the double-page images...time will tell, as always. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Origin of Storms

A new ink drawing inspired by a Tim Lowly photo, that may be processed into The Book of Souls...

The Origin of Storms, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5".

In any case, I like it as a standalone drawing.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Book of Souls

This is a new project that I've vaguely hinted at in posts below. It's a collaboration with Chicago-based painter Tim Lowly (see his web site here.) In this case, he is digitally processing and enhancing drawings that I've made for the "book" (which will probably become some kind of a book, but that's not certain.) We're also using some of his photographs of "settings" -- landscapes and environments of various kinds -- to give the soul portraits some kind of will all become clearer (including to ourselves, the artists) as the images progress and the interplay takes shape. Here are some of the early images:

James and the Cycloptic Soul, 2010, Ayton & Lowly.

Without Faces | Old Souls, 2010, Lowly & Ayton.

Elizabeth and the Graminoidal Soul, 2010.

Please click on the images for much larger versions (use the "back" button on your browser to return here.)

Tim's role in this is kind of like a record producer in relation to my role as "musician" -- though possibly much more creative than that. He is remixing & extending my work to create a new series of pieces that is part both of us, but also hopefully something completely new that neither of us would have imagined on our own.

James is my son, Elizabeth is my daughter, the second image is a "remix" of a 1992 drawing I did entitled "Cold Souls"...there shall be more...

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mollusc Venus -- final version

This would appear to be the final version of the Mollusc Venus image (see a few posts below), professionally scanned courtesy of Catskill Art Supplies in Kingston, NY.

Mollusc Venus, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 11".

Above: possible type treatment.

As you may recall, this was for a t-shirt design. That seems to be happening. When it's available, I'll put the link & details here.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Double-Page Spreads from Souls Sketchbook

The Souls sketchbook (see a couple of posts below) has taken an interesting turn, whereby I'm using facing pages to make the images communicate in some way or other. Below are the first 7 double images.

Pages 37-38. Dialog Between a Hand and a Tree.

Pages 39-40. kiss / merge.

Pages 41-42. The Tree Composed of Bones and the Tree Composed of Clouds.

Pages 43-44. Two Gnarled Trees Engaged in Mortal Conflict.

Pages 45-46. Two Cocooned Figures Unraveling Towards Each Other.

Pages 47-48. Calling In Unison.

Pages 49-50. The Windows on Your Soul.

Clicking on the images will show larger versions. Use the browser's "back" button to get back here.

Probably more to follow.