Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Here is another classical Greek-inspired head, coming after my Puppet Oresteia (with Jack Ross) phase:

Ulysses, 2011, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5".

The head is intentionally meant to look a little like the figurehead on the prow of a ship, in case you were wondering...

Friday, May 27, 2011


This is my part of this week's collaboration with LA-based artist NC Mallory.

Pariah, 2011, brush & ink on paper, 10" x 8". You can see both drawings together here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mirrored Angels

Just playing around with Photoshop, copying an image & flipping it horizonatally...the image I find to be a little hypnotic in some odd way...

Mirrored Angels, 2011, digitally manipulated scan of a drawing 11" x 8.5".

The orginal single angel can be seen here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cascading Souls

A new large ink drawing of a cluster of heads...a theme I've explored several times over the years.

Cascading Souls, 2011, ink on paper, 23.5" x 18".

Monday, May 23, 2011


This is a smallish drawing I did yesterday...I've treated this subject before & this instance was probably induced by seeing the movie "I AM" by Tom Shadyac, a director of Hollywood blockbuster comedies (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, etc.) who, after a life-changing bicycle accident, started to question the nature of materialistic society & try to figure out what was wrong with the world, & how it could be fixed...

While not a masterpiece of cohesive artistic vision, I think, the film does raise some very interesting questions, issues & responses. Shadyac compares society's obsession with vast wealth to cancerous growth, which I tend to agree with, as the human race seems to be programmed for its own extinction as one of its possible outcomes.

Empathy seems to be a uniting human characteristic, despite the apparent domination of the "alpha male" and various other conceits that would have us at each other's throats the whole time. I came away from the film with the sensation that we are, in addition to being individual organisms concerned with our own advancement, also part of something much larger, like a wave or field. The movie documents ways in which scientists have been able to measure human emotional energy fields, as well as more philosophical ideas from some of the world's great thinkers alive & dead.

Definitely worth a viewing. Note: there is one disturbing moment in the movie, which might make it unsuitable for children...ironically it comes from "Un Chien Andalou", Dali & Bunuel's surrealist film from 1929, which retains its ability to shock, it seems.

Empathy, 2011, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Head of Orpheus 2011

This is the latest in an ongoing series of depictions of Orpheus / mythological & classical characters. It also references Rilke (Sonnets to Orpheus) & symbolizes the poetic soul, I guess...my work tends to either not have much in the way of meanings (I work by instinct quite a bit), or is densely layered with allusions...or both.

Head of Orpheus 2011, brush & ink on paper, 23.5" x 18".

Artists' Sketchbooks Online

I recently discovered that I am listed on this site, dedicated to artists' sketchbooks...I found this out via my website stats & traced the link back. It's a valuable, interesting resource, so I'm linking to it here:


The above is a link to the main sketchbook page with info, rather than to the opening splash page, which is here:


If you like looking through artists' sketchbooks, including mine, this is a good site to check out.

Above: image from The Book of Souls (Elizabeth and the Graminoidal Soul), with Tim Lowly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clytemnestra from The Puppet Oresteia

This was the final drawing I did for "Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia", the chapbook collaboration with New Zealand poet, Jack Ross. It was done as a replacement for an earlier piece that didn't work as well, I think.

Clytemnestra, 2011, brush & ink on paper, 10" x 8".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Starcrossed Lovers

I've been laid low by pollen allergies for a while now, seems like the worst season ever. However, back to work...here is a new large-scale ink drawing:

Starcrossed Lovers, 2011, brush & ink on paper, 23.5" x 18".

Monday, May 09, 2011

Eros and Thanatos, 2003

This is a re-post of what is apparently one of my more popular images, as I tend to find it on other people's blogs quite frequently (I just found it again, this time on a Serbian blog), sometimes attributed to myself,  and sometimes not. I actually don't mind people "appropriating" my work for their blogs and web sites, but I would prefer it if those people credited the artist & linked my name to my main web site (www.ayton.net) or this blog. I understand that sometimes an image turns up from one of these secondary sites without attribution, and then the image is re-used, with the assumption that the artist is no longer around or suchlike (I am still around, last time I checked). This is not meant to be a rant, just an observation. I'm putting in a larger version of the ink drawing "Eros and Thanatos Were Lovers" below, as all of the previous ones available are rather small. This is still probably too low-resolution to be used for things like t-shirts or CD covers and so forth, so if anyone wants to license this piece for that kind of commercial purpose, they should ideally contact me (either leave a comment on this blog, or send an email to info "at" ayton "dot" net). Thanks.

Eros and Thanatos Were Lovers, 2003, brush & ink on paper, 24" x 19".

Monday, May 02, 2011

Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia

In recent weeks, I've been working on a collaboration with New Zealand poet Jack Ross. The result is a chapbook entitled "Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia", based on the classic Greek trilogy of tragic plays by Aeschylus, updated into a more contemporary setting, that of a play performed by children in their puppet theater, whilst still paying homage to the original. The chapbook is 44 pages, with 24 ink drawings (21 of them brand new for this project) by myself. The book will be available soon, as a co-production between Perdrix Press (Ross) and Narcissus Press (the small press my wife Diana & I founded). More details to follow, but here is the cover image, and a detail from the back cover below that: