Saturday, April 28, 2012

Small Landscape

This is a little acrylic painting of a landscape that I did today.

Small Landscape, 2012, acrylic on board, 10" x 8".

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shadow Bay video book trailer

Here is a short trailer we put together for the Shadow Bay book (visual noir crime novel) the other day. Donald asked a couple of actor friends to read an extract, we recorded it & set it to some images from the book...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tree of Light and Life

A new smallish painting, also in a kind of pointilistic style:

The Tree of Light and Life, 2012, acrylic on board, 16" x 12".

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

After the Deluge

This is a new acrylic painting for the apocalyptic series, done in a somewhat primitive/expressionistic style:

After the Deluge, 2012, acrylic on plywood, 24" x 19.75".

Monday, April 23, 2012

Terri and the Three Healing Souls

Another image from the Book of Souls, a collaborative project with artist Tim Lowly in Chicago. He does the digital manipulation, layout & photography, I do the drawing (and in this case, a bit of painting). You can see the project in its current state here on Flickr or here on Tumblr.

Terri and the Three Healing Souls, 2012, digital manipulation of drawings & photography, Ayton & Lowly.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I did this little painting that I call "Church" for a fundraiser auction at the kids' school...though I may keep it and give them something else...

Church, 2012, acrylic on board, 10" x 8".


Another small acrylic painting in a somewhat poinitilist/impressionistic vein:

Elysium, 2012, acrylic on board, 10" x 8". I scanned this directly in from the original—I couldn't quite get the blue right, it's a bit too warm.

Study for a Pietà

This is a new small painted study for a possible large Pietà painting:

Study for a Pietà, 2012, acrylic on board, 16" x 12".

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jack Kirby, King of Comics

Just bought this today at Barnes & Noble in Kingston...should be a good read. Kirby, King of Comics by Mark Evanier, published by Abrams, NY. I loved Jack Kirby when I was a kid, especially his Fantastic Four...


Another acrylic painting of a woman's head which appears to make a trilogy with 2 images below...Madonna of the Wasteland and The Morning Star.

Pandora, 2012, acrylic on board, 20" x 16".

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Madonna of the Wasteland

Another new acrylic painting for the apocalyptic took quite a while to do, & was painted over older images, which sometimes helps give depth to a painting.

Madonna of the Wasteland, 2012, acrylic on board, 20" x 16".

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Morning Star

New tondo painting, somewhat angelic:

The Morning Star, 2012, acrylic on circular canvas, 20" diameter.

Monday, April 09, 2012

WA and the Soul of the Iron Rails

Here is another occasional collaboration with Tim Lowly from The Book of Souls. This time, the subject of the painting is my late father, who once worked on the railroads (that should be "railways", as in British Rail).

WA and the Soul of the Iron Rails, 2012, by Ayton (drawings) & Lowly (photography & digital manipulation).

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Today at last

I'm finally putting pen to paper (as it were) with a review of my old friend & erstwhile musical bandmate (Heyday, Edinburgh 1985 or so), Stephen Harrison, with his latest CD collection of songs, Today Tomorrow.

Part of my problem with getting to this review was my listening options. Either I could use my computer's speakers (a bit tinny) or my car stereo (much better, but in this case the sound of the engine tended to drown out some of the subtler frequencies of the music).

However, once I finally spent quality time with the album, I found it to be one of Stephen's best. Hard to tell at this point if it is the best, but it might be. Gone is the drum machine of yesteryear (one of my pet peeves, as almost any drum machine is going to sound inferior to an even mildly inventive drummer). This is pretty much a full-blown folk music album, with much fingerpicked acoustic guitar, no percussion, and only occasional keyboards audible in the mix.

I'm ultimately left with the conclusion that this is a rather huge, timeless collection. All of the songs are in a similar (but by no means the same) idiom, with vocals to the fore and very subtle, well-played acoustic guitars (sometimes sparsely layered) in the background, with occasional keyboards and voice (on one track, courtesy Karen Edward). Time does seem to stand still during my listening to the CD, and the songs tend to blend together, but in a way that emphasizes the whole, rather than denigrating the individual parts. My daughter mentioned that she thought it would make a good soundtrack to a movie...not a Hollywood blockbuster, I would imagine, but a low-key, alternative kind of art house movie perhaps.

All in all, it's a melancholy, wistful, deep, charming, beautiful album.

Here's the track-by-track with my impressions:

1. Today Tomorrow — a beautiful love song, basically.

2. River of Time — a meditation on time's passing.

3. Graffiti on a Wall — has a fairly upbeat feel, and keyboards.

4. Don't Cry — melancholy, as the title suggests.

5. Sphinx City — reminds me a bit of early Leonard Cohen. Probably my favorite track.

6. And If — images of leaving and going home. Sense of foreboding and hope. Epic keyboards come in near the end.

7. Looking Back — song of loss ("she's gone, baby's gone").

8. Shoegaze People — downbeat & melancholy, but with a ray of hope. "Let's be joyful, let's have fun / the answer will surely come."

9. Imagination — bucolic images..."this is a wonderful place"...a little melancholy again... especially nice guitar on this one.

10. Nobody There — the closing song ends on a note of sadness...beautiful vocal interlude by Karen Edward.

The CD cover imagery is a good complement to the music...simple images of natural wonder. The front cover reminds me of images of Machu Picchu (but it's probably a sea wall near Edinburgh). A nicely designed package.

You can find Stephen's web site here, and his Bandcamp page to listen/buy here.

Searching the Mountains for Memories | digital color

Here is a colorized version of a recent monochrome tondo (original is 20" diameter):

Searching the Mountains for Memories, with digital color.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

When Men Become Gods

Another new painting in an apocalyptic vein. I'm not sure about this photo...I may re-shoot...

When Men Become Gods, 2012, acrylic on board, 24" x 24" approx.

The Face Inside the Painting

A somewhat expressionistic painting done on a re-used oval canvas that has been in my studio loft for ages.

The Face Inside the Painting, 2012, acrylic on oval canvas, 14" x 11".

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Industrialist Smiles / Toxic Generator / The Last Furnace

Another apocalyptic image, this one inspired by the dwindling supplies of "clean" fossil fuels...the planet destroyed by human greed...

The Industrialist Smiles / Toxic Generator / The Last Furnace, 2012, acrylic on plywood, 48" x 48" approx. I did the study for this one a couple of days sgo.

I've decided to (again) rename this piece "The Last Furnace", as I feel that better sums up the idea.

Do Angels Dream of Flying?

This is the painted tondo version of a recent drawing, which I think works better than the drawing did...too early to tell, really...

Do Angels Dream of Flying?, 2012, acrylic on circular canvas, 16" diameter.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Today to come

Apologies to Stephen—I've been meaning to put a substantial review of his new(ish) album on my blog for a month or so now, but keep getting sidetracked with other things. The CD is very good, by the way. One of the reasons it's taken so long is that, while the music is quite simple (just Stephen and an acoustic guitar or two for much of it), it is in other ways very dense and layered. Still, I do intend to write a review very soon, so do stay tuned.

Here's a link to his web site.