Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Half Moon Kill

This is a digitally altered (darkened, mostly) pencil sketch from the project I'm finally working on (after a number of false starts) — Half Moon Kill, a noir crime novel with writer Donald J. Rothschild, with whom I collaborated on Shadow Bay...more soon, I hope...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Human Rights Day

In honor of International Human Rights Day (December 10th), here are some images from my series of artworks inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). You can see all of them, plus other pieces at

Friday, December 06, 2013

UDHR Powerpoint Slideshow

I would just like to point out, with Human Rights Day (December 10th) very near, that my Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) artwork is available in digital format. Below is a screenshot of the opening image. It's available for non-profit (i.e. educational) or for-profit purposes. For more details, please go to:

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Another email art scam

The Eye of Heaven, 2013 -- the piece the scammer was interested in. 

Yesterday I received an email from a certain "Andrew Hembree" (I googled the name & there are one or two actual persons of that name in existence, though they don't seem to be the type to indulge in email art scams). I also noticed that I'd had a couple of hits in my web site stats from Nigeria...

The email address of the sender was "" -- notice the "01" in there.

The email went as follows:


I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website (piece in subject field above) on my laptop and i guess she likes that piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work.

I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife.  Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.

Peace and blessings


For a few seconds I entertained the idea that this might be a legitimate communication, but a few things stood out. I'd already noticed the possible Nigeria connection, and the slightly odd syntax and grammar was another clue. When I took part of the email & googled that, I came up with a number of sites concerned with exposing scams that target artists, such as this one:

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page (as of this writing), you will find the exact same email from "andrew hembree". Luckily, scammers are quite lazy...they will copy & paste the same email message over & over again, as they know out of every hundred or so they send, they will get 2 or 3 bites. The body of the email is exactly the same in all cases, the only thing that changes is the subject line of the email, which contains the details of the art piece they're interested in, which is just another copy & paste from your website...

Apparently the actual scam occurs when they send you a check which will ultimately bounce, but not before you pay their shippers a handsome fee...

Buyer beware. I'm posting this in the hope that it saves someone from actually falling for the scam.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tragic Hero at the Limner

Here are a couple of photos of my painting "The Strange Case of the Tragic Hero" at the Limner Gallery in Hudson NY, as part of the 2013 annual Show of Heads, along with works by other artists. The show is coming down round about now...thanks to the Limner Gallery for sending the photos along.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I was just in the studio searching for another drawing (which I finally found) when I came across this small drawing from 2002, done in both pen (the head & lower background) & brush (the sky).

Dreamer, 2002, ink on paper, 9" x 7".

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Open Studio

Another plug for the open studio...Sunday, November 17th, 2-4pm at the studio behind the house in Rhinebeck.
Please leave a message in the comments if you need directions, etc. Hope you can make it.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Open studio, Sunday November 17, 2-4pm

Here is another flyer for the open studio. This one is horizontal, as Diana (my better half) points out that most screens are wider these days...

New monochrome paintings

The image below is a montage I put together for my web site home page & also as a flyer for an upcoming open studio & details to follow. *Update* the open studio will be on Sunday November 17 from 2-4pm, drop by if you're in the Rhinebeck area...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

...from Lizzie, the most terrifying Ayton kid of all...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Magician

I like to think of this as magical unrealism...

The Magician, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Friday, October 25, 2013


Another version of a Pietà -- I'm not religious, but for some reason find this a compelling image.

Pietà, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Eye of Heaven

This was originally intended to be titled "The Storm that Raged Forever", until I realized that this was a better title.

The Eye of Heaven, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Automaton (the World is a Hollow Glass Sphere)

As I think I've mentioned before, the titles of my artworks tend to come to me whilst I'm making them, as my mind starts to make sense of the ideas & images. This one might have been called "The Boy Who Thought the World Was a Toy", but it wasn't.

Automaton (the World is a Hollow Glass Sphere), 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Saturday, October 19, 2013

At the Core of Existence

Another new monocrhome painting on cardboard which tries to get to the heart of human existence...

At the Core of Existence, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crossing the Sea of Stars

A new large-ish painting on cardboard with a visionary theme.

Crossing the Sea of Stars, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Creature Who Yearned for Love

Another monochrome and somewhat grotesque (Bosch or Goya-like) painting on a narrow panel of found cardboard.

The Creature Who Yearned for Love, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 22" x 11" approx.

He Holds Himself Inside Himself

A tall monochrome painting in an expressionist vein. I'm about to make some more larger paintings, so I'm just taking a breather with some smaller pieces...

He Holds Himself Inside Himself, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 22" x 11" approx.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Steranko Homage

Thanks to Tony Robertson and John Gandour who run the Drawings of Steranko site, for their great job in putting my (and many other people's) homage to Jim S on the homage page on their site. The image, as you will see when you click through, is the splash page from Agent of SHIELD #1, which in the original comic book featured Nick Fury scaling an improbable fortress presumably to do battle with the forces of...but you'll have to find a copy of the comic book or reproduction of same to find out exactly what. In the meantime, thanks guys, it's a pleasure.

Figure Scaling an Obelisk (detail of homage to Jim Steranko), 2013, acrylic on cardboard, full size 48" x 36".

For those few who don't know, Jim Steranko is the comic book artist who popularized Nick Fury & SHIELD back in the late 60s for Marvel, then went on to have a career as a paperback book artist, publisher, writer, historian, Twitter raconteur, and probably other things I'm forgetting right now. A living legend, if you will.

Once and Future King

This sketchy ink drawing was partly inspired by Arthurian legend...the idea that the legendary king is not dead but merely in suspended animation, waiting to return to his kingdom.

Once and Future King, 2013, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 14".

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crossing a Stormy Sea

This is a new figurative ink drawing that I did today with the possible intention of making it into a large monochrome painting, like the others I've done recently. We'll see. It works quite well on its own. The painted version (if I do one) will probably change quite a bit from this.

Crossing a Stormy Sea, 2013, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 14".

Monday, October 14, 2013

Alfred Kubin (1877-1959)

In an ongoing but erratic series of tributes to other artists I admire, here are some random images by Alfred Leopold Isidor Kubin, a dark and fascinating draughtsman with a well-defined sense of the morbid, yet oddly and ironically playful...

Alfred Kubin on Pinterest.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Studio Panorama

My daughter Lizzie used her iPad to take this panoramic shot of my studio in its newly cleaned up & organized state...we should be doing an open studio event soon...meanwhile, here is the link to the interactive version:

In a Silent Scream

A drawing I did yesterday. It's silent because it's a drawing, so you can't hear it...

In a Silent Scream, 2013, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 14".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sascha Schneider

Always exciting to discover a new artist (especially one from long ago) I'd never heard of before. Case in point, the German artist Sascha Schneider (1870-1927), whose work encompasses themes similar to my own (life, death, mythology, otherworldliness)...I came across his art on Tumblr by chance, & here are a few examples I found via Google. Also, here is a Pinterest page with more of his works. I don't really have titles or details for the following images, except one seems to be called "Hypnosis", one is "Icarus", & the other three are book covers for works by German author Karl May, apparently...

A Show of Heads / Limner Gallery / October 2013

I just received some postcards from the Limner Gallery in Hudson NY where I am featured in the upcoming Show of Heads, a fixture of the gallery calendar, like the "Strange Figurations" show they also have every year. I've scanned in the postcard -- front side image is by Željko Brguljan, reverse side image by Kelly Blevins, & I've added my own piece, "The Strange Case of the Tragic Hero" below. Also highlighted my name in the list of artists. The Limner Gallery is at 123 Warren Street, the main street of Hudson, NY. The gallery web site is here. Hope you can make it...

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Engineer

This one reminds me for a number of reasons of the metaphysical works of Giorgio de Chirico.

The Engineer, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

In the Land Beyond the Mountains

My monochrome paintings are becoming more complex, moving away from single heads and figures in shallow spaces and expanding to multiple figures and more detailed scenes.

In the Land Beyond the Mountains, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Friday, October 04, 2013

Keeper of the Flame

Another angelic/mystical monochrome painting.

Keeper of the Flame, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Tragic Hero, Framed

Here are some in-studio shots of "The Strange Case of the Tragic Hero" all framed up & ready for the Limner Gallery's "Show of Heads" coming up in a few weeks. Special thanks to Jim Stevenson for all his work in making this possible.