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.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Et in Arcadia

I don't normally use lettering in my artwork, but this is an exception to that rule. "Et in arcadia ego" means "even in paradise am I", the "I" being death. An homage to Nicolas Poussin, perhaps, who painted a famous version of this subject...

Et in Arcadia, 2013, acrylic on cardboard, 48" x 36".

The Chosen

I was considering titling this "The Chosen One" or even "The Chosen Few", but decided it would be more ambiguous & enigmatic to simply title it "The Chosen"...

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