Friday, December 29, 2017

The Frozen Hive

Actual photo of an actual thing (not an artwork, though it could be). This currently-dormant wasp hive on our property looks like something from a horror or science fiction movie. Makes me want to sculpt something like this...

The frozen hive

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Two Heads, Talking

I was considering titling this one "The Conversation" or "The Argument", but settled on the current title as it seems more directly descriptive. Both heads are talking, but they don't seem to be listening to each other.

Two Heads, Talking, 2017, ink on sepia card, 8.5" x 11".

The Man Who Imagined Himself Into Existence

Part of a new small series of drawings on sepia card (some of them heightened with white acrylic). I did this one earlier today—I thought the apparent paradox gave the piece a certain something...

The Man Who Imagined Himself Into Existence, 2017, ink & acrylic on card, 11" x 8.5".

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Emperor

I feel like I was channeling Paul Klee a little on this small (10" x 10") painting. Interestingly, the piece came together with the finishing touch of the plant-like motif under the eye on the profile head.

The Emperor, 2017, acrylic on board, 10" x 10".

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Escapist

New painting, channeling Magritte at least a little, here. The shell-like ear was the finishing touch to this one.

The Escapist, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 16" x 12".

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Hermetic Venus

This is a new acrylic painting from a new series of color works, a coming-together of many themes I've worked on over the years. This one had a long gestation period of maybe a went through many different iterations until reaching what (I hope) is the final stage, below.

Hermetic Venus, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 16" x 12"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Babel with Tiny Lights

This one arrived somewhat unexpectedly...which is somehow the way the best images work out. One of many images of the Tower of Babel that I've done.

Babel with Tiny Lights, 2017, acrylic on board, 10" x 10".

The Shootist WIP

This is a work-in-progress painting of a modified head...many of my works feature somewhat surrealistic heads. Also has an anti-war / anti gun violence aspect to it. I think it may be mostly done (?), but time will tell on that. When I have the final version, I'll put it up on this page.

Update: I've added the final version below the unfinished one.

The Shootist (unfinished version), 2017, acrylic on board, 14" x 11"
The Shootist, 2017, acrylic on board, 14" x 11"

Sunday, October 22, 2017

In a Garden of Eden

This small (12" x 9") acrylic on panel was done today in the studio. It went through several phases, over about half a day, before arriving at the finished state. Sometimes it helps to let the paint build up, adding depth where previous layers still show through, or parts of them do. It's semi-abstract, which is a place I don't often go.

In a Garden of Eden, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x  9".

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Apostle

I found a small pile of brown-tinted card left over from some long-ago project, so while I was waiting for a painting to dry, I drew this head. I decided to call it "The Apostle" (the titles tend to pop into my head whilst I'm creating the works). The loosely applied white acrylic helped. It came out quite well.

The Apostle, 2017, ink & white acrylic on card, 11" x 8.5".

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Eye of Truth

Eyes are a recurring theme in my work...this new one seems to be a portal to everything...

The Eye of Truth, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 11" x 14"

The Return of the Stranger

This is a more expressionistic painting I did the other day. It is kind of a sequel to a small painting I did back in 2006, called "The Outsider". I had misremembered the name, but decided to keep "Stranger" in there as it added another (small) dimension to the piece. This one is darker, whereas the original painting seems more benign (to me). From time to time, personages in my artwork reappear, as though characters in a movie (one that makes little to no sense, admittedly), or as if seen through a window into another world.

The Return of the Stranger, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 14" x 11".
The Outsider, 2006, acrylic on board, 10" x 8".

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Discovery

I think this is a good one, it pretty much painted itself (well, I did struggle a little, but not too much). It might just be a template for a new direction of some kind...stay tuned...also added a digital version below.

The Discovery, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 12"

Digitally manipulated

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Re / Coiled

This drawing of a woman's head with coiled hair turned out differently than planned...the hair is not so much hair as something else. It almost fits into my Medusa series (ongoing) of drawings and paintings. The addition of wash to the ink/brush drawing added a lot of depth...I'll probably be doing more drawings with wash.

Re / Coiled, 2017, brush & ink wash on paper, 28.5" x 22.5".
Unfinished version, before the wash was added

Monday, October 02, 2017

2 Drawings from 2010

These were 2 ink drawings that I wanted to rescan at a higher resolution than the versions I had on my hard drive. They reminded me that 2010 was not a bad year for drawings, & the new scans brought out a little more detail and nuance than I had attained before.

Ancient Head, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5"

Woman's Head, 2010, brush & ink on paper, 11" x 8.5"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A New Global Agenda book cover

Here is the (probably) final book cover for my wife's upcoming publication, A New Global Agenda, Priorities, Practices, and Pathways of the International Community. It's due out in February 2018, but available for pre-order via the publisher's website. See the link for the book page with all the details. And here is the original painting that was used (darkened a little for text legibility).

When I started working on this image, I thought I would do 3 or 4 variations on the theme & the publisher could choose the best one. However, they liked the first one, so that was that. I also did 3 section divider images (as ink drawings) for the inside of the book. I'll probably post those on this blog at some point.

A New Global Agenda, edited by Diana Ayton-Shenker, published by Rowman & Littlefield, February 2018

Sunday, August 06, 2017


It doesn't get much rawer than this...painted in black & white acrylic on a large-ish piece of cardboard (from a box we had a sofa delivered in a few months ago).

Elysium, 2017, acrylic on cardboard, 44" x 35" approx.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Destiny, the Hooded One

This is a new ink drawing...from an ongoing series of hooded and/or robed figures & heads. Often, the faces are obscured by shadow, but in this case the 3/4 profile is visible. I think this does not detract from the mystery of the piece...

Destiny, the Hooded One, 2017, brush & ink on paper, 17" x 14".

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Old Man and the Desert

Not the sea. My paintings are currently getting looser & denser...this one didn't make sense to me until I changed the background from blue to "desert" tones...then the idea crystalized. It can happen like that sometimes.

The Old Man and the Desert, 2017, acrylic on plywood, 14" x 11"
Earlier version

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Watcher From the Deep

A new acrylic on MDF (fiberboard), a quite dark image of an underwater sort of nature. I've been looking at a lot of Symbolist art from the 19th century recently, which may be applicable...

The Watcher From the Deep, 2017, acrylic on MDF, 9" diameter

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Found on the Web: How to communicate with people who are always bad

That's what the text on the image below says, apparently. It's my "Narcissus" painting from 1991, which has been edited a bit. I wonder if the "always bad" thing refers to borrowing artwork from other web sites & not crediting it...I think maybe it does. From a Russian web site that I'm not going to link to.

Bad Narcissus, from Russia with love

Monday, April 17, 2017

New UDHR Poster / Article 25

From the series of paintings that I created around 25 years ago to illuminate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). There are actually 2 series of paintings—one without text at the top, the other with Spanish text. The Spanish series was created in Spain, just outside of Sevilla, at a friend's apartment. The friend was going to continue exhibiting it around Spain, but he became busy with other things, so he returned the paintings to me many years ago. In any case, the other day I got an email from the University of Toronto asking for permission to use the Article 25 (concerning health & well-being) painting on a poster. When the email arrived, I was out having lunch as the Internet was down in the house. We were also preparing to leave for a UK visit the next day. I hurriedly emailed a friend (thanks, Ricardo!) who helped me make photos of the 2 versions of Article 25 (non-text & Spanish text), which we sent to Lisa in Toronto. She chose the Spanish version (with the text cropped out) for the poster, which you see below.

Some links:
University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs
UDHR Art web site (the complete series of paintings & drawings)

UHDR Article 25 on University of Toronto (Munk School of Global Affairs) poster

Friday, March 31, 2017

Seven (Deadly Sins)

I mentioned the other day that I was thinking of doing a "frontispiece" for the 7 Deadly Sins, so here it is, a column made up of many souls/sinners in the shape of a "7".

Seven, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9".
And here it is along with the other images:
The Seven Deadly Sins, 2017

Seven Deadly Sins, 2013 ink drawings

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Seven Deadly Sins 2017 & 2013

While still intending to do a "cover" piece for this series, in the meantime I've created a montage of the 7 pieces & also added for comparison the original drawings, done back in 2013. Now to let the dust settle & consider how to move forward to the definitive versions.

In case your Latin is not so good, from left to right:
1. Lust 2. Gluttony 3. Greed 4. Sloth 5. Wrath 6. Envy 7. Pride

Seven Deadly Sins, 2017 painted versions
Seven Deadly Sins, 2013 ink drawings
The typeface used, btw, is called "Good City Modern".

Luxuria / Lust (7 Deadly Sins)

Trapped in the fires of lust...

This is the final small painting-sketch in this series, though I intend to do a piece that would serve as a kind of frontispiece to the group, & create a montage of all the images in one piece as I did previously. That should be appearing soon...

This was (perhaps oddly, as when I did the drawings, I did this sin first) the most difficult to envision, required the most work, & came out the darkest of the seven images.

Luxuria / Lust, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Avaricia / Greed (7 Deadly Sins)

This is the sixth out of seven (see below) small sketch-paintings of the 7 Deadly Sins. Only one left to go...

Avaricia / Greed, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Portrait Revolution Art Book

Thanks to Martin Beek in the UK who just sent me a scan of the page in "Portrait Revolution" that has my ink portrait of Mariah O'Neill on it. This is from Julia Kay's Portrait Party, an international art project that I was part of — I did a number of portrait pieces for the project a few years ago via Flickr. Click the links for the UK & US versions via Amazon.

From Portrait Revolution, Julia Kay's Portrait Party

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Invidia / Envy (7 Deadly Sins)

The latest (5 out of 7 done) in the series of small sketch-paintings. I think this one is my favorite so far...the grasping tendrils of envy...

Invidia / Envy, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Gula / Gluttony (7 Deadly Sins)

Continuing with the Seven Deadly Sins painted series...these are intermediate painted sketches on a fairly small scale (inspired by the series of drawings I did back in 2013). When these are done, I'll try & synthesize between these & the drawings to come up with a large-scale series of paintings (or drawings?).

Gula / Gluttony, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Superbia / Pride (7 Deadly Sins)

This just in—the latest in the painted (study) series for the Seven Deadly Sins. Also entitled "The King of Pride".

Superbia / Pride, 2017, acrylic on board, 12" x 9"

Ira / Wrath (7 Deadly Sins)

Second in the series of monochrome painted (mostly) studies for the 7 Deadly Sins series. Ultimately, I will create large versions of these.

Ira / Wrath, 2017, acrylic, ink & carbon on gray-brown gessoed panel, 12" x 9"

It's a Small World

Small acrylic painting on rag paper. This may be an early version of a book cover image, but too early to tell. Stay tuned on that.

It's a Small World, 2017, acrylic on rag paper, 8" x 5.75" approx.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Angel and the Cataclysm

This is a small piece painted on the four sides of a wooden block sized 5.5" high x 3.5"wide x 1.5"deep approx. I've presented it here scanned & laid out as a series of flat images. I think it works quite well, but is intended to be seen in three dimensions...the disjointedness becomes more apparent when seen as a continuous flat image.

The Angel and the Cataclysm, 2017, acrylic on wood, 5.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" approx.

And in the negative zone...

Acedia / Sloth (7 Deadly Sins)

From the Seven Deadly Sins. A while ago (2013) I did some sketches of the 7 Deadly Sins with the aim of one day doing more finished pieces—paintings, probably. Here is the first one; Sloth. This is a fairly small version, also, so ultimately I might do larger versions. We'll see how it goes.

Acedia / Sloth, 2017, acrylic & carbon on gessoed panel, 12" x 9"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In the Kingdom of Fools and Madmen

A new drawing, inspired by Leonardo's drawings of lunatics and grotesques, by Bosch & Breughel's beggars and demons, by Ensor's masks and know, the usual suspects...

In the Kingdom of Fools and Madmen, 2017, soluble carbon on paper, 24" x 18".

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Return of the Titan

From time to time I've made drawings of titans, colossi, giants, etc. Here is another one. Partly inspired by Goya's painting The Colossus, also partly inspired by a Japanese anime series called Attack on Titan (which I struggled through, as I don't much care for anime in general), and mostly inspired by the fact that I like the idea of colossi...

Return of the Titan, 2017, soluble graphite on paper, 24" x 18"

Friday, March 10, 2017

Materials Matter: Soluble Carbon

Here is the product I've been using for my drawings lately. It's a "disc" (though it's mostly square) of solid carbon. It's easier to use than ink, for me, as I just dip the brush in water & then soak up some of the diluted carbon. Sort of like watercolor, which I don't use. I am in no way affiliated with this company (Art Graf), though if they want to make me an offer...
Also, it's made in Portugal, one of my favorite countries (though I haven't been there in many years).

The front of the packet

The you know about as much as I do

When Time Has No Meaning

Another large-ish drawing with the soluble carbon, which is working well for me. I may never use actual ink again...

When Time Has No Meaning, 2017, soluble carbon on paper, 24" x 18".

Materials Matter: The Color (Brilliant) Purple

I thought I'd take a photo of the actual tube of Brilliant Purple Liquitex acrylic color, as it's almost an artifact in & of itself. I must have bought this years ago, as it's covered in paint splashes & the cap of the tube itself is brittle & falling apart. The tube is still mostly full, as it's a color I rarely use. See the 2 postings under this one for examples of recent usage.

Brilliant Purple Liquitex paint tube: kids, remember to look after your materials, & they will look after you.