Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A World of Souls

Just clearing the backlog of artwork here. This one was done a couple of weeks ago, & is part of my "World Series" artworks, as well as part of the Coronavirus series (works either directly about Coronavirus, or created during lockdown). The World Series can be seen on Flickr here. The Coronavirus Series is on Flickr here.

A World of Souls, 2020, acrylic on panel, 12" x 9"

They Found the Sphere

Another new drawing from about a week ago, done here in Tempe AZ during self-imposed lockdown. Moving back to the Hudson Valley soon for the summer...

They Found the Sphere, 2020, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 17"

The Outsider

This is one of a series of new drawings done here in Tempe AZ while sitting out the Coronavirus crisis, possibly the best of the bunch. I usually have to look at these things for weeks, months or years before I can decide how much I actually like them & rank them in my body of work.

The Outsider, 2020, brush & ink on paper, 17" x 14"

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Strange Group

And, finally for today, here is a little grouping of some of the characters I've made in Blender. I guess at some point in the future, I'd like to do a scene with many strange creatures, more or less like a Bosch painting, with all kinds of creatures, monsters, animals, fantastic beasts, and so forth. I feel that this little image suggests some kind of bizarre narrative of a group of outcast beings who band together...for some reason...

The lurid lighting effect is one of Blender's default lighting/instant rendering options, which seemed to fit in this context.

The Unexpected Friends, digital image

Tree Men Walking

It's been a busy Blender day today, as I've been attempting to build various creatures...this time the subject is Hieronymus Bosch's Tree Man, which I've made numerous variations of before. Below is a compilation of screen grabs from Blender, showing the character from different viewpoints. I'm not trying to recreate the original very faithfully, and my skills are still developing. I can always go back in & refine it as I get better at this.

Bosch Tree Man, various views

The Hummingbirds

Another digital piece (Blender/Photoshop) demonstrating my still-developing 3D skills. For now, I enjoy the fact that I'm still learning & making mistakes, & my hummingbirds don't look exactly like hummingbirds they prepare to attack & destroy the Coronavirus.

Hummingbirds, 2020, digital image

Narcissus Revisited

This is a brush & ink drawing of a familiar motif. There are many versions I've done of Narcissus, & there will quite possibly be many more. I don't like to repeat myself excessively, generally speaking, but there are themes that I return to again & again, & this is one of them. I also try to find something new in familiar images each time.

Narcissus Revisited, 2020, ink on paper, 17" x 14"

Title change & facelift

I've just spent some long overdue time coming up with a new name & look for this blog. I felt that having "blog" in the title bar was a bit redundant, as it's obviously a blog, so "menagerie" seemed like a good change. We'll see if it sticks. Also, the background image is now a heavily altered photo of my basement wall in NY state, turned into a negative & modified in Photoshop. I may make further changes around here...and some information here is also out of date...

the background image, unencumbered

Moonlight in the Garden

In this piece, I perhaps wanted to create something that was at once funereal yet full of light, dark yet full of light, ghostly yet full of light.

Moonlight in the Garden, 2020, acrylic on panel, 12" x 9"

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Island of the Eye

A new smallish acrylic painting, painted on a pre-primed black panel. I just bought some more of these black panels from the local store, so expect some more paintings in this vein soon. This one alludes to the Isle of the Dead (again), as well as Redon's work, & of course the surrealists.

The Island of the Eye, 2020, acrylic on panel, 9" x 12"

Friday, May 22, 2020

A World Full of Monsters

This circular drawing is a bit of a departure from my current, more traditional style, being almost cartoonish. I'd like to go slightly more in this direction, at least in terms of complexity, with smaller intertwined figures rather than singular, more monolithic ones. It also may play into my ongoing augmented reality work...stay tuned.

A World Full of Monsters, 2020, brush & ink on paper, diameter of drawing: 10.5"

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Angel and the Isle of the Dead

This is an experiment combining two sculptures created in Blender (3D modeling software), and then practically obliterating the result in Photoshop by applying multiple filters. I think it works quite well, especially for a throwaway.

The Angel and the Isle of the Dead, digital image

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Sleeper

Here is a close-up shot of the sleeper (from the previous posting). As my Blender 3D digital sculpting skills improve, the figures and other elements will get more realistic. I'm not going for photorealism by any means, but it's important to gain control over the tools, to make them do what you wish. It's a process, & I'm in it.

The Sleeper, digital 3D model

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Sleeper in the Sphere

This is a study, if that is the correct term--prototype might be better. It's based on a painting I did a few years ago, and would become a large-scale augmented reality piece, should it come into being. This is at an early stage, so may change significantly before it's done. As usual, the sculptural parts are done in Blender, & it is assembled in Unity.

Sleeper in the Sphere, digital animated image
Below is the original painting, from 2015.

Asleep in the World, 2015, acrylic on gatorboard, 12" x 10"

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Resilience Rising Tribute (augmented reality)

The Resilience Rising Tribute AR artwork is now live on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It's a tribute to Arizona State University (where I'm currently affiliated as Visiting Artist) and the graduating class of 2020. The graduation this year has unfortunately been confined to a virtual one this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so this is our (myself, Leonardo ISAST at ASU, SFIS, Herberger Institute for the Arts and Meteor Studio at ASU) tribute to the students and university. The app part is a small-scale animated & interactive trophy (tribute is probably a better word) that will be mirrored on campus by a very large-scale AR piece, and also by a surrounding "Covid Quilt", a circular looped montage of stories of resilience from students, faculty & staff. The app is available now, the larger on-site piece will be happening later in the year.

You can find the app on the respective stores by searching for "Resilience Rising Tribute".

Get it on Google Play.
Get it on the App Store (via iTunes).

Resilience Rising and Covid Quilt, small scale prototype
Android phone screenshot of the Tribute, earlier version

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Prison Island

A new color acrylic painting that is part of the Coronavirus series. My paintings of islands were probably inspired by the Isle of the Dead initially, but they have tended to spread out in all kinds of thematic dimensions, this one containing references to the Tower of Babel series also.

Prison Island, 2020, acrylic on panel, 10" x 8"

Wednesday, May 06, 2020


Another Blender 3D sculpture, edited and textured in Photoshop. Could be a study for another augmented reality piece.

Colossus, digital art

Resilience Rising update

Here is a screenshot from an Android phone that I took yesterday of the latest version of the app (currently undergoing evaluation on the App Store) with its enhanced functionality. There is a "refresh" button (top left), scale slider (center), info button & photo shutter button (right). There are some other features in the making also. It's looking good. When it's available, I'll post something on this blog. Thanks to Robert LiKamWa and Meteor Studio for programming & other technical (& aesthetic) input.

Resilience Rising screenshot (Android)