Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Frances

I did this portrait of a Cairn Terrier as a Christmas present for someone.




"Frances", 2012


18" x 24", oil on canvas

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Black Metal Tesh



"Black Metal Tesh", 2012

18" x 18", oil on cradled panel


For my latest painting, pianist, radio host and longtime co-host of Entertainment Tonight, John Tesh gets the corpse paint treatment a la King of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth.  I don't why I get shit like this in my head, but once when I saw a photo of King from Gorgoroth, I thought the upside down cross painted on his forehead was some sort of cryptic rune meant to give him the power of Tesh.




Because John Tesh rocks!


Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm in Print!

I received a package from Mexico the other day. Inside was a beautiful hardcover book titled "Las pitayas en las artes plasticas, la historia y la literatura" or "Pitayas in the visual arts, history and literature".




The book was published by Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (Chapingo Autonomous University), an agricultural college in Texcoco, Mexico. The author is Adolfo Rodriguez Canto, a professor at the university and apparently one of the world's experts on pitayas. Pitayas are the fruit of several species of cacti, but the pitayas most people are familiar with is the dragonfruit, the sweet pitayas from the vine-like, epiphytic Hylocereus species.




It blooms at night...




And produces the dragonfruit...




Here is video touting the benefits of the pitaya...




Anyway, I can't read Spanish, but "Las pitayas en las artes plasticas, la historia y la literatura" has great photos of cacti and features some great artwork featuring pitayas. There are paintings from great artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and great contemporary painters,who feature pitayas in their art. I especially love the paintings by Victor Caduro Rojos, whose art is on the cover of the book. And filling up the entire space on page number 45 is my painting of Leon Trotsky in his cactus garden in Coyacan, Mexico.




I also have a bio near the back of the book.




I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

On the Subject of Me (Part 1)

Here is a quick "unfinished" self-portrait.




"Unfinished Self-Portrait", 2012


20" x 16", oil on canvas


Monday, September 10, 2012

Venture Compound Art Show

I almost forgot to mention that I have a couple paintings for sale at the Venture Compound's latest art show. The Venture Compound is an underground alternative venue/art gallery/record store/DIY artspace in the scenic warehouse district of South St. Pete. The opening for the art show is tomorrow night! All artwork at the show is priced at or below $50. How low can I go? To what depths will this shitty economy drive me? Would you pay $50 for a couple of my old pieces? We shall see. I might even have some cheap prints available if I get ambitious and get my ass to Kinko's before the show.

The art show is called "We Fucking Forgot". Here is a description from the show's facebook page:

September 11th is about remembering the past. The "We Fucking Forgot" show at The Venture Compound is about looking toward the future. Gone are the days where people have an extra 700 dollars to spend on an art piece. Most art at The Venture Compound can be purchased for between 5 and 50 dollars. This September 11th, forget politics. Come and check out some awesome art by some of Tampa Bay's most persistent artists. I love you.

The Venture Compound
2621 Fairfield Ave. South
St. Petersburg FL 33712
September 11, 2012
8pm-1am
$5
Runs all month
Viewings by appointment or at events
facebook.com/theventurecompound


Also, the Pangaea Project No.31 will be happening at the Venture Compound in conjunction with this art opening. https://www.facebook.com/events/357751690968358/
Here is cool time lapse video of Brad Kokay and his friends hanging the pieces for the show:





And my friend Hal Harmon's band Vasectomy Party will be one of the bands performing tomorrow night in conjunction with the art show opening.





See you there!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Perdurabo Mouseketeer



"The Wickedest Mouse in the World", 2012

20" x 16", oil on cradled panel


Mickey as infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. I always liked that famous photo of Crowley where he is sporting his snazzy triangle hat. I did this piece for Howl Gallery's upcoming "Greedy Mouse" show. Exciting, because it's the first time I was invited to participate in a themed show. At least it's the first time I've been invited when I actually did a piece specifically for the show. But I couldn't say no when I checked out the notable pop-surrealist/lowbrow artists on the flyer for the show! I am the "And Others" mentioned here.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Inspired Visions

I almost forgot to mention that one of my pieces is featured in the Manatee Art Center's latest show, "Inspired Visions". Reception was last Thursday, but the show runs through July 6.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Raspberry Beret



"The Raspberry Beret", 2012

30" x 20", oil on canvas


My latest painting is my attempt at a visual interpretation of a song. And this attempt is done in the style of Surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. Many of the images I used in the painting are taken directly from de Chirico paintings. Below are a few of the de Chirico paintings I stole from.








And I stole the yellow wooden floor from some of the "Metaphysical Interiors" de Chirico painted.




And I think everyone knows that old Warren Zevon song:



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SWFL Lives! Number 4



Once again some of my paintings will be part of Howl Gallery's "Southwest Florida Lives!" show in downtown Fort Myers. This is the 4rd Annual one, and the fourth one I've been a part of. Reception is Friday night from 6pm to 10pm. See you there!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"I'd Rather Kiss a Wookiee!"

Kick Start My Art is presenting a Star Wars themed art show at a bar/restaurant in Ybor City called "The Bricks". I have one of my Chewbacca paintings in this show. Star Wars week begins Saturday, the 28th at 8pm, and the pieces for the art show will hang there for about 7 weeks.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Artpool Gallery's 4th Anniversary Show



Artpool Gallery in St. Pete is having their 4th Anniversary Show/Party, and I have a few pieces that will be attending the extravaganza. Come say hello to them. The party starts at 8pm this Saturday the 21st.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Into the Void



"Into the Void" (self-portrait), 2012

18" x 18", oil on cradled panel


My latest painting is a self-portrait. As I stare into the cold, inky blackness of the void, I seem to ask, "Why?" But really, it's not so bad in the void. At least it's got that dramatic lighting.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stitching Together Scans in Photoshop

A little project that I have been working on lately is scanning my smaller paintings on my desktop scanner/printer. Even my smallest pieces are too large for the 8.5" x 11" scanner bed. But with my smallest paintings I can at least get the whole image in just two passes. Which means that I have two nice 300ppi images that once I put together, I can hopefully use to make prints.


I put these scans together using Photoshop 7. The first thing I did was to open up both halves in Photoshop and make sure they were rotated correctly.




Then I go to Image > Image Size and check the size of my two images. I am mainly concerned with getting the width right for my new image. There is plenty of overlap in the scans, so the length of the new image just needs to be bigger than the two images. I will crop the new image when I have pieced it together. After I have checked the image sizes of my two scans, I go to File > New and when the dialogue box comes up, I copy and paste the width of my scans in for the width of the new image, and I guess about the length. Each scan was 8.5", so 17" for the height of the new image will work.




Next I select the move tool and drag and drop my two halves into the new image.





I line them up as best as I can with the move tool. When the move tool is active I can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to nudge the images into place pixel by pixel. Until they are merged each image is a separate layer, and I can navigate between them by clicking on the layer I want in the layers box, or by checking the auto select layer feature of the move tool and simply clicking on the layer I want to move.




Since there is a lot of overlap in the scans I can use one of the scans for a reference, as I nudge my pieces into place. I put both my new image and my reference scan side by side and zoom in to actual pixel size to make sure I've got my new stitched image as close as possible.




Once I get my pieces aligned as best as I can, I have to deal with a very noticeable seam. This seam must be due to color variations in the two scans. The edge of one scan appears to make a shadow on the other. I can fix this with the handy eraser tool. I click on the eraser tool in the toolbox, adjust it to the size I want and set the opacity to 50%. I then drag my eraser along the seam of the upper layer several times to blend it with the layer beneath. This works amazingly well!




You can zoom in to the actual pixel size to make sure you've really got it blended well.




Once I have erased my seam, all I have to do is crop my new image with the crop tool, and go to Layer > Flatten Image to merge the two layers into one so that it can be saved as a .jpeg and not just a .psd.










And that's it. There may be easier ways to do this with photo-merging software for panoramic photos, but I'm happy with the results I got with the method I used for now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hand's First Flower



"Hand's First Flower", 2012

16" x 12", oil on canvasboard


A hand cracks through the parched surface of a faraway desert landscape, and a flower blooms from the index finger. No big deal, but the flower I chose for my latest painting is that of the Desert Rose.




The Desert Rose, or Adenium obesum, is interesting for its unusual, thick caudex. They can be grown in a pot and make great bonsai plants. This concludes your weekly fun plant facts post.


Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Give a Great Job Interview

In the opening scene of "Taxi Driver", Travis Bickle shows us the proper way to conduct oneself during a job interview. Some cockiness combined with a vagueness and an apparent willingness to accept the job no matter what the terms seem to be the right formula.




Remember job seekers, there is always hope.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chewy Van Gogh No. 4



"Chewy Van Gogh No. 4", 2012

20" x 24", oil on canvas


Yet another portrait of Chewbacca based on one of Van Gogh's portraits of Joseph Roulin. Below is the portrait I used for inspiration. That's some nice wallpaper Mr. Roulin is posing in front of.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Chewy Van Gogh No. 3



"Chewy Van Gogh No. 3", 2012

20" x 24", oil on canvas


It's another Chewbacca portrait painted once again against some of Van Gogh's wallpaper. And again this background is from one of Vincent's portraits of his favorite mailman, Joseph Roulin. This time I painted the background first. It seemed to go smoother that way. After all, even though I am painting Chewy a little more expressionistically than I am used to painting these days, it's only the background that I'm copying from Van Gogh's portrait of Joseph Roulin. Therfore I get the tediousness of copying from another painting out of the way first. Below is a photo of moi in front of the mostly completed background.




And here is the portrait of Roulin I used:




I thought I had given up on this series. I wonder how many more of these Chewy portraits I can do.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The I Love St. Pete Show



I will once again be a part of one of Artpool Gallery's shows. This Saturday at 7pm kicks off Artpool's "I Love St. Pete" - Art/Music/Fashion ART pARTy. I am really gonna try to at least make an appearance at this show.


And I do, love St. Petersburg, that is. Nevermind that sunny St. Petersburg was recently found to be the saddest of 100 American cities in a Men's Health magazine survey. St. Pete even beat out Detroit! Tampa was rated 4th most depressing city to live in, and Men's Health said, "Florida in general seems to be a depressing place to live." What can I say? Hot, flat and crowed. Florida's your future folks.