Thursday, December 29, 2011


I didn't post yesterday as I was busy DJing at Temple. Sometimes it feels like I lead not a double but a triple life, and I try to remember this whenever I think my life is uninteresting. Of course I wish the balance was more towards the lives I prefer, but what else is new. Something to aim for in the new year.

Ah yes, the turn of another calendar year, with all the hopes for a better one, and it's easy for me to say "good riddance" to the last one. While it did feel at times like a boot on my neck, good things did happen, specifically because I made them happen, which I need to continue in the new year.

I didn't create as much as I'd like, but I did do more than in 2010, and several artworks were also in galleries, and they sold as well. I started to save up for a "real" camera. I still desperately need a better apartment/studio to create, and that will remain a priority in the new year. I went to a voiceover class, as I'd like to do voices for cartoons, but that will require more practice, and, again, a better place to do so in.

Maybe you believe in astrology, I am mostly a skeptic, but somebody who's better versed in it than I did my chart and said that after so many bad ones, 2012 will be "my year." I sure hope so, but I have to remember not to sit back and wait for it to be so.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

:saw no evil:

I continue to deal with physical & mental problems, which again get in the way of creativity. This time it's my eyes. I've been nearsighted since grade school, when I found that I couldn't read the chalkboard. I've worn contacts since high school. I've looked into Lasik, but of course it's out of my price range, and not covered by insurance.

I got a new prescription this past weekend, my eyes have been amazingly the same for a couple of years, but now the right one is a just a bit weaker. I've only had these new ones in for a few days but I've had issues with them. For faraway objects they're great, but sometimes, more than before, I am having a real hard time viewing and reading close objects. That's with them in, of course. I am fine reading without them, but then I won't be able to read things like traffic signs. Going back Friday to see if they can fix this mess. I don't want to have to wear both contacts and glasses, or just glasses. Call it vanity. I find it both amusing and annoying that kids today actually WANT to wear them. Damn you, Harry Potter.

Without our senses we are nothing. Wouldn't want to lose either my sight or hearing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

:twist my arm:

Just trying to get back in the swing of things creatively. I shouldn't have to force it, but other things keep getting in the way, time-wise, physical and mental. I miss the days of youth when there was so much free time. Going to be the fogey and say now that "youth is wasted on the young." But truthfully what I need to do is organize my time better. I do my best but the internet is such a time-suck. Even when I'm actually doing constructive thing son it, one link leads me further astray. And don't get me started on Facebook. For somebody like, who hates to feel like he's missing something, it can be insidious.

Just some doodling. I need to get back up to a page a day. Even on a large page I tend to fill it up with thumbnails.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

:inbetween days:

The Krampus art opening went pretty well on Saturday, and of course Krampus made an appearance, twice. People seemed to like my piece, a few actually calling it the best in show, of which I disagree, but flattered nonetheless. I still tend to think I made a bit too scary to be wall-worthy, but we shall see. I was surprised by my previous sales, after all.

My brain and body have been too mushy for much creativity this week. Time to think of another major work, and to get going, finally, on the website redesign. For now, here's a zen seagull.

Zen Seagull

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

:he knows:

I won't be around tomorrow night for my usual Wednesday night posting, so here I am now. Finished this last week, delivered it to the Fools Mansion, the opening party will be this Saturday night if you find yourself in Salem and not in a shotgun shack.

I'm too wiped out from either my headaches or the medicine I'm taking for them to write much else. Here's hoping the TMJ people find what's up with me and FIX it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

:naughty and nice:

The Krampus piece should be done and ready for delivery to the show by this weekend. Once again I won't show you the whole thing until the show starts, nyahh. I may associate this one with pain, as I've been plagued with headaches the past few weeks and had to skip a few nights from working on this. I think it has to do with my jaw, I will be going to somebody about it soon. I've been clenching and grinding my teeth in my sleep for who knows how long, I've lost two teeth as a result of it, and the newest mouthguard I got made things worse. It's like my body is trying to sabotage me in my sleep. But enough about that.

I did this piece in charcoal, something I haven't used in awhile, and like pencils, it came back to me nearly instantly. It's like painting to me, of which I am not very good at, at least not with oils.

The whole Krampus thing gets more and more fascinating to me. I found a book about it, but it arrived long after I had already begun the artwork. Krampus cards were a big deal in Europe before WW I. Most of the art depicts naughty children being carted off or flogged by St. Nicholas' helper, but sometimes it's adults, and the women don't seem too displeased by his appearance. Inneresting.

The spaniels are still showing up in my sketchbooks. The theme seems to be, "what awful things can I do to them next?" Awful things that I can't show you right now, that's what.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

:Santa's little helper:

Working on my piece for the Krampus show. I'd have gotten more done if not for time and raging headaches and neck aches. One reason for a new apartment will hopefully be a better creative space. This one is just not cutting it. Nor is my bed, another reason for those aches. Sigh.

Working in charcoal this time. I usually used it for figure drawing, I've forgotten how easily it flows. I should be able to finish this in time for the show.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It's time once again for the Krampus show in Salem, and I'm trying to come up with something for it. The piece I made last year actually sold, so there's some pressure in my head to outdo it. Right now I'm not sure if I'm going for horrific realism or somewhat whimsical. I've seen my share of both in my research. It's a pretty big deal in some parts of Europe. With a little push we can bring Krampus to these shores, why not.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

:el dia de los muertos:

So of course this past weekend was Halloween (well, Monday, but even though I partied then, most choose the weekend), and I was more focused on that than other things., even with a freakish amount of snow on Saturday. I wore Day of the Dead makeup and made an outfit as best I could from what I have. Tried to find a mariachi outfit but all I could find was a rental and I'm not paying that much just for a day or two.

(I've no idea who she is but I had to get a photo with her)
As far as I know there's no Mexican blood in my family, but I'm fascinated by the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos, quite the opposite of how death is viewed up here in America. I even went to Mexico City one year in the hopes of witnessing such, but truthfully saw very little. Either I was looking in the wrong places or it isn't a "big city" thing down there. Maybe again some day. I still enjoyed myself. I really should be traveling the globe, but, no money, so what's new. Somebody pay my way and I'll take so many photos to make up for it!

I've wanted to make some elaborate costume for years, like an alien or giant insect, but it's never come to fruition. Plus it'd have to be something I can stand to be in for an extended time. Even a simple mask is too much after awhile for me.

So begins November, one of my least favorite months; the comedown after Halloween, getting darker and colder, Thanksgiving - which only means time off from work for me, and the intrusion of all things Xmess. Yayyyy. Thank goodness for Krampus. Well, maybe goodness has very little to do with that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

:trick or trout:

I just tried messing around with the new Blogger template editor but so far it's been very user-unfriendly for me. Changes I made would disappear when I went to a different editor. Maybe some other time.

I'm pleased to report that the "cactus" piece I made for a show in Salem, MA was recently sold! So somebody likes what I do enough to pay for it!

Most of what I'm doing this week has been planning out the makeup for my Halloween costume. Let's just say it's related to the above piece in a way.

And also the spaniels are finding their way into my sketchbooks again. It seems that they are serving the purpose of what I think they did in the past, of a way of getting my aggressions or "unfriendly" ideas out somehow? In any case I don't think that it's something I can share just yet, don't want people thinking I have issues that aren't really there. Right now they are just creatures that exist to eat, breed, and die. In many inventive and grisly ways.

Tourist Trap 1

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

:this is halloween:

In 1998 I started an artwork series called "Halloween is my Xmas." Actually the first one was for a flier for a Halloween party that I hosted, now I still use it for "thank you" cards.

I kept doing another one each year until 2007. The original intention was as promotional cards; I saw and read that other illustrators sent out promotional cards to clients and prospective clients, usually on the obvious holiday. Well, Halloween has always been my favorite, so why not avoid the Xmas mail glut as well? I did try it as promotion, made a list from various sources like the Artists Market ( do they still publish that? ), but didn't get *any* nibbles. I doubt that direct mail even works any more these days. Marketing is obviously a weak point with me.

Why did I stop doing these in 2007? One reason was that I ran out of ideas, or had ones that were too similar to the Nightmare Before Xmas, which also often fused the two holidays.

I've been meaning to print these to sell as cards (they can work for both holidays!). I printed a small run for Fool's Mansion in Salem, MA, an obvious place to sell them. When I was there recently there were only four left. Wish I could've afforded to print more. Another Kickstarter possibility?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

:click and crack:

I'm recovering from a root canal tonight. For the sensation of somebody excavating within your jaw, I heartily recommend it. Here's hoping the tooth will be saved, I can't afford another implant, but neither do I want a gap in my mouth.

Sketching when I can but nothing worthy to show you. I find I'm still doing more photography, glad that I take my point and shoot everywhere, you never know what you'll run into. Although I really need a digital SLR camera, if only for more control over the pictures, like depth of field. I try to use what I have, though. I think I get pretty damn good results for what is available to me. I still feel pangs of jealousy when I see tourists with fancy cameras (or TWO) taking pictures of buildings. Once we had shoeboxes full of photos that no one will ever see, now we have hard drives full of them. Although I try to get my photos out there as much as possible (see my flickr page).

I look at the prices for such cameras and wonder how "ordinary" people can afford them. Trying to figure out a way to get one. Kickstarter? Would people give me money to buy a camera? I need to investigate further. Even used prices are several hundred dollars out of my range and I need to save money more for my eventual move.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Nothing new this week, the last week has been mostly anxiety-ridden, something I hope I can fix, it's really crippling me at times.

Just heard the news this past hour that Steve Jobs has died. I wouldn't be typing this now or have created half of what I have in the past two decades without something he had a hand in creating. Yes, I've used PCs, I'm no Apple worshipper, but it's definitely a preference for creative types, still. RIP.

The gallery opening that the piece I created is in was this past Saturday. Nearly every spot on the wall was filled, delightful to see with the Halloween theme.

Here's a seagull to send off Summer with.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


...and here she is. If it confuses you, it's inspired by the Pixies' song "Cactus:"

Bloody your hands on a cactus tree
Wipe it on your dress and send it to me

It's an idea I've had kicking around for some time, I finally did it for an upcoming Halloween show (I consider Dia de Los Muertos as part of Halloween :-P )

I seem to be sticking to using just pencils lately. No real reason why. Avoiding learning the drawing tablet, perhaps? Or seeing if I can still draw without digital trickery? I can tell you this much, I'd have preferred scanning in a cactus than drawing every last spine like I did.

She'll be on display and for sale at the Fools Mansion Halloween show, Oct. 2 - 31.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

:otro lado:

I completely changed direction from last week. This is an idea I've had on a list (one of many lists), but I think it'll apply to Halloween. Or Dia de Los Muertos, at least. I'm glad I got this much done tonight, as for some reason this week I've been feeling more anxiety while at the apartment than usual. I may need to seek medical help finally. But I've found it helped to just get started and keep my head down. It's just that it's difficult (for me) to stay in the zone when somebody in the building goes BANG BANG THUMP THUMP or does something that makes the whole building shake. Guess I'm "weird" in that this bothers me. :-P

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


There's a Halloween art show coming up that I'd like to make something new for. Not entirely sure what yet. I could either go the full horror route or go whimsical.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I can't speak for other artists, but often in my case artwork is never really finished, it's just done "enough," or in danger of too much re-working. I can recall a comic I did called "Bleed for Me" that I re-did several times. Still not sure if the end result was the best. But it's either redo it again or go on to other things from there.

Case in point, I find myself still thinking about or re-reading those awful dog stories I went over in a previous entry. Partially because it's like a different person did them and I am trying to recall the state of mind I was in when I did them...besides being young and confused (as opposed to older and confused like I am now). Also looking at the art and writing and wondering if it were done better, could it work now? Even though at the very core it's about dogs being killed in many ways. Alien dogs, okay, but dogs drawn in an intentionally cartoony way.

One thing on my eternal list is a manga-style series, I just need a story, perhaps this could be it. I've seen some good horror manga and also some surreal humor ones (I LOVE FLCL!). Could be, could be...

Anyways the spaniels keep finding their way into my sketchbooks lately. One of their aspects is that they breed like rabbits, so I offer both apologies and none for the following:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Nothing for show and tell this week other than some very rough sketches that I don't know whether or not if they'll turn into something better. Plotting in my head, as per usual, that path I should be taking, which will rocket off once I get the better apartment that I deserve by now. Looking into getting into more galleries. I've been in a fair share of group shows, no solo shows yet, although the closest one was a three person show at Space 242 a few years ago.

One of the biggest obstacles, curiously enough, is that whole "artist statement" thing that usually accompanies exhibits. I've sure you're read a few. Or maybe not, maybe only gallery owners read these things. In any case, they often read to me as overblown descriptions of the artwork and process. I just create from what's in my head, I can't always explain why or where it comes from. "Beauty & decay" is the best description I've come up with, which just might be the title of my website, once I finally re-design the damn thing.

I'll make the pieces fit somehow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

:summertime rolls:

August is turning out to be a very non-productive month for me, due to work and home issues, I'm sure. I'm making a point of making time for sketching, though again it's sad that I have to both find the time and force myself to. Redundant, but this will all be fixed by a better apartment. Yep, still looking.

I saw this blog about creepy dolls and just had to add mine to the bottom of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I swear this wasn't planned; I just hang up my latest artwork on the wall, it just happens to be next to a doll with tentacles.

Here's a closer look a Goddess of the Hallway if you've never seen her before.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Busy this week getting back into the wretched day-job schedule, plus a DJ gig Monday, and other things, leave very little time this week for creativity. It's very sad. So here's a picture of a seagull marking his territory.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


After spending so much time working on one piece, there is some downtime, at least as of late, since I spend so long on them as opposed to knocking them out in a day or two. Although that was probably in the years of more free time...when was that?? 

The gallery opening was excellent, as all Fool's Mansion shindigs tend to be. I did not sell the piece on opening night like I did last time, but I wasn't really expecting to. People liked it. Hopefully some time over the next month somebody will like it enough to buy it.

I'm also on "vacation," although not able to afford to really go anywhere for it, but I am spending as much time outside as possible, not just because it's summer, but there's still apartment issues. Two neighbors have moved out, which is good, but it appears I have a new one next door already, which could be bad, given my track record, and may lead to panic attacks again. Ramping up the apartment search again. So tired of this.

In the midst of this I don't know what my next piece will be. Scouring through the sketchbooks, surprised at some of the things I came up with.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I finished this last week! It will be on display and for sale in the the show "From Beyond," an art show inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, at Fool's Mansion, 127 Essex St, Salem MA 01970. The opening is this Saturday night at 8 PM, and trust me when I say that their art openings are like no other that I've attended.

I pretty much stuck to the final sketch. I tried drawing large tentacled beasties, but none of it was working for me, so I tried for the terror within.

The original plan was to create it with Corel Painter, but it was acting dodgy. A victim of my finally upgrading to OS X Snow Leopard? I won't be upgrading to Lion anytime soon. To their credit, Corel customer support quickly supplied fixes, but I had wasted enough time as it is, so I went back to pencils.

I had meant to leave the top part of her face out, as I think the focal point of this piece is pretty obvious, but after I bought a frame, I found a lot of leftover space, so I added the rest of her face. There's at least three references I used for that, but mostly from my puny mind.

Then I got to work on the tentacles, which was really fun for some reason, probably because they weren't based too much on reality and so I couldn't screw them up too much. After they were done, I had to go over the rest with darker pencils so that the tentacles didn't stand out THAT much.

I'm really happy with how this turned out. I wish I had more hours in the day for this. Oh for a pile of money or a rent-free living situation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I'm almost done with this piece, some more shading, then I'll sleep on it (not literally) and see if I need to do anything more to it tomorrow night. If not, then I'll pack it into the frame and it's off to Salem on Saturday.

I've really enjoyed drawing these tentacles the past two nights, they just flowed out of me, so to speak. I find it somewhat easier to draw things that are not based in reality, you don't have to worry so much about whether or not they look "right," unlike, say, a person's eyes.

I'll publish the final piece next week, along with the steps I took to make it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have had very little free time this week to work on this piece, I will probably be finishing it right up until the deadline. Insert lament about work vs. my time here. I'd like to show more, but truthfully I don't want to until it's finished and hanging up on the gallery wall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

:burning inside:

After that winter, I dare not complain about the heat, but woo it's a scorcher tonight. Even with the AC and a fan on I don't feel like moving around too much, and thus, not getting much done tonight. The general idea for the art show piece is there; I just need to finalize it, maybe need some photo reference for aspects of it. Next week will be busy time for sure.

For some reason I keep going back and reading and looking at the spaniel stories I talked about here. I can't  really say why, as they are so crude in idea and visuals. I guess I'm trying to figure how my mind came up with such things, especially at such a young age. Maybe I was striking out at my "enemies" or frustrations through cartoon violence. There were some sexual aspects to some of the stories too, which is amusing to me now as I certainly didn't have any experiences of the sort at the time. Late bloomer to say the least. I don't know, maybe since my life is so frustrating right now, maybe I'm trying to relearn how I dealt with and maybe it'll show itself in creative ways. There are times when you don't want to be an adult anymore, though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

:the screaming game:

I seem to be leaning towards the idea of of a woman sprouting tentacles for this piece, even if it's not terribly Lovecraftian. Now if I can just keep it from looking like tentacle porn...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

:creeping terror:

Still trying to come up with an idea for a show next month: I will say that it is Lovecraft-themed, and I'm trying not to do anything obvious, although I keep fixating on tentacles, but there's nothing inherently scary about just tentacles. I seem to be going between horror within, as in within the body, and horror without, but I'm having trouble conveying something that is so immense. At least in sketches, so far.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Got tentacles on the mind. Can't say why yet, and no, it's not a hentai thing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


No new artwork this week, unless you count photography, which I do. This past Saturday was the annual Zombie March in Boston, and it keeps getting bigger each year. As ever, part of the fun is the reactions of people not expecting a zombie horde. Besides taking pictures, I also used a Brain On A Stick (tm) to lead around a few zombies here and there.

Zombie March 2011 86

To see more, see the whole set on my flickr page.

In other news, I'm going to be taking the month of June off from Facebook, to hopefully regain some of the timesuck it's become in my life. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

:dog days:

As threatened/promised last week, I'm going to talk about these wicked little stories I created when I was younger that I recently thought of and managed to unearth. Lucky for me (?) I kept damn near everything I've drawn and written, no matter how embarrassing it may look now.

A good part of my youth was spent making my own comics, one was a major one that I started after seeing "Star Wars," in which I borrowed from nearly everything I read and saw, comics, movies, and TV shows, one reason why it'll never be published. It was also never finished - high school got in the way, and then college, and then real life - but I know how it ends in my head, at least. They do get an ending. I'll go over that comic some other time.

But around the same time, I'd say when I was 13 or so, I started writing and illustrating these vicious little stories in which these little dogs which I called spaniels, even though they were really crudely drawn at first, that met many bloody and gruesome ends. It seems that I even kept meticulous notes on it, thinking that some day somebody would be interested. Hell, I had all these plans for several volumes of stories, and animated movies, I even chose songs for the soundtrack, and designed video games based on them. Quite the dreamer I was.

The nearest I can tell about the genesis for this was my being a cat person, and at the time there were these "humorous" books out about "101 uses for a dead cat," which I guess offended me enough to retaliate against the obvious. I made these dogs SO stupid that they almost invited death. They would get frozen with fear, whine and sweat (not something dogs normally do, but it made sense in a cartoon sense). But killing off cute little doggies is a bit of a hard sell, I'll admit, so a weird sort of mythology developed around them.

Turns out these are not normal dogs, but alien ones dropped off on our planet, from a planet called Strax where they were bioengineered, but they soon overpopulated (they have two day long gestation periods and breed like rabbits - the males are horny little bastards) and threatened their planet with deforestation (they were herbivores, although in some stories I had them degenerate into cannibalism of their own kind). Which gave (I thought) valid reason for the slaughter of them. The original stories were about the different kinds, due to wherever they were dropped off and "too stupid to leave." Tree, arctic, cave, city and, for some reason, English spaniels.

Looking at these now I cringe at the bad writing and crude drawings, but hell, I was only 13! But I did see improvement as I went on. The city spaniel story, meant to be the last one of the "first" volume, was pretty well-written, I thought. The second volume, which was meant to be about the final "death hunts," never got written, they were more storyboards for imagined animated movies. Seeing both "Watership Down" and "Heavy Metal" clearly inspired me. The third volume was supposed to take place on their home planet of Strax. I only got one story done, basically sketched out but never fully illustrated, but I read it now and the black humor in it still makes me laugh.

It's called "Friendship," and I even found the original story idea, written on the back of some school vocabulary test:

1 - two pups are separated in woods 
2 - both find the same female a year later
3 - they fight over female for two days
4 - pups are born, and they apologize
5 - bomb destroys them all

I don't know, something in me really liked building it up to a sappy ending only to yank it away in the end. There is foreshadowing in the final one so that the bomb doesn't literally come out of nowhere.

I also gave them foul little mouths, it seems. I've no idea why I drew it on such crappy paper, though. I guess this was meant to be a rough draft. I have other pages pacing out the story better, but they're even sketchier, pencil-wise. Oh so many unfinished projects in my life.

So who needs subtlety?

Like I said last week, I'm lucky no authority figures or parents saw these back then, they'd probably put me away. Then again, the stuff that kids today can see accidentally online pales in comparison, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Nothing new art-wise this week, but I did take a lot of photos at MIT's FASTlight this past weekend - a celebration of MIT's 150th anniversary involving a lot of installations combining art & science. Every time I get to wander around MIT I wish I had been smart enough to go there, it seems like an inspiring place, and with places like the famous Media Lab, there's places for artists there, too. Maybe if I had learned about making video games back in the 80s rather than playing them...

More pics from this event on my flickr page.

edit: I was editing this post and stupidly posted it as new post. This one should be dated 5/11/11.

:not disney:

It's gotten later than I thought tonight and there's not enough time to write what I wanted to. So, instead, a peek of what I was going to write about and hopefully next week...some rather bizarre comics and stories that I wrote in my misguided youth, which, looking at them now, I am lucky that no authority figures saw at the time. Surely a disturbed young boy, they'd think. Best to put him away.