From Whence We Came

So in 2009 my friend Josh organized a bird themed show called "For Those to Come" to benefit the Bird Conservancy, and I contributed a few pieces. This year my friend Ryann decided to do the same thing but with the ocean as the theme and beneficiary. I recently finished my piece for the show, a portrait of a vampire squid, but I have to go get it scanned so for the time being I thought I'd put up a few in progress (pre-outlining) photos and the copy and info for the show, in case anyone is interested in attending. I'll post a finished scan and give some more info on this monster next week.

"The various issues plaguing our world’s oceans are neither simple nor easy to address. Contamination of water sources, destruction of habitat and the consistent (often brutal) depletion of the world’s marine organisms has led to what many experts have suggested is a global epidemic; a crisis that scientists believe could be irreversible in the next twenty years. In fact, the delicate balance that controls the ocean is being tipped by our own hands and it is only by our intervention that we can begin to save the quality and quantity of life living in the open seas. Protecting the world’s marine ecosystems isn’t a political or geographic problem, at best, it should be a global call to action but it can start right here in Philadelphia.

This July, over 40 artists have donated their time and work to ocean conservation. "From Whence We Came" features art from multiple mediums and from artists throughout the US, each piece expressing the artists own interpretation of the ocean and water-related themes. All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Oceana, two charities committed to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans. Come see the show, buy some art and know that your involvement will make a difference."

The artist list includes:
Zach Baez, Bonsky, Alan Brown, Michael Bukowski, Ryann Casey, Tracey Cocco, Alex Curtis, Adriane Dalton, Jeanne D'Angelo, Matt DiFilippo, Stephanie Dimiskovski, Melissa Farley, Craig Fineburg, Keegan Fink, Justin Gray, Sarah Grocholski-Breitenstein, Eleanor Grosch, Joseph Hasenauer, Katie Henry, Zia Hiltey, Kane Humboldt, Andrew Johnson-Lally, Doug LaRocca, Emily Kohl-Mattingley, John Mitchell, Lauren McEwen, Kathryn Moran, Gabrielle Muller, Alicia Neal, Joslyn Newman, Duong Nguyen, Melissa Papadakis, Lucy Price, Mary Price, Josh Robeson, Jonathan Schoonover, Maria Smith, Kristen Spor-Cooper, Eric Thivierge, Ketch Wehr, Peter Wonsowski

Benna’s caf
1236 S. 8th St.

Friday, July 8 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
show runs until August 10th


Real Child Of Hell

I finished this last week but kept forgetting to post it. It's the header for that huge daunting Norse universe project I'll be working on slowly for the rest of the year. It's maybe 9in wide and fits into the top of the frame (an old mirror) I got for the piece:
I also realized I hadn't posted process pictures in a while and since people sometimes ask, here's the line drawing for the painting I'm working on this month:
I draw in pencil then ink with microns and erase the pencil since the lead can mix with paint and muddy it. I basically use my own pen drawings like blank coloring book pages I paint over though I occasionally add some hatch lines and note where wrinkles and stuff will be just to give myself something to build on. I actually already painted in the background for this one, so I'll get a shot of it in that stage and then when it's painted but before I add the black outline.

This piece is for a benefit show I'll be a part of next month, I'll post more info about the show and about the piece itself later.


The Sun Is Out Spinning On Its Axis, Lead White Vapor In The Clouds

This is the last painting I finished for the Across the Haunted Sea show I had in March. I didn't have a good photograph of it and haven't gone to get it scanned yet since it's pretty big (about 19 inches tall.

I've mentioned before that there have been times that the color has really gotten away from me and I think that happened here but I'm still happy with the way the detail came out in this one.

I posted about the tiny cemetery above previously, if you want to see a picture that shows scale.

I tried something I don't usually here and outlined the background city in a dark green grey so that the skeleton would be more pronounced as the foreground, since it was supposed to be overlooking the city in the distance. I think that worked ok, but I'm not sure it translates well in this photograph. It might be something I experiment with more in the future to add some more depth, as much as I like black outline.

I had a couple of ideas about sunken cities I wanted to work into this show, and this one is primarily influenced by Poe's "The City in the Sea/ The Doomed City" though I also grabbed things from previous sketches of Kitezh a legendary Russian sunken city, and a Robert E. Howard poem about a sunken city that would rise again that I had sketched out in the early stages of getting ready for that show.

As a kid with an active imagination I did a lot of daydreaming and loved staring into murky ocean water in Maine and imagining what could be down there and what it would be like to live there (ok, as a child I was really not grounded in reality), so I've always been attracted to stories about sunken cities, and ships and lost civilizations and continents. I particularly like the world view that Howard borrows from Madame Blavatsky, that there are different eras of humanity that rise up, and are swallowed by the ocean only to be replaced by the next era. I like any story that digs at the sense of specialness and permanance that most humans rely on to counteract the terrifying unpredictability and finiteness of life and the reality that the earth could wipe us out in a second and I like the idea that each era lives without realizing that they are living in a doomed society.

I have more work to post later this week to make up for my lazy silence and I'm starting a new project today.



I haven't been very good at posting this month, as I have a bunch of projects in an uninteresting half finished state, spent a weekend in new york and am now mysteriously summer sick. But I have been working and I have an older recently (somewhat poorly) photographed painting to post, as well as the finished header for that norse year-long project and am getting started on a new piece. For the time being though, here's a quick mini (2 1/2 in) rat fink I made for a friend last night: