Greetings from Krampus

I made a decision recently to make my blog a lot broader, to give some of the art I'm posting a little more context, and to occasionally talk about things like inspiration and process. I spend a good percentage of each day reading about things on wikipedia, and looking at art and movies that are probably relevant to what I draw and if not, probably interesting in general. So bear with me as I awkwardly attempt to share...

It's been a while since my last update. I'll start with October, which I mostly spent whining and getting over a nagging cold and watching chinese vampire movies and during which my only artistic output was my halloween costume:

A pile of regurgitated guts made from batting and fabric scraps with the blood handpainted on.

Lately, I've been reading a lot about painting miniatures. I have a lot of large jewelry settings and small frames I've been waiting to make TINY paintings for, and it occurred to me that it's really just a tad bit more tedious than what I already do is. Below is a sort of accidental first attempt, a creature from the black lagoon painting I made for Mike that's about 2 1/2 in tall:
One of the things that got me particularly excited about miniature paintings was remembering and researching Russian lacquer box painting that I remembered having seen years ago. There are a couple of styles but the one in particular I was looking at is called "Palekh" after the town of origin. These things are really really amazing and detailed and beautiful and generally feature scenes from fairy tales and bylinas and after ordering a book I found out the sort of paint they use is essentially the kind I use (a casein emulsion). I really like the vivid colors with the dense black backgrounds and the stylized...well everything:

Last week I also finished another tape cover for Sal's record label, Peasant Magik:
The band requested a creepy nocturnal animal and pretty much nothing is creepier to me than an AyeAye:
And while I said I was done with the inside out skull creatures I just stumbled across a picture of an ayeaye skeleton and couldn't help myself. I decided to experiment with doing a watercolor background and laying the foreground on top in my usual pelikan plaka paint. It was moderately successful but I think I was more than a little heavy handed with the watercolor which might have undone the contrast I was hoping to have between the two paints with their different opacity.

That takes us pretty much through November as I am now a mere hour away from December first. In just two days I leave for Austria. The impetus for this trip is Mike's and my obsession with the Krampus festival. We'll be arriving in Vienna and then heading to Salzburg to catch the Krampus run (if you're interested in what this involves please go to youtube and search "krampus attack"), the Christmas Market "Christkindlmärkte" where we can eat hot donuts the size of our heads, drink cider and rummage through piles of christmas ornaments, to Hallstadt to see a pile of skulls, and then back to Vienna to see various creepy museums and eat veggie brats and wursts and whatevers.

here's the krampus:

One of the coolest things about those Krampus costumes is that they are all handmade by their wearers! Also apparently they really go after women and children so I anticipate running for my life screaming "nein! nein!" while Mike laughs and takes pictures. To bring it all back to the purpose of this blog, here's the Krampus card I made for Mike last year:
Gruss vom Krampus!!!


Honduran White Bat

For the B2 5th Anniversary Party/Benefit Show- Tomorrow!


my pieces for the snyderman works on paper show

"The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Latin: Agnus scythicus or Planta Tartarica Barometz[1]) is a legendary plant of central Asia, believed to grow sheep as its fruit.[2] The sheep were connected to the plant by an umbilical cord and grazed the land around the plant. When all the plants were gone, both the plant and sheep died. " a zoophyte, or plant animal, called in the Hebrew Jeduah. It was in form like a lamb, and from its navel, grew a stem or root by which this Zoophyte, or plant-animal, was fixed attached, like a gourd to the soil below the surface of the ground, and, according to the length of its stem or root, it devoured all the herbage which it was able to reach within the circle of its tether. The hunters who went in search of this creature were unable to capture, or remove it, until they had succeeded in cutting the stem by well-aimed arrows, or darts, when the animal immediately fell prostrate to the earth, and died. Its bones being placed with certain ceremonies and incantations in the mouth of one desiring to foretell the future, he was instantly siezed with a gift of divination, and endowed with the gift of prophesy." "

"Twrch Trwyth
is a particularly potent wild boar in the Arthurian legend. The hunt for Twrch Trwyth by King Arthur was the subject of a popular stock narrative in medieval Welsh literature. The fullest account of this great hunt appears in the prose tale Culhwch and Olwen, probably written around 1100, but other references demonstrate that this was a popular subject in Wales for hundreds of years. Both the boar and the hunt have parallels in earlier Welsh and Irish mythology. Twrch is named as the son of Prince Tared, cursed into the form of a wild creature; he has poisonous bristles, and carries a pair of scissors, a comb and a razor on his head, between his ears."

The first piece was actually in the Best of Benna's show in April and had sold so I hung an archival print in the Snyderman show. The boar is new and was done in 5 days (of non-stop painting) as I was a late addition to the show. Both pieces are in really beautiful custom frames made by Josh Robeson (I'll include pictures of them framed at a later date probably). You should 100% ask me for contact info if you are interested in having a really nice frame made by a Philadelphia artist, because he does incredible work!

There's a lot of detail lost in posting these so small but it's a limitation of the blog format. Hopefully you get the idea!

UPDATE: READ A REVIEW OF THE SHOW HERE! they chose to highlight one of my pieces and I'm pretty excited about that!


Snyderman Works on Paper Show-I'm in it!

"The Works Gallery is proud to present a show composed of ten local artists; Alicia Neal, Adriane Dalton, Justin Gray, Michael Bukowski, Matthew DeFilippo, James Ulmer, Joslyn Newman, Steven Dufala, Jeanne D'Angelo & Josh Robeson. This is the first show of Works on Paper at the Works Gallery and also the first show curated by Kathryn Moran. The show opens First Froday, September 4th and runs through September 30th."

Friday, September 4, 2009
5:30pm - 8:30pm
The Works Gallery
303 Cherry St.
Philadelphia, PA


For Those to Come group show

from top: Ruppell's Griffon vulture baby, Juvenile bearded vulture, Egyptian vulture.

Paintings on sale at Benna's Cafe, all proceeds to benefit the American Bird Conservatory! come! buy these or any of the other awesome bird themed art!!


The Diamond Sea

hey, here's the tshirt I did for this Australian band the Diamond Sea. I had intended for it to be printed in three colors, which didn't end up happening but I feel like the design isn't too muddled just in linework alone. just a big pile of ocean crap!


suicidal failure!

a partial scan of a bigger drawing I did inspired by the old hand-drawn suicidal tendencies white button ups. I'm hoping to make a screen print of it at some point!

bones of sea birds

Here's a little painting I made for the cover of a cassette coming out on Sal's Label


Warthog Bag !

hey, remember that warthog drawing? The kids over at resist today printed it on a bag that is now available! go buy it!