Laurel Hill

Hey, remember this painting I made in April? Well it was selected to be published in the Laurel Hill 175 years of reflections book! COOL.


Der Hexenhammer

I guess I should update! My show went really really well. Lots of people showed up despite a bunch of conflicting events (most people found a way to go to everything which is awesome), I sold a lot of stuff, and people seemed into it. I definitely think I outdid my last show and managed to keep everything consistent in terms of quality and style and theme since I had a smaller space to fill. My friends and family were all so awesome, helping me hang and photograph work, helping me make frames, baking Russian tea cookies for the opening (!) and telling people about the show and coming from out of town. Everyone is great, especially me. Just kidding.

Possibly one of my worst work habits is my desire to rest endlessly on my laurels. I have absolutely no trouble convincing myself that I deserve breaks and rewards for sometimes the most basic of tasks (going to the post office, cleaning the litterbox, writing a long email) so I worked through it to jump into the next thing since it turns out I actually still have tons of stuff to do. Here's the line drawing for a blog header I'm making for a friend's blog:
I went COMPLETELY overboard here, but it's mostly because I liked his idea so much. A satanic goat-horned vulture? OK. It's pretty muddled to look at at this stage but that's a dove he's tearing apart. This will probably take a while to finish since I insisted on putting so much tiny junk in it but I've already got a good start (background is painted).

I was also invited to participate in the art show that corresponds with Exhumed Film's 24 hour Halloween Marathon. It's called Video Violence and the idea is to alter or repackage a favorite cult movie VHS to be displayed on a shelf as part of a mock video store. I love this idea, as one of the last cavepeople to still own and watch (and BUY) vhs tapes and being the right age to have come up during the advent of vhs, with strong memories of some of my favorite video stores and all the weird and awesome movies I found there. I had a million ideas for this but I'm pretty sure I'll be doing Haxan and designing a fake spellbook box for it. Haxan might not exactly qualify as "cult", as it falls somewhere between "classic" and "holy shit, someone made this weird old thing?!?" but I'm really in the mood to do something witchy and I actually really enjoy the message of the movie and all of the imagery.

Since I decided to start actually trying with art a couple years ago I made the decision to take every possible opportunity to be in group shows and to NEVER FLAKE (ps- this is my second bad work habit/personal habit and one that I have almost totally eliminated from my work. Not so much for the personal). Last year the Exhumed show was the only thing I flaked on and it still eats at me. The idea was to screenprint a poster for a fake grindhouse movie. I love the idea and I actually drew the entire poster but totally failed when it came time to print and I discovered that the screenprinting studio in my basement was busted in the middle of a prolonged winter illness delirium. I basically put my hands up and said "fuck it!" Here's the poster I drew for that show, for my fictional movie called "Devil Mummy"
Looking at it now there are of course a million things I would change but I still think it would probably have been cool if I finished it. I'm partly writing all this here to make flaking this year totally shameful and impossible. Mark my words, etc etc.


The Haunted Woods Where Hoofed Feet Swagger

Here are some scans of some smaller pieces I did last week plus a scan of the flier image since I only posted a photo before. I also have some scans of the three "terrible vengeance" paintings I posted in their frames that I'll probably post later.

This guy is the bolotnik, a swamp spirit that, like every water spirit in virtually all folklore, will drown you.
This is just a small painting. Forests are full of scary stuff!
This is a witch's coffin. I was really interested in that fascination with "unclean" death that was explored a little with the corpses popping out of the ground in "A Terrible Vengeance", and is essentially the source of European Vampire Lore. Russian folklore is full of horrible reanimated corpses, people who died prematurely or without passing on their arcane knowledge. Witches and sorcerers could pass their knowledge on to unsuspecting bystanders at their death bed with just a touch or word and escape the fate of the walking dead. If they died "ensorceled" their coffin would be rejected by the good earth and they would become the walking dead, sometimes reanimated by demons who would wear their flayed skin. These revenants were also known to come back and devour their remaining family. They were sometimes preventatively staked with an aspen stake through the heart.
This is a moth, which was the form that nightmares and the souls of sleeping people would take. I really like moths that have a natural false eye pattern.
And this is the piece for my flier based on St. John's Eve, already posted but here's a nice clean scan.

Show is hung, opening tonight!


Oh No! Vertigo!

Show is finished! Wanna see something gross? This is the callous on my middle finger from holding a brush:
I'm sure if I wasn't booted out of Catholic school at such an early age they would have cured me of my sinful and incorrect pencil grip but as it is I've always written and painted with a weird death-grip and the implement positioned almost at the end of my middle finger. The brushes rest right under that callous and when I work for a few hours I end up with a huge indent there. Grossssssss.

Last night I finished putting backing and hangers on everything for my show. Here are the backs of everything that i made look nice because I'm nuts:
An aside: immediately after I finished getting all this together and packing it in boxes for my friend to take to Benna's tomorrow, my roomate's dog slipped out the door by my feet and BOLTED several blocks. If you were wondering what the physical effects of sitting on your ass for several months painting beard hairs are I can tell you they definitely include not being able to run 5 blocks after a demented pomeranian. Luckily a neighbor hopped off his porch to help me and Kat jumped out of her car and ran the rest of the way with me and grabbed him out of the back of the corner store that he apparently decided was his new home (more snacks, lottery tickets, understandable).

Anyway, here are some photographs of framed stuff. The first three are frames that Josh Robeson made. We talked about working out a way for me to have glassless frames I could assemble around the art and for these particular paintings I wanted something with a rounded top so he cut all the pieces for me. Originally the plan was the hide the seams with some putty after the art had been glued in but I couldn't find a good brush-able gold paint so I had to paint the frame pieces ahead of time and couldn't close the seams. They really don't bother me at all though and I actually like the way the grain switches directions when you look up close. This is how I'm hoping to frame everything in the future.

My friend Ryann shot really nice lightbox photos of the crosses I posted a crappy picture of a while ago. Because the actual paintings make sort of pathetic scans because of their size, and because I'm having so much trouble getting scans that show the actual color of things I was really excited to see what a good job she did capturing the color accurately and the tiny detail (probably worth a click to see up close)

Tomorrow I'll post the scans I have of other stuff. I did about 4 small paintings last week that I haven't posted in any form yet. Show is friday. Hanging it tonight and tomorrow I'm hoping to relax, eat food and fucking GO OUTSIDE already.


Can't You See The Witch By My Side?

My friend Denis has a blog I mentioned a while ago where he does interviews with friends about their projects and two weeks ago he interviewed me. It's pretty flattering to have someone actually care enough about what you do and what you think to want to ask about it and a little daunting to know they'll be recording it. Hopefully I wasn't too incoherant. He also took a couple of pictures of me in my studio (probably should have washed my hair). It will also be cross-posted later on nevernothing.com

Tomorrow morning I'll be posting new photos of pieces and Friday I'll be posting scans of the rest of the work. As of a few hours ago that shit is done!