Year's End

I have to do this really quickly since I have to go to work soon and leave for a trip straight from there.  I'll be traveling through the winter holidays while my work is closed down and I'm in a bit of a rush to get things in order as always.  While I wanted to write some sort of reflection about what I worked on this year I guess the blog archive serves that function so here's the last piece I finished in 2012 and a little peek at the next two things I have lined up to work on in 2013.

First off here's a commissioned present on of my best buds had me make for her partner.  She gave me some really loose guidelines of things I could include and I ended up doing two foxes chasing each other around the middle and the cluster of clouds and mountains. 

I heard he liked it so mission accomplished.  I also did this in trade for her old iphone so I can join the rest of the world doing art stuff on instagram. I just can't keep up!

Here's two little looks at what I'll be working on when I get back from my trip. One's a line drawing ready to be painted and one's a sketch I got approval on:
I also have a tentative show date for this summer and a ton of ideas for new work. I'm really excited to get started on new things.

And finally, here's a mix I uploaded to my friends blog project.  The idea is that we all include a mix of songs that are new or new to us in the past year and write a little bit about why we like the song/band. Mine is a little skewed towards shows I went to this year and I had to put it together hastily while I should have been packing but check it out if you're so inclined!


Sweet Creatures

Hey hey.

So, it's been the case for the past few months that finding time to write on my blog (and post work on tumblr, flickr and facebook and all the other social networking sites I should be all up on) is next to impossible.  While I used to wallow at my desk job with plenty of time to work on this stuff my new job is hands on hard work and I get right to work on personal projects when I get home.  As a result now I make things and they sit for weeks without being posted and occasionally even escape documentation.  Before that happens yet again, I want to post a couple things I made in November.

First off is this luck amulet I made for my friend Carol.  She recently lost her store in Ocean City as a result of the hurricane and then immediately after lost her pet cat.  Too too much to deal with.  I thought it might be a good time to make a little prototype luck amulet to give her as a gift.  I've been doing a lot of reading around talismans, the evil eye and amulets lately as some loose preparation for a new series of work.  I hope to one day make these with wood instead of paper, but I thought this gift needed to be really timely so I'll figure out how to do this sort of thing in wood later.  This is tin foil, paper, paint, wooden beads and braided embroidery floss.

If you want to offer some less supernatural support Carol's online store is now being stocked with everything they managed to salvage for 40% off when you use the code 40 at checkout.  The webstore is clothes and accessories.  They'll also be selling the records they managed to salvage at the Punk Rock Flea Market this Sunday so if you see someone selling records under the store name Toilet Water give them an extra look.

On a related note, Carol helped organize this charity raffle to benefit the Atlantic County Humane Society.  They've been working hard in the aftermath of the hurricane, dealing with damage to their own facilities while housing homeless pets, taking in newly homeless pets from families so affected they can no longer afford them, distributing pet food to affected families and even offering temporary housing for pets of families still struggling to make their homes habitable or find new ones.  It's a given that animal shelters are always at maximum capacity and low on resources so an event like this really puts them in a tight spot. So if you're in Philadelphia and you have pets or just want the chance to get some raffle tickets and win some of these cool prizes check it out! I made this flyer featuring a couple of my favorite animal friends for the event and the original will be one of the raffle items.

Also worth noting, if you're close enough to do so and you've been considering getting a pet adopt from the Atlantic County Humane Society. Carol got this amazing kitten with a burglar mask there!
Anyway, I'm really excited to do some new, more ambitious work in the coming year.  Doing lots of creep reading in preparation and hoping to be better at the internet and better at selling stuff.


Wandering Genie Etsy Store

SO, after years of procrastination I finally took the time to list items in my vacant etsy store.  I'm looking to make a little extra money to help pay for hostels and cans of Tartex on my upcoming trip with Mike to the Czech Republic so I listed a handful of original pieces and some affordable prints of my work along with leftover painted heart pins and some new painted wooden pendants.  There's also a beautiful batch of prints from Mike Bukowski in there.  Please check out the store and tell your friends! Depending on how this goes I might start keeping a regularly stocked store.

Here's a few photos of the new "crystal" pendants!

They're all hand shaped and painted on both sides and each one is one of a kind.

I have some new pieces to post later this week so stay tuned...


For You

Just a couple small items to post today.  In the past year a lot of my output has been donations for charity shows and gifts for friends.  I love doing this stuff and I love that I've been able to find time for projects like this.  I took a little over a year off from doing solo shows because it's so hard to make that much work in a short time span with a full time job (especially since I like for the shows to be all new work and have a unified theme) and that's opened up my time for projects like this.  I have a few more donations and presents to work on but there are two two-person shows in the works for me in the coming year so pretty soon I'll be buckling down and working on some larger scale more intense paintings again.

This first thing is another painted wooden egg for my friend Diana.  For the past probably 7 or 8 years she's been the only person to cut the tangled witch wig I call hair and I'm always grateful for her talent with scissors and her ability to work within the beauty industry while challenging beauty standards and cutting hair without any judgement or talk of what's "flattering" and with a real understanding of what it means to be a low-maintenance client who basically does nothing beyond washing their hair (like me).  She's also one of the funniest coolest ladies I know (and I know a ton of funny cool ladies).  If you live in or near Bethlehem, PA and you want to give her some business here's the organic cruelty-free salon she works at. 

Anyway, Diana saw the other painted eggs I did and asked if I could make her one.  Knowing she's got some intense PA pride and likes PA Dutch art and Hex signs I decided to use that as the theme and did a take on a distelfink design with some other symbols from fraktur art thrown in.
Since they're supposedly based on the European goldfinch I did a more realistic take on the bird but they were too tiny to get a ton of detail into.

I really like the fact that the raindrop design has a positive connotation because it comes from an agrarian culture and is linked to bounty rather than being the melancholy symbol you often see.

If you're interested in PA Dutch folk art and Hex Signs check out Jacob Zook's webstore.  Zook's is a family business that's been around for about 50 years. I have a few of these in my house myself!
The second present I made this month was for my partner Mike's birthday.  As you may or may not know he's an avid Madball collector and fanatic.  Beyond the actual trademark Madballs there are hundreds of cheap ripoffs floating around in the world and mike has rounded up close to all of them and put them on shelves in our bedroom.  I sleep every night under the watchful gaze of hundreds of bulging pus filled eyes. 

It's really hard at this point to find one he doesn't have and we've always talked about the possibility of making some ourselves so I took this opportunity to make my first attempt at sculpting since probably highschool.

I made this little guy with Das airdrying clay.  It wasn't too hard to work with and could easily be smoothed and added to with a wet paintbrush. 

Sculpting is weird after working in a super flat 2D style for so long, and painting something 3D is interesting because it has more to do with emphasizing the dimension that's already there than creating the illusion of dimension and you have to keep the paint soft without any harsh clean lines. The boogers were made by adding green paint to clear glue and then doing a clear coat overtop to keep it shiny!
Anyway, it was fun to make and I'll probably make more in the future and I recommend this clay because a good air dry clay takes all the stress out of a baking clay that could potentially crack and ruin all of your hard work.  Just be patient letting it dry when you do something dense like this. It took a few days.


Violent World

Last week I was hanging out at a show and got into a conversation with a guy I ended up knowing indirectly and ended up invited to be in a show really last minute.  The power of punk networking!  I pretty much had five days to knock out a piece for a Misfits themed Halloween show that is all print makers aside from me.  They're one of my favorite bands and I've been way too interested in their baffling lyrics since I was a teen so the category was way too broad and exciting for something I had such limited time to finish.  I ended up just doing a small piece based on the first verse of Violent World in the style of an icon painting.

I'm a big fan of icon paintings and medieval art mostly because of the stylistic similarities to what I like doing (flat color and slick lines, rigid composition and bright color) though there isn't generally a lot of common ground on content.
Where there would be gold leaf I used a metallic acid green paint and I borrowed the color scheme from the cover of Earth A.D.
There are other projects I'm waiting to post because the new blog editor is being really slow and difficult and I have other things to do today. The show is up at Masthead 340 Brown St. Philadelphia and all the other artists will be selling limited edition prints inspired by Misfits songs (except me, I'll just have this weird painting).

In other news check out the light up paper mache space bat mask I made for Halloween!


Created with cinemagr.am


Lord Of The Forest

So, I finally photographed the piece I finished about 3 weeks ago.  I made the mistake of using this matte fixative to try and make it a little more resistant to scratches and fingerprints and it gave the whole thing a cloudy light reflective quality that made it impossible to photograph inside using lamp light and my work schedule made it hard to photograph during sunlit hours.
Anyyyyyyyhow this was done as a donation for the Countdown to (En)danger group show this weekend. All proceeds benefit the World Wildlife Fund.  The focus is on endangered and threatened animals and ecosystems.  I decided to continue my focus on animals who are often overlooked in conservation and maybe seem less sympathetic because they are considered frightening or undesirable (snakes, bats, arachnids, insects, assorted wonderful creepies and crawlies, predatory animals etc).  I should probably note that I personally don't have an aversion or phobia of any animal beyond natural common sense fear when confronted with something frightened that could hurt me but I do have a few friends who can barely stand to look at snakes.  I asked a friend of mine who's into reptiles and amphibians to recommend some snakes to research and my favorite out of all of the ones he sent me was the Eastern Indigo.  They're absolutely beautiful all black snakes with a deep blue iridescent sheen. They also happen to be the longest North American Snakes and are completely non venomous BUT because of their immunity to Rattlesnake venom kill and eat Rattlesnakes (note: while researching this I learned that there is a word for this and it is "Ophiophagy"). There are some pretty amazing videos of it.

In Florida and Georgia they're threatened and in Alabama they're considered extirpated.  They're threatened for a number of reasons, first of which is a pretty much universal concern; loss of habitat.  They also have to travel as the seasons change to maintain the level of cover they need and with the expansion of human development they no longer have safe or clear paths to travel to get there.  Because of their attractive appearance and relatively docile demeanor they are commercially collected for the pet trade as well.  In winter months they also live in gopher tortoise burrows.  Because of human development resulting in loss of habitat and the truly disgusting practice of "gassing" to flush out rattlesnakes which involves rattlesnake hunters literally spraying gasoline vapor into burrows, many other animals who use these burrows are killed and the burrows are rendered toxic.  Among these animals is the Eastern Indigo.  The Gopher Tortoise is very threatened and as it dies off and loses habitat all of the other animals who depend on its burrows for shelter, breeding, and raising young will decline as well.  I thought this nicely illustrated the focus of the show and the ways in which every member of an ecosystem flourishes or perishes with the rest.  The coffin box with the symbolism of the egg is just a basic reflection on the natural cycle that's being interrupted all over the world.  A little bit of hope to cling to in the face of a whole lot of doom.

This was painted on a wooden box and it's about a 11 inches tall.  It'll be available at the opening along with a few prints of my 2009 painting of a Juvenile Bearded Vulture since it's one of the animals WWF focuses on.  It's rare for me to look at something I did a few years ago and still like it enough to put it in a show but I'm pretty fond of this one (though there are still things I'd do differently now). 
Come to the opening! And if you can't make it the show will be up all month!

October 13 6:00-8:00

B2 Cafe 1500 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA



Just a reminder, the Empty Night Skies etsy shop is still up. 100% of what you buy here get's donated to Bat Conservation International!

Also, if you've ever asked where you can buy my work online I currently have a limited edition  print up for sale on Shirts and Destroy. Tell your creepy friends and creepy neighbors!


What Sees From Their Eye? The Snake.

As you may have already noticed, I have a new header! I've been meaning to make a new one for over a year now, but that's the sort of project that gets eternally pushed back when more pressing things come up.  I had a few sketches sitting around for it but actually ended up with an idea that came to me by way of keyword search.  I admit to obsessively looking at the keyword search portion of google analytics, because it's extremely entertaining to have a window into the weird ways/things people search on the internet and the words that bring misguided searchers to my blog. The search in question was "human skull bat wings snake body".  I have a secret hope that that person will try the search again and this time I'll have some real results for them.

I actually went through about a year of keyword searches to grab some of the best/weirdest/dumbest for this post. One thing I've noticed is that there are some running themes. Such as rats. So many rat searches. This is about 5% of them since a lot are redundant:

"rat face, rat with human ear on its back, screaming rat, dead rat drawing, anatomy of rats, closeup rat face, dead rat design, hairy cartoon rat, ratface punk, punk look like rat"

I also see a lot of really misguided searches for "cool" tattoos. I think this is because once I made a comment about Irish knots and bad tribal tattoos? They are really really barking up the wrong tree:

"intricate tribal tattoo symbols of sun, celtic sun tattoos for men, best mens tribal sun tattoos, big tribal round tattoos, intricate tribal sun tattoo"

Some are totally understandable:

"colored smoke, goat horned dude, half woman half bird, scrying bowl, slavic demons, british witch drawings,  crypt skulls, cult worship, demon blood and guts drawing, puke drawing (love this) , awkwardly interesting (accidentally accurate) , punk paints, satanic hell horror death painting (I actually replicated this search and it's mostly metal record covers and horror movie stills that come up but for some reason I also get Starry Night), scary people in the woods"

I see a lot of people specifically looking for me, or someone with the same name as me, in all the many weird attempts at the spelling. So, close but not quite:

"jeanne p. coffin" artist (jealous of this name), dr. jeanne d'angelo (well la dee da), jeanne s d'angelo february 25 2005 died maine (RIP, girl), chef jeanne d'angelo, fisherman painting by mr angelo "

There are also people looking for medical advice:

"blood in nose and spit, blood when you cough, blood in spit up, can you spit up blood clots?,  nipples not aligned"


And supernatural advice:
"what should you do if you want to see a witch?, are evil spirits real?, how do you know if you are producing ectoplasm? (trust me, you'll know.), real life genie for sale(I hope they found one) , how a ghost can be finished?"

And then there's just gibberish. Tons of wonderful gibberish:

"a bird that is called same, murdered ghost, most haunted tattoo, a strega sucks, adrian balboa from rocky gravestone(phill-y, phill-y, phill-y!), ancient fish find hunched over, awesome mushroom drawings, bat tattoo for ceiling fan (wut.), bear fur coat for men, bunch of armadillos (I love that someone used "a bunch" as the set amount of armadillos in their search criteria) , corny white guy,  the bone of a human after getting tattoo, dead person bone after tattoo (I actually saw this searched several different times and different ways. Maybe it's a common question or maybe it was one dedicated creep who needed an answer fast) paintings drug free, easy paintings to copy (heyyyyyyyyy) , ectoplasm vagina wiki (I can't imagine there's a whole wiki just for this), female evil, folklorique blousons, genie painted with pencil (allow me to explain painting to you) , giant lake serpent?(good question), goofy drawing of yourself, happy cats paints, how to get rid of from hungry wolf, hunched woman, bony hunched woman (I feel like they might have been describing me here) , i'm right 98% of the time, hybrid wolf and shark, lion/human 'hybrids, manmade things in rhode island (this is so hilariously broad), medium sized women, mini cooper line drawing, mortal pencil face (I don't know why but I read this as "mortal pencilface" and it cracks me up), most attractive paintings of the world (why thank you), mouse growing human hair (beaaautiful. and I think they were looking for that mouse that grew the human EAR), nordic women in furs, ouroboros conan (hilarious mental image), photos of actual lechuzas, brains scream at night, dont look in the eyes of women, rabid tooth dog, ripping lion paws, satanists what i think i'm doing, saw corpse (oh did you?), sexual reproduction (someone clinically looking for porn) , skeleton siting down with a tiger with black hair, what's the oldest human mummy ever found, weird shaped head, vagina, facecrotch@gmail.com (GREAT email address), a picture of a skeleton sitting at a table playing cards on a wallet, glow resin toilet (mad libs?), grave in the middle of the forest (I might paint this too), genie the rabid baby, child seek bones (best classified ad ever), q mart quakertown pa swords (I specifically know which booth at qmart they're looking for)creeping genie, past kids tv programme about a goblin genie, tiger bites heart"

It's possible that simply by writing this entry so packed with weird unrelated keywords I'm going to usher in a whole new batch of lost google searchers who come here just to be disappointed when I don't have answers for their asinine but delightful questions. Like a snake swallowing its tail. Or an "ouroboros conan".

I really need to get a good photograph of the other painting I was working on which has long been finished, but I made the mistake of spraying it will a matte protective coat (since it's painted on a box that might be handled) and it's making it really hard.  Hopefully soon. Also, HEY it's my favorite month! Check it out, I finally got to pull the carrots out of my garden: