Saturday, May 14, 2011

Well, there he is after all this time. The finished piece for The Valley Of The Kings, tiger and animal rescue organization of Wisconsin.

The finished piece has a roughly two inch copper boarder and the whole thing as I described in my previous post was done in graphite and pastel. I know there is a dichotomy in the fact there is snow on the ground and leaves on the trees, but it was meant to be just a bit symbolic in that regard. It tends to fade around the edges so that my initial drawing can be artifices here my friends, this was done by hand with that fact in mind.
A human being did this, as flawed and fallible as you or any other. The difference is that this human did this for free when I dearly needed to make a living and with as much love as I could find in my heart to give it.
In a funny way, the wait was worth it. You see, the interval between posts gave birth to a few surprises. The good stuff that happened was that ace writer, poet and storyteller and boon companion Neil Gaiman will be writing a short piece to grace it with and the impeccable Todd Klein will be hand lettering it. Nice indeed.
Now Kitty who runs the fabulous put up a pretty penny to have it scanned to the hilt and this as any project like it coming as it does from the heart is not for profit to anyone but VOTK. So, I really would be terribly happy to see a full sell out and full sell through on a second printing to make HUGE money to help the organization meet the enormous demands of time and money it takes to treat the animal there house and love so dearly with dignity and respect. I am guessing that it will be available as soon as both Neil and Todd are free to spend the time to do it as right as possible. Say, sometime mid-summer ish? Be sure that we, both Kitty and I as well as Neil will let you know as soon as it is available. Until then, be kind, be fully human and be real.

Oh, and save a few bucks, okay?


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Pardon the sound effects. It felt poignant.

Whatever that means.
Things are, or seem to be moving so fast these days the biggest fear I have is my afterburners cutting out at thirty thousand feet. Long way down.
Lets see,.....umm, just finished an oil of Amanda Palmer, which I am pretty sure I am reasonably proud of. If they find me dead garroted with a ukulele string you'll know who did it.
just moving up closely up on a really big commission which is one of the weirdest creepiest and funniest things I think I have ever done.
I just received the final image of the piece I did for the Valley of the Kings,( see the last "working" post.) and I will be putting it up with some what I hope is interesting stuff about why and how it came to be what it is. PLEASE STAY TUNED as I care very, very deeply about the mission statement of VOTK's.
I hope to get out there this fall. Phalanges crossed.
Look for the post in the next few days.

Umm, and I hate to bring this up because it seems like I am always doing this these days, but I honestly, and very sincerely NEED one more commission to come in the next day or two.
As I have mentioned recently, ALL commissions MUST go through Ryan Graff and Eidolon Fines Arts. I will not take a direct commission if you write to me. It's just the way honest representation works. So, if you have a hankering for something and you think now is the time,(and brothers and sisters it is.) to have an original on the wall, lets get it going, okay?
My brushes are so old that while painting the "Amanda" portrait they were literally falling apart. This is very bad.

Oh, and for those of you interested, yes, I will be at San Diego this year at the Eidolon booth.

See you when I touch down, or I run out of fuel.


Thursday, April 28, 2011



I came here with the intention of perhaps saying something.
Now that I am here, I am at a complete loss for words.

Maybe some other time.

Oh, and thanks you all out there, however many of you there are,
for supporting my work. I often think I forget to say "thanks" enough.

Later, or not,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Here goes,

I am taking three commissions starting now.
All enquiries should be addressed to Ryan Graff at Eidolon Fine Arts.
As he is now my artistic representative, all work not of a personal nature
goes through him. As you all should know by now, all commissions are
a flat thousand. No wriggle room. Period.
No superheros, no nudes. Unless I approve.

No I am apparently coming down with a nasty cold or something and feel
like utter shit, so anyone interested do realize I will start on them as soon as I am
sure I am in good form.

I am also working on a somewhat complicated portrait Of Amanda Palmer that was privately commissions some time ago. I needed to clear time before I brought out the oils.
But right now, I am going back to bed and trying to forget how awful I feel.

See you as soon as I am better.


ps: there will be only one more tiger blog over at the working blog due to the fact that
the photos I took of the process have vanished into stray electrons. I am waiting for one more photo from the lovely Cat Mihos to complete to posting. thank you for understanding.


Monday, April 11, 2011


Well my friends, it's commission time once more.
I'll take the first three. No Death, No nudes. Not in the mood.

Please sent your requests to Ryan Graff care off EIDOLON FINE ARTS.

First come, first served. Make it snappy. I might chicken out.

More tiger stuff shortly. Be there.

Much love,


Sunday, April 10, 2011


Right, the promised "working" blog is up. Be prepared to be underwhelmed.
I had serious technical problems with my ISP yesterday.
And I am hip deep in a huge portrait of Amanda Palmer.

YOU try it.


Friday, April 8, 2011


For me, there is almost nothing on earth so utterly complete and so absolutely
what it simply IS than a tiger. Poaching and habitat loss have brought the species
near the brink.
This inexcusable for a species that considers itself lords of the earth or at the very least
an "evolved" race of beings. No, tiger bones will not give you an erection. Ever.
No, they really don't need human meat and would much rather they did not see us at all. Ever.
Sometimes, I can't say I blame them.
This is a special blog about my personal efforts to raise funds for an organization
in southern Wisconsin that does near miraculous things with love, hope and a kind of
iron determination to give tigers,( and a myriad of other animals.) a decent, humane
life after falling foul to the profound stupidity of my fellow human beings.
The Valley of the Kings.

Okay, before any technical stuff I need to give you my two cents worth on the specialized field of "wildlife art".
First of all, I did that almost exclusively for a few years and I have a very great respect for
the best of them. It is a very demanding practice that takes real dedication and skill.
After immersing myself in the field for some time I've formed a few opinions of my own, and while they may,(and probably are.) off base in the big picture, they make sense to me.
This is my blog so fuck it, my opinion matters.
Here goes: wildlife art falls into two basic category's. The first I call the "Bateman school"
and the second, the "Schatz school". The difference being not so much in excellence but rather in approach to the subject. Robert Bateman is a superb technician, painting with honesty and attention to detail that can be staggering. That's the problem.
Somewhere in all that detail, he loses the creatures essence. The thing he's painting is the VERY THING but it's quite often just an empty image to my eye. The spirit of the thing
gets buried under so many feathers, fur, leaves, pine needles etc etc that the subject goes missing.
Then, there is the "Schatz school". Manfred Schatz is an astonishing painter with an entirely different approach to subject matter. His beasts and birds soar, gallop, leap, all energy and motion, as if his eye captures the whole scene in one huge gulp of paint. That's often the problem. In all the swirling heat of the moment, the soul of the creature seems secondary.
I tend towards a kind of middle ground. Now I would never profess to be as accomplished in the discipline of wildlife art as thee two masters, I simply haven't spent the requisite time to master it. But I know wildlife.
The piece I am working on, "burning brightly", is at best a humble effort to capture on paper a Siberian Tiger.
This is how I did it.
Paper, pencil and pastel. Some ink and acrylic paint.
I ruled out the image size, then using a mixture of Dr. Martins dyes I toned the paper to a desired color to act as a base on which to draw my initial image in graphite. I use graphite as an under drawing because I love the silvery gray base to help keep things tonally even.
It would be the second photo at the top. It's supposed to be here, but it showed up at the top. Go figure.

Anyway, under that one, or above it, I don't fucking know, is a close up.
Anyway, as you can obviously see, I keep it rather loose at this point. If I was just going to use pencil and a dash of white chalk I would have started out much tighter. But, this is only a base for color later and I can improvise over the gray tones freely without worry. Oh, I should mention I "fix" the graphite at this point because I do not want to have my colors actually mix with it, just rest sweetly under it.
My intention is to focus on the magnificent head and shoulders of the tiger, Bateman.) so I didn't spend a lot of time,(Schatz.) with the rest of him. I intend to fade or let the rest of the picture fall back away from my point of focus to retain interest on the, ( in my opinion only.) on the one feature that defines "tigerness", the face. The huge, striped head.
This beginning stage took me about an average work day. whatever that is.

More soon.... and yup,...OOOOH, Color!