Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bird Houses Reclaimed

I recently replaced a section of fence in the yard and could not bring myself to tossing the old wood. It could be considered a trash-hoarding issue, but not if I actually use it, right? So I started making boxes and birdhouses with the better of the planks. I added toys and found art to embellish them. Here are some so far.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 Dia de los Muertos - Other Creations

I made several other Day of the Dead items this year. Two that I submitted to the CHAC show along with the tattooed skeleton are the fence wood skeleton and the sandblasted plate (shown below).

Trying to Catch Up With the Times   6"x4"

On The Fence Forever 12" x 40" 

The Tattooed Man

I came across a brand new medical-quality skeleton and immediately had an idea in mind to cover it with Dia de los Muertos tattoos. I ordered the hanger online so that I could display it. I have it in the Day of the Dead show at CHAC for $350.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

My favorite matted prints for the 2012 show

I just got a really nice photo printer, which I use for card images, but I thought some of the card images would also look nice in a 11x14 frame. I printed about 50 images and matted them for the August show.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Glass plates with fuseable paper

I have been using fuseable paper to create some interesting images in glass. I started with some basic themes like day of the dead and octopi, but I have tried to ramp them up with sandblasting and multiple layers. Here are a few of my first ones.

 Skull image in sandblasted plate  - 6"x6"

Octopus Rising I  - 6"x6"

Octopus Rising I  - 6"x6"

Bee I  - 6"x6"
Dead Rider I  - 6"x6"

Sacrifice the Duck

We've seen a thousand interpretations of a giant squid attacking a sailing ship, but I was inspired by a Simpsons episode to make a rubber duck the victim. There are so many variations of the rubber duck now that I might do more. What would be fun is a devil duck fighting back with a triton.

My favorite greeting cards of 2012

I haven't mentioned them much here, but I have been making collage greeting cards continuously since 2003. I just bought a card rack that can hold 300-400 cards. It generated a lot of small sales our opening weekend. Here are some of my favorites from what I've made in the last month.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brian Despain - one of my inspirations

This guy can paint no wrong as far as I'm concerned. It could be that he only paints in themes that appeal to me - Dia de los Muertos, robots, storytelling, steampunk, the macabre, etc. You must check out his site at

This is my favorite piece of his - simply brilliant.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Scuba Diver Within

I went scuba diving a lot when I lived in Tucson. The night dives always had a higher level of anxiety because you never knew what was following you in the dark. This piece is a tribute to the creatures of the deep. The diver is carrying a spear gun to level the playing (hunting) field.

Underwater Hunt 30"x30"

Small Paintings - Lots of fun

I try to balance any show with a mix of large and small items. This show, the small pieces won. All these quick and fun pieces sold. I guess I'll have to make some more to fill in the open spots on the gallery wall.

Octopus in Ocean  3-4"x4"

Squid in Ocean  3-4"x4"

Cephalopods in the Garden  3-4"x6"

Monday, August 6, 2012

Other Victorian-age Humor

I like art that tells a story, especially if it is a humorous story. The following are pieces I felt I had to do because of the humor or story behind them.

20,000 Leeks Under the Sea  4"x12"

I 'stole' this gag from my friend Ann, who said she mispronounced the famous title this way when she was a kid. They have a form that make them a possibility for a whole other species of cephalopod.

A Doll from Above  2-6"x8" canvases

I thought, what if one of the smart octopi from the deep discovered an abandoned Victorian doll. This is that moment of discovery.

No Ceph Left Behind 4"x4"

An alien cephalopod is left behind on a distant planet by its companions. Just one of a thousand stories this one tells.

Deep Water Discoveries  24"x36"

I might have to add a gentleman's cane to this one so that the eye follows around to the bottom right corner to see the Victorian-style glasses. I've been adding to this one for two years now.

Nine Victorian Kittens   9-4"x4"

I could do another hundred Victorian character studies in cat form. These were so fun to do and received great feedback.  

Horror Victorianorum

The meaning of "Horror Victorianorum" (terror of the Victorian) according to Wikipedia is is a term devised by the philosopher David Stove to refer to irrational distaste for, or condemnation of, Victorian culture, art and design. This piece is sort of a commentary of a fanciful Victorian imperialistic space mission to civilize the 'natives'. However, the Victorian gentleman has lost his nerve when he encounters a tribal-marked demon of the deep.

This was also the piece I used for our postcard image.

An Obsession for Cephalopods

So many people asked me at the opening what my obsession with octopi was. I've had time to think more about an answer to that question. It isn't just octopi, it is all the cephalopods that facinate me - squid, nautilus, octopus, cuttlefish, etc. There are around 800 extant species of cephalopod. Cephalopod means "head-feet", meaning that the feet extrude from the head. That alone is cool and art-worthy. Also, they are extremely smart creatures. Octopi are documented to be problem-solvers and have acute vision. I also like gears, so when I thought of the obvious connection of making an octopus the center of a cog, I had to make it happen. Here is a sketch from my sketchbook.

I also think it is a cool concept to be all head and legs. Who needs the shackles of a body anyhow?! Here is a self-portrait of me as "Paulopus".

My other two legs are behind me.

Anyhow, back to the answer to my obsession. I have been reading a lot of Steampunk novels lately and almost every one of them has a menacing octopus in it. Jules Verne, the Father of Steampunk, wrote about all the things that now dominate my art - octopi, submarines, robots, Victorianisms, and a wicked sense of humor.

CHAC Gallery Show opening 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to the opening weekend of the "Dreams and Stranger Things" show at the CHAC gallery on Santa Fe Drive. There were 7 artists showing together.

It was a great opening. I received a lot of encouraging comments on my new automata pieces. Now that the opening is past, I have time to start posting photos of the pieces. I've included photos here of the automata. Next post will be movies of them in motion.

"Lycaenidae Machina"  28x22

"Mating Display"  36x24

"Battle of the Cephalopods"  18x28

Monday, February 6, 2012

CHAC Heart Show 2012

Here are my entries (donations) for the CHAC Heart show this year. I felt that since I am going to be the MC, I'd better set a good example with my support of the show.

Polymer clay octopus attacking heart painted with a sailing ship.

I have been making a Hen and Rooster heart(s) every year for the last 7 years, so I had to include these.
I cut a laptop mother board and used the keys to create a cute robot message.

I have been enjoying the game Angry Birds and know a lot of my friends are too, so I made these tributes the last day before the hearts were due. I think they turned out well. I got a lot of compliments on them.

I found a couple heart shaped glass vases, so I embellished them with a little sandblasting.
Looking forward to seeing the other hearts that are going to be there.