Thursday, August 25, 2005


This is my award winning piece of art, although one photograph cannot do it justice. I took an old television cabinet from the fifties, gutted all the innards and started from there. I had a styrofoam wig head that for some reason had a plastic face on it. then I took a rubber mask I had and glued it to the head, then taped it down and painted it flesh tone. This sat around the basement along with the tv cabinet for a week, looking spooky as you could still see the face under neath. I went to the Salvation Army and bought a plastic baby doll. The arms were ripped off and made to appear as if they were coming out the ears of the original head. The doll head was put on top of the other and it's torso came out where the mouth was. Red latex paint was liberally dripped at all contact points, then glossy Mod Podge was dumped over the whole thing. I mixed some plaster of paris and put it on the insides of the television, on one side using it to hold the

bottom of a plastic bank I had put a small blinking Christmas light under it, and on the other side I secured a small rubber skeleton in it. I slid the head(s) in on a small screen print I had painted over and towards the front is a pile of plastic Easter eggs painted flesh tone. The top of the pile has a broken open egg, with a small baby hatching out of it. There are blinking lights run along the top front, with the wiring being buried under the plaster.

Finally, I took another screen print and painted a background similar to the background on "Angry White Male"(see Archives), in fact, I believe it was the inspiration for the background of that painting. I cut it off the frame and stapled it to the back. It was a lot of work, but I entered it in the Urban Institute For Contemporary Arts Rerun Recycled art show and took second place in the artistic merit division.

television offers up images every day designed to desensitze us to the brutalness of the world. Often times, it offers up people for us to worship, adore, and celebrate, only to chew them up when they need a distraction from the atrocities of the government.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I've always been taken with the artists who put a lot of detail in their work. Impressionism relies on representation to stand for detail, but I like the Masters who painted every hair on an animal, or put elaborate yet miniscule images in their work.
When I paint, I start with an old screen print that stood for cheap art in the seventies. I must cover that item before I can start my work and the way I do that is by using leftover mixed paint from another painting, bit by bit forming a layer over the original image. On this one, by accident, in the center was an image that reminded me of Salvador Dali in an officer's cap, so I set out to incorporate this in the finished painting. I always start with the background so when I put paint over it, it creates the illusion of depth. All art is based on illusion. Then I work towards the front, at the bottom adding overlapping images to create even more depth. As you draw closer in the image, more items are detailed, as you would see it naturally with your eye. So the trees in front have every leaf painted on, every blade of grass is painted on.
This used to be the magic painting when Wilbur was a baby. I would put him over my shoulder so that he faced the painting and slowly rock back and forth and in no time, he would fall asleep.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Portrait Of The Artist With His Father (From Photo)

I Painted this for my father as a gift, but when I gave it to him, not knowing much about art or shading, he complained that I made his teeth too black. I did this from a photo taken at a family reunion at his trailer, where he moved with his fourth wife. I would chase the nieces and nephews around the trailer while he sat around and argued politics with my brother while we all sat around drinking beer and grilling burgers.
When he moved to Arizona, as he packed up his car and trailer, he had to decide what he could and couldn't take with him. The trip to Arizona was for my step-mother, who had asthma and couldn't breathe the pollen laden Michigan air any more. We all sat around watching him get stressed as his wife was in the hospital and he tried to get his meager posessions in the Mazda he had at the time. He brought this painting out and thrust in my hands saying, "Here, take this, I don't have room for it, and anyway, you made my teeth too black." So I put it my car and watched my dad for what would be the last time I saw him. The following year, he had a stroke and was in the hospital. While on the operating table to have a pacemaker put in, he had a coronary and died. At least I have this painting. You can see, my dad and I were very close, and I miss him sometimes, especially after my children were born. However, if he had never passed away, I would have never had the urge to start my own family, and would never had talked my wife into having Wilbur, my first born son.

These are two digital images I created from a single photograph taken by my son with my digital camera. I then ran the image through my Print Master 16 repeatedly distorting the image incremently. When I put them in my Windows Moviemaker and run them, they appear to pulse disturbingly. I have a lot of fun with my PrintMaster16 and have created many similar images that look nothing like the origianl image.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mutant Virus Attack Healthy Kidney

This is made from entirely recycled items. The shadow box is an old desk drawer. It is covered on the outside with ceramic tiles from a bathroom redecoration. The kidney is a model from a doctor's office I bought at an estate sale. The lettering are from old board games. The mutant virus are from an atomic model kit.
Renal malfunction is another term for kidney failure. I learned that from continous watching of episodes of M*A*S*H, which at one point in time was on television four times a day, until the local television stations forced legislation to block shows in syndication on non-local channels(TBS, etc., etc.,). It's pretty heavy, weight wise, but has lightness to it, humor wise. This is one of my favorites, but it took a long time hunched over a table, individually gluing each tile into place.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Just an exercise in illumination, quite a large painting really. Also, I wanted to practice reflection as well as transparency, while making some sort of vague statement about drinking.