Friday, October 26, 2012

A Heartfelt Halloween

Hope you're all well in the days prior to this most sacred holiday. Sorry if this post is overly emotional (for me) but tis' the season. Once again, like clockwork, the only piece I've been truly happy with this year was created for Halloween. I was going around thinking I'm going through a 'transition' period, but this year has been strictly change in every area of my life, not excluding my art. I know the imagery is a mash-up of my favorites, but the composition is different this time around. Not to toot my own horn, but it's cohesive this time; the parts fit, it's leaving the static, and with the help of people like Kyle Margiotta (thanks again man) I think I'm getting better at leading the eye.

 I started this just doodling the center guy, who was originally intended to be the innards and seeds of the Jack O' Lantern, sitting at B2 coffeeshop chatting method with Brad Kingett. Then I crossed the street to the Pope and had my first pumpkin ale of the season and saw Steve Ferrell for the first time in years, was joined by Jeff Kilpatrick, and drew some more. The rest of the inking was done in between e-mails setting up Phantom Hands Halloween exhibit at Tattooed Mom. Having the opportunity to do Phantom Hand has been fucking amazing, and of the many fringe benefits, is being able to reconnect with people I had grown apart from when I moved out of Philadelphia. As of last week, I'm moving back into the city. I titled this piece 'Better Shared with Friends'. 

 If you haven't made (weekend-prior) Halloween plans, some of the best and brightest artists in Philly are getting together to show art at Tattooed Mom in celebration of Halloween; come on out!

 As well as my new piece, I'll be hanging some older Halloween pieces like the below.

 And what would a blog post be without some senseless doodles? I rarely get political with my art, but I couldn't resist while listening to the first debate. Please note, on the Jay Leno show, Obamma rescinded Michelle's 'healthy eating' plan for Halloween and specifically said "All Americans get candy". You just got my vote Mr. President. And fuck Romey anyway.

 Thanks for stopping in and reading my rambling. Also, I started a tumblr to share process photos and works in progress; you can see it HERE. I really hope you all get to spend this holiday with friends, and if you're not busy, come say hello at our art show. More soon. I promise.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Iran, Halloween, and A Fond Farewell

Hope you're all well. As previously mentioned, things have picked up ten-fold, so I've got a bunch of goodies to share, and some sad news towards the bottom. The above was going to be a header for a handbill listing ways YOU could preserve Halloween, ranging from how to deal with assholes who turn out the lights the night of trick-or-treating, to educating people on the truths behind the non-existent candy-tampering and the only recorded death that sparked the fear-mongering and insanity of x-raying candy (see Timothy M. O'Brien).

If you've been following my work on this blog, you know I have a very big, pulpy soft-spot for Halloween. The above is the almost-done inks for (hopefully) one of my pieces for Phantom Hand's Halloween show at Tattooed Mom. A slightly more tender handling of my loved holiday this year. It's awaiting some ink wash and limited color. Prints will be available at the aforementioned one-night exhibition. I can already tell this is going to be a killer show; everybody at A Nation of Evil Men 2 was already working on pieces and pretty damn excited to be doing it.

Speaking of A Nation of Evil Men 2; here's the process for my piece. The first sketch started out me trying and failing to get a likeness, and then tired and irritated from work, tuning the sketch into a monster. Of course I didn't end up using it.

The following wasn't much better in the likeness department, and while I really wanted to render falice arms, this just wasn't going the way I wanted it to. Abandon ship.

After a few more tries at the face, and a composition that made more sense and was right to the point, I arrived at the below. Kinda looks like him, and I wanted to challenge myself with color... by actually using it. A shit-ton of it. If I had had another week or two I probably would have scrapped the finish of this, but it was better than the pieces I put in the prior version of this exhibition, so I called it even.

The bulk of my creative growth happened the several years I lived in Philadelphia, and my fondest memories of that period are largely connected to four people. Sadly, Friday night I joined friends and well-wishers and saw off one of these four on the next leg of his journey.
I've always been proud to call Anthony Pedro a friend. He's a stand up guy through and through, and his work is a rarity these days, one I take extreme pleasure in. I wrote about him a while back, and again would like to mention that his work really is a mirror into a persona you're just not going to see having a beer with him. His painting is epic, humbling, and at times chilling. It is largely nostalgic of a life he might have left this past Friday to go find, and while I'll miss him, I hope he finds it.
This is a long winded way of me saying 'keep the wind at your back pal'. And if you've never seen Anthony's work, go here now, and light a candle in hope that wherever he lays his head next, he'll have time to create.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Teasers, Two Badass Shows, and Shit You Can Buy


Hope you're all well. While this summer was pretty stagnant, like clockwork, autumn breathes new life into everything I've been working on. As mentioned previously, Phantom Hand is hosting two exhibitions at Tattooed Mom, and the first, A Nation Of Evil Men 2, is this coming Saturday! (Press release below)
I curated the first A Nation of Evil Men at Masthead Print Studio a few years back and frankly, I dropped the ball. This year I was determined not to let planning the exhibition get in the way of me hanging a strong piece. I think I pulled it off. This is only a detail, but I really stepped out of my comfort zone for this one. Color! Lots of it! I'll be posting the full piece and all the sketches and nasty bits following the opening for those of you who can't make it.

No Matter How You Slice It, This Won't End Well...
It's been pretty quiet in my inbox, but as long as all 40 some artists pull through, this is going to be one hell of a show. And it's at Tattooed Moms, so you don't have to worry about us running out of cheap, shit beer or blood-finger trying to take you home for a gumming.

Work in progress // Detail
Hot on the heels of A Nation of Evil Men, Phantom Hand is hosting Halloween (Saturday, October 27th) at Tattooed Moms. I look forward to these Halloween shows as soon as the prior year's exhibitions come off the wall, so I started the above a wee bit early. As per usual, I have a few different ideas sketched out, so what ends up on the wall might be something completely different. This is definitely going to be a show not to miss. Whatever I end up crafting for this show will be put up here in full the day after the opening.

My Etsy has long been fallow since hocking my wares at Phantom Hand, so I decided to get some new stuff up there. I finally had greeting cards printed (above) and I put up the PCS's third anthology that I'm in. In the coming weeks/months I'll have up new screen-prints and pieces from the upcoming Phantom Hand shows. Take a look!

Also worth mentioning is that I might be doing a poster(s) for Parade of Flesh again, I'm in the process of quitting smoking, and hopefully I'll be moving back to Philly with my lovely girlfriend in the months to come. More soon folks. Lots more.

Tattooed Mom
604 South Street, Philadelphia PA
ONE NIGHT ONLY! Saturday, September 22nd 7:00PM-2:00AM
Phantom Hand and Tattooed Mom presents the second installment of an expose of the faces of evil that make history grimly entertaining. A collection of the debased, comically villainous, perverted, violent, controversial, and grotesque figures that were truly stranger than fiction. These faces and persona have been the fodder for a million books, movies, history channel specials, and bad jokes; A Nation of Evil Men will bring them all together for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The dog WILL HUNT!

Left: Alex Eckman-Lawn Right: Sam Heimer
Hope you're all well. Sorry for the scant posting over the summer but the pace is about to pick up. Tattooed Mom has graciously taken in PHANTOM HAND for two exhibitions this Fall, and they're both killer shows. I'll be in both; I need to redeem myself for what I hung at the first A Nation of Evil Men exhibition, and if I ever done Halloween wrong then string me up by my testicles from scaffold and pelt me with candy-apples.
A Nation of Evil Men II - September 22nd, 7PM-2AM
Halloween - October 27th, 7PM-2AM
both shows are one night engagements, so mark your calendars folks. More soon, I promise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Processing Process: Fresh Carved Halloween

Before and After
Hope you're all well. Back when Phantom Hand still had a physical address, Jl Joseph Beaulieu asked if I'd participate in his group show 'Crucifuction'. Here is no more suitable to tell you about my views on religion than a packed bar after a dozen specials, so I'll just say I jumped at the idea. Fast forward a few months, I've got insane drawing block, and every thumbnail I sketch for this show just comes off as the garden-variety angry crap. As per-usual, I go back to my safe-place, Halloween.

Right when I started this blog I did a processing process bit on screen-printing a show-poster and my creative process (in three parts, very informative, check it out!). While  there was no sketch phase for this, I took a few haphazard photos along the way I thought somebody might find interesting. The top-left photo was found at a Cape May antique shop a good four years ago; I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it, just not how. It took a solid day to dismantle it, clean the parts I saved, and attach the virgin mary to my birdfeeder out back. The replacement statue is old-hat, and if you came to the 9 to 5 or Hallowed Halloween shows you've probably already seen the Patron Saint of Halloween. 

Thanks to the advice and employer of Anthony Pedro I was able to secure a piece of wood that was actually meant to be carved. Several hours, beers, and packs of cigarettes later I arrived at the below. Given the time left till the show, and not knowing how long it would take me to paint and re-assemble, I stopped there and started painting the statue and the glass. The glass was a bitch because I had to put down a satin finish so there would be some tooth for the acrylic to hold onto. It's a bit rough, but it worked. Sorry no picture.

The below is the back being re-adhered to the framing, which had to be cut away after all the putty and glue were dry because there was dust on the inside of the glass sealed into the box. Next to it, the painted statue. The interior was also re-worked; the bottom compartment was reupholstered with orange and white polka-dot fabric, and the top painted black.

A detail of the re-worked crucifix that came with the set. It originally contained a bottle for holy water, a cloth, a silver plate and spoon (I'm assuming to give communion to invalids), cotton balls, and the crucifix. I'm in the process of getting a shallow dish and candy corn for the interior.

I know the venue perfectly well, and I know that no beer-swilling hipster is going to see the above, stop and think "Dude...halloween... the harvest... DUDE! Our food dies for us every-day!" but it was worth a shot. Below are some very shitty pictures of the finished product that don't show the fine detail or time I spent on this piece; for that you'll have to come out to the opening! (See below)

Cruci-fuck-tion; Decaying Remnants of a Forgotten Mythology
Opening reception Friday, July 27th, 7:00PM-2:00PM
Tatooed Moms - 530 South Street, Philadelphia
From the Facebook page:

DJ Performances by:
Andrew Wolfgang Kuhl
Only Violence
James Intrinsic


Brianna Cerifica
Fran Ho
Ant Man
Michael Bukowski
Michael Wohlberg
Paul Mccarroll
Alex C
Sean Malseed
J Patrick Cleary
Jason Goldberg
Nathan Novak
Mark Shiber
Sam Heimer
James Heimer
Jeff Daniels
Lee M Bartow
Dave Glass
Hoode Philly
Dave Fox
S. Jenx
Michael Valtin
Jordan Miller
Amanda Shames
Kelly McGovern
Laurel Patterson
Tim O'Hanlon
Inge Vandormael

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Odder odds and ended ends

Hope you're all well. Things have been... I don't have a word for it really... new, slightly stagnant, stressful on a new level, hot pan, idle and yet not. A few odds and ends to show for the past few months; emphasis on odd. Most was not fit to put up here.

Several hours of cross hatching is a warm blanket and a bracing shot of bourbon luge-ed off a sleeping bison's horn. The above helped me through a stressful few days. Not a far stretch from my usual doodle fodder, but something about this felt new to me. Can't put my finger on it. The plan was to do a second layer/color under all the hatching, but I won't spoil what it'd be in the event that I actually finish it.  

The above is an annual ritual starting early. Check a few posts back for a collection of Halloween work I've done over the years. This is going to be the header for a poster, a sort of how-to if you will. 

A quick illo in anticipation of the Hot-Sauce competition at Tattoo Moms a few weeks back. Being a blind taste-test, I did not enter my show-stopper sauce, that contains Squid Ink; didn't want to poison any shellfish allergic/vegan folk. Of course some fuck-tard enters a sauce that contains Worcestershire, flavored with anchovies. Dick head. I hope you get penetrated next time you're in the ocean by a Voltron-style phallic made from a thousand herring joining forces, later spurring flash-back panic-attacks every time you pass a Red Lobster or can of smoked mackerel. 

Some of you may remember this antique (middle pic) I found a few years back; finally getting around to using it for Jl Joseph Beaulieu's Cruci-fuck-tion show at Tattoo Mom's at the end of the month. Completely dismantled, and I'm in the process of reworking each element of the thing. Really hoping I can get it done. Each part is in various stages.

I know I mentioned some Phantom Hand news in the works, but it's still to gossamer to share. Just know we're not giving up. Alex set us up with doing some work for South Street's Hot Dog Festival later this month, so keep an eye peeled for wiener-inspired work at or around Hot Diggity. More soon I promise.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tenderness, Self-loathing, and the Pumpkin that never stops searching...

Hope you're all well. Some odds and ends to show tonight; first off, a piece I did for the amazing woman in my life. I've seen this concept done over the years, but never to my liking, so I took a shot at it. It's probably the first time I've put something resembling heart-felt on this blog.
Over the past few years I've probably gone through several hundred Pigma Brush Pens. They're the only disposable brush pen I can use, and sadly, they only stay sharp for the better portion of a single page illustration. The above took one and a half. I'm left with dozens of brush pens in varying stages of degeneration and fray, so every once in a while, I like to do a busted pen exercise. The following image is one such exercise. I had intended to get some serious work done, but after twenty or so crumpled pieces of layout comp, picked up one of the bastard pens and did the below.
In the past four years I've sent out two mailers. Yup, two. So I can only blame the stagnant hours on my own shitty self. As per usual, instead of picking a market that might yield work, and doing some approachable portfolio pieces and a mailer image, I'm chasing the dream. Below may or may not be printed on postcards and sent out to a few hundred people who would never give me work. This is just the inks.

I typically do a few layers of flat black or ink-washes to be converted into color, but I figure this time around I'll try straight digital color. Below was dropped in about 5 minutes. Hopefully in a few days to a week or so I'll have a beautifully colored image, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

More soon. I hope...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mythology And The Bats In My Belfry...

Hope you're all well. I've got a bunch to report, and a little to show this time around. First and foremost; PHANTOM HAND has been granted an extension, and we'll be running the low-brow art racket in South Philadelphia into the summer. The following is for this Friday's opening reception of Mythology and the Forgotten Gods, curated by Anthony Pedro. I'm nowhere near happy with the piece, but I accomplished my one goal for this show: don't do any grecoroman shit. I went with a lil' bit of Slavic mythology that mirrors legend and myth in many other countries. This is my version of Rousluka.

If you've got nothing better to do this Friday come on down to the Phantom for this opening. So far every piece of work I've seen for it is killer. Check out the facebook event page for details HERE.

Opening April 20th at Grindcore House is Empty Night Skies, a show benefiting Bat Conservation International in hopes of helping in the fight against White Nose Syndrome. This show is going to be a knock-out; it's a great cause, and the artist list is expansive and air-tight. Below is one of many works in progress for this show. As per usual; not happy. Under it is the original sketch, and an inked page that maintains the nicer flow of the doodle. The prior is too static, but I like the laborious inking better. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. Below needs tweaking and a color overhaul. Comments are always welcome. Special thanks to Mike Bukowski for inviting me to participate.

In other news, I was invited to participate in a show this October at a tattoo shop/gallery up in NY. I'm also prepping a mailer, doing some uber-mushy greeting card illustrations, and exercising some daemons through self-deprecating self-portraits that will be filed in my chimnea the next chilly night. More soon.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Long Way Down // Vice

Hope you're all well. Things have been otherworldly my end. Sorry for the extended radio-silence. The following is my piece for Masthead Print Studio's VICE show, opening this Saturday, March 3rd. As per usual, I finished the inks with no time to screen-print my art; Shawn Hileman was kind enough to set me up with a pretty fucking sweet ink and paper combo, and took time out of his busy schedule to pull the prints himself. This is the third show I've participated in at Masthead, and if the prior can be used as a barometer, the pressure's going to be falling all over your weather pun-ed faces. Go to the show.

Masthead Print Studio
40 Brown St., Second Floor
Philadelphia PA, 19123

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Artificial Dissemination 2: Propaganda to Popaganda

If you haven't already seen the media-blitzkrieg I've had a hand in; I'm participating in the second exhibition at PHANTOM HAND: Artificial Dissemination 2; Propaganda to Popaganda. Because of scheduling I had to pass on the first installment in this exhibition series last year at Masthead, and I'm still kicking myself because the work was pretty awesome. When my brother suggested doing a part two at PHANTOM HAND I jumped at the idea. The opening is this Friday, and with some badass work already leaking online and some of the artists from the first show participating, this is going to be one not to miss.

I spent the last few weeks kicking around a few ideas, some offensive, some heartfelt, and some just flat out fucked up, but when the smoke cleared I was left with my first love.

Just got done screen-printing the above for the opening; purple ink on orange french paper, a small run of 24, so if this tickles your taint, then grab one quick before they sell out. Below is a color variation I did up for shits and giggles. I'm way too rusty to do a 4 color screen-print and way to cheap to buy enough blue paper to compensate for my screw-ups, so giclee's will be available in the weeks to come, however they won't be poster-size like the screen-print.

And keeping with the Halloween theme; I dug up this gem, a song I recorded to be handed out at the Autumn Society's Hallowed Halloween exhibition I curated at Paradigm gallery October 2010. This is the demo version, I never made it into my friends studio to re-record it, so you're left with a mash-up of bad vocals and out-of-tune guitars. Enjoy!

Artificial Dissemination; Propaganda to Popaganda
Opening reception: Friday, January 27th 6:00PM-???
604 South Street, Philadelphia

Monday, January 16, 2012

I have so much to tell you...

Hope you're all well. Things have gone from stagnant to overdrive very quickly so I've got several different projects to report, as well as quite a few events.
First and foremost, if you haven't seen the volley of posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, some friends and I are running a gallery at 6th and South, aptly titled Phantom Hand, to which most of my artistic efforts have gone in the past month. Below is the finished color version of Bar Squid; giclees are available at the gallery.

Bar Squid is part of the current show at Phantom Hand; the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society presents Out to Dry 3. The closing reception is this coming Saturday, the 21st, from 6PM to the witching hour. The very next Friday, Artificial Dissemination 2; Propaganda to Popaganda opens. The following is a cropped color study for my piece, which may or may not get scrapped later today for something else.

You can like the gallery on Facebook, follow the blog, or add us on twitter @PhantomHandArt to get updates about upcoming shows. February we'll be showing AD, as well as a traveling show, a weekend show-poster exhibit, and the opening of a top-secret show curated by the enigmatic team that is Eamon Dougherty and Jeffro Kilpatrick.

If you have not yet made it through our doors, you really should stop by. I've been to, and in, quite a few Philadelphia exhibitions, and as far as the Low-Brow and working man's art goes, this is the largest collection I've seen to date. The show is cash and carry, and new work has been arriving on an almost daily basis, so the show has been continually changing over the month, keeping it fresh and really exciting.

This next piece is a doodle from the intramural art & design club I run at the school I work. The project was both combining photo-reference and a personal piece. I'll let you guess what this piece says about me. Even with photo-reference, I cannot handle lighting... something to work on.

Also on the stove; I've been invite to Jinxed's annual Heart show, opening the weekend prior to my Birthday...and some other Holiday. I let them down last year, so I've got to do up something nice this year. AND I'm participating in a Horror Anthology comic where writers are given topics at random and paired with an artist. Mine includes Russia, tattoos, Demons, and an Orphanage. Rock! If any of you remember my long term comic project, The Detective with a Melted Face, you know that sequential format is a challenge I have yet to best, so this will be a rough ride.
And lastly, what blog post is complete without some nonsensical doodles.

The above was inspired by both my new obsession with Hot Diggity, and overhearing some polo-wearing Ricky Retardos have a fearful conversation about gay marriage.

I hope you've all enjoyed this, and please, come down to Phantom Hand, say hi, chew the fat, see the art, and have a beer with me. More soon. A lot more.