where you been?

time flies... it's been a minute, greetings & salutations internet 2018!

i blinked my eyes and all of a sudden i haven't made a blog post in 5 months! life happens... but its been too long and i've got to get back on the saddle with this website so i'm back with a *little* check-in post. when i started this website i had just become unemployed after 11 years working for Undergroundhiphop.com. the company i dedicated a third of my life to went out of business to eventually be bought out by a new owner and i was left out at square one, but that is what it is because the time had definitely come for me to start fresh on a new path. regardless of if UGHH had been a perfect setup, that's still quite a long time to hold the same gig, so once jobless i took a much needed breather to decompress, reevaluate, rejuvenate and put more energies into getting my art out into the world. after two group showings in 2016 as UGHH was waning, i then got my first-ever solo exhibit in 2017 and also began the process of getting my art more easily sellable form, digitizing 2 of my best pieces so i could make prints, t-shirts, etc., with the intention of doing so with many much more of my art. i got this website up to rep my work and to be an outlet to get back into writing while continuing to rep music which inspires me. i was on a good track, optimistic though hadn't made any noticeable waves... but then i ran out of money. as a cliche flighty stoner artist type i didn't plan my finances out, had a gig fall through i had been counting on starting at a certain point, kept coasting trying to find the right energy until all of a sudden i was about to be unable to afford rent! but then right at the nick of time my ex g/f was moving out of town & needed someone to fill her hours at The Hempest, a Boston staple head shop/ hemp clothing store on Newbury St., which is a great fit for me. however, once i got back to work, i stopped having the desire to afford effort to this website in my downtime. i'm not a computer person, and like most of you i spend way damn too much time on my smartphone already; after the drain of a workday i'll still have motivation to create art, but stare at another glowing soul-sucking screen i do not. when i did have the time to spend over 10 hours on one blog post with tons of words, images, links, videos, etc., i'd unfortunately see through the website statistics & analytics that the traffic coming back to the post did not justify the effort put in. since our society gets us strung out on instant gratification & quick dopamine fixes, it can be a bit crushing when you spend time on something important to you and no one cares. of course one must have patience in building anything, and a big part of the life of any type of artist is repeatedly putting yr soul out there over and over again to resounding silence and apathy, and seeing many of those who play the game like a popularity contest get further than those actually making good work. though feedback is so appreciated, a lack of positive reinforcement won't ever hinder my making of visual art, because its just absolutely necessary to my existence and i truly enjoy doing it, but it's different with the music blog. if i'm spending precious time highlighting other peoples' work just because i dig it and want to share it with others, when only a handful of people are viewing the post it feels like i'm wasting my time, talking to myself. that's my own fault though, this is my first website and i don't know what i'm doing; i rushed into building up content before figuring out the back-end logistics of making the site visible to the world, with the intention of backtracking and fixing those technical issues, but never getting to it. i only rely on promotion through my Instagram to get any visibility to this blog/ site so i clearly need to figure out better ways to get the site seen. i plan on figuring that out eventually but if you have skills in that terrain and don't mind giving some advice, please holler! aaanyway... where i been?

though i took a lot of time off from adding blog posts to this site, i kept adding new art & _ronitape mixes to their respective pages. here's some a_ronious art i've made in the meantime with a little backstory

watching whispers

11x14" cradled gessoboard made with Witches Brew ink dauber. i intended for this piece to be a cut-up process one in which i slice the black ink with scratch knives & spot sand the white areas, but it felt complete in its 'pure' state so i left it as is, a decision i definitely approve of in hindsight. since i do tons of this type of stuff on paper, when i do one on a board i like to go the extra mile extending the process with the scratch tools, however this time it just felt done... sometimes ya just know when to stop at the perfect point. i love the subjective nature of abstract art & thus hearing what people see in mine... checking the original instagram post, Ellen saw a teddy bear so its subtitle is 'teddy needs a hug' haha & Nicole saw The Lord Of The Flies... i fully endorse their interpretations, i rarely create with intention...

scars of the skeleton

9x12" cradled gessoboard, made with Witches Brew ink dauber and scored with scratch knives & spot sanded to refine the white. i've been going back-and-forth trying to give a name to this style/process with the scratch tools added... i really dig ScarMaps but its also kinda emo & i was never a cutter... haha hit me with any ideas that may pop into yr head! this was the final piece made in my 33rd year right before my August birthday. i am happy with the use of negative space in this piece, making it more reminiscent of the ink dauber on paper type stuff i do a lot of.

ruminations on Roya

11x14" deep-cradled gessoboard. though all my art is inspired by music, especially that which i play while i paint the respective piece, i usually rock a bunch of different albums while completing one. however with this i solely played Roya's self-titled debut album, because even though i'm surrounded by thousands of records, sometimes i still just get absolutely stuck, obsessed with one album, artist or group and love just submerging myself in it, until i switch it back up. Roya is the new project by Rahill Jamalifard of Habibi, who is one of my top-fave contemporary singers & i will surely get to blog-posting about on here in depth eventually. this piece was a happy switch up after a bunch of black & whites and also after having recovered from severe back pain issues while working insanely busy shifts. 3d textured with the OTR latex slimer markers, as always best seen in person...

is it best to navigate these mine/d fields alone?

11x14" cradled claybord, painted alongside my homie OFats the Flourish! chillin' at the bar has not been my thing lately, i'm always trying to get kindreds to come to my lair instead to rawk records, burn trees and get creative energy popping in a shared space, chilling with purpose, influencing one another with vibe or through actual collaboration. it rarely happens lol but is always rewarding when it does, if you vibe with that hollar at me! anyway i made this piece while O made a dope abstraction on board, awesome chill session in my book! i dig that this one is kinda wild while maintaining a pretty clear composition, the character is this 'Little Red Riding Hood' archetype that pops up here and there. i flipped the board upside down halfway through the process, redefining the piece... sometimes ya gotta flip it on 'em

murdamystery

10x10" deep-cradled gessoboard, made with Witches Brew ink dauber & embellished with the scratch tools. i used to do a lot more square pieces like this, but lately i favor rectangular ones because the dimensions are more practical for prints & t-shirt designs plus i'm more drawn to them creatively; however its fun to switch it up and the square dimensions are ideal for album artwork so i'll keep making them in hopes it fits the right album's aesthetic one day perhaps...

berth of chaos

12x16" deep-cradled gessoboard. that crazy chaotic shit... whenever i take a little time off from creating art, i run the risk of making an insane mess for the first piece back; doesn't always happen that way, but on pieces like this i get frenzied and just want to keep going because i've missed the process, resulting in passionate but messy wild works. there's always that one moment when you know you've taken it too far but sometimes yr past the point of no return and have to keep pushing forward to reclaim the narrative, if that makes sense... i sought to do that with the expressionistic latex paint scribbles atop the composition which wasn't working for me until i fuct it up substantially. i've gone back & forth with hating & loving this piece, haha i guess i'm somewhere in the middle about it now. as above so below, i was in the struggle when i made it & it clearly exhibits that crazy energy

here are my 2 newest pieces that are 99% done... i spray-seal all of my boards with a clear uv-protective gloss but its too cold to do that on my porch currently... i've got to head over to a homie's studio asap for that final step before i get proper images of these, but here's a sneak peak, i'm super happy with both. my main priority art-wise in 2018 is to move some of the piles of art made in my past largely prolific few years so i can make room for new work, especially some larger pieces, but no matter what i'll always be creating. that sums up what I've been making on boards since my last post area 17 which shows the rest of my 2017 turnout on boards. however that's not all I've been focused on...

...to-be-titled Witches Brew ink dauber on paper series...

what I've been most prolific at making in the visual art realm lately have been these nocturnal ink dauber on paper series. i've previously shown you two similar series here, the continuing MARCHES pages and the no-bleed palpitation papers. the current series is Witches Brew ink applied with dauber on 9x12" Render No-Show-Thru Paper. very shortly i will have filled up a 48-page presentation book of a movement in this expressive/gestural/minimal/noir style which i typically make at night post-work listening to records or while halfway paying attention to whatever show I'm bingewatching. this has become one of my favorite creative outlets since i can't get into the proper zone to do a painting after a shift but can still express myself in a fulfilling way quickly and easily. its kinda replaced my pen & ink blackbook activities, though i've been getting back to that a bit too. anyway here's a small sampling of that as-of-yet named series, nothing i've come up with has stuck yet! since this is a unified movement/series i'm itching to do something extra with it; i've always wanted to publish something, these could make a great 'zine type thing so i'm going to explore ways to actualize that happening... here's a sneak peak!

so excited to show ya'll the 40+ more pieces in this series asap! iPhotos don't really do these justice, so I would love to get a scanner so i can make perfect images of them all, will be investigating that realm soon but if you have any tips for a novice in the graphic design type world on what might be a good purchase, lemme know! 

these ink dauber on paper series have become my de-facto blackbook/sketchbook style of art; for a while there i had zero desire to do any pen on paper work, though i find in the warmer months i typically deviate from that style. i've recently made an effort to get back into drawing, since ya gotta keep all yr darts sharp!  here are a few recent blackbook sessions that went well... 

besides for my visual art, I'm constantly creating our new _ronitape vinyl-to-cassette mixtapes which i digitize and then upload to Soundcloud and the _ronitapes section of this website for you to free stream or download. since my last blog post i've cranked out quite a few:

since my art is so inspired by the records and music that i listen to before and during the creation period, i've long since come to the realization that these are some kind of reflection of that and are an alternate but kindred tentacle of my artistic expressions. they're also just simply random jumbles of songs i'm digging' on at the moment and want to share with you or whoever else might hopefully enjoy them. music and art are the main guiding lights of my life so I'm always trying to explore the symbiosis inherent in that. unintentionally or subconsciously I've been highlighting that connection more lately by making the digital cover image a collage of the tracklist juxtaposed with art i made while recording tracks onto the mixes:

none of these are strict-theme mixes really besides for 'LUVrz Rawk' which was a PMA heart-energy channelling themed one made for my brother & now sister-in-law's wedding recently in Florida. the rest are all 'skitzomixes' in their own ways, all sorts of styles mixed together, however they're pretty much all unified in their 'waves' type flow/energy arc progressions. one phrase in particular, explored most substantially in the newest mix, seems to be relevant to each of them, and since as above so below is so real, it also mirrors my current life and perhaps yrs too:

rising&dying, waxing&waning

since I've last blogged, i've been working some crazy epic busy shifts over at my new job. I absolutely love it, but for a person with somewhat shy-until-you-get-to-know-me personality with antisocial tendencies that i both battle with and revel in, shifts in which i sometimes deal with a hundred or more people can really take it out of me. i was also super broke for a while, so those two factors compounded with another brutal Boston winter have pretty much killed off my social life for the time being. plus my days off are Tuesdays & Wednesdays so fuggedaboutit. thus life has felt like a bit of a sisuphysian cycle on repeat, rising bright and being 'on' all day to retreat and regroup in isolation, fading to be reborn fresh the next day. it is what it is for the time being, I'm happy but don't have anything going on with my art currently which I deeply desire to remedy asap. but first had to shake the dust off this here blog! 

as for my new gig... let's just say I'm working at a well-established headshop during Massachusetts' transformation into a fully legal recreational MJ state. everything is pretty much legal besides the buying & selling of cannabis which goes into effect this summer, but in the meanwhile there's a 'gifting' loophole... nuff said, one day long from now perhaps I'll tell ya some stories after we're safely out of the grey area...

so there you have it, a taste of where I've been since this blog went dark. i intended to just do a quick check-in and somehow this thang has already become massive so I'll sign off now! there is so much i want to explore on this blog and intend to get its momentum back lawd willin'! music-wise i'd like to hit you with posts on Hit+Run Crew, Fake Four Inc., an incredible year of Ian Svenonius releases & stellar albums by my homies STL GLD & Esh, and anyone else from Angel Olsen to TAD, Betty Davis, Les Savy Fav, Bigg Jus, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Shannon & The Clams and countless others. i've also been taking CBD tinctures regularly since my last post so would love to highlight that since i'm finding it super beneficial and have been experimenting on myself much. i'd love to highlight other elements on here too like literature & such... if you have any suggestions or topics, groups etc. you'd like me to cover, comment on this post any time! same thing for the _ronitape mixes... if a mix theme has to be super-cerebrally thought-out, it'll just frustrate me & take forever, but loose themes/vibes or genre/era specific things can still be made in a more organic way that is enjoyable for me, so always feel free to hit me with those too! i've been noticing my mixes getting lower play counts, at the end of the day i don't care because i make them for myself, however the intent is to share great music with others and offer a 90 minute immersive experience of a wide span of styles and creators which can serve as a meditation or soundtrack to life or art. the mixes aren't perfect, there are typically a few audio errors that sneak past me, but in general i think i've honed them into something pretty dope over the years. that being said i can also just be compulsive in the making of them, with that repetitive cycle notion reemerging. so while i had been dropping new mixes almost weekly while unemployed with about a couple a month since then, i've recently been taking a little breather for now before starting the next, refreshed. 

sometimes that's all you can do... rise to die to repeat it all over again. you can't wax without waning. i feel the PMA strong rn and look forward to a new year of more rising than dying, of positive change and transformation... lets do our best to raise each other up with our arts & deeds in 2018,

infinite love to you all!

area 17: the new body of work

the best of the new a_roniousness: 17 selections

17 pieces from 2017. all available to display, presented here in chronological order

they say you gotta look back to move forward, so with that in mind, here i'm going to highlight some of my best art completed this year. if you actively follow me on instagram, which is the best way to stay up-to-date with what i'm working on, you've seen this stuff; besides regular posts, with the addition of 'stories' to that app, i typically document what i'm working on in real time. i have also dropped all these pieces in the homepage/ main gallery of this site, but haven't figured out how to add viewable descriptions to that section yet, and go a lil' crazy when trying to figure out the more technical stuff [i am NOT a tech guy], so currently i'm just building 'content' with the aim of sorting out the rest sooner or later. regardless of all that, i can post the images in larger dimensions in the blog post format, with descriptions to give you some context. i also still have a lot of my strongest pretty-recent work up at Casa Verde in Jamaica Plain, check it out & tip yr bartender or server well, i got mad love for the staff over there! super happy to have work on display in my hood, very much itching to get another gallery show going as well though, so this post of 17 pieces on boards from 2017 can also serve as a vessel to show any curators my newest work available to hang & hopefully sell (i did not include anything from this era that already sold or was gifted). i've been confined to a pretty small apartment for the past couple years, with art piling up and extra space scarce which has me pragmatically working on smaller sized boards, but i've been itching to work larger though would prefer to sell some stuff first to make room! gotta keep the work & living area somewhat orderly to stay sane...

that's me recently caught in the act by my friend Robin, thanks for the pic! the piece i'm pictured working on is my newest color board completed as of writing this; look out for the final result in the last pic as we'll now go through 17 notable pieces from 2017 chronologically. also, while this will look well & good on yr mobile device, its intended for a larger screen so you can observe detail better.

probably because i was born on the 17th of august, 17 has always been my 'favorite' number. i'm clearly odd AF and though i have never been any good at math, concepts like prime numbers, the Pythagorean theorem, Fibonacci sequence, pi, etc. have always interested me. i popped 17 into the ole wikipedia machine for shits & giggles while making this post and noticed that within the Brodmann area of the cerebral cortex in primates, area 17 is that of the primary visual cortex, which processes visual information in the brain, so what better an excuse to focus on 17 pieces in this year of 2017. this body of work was created in a transitory period of my life, having become unemployed after 11 years working the same job, left with little to show for it; it thus chronicles the mania yet also creative freedom i experienced within this period, ending with me in a less precarious place, having secured part-time work to hold me over. now more than ever i want these selections to be seen in public and could also really use some art sales; i would eternally appreciate any help getting this work on display in a Boston gallery, if anyone has any thoughts, please don't hesitate!

click on any image for an expanded lightbox view! titles & info follow below each piece

blood inferno masquerade

12"x12" cradled artistboard. Witches Brew black ink x OTR Blazing Red ink. at this point i was still using xacto blades for scoring these, before moving on to scratch knives later. made on an 'artist board' which are the cheaper style of boards that have a canvas-like ridged texture; i've since moved on from these types of boards because i prefer ones with a smoother texture for the cutting process, but the rougher surface does make for cool effects in conjunction with the Witches Brew ink dauber. after experimenting with adding red to the black dauber ink style in a notebook i called the no bleed palpitation papers, i brought the black with red style to various types of boards to a pretty wide range of results. i use the specific red ink because its a bit weak so interacts with the black without muddling it, but when i spray-seal the final pieces, the red loses color and becomes closer to a red-orange, which i don't love as much; i'm currently pausing on the black&red boards until i figure out a better method so that doesn't happen. regardless, of the several boards in this vein, this is definitely my favorite. i title my pieces after the fact most of the time, they can be somewhat arbitrary, but i thought this one worked perfectly. this is currently on display at Casa Verde in Jamaica Plain.

returnt to her essence

a 12"x14" deep cradled gessoboard which was a reaction against my very loosely-themed series of mostly multicolored abstractions i had been making called the 'clusterfuck theorems' which were largely wilder & unwieldy abstract explosions. wanted to reign it in a bit with some more controlled compositions which still embodied my style/aesthetic. this piece feels to me like a sequel or revisiting of a theme set forth in a piece from at least a decade earlier, on canvas, called 'caught between worlds' made at a pivotal transition point in my life after a particularly traumatic breakup which had me feeling like my reality had been pulled out from beneath my feet. the central figure in this piece reminds me of the one perched in between realms in the older painting, which makes sense as it was made in a transition period after my job of 11 years ending which left me again in between paths wondering which direction/s i should go from there. haha and its of course also very vaginal, reflective of my need for female energy in my life, if we're putting all the cards on the table... definitely an isolation / insulation theme here.

superbowlsunday

10"x10" deep cradled gessoboard. 3D embellished with OTR Slimer latex paint used for the eyes in the background, a signature style i've done in multiple pieces. my color pieces can get super hectic & chaotic in composition, especially around the time i made this, so i consciously tried to keep it 'cleaner' and more controlled with this piece. i made this on superbowl sunday, alone & not watching the game, hence the title... while the face is very serpentine/demonic and i probably used hashtags about the reptilians and interdimensionals in its instagram post, i feel like this piece is just as much about isolation, surveillance and/or feeling like you have all sorts of anonymous eyes watching you even in solitude via social media. i have no interest in any sports, which is not to say that i'm against them (i actually played football for a couple years in high school believe it or not); that being said watching the superbowl with family or friends is something you're supposed/expected to do in the eyes of american society, so even though i had no interest i almost felt inferior, a loser for being alone & not watching it with my crew, while conversely also reveling in that disconnect. i chose a lower quality, oily black ink for the background intentionally, it interacted with the spray-seal in a cool way, looks greasy & grimy yet wet. super happy with this one & look forward to do more juxtaposing chaotic abstractions in the foregrounds with calmer more controlled backgrounds. to my musician friends, i always make sure to crank out square pieces for potential use as album or single covers, if you have something that needs a weird cover HMU!

plight of wombmyn

this is a favorite for my black & white boards, 12"x9" cradled artistboard with Witches Brew ink scored with xacto blade. sometime i can go too far with the ink slicing & make it too busy but i feel like it was balanced just right with this piece. the eye/heads at the top left which look like the location marker on an iPhone have popped up in multiple pieces since. an old friend of mine's father was a genius artist and at an event about him recently i was showing some work to some people who knew their way around the Art World and one of them was like this is the one and i definitely respected her opinion so am holding onto it to be seen at my next proper showing and/or could make a cool t-shirt design with its dimensions...

i of infinity

12"x16" deep cradled claybord [when i spell it without the A in board it is to indicate the piece is on an Ampersand board which is of a higher quality than the Blick boards, which themselves are pretty great, most especially their new smooth-textured gessoboards]. another attempt at balancing my creative order and chaos... i was honestly very unsure how people would react to this one but its one of my most popular pieces on Instagram with almost 100 likes which is a lot for my page! i'm planning on having it scanned for prints/clothing printing possibilities eventually. while i kept the composition pretty clean i still got to go a lil crazy with the background, frenetically mixing it up and creating the squiggly lines using a steel-tip Krink K-66 squeeze marker, one of my preferred utensils. i reuse all of my K-66 bottles with new mixtures but the steel-tip extension goes after a while and you can't find them for sale on their own anymore, if anyone knows where i can grab some plz hollar! haha. this image came out good but in person this piece has a super juicy wet texture. i love what came out of the background, the little cosmic jellyfish lookin' things and other ghosts of the cloud-chasms... and the focal figure is the infinity sign shape, popping that idea into its universe...

eye am everywhere

11x14" cradled claybord. as you can see from the previous Witches Brew ink dauber pieces i had been cutting up the ink and/or adding red embellishments, so with this i went back to basics without any of all that, since i thought it didn't need those additions as was. once i got it up on Instagram it got a way better reception than usual pieces so apparently it resonated with people. prominently features that eye/location icon that appeared in the previous b&w piece. has the whole all-seeing-eye/panopticon/big brother surveillance type of vibe though could also perhaps be seen as one figure affecting those around them through the energy they emanate...

mansOfWar in our see of consciousness

11"x14" cradled claybord. while my titles are almost always chosen after the painting is done and are sometimes somewhat arbitrary, i feel like this one works perfect with the jellyfish-like figure suspended in the cosmic sea-of-consciousness like background. this piece could be about the gnostic notion of 'as above so below' in regards to idea of existence being a sea of infinite consciousness of which we are all simultaneously individual droplets of water and the entire ocean itself, and idea which i gleaned from a David Icke book years back. i paused on conspiracy literature like that years back because it makes you go crazy, but some of Icke's metaphysical ideas have especially stayed with me. while much of my color work has an intergalactic, cosmic type feel my imagination has also always been captivated by the ocean & the creatures of the deep so i like that this piece has that feel.

scarMaps

though a small piece at just 8"x10", this one was huge in the development of the Witches Brew ink cut-up series. firstly, i had been doing these experimental pieces on the cheapest boards i use(d), the rougher, canvas-like textured artistboards, as i figured out the style. second, i had been using xacto blades of various sizes and styles for the cutting/scoring. the xactos' points aren't that strong and that's all i needed from them; i wasted tons of blades constantly snapping off the tips. also, with that rougher board texture, the actual cutting part of the process was not enjoyable, there was a violence to that part of the process with the resistance, blades snapping, lines going in weird directions... while there is a violence inherent to the actual art in this style, which i love, i hated the violence in that part of the process, if that makes sense. so to remedy all that, this was the first cut up ink piece i made on a smooth gessoboard; also it was the first i experimented with using scratchknives/scratchbord knives instead of the xacto blade. both upgrades were positive progressions, i like how the ink looks on flat, smoothly textured boards much more and they're much easier to score/cut, especially in conjunction with the scratchbord knife, which has a stronger point and enables greater line control. these type of pieces look so much glossier in real life, pictures can only do it so much justice...

the violence of yr absence

12"x16" deep cradled claybord. created this while making my _ronitape mixtape 'sex&candy&violence' which you can hear here. i almost solely play records while i paint (unless i'm in too deep and switch to cassettes since easier to handle) so usually am adding tracks onto the newest mix as i get inky. i love this piece and immediately wanted to do prints of it, however i think two of the b&w cut-ups which follow it turned out even better in hindsight. it's a bit busy with the cuts, but also probably the most intricate. i've always been super inspired by the line El-P spit in the Company Flow days, "even when i say nothing it's a beautiful use of negative space"... though i usually don't allow myself to leave much negative space i do attempt to, with varying results... in this one i channeled that idea a little though, in the bottom foreground the negative space in a female figure-like shape, paired with the title, says enough i think...

hivemind deathwatchers

12"x12" deep cradled gessoboard. this piece took the b&w cut-ups to the next level with the introduction of a new instrument to the process, the fiberglass erasing brush. i'll be expanding on this process in an upcoming blog post, but quickly, the brush became the final part of the process before the spray glossing, after i cut up the ink on the board. the negative space areas are still all marked by very light ink dauber textures, plus dirtied by the process of me cutting up the ink; going back in at the end with the erasing brush refines the white areas, while still leaving faint ghosts of the ink, making the piece 'pop' a lot more. it's now an indispensable part of the process, and super enjoyable. i love the title, think it works with the spiderweb/queen mother type imagery in the foreground, affecting the entities surrounding it...

#mushroomcloudmonday

subtitled, "[or, how i learned to love the blast as long as yr by my side so we can melt into each other]". 11"x14" cradled gessoboard. a crazy color explosion after lots of b&w work. though my pieces usually don't center on a certain tangible thought, this one has a clear influence. with how insanely fast the news cycle has become in the times of trump, this news story is ancient forgotten history... but back in May, kim jong un & trump were flaring up the nuclear pissing contest, and i read an article about it the morning i made this painting, wondering if the sociopath douchebags in control of the world's nuclear arsenals were about to cut our lives short with a mushroom cloud blast. and how much it would suck (even though it would be a moot point since we'd all be dying) to experience that alone without a loved one in my life to melt into. macabre, but romantic? haha

alone in the blaze

12"x12" deep cradled artistboard. i had completed this and another black and red board months earlier actually, minus the spray seal, because i realized the red ink faded with that step so held off to see what i could do about it. on the other piece, not pictured, i tried a second coat of red, and though it didn't ruin the piece, i don't love the results and didn't enjoy adding that step to the process, it felt like it was ruining the piece's energy and subtleties. ended up spraying this one with just the one red coat and am super cool with the results but have since cut off making the black&red style on boards until i figure out a more happy medium for the red. also with this piece i was still using xactos on the rough textured artistboard, leading to violent and harder to control cuts; while i think it worked out on this board, i much prefer the calmer cleaner precise cuts the flat boards x scratchbord knives make possible. as for the art, it has a sacred feminine amidst the black iron prison vibe for me; chose the title since the red became more of a red-orange with the spray seal, going from blood to fire...

get in where you fit in [LocayShun]

12"x12" deep cradled artistboard. this was an experimental one; i solely use the Witches Brew ink on these boards, but i also use Marsh Ink T-grade with the same ink dauber on paper (i posted about that series here), and have used it on boards in the past, so for this piece i tried it out again. the Marsh is thinner/ weaker than the Witches Brew, so it was noticeable in how it rubbed off a bit and faded some from the wear-and-tear of cutting it with the scratchbord knives plus erasing brush. the spray gloss coats restored it well, but from now on i'll keep the Marsh for the Arches paper exclusively since they work so well together, and the Witches Brew doesn't fade from the cut-up process. regardless, i like how this turned out, the symmetry of the slicings feel just right. the title and piece had to do with thoughts on my current and future location; i moved to Boston in 2001 for college and never left post-graduation, so the thought of "do i want to be here? or did i just stay here 'cuz i didn't know where else to go?" come up frequently, especially after going jobless after working the same gig in town for 11 years. it feels like home here but i also have dreams of leaving like rupert thomson...

sink or swim?

12"x16" deep cradled gessoboard. this is one of my best b&w cut up pieces, however since its so glossy it was hard to capture a picture which did it proper justice, i will re-shoot it or hopefully get it imaged for prints asap! after experimenting with various scratchbord knives and other engraving tools in the previous similar pieces, with this one i had figured out which sized blades were best for the process, so the cuts are much more controlled and subtle in this one. also went in much heavier with the erasing tool to refine the white with this piece. i love the results but this is best seen in person until i get a truer image. i had trouble choosing a title for this one, went with 'sink or swim?' because of the shark type figure in the top left, and also because it accurately described the main thought in my head at that moment in regards to life, as the walls were feeling like they were closing in on me as my financial situation had become pretty dire after so many months unemployed and a potential job i had been planning on ending up not panning out. maybe it would have, but i wasn't feeling the energy; not some hippy-dippy ish, that shit is so real - as i seek to redefine my life coming out of over a decade of working for someone with famously negative energy, there is no fucking way i am going to voluntarily enter myself into another toxic scenario. shortly after, i instead secured a part time gig that i'm super happy about; it doesn't solve my financial problems, but lightens the load on my head and heart as i figure the rest out...

american dream death melt

12"x16" deep cradled claybord. with much of the previous color pieces in this series i explored more controlled compositions, with this one i feel like i harnessed the wild, unruly and free creative energy typically inherent to my color style, staying 'true' to me while also harnessing the cleaner aesthetic with the more basic background. pretty certain i will make prints of this piece. thematically the title is a good explanation of the piece, a reaction to the empty partisan pandering on both sides of the american political spectrum, the deathly melting of the alleged ideals the united states were built on. both republicans and democrats no longer stand for much of anything, choosing a 'team' mentality, our team must win at all costs, rather than believing in anything of substance. each party flip-flops on their supposed principles; remember when republicans were the 'family values' party but they elected pussy-grabber snake-oil salesman trump, or democrats who were supposed to be anti-war but turned a blind eye for all transgressions of obama's hyper-militaristic reign. if 'nothing matters as long as our team wins' remains the mantra in D.C., we're all in for more gridlock and unsolved problems as the world continues to burn.

what makes a demon?

16"x16" deep cradled encausticbord. i've been limiting myself to smaller pieces forever now, typically 12x16" as the largest i do since my apartment is teensy and bulging at the seems with my art (and records). i've been itching crazy hard to work big again, so said fuck it and went for it with this piece and the next, both in larger dimensions than usual (though would love to go even bigger asap!). this one is classic a_roniousness, looks dripping wet in person and much more vibrant. this reminds me of a very early painting i made well over a decade ago called 'unintentional self portrait' in which i ended up painting myself without realizing it. in this piece,  i did not intend or plan out the main demon face that takes up the foreground, it made itself. a cosmic, interdimensional, as-above-so-below psychedelic snapshot. features 3D embellishments with OTR Slimer latex paint, this one must be seen in person, can't wait to get it on display somewhere soon!

i will find you amidst this maze

16"x20" cradled gessoboard. the biggest b&w cut-up i've ever done, and the largest painting i've made in far too long. i'll keep its description briefer here, because i snapped pictures throughout the creative process so i could document it for you guys in its own blog post, soon to come. i'm pretty ecstatic on this one because i feel like it integrates my two main styles, the b&w dauber style with the color style; to me the composition of this, and rhythm, remind me of my color stuff, if that makes any sense? i'll expound on that soon enough in the next post and show you pictures of all the steps involved in the cut-up process. the title and art could be about my seemingly perpetual struggle as a single man looking for real love in our digitally desensitized society; i refuse to use tinder, ok cupid or any dating app, which seem like the only way people meet each other anymore. not judging you if it works for you, but for me it feels empty, selling oneself online in a way that completely turns me off. so instead, i rust in solitude, clearly not an acceptable alternative... trying to navigate that maze before i'm old and all alone. as artists we need to be somewhat self-absorbed to progress our craft yet simultaneously deeply crave love and connection, especially as we continually put ourselves our there to the world through our work to typically disappointing responses. i don't think i can make it out this maze by myself. i know i don't want to.