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!

sex. & candy. & violence. the _ronitape

new 90-minute all vinyl mixtape loosely exploring a theme.

stream or DL!

"i smell sex and... vio-lence heeere"

new 90-minute _ronitape vinyl-to-cassette mixtape is here for yr listening pleasure! stream or download it with the Soundcloud link above. after completing that last theme-mix which i did the extensive blog about on here, Originals vs. Covers vol. 1, i wanted to ride that focused-mix wave a little bit for the next tape i made. a loose concept evolved organically thanks to my Record Store Day 2017 purchases. got up with mi brethren Esh on RSD & hit our local Jamaica Plain record store Tres Gatos; more than most spots in the city, Phil & the gatos go super hard with their Record Store Day event, its always really well done. there were way less RSD-exclusive releases i wanted this year, which i was relieved about since i drop enough loot on vinyl on the regular! they didn't get in the Pure Hell 7" i was looking for but i got the Danny Brown 10" & couldn't resist copping the nineties alt-rock band Marcy Playground's 1997 debut which was just pressed on wax for the first time; haha i hadn't heard any other song on it but the track "Sex and Candy" is just, well, too damn sexy & catchy & hypnotizing & haunting and i had to have it.

after Tres Gatos we hit up Do617's annual record store day event at Brighton Music Hall which features a good variety of local indie vendors & labels slinging records, tapes, tees and more. The Coathangers performed and totally kicked ass, we'll have to revisit them later since i copped all their vinyl there. i was trying to go light but a barrage of bloody marys on an empty stomach later and i was coming home with another huge haul of vinyl. the homie Tall Matt from Traffic/ Get on Down was there & i copped a bunch of gems with bent corners he laced me with for cheap (biggups!) including Boogie Down Productions' banger, Sex and Violence. so within my RSD2017 vinyl haul the new _ronitape was born, linking those two records' titles into the loose concept/subject/aesthetic/attitudes the mix would follow...

sex. & candy. & violence.

i wanted a loose concept to explore without having to put in too much thought, slowing down the process - that Covers vs Originals mix took a long time to plot out selection-wise, which was awesome, but i like to stay cranking out these vinyl mixes on the regular as i play records, much of the time while working on my art, so the notions of Sex & Candy & Violence were a perfect parameter to stay in abstractly adding a vague theme. physical emotion, love, hate, aggression, sexuality, drugs, affection, isolation, brutality, sensuality, anxiety... i think in some way all the tracks embody one, two, or all three auras associated with the 3 words, though not necessarily in a super literal way. little thought was put into the selection, just picked them based on the feelings or words or sounds associated with that sex candy violence feel.

i don't even know anyone else who makes mixtape cassettes like myself, but if they're out there, they know that the best part of the mixtape-making process is first listen! after completing the mix, listening to how it all ended up flowing together is super fun & rewarding; i typically notice connections between songs i hadn't consciously intended which is a great feeling, like when an observer sees something in your art you had never noticed before. i digitize these mixes in real time before uploading them to Soundcloud, so while doing that on my first listen i decided to add a further visual element to the experience, and towards the end of the b-side after soaking in the general aesthetic of the tape, i made this quick piece of inky expressive art, attempting to abstractly illustrate the feeling. the focus of this site (and my life in general, you could say) is exploring the connections between art & music, creation & inspiration, so it felt the only thing to do! while the art looks similar to my Witches Brew ink work, it is actually Marsh T-Grade black ink, though mixed with a little Witches Brew & applied with its dauber, on Arches Huile/Oil cold pressed, extra deluxe textured paper. i've been experimenting with that specific combination for a little while now but it's the first time i've debuted it! whereas the Witches Brew work is more about the strokes, the Marsh/Arches style is more about the blackness of the ink, if that makes sense. more to come, soon enough! if you dig the mix, share it with friends! i appreciate ya!