Saturday, April 18, 2009


This is something I've known has been going on but hadn't known it was given a name until very recently. In a nut shell sexting is the act of sending nude (or semi-nude) pictures via text message, and - big shocker - it's particularly popular amongst high school students. The big-ticket item surrounding this issue is - how close to child pornography is it?

There are kids in schools all across the country who are formally being charged with child pornography. Generally speaking the photos are intended solely for the boyfriend or girlfriend, but the problem arises when the photos are shared between classmates and children from other schools. In some cases there have been reports of the pictures winding up on the internet. Once it hits the internet and Myspace or Facebook (or really whatever your social networking site of choice may be) it spreads like wildfire - and that's the kind of thing you just can't get back.

Then again, kids are notorious for not thinking that far ahead. It all seems well and good when they're together and feel like it'll be that way forever, but if there's a messy break-up there's no telling what someone may do out of anger. (And honestly I'm willing to bet a good percentage of the time a messy break-up isn't required for someone to share and brag with their buddies.) Anywho... I'm not here to try to argue one point over the other, and there are plenty of more eloquently written articles on the matter out there, so yeah...

I wanted my image to be kind of flirty without being to sexy or over the top, and I felt I had to get the idea across that it was a text (picture) message but that the whole thing is kind of ridiculous. Hence the emoticon winking face ;) My friend likes it, but says it's kind of creepy, (I suppose it's too soon after she saw Coraline) but I think that speaks to the issue at large. That kids as young as 8th graders (14 years old on average) and willingly exposing themselves in such a way. Oh well, I guess I'm just an old fuddy-duddy at heart.

Oil on canvas. 10 x 14

Friday, April 10, 2009

Swimmin' with the Sharks

About two months ago I posted a Laker's Girl pin-up I had done as a gift for a friend. As stated towards the end of that post, a coworker said he wanted one for his favorite team - which happens to be the San Jose Sharks. So I set about to do my thing.

The drawing stage gave me the most grief of the entire process. Though once I was happy with it and had it transferred to the canvas, the whole thing went by extremely quickly. All in all I spent four hours at the easel painting. This was the first time I had a 1:1 scale final drawing taped to my easel as I painted, and that helped inform a lot of my decisions more than my reference did. Pretty soon I was checking the reference mostly for color matching and letting the drawing I've already done guide my hand.

When all was said and done I was able to present the painting to my coworker and it was warmly received. So much so that another coworker remarked that he wants one for his favorite hockey team. I think he may have to wait a while, however. I compiled a list of the projects I want to undertake and it was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. There's nothing like seeing something in black and white to get the blood moving and the creative energy flowing.

Oil on canvas. 12" x 16"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Snap. Crackle. Paint.

A while back I drew this image and I've even tried to paint it a couple of times, but it never quite came out the way I was hoping it would. Though recently as I've been fine-tuning an approach, I thought I'd give it another shot. The greatest challenge of this piece was working on the crackle-pasted substrate. It behaves nothing like canvas and in fact is a little more absorbent than my beloved canvas.

All of that aside, I think it did well. The goal was to learn how to paint on crackle paste, and I'm well on my way to figuring that out. Initially I painted too thin, and while I didn't run into many adhesion problems, I did run into blending issues. Then I thickened up the mix a bit and instead started covering over the crackle. All in all I like to consider it a victory.

Oil on board. 10 x 12

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I was down to my last 4x6 panel a few months ago and I wanted to make it special somehow. I have the tendency to get overly precious about the last of anything I have, even if getting more is a simple matter of picking them up the next time I'm at work. The point is, I wanted it to be good and from the heart. I can be such a sap like that sometimes.

Naturally I spent a great deal of time agonizing over who I was going to paint for the last portrait in this round of 4x6 paintings. Then some friends of mine lost someone to a drunk driver in an accident. They were all devastated, and while I didn't truly know the fellow, it reopened a lot of wounds from when I lost my friend Hanh. I spent the next little bit of time looking for a picture I could have sworn I had. All I could come up with was her volleyball picture and though the face in that picture is less than half an inch high, I couldn't abandon my pursuit.

I've always wanted to do a portrait of Hanh, but never felt capable of the challenge. And though I fought this painting every step of the way and it didn't turn out anywhere near where I hoped it would, I still love it. In many respects it was just like my relationship with Hanh, and it brings a smile to my face.

So this is for you, Hanh. You're never too far from my thoughts and somehow still manage to be a source of constant inspiration. I miss you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Where it all began... kind of.

I upgraded my light kit today. After spending some time trying to engineer a way to hold my polarizing filters in place I was all set up and ready to shoot artwork. And shoot I did.

In my digging around for things I wanted to shoot or re-shoot I pulled this bad boy off the wall. This is the very first oil painting I've ever done (circa 2000). I had NO idea what I was doing and if I remember correctly I only had two cheap brushes and a plastic palette knife. I had put a sheet of cardboard or something down so I wouldn't get paint on my bed, but it didn't really matter because I was using the paint straight from the tube in all it's thick and creamy glory. The thought of diluting it with medium was a thought that wouldn't occur to me for another six years or so. But then again, I had NO idea what I was doing. You should have seen me gingerly carry this around for the six months it took just to dry to the touch. The rest of my ineptitude aside, I'm still really pleased with how the lightning bolt on the right came out.

The assignment was a response to music and I decided to paint waves that look suspiciously like mountains, now that I think about it. Either way, I keep it hanging in my studio so that I'll have a sense of where it is that I came from, for whatever that might be worth.

Oil on canvas. 11" x 8"

Before too long I'll be posting other things that I shot in my delirium this evening.