Sunday, December 31, 2006

Farewell 2006...

It's time for the inevitable look back at the year that just ended. I never quite know what each year will bring. I never would have thought that by the end of 2006 I would have my work published in a book, let alone three! First, to be included in "Stripped" along side some very big names in gay art (Steve Walker, Ross Watson, Patrick Fillion, Glen Hanson etc.) was tremendous. But then being selected to have a book of all my own work published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag topped even that. My book "Summer Moved On" will be released in Europe in February and the US in April. I also was selected to have my work showcased in another book due this spring, "The World's Greatest Erotic Art of Today". If that wasn't enough, this fall a sex positive apparel company, Strange Affections, opted to put some of my works on their T-Shirts.

I was not quite as prolific in terms of the number of works I created this year. I completed 24 compared with last years 26, still that's not too bad. I don't know if followers of my art notice an improvement in the caliber of my work, but I do. I did manage to get my calendar put together and available much earlier and was pleased to find a self publishing company that did not have restrictions (frontal nudity) on content. I even managed to squeeze in an exhibit in wonderfully gay friendly, Provincetown. The shop/gallery Little Gorgeous Things was very pleased with my work and opted to carry some of my prints and other merchandise year round. So if your out on the tip of Cape Cod, please check them out. I hope to do a solo show their sometime during peak season, perhaps July or August. I'll definitely send out invitations for that! Also while in P-Town, stop by The Porchside Bar, at the Gifford House on Carver Street, barkeep/owner and great guy, Gregg, has purchased numerous prints, a couple originals and dec'd out the bar with them.

I am optimistic about what all this new exposure will bring, allowing me to keep earning a living at something I truly enjoy. I also look forward to more emails from those of you who connect with my "cute little drawings of naked men" and share your thoughts, stories and experiences with me.

Here's to 2007 and whatever it may bring. Best wishes to you!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sophie Ellis Bextor - I Won't Change You

If you don't know Sophie Ellis Bextor she's a pop star from the UK. Here's a great tune of hers from a few years back.

My top 10 iTunes for the week ending 12/29

What I'm listening to and being motivated by while I'm at the drawing board. Not a lot of changes from last week.

1. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry
2. "Don’t Be Shy" - Spektrum
3. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
4. "Da Capo" - Ace of Base
5. "Intergral" - Pet Shop Boys
6. "Blue" - Sophie B. Hawkins
7. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
8. "Stealing Time" - Above & Beyond
9. "The Glamorous Life" - T-Funk with Inaya Day
10. "My Personal Moon" - Madison Park



Song links will open your iTunes store if you have it installed.

Artist links will take you to artist website.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Update from the Drawing Board


Ahhhhh....
Christmas is finally over. I hope everyone had a good one. Mine was enjoyable and low-key. Now, it's time to get back into a regular groove. It always seems to be my artwork that gets pushed to the back burner, behind running the business, the daily chores and personal affairs. However, I've had some time to work on my latest this past week and am really happy with how it's looking. I want to finish it by the end of the year. So keep an eye on my Gallery in the next few days for the original and prints to be released. Oh, and I need to come up with a name for it...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dealing with Idiots

So several days ago I get an email from my webhosting company EMC, informing me that the activity at my site is close to the maximum I am allowed on my current plan, which is 25gb.

I send them the following email:

Q: I just got an email that I'm approaching a resource limit, that I'm at 23.3 gb of my 25 gb traffic limit. What happens if I go over? Am I charged a per gb fee?

The answer from EMC is this:

Dec 21, 2006 4:08:38 PM]
A: There may be $0.01 per mb over the 25quota.

EMC


What actually happens is this:


Account for domain www.studio1088.com has been suspended. The reason: activity had exceeded the 25gb allotment for the month.

EMC needs to stop their policy of lying to their customers and causing major inconveniences, or seriously think about training the people that work for them. I was a little nervous with the answer 'there MAY be a charge'. You don't know? It depends on your mood? What?


Now you might think it was just a small mistake. Unfortunately, my dealings with EMC have been this way since they bought out my old hosting company. I'm told one thing, they do another. We tell them my problem with my site, and what they need to fix, they instead make unrelated changes. They never apologize or acknowledge that what finally fixes the issue is what we told them at the beginning.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring

A very beautiful song, the last verse still makes me a little teary eyed. It is also one of the sexiest music video's ever, thank you Bruce Weber.
Video Flash Back, "Only You" - Yazoo

Still takes me back to Spring 1983.

My Top 10 iTunes - Week Ending 12/22

What I'm listening to and being motivated by while I'm at the drawing board.

1. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry
2. "Don’t Be Shy" - Spektrum
3. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
4. "Da Capo" - Ace of Base
5. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
6. "My Personal Moon" - Madison Park
7. "Intergral" - Pet Shop Boys
8. "Blue" - Sophie B. Hawkins
9. "Don Turbulento" - Yello
10. "Stealing Time" - Above & Beyond



Song links will open your iTunes store if you have it installed.

Artist links will take you to artist website.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Latest work in progress


After composing my newest work the past couple of days, I got started with the pastels. Per my usual I am first concentrating on the face. The subtlety of human facial expressions becomes very apparent when capturing it in a work of art. Smudging the pastel in a certain direction or the slightest change in angle at the corner of a mouth can greatly alter the attitude and emotions of the subject. When first beginning, while building layers and working in the variations in skin tone and color, the face goes through a myriad of looks, some not too appealing! While I still have more refining to do on the face, I am calling it a night now that I have it in a state that is approaching what I want. This piece will likely be my last (my 23rd) completed work in 2006.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In the name of "Freedom"?



This week the first steel columns of the Freedom Tower were erected at ground zero in NYC. While this seems like it should be a moment of American pride and triumph it just feels empty. So the question is this: “Is it embarrassing as well as ironic to call this structure the ‘Freedom’ Tower, when the US government’s response to the attack on 9/11 has resulted in an eroding of freedoms (speech, privacy, habeas corpus etc.) in America?

Goodbye Mimi, Love Michael


Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Mimi this past Monday. Her condition quickly deteriorated the prior week. She had lost more weight, and I was having to force feed her. Though she wasn’t lethargic she was getting weaker. Monday morning the look on her face had changed, she was feeling miserable now. Facing the fact that her prognosis was terminal and her quality of life had ebbed, there was no point it delaying the inevitable. She was small to begin with and though the steroids helped for a bit, she couldn’t bounce back from the weight loss. From the time I got her diagnosis, I knew this was coming. So I thought I was prepared for it. In fact, knowing in advance does not make it any easier. I had her for almost 2 years, adopting her, after she was found abandoned and emaciated with 4 kittens. I don’t know what her life was like before that, but I think she was pretty happy with me.

I find myself surprised just how much I miss her. As cats go and I’ve had a few, she was pretty unique. She had such a personality and attitude. She looked like a big ball of lint. In the summer when I shaved her she looked like something from Whoville. She liked to harass my other cat, Hazel (who is 3 times her size), to get her to chase her. I have also, never seen a cat so jealous. Even though she was not big on being petted and cuddled, whenever I gave attention to Hazel, she had to come get hers as well. She was also a ‘talker’. Most cats just meow. She had a soft little coo that had all kinds of inflections, from ‘hmmph’ to ‘oooh’. She communicated more like a dog than a cat.

I am fortunate that my boyfriend is a veterinarian, and though it was hard for him, to do the euthanasia, because he was close to Mims as well, it was nice for me to be able to say goodbye to her at home. Miss you Mimi.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

In Love with Herself

I really love this song "In Love with Myself" by David Guetta. I found this girls homemade video and it's oddly fascinating, it cracks me up, yet it's strangely adorable.

Top 10 on My iTunes - Week Ending 12/15

1. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
2. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry
3. "Don’t Be Shy" - Spektrum
4. "Don Turbulento" - Yello
5. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
6. "Circuit Breaker" - Röyksopp
7. "The Twentieth Century" - Pet Shop Boys
8. "Da Capo" - Ace of Base
9. "He Said, She Said" - Second Sun featuring Tiffany
10. "My Personal Moon" - Madison Park


Links will open your iTunes store if you have it installed.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Works Chosen



The two works of mine that were selected for the “Worlds Greatest Erotic Art of Today” coffee table book are “Lathered Up” and “Franco”. I am very thrilled to be included. It will be published by 'Erotic Signature Publishing' and distributed internationally by SCB Distributors through high street booksellers, specialty and museum shops, galleries, libraries, as well as on the internet. The publishing company will donate 100% of the profit from the book sales to one of these four charities to be selected by the members.

1. The Elton John AIDS Foundation
2. amFAR
3. International Aids Society – IAS
4. Aids Healthcare Foundation - AHF

A juried competition was held to select the 200 entries in the book.

Selected for Erotic Art Book


This morning I was excited to receive notice that one (perhaps two) of my works were selected to appear in a new book titled, "The World's Greatest Erotic Art of Today". That's quite a title. The book is touted as a high profile book endorsed by the top erotic museums in the world. It is not just a collection of homo-erotic art. So it is really cool to be selected when the field was open to heterosexual art & photography and everything in between. I'll post more information such as which image(s) of mine are included,when the book will be available and where. I may be able to make it available on my website, Studio1088.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mixing it up



Part of being an artist is of course being creative. It would be very difficult for me to paint the same picture over and over again. So while my forté of sexy men is fairly constant my works change with my moods going from romantic, to very sexual, to political. Then there are times when I want to change style or medium. For those of you who follow my work know that I occaissionally do a comic style that employs my computer. Today I got inspired by the work of Robert W. Richards and tried my hand at a looser style using mixed media, pastel chalks, pastel pencils and graphite. This was the result.

"Blow Out" - my newest work


I've never been one of those guys obsessed with his "ride". Certain sports cars do have a great design and catch my eye, but I don't care for the pimped out look you see around today. Not sure why, but what I do like are the classic muscle cars of the 60's and early 70's, the Chevelle, Mustang, GTO etc. I wanted to create a piece around one, and for the setting I adapted a photo I took last year when I went with my partner to a convention he attended in Las Vegas. We decided to rent a car and drive down Route 66 to the Grand Canyon. Thankfully we made it there and back without any car troubles.
The original and prints are available at www.studio1088.com.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pilobolus


My boyfriend and I went into Boston for a little dose of culture yesterday to see "Pilobolus". It's a dance company out of Connecticut. I am not a connosieur of dance but I really enjoyed the performance. Their fluidity is so stunning that at times you forget you are watching people, people with the same joints and bones as the rest of us! The dancers bodies alone are quite enjoyable to watch with little hidden by some of their costumes. One sequence had the male dancer strip down to his tighty whities and then cheekily moon the audience. Of course I don't mean to bring the artfulness down a level, it really was an incredible and beautiful show. Certainly check out their website and see when they are coming to your town.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Don't Be Shy - Spektrum

Don't Be Shy

Been listening to this song for a few weeks. Just viewed the video, love it too!

Ah, the glamourous life of an artist


Jet setting, elegant gallery openings... or so I've heard. I spent the day putting plastics on my drafty windows. These are the type that you use a blow dryer on to shrink the plastic and make them smoothe. Unfortunately I haven't owned a blow dryer in over a decade. Luckily, the hot air popcorn popper still works! Though I am reluctant to seal my self up like a left over for the winter, the temps here in New England have been in the teens lately. I suppose it's a small price to pay to keep my heating bill out of the quadruple digits. I am also one of those people who hates to be cold. Odd, coming from someone who grew up in the frozen tundra of upstate New York (near the Canadian border).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Top 10 on My iTunes This Week (Dec. 8th)

Here are my favorite songs that I've been listening to while I finished my latest picture, "Blow Out". I'll be debuting "Blow Out" at my online gallery next week. In The mean time, if you're into dance/pop/electronic music check these out. The links will open iTunes if you have it installed and take you to each song's preview.

1. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
2. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry
3. "Circuit Breaker" - Röyksopp
4. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
5. "Don Turbulento" - Yello
6. "The Twentieth Century" - Pet Shop Boys
7. "All Good Things (Come To An End)" - Nelly Furtado
8. "Don’t Be Shy" - Spektrum
9. "Da Capo" - Ace of Base
10. "Conversations" - Camouflage

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My First Book!


I’m very excited to announce the release of a book of my artwork. I would not have imagined when I quit my job with the Postal Service 3 years ago last month that I would now be talking about MY book! Acclaimed German Publishing House Bruno Gmünder has put together “Summer Moved On”, a collection of my steamy men in a sharp looking 8.25” x 11.25” hardcover book.

It came about when comic illustrator Joe Phillips recommended I contact the folks at Bruno Gmünder. I was surprised to find that Joris Buiks, my contact person had an eye on my work already. He asked me to participate in the just released “Stripped” anthology book. Then soon after informed me they wanted to do a solo book of my work. Well, it was pretty much a no brainer to say YES!

It will be released in the U.S. in the spring. To pre-order one of the limited autographed copies visit my website www.Studio1088.com. The list price is $38.95. For $10 you can reserve your copy and just pay the balance $28.95 (plus tax & shipping) when the books is ready to ship. If you pre-order I’ll also send you a $10 Gift Card with your book to use toward a future purchase at Studio1088. So reserve yours today!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Top 10 iTunes for 12/1

1. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
2. "Circuit Breaker" - Röyksopp
3. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
4. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry
5. "All Good Things (Come To An End)" - Nelly Furtado
6. "The Last One Standing" - Ladytron
7. "Don Turbulento" - Yello
8. "Conversations" - Camouflage
9. "Satellites" - September
10. "The Twentieth Century" - Pet Shop Boys

Coming Along


Before I left for North Carolina I got a bit more work done on my current piece. I am much happier with the face and am looking forward to completing it in the next couple of days. These snapshots are a bit off in color and such but you get the idea.

Davidson College NC


I'm back from the Charlotte North Carolina area where I was visiting last week. While there we stopped in Davidson, home to Davidson College. It's a very quaint college town with what I felt is a very New England appearance. Davidson used to be a mens only university but has since gone co-ed. It's a very beautiful campus and I took some pics with the thought of someday working them into a backdrop for one of my works.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Meet Mimi


I've only had Mimi for about a year and a half. She's mostly Himalayan, flat faced, long fur everywhere and quite a personality. She's the most jealous cat I've ever met, and likes to chatter. Thankfully her meow is a pleasant little trill. She's not big on being petted but if I'm petting my other cat Hazel, Mimi has to come over and get her scritches too. She was abandoned with her 4 kittens at the vet hospital where my bf works and was emaciated weighing 5 lbs at the time (two of her kittens survived and found good homes). When I saw Mimi, I loved her attitude and despite that long hair, took her home. Unfortuately she was just diagnosed with lymphoma. She's doing well on steroids, though they won't cure her, they will extend her time. It's hard news to take but I find some comfort knowing I've provided her with a nice home and affection these 18 months or so, time she might not have had (and get) otherwise.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sneak Peak


I am not keen on showing my work before it's finished. Partly I think that it might jinx it and cause it not to turn out. However, I thought you might enjoy getting an in-progress glimpse of what's on my drawing board. This face is not done, even as I upload this snapshot I see things I want to change. For me the faces in my work are the most critical part. Once I am happy with the face, I am fairly confident the rest will come together.

My iTunes Top 10 for the week

1. "Kiss Me" - Robbie Williams
2. "The Last One Standing" - Ladytron
3. "Circuit Breaker" - Röyksopp
4. "All Good Things (Come To An End)" - Nelly Furtado
5. "Satellites" - September
6. "Conversations" - Camouflage
7. "Don Turbulento" - Yello
8. "Love’s The Only Drug" - Ultra Naté
9. "In Love With Myself" - Dave Guetta
10. "I Will Stand" - Claudja Barry

10 Percent A**holes


It's sad to me when a company presents itself as supportive and nuturing to the LGBT community (or any particular group for that matter) when it's soley out to make a buck by exploiting peoples allegiance to their own community. Such seems to be the case with 10 Percent Productions a.k.a. Village Lighthouse. A retailer/wholesaler of everything LGBT from cards to calendars, videos to underwear that is sold in countless Pride stores from Seattle to Sidney.

I entered into a licensing contract with this company. I was a bit dismayed by the meager 5% royalites offered but what the heck they were luring me in with the notion of doing a calendar of my work and I thought that would be great exposure. Anyway the calendar didn't happen but instead they put my work on a handful of cards and a few magnets. Which was fine. I knew the calendar was not guaranteed. I had read the contract and I was aware of and accepting of all the items in it.

My issues did not arise until later when it came time for me to receive my quartely royalty payment. From the first one and every quarter since I did not recieve my meager royalty check within the time frame THEY set forth in the contract. In fact I only get it when I finally write and demand payment. This is not what I signed up for. Their low regard for their artists and unwillingness to adhere to their own payment conditions, also get's me wondering if these double digit checks are even accurate. I later learned, by contacting to several other artists, that getting payment from them is never easy. I truly believe if the artists never asks for their money, 10Percent would simply keep it. So don't think that you are supporting the LGBT community and the artists that create all the images and photography on their merchandise. You are just supporting those who exploit your community in the name of your community.

Romney hates children, America


Ok that may be overstating things. But if lame duck Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is going to present himself as patriotic and pro-children then he better take another look at himself. Romney, has decided to rally support for his Presidential campaign by appealing to bigotry by using same-sex marriage and children as his maypole.

Romney against America
He may disagree but America’s core foundation, the pricipal's it was founded on, are freedom and equality for all, regardless of class, race, religion, disablities etc. If two consenting adults wish to marry, it does not harm or affect anyone else if they are of the same sex. By excluding certain Americans the same rights and freedoms afforded others simply because of their gender is simply un-American.

Romney against children

Romney recently said at a same-sex marriage rally, “What (the judges) ignored is that marriage is not primarily about adults; marriage is about the nurturing and development of children. ... Every child deserves a mother and a father.” So, what about Romney’s oh so heartfelt concern for children? What about gay and lesbian children? Does he care about them? What message of nurturing development does banning same-sex marriage send to 12 or 14 year olds at that awkward stage of sexual discovery. It says, you are different and unacceptable; you are a sub citizen, its okay to ostracize you and exclude you. You are not worthy, America rejects your kind. What kind of damage does this do to a developing child? This is the message from someone who cares about children? I don’t think so. More like the selfish aspirations of a power hungry politician willing to harm children to get to the top. Marriage is not a prerequisite for being a parent. Nor does being a parent require you to be married. Marriage does not guarantee that children will be loved and nurtured by both or even one parent. If ‘every child deserves a mother and a father’ shouldn’t Romney also be campaigning to ban divorce for couples with children? Ah, but that would be unpopular, better he stick to hating the gays.