Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Hung Up" and hangin' out

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the highlight of my Las Vegas trip was getting up and singing a few verses of "Hung Up" with Madonna. Me and Maddy had a blast at a club called Madame Tussaud's. She's shorter than I thought she would be and her complexion was a bit 'waxy'.

Monday, February 26, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Added Effects

A piece like this has many more special effects than most of my other works. The special effects are things that I typically add or refine once the figure or object is 'established'. These would include, secondary highlights and shadows, reflections of light and color, body hair, sweat or water etc. Here I have all those plus all the effects from the pool, the strong turquoise color, the distortion cause by the water, bouncing light and so on. I have been looking at numerous pictures of people in pools, and though I know that all these elements have to adhere to the laws of physics, I only have to represent them. The light and water is so chaotic with so many resulting variations that I only need to make it look right and pleasing. If someone wants to argue that a shadow would be shaped differently or a reflection would be a different color, I at least have the defense of 'artistic license'!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Top 10 iTunes for 2/23/2007

  1. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  2. "By The Way" - Jenna Drey
  3. "Playgirl" Ladytron
  4. "My Love" (Paul Oakenfold Mix) - Justin Timberlake & T.I. (video spotlight)
  5. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
  6. "Soul on Ice" - Yello
  7. "Afraid" - Nelly Furtado
  8. "Beautiful Morning" - Ace of Base
  9. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  10. "Stir It Up" - Howard Jones

Green denotes new entry.
Links will open your iTunes (if you have it installed) and take you the selected track sample.

Survived Las Vegas

I got back from Las Vegas Friday morning. It turned out to be a less then smooth trip. Turns out it was NBA All-Star weekend, which drew a large crowd, around 250,000 extra visitors many of whom were rude and obnoxious, and dangerous. There were 3 shootings while we were there, one in the MGM Grand parking lot, and an additional 350 arrest that weekend. The entire Las Vegas strip was rather disgusting.

Speaking of MGM, I would never stay there again. After arriving at midnight, they had overbooked and given our room away. Completely defeating the purpose of making a reservation. At one point they were going to put us up at the Hooters Hotel across the street. Finally at 3 a.m. we got a room.

Friday, February 16, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Liquid State

Since I started posting 'in progress' pics of my works, I have to say that I haven't gotten much more comfortable with it. The problem I have, is because I concentrate on one small area at a time, to the point that it may look finished, I think a lot of people will think a certain section is finished, when I know it's not. So I hope that's not the case and you all reserve judgement and critiques 'til I unveil the completed work.

That said, I am really liking the underwater effect of this piece, and am already looking forward to getting back from Las Vegas to finish it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Article in MGW News Magazine

If you live on the west coast, especially in Sacremento, San Francisco, Seattle, or Palms Springs, pick up a copy of MGW News Magazine, it's free! The new issue that comes out on Monday has an article on the release of my book "Summer Moved On", and a short interview with me.

Leaving (for) Las Vegas

For the third year in a row Edward and I are headed to Las Vegas. He attends a conference and I tag along. It's a nice getaway but since we are not gamblers and we've been there 2 years in a row if we had to choose we'd pick somewhere else. But that is where the conference is and that is where we go. I take the opportunity to make it a business trip for myself as well.

I've come away with 4 pieces inspired by my trips out there. The first was the cowboy "Carson", followed by "Leaving Las Vegas" (pictured). On last years trip we tacked on a couple days at the Grand Canyon, which inspired my piece I called "Natural Wonder". Finally came "Blowout", which drew upon our road trip (from Vegas to the Grand Canyon) on historical Route 66 through Arizona.

Of course, as always, it won't be all work! It is Vegas after all.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blizzard of the Century?

Here in Massachusetts we are experiencing our first real snow fall of the season. Every time a bit of snow is forecast it's really quite entertaining. Whenever there is a slight change in the weather, the people here shrug and say "well, that's New England". So it's so bizarre seeing people react as if it has never snowed here before. Perhaps because I come from upstate New York, 60 miles south of Montreal, where people just dealt with the cold and snow that I find the people here so comical. Here in Massachusetts just a mention of snow in the forecast and schools and businesses announce closures the day before. This is not North Carolina folks, as they say, "this is New England!"

And without fail the local TV stations have to send a reporter out into the parking lot to show us what snow is. Without exception they bend down and paw at the snow just in case you aren't familiar with the concept. Then they grab a scraper and illustrate how ice forms on car windows. Pair this with the exodus to the grocery store the night before to stockpile 8 weeks worth of food and water and I just scratch my head. Hard to believe that every soccer mom in the state is driving a 12 ton 14 wheel SUV tank to go to Target everyday but becomes housebound with 3 inches of snow fall.

Kiss Kiss

Hypocrite Mit, the Pander Bear

The vile former Governor of Massachusetts, Mit Romney, or as I like to call him, 'Monster Head', has announced his run for the Presidency. I really, really dislike him. Admittedly I disagree with the twisted beliefs of most political conservatives, since for the most part they go against the principals of America, (equality, freedom, liberty and justice for ALL). But even so, they generally truly believe in their own misguided notions.

Mit Romney on the other hand, simply adopts these misguided positions to rally support for himself. His stance on issues change with his political goals. He has flip-flopped on the issue of abortion, going from promising to not change the laws to claiming he is pro-life. He says that in this country "we have cheapened the value of human life so much that he needs to make it clear he is 100% pro-life." This is out of the mouth of someone who supports the war in Iraq.

He also once said that he supports rights and equality for gays and lesbians. Yet as one of his very last acts as Governor he did all he could to eventually get same-sex marriage overturned in Massachusetts. An act that only served as a way to pander to the religious right when the issue of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is brought up on the campaign trail.

At the end of his interview on NBC's Today Show, he said that Americans want a person of faith to lead the country, and that he believes in God and he has the values for the country. We have suffered the results of a president elected on his supposed faith and values. We aren't electing a Pope, folks. It's time we elect a president based on competence and intelligence and leave faith and 'value' to religious leaders.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Filling the Pool

Once I reach a point with the faces, even if I am not 100% done with them, I start to fill in other areas. I've found it helps substantiate what I've already done.

I'd been anxious to start the torso in the water, not really sure how difficult it might be. So far it's been mostly fun. I have several pool pictures that I am looking at, seeing how the water changes the colors of the skin and distorts the shapes beneath the surface. It also has it's own reflections, highlights and ripples to contend with.

It's at this point that my friend Mark finds my pictures 'disturbing', due to the fact that I have drawn the chest but have not added the nipples yet.

Monday, February 12, 2007

No Tom of Finland NYC Erotic Art Fair

It appears that there will be no annual NYC Erotic Art Fair hosted by the Tom of Finland Foundation this spring. The annual event which takes place about a week before Memorial Day each spring in New York won't be held this year. As a venue for many artists to promote their work the fair will be missed by many. I had planned to attend this year, having missed last years. A similar fair is held each October in LA.

The cancellation seems to be part of a series of cuts and restructuring at the ToFF in the face of the financial burden of operating such an organization. Hopefully they can get back on their feet, as the Tom of Finland Foundation is, as far as I am aware the only organization of it's kind in the U.S. primarily geared toward the preservation and promotion of homo-erotic art.

For more information and even to join and support the Tom of Finland Foundation visit,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Top 10 iTunes for 2/9/2007

  1. "Don't Go" - Nouvelle Vague
  2. "Afraid" - Nelly Furtado
  3. "Beautiful Morning" - Ace of Base
  4. "By The Way" - Jenna Drey
  5. "Playgirl" - Ladytron
  6. "Soul on Ice" - Yello
  7. "Run" - Kyau & Albert
  8. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye (video spotlight)
  9. "Blue" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  10. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
Green denotes new entry.
Links will open your iTunes (if you have it installed) and take you the selected track sample.

On The Drawing Board: Subtleties

One component of this commission is to incorporate a few traits of the buyers into the subjects. I am not rendering likenesses but just some basic features, such as eye, hair and skin color. Little flourishes that will connect them to the piece. At the same time there are certain expressions and a look I want the faces to have.

As I work toward those two objectives I am so aware of the subtleties of the human face. From a tiny smudge in one direction to the width or angle of the eyebrow, these slight changes can drastically alter the look/personality of the man as well as the emotions that are being conveyed.

Anna, Anna, Fabulous Anna Nicole

It's obvious that she had some quality that caused public fascination. It was evident in Anna Nicole Smith's life and seems even more so in her untimely death.
She had, as many would perceive, a hard and tumultuous life. Yet, considering her roots, she could just as easily have had a tough life in anonymity.

Born Vickie Lynn Hogan in 1967, Smith grew up in the small town of Mexia, Texas. So for her to become the celebrity that she was is not a story or a life a tragedy but one of a resilient Midwest girl that did what she could to change her life and make her dreams come true.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Video Flashback

1982, "Don't You Want Me" - Human League

When this song hit the airwaves most Americans had never heard anything like it. New Wave hadn't yet burst onto the scene in the U.S. It topped the charts and opened the flood gates for this new music genre. It was, in essence, the torch bearer for the sound of the 80's and ushered in what I think was the best decade of music ever.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Couple Commission

My latest piece is a commission that I've accepted. I get inquiries from time to time, and it depends on the details of the project whether I take it on. It might seem snobbish or elitist but the project has to appeal to me in some way, otherwise I won't enjoy it and the result will reflect that. I'd rather pass up a job than do something I won't be proud of or the client won't be happy with.

This work is a concept piece rather than a portrait. The client gave me a basic idea and just a few guidelines and left the rest up to me. The crux of the picture had to be a hot couple in or around a pool. As you all know, I really like getting my men wet, I put them in showers, baths, oceans, etc. and I've done figures getting in or climbing out of pools but having part of their bodies underwater is the new element that I am incorporating that has me all excited. I like a little bit of a challenge and that will be it for this piece. Sure I'll curse and whine while working it out but it will be my motivation.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

'Lost' Returns

Tomorrow finally marks the return of "Lost". At one time my favorite show. After so many plot twists that have gone nowhere, countless re-cap episodes and a couple months since a new episode... does anyone really care anymore?

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Top 10 iTunes for 2/2/01

  1. "Beautiful Morning" - Ace of Base
  2. "Run" - Kyau & Albert
  3. "Afraid" - Nelly Furtado
  4. "Don't Go" - Nouvell Vague
  5. "Da Capo" - Ace of Base
  6. "Blue" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  7. "Integral" - Pet Shop Boys
  8. "By The Way" - Jenna Drey
  9. "Playgirl" - Ladytron (video clip)
  10. "Soul on Ice" - Yello

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Paranoid Nation

For a couple weeks the Cartoon network has placed LED ads throughout various cities in the US to promote their show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”. Yesterday mass hysteria broke out just down the way in Boston, closing bridges and roads when the police feared that these devices, which had wire and batteries and LED lights in the shape of a cartoon character, were terrorist bombs.

The response by authorities cost millions of dollars in police and bomb squad over time and snarled traffic for hours. The city officials are seeking to press charges and recoup the money they wasted from the perpetrators of the ad campaign.

It seems that the expense and hysteria was cause by the overreaction of the authorities. After all these ‘lite brite’ signs were in place for some time and in other cities without panic breaking out. I would think that placement of an actual bomb and an advertisement would be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. The bomb would be hidden or disguised in some way; the ad would be placed in a highly visible location. Also there are a lot of items with wires and batteries, I am not expert but don’t bombs also need an explosive agent? Looking at the picture...uhm...even to me that doesn't look like a bomb. If these were so suspicious looking why did they not cause a ruckus when they first appeared or in any of the other cities they were in?

Have we become so paranoid?

The wise Winston Churchill said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I think it's time to step back and take a deep breath.