Saturday, March 31, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Down Came the Rain

With the face in a fairly good state I've moved on to the wet shirt. I found a few wet t-shirt pics on line as a guide and I keep going back an forth between creating the folds and properties of the fabric and defining the shape and shadows of the torso.

What I'm Listening To - My top 10 iTunes 3/30/07


  1. "All Around the World (Life is Good)" - SUNLOVERZ
  2. "What Else Is There?" - Röyksopp
  3. "Alive (French Version)" - Kate Ryan (video - English version)
  4. "Love Oneself" - Andy Bell
  5. "Horny Pony" - Spektrum
  6. "My Love (Paul Oakenfold Mix)" - Justin Timberlake & T.I.
  7. "Breathe" - Madison Park
  8. "All Out of Love" - Jenna Drey
  9. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  10. "Go!" - Jupiter Rising

Green denotes new entry.
If you have
iTunes installed, clicking the song links will take you to the iTunes store preview.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

On The Drawing Board: A face in the Rain

Yes, I have been busy lately but I did come up with the idea and layout for my next piece, and today I had the chance to get started. It's of a guy in the rain on a city street at night. Yes the wetness, the lights, the reflections, I expect some frustrations for sure, but if it goes well I'll really enjoy the piece. Above is a close up of the face in it's initial stage.

I think I got the idea partly from the Cirque Eloise show, "Rain" I saw recently and partly from childhood memories of slides my Dad took of downtown Plattsburgh at night in the rain.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Books Books Books

As you know the books are in. Mark and I have been very busy processing all the orders, signing and number the books, logging in the Gift Cards for the pre-orders, packing them up and shipping them out. So be patient, we hope to get them all on their way by early next week. If you pre-ordered, but haven't actually purchased yet, please hop on over to www.studio1088.com and do so. The check out price will say $38.95 but keep in mind we have a record of your pre-order and will subtract the $10 prior to processing your card.

I am happy to say that some folks have already gotten their copies. I wanted to share a few of the emails I've gotten. They made me very happy.



Michael,

I received summer moved on today in the mail. I don't know what to say ,it's great just doesn't seem enough. I enjoyed looking at it and will leave it on my coffee table. Thank you so very much for the copy. I would have been very happy to pay for it. You are a very sweet person. I wish you all the best with it and all your artwork. I can say I own a couple of original works of art, when you become super rich and famous. Keep up the great work. I just had to tell you how much I love the book. thanks again.

Allan B., Connecticut

I sent him a complimentary copy since he was the first person to ever buy one of my prints (back in 2002) and has purchased a print of nearly every piece of art since.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Michael, Michael:

Your lovely book arrived today.
It is so much more awesome than I thought!
YOU are so damned talented (or should I say blessed). Your book is a
worthy and wonderful contribution to society.
I truly want to hug and hold you with that hug as my gift back to you and
it must be a cyber one at that (:(
Your book is well worth the wait and the cost - minuscule.
Hugs Man! 1 2 3



Larry F. , Oklahoma

------------------------------------------------------

Michael

Congratulations! The book is superb! Received it today and couldn’t wait to open it up and see all your works of art in a larger size and in one place. The forwards were very good, but the art is the show!
Wish you had included your stories of each piece but know that space limits what you can do and the art is what is important.
Hope this book soon sells out!
Hugs and take care Michael !



Doug B., Iowa




Sunday, March 25, 2007

Post-Publish Depression?

Don't get me wrong, I am totally thrilled and happy about the book. It turned out wonderful, it's perhaps the biggest moment of my art career, and I have had great response and sales. Despite all that, though, perhaps because the long anticipated moment of its arrival has now passed, I have fallen into a rather 'blah' mood, kind of a combination of depressed and stressed. For some reason this happens to me often. Usually I am feeling very 'up' whenever I finish and release a new work, and then almost the next day I get the blues. I wouldn't call it severe. It is annoying though, because I feel like I should be happy and enjoying the moment. It only lasts a few days then I get back to my chipper or moderately content self.

I am aware that I don't get overcome by euphoric joy at the 'big happy events'. I am happy and trying to take in the particular experience, but I don't have the super-bubbly feeling inside. When I reflect on my fondest moments, they are actually the little things: an afternoon walk or a quiet dinner and a movie on the couch with Edward; stopping for a coffee with Mark after we ship out prints, or an evening working on a pastel and listening to music.

I guess, if anything, that explains a lot of my artwork. It's those little moments I like, I treasure, I seek to capture.

But what's up with the gray cloud? Like I said, it's not a big problem. Perhaps it is normal?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Listen While I Work

My top 10 iTunes for the week ending 3/23/06

  1. "What Else Is There?" - Röyksopp
  2. "Love Oneself" - Andy Bell
  3. "All Around The World (Life is Good)" - SUNLOVERZ (video spotlight)
  4. "My Love (Paul Oakenfold Mix)" - Justin Timberlake & T.I.
  5. "Horny Pony" - Spektrum
  6. "Go!" - Jupiter Rising
  7. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  8. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  9. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
  10. "Alive" - Kate Ryan
Green denotes new entry.
If you have
iTunes installed, clicking the song links will take you to the iTunes store preview.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

[2] magazine's Coverboys

The editor of [2] magazine, a bimonthly publication of male pictorials that puts the focus on couples, just informed me that they will be putting one of my pastel paintings on the cover of their May/June issue. My first magazine cover! It is totally awesome! Also, this will be the first time in the magazine's history that the cover is an artists illustration rather than a photograph. So I am truly honored.

They had recently contacted me about my book and wanted to do more of a feature rather than just a review. They interviewed me and I sent them some images. Seems they thought my "Buds" were the hottest couple in the issue.

The May/June issue goes on sale April 24.

Book to benefit AIDS Foundation

The membership of Erotic Signature has chosen the Elton John AIDS Foundation as the charity that will benefit from the sale of their upcoming book. It's an excellent choice and I am proud to be part of it. Last December I mentioned that 2 of my works were selected in a juried competition to appear in the book which will be titled "The World's Greatest Erotic Art of Today". Just so you are aware the book is not just homo-erotic art but erotic art in general. Though predominately heterosexual in content it runs the spectrum from straight to gay and everything in between.

When more details on it's release come available I will let everyone know. If their is interest I may be able to offer it through my website.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Huge Package!


They're finally here! My copies of "Summer Moved On" arrived today. They were delivered by tractor trailer. The truck couldn't get down my poorly plowed narrow side street so Mark and I met the driver at the end of the block and loaded them into my car. Ahhh...the glamorous life. The driver said that they could comeback tomorrow with a smaller truck but I wanted them today. I've waited long enough. So we'll be posting instructions and send out an email on how to pay the balance for those who have pre-ordered on the website www.studio1088.com in a day or two. I'll get busy signing and numbering and we'll start shipping them as the orders come in.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cirque Éloize - "Rain"

Yesterday Edward and I went to see “Cirque Eloize” in Boston. Edward bought us tickets for numerous shows such as dances, concerts and other performances though the Bank of America Celebrity Series.

As you might guess, “Cirque Éloize” is similar in form to “Cirque du Soleil”. It’s of the ‘new’ circus genre, it’s jaw dropping acrobatics, and amazing to watch. Where this show differs though, is that it’s more fun, more intimate and more innocent. The performers are all highly skillful in the acrobatics department, but they also sing, joke and make a much stronger connection with the audience. More so than any of the Cirque du Soleil shows I've seen.

If you are interested in a really fun show, check their website www.cirque-eloize.com for cities and dates, and catch “Rain” if it comes to a town near you.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

Listen While I Work

My top 10 iTunes for week ending 3/16/07

  1. "What Else Is There?" - Röyksopp
  2. "My Love (Paul Oakenfold Mix)" - Justin Timberlake & T.I.
  3. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  4. "Love Oneself" - Andy Bell
  5. "Go!" - Jupiter Rising
  6. "I Wasn't Kidding" - Angie Stone
  7. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
  8. "All Around the World (Life is Good)" - SUNLOVERZ
  9. "Horny Pony" - Spektrum
  10. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Sophie B. Hawkins

Green denotes new entry.
If you have iTunes installed, clicking the song links will take you to the iTunes store preview.

Customer Service vs. Customer Service

It’s true that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I wish everyone could understand that concept, but there will always be a few who feel their wishes are more important than others. What I am referring to is customer who has bought a few open edition prints in the past and asked that I sign them. Just so you know I don’t offer open edition prints signed, because I do sign limited editions of prints. I went ahead and was nice enough to grant his request. I figured, it’s just a couple and it’s good to keep customers happy. He placed a few more orders, always buying the 13x19 prints, some were signed limited editions but others were not, though he’d always ask me to sign them. Finally I told him that I couldn't sign anymore. Here is the letter I sent explaining it.

Yes, I have in the past signed open
edition prints.

And when I get special requests like this I would be happy to oblige.
However it's complicated since I do offer Limited Edition Signed & Numbered
prints. By signing and numbering those it makes them a bit more 'special'
and so they are priced a bit higher.

Business wise, it's come to my attention that I can't very well justify
charging more for prints that are signed and numbered if I'm going to sign
the others too. If I start signing all the open editions as well, it
diminishes the uniqueness of the limited edition. Some collectors want only
the limited editions because of that uniqueness. It's up to the buyer as to
whether they are more interested in a signed limited edition print or if
they just want a certain size.

All my prints are offered in an 8.5 x 11 size and a 13 x 19 size. When I
release a new work I select which one of those sizes to be the signed and
numbered limited edition of that print.

I will go ahead and sign [this print] because you've been a good customer, but if what you want most in the future are signed prints you'll need to purchase the limited editions.


I found him selling some of the prints he purchased on eBay. He states that he LOVES my work and recommends it to others. Yet, he says that because I won’t sign every (open edition) print he buys he’s vowed to never buy from me again. Oh, well. I am willing to lose one customer in order to maintain credibility amongst the rest of the collectors. Perhaps I have too strong a sense of fairness, but I think everyone should have the same opportunity and pay the same amount for a signed print.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Patrick", no saint

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I've finished my hot fiery haired Irish rugby player. This was a fun piece for me, I am glad someone suggested I do a red head. It was also nice to hit the locker room again to show off a stripped down jock. I think "Slugger" back in 2005 was the last sports themed painting I did. For more on "Patrick" and to buy prints, or the original, as always just visit www.studio1088.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Going Down

After spending days on mostly the face, I've moved on to the rest of the figure and background. It's going much more quickly now that I've got everything figured out. Just by filling in more of the surrounding area, the portions that were already laid down look better.

As completion approaches I am mulling over titles for it...nothing yet. As much as I enjoyed the "Name the Art" contest I did in January, I don't think I am ready to sponsor another one. So I'll I will keep hope that something will come to me.



Be All That You Can Be - 'cept if your gay, then just keep quiet

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" (2006)


The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday he considers homosexuality to be immoral and the military should not condone it by allowing gay personnel to serve openly, the Chicago Tribune reported.


Marine Gen. Peter Pace likened homosexuality to adultery, which he said was also immoral. "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace said. This all comes as a bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is set to be debated in Congress.


What’s wrong with Pace’s is statement is his ignorance of homosexuality. Before he goes off passing judgment he needs to be knowledgeable about what he talking about. It is NOT merely something you do it’s something you are. Yes, it’s a conscious decision to engage in a homosexual act, but is not a decision to BE gay. That would be like labeling a heterosexual person immoral for engaging in heterosexual sex.


To deny someone the right to “be all that they can be”, is in my book immoral.


Morality is a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct. Conduct covers things such as say, adultery, cheating, lying to mislead a country into war, and segregating others based on some physical attribute. Judging someone as immoral because they are gay is like judging someone as immoral because their hair is red, they have a great sense of humor, or they started puberty at 11 instead of 13. It’s a physical attribute not a manner of conduct.


Besides morality is each individuals personal code to live by, not something to project onto someone else. America is based on freedom and justice for ALL.


Repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” now. It’s un-American and immoral.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

On The Drawing Board: A bit more...


Just a little more done. Pardon the slightly washed out photo.

Repression Obsession

Remember the good ol’ days when you could see a gratuitous butt shot on network television ala "NYPD Blue", or the day that ‘ass’ could finally be uttered in prime time? It seemed at one point the United States was maturing and joining much of the rest of the world in developing a healthy matter of fact attitude toward the human body and sexuality.

But at some point over the last few years it began to turn around. Those things once again are being stuffed under America's mattresses. Was it Janet Jackson’s notorious wardrobe ‘malfunction’ (though she was wearing a pastie), the rising power of sexually repressed conservative groups, or parents claiming to ‘protect’ their children when they really just wish to avoid parental responsibility and educate and talk about human anatomy and sexuality with their own kids.

Whatever the cause, the crusade to eradicate knowledge of genitalia from existence is approaching ridiculous. There is a commercial, (I forget what for), which shows some tourists in Italy viewing Michelangelo’s “David”. The woman is carefully positioned so her head blocks the full view of the statues butt, yes a statue - a work of art! On “Survivor” the slightest hint of ass cleavage is blurred by the censor. In New York three girls were suspended for saying the word ‘vagina’ during a performance at school. Just the other day the “Today” show used a paw print (the equivalent of a blue dot) to mask certain parts of a canine during a segment on dogs.

At the same time the country seems preoccupied with sex, and internet porn is booming. While some would argue that pornography is the problem it really is just a byproduct. It’s been so ingrained in the national psyche that sex is ‘dirty’, ‘forbidden’ and ‘taboo’ and the human body (nude) is shameful, it’s no wonder that it is an obsession. Repression breeds obsession. Hopefully the cycle will turn once again and someday people will have a healthier perception of sex, and a better appreciation of the human body in all its glory.



Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Top 10 iTunes for 3/9/07



  1. "My Love (Paul Oakenfold Mix)" - Justin Timberlake & T.I.
  2. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  3. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
  4. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  5. "100 Stories" - Andrea Burns
  6. "I Wasn't Kidding" - Angie Stone
  7. "Playgirl" - Ladytron
  8. "Go!" - Jupiter Rising
  9. "Love Oneself" - Andy Bell
  10. "What Else Is There?"- Röyksopp (video spotlight)
Green denotes new entry.
If you have iTunes installed, clicking the song links will take you to the iTunes store preview.

On The Drawing Board: Red Shift

I didn't expect rendering a redhead would be so challenging. I had to shift my entire palette of colors, and not just for the hair. The skin tones just don't have the golden and sienna shades that I've gotten accustomed to using. There is a dominant pink tone to the skin, which then alters the colors in the shadows.

It's definitely moving in the right direction and I am MUCH happier with how it looks today. Not quite where I want it yet, something about his right eye needs adjusting.

Well time to get to work...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Video Flashback - 2005


"Call Me" by Anna Vissi. Leave it to the Greeks to make a hot music video!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

So today I was messing around taking some pictures. Then using photoshop I made up a 'movie poster' style ad promoting my book just for fun. Plus, I get to show-off one of my Valentine's Day presents, the briefs.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On The Drawing Board: Seeing Red

Someone recently pointed out to me that I have never painted a redhead. We all have our personal tastes so that is the only way I can explain it.

The more I thought about it though the more I liked the idea. I remember a fraternal set of red haired twins from high school that were a couple grades ahead of me and both kind of hot.

Running with that inspiration I came up with this concept for my latest work: a hunky Irish rugby player stripped and hanging out in a locker room.

Quite a bit of work ahead of me as you can tell, but I see plenty of potential.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Summer Moved On" Reviewed

The Stonewall News Northwest's latest issue has a nice review of my upcoming book. I must say I've been waiting to see something in print about the book that's not been written by me or the publisher, or a site that is selling the book. Even doubly glad that the article is positive.

The Stonewall News serves the GLBTQA community of the Pacific Northwest. You can visit their website at www.stonewallnews.net or go directly to the latest issue which is provided free as a .pdf file. The review of the book is on page 9.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Magazine Promo

I just recieved a complementary copy of the latest issue of Männer Aktuell. Inside is a nice layout to promote my book in Europe. "Summer Moved On" was released there in February, and seems to be doing well. It's #5 in the top 10 list of bestselling books on their internet site, www.brunos.de.

Männer Aktuel is a German gay mens magazine published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag, my publisher, and brunos.de is their internet store.

I'm gonna be a hit in Germany, just like David Hasselhoff! :-)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Left in the Dust Video Flashback


Anyone remember Ebn-Ozn from 1983? Anyone remember 1983?

My Top 10 iTunes for March 2, 2007

  1. "Here (In Your Arms)" - Hellogoodbye
  2. "My Love (Paul Oakenfold Mix)" - Justin Timberlake & T.I.
  3. "Playgirl - Ladytron
  4. "We're The Pet Shop Boys" - Robbie Williams & Pet Shop Boys
  5. "By The Way" - Jenna Drey
  6. "Open Up Your Eyes" - Sophie B. Hawkins
  7. "100 Stories" - Andrea Burns
  8. "Soul on Ice" - Yello
  9. "Beautiful Morning" - Ace of Base
  10. "I Wasn't Kidding" - Angie Stone

Green indicates new top 10 entry.

Links will take you to the iTunes store listing if you have iTunes installed.

"Wet Dream"

I know it took me a bit longer to release a new work but commissions usually take more time. I have to come up with something that includes certain elements that the customer wants, as well as please them (which I am happy to say they are) with the results. Plus I had my trip to Las Vegas and the resulting under-the-weather feeling that is only now going away. But I really enjoyed working on this piece that I am calling, "Wet Dream". I will have prints available to purchase from my website www.studio1088.com later today.

One of my favorite aspects of taking on a commission is how it nudges me to interpret and explore an area I didn't come up with entirely on my own. I like being presented with a concept and then being allowed to add my own take on it, like I was able to do here with "Wet Dream" and in pieces such as "Ace" and "The Baths".

The customer was very open and easy to work with, requiring a couple with certain features and the setting of their backyard pool. The idea of the couple in or around a pool made me think of those vintage William Higgins gay erotic films from the early 80's like "California Summer" or "Class Reunion".