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“Dimension Mouse”, Extra Series, No. XX

15 Nov

560O0036C Dimension Mouse 14X14


It’s amazing to see the progress not just on the technical details of this project, but the development of my aesthetic for this 10x10x10 project. This piece is one of the forgotten blog pieces of this project. It was created in January of 2012 in my Los Feliz apartment off of Vermont and Franklin. This technically was the FIRST of the Contemporary Modern Series (or Modern and Abstract Series)

This was based off of Bridget Riley’s “Movement in Squares, 1961”

Sitting here and looking at this portrait, and comparing it to everything that happened past “WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SOUND OF COFFEE” really puts things into perspective. These pieces have become almost like journal entries in which each piece represents a time and place where I was at with not just my art, but my life in general.

I’ve tried to get this one back so I can work on it further and make it more complex, but then again.. that would diminish the idea of this project.. which is about not just the mouse, but the exponential growth and the telling of it during this project.

While this isn’t the 77th piece of the collection, … it more resides in the first ten of the collection.. I’m going to keep it here in order not to reformat everything else in this blog and use it as an icon of where I was and where I’ve progressed.

“Rewind the Future”, Extra Series, No. XX

12 Sep

560O0106C Rewind the Future 14x14

As a child in Marietta, Georgia I would spend hours in front of the radio with my finger eagerly awaiting to press the REC button on my tape deck. The minute I would get home from school, I would run up to my room, close the door, and curl myself around my stereo to hear the latest sounds from “Annie Bannanie” and her collection of music on Album 88, a college radio station operated by Georgia State University. It was my only REAL connection to Atlanta, GA.. the big city that I longed to live in, and I spent years hypnotically listening to the recorded sounds from my metropolitan life line out in the small southern suburb I lived in.

Mix tapes were like novels to me. The minute I’d record a full 90 minutes of the sounds I loved, I would spend hours decorating these tapes like I was drawing a cover for a book. They were diaries to me with chapters of songs filled with paragraphs of beats and words made of guitar strums and voices. My friends back then, would receive gifts of all the songs I recorded. They were like paintings. They were songs wrapped in my artwork.

In finalizing the “Children of the 1980’s” series, I wanted to hone in on those icons of nostalgia that brought me to where I am today as an adult swimming in the chaotic seas of the art world. This piece, much like “Dataworld.exe”, really focuses on those primary art executions of my youth, and I sought to draw these tapes as if these were personal collections of each core Disney character. Here you will see mix tapes drawn on from each character. From “Minnie’s Mo Town” to “Clarabelle’s Classics”, each tape has a youthful twinge to it associated to each character and the music that is paired with them.

This is the 70th in the collection and 10th in the series,. This piece closes out the “Children of the 1980’s” series for the TENxTENxTEN project.

“Double Dragon”, Extra Series, No. XX

7 Apr

'Double Dragon'

It is quite hard to explain in entirety about my love for the movie “Sleeping Beauty”. It is easy to talk about a subject with minimal points about something I appreciate, because there is so little to talk about, but when it comes to this film.. I am absolutely tongue tied because there is so much to talk about.

As a child I was fascinated with this film primarily for the antagonist Maleficent, who single handedly taught me the art of sarcasm. While on one hand I was terrified by her ruthless antics against Princess Aurora, I was also simultaneously captivated by her cool demeanor. For years I strived to find a compelling villain that rivaled the characterization of Maleficent, and still at 35, cannot find a character that comes close.

As an adult I fell further in love with this film for the art stylings of Eyvind Earle, whose geometric bliss of backgrounds saturated my youthful artistic mind with such possibility. His stylings were so ahead of its time, and his vision in this film makes this not just an incredible animated piece, but a progressive ‘out of this world’ foundation of artistic genius.

In this piece, entitled “Double Dragon”, Maleficent is shown in creature form mirrored on both sides of the canvas to represent a sense of ‘no escape’ and ‘clutches of evil’ aspect to the protagonists in the middle. However in the epicenter of the painting, Aurora and Prince Phillip are in a silhouetted embrace of love, creating an explosion that radiates out to the edges of the canvas. Furthermore, the power of love ultimately splits the foundation of Maleficent’s power, creating deepening cracks to signify her destruction.

This is the 2nd in the Disney History Series, and 59th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Mickissey”, Extra Series, No. XX

31 Mar


My love of KISS imagery primarily is retrospective. It did not spawn in their heyday of the 1970’s, as I was only 3 when 1980 rolled around. I do however, remember when I first saw Gene Simmons on the television screen, and I remember being completely transfixed. I also remember feeling incredibly guilty of being transfixed as I was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing, and really.. thought that I was witnessing the hypnotic powers of satan on television. Not only was I raised in a catholic home, but I was raised in a home that only listened to classical music and disco sounds (and the combination of the two), so hearing this heightened version of rock ‘n’ roll, .. well it peeled back the artichoke layers of my brain and opened my ears to a whole new form of sound.

KISS, to me, revolutionized the way I heard music, and the way music made me feel. Before KISS, I thought music was only for hearing, but this.. the words, guitar riffs, and catchy drum beats, spiraled my little youthful brain into a chaotic tempest of noise and feeling that I had never experienced before. It should be noted however, that these feelings terrified me because I did not understand them,… so for most of my childhood, I was terrified by them (and yet drew them consistently).

It wasn’t until my teens, where I revisited the icons of my past, where I acknowledged that what terrified me, were perhaps the most powerful spirits of my cognitive expansion. KISS, was at the forefront of this self discovery. I began to listen again to the lyrics, which were so different than when I first heard them. It was like I was reading a book for the 2nd time, and understanding it for the 1st time now that my brain fully comprehended the words. The lyrics were soothing sympathetic verses of not only being ‘misunderstood’ per se, but fully grabbing the reigns of being the ‘ginger sheep’ of the group, and holding power in knowing how to harness the idea of individuality. It was saying to me “Yeah, people may call you a freak, but you are, so rock on with your freak self”.

This is the 9th of the “Children of the 1980’s” Series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection. The title of this piece is called “Mickissey”

“Mickey in Aliceland”, Extra Series, No. XX

21 Feb

Mickey in Aliceland


“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense” – Alice

Being born in the days of the blossoming invention of home entertainment, my babysitter was often my Nintendo and VHS/Betamax system. I was quite obsessive by nature even as a child, and needed consistent repetitive entertainment to soothe out the often chaotic imaginations in my head. There were five distinct movies in my childhood that I played over and over again until the tapes broke. They were:

  1. Big Trouble in Little China
  2. The Fantastic Adventures of Unico
  3. Labyrinth
  4. The Dark Crystal
  5. Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland was the type of movie that I played over and over again in one sitting. Once the movie was finished, I’d get up, rewind the tape all the way back to the beginning and watch it again. I did this for hours in a day. Looking back it was amazing what that film would do to my reality. I so desperately wanted to live somewhere else than the reality of my childhood, that I would often ‘black out’ into another world that made me feel that everything was going to be ok.

The minute the tape went on, everything disapated away from me slowly. The tables and lamps would softly erase themselves, and the windows and walls would quietly whisper away. All the carpet around me would blip out softly, leaving me on this small patch of a flying carpet in deep astral space, floating quietly in front of a television set locked on to my eyes. … and finally. I’d become swallowed into the black hole of swirling stars into the television set… and my world… would suddenly become Alice’s world.

When I watched Alice in Wonderland, my existence as a child suddenly had wonderment and life. I did not feel ashamed of my overflowing imagination, and in fact, felt quite proud that what I thought about existed in this world. In essence, Alice in Wonderland was the movie that made me feel safe as child, and validated as a dreamer.

I felt quite akin to the character itself, for as a child I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Alice and her want for a personal world where all of her books would be nothing but pictures. Even as an adult, the quote  “….but that’s just the trouble with me. I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”  rings with understanding. I found identity in her as a child, and even now as an adult.

In this painting, which is the FIRST of the Disney History Section, I wanted to embody the entirety of the film.  This painting is self explanatory in all the story details of each sector, but as an entirety I really wanted to focus on the wonderment and friendly chaos that the film has.  This is entitled “Alice in Mickeyland”, in where Alice is dreaming of Mickey as an oracle mouse creating different scenarios around the circumference of his head.





“Topsy Turvy”, Extra Series, No. XX

30 Dec

Topsy Turvy

Disorientation is the feeling I experience the most in regards to “The Human Condition Series”. I’ve been confused for a large portion of my life as understanding and keeping the information of things learned has always slipped my grasp as a kid. My brain had the hardest time retaining facts and information when I was young, and I always felt like I was spinning in this upside down spiraling void whenever asked to repeat, recite, or simply remember anything.

I used to think that inside everyone’s body was a house. Inside your feet were the basement and rec room, the legs were the study and exercise rooms, the stomach was the kitchen and dining room, the chest was the living room, and the brain was your own bedroom of sorts. Everyday I’d walk around staring at people trying to figure out what their house looked like from the inside, and automatically would associate their personality to the state of their house. The wacky would have funky houses, the prim and proper would have cookie cutter duplexes, and sad and disheveled would have empty and lost rooms awaiting furniture.

Looking inside my own self, I imagined that all the furniture was on the ceiling, and that magazines, coffee cups, and random flotsam and jetsam floated about the room with no gravity, aimlessly clinking into each other with no means of ever settling. All the paintings were backwards, and everything was in a consistent state of how I liked to describe to people as “upside-down-ness”. I suppose this was some kind of coping mechanism to relate to the world that I had attention deficit hyperactive disorder,  and had severe learning disabilities in both math and science.

When teachers would ask “Why can’t you understand this?” or “Why aren’t you retaining this information”, I could only reply that everything in my head was “Topsy Turvy”, and/or more specifically “That none of my furniture is on the floor in my head”, to which would promptly get me sent to the school shrink for my metaphors (which was common). I think for a lot of my life growing up in the microcosm of the school system in Georgia, my ability to relate to people on an educational level, let alone, a social level, was met with great obstacles, due to my inability to retain information. I was always in this state of confusion due to the mass amount of information being fed to me on a daily basis. In essence my imagination was a deterrent to me understanding anything, and therefore became my worst enemy.

With that being said, I was always “TOPSY TURVY”.

I was heavily insecure about this, even after being retested in my senior year and being rebranded as intelligent, heck.. EVEN after becoming an algebra tutor to my peers in college. .. I still had this lingering aftertaste of being inadequate and slow to the world. That feeling of confusion, being overwhelmed, backwards, upside-down.. still floated around softly in my skull tepidly whispering its potential of return. Occasionally in my late twenties and thirties working in business/corporate, I’d be reminded of its ghost, and I’d give it little refuge for establishing itself in my head.

It wasn’t until I fully realized that this confusion, this disorientation, … was more of a sensation from stifling my imagination and creative abilities. When I was discovered as an artist, my ideas emptied out of my head like a burst dam. .. YEARS AND YEARS of dreaming, thinking, drawing, sketching, … previous actions which were hinderances to my learning development, were suddenly rewarded by my quirky and weird thought processes. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t slow. In fact, there was nothing wrong with me at all. I just happened to be a human being meant for different things, things that required different thought patterns and different approaches. I was an artist. That was really it in the end.

This piece is called “Topsy Turvy” which is the essential mainframe to confusion and ‘upside-down-ness’. For some of us, this backwards feeling can be quite unsettling, BUT for us creative folks, the idea of changing things around… thinking outside the box, and putting the ‘triangle peg in the square shape” … can be the very RARE quality that makes us catalysts for others to dream, think beyond the scope, and ultimately see and create beautiful things.

“Dia De Los Mouseos, Execution Uno”, Extra Series, No. XX

26 Sep


I’ve been having this idea in my head for a bit, in where I would draw a collective of images to sum up the shape of Mickey himself. For some reason, out of all the shapes that I could think of, skulls were the only thing that made a visual impact in my head. I’m assuming for myself, that it was because skulls were such a dichotomous juxtaposition against such a happy lively face, that the contrast was in essence humorous.

I call this piece “Execution Uno”, as this was my first rendition of skulls. This is an initial step into drawing these, so this piece is more of a study sheet on skulls, in where my hands were learning how to become more complex with the shapes and sizes. I’ve filed this into the extra series, as I had immediately grabbed another sheet of canvas to do a second, and more complex version of this one, which was entitled “Execution Dos”.