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  1. WIP: Update on Stick Woman (7/8/2020) - She’s coming along. Since my last post I’ve painted some large branches in the middle background, and some lighting and shading. There’s lots more to do, including adding texture to the branches to make them more convincing. Near the end I paint over whatever I want, and however I want, but right now I’m working…
  2. WIP: Adding Local Color (7/6/2020) - It’s a bit muted right now because I haven’t added any lighting or shading. There’s only a line drawing, with flat color under it. I made it more complex by varying the colors of the sticks that make up our stick figure. That helps to delineate which sticks or branches are which. Incidentally, the ability…
  3. WIP: Line Drawing Phase (7/4/2020) - This is another exercise in lighting, shading, modeling, anatomy, perspective, work-flow, and when working from the imagination. I also intended it as a work of art, but working within certain parameters, and with a given objective in mind. My followers know I like to compare digital painting to MMA, in which case in order to…
  4. Practicing with Profile Sketches in Photoshop (7/2/2020) - Quietly, and virtually unrecognized by the art world at large, there’s a renaissance of figurative artwork being created on the computer. Rather unexpectedly, digital painting has revitalized the practice of traditional drawing and painting skills. It’s a bit like how people started writing letters again after the arrival of email, and subsequent to letter writing…
  5. New Art: Bat Girl Bites Back (6/24/2020) - This started out as an exercise in lighting, shading, and workflow, but it ended up being an artwork I’m proud of. A lot of the techniques and procedures I employed I got from a digital painting course by veteran Disney animator, Aaron Blaise. The initial drawing and the character design are all my own. If…
  6. WIP: B&W Sneak Preview (6/23/2020) - Almost finished. It finally occurred to me to look at the image in B&W to see how my lighting and modeling is without the distraction of color. Not bad. It looks more like a digital sculpture than a drawing, which is what it is. I’ve still got some detailing to do, and other modifications. Should…
  7. WIP: The Eyes are Testing my Metal (6/19/2020) - The eyes have been really difficult. I changed the colors, the shape, added veins, a highlight, and ridges on the bottom lids. What makes them so hard is largely the ornate bat nose which bisects one eye. I want partially obscured eye’s pupil to show, but getting it to line up with the other eye…
  8. WIP: Adding Rim Lighting (6/14/2020) - The rim lighting is difficult for me, and almost seems perfunctory. It’s a sort of cheap trick often used in comics. But it is also a really effective way to articulate form in shadow, which works for this sort of subject. Note that I’m not an expert at this, I’m learning it as an exercise,…
  9. WIP: Adding Texture (6/10/2020) - This stage is all Photoshop. I’d almost consider it cheating if it weren’t such a pain in the ass to pull off; if I weren’t going to paint over it; if I hadn’t done everything by hand under it; and if this weren’t an exercise using professional digital painting for illustration techniques. Here, one has…
  10. WIP: Adding Rough Shading (6/8/2020) - The much more clever way to do shading is to make a 3D model, and then move the light around to find the perfect angle. But doing it the clumsy, old fashioned way is good practice, and this piece is just about honing my skills. The shading made the bat lady more 3D, but it…
  11. WIP: Adding local color (6/6/2020) - Think I’m gonna’ go for blue skin with pink details, yellow-orange irises, and a dark red/purple ball of the eye. It’s a bit saturated right now, but after I add modeling, lighting, shading, and texture, it should be pretty cool. The gif animation has nothing to do with it. It’s just a snappy way of…
  12. WIP: Bat Lady’s Back (6/4/2020) - After taking nearly two months off this piece in order to finally finish my SFAU series of 36 images, I finished the line drawing stage. I used my orignal, front on, concept sketch to create a 3D version. The hardest part was the weird, ornate nose. Very difficult to place it so it comes out…
  13. New Art: SFAU # 36 (6/1/2020) - If you missed SFAU#35, see below: If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.) — the popular app, FaceApp —  then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually…
  14. New Art: SFAU # 35 (5/22/2020) - If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.) — the popular app FaceApp —  then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like…
  15. The “Spiritual” in Art for the Intellectually Rigorous (5/20/2020) - [This is a re-post of an article from two-years ago which I’d forgotten I’d written, but rediscovered while looking for one of the images in it. I defend the notion of the spiritual in art in a hardball, rational and reasoned, fashion with no reliance on superstition, religion, or any variety of feel-good, wish-washy, wishful…
  16. New Art: SFAU # 34 (5/15/2020) - If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.) — the popular app FaceApp —  then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like…
  17. SFAU 30 & 33 morphed, and why I’m a profoundly unpopular artist (5/12/2020) - SFAU #33 was based on #30, as you can see in this morph. I’m hoping sharing morph pairs helps people get into the series, though usually I’ll share them on IG rather than here. Just a little thing I can do to help people get into my work. That’s all. Unless you’re interested in some…
  18. New Art: SFAU # 33 (5/8/2020) - If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.) — the popular app FaceApp —  then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like…
  19. The Post-Apocalyptic Dinosaur Paintings of Michael Kerbow (5/6/2020) - An examination of Michael Kerbow's dinosaur paintings in his "Late Capitalism" series.
  20. New Art: SFAU # 32 (4/27/2020) - If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.) — the popular app Faceapp —  then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like…
  21. Robert Williams and the Art Documentary, “Mr. Bitchin'” (4/25/2020) - I’m not accepted as a blue-chip artist, and there’s every indication I never will be. ~ Robert Williams. The best thing about Robert Willams is his paintings, but he’s also a likable fellow if you aren’t predisposed to dislike his type as much as the blue-chip art world turns its nose up at his art.…
  22. Stanislaw Szukalski: The Master Who Fell Through the Cracks. (4/17/2020) - An obscure artist was discovered, and quickly shelved. These days most people in the established art world see art through the lens of politics, social issues, obtuse philosophy, rarefied art theory, and radical ideology. It took outsider, underground types of artists, cartoonists, and collectors — the variety the contemporary art cognoscenti turn their noses up…
  23. Dangerous Crackpot Covid-19 Conspiracy Crap [with custom graphic] (4/14/2020) - “There is no covid-19” ~ David Icke These days we all have to deal with conspiracy wackos, some merely eccentric, and then there’s the ones that call you “sheeple”, tell you that you “believe everything your government tells you”, and “you don’t know the truth”. We learn to avoid certain topics: the shape of the…
  24. The Long-legged, Big-footed, Headless Giants of Steven Beercock (4/9/2020) - I am the least constant, most confused person outside my safe rectangle of canvas. Safe because it is mine, my world, my rules, my flat Earth. ~ Steven Beercock. Seeing his work is like finding your uncle’s paintings in a shed; then noticing how weird they are and how eccentric he is; and then slowly…
  25. Bat Woman in Progress (4/7/2020) - In my last post I shared a method for brainstorming ideas for creatures, and my theme was bat people. I’d made 9 thumbnail sketches, which you can see again below. I combined these to make 7 new variants, and then narrowed it down to the following four: I’d decided that the bat people I saw…
  26. How to come up with more creative creatures (4/5/2020) - I’m working on developing a bat-person for the next of my more illustrational images, like my Ant Man. Normally, at least up until recently, I’d only do one drawing, and just have at it until I was finished. There’d be tons of editing, tweaking it out, and learning from mistakes, trial and error. But I’d…
  27. New Art: That Time Mr. Bat got the Human Flu. (4/2/2020) - Poor Mr. Bat. This was intended as a quick experiment in my ongoing exploration of digital impasto. To my knowledge I have the unique, and completely unrecognized distinction of being a pioneer in achieving digital impasto effects. I’ve used several different programs and combinations thereof to accomplish the results, and it’s usually not in a…
  28. New Art: Ant Man Goes AWOL (3/27/2020) - Finally completed, and it was as much of a battle creating him as he looks like he’s a veteran of. I used lots of new techniques which I’ve learned from professional illustrators, and incorporated into my own arsenal of digital and painting techniques. This is as far as I could take the image with my…
  29. 25 of my Best Images: #21 – Dr. Cataract (3/23/2020) - #21 – Dr. Cataract #21 is the twenty-fifth portrait in a series of 31 self-portraits as other versions of myself in different lives. This one took a sci-fi direction. The result is a unique, surrealist, sci-fi, mutrant man, perhaps a victim of his own medical or scientific experiments gone awry. I made this one shortly…
  30. My Appendectomy Experience (in SE Asia) (3/21/2020) - ‘It is my bad luck that this happened to me.’ No, you should rather say: ‘It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearful of the future.’ ~ Marcus Aurelius, before AD 180. [Note: I made the imagery for…
  31. Freedom and Independence Versus Free will (3/13/2020) - More thoughts after days of ruminating on this topic, and various challenges to my arguments on my blog and elsewhere. Note that if you disagree with me, or have in the past, that’s perfectly fine. I’m more interested in understanding reality than I am in being right. If I were to suddenly switch my pro-free…
  32. WIP: Adding the Power of Rim Lighting (3/8/2020) - What a difference rim lighting can make in a hyper-realist image. This is the first time I’ve really attempted this technique, and it took a lot of tinkering to get a result I was satisfied with. Rim lighting is a technique illustrators and other artists borrow from cinema. You have your main light source —…
  33. 25 of my Best Images: #22 – The End Came Swiftly (3/6/2020) - #22 – The End Came Swiftly   A sci-fi digital impasto painting reinterpreting the end of The War of the Worlds, when the Martian ships fall because of exposure to the bacteria in the Earth’s atmosphere. The image falls between representation, traditional oil painting, and abstraction. The atmosphere, textures, composition, and feel are more important…
  34. Bubbly Monster Skin (2/29/2020) - In the continued creation of a hyper-realistic monster, I reached the stage where one overlays textures onto the body. For my fellow Photoshop nerds, you take a picture of a texture, put it on its own layer, lower the opacity to around 30%, and tweak out the exposure so the texture looks like it’s on…
  35. Consciousness, Free Will, and Art (2/28/2020) - “I want to be a machine.” ~ Andy Warhol [Repost: updated with edits. The topic of free will has come up a lot lately, and my pro-free-will stance and my belief in anthropogenic global warming are the topics where I get the most devil’s advocates and friendly challenges. This article is one of my classics,…
  36. Runaway Rant: 2020 a Wake-up Call! (2/26/2020) - We humans are really flubbing this new decade. It’s moving a little beyond just being insulting and enervating. Now it’s starting to hurt. Above you can see the prognosis for the next 5 days in terms of pollution where I live, juxtaposed with a close-up of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. The…
  37. WIP: Bubble Head, further along (2/23/2020) - It’s over 10 days since my last update on this piece in progress, and it might not look like it’s that different, but I logged in over 20 hours of work on small changes. The deal is that I’m improving my skills at realism while executing this, so there are areas I keep working over…
  38. Runaway Rant: Our True Nature (2/17/2020) - It is precisely the things that science cannot prove about us, and which allow autonomy, independent thought and action, which define our true nature. There are two things that are objectively impossible, but subjectively undeniable. One is consciousness, and the other is free will. Science, as hard as it has tried, and is trying, can’t…
  39. How Postmodernism Has Worked Against Us. (2/13/2020) - What is postmodernism, what are its shortcomings, and how has it negatively impacted the art world and contemporary culture? [repost with updates] Every student of art needs to grapple with Postmodernism at some point, either climb aboard, reject it, or integrate it. In order to come to terms with it, one needs to be able…
  40. WIP Monster, with more shading (2/12/2020) - Here he is again, and more rounded out. The initial line drawing (see below) has completely disappeared, and now all the shapes are defined via shading. I made his flesh more uniformly grey green, and I’m liking the deeper orange for the irises (the eyes are definitely not done). I’m NOT done with shading, highlights,…
  41. WIP: Early Stages, Line Drawing & Local Color Study (2/2/2020) - Some people make their digital paintings in very logical stages. That has tended to not be me, except on some occasion. I’m, or have been, much more the artist that just starts experimenting, sees what happens, and rides the wave in. But, uh, to get to some next level shit, sometimes an artist has to…
  42. Runaway Rant: Incompetence + Corruption in a Post Truth World. (1/31/2020) - [I wote this yesterday morning when the power was out. My info on the Wuhan-flu is thus a little behind in numbers, but otherwise still relevant.] Within a minute of waking up this morning the power went out. Turns out something happened to a power cable by the superstore around the corner. That might have…
  43. Learning from Aaron Blaise (1/24/2020) - Can you guess which one is my version? Have a look, and you can find out if you were right down below. If you don’t know already, I have a contemporary art / fine art background, and have been making digital art starting around 20 years ago. I’ve given up on the contemporary art world,…
  44. Runaway Rant: Justice, Caring, the Golden Rule, and the Social Contract. (1/24/2020) - Suddenly I realized how ridiculous it is to expect people to care. People are too subsumed in their own lives, responsibilities, worries, and so on to be expected to even have the wherewithal to care about you or me or this or that person, or group of people. Asking people to care is like asking…
  45. Runaway Rant: Mo Pollution Blues (1/21/2020) - Gotta’ love me some pollution! I’m an expat who’s lived in Asia for about 15 years, and in some of the more polluted parts. I’m also rather health conscious and trying to level up my diet and exercise regimen. I feel like I’ve got some obstacles that might be making that a bit more of…
  46. Differences between illustration, fine art, modern art, and contemporary art (1/13/2020) - Broad Outlines This is intended as a useful device for a very general categorization of visual-based art. The idea is to simplify something that is already hopelessly convoluted. There are inevitably grotesque omissions, outstanding hybrids, uncategorizable outliers, and genres I don’t address (such as folk art, outsider art, and comics…). But it’s worth thinking about…
  47. Why People Hate Contemporary/Conceptual Art (1/7/2020) - Lots of people hate conceptual art. It’s really quite remarkable, and possibly unfortunate. Ostensibly, artists make art to engage, entertain, and inform people, in which case hatred is an extreme response. Though it does occur to me that the kind of art that is most disliked might be the variety that tries to “challenge” the…
  48. How to make and use realistic water drop brushes in Photoshop. (12/31/2019) - In digital imaging, there’s always a way. All the rain drops in the pic above are fakes, courtesy of yours truly. I could have been more persnickity about it, but this was for a tutorital. I tried to figure this out last night, but there was a sticking point I couldn’t get past. After sleeping…
  49. My Custom Psychedelic Flower Brush (12/30/2019) - If you know how to use brushes in Photoshop, this one’s ready to go. It’s just something I stumbled on while experimenting with all the different options and capacities of Photoshop’s extremely powerful brush machine. Making custom brushes is now part of my arsenal of available techniques, and it’s phenomenal what you can do with…
  50. Anniversary of Van Gogh Severing His Ear. (12/24/2019) - On this day in 1888, which is 130 years ago, Vincent Van Gogh cut of a piece of his right ear in a bout of anguish brought on by his fight with Paul Gauguin, who was leaving Arles and their shared yellow house. Earlier in the evening Gauguin had threatened Vincent with a saber, and…
  51. RADICAL NEW BORING SHIT #26 (12/20/2019) - To see more about this series, go to this explanatory post. Of course I put the artist and the text around the banana. Are you getting bored by being shocked by just how boring shocking art is? If so, this series is for you. The least we can ask of shocking, revolutionary art is that…
  52. The Harrowing Figurative Paintings of Suzzan Blac (12/16/2019) - “The paintings I created were intended for my eyes only. I felt I couldn’t exhibit them because they were so visceral, horrifying, and disturbing. I knew that I would be stigmatized.” ~ Suzzan Blac. A Savage Painting “During my teens, teachers would berate me for my ‘dark’ drawings and persuade me to draw ‘pretty’ things.”…
  53. I AM NOT A BRAND! (12/15/2019) - I used to work in the marketing department of a computer memory company. One day on the sales floor a giant banner appeared that read, “HAVE THE KILLER INSTINCT!” I had an idea what that meant, and it had something to do with knowing when to close a deal. But the metaphor was horrible. I…
  54. Can You Like the Art Without the Artist Liking You? (12/13/2019) - Apparently I’m the first person to ask this question, or type it up and publish it online. At least a Google search turns up nothing. What everyone asks is, and I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it, “Can you like the art without liking the artist”? And by “without liking” they mean hating, or shunning, or…
  55. A Moment of Solipsism Triggered by Maurizio Cattelan’s Banana (12/11/2019) - I was about to take a shower. I stood nude before the mirror in my bathroom and realized that my entire perspective on art is anathema to the contemporary art world. The people who are in the inner circle, who are rich, along with the big art institutions, and even the art critics are in…
  56. Is Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 Banana Brilliant Art or Bullshit on a Platter? (12/7/2019) - “Maurizio is a pure genius… I see the magic happen on various occasions.”~ Emmanuel Perrotin, of Galerie Perrotin. The same artist who gave us the golden toilet has now affixed a banana to the wall, in an edition of three, at Art Basel Miami Beach. It used to be that you were considered stupid if…
  57. What Do We Do About Art Museums Containing Over 85% Male Art (12/7/2019) - More moral quandaries Recently I wrote an article which was critical of the Baltimore Museum’s plan to only buy and primarily exhibit women’s art in 20/20. I objected on moral grounds, because while it is ostensibly rectifying past ostensible sexual discrimination, it is undeniably applying absolute sexual discrimination in the very present. Two wrongs don’t…
  58. Baltimore Museum Embraces Biological Determinism and Discrimination (12/5/2019) - In 2020 you can’t define people by their biology and call it progress. The Baltimore Museum revises art history, aesthetics, and its collection with an ideological sledgehammer. Some people think nostalgia (especially for discredited scientific theories) is sentimental at best, and pathological at worse, but without even suffering cognitive dissonance some of us can excavate…
  59. My Sci-Fi Drawings From When I Was a Kid (12/1/2019) - These are just curiosities for entertainment, folks. You aren’t meant to assess them as serious works. They’re my kid stuff! When I was growing up my favorite things were sci-fi shows I could see on TV, frogs and lizards, and drawing (not to mention girls). Fortunately, I had the foresight to document most my early…
  60. Brain Scans Vindicate Visual Art (11/27/2019) - I watched a mini-documentary “Beauty: Explained” on Netflix, and a few pieces fell into place regarding how art is considered today. Before I connect the dots and introduce what the new science suggests, I will need to review what the dots are, and what they signify.  If you already know your contemporary art history, you…
  61. Flat Earthers, Contemporary Art, and Optimism (11/21/2019) - What do Flat-Earthers have to do with contemporary art? I was watching the 2018 documentary Behind the Curve, which is about the Flat Earth movement and some of the people involved in it. Two things hit me in quick succession. One was that the paintings and models of the Flat Earth were conceptual art, and…
  62. MoMA Reopens Woke AF and Decades Behind (11/2/2019) - The New MoMA aspires to reconstruct art history through the lens of a revolutionary political agenda, but in the process sacrifices both art and justice. MoMA, along with the art world in general, has by hyjacked by a revolutionary political movement. The new MoMA happily subordinates art to postmodernist philosophy and social justice, which, while…
  63. 10 Halloween-Appropriate Horrific Images (for adults)! (10/31/2019) - I reached into the archives to retrieve these horrible classics (not for the little kiddies, though). Feel free to share, print, decorate, worship, & whatever: The Human Fly: Alien Autopsy: Awakening Upon Death of the Bride of the Creature: The Agony and the Extraterrestrial: Golgolon: Monster Maiden #1 Monster Maiden #2 The Giant’s Den: Now…
  64. Digital Painting Tech: Fix for Photobashing (10/28/2019) - Some of you know I’ve been doing a lot of study over the last several months, and now it’s paying off.  I’m working on portrait #32 in my SFAU series, and I decided to put in an earring from a photo. [Decided to do another portrait to practice some of the techniques I’ve learned.] There…
  65. PRINTS (10/26/2019) - THEY’RE HERE! Prints of my original fine art digital paintings are now available. I’m using INPRNT as my printing service for several solid reasons. Prices are fixed, fair, and a bargain. They use archival papers and inks. Creators keep half the profits. Artists have to be approved. The interface is streamlined. It looks like this:…
  66. “Leonardo’s” Salvator Mundi is a FAIL Forged by an Apprentice (10/20/2019) - The Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Christ attributed to da Vince and sold to the highest bidder as such, is in the news again, now because it hasn’t arrived for a blockbuster da Vinci show scheduled to open in about a week. I’m more perturbed that people take this painting seriously. “for me the most…
  67. In Defense of Renoir (10/19/2019) - Renoir is an object of hatred and scorn, but the criticism is myopic. When I said to reconsider Renoir, it’s from the last critical update, at which point, if you don’t already know, his status was solidified as a horrible painter and sexist pig-man. And while there are some cringeworthy bather paintings, if we were…
  68. If You’re Not Making Visual Art Proper, You’re Not Playing The Game (10/16/2019) - Artists can make whatever kind of art they want, and it’s totally legit. I’m all for it. It mostly just comes to good or bad examples of the kind of art in question. People might think that because I am pro-visual art, and because I criticize certain conceptual works, that I am against conceptual art…
  69. Damien Hirst’s New Coaster Paintings: A Return to Craft (10/14/2019) - When I was a little kiddie and went to Sunday school we glued pasta to empty tomato-sauce cans and spray-painted them gold (or was it silver?). Maybe they were supposed to be chalices or something. I forget the religious import. True, the world’s richest artist is using better materials — dead butterflies no less —…
  70. 25 of my Best Images: #23 – Bare Knuckle Brawl (10/13/2019) - #23 – Bare Knuckle Brawl A bloody outdoor boxing match without gloves or fanfare. This is one of the rare images where I used references [stills from a YouTube video] and ordinary people to create a tableaux. Why I chose it: It has a traditional painterly feel reminiscent of Hopper, and the subject matter and…
  71. Blog Overhaul, New Logo, New Look… (10/12/2019) - Hope you all like the new design and layout. Above is the snappy new logo I designed. Because my theme keeps the header at the top at all times, I needed a logo that would be easily visible against any background, but unobtrusive. I got the idea of using that old tape that you could…
  72. Comedy as Unintentional Conceptual art (10/9/2019) - Comedy as Unintentional Conceptual Art Anyone who watches YouTube prank videos and is familiar with conceptual art and its pseudo-philosophical underpinnings should experience some cognitive dissonance when YouTube comedians do performance and installation art without giving it a second thought. This short clip from the Impractical Jokers includes a viable contemporary art installation: Everything in…
  73. The Remarkable Complete Absence of Digital Painting in the Fine Art World (10/6/2019) - The only artist I’m aware of who has received any recognition for digital painting in the contemporary fine art world is David Hockney, and that’s just because anything and everything he creates is automatically reviewed. Gerhardt Richter has the same kind of status, and some of his threadbare digital art is taken seriously, but it’s…
  74. 25 of my Best Images: #24 – Seafood Spaghetti Sunday (10/4/2019) - Each entry in my Top 25 will have: a descriptive paragraph. a sentence or two about why I chose it. one or more close-up details. a link to my original post about the work. thumbnail gallery with all artworks included so far. prints for sale. Links for all previous entries. a poll for picking your…
  75. 25 of my Best Images: #25 – EUOF (10/2/2019) - Each entry in my Top 25 will have: a descriptive paragraph. a sentence or two about why I chose it. one or more close-up details. a link to my original post about the work. thumbnail gallery with all artworks included so far. prints for sale. Links for all previous entries. a poll for picking your…
  76. Finished the Course! (9/18/2019) - Above is the final demo in the class, and all credits go to Andrew Hou for the digital painting, which I recreated as part of learning his process. As my regular readers know, I’m a trained “fine artist” working in digital media, and currently learning the industry standard digital painting techniques from illustrators in order…
  77. Runaway Rant: “Iconic” is overused to meaninglessness (9/14/2019) - Hi kids. Another word bites the dust. We’ve seen a lot of that in recent years, and you probably think it’s some dumbing down of America or the world. Probably true in regards to facility with language. If you follow my blog you know some of the ones that really get to me. Just a…
  78. What is a successful artist? (9/9/2019) - Hope you don’t mind if we just cut through all of the avalanche of bullshit, right to the proverbial bone. This is something I figured out when I was 18, but somehow there seems to be a cloud of confusion around the topic. To best address this, I’m going to go with an analogy. Let’s…
  79. Runaway Rant: I am NOT an artist! (9/7/2019) - Everyone is an artist, and anything and everything is art (except painters and paintings)! Words have come to mean, if not their precise opposite, something quite different from what is or was in the dictionary. Literally now means figuratively (ex., “It was literally raining cats and dogs!”). Random means all sorts of things, like cool,…
  80. Runaway Rant: Artists Don’t Need to Suffer (9/5/2019) - The popular notion that artists need to suffer is a threadbare excuse to underpay and exploit them. [Note: Van Gogh would have suffered a lot less if he’d sold more than one painting in his life.] The notion that artist need to suffer in order to gain inspiration or have something to say is really…
  81. 30 Minute Fire Demon (8/29/2019) - More fun things you can do with digital painting that would be quite difficult in traditional mediums. This was just a quickie exercise to see if I could create some sort of fire entity using a couple custom fire brushes I made. I didn’t even bother making it bigger than you see it here. Just…
  82. Swarm of Bees in 60 Minutes: Digital Painting (8/28/2019) - In my last post I boasted that an advantage of digital painting over traditional painting is I could knock out a swarm of bees in 15 minutes, but it could take days and days to do it with physical mediums. I did say it would take hours if I made more custom brushes, and I…
  83. Quickie Clouds: Why Digital Painting Is Amazing (8/27/2019) - Just some experimental clouds I knocked out in a few minutes after creating a couple cloud brushes, which also took just a few minutes. This was my first breezy attempt. I know they aren’t magnificent. I only used black and white, and they need to be blended better, etc… The point is how much one…
  84. Learning from Copying Along when using Tutorials. (8/23/2019) - If you have a good eye, whether or not you ever look at this kind of art, you can tell which one is mine, because it’s the flawed copy. Of course I can’t imitate someone else’s style the first time I try. Don’t fear my familiar followers, I would likely never work in this style…
  85. Are We Avatars Or Players? (8/23/2019) - [This is another of my “runaway rants”, but I couldn’t squeeze that in the headline and keep it punchy. When I call something a “rant” I just mean it’s more or less stream of consciousness, as opposed to me sitting down and making a structured outline. I’m just getting some thoughts out there that I’ve…
  86. Skill Matters in Art: Part 2 (8/19/2019) - Rather than go back and edit my prior post, I decided to write a follow-up to expand on the ideas a bit. I want to give another example of why skill is necessary, but also elaborate on why it’s considered just busy-work and not important in contemporary art. First, I want to give a more…
  87. Runaway Rant: Skill Matters in Art (8/18/2019) - I haven’t been writing or sharing anything lately because I’m in one of my training periods. This involves a lot of knuckling down and plowing through tutorials and exercises to fine tune my skills, and that requires a bit of a humble and honest mindset. It’s not fun compared to creating, but it’s essential to…
  88. Difference Between Digital and Traditional Painting Approaches (7/25/2019) - The apple above illustrates a typical digital approach to painting (which I do not typically use myself). This is just an exercise I did as part of a digital painting course I’m going through [I’ll explain why], but take note that it was done from scratch and achieves a high level of realism with a…
  89. Fun and Instructive Reality Art TV Series on YouTube (7/17/2019) - [Update: I can no longer endorse this series because the judges selected the winner based on race and gender rather than art, to put it very directly.] Several seasons of Portrait Painter of the Year and Landscape Painter of the Year have become available on YouTube in the last month or so. They both go…
  90. Radical New Boring Shit: New Series (6/30/2019) - After a century of anti-art bullying visual art, visual art bites back! There are 25 images in this mini-series so far. Above is the first, which I made four years ago, though I didn’t intend at the time to make even one more. Originally I attributed the faux painting to an imaginary artist, Günter Groos,…
  91. If You Are Pro-Art, Pro-Artist, and Pro-Painting, You Are A Pariah (6/20/2019) - A hostile comment to me, on this blog, the other day, crystallized something. Rather, it was this specific idea in the diatribe against me, and defending a certain anti-artist (according to his interpretation) that stood out in particular: He is deflating the significance of the artist Deflating the significance of the artist is a good…
  92. Arthur Danto’s “The End of Art”: Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. (6/15/2019) - Philosopher, and art-critic, Arthur Danto’s “The End of Art” is considered one of the most important and influential essays on art in the 20th century. The influence is undeniable, the importance determined by how important people take it to be, and the underlying arguments in relation to reality bonkers. Art ended before I was born,…
  93. Killing the Imagination in the Name of Art (6/14/2019) - Killing in the name of… I’m going to write this in under an hour, because, I believe, if you can’t make an argument in that time, you don’t already know what the hell you are talking about. And if you can’t express it clearly, as I argued in my last post, you are not talking…
  94. When Bullshit Becomes Overwhelming (6/12/2019) - I’ve come to the conclusion over time that if an author can’t make their ideas accessible to an intelligent general audience, they are most likely full of shit. I’m in the middle of writing an article about a certain legendary essay in art criticism. When I tackle these essays, the most difficult part is never…
  95. Runaway Rant: Did Duchamp Make Art an Exclusive, Elitist Practice? (6/9/2019) - [Quick rant over my morning cup(s) of coffee.] By changing art from an image to be seen, into a thing in a gallery or museum to be contemplated in that environment, art stopped being a universal medium and became a practice for the elite only. I live in the so-called “developing world” in Asia [and…
  96. Someone’s NPC Head Painting Destroyed as Performance Art (6/8/2019) - I’m still digesting this. [You can read this brief intro, or skip the preamble and scroll down to the re-blogged article.] If you don’t know what an NPC is, it’s a “non-player character” in a computer game, and the term is used by the far right to ridicule people on the far left who they…
  97. Abominable Ideas About Art #6: Radical (6/4/2019) - The art world is filled with bad ideas that are repeated like scripture, and accepted as truisms. Most of them presume to make sweeping statements about all art, and establish a hierarchy with their chosen art at the pinnacle. I’ve dismantled a bunch of the worst of these ideas in lengthy articles, but here I’ll…
  98. Shocking lack of Women and Artists of Color in American Museums’ Permanent Collections (6/3/2019) - The key word here, that might give someone reason to pause, is permanent. But, let me outline the argument, first. The underlying premise is that non-white men, and women of color in particular, are systematically being excluded from the permanent collections of art museums in America due to racism and sexism. In such a case,…
  99. Reflections on: The Personal in Art (6/1/2019) - [Usually I call these impromptu writings “runaway rants”, but that implies a certain combativeness or railing against something, which is sometimes true. “Reflections” is probably more fair, at least when I’m not objecting to something offensively stupid.] Sometimes something is so goddamned obvious we don’t see it, and I would not think this about myself…
  100. New Art [Page Revised] (5/30/2019) - It’s been more than a year since I’ve updated my New Art  page, and it didn’t even include my Selfies From Alternate Universes series. It’s now revised to include all the recent work, with added thumbnail galleries and slideshows. I’ve reproduced it below. And just a quick note. I find it odd and a little…

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