Monday, October 13, 2014

monsters art show at inksanity tattoo company this coming saturday in leesburg, va!

If you're in or around the Leesburg, VA area, today (Oct 13) is the last day to submit work to the Inksanity Tattoo Co for their MONSTERS art show, going on up through the end of the month. Opening reception takes place at Inksanity on Saturday, Oct 18 from 7-10pm. I'll have five pieces in the show, including this fella. Hope to see folks there!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

splotch monster-making workshop at art enables, 10/11/2014

Yesterday I held my second Splotch Monster-making workshop at Art Enables in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing turnout, mainly because AE were hosting the reception for their annual Outsider Art Inside The Beltway exhibit, which hosted some absolutely amazing work from all over the area. The workshop was drop-in style, as they usually tend to be, and I had printed up some verbal instructions and even some writing prompts for participants, some of whom really ran away with this portion of the workshop. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with so many great people yesterday, many of whom were volunteers, folks with art in the exhibit, or simply there for the workshop. The best part of this was seeing everybody's approach to making Splotch Monsters, as well as all the walks of life this workshop was able to accomidate. While I show participants my way of making them (Splotch Monsters), I make sure to tell them there is no one set way, and that it's all about simply experimenting with painting and drawing and having some creative fun in the process. What I left with most of all yesterday was a healthy dose of some serious inspiration, from participants at the workshop, as well as from the current exhibit, which I'll be posting about at my Go Flying Turtle blog soon. Enjoy the pics in the meantime!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

the funk ark: man is a monster cd out now!

If that's not a thing of beauty, I don't know what is? Yes, you're looking at DC's The Funk Ark's brand new CD, Man is a Monster, first available in physical format at their album release party yesterday at the Black Cat, in DC. The artwork comes courtesy of JJ Cromer and I, taken from our 2013 mail art collaboration and show, known as the "Splotch/Asterisk" series. The music inside is just as spectacular, and seeing the band play live last night was a very awesome experience. I didn't think being out until the wee hours on a Friday night was still in me, but perhaps it was the music that kept me going, as well as getting my hands on some copies of this gem.  The art on this album was originally shown at Off-Rhode Studio/Art Enables in February of 2013, and when I gave a copy of the disc to Mary Liniger today, who works there, she smiled and said, "the art collaboration that keeps on giving!". Indeed, it's cool to see where this collab with JJ Cromer has gone so far and where it may possibly lead to next. As JJ said, "Splotch/Asterisk lives!". Amen to that.

The pic below shows opening act Hung Tao Choy Mei Dancers. I loved their heavily percussive sound, and their use of dancing and dragons! They were a great way to start the night. Unfortunately, my only pic of the second opener, Black Masala was way blurry. Needless to say, they were another fantastic DC band who got the party started. 

Of course, the Funk Ark tore down the house last night. You'll be able to see them again soon at The 9:30 Club in DC on December 7. Don't miss out on their new album in the meantime! Now, if only they'd drop some vinyl copies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

exclusive splotch monster t-shirt still available at mister dress up!

Got mine in last Friday, a nice birthday gift in the mail! It looks and feels great and arrived in my mailbox in no time. You can still get yours HERE, by or before the end of October!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

the funk ark previews man is a monster!

DC's finest, The Funk Ark return with a new album, set to drop on October 14th. Their album release party/concert will be at the Black Cat on Friday, October 10th, and will feature art from the Splotch/Asterisk collaboration between JJ Cromer and myself.  Below is another preview from the album, the title track from Man is a Monster, and wow, it sounds awesome! I feel the Splotch/Asterisk collaboration art (see accompanying image below) really fits well with the music, both busy and bursting at the seems with detail and subtle nuance, yet so well composed and poignant to the senses. Normally, I'm pretty wiped by Friday afternoon, and call laying down on the couch with a book and some tea my idea of a post-work week happy hour, but I wouldn't miss this show for the world.

Friday, September 26, 2014

own your very own splotch monster t-shirt now!

You can now own your very own Splotch Monster T-shirt, available through a company that supports artists called Mister Dress-up! The company, based in Canada, recently approached me about using some of my art to sale on T-shirts, for a limited time only. The shirt is available in two different styles and in a variety of sizes, for a limited time only (about a month from today).  Participating artists retain all the rights for their design and will be compensated a percentage of sales via PayPal, every two weeks. I'm more than thrilled to see this actually happening, so don't hesitate to grab up your very own T with one of my newer designs while they last. Click HERE to buy one now!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

splotch monster wedding anniversary illustration

Lately I've enjoyed getting commissions from folks for various Splotch Monster-based illustration projects. The most recent was a hand-made card for a friend who is celebrating her and her husband's fifteen-year wedding anniversary.  Last year she purchased my Splotch Monster Valentines Day card and said how so many friends and family members loved how fun and unique it was, inspiring her to have me make her an anniversary card. Directly above is a shot of the front image, while directly below show what the back looks like. On the inside I kept it completely blank, allowing room for her to write a personal message celebrating this fine occasion. 

I wish I would have taken a photo of the actual card standing before packing it up to mail out, but at least I got a scan of the before (below) and the after (above), showing the card open. It always amazes me when folks want me to do things like this for their special occasions, and more than anything, makes me so happy that their are people who like my work this much. As with all of these text-based Splotch Monster ills, this was a real pleasure to make.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

well read monsters

Here's a new illustration I made for some very good people who are starting a new business in Brooklyn, New York. I had such a good time making this one - it's been a while since I've worked with Splotch Monster text. It also made me so glad to see how happy these folks were when they finally got the file of the completed illo (and they were so very patient). I even took some detail shots. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

return of the splotch monster, opening reception at off-rhode studio, 9/13/2014

Yesterday was the opening reception for Return of the Splotch Monster at the Off-Rhode Studio gallery portion of Art Enables, in Washington, D.C.. It was a long time coming for this show, and after a year of knowing about it, it's hard to believe opening day has come and gone. So much work and love went into the show, my first "real" solo art show at a gallery. If you've been following this blog, you might remember the wonderful collaborative exhibit between myself and JJ Cromer here, back in February of 2013.  Since then, I've shown work here at a few more exhibits and fundraisers, but having a solo show can be a little more nerve-wracking, yet immensely rewarding. Thankfully my work was in very good hands and I tip my cap to Beth Baldwin who did a splendid job with hanging my art (and there was a lot of it!). I am also so grateful beyond words for all the good friends and folks who made it a point to stop by and take a look and also purchase my art yesterday. It is always such a pleasant surprise to get such a positive response from folks. Also, big big thanks to Mary Liniger for giving me this show, and to all the fantastic people who volunteer and work at Art Enables! Mostly, I'm especially grateful to my wonderful wife Kris, who put up with some general crabbiness, especially in the couple of weeks leading up to the show. In the meantime, I managed to grab some shots before the opening had officially begun. (see below)

It was great to see and hear the reactions of visitors to the gallery yesterday. I met a lot of nice folks who always have something interesting to share. Many of the people I talked to were artists, crafters and musicians themselves, and quite a few were simply fans and supporters of the arts. (see below)

Some of my larger works at the show sold on opening day, and I was more than delighted to learn that my piece Nemesis (directly below) sold to the always awesome Eric and Sara Gordon, who somehow managed to catch the tail end of the reception just as myself, Kris and some friends of ours were about to leave to grab a much-needed bite to eat. To know this piece will hang in Eric and Sara's home makes me so happy, and I'm glad I got to see them for at least a few minutes before leaving the gallery. Do check out their excellent blogs Vinyl Vagabonds and DC Creepers in the meantime!

The one and only Mr. Grey Carter and his wife Linda stopped by to have a look around and a chat as well yesterday! Grey and Linda are some of the kindest folks I've had the pleasure of meeting, and his knowledge of art, especially from his experience with dealing and collecting folk, outsider, self-taught and visionary art for nearly fifty years, is extraordinary. I strongly advise anyone to contact Grey for a visit and a tour of his home-based gallery Grey Carter Objects of Art. It is absolutely amazing. 

My friend David Modler (bottom pic, far right) made the drive all the way over from Shepherdstown, WV to see the show as well. Dave is an amazing artist himself who teaches at Shepherd University, and he's currently got a piece on exhibit at their faculty group show.  It was so good to hang out with Dave again, and such a nice surprise to see him show up!

What makes me most happy is that my work can be enjoyed by folks both young and old, and it always makes me smile to get a new fan! (below pic)

I have to admit, it's pretty cool to see a poster hanging up announcing I have a solo Splotch Monster show. This is something I've always dreamed of and as of not too long ago, never pictured ever happening in my life. I'm so grateful for the folks who helped me along the way, the good books and speakers and mentors, teachers and friends who gave me the confidence, the skills and the courage to make and exhibit art again. I'm also grateful to Arts Cow for doing such a nice job with my custom-made Splotch Monster shirt (see below), created specifically for the opening reception! Eventually I'd like to get some of this work on some shirts for sale.

After the reception, Kris, her friend Jess, her two little ones, Dave and I went out for a bite and a drink at a way cool place called Franklin's Brewery, just a couple miles down the street in Hyattsville, Maryland. We were thoroughly impressed with their food and I highly recommend their Twisted Turtle Pale Ale! I love the fact that this place also exhibits local art, changing it up every two months. While waiting for our food, we had some fun throwing down in their coloring books, as Dave collaborates with Leo (below).

I seemed to have had some influence on Leo's older sis Gwyneth, who made some mean monsters of her own, including this friendly banana monster! (below)

The exhibit will run through Saturday, October 4th, and as with any art show, is well worth seeing in person, as the photos don't quite do the work justice. On Saturday, October 11th, I'll be returning to Art Enables to do a Splotch Monster-making workshop, so hope to see folks there!