Jet Set.

Filed under Project, Sketch

Today I have for you a jumpjet design for “Whiz Kids.” Waiting to hear back from the writer, but I’m going to go on and do some layouts for it.

Days when things happen.

Filed under News

Going to be doing some murals, it seems, with an artist co-op here in Chicago, which is great news, since I’m looking to meet new people here, especially other artists.

I’ve been screwing around a little too much lately, but today’s been a productive work day so far – Done some design sketches for a short comic someone else wrote called “Whiz Kids,” a semi-comedic action story, which should be a nice change of pace from working on my own stuff. Heading out to a club tonight, too, to do a comedy sketch about the Pitchfork Music Festival starting soon in town. Fun times.

Back for More.

Filed under Gallery, News, Project

Turns out the temporary internet connection I had here wasn’t up to snuff, but I’ve gone and gotten proper DSL from the fine people at AT&T.  I also finished four acrylic paintings for the APW Gallery’s “Something Different” exhibition in Long Island, which you can see in the “Paintings” section.  The four of them go together and are titled “The Four Stages of a Most Inappropriate Oath Bearer,” which was a phrase I heard in a dream where I was trying to figure out what to paint. It’s about the evolution an idea goes through when put through the meat grinder of revision and procrastination – Try to find themes that are carried over from one to the other.

Going to get to work now on some other projects, and I learned today I might be joining a co-op that does murals here in Chicago – That’d be a fun experience and a good way to meet other artists…  Anyway, further updates as events warrant.

Rough on things.

Filed under Fun, Idea

I think one day every kid discovers, against their parents’ warnings, that the green, rough, scratchy side of the sponge removes grease and dirt so much more effectively.  But I think you become an adult the day you start to wonder, “why do all my utensils and plates have scratch marks on them?”  This is probably a metaphor for a lot of things, but what they are is left as an exercize for the reader.

Turn n’ Learn

Filed under Link, News

Working on some abstract acrylic paintings on panels for a project in NYC, but it’s slow going as inspiration has yet to really strike.
Spent a lot of time today just getting my new apartment set up as a good workspace. Turns out it’s a lot easier to switch between my desk and computer if I… Wait, those details aren’t interesting. Suffice it to say, I like this new arrangement. I also ordered a huge map of the world for my wall, and it just came today so the temptation to sit around starting at it, dreaming of the adventures to be had in places with names like “Tangier” and “Zaragoza” and “Nebraska,” is very strong, but fortunately my work ethic was stronger, and I sent off a huge number of portfolios looking for new commissions. Going to go out tomorrow and get a cool folding screen to partition the work and living areas, and maybe a TV if Craigslist obliges.

OK, this marks me indelibly as either a yuppie or just a pretentious wiener, but I think the following site is absolutely amazing:
It’s a repository of filmed lectures from the world’s top universities; the magic learning-box that’s been forecast since the first electrons shot though a cathode ray tube back in the ’50s. You can even take some of these courses for credit. Wow~! “Impress” your friends with your new knowledge of philosophy or computer science or black hole physics (Three examples from the front page)! As someone who works at home, however, doing a lot of tedious brain-stem work of filling in little fiddly bits of a picture, something like this makes a perfectly arresting and edifying distraction.


Filed under News

Whew. I had a very, very difficult move, but now I’m in my new place in Chicago (very spacious, enough to double as a studio), and all wired up again. Time to get to work as soon as I find the nearest art supply store. I got invited to have a little space in a show in Long Island, so I need to get my stuff together for that by July. Fortunately I know exactly what to make, and it doesn’t need to be very big or intensive. Some photos will go up once I finish moving in.

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Filed under Content, Project

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Sweet home, uh, Something-or-Other.

Filed under Link, News

Been packing for the move to Chicago – it’s coming up this Saturday. Road trip! I will have the Blues Bros. soundtrack on loop. GET IT? LOOP? I just came up with that. …Wow, it’s late.

I finished off that graphic novel project I’ve been working on, words and all, and it’s ready for the mail. I’ll wait a little bit before adding it to the site, since I’ll probably want to change some wording yet again, given what a nut I am for re-reading and editing everything I write, ever. The old “everything is a draft until you die” quip would be appropriate somewhere in this paragraph, probably. I can always edit it in later.

Been downloading individual grant applications for that installation I want to build, but it turns out most of them are for 2010, so I’m really going to take my time to polish them to a professional, oh-my-he’s-thought-of-everything sheen. I may ask the print shop if they have an option for scented paper, and I will perhaps include some personalized heart-candies: “B MY PATRON” has been a staple greeting of the art world since William Hogarth (actually, I wouldn’t put that past him).

A comedian friend of mine in Chicago says he wants me in some skits he plans to do; it’ll feel good to be on stage again. There’ve been a lot of neat stop-motion videos I’ve seen lately, and I think there’s a lot of potential in something like that (SNL used to have some fantastic examples back in the ’70s, when they had that “submissions” segment, and were funny), so I’ll try to get him and his A/V friends with their nice camera on board a project like that.

Might be doing illustrations for a kids’ book! Am discussing details with the author over email. Further updates as events warrant.

Jon out. My next dispatch will likely be from the, whaddyacallit, Breezy Town.

Take This Job and Poet.

Filed under Fun, Sketch

…Didn’t even know it…

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and, well, I just had to do something… I had earlier uploaded some old MSPaint doodles I did a while ago into a “misc” folder on this site, then started rhyming about them idly while washing the dishes today, and decided to make a little thing of it:

The Buddha Balloon, the Budda Balloon!
It must have come out of some kind of cartoon,
defending itself with a thund’rous kaboom
As it floats through the clouds on its way to the moon!
The wonderful, magical Buddha Balloon!

With gold and brocade it is always festooned,
catching all eyes from man down to raccoon
Such a wondrous sight you won’t see again soon
The stupendous-superlative Buddha Balloon!

The Magma Slug
Just wants a hug.
Though he is dumber than a bug,
He’s dangerous as any thug,
For while he has no cranium
His slime contains uranium.

The NanoPie
is very shy.
It hides while days and weeks go by
But when the season urges
it finally emerges
And though it makes no scream or “boo”
Most are surprised by its gray goo.

….Can you tell I like Ogden Nash?

When Culture gives you Lemons…

Filed under Fun, Idea, Link, Sketch

Did some sketches to accompany the grant proposal in addition to the actual descriptions of the thing. I’ll just re-use the fancy collaged forms I made for the hotel gig, at least as far as the descriptions of the thing itself goes. Here are the two (very rough! These will all be full oil paintings!) sketches to accompany the app:


The basic idea is that there are LEDs behind each of the paintings, and a central control console with a button corresponding to each one. You have to press the buttons in sequence to get the cover over the large central painting to retract, and as you “activate” each painting, a section of it is backlit, providing you with a clue as to what the next painting in the sequence might be. You can’t see all those clues here, since this is just a rough sketch, but they’re described in the accompanying text (Here, they’re drawn in the left-to-right sequence you’d activate them – Try to find the connections!) The sequence is supposed to represent a progression of various styles and media in art, but have them circle back and eat their own tail, with the central painting being a kind of synthesis of the whole deal. Looking at it now, from a more objective viewpoint, I can see how it would be a bit of a head-scratcher, but it’s already a literal puzzle in the first place, so I think it works out….Well, I wouldn’t have posted it, otherwise.

I’ve got three other developed conceptual installation ideas involving building rather elaborate objects, two that require old cars, and one that also requires a boat, so I’ll see if this simpler one flies first.
Excellent Madison comedian Alan Talaga, AKA Dan Potacke, has put together this video for his live talk show. Consider this a plug.