Music / Lyrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Music & Lyrics” sculptures were created while thinking about a recent visit to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, TX. This museum is local and refreshingly free to the public. I visit often to view new installations and special exhibitions. On each tour of the building I make a point to spend some time in front of Louise Nevelson’s sculpture “Lunar Landscape.”
I am not ashamed to say that the first time I saw this piece I was brought to tears. Almost every subsequent encounter with it has ended the same way. There is a melancholy present in the residual energy of the solid black sculpture. Knowing that Nevelson and her young son scavenged through the back streets and alley of
New York City to find firewood to warm their apartment is a factor. This is how and where she began to use odd pieces she found in her sculptures.
As I thought about this I began to wonder what she saw in those fires she started.
What shapes did the charcoal embers conjure that resulted in her painting many of her collage type sculptures solid black.
Was she softly singing a lullaby to her young son as the fire crackled?
 
These three sculptures are part of a body of work I call “INKLINGS.”
I am making these original sculptures available for sale individually here.
“Opera” is largest of the three. “Sonnet” is the smallest. “Cavern Song” is…well Cavern Song.
For additional images click the name of the sculpture you’d see more of, or click learn more for purchasing information.

Prospect

Abstract Sculpture, mixed media sculptures encased in acrylic box, jewel palette

The “Prospect” sculptures incorporate elements of paintings I completed between 2006 and 2007. Those same paintings were included in the book “The Spirit of New Orleans.”
As I have been planning a visit to New Orleans for “Prospect 5” in the fall of 2021 these were on my mind and naturally became part of the process.
Each is made with dye-based ink on 70 lb card-stock which has been manipulated with techniques combining lessons learned in origami and paper airplane creation.

These sculptures are part of the body of work I call “INKLINGS.”
These particular sculptures are no longer available. However, I do welcome commissions and would be happy to entertain requests for making another “Inkling” with a similar palette.

Contact me here for more information.

Glimpses of Louise

Abstract Sculpture, mixed media sculpture confined in an acrylic case, Monotone, Black & White, Homage to Louise Nevelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpses of Louise ( homage to Nevelson)

Structure is 7.5″ x 5.25″ x 5.25″

contact ken@otoolestudio.com for purchase or exhibition information

 

Reversal of Fortune

Reversal of Fortune
abstract expression, alcohol inks, collage, digital edit, jewel-like palette

 

Reversal of Fortune is an image based on scans of the Beautiful Loser series (discarded lottery tickets painted with alcohol ink.)

The collage as it was originally painted went through digital rendering so that the resulting image reflects upon itself, turns inward, makes peace and moves through itself until it is outside itself.

If you would like information on the limited edition prints here is the purchase info

For a consultation concerning the 3 limited custom print sizes of this image contact us here for availability.

Memoriam

In memoriam
“Beautiful Loser” series, alcohol inks, abstract expression, collage, jewel-like palette

“Memoriam” Is an image based on scans of the Beautiful Loser series
(discarded lottery tickets painted with alcohol ink.)

Through digital rendering the resulting image reflects upon itself.

For  purchase info
For a consultation concerning the 3 limited custom print sizes of this image contact us here for availability.

Staying Conscious

Staying Conscious
oil on canvas 60″ x 60″

I am thankful
for all the words of encouragement over the years
which helped to keep me awake, aware, alive to the possibilities.
In a world where anything can happen, it does.
I’m just thrilled to get to participate. For that, I intend to stay conscious.

In March of 2019 I painted the first of my large pareidolic paintings, Heart Bomb. My thought process at that time included musings on quantum field theory, the nature of eternity, healing, mortality, and not least ,God. My wife was about to undergo surgery to remove cancer from her breasts and lymph nodes.

As often happens, my musings on quantum aligned themselves with my beliefs about God and eternity, in that they gave me hope and serenity concerning the interconnectedness of all things, the limitless possibilities available to all sentient creatures, and the confirmation that myths still abound in modern religion. The best example of that are the myths surrounding the concept of hell.

The ethereal nature of these pareidolic paintings provided another confirmation regarding these musings, in that they not only presented a fertile field for the imagination to consider those infinite variables we all encounter, but also a large area of common ground that we all share. I am speaking of the fact that pareidolia is a trait handed down to each of us (granted in various degrees) through natural selection.

“Staying Conscious” is the painting with which I decided to dig deeper into my process. I began to investigate why my process was creating something beyond what I had painted.

This painting is an example of combining abstract expressive techniques within a process of “abstract redaction.”
This allows for large, dark, expressive drawing gestures, followed by similar expressive gestures with a lighter touch. This effectively covers the previous line or lines as if “whiting out” them out.

In fact, it is the softened intersection of light with shadow that causes the pareidolic effect.

For purchasing information, please follow this link to the sales page.

Illuminations

Abstract Expression, Abstract Painting, Oils on canvas, Abstract Redaction

Some of what happens within the process of expression is not about expenditure, but conservation of energy. Sometimes the artist painstakingly stores that energy, which often seems a dark or strange venture. But in truth, it is a learned management skill. One that in some instances can bring light and understanding.

“Illuminations” is a 36″h x 60″ w oil painting on canvas.

For information on purchasing this artwork follow this link.

Visions #5

Clouds were only the beginning of the visions.

Visions # 5 is the fifth large oil painting I have finished since my wife’s surgery. It may be evident by now, even to the casual viewer, that my thoughts have been occupied by the topics of life, death, and what comes after.

Although this painting was started with large expressive gestures in black paint (a basic drawing beginning) those lines were randomly redacted or incorporated with lighter colors over multiple layers. Visions of faces, both familiar and alien appeared and disappeared as the work continued. The temptation, which I resisted, was to accentuate what I saw as various focal points. However, I chose (as free men do) to employ a cloud painting technique to send them softly into obscurity. Now, they remain for you the viewer to find and identify….or not.

The original oil painting of Visions #5 is currently available for sale. Please follow this link for purchasing information.

36″x 48″ oil on canvas.

For those who would like to own a COPY of this painting I am also making prints available as well. Please follow this link for purchasing information of those.
Available sizes include 16″ x 12″
and 48″ x 36″

The Departed

 
 

This image is a detail from a much larger oil painting I was working on the week my wife went into the hospital for surgery to remove breast and lymphoma cancer. I have always been fond of drawing, photographing and painting clouds, but recent studies have allowed me to capture better representations using oil paint.
 
As seems to always be the case for me concerning looking at clouds, my mind conjures the light and shadow into familiar shapes, figures, and most often faces. Sometimes it is as if those departed are looking in on me; wishing me peace.
 
I am currently offering “The Departed” as a limited edition print in a run of 20 total prints in two different sizes,
ten 24″ x 24″ acrylic panels, and ten 48″ x 48″ acrylic panels
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.
The image is the art – it doesn’t get any cleaner than that!
The price includes shipping (within the U.S.A.) For more purchasing information click this link.

Quiet Desperation

Abstract Expression, Abstract Painting, Oils on canvas, Abstract Redaction

Oils on Canvas. 48″h x 60″w

Quiet desperation is another of the new large paintings with what seems like a whole novel full of characters inhabiting it. All are just slightly out of focus. Still, as if from a bizarre mixed up dream cast, dozens of odd visages emerge under various lighting to tip their hat. Well, at least the Mad Hatter does, as does as the dormouse. Nosferatu, The Lost Boys, and others have showed up, but not to speak. It’s an appearance of courage, but not quite enough to escape or talk about their lot.

This original painting is now available for sale. Click this link for more information.
Prints for this artwork are also available for sale HERE at this link.

Heart Bomb

Love finds a way to create

In March of 2019 I painted the first of my large pareidolic paintings, Heart Bomb. My thought process at that time included musings on quantum field theory, the nature of eternity, healing, mortality, and not least ,God. My wife was about to undergo surgery to remove cancer from her breasts and lymph nodes.

As often happens, my musings on quantum aligned themselves with my beliefs about God and eternity, in that they gave me hope and serenity concerning the interconnectedness of all things, the limitless possibilities available to all sentient creatures, and the confirmation that myths still abound in modern religion. The best example of that are the myths surrounding the concept of hell.

The ethereal nature of these pareidolic paintings provided another confirmation regarding these musings, in that they not only presented a fertile field for the imagination to consider those infinite variables we all encounter, but also a large area of common ground that we all share. I am speaking of the fact that pareidolia is a trait handed down to each of us (granted in various degrees) through natural selection.

This pareidolic diptych composed on two 74” tall cardboard panels is available to view at O’Toole Studio, located at:
6624 Monterrey Drive in Fort Worth, TX 76112.
Call 817-456-9452 for an appointment.

Limited edition prints of Heart Bomb are now available for purchase by following this link.

Lessons Learned #1: Minding My P’s & Q’s

Abstract Mixed Media on Poly-carbonate, includes hand drawn elements and design elements created by the artist.

This work stems from my practice of using everything to its fullest potential. I had began a reverse painting on this piece of poly-carbonate some time back, but always felt it was missing something. Likewise, I had some design elements that I had used in making some greeting cards for friends and family, but always thought more could be done with them. The same was true for some hand drawn fonts I had created.

After attending a lecture at the Kimbell about Georges Braque, I began to view collage and these idle components differently. “Lessons Learned-#1 and #2” are the first results of this part of my practice.

Purchase details: available

Sliced Pop

Mixed media collage, includes hand drawn elements, graphic designs and junk mail painted by the artist. These elements present as a jewel-like color scheme. The work is 8 x 10″ mounted on hardboard.

This work stems from my practice of using everything to its fullest potential.  I had created digital design elements that I had used in making some greeting cards for friends and family, and always thought more could be done with them. I have also been making some small paintings on junk mail envelopes I wanted to use somehow.

After attending a lecture at the Kimbell about Georges Braque, I began to view collage and these idle components differently. “Sliced Pop” is one result of this part of my practice.

Purchase details: Available

Lesson Learned #2: Danger of Quotes Out Of Context

Abstract Mixed Media on Poly-carbonate

 

This work stems from my practice of using everything to its fullest potential. I had some design elements that I had used in making some greeting cards for friends and family, but always thought more could be done with them. The same was true for some hand drawn elements I had created.

After attending a lecture at the Kimbell about Georges Braque, I began to view collage and these idle components differently. “Lessons Learned-#1 and #2” are the first results of this part of my practice.

Although I reference Braque in this post, and artists like Peter Max in some of my graphic design, I had not thought about combining those two references in a single work until now.

When A Door Is Not A Door

Mixed Media on Wood Panel

This work stems from my practice of using everything to its fullest potential.
I have recently been utilizing old, worn down, or dried out markers to make alcohol inks. These I have used to make brush drawings as well as paintings. I have also employed them to paint on junk mail and junk envelopes. However, one of the most dramatic results occurred as I was testing these inks on discarded lotto tickets and store receipts. The chemically treated paper (or thermal paper) reacts beautifully with the alcohol, especially in the actual printed areas. The question then became what to do with this small mountain of little paintings, including copies of the painting “Some Doors Stay Open.”

After attending a lecture at the Kimbell about Georges Braque, I began to view collage and these components differently. “When A Door Is Not A Door” is a result of this part of my practice.

 

Purchase details: Available