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.

This is the painting with which I decided to dig deeper into my process. I began to investigate why my process was creating something other than what I thought I had painted.

It has caused me to consider these works as my ‘Pareidolics.”

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

Horace Greeley reportedly was encouraged to “Go West, young man.” All the indications from galleries and museums has been that “big is better”, more desirable for the spaces involved. So, when my wife also added her voice of encouragement to “Go Big, old man,” I finally listened.

“Heart Bomb” is one of the first experiments with large, life size paintings. Not the first. That was a more traditional landscape / sky painting. Still, it got me started, and as I allowed my inner expressionist to take the reins
“Heart Bomb” emerged from the clouds.

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.

Although I do plan to make the original painting available for sale and public exhibition in the future, efforts to preserve the work are still in progress.

However, 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.

“Minding My P’s & Q’s” is currently on view at Rebecca Low’s Sculpture Gallery, located at 7608 Camp Bowie West, Fort Worth, TX 76116

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.

“Sliced Pop” is currently on view at Rebecca Low’s Sculpture Gallery, located at 7608 Camp Bowie West, Fort Worth, TX 76116.

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.

 

“When A Door is Not A Door” is currently on view at Rebecca Low Sculpture Gallery, located 7608 Camp Bowie West, Fort Worth, TX 76116

Star Shepherd

 

STAR SHEPHERD

The translation of Isaiah 40:26 from the Living Bible (2nd printing 1985, published by Tyndale House Publishing Inc.)has always touched my heart where God is concerned, and caused me to favorably view the idea of additional translations of scripture.

This text states,” As a shepherd leads his sheep, calling each by its pet name and counting them to see none are lost or strayed, so God does with the stars and planets.”

To me, that says that God is not only big enough to create the universe and beyond, but also omniscient and concerned with ALL that universe includes. Not just to the planets, but also as other scriptures suggest, down to the number of hairs on each of our heads.

This image is the print of a painting which was executed with acrylics and pouring mediums (acrylic resin)

I am currently offering “Star Shepherd” as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

Higher Power

Abstract Expression, Abstract figures, Abstract hieroglyphs, acrylic wash and permanent marker

“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

There is so much that is outside of my abilities to control. In fact, considering that I am unable to control other people, places and things, or at best have limited ability to effect control over them, I am left with just one thing I have nearly total control over. That would be myself.

Unfortunately, I am not always in total control of myself. When circumstances apply overwhelming stress, or when I allow another person’s actions or behavior to get the better of me, I may lose what control I have over my thoughts and / or emotions.

It is at those times that I have a choice to make, I can either lose control of myself, or I can turn to a power source outside of myself to aid me in recovering that precious part of myself; my sanity, my serenity, my peace (of mind). I have come to believe that the latter is not only a better choice it is the only choice that works in my best interest. That is because I have found that this is the option that works due to the faithfulness of my higher power whom I call God.

May you find God as well.

I have portrayed Higher Power as an abstract Hieroglyph, primarily due to the abstract nature of the spiritual nature of God. Some refer to God as The Universe, as He, or as She. I prefer to think of God as greater than the created universe, multi-dimensional with multi-faceted personality traits, some male and some female. So, I sometimes refer to God as He, sometimes as She, but more often as They. In Christian theology, God is a trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In ancient Hebrew text the Spirit of God was referred to as She, or more precisely in the feminine form. (reference Proverbs 1:20 -33) So, I generally think of God as the Father, Mother, and Child, or the Holy Family. Since this is a bit much to convey in an image I prefer the economy of an abstract Hieroglyph.

This painting was created with acrylics and permanent marker on cold-press watercolor paper.
I am currently offering “Higher Power” as a limited edition print in a run of 20,
18″ x 24″ acrylic panels
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back
of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

Migration of Dreams

Migration of Dreams

This digital construct, or digital painting if you prefer, was based on photographic work I did at an art fair. I captured images of some brightly colored earthen ware in spite of the scowls I received from the potter. I guess he thought I wanted to copy his work. I was more interested in his palette.

I brought the image into Photoshop, where I pulled and pushed the image of vessels (much as the potter must have done with his clay) into the shapes of surreal beasts. The resulting movement and colors have always been very energizing to me, and has continued to challenge me to re-create the same energy in my paintings with other media.

The small central image reminded me of the graphic novel character created by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman.  So, in concert with the painting’s movement and surreal nature, Migration of Dreams seemed an appropriate title.

So, as you can guess by the context of this post, Migration of Dreams is not exactly new work. It is presented here to celebrate its lucky 13th anniversary.

I am currently offering Migration of Dreams as a limited-edition print in a run of 20 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels. For additional information on these prints follow this link.

A New Neighborhood Nebula

A New Neighborhood Nebula

Our thoughts travel faster than light.
Our imagination visits far away galaxies and returns that same afternoon.
It’s like having the whole of the cosmos in our backyard;
not to mention that new neighborhood nebula that just opened up.

A New Neighborhood Nebula is an original mixed media  painting on paper.
(Acrylics, Acrylic Resin, and Alcohol Inks)
It has been digitally formatted for large scale printing.

I am currently offering A New Neighborhood Nebula as a limited-edition print
in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels,
priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays.
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.
For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

Some Doors Stay Open

Some Doors Stay Open

 

Considering how we, the human race, continually transport ourselves between dreams and various realities it seems inevitable that some of the doors between here and there will stay open.
Depending on your thought life that can be a good thing, or not so much.

This painting was originally executed by painting with alcohol inks, and then digitally edited for larger formats. The painting technique employed is an exercise in abstract expressive redaction, or erasure and replacement, which leaves a something like ghosts behind where the original mark or form was obliterated (painted out) then remade, if not precisely then with a close facsimile.

I am currently offering Some Door Stay Open as a limited-edition print in a run of 20, 24″ x 16″ acrylic panels, priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays. These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic. For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.