Just a quickie, drawn with Paper 53 and a very cheap capacitive stylus on an iPad Air (first generation)

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It’s cloudy today. My mind as well as the sky. I  am in that mood where there is no energy or inertia. I just want to settle someplace and doze or even sleep deeply for awhile, but I’m out and around trying to avoid that.

It’s also breezy – I was going to say windy, but that would be unfair to the gusts earlier this morning.  Earlier this morning the wind was powerful enough to bark like a dog across the edges of the roof.  My bedroom window was open when I fell asleep last night and this morning I was woken up by the flapping of the curtains – and the spray of rain that came in and spread clear across the room.  My door was closed and I kept stirring because when the wind gusted, the door rattled in its frame.  Never enough to rouse me completely, at least not until the curtain flapped and the moisture came in.

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Heart Music

The heart sings its own secret music. But what music comes from a heart shaped guitar?

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Hearts Until Valentine’s Day

Last year between the first of February and Valentine’s Day I made and posted more than 100 heart and heart inspired images. This year I’m making more. You can check them out on Twitter, #HeartsUntilValentinesDay. 

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the vanilla hillsEvery night I dream. I dream more now than I used to, since I’ve begun using some binaural recordings to help me sleep more deeply.  When I wake up in the morning, I always have a clear memory that I’ve been dreaming – but very rarely actually remember the dreams.  What I remember from the dreams are impressions – sometimes places, sometimes faces or colors, or motions, just isolated fragments of what I dreamed.  I have a “knowledge” that I’ve been traveling and although I don’t clearly remember the actions in the dreams, I know that they are a continuation of my day to day living, but in a different world – or possibly different worlds.

I’m sometimes jealous of people who tell me that they have very clear memory of what they have dreamed. But I remember dreaming when I was much younger – I remember every detail of some of those younger dreams, and although they were sometimes very dramatic and surreal and seemingly filled with symbolism and meaning, they also did not leave me with the impression I get from these less clear dreams I’m having, that I’d been traveling to other worlds.  That sense of traveling is new, something that has entered the dreams in recent years.

I think that the dreams I’m having now are more important – but for some reason, accessing them with conscious thought as memory is forbidden.

Somebody suggested that I am practicing for my next life by traveling to the world I’ll be reincarnated in.

The great thing that comes from these dreams is that my painting is informed by them.  Just as my paintings are composed from impressions I collect when I’m out and about (so that, for example, a watercolor landscape includes some of the flavor as the landscapes I drive through here in Arizona, without really including representations of real locations, I also include impressions from dreams in those images.  So a landscape like the one above (made with Paper 53 on my iPad) echoes things I’ve seen in the waking world, the colors and the composition also include elements from places I move through when I dream – the other world is represented.  Its not a literal representation, but a kind of visual paraphrasing for something I’ve experienced.

I don’t think that, short of solving the problem of telepathy, we can ever convey the literal truth of things we’ve seen or felt – but we can strive to capture and convey our impressions – keeping in mind of course that all such things are both personal and colored by opinion and so unreliable as anything more than a general guide to the thoughts in question.

That is how we create the parallax which allows us to share the world and to experience the myriad of dimensions that we move through and experience but do not process on the same high level that we use in processing our consensus reality.



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  I always spend a few hours a day drawing. It’s not hard to do and it calms me down. It doesn’t matter what media I am using: it can be physical, brushes and paint, or digital, mouse, stylus screen.  They all access the same basic mind-space, and that is what I’m after. 
It is a kind of meditation – but not one with easily definable results.  I can’t, for example, tell you specifically what thoughts were in my head when I was drawing, nor can I clearly describe the state of mind I go into when I’m working.  

I love being in that space. It’s like being in another world – everything around me is crystal clear, it’s not like I’ve left the place I’m in. In fact sometimes it’s like I’m even more completely inside the world when I’m drawing or painting, but at the same time I’m outside myself, looking at myself, watching what I do from some other locale. It’s like being two people at once in a sense, although I can’t see where one begins and the other ends.  

But there I am drawing or painting and I’m totally engulfed in watching an image take form, largely automatically (as I’ve expained in the past, I don’t set out to do a drawing or a painting with a specific image in my. I make random marks and then let them lead me to a more coherent image.  

When I’ve finished, I always feel as though I’ve completed a journey – but I wouldn’t be able to explain where I went to on that journey, or what it means. 

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New Store!

2016-01-03 20.11.14 copy

I’ve been selected by the folks at ThePixeler to have my work included in their online store for sale. They have a simple and easy to use website dedicated to selling fine art prints in limited editions made by artists on iPads. So far as I know this is the first site to be entirely dedicated to iPad generated artwork!
I have a substantial portfolio of images, as I’ve been making iPad drawings since the device was new way back in 2010. I primarily use two apps to draw on the iPad : 1. Paper53, which is the most intuitive and focused app there is for drawing direct on iPad but has a limited set of tools. 2. Sketchclub by Black Pawn, which is a full featured artmaking app, with a wide variety of tools for both digital and analog trained artists, but which has a much steeper learning curve than Paper53 but there are loads of apps out there for making art on your iPad, and you will of course have your own favorites. I recommend to anyone who will listen that they get a bunch of them and just play around until you find the ones you are most productive with.

Keep in mind that the output of these various apps may or may not work for printing purposes.
If you want to upscale iPad generated images for use in printing, you will really need a computer, and an application like On1’s Perfect Resize – with which you can take an image created at an iPad’s native resolution and convert into a file which can be printed at virtually any size! It takes some practice to get good results but its worth the effort (and the expense: Perfect Resize sells as a standalone application for $79 dollars.)

I hope you will take a moment or two to visit ThePixeler – and perhaps buy a print or two! We artists work for the love of it, but it really helps when people purchase our images to help keep us creating. After all, food, water, coffee, gas, and rent can add up after awhile – loving the work keeps us joyful, but selling the work keeps us afloat!



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Today its traveling light. A pocket camera, an iPad, three small volumes, a bag of ink bottles and a bunch of coffee stirring sticks to draw with. The volume pictured here is, sadly, no longer carried by Utrecht – these were really sweet books, clothbound, neutral PH paper, heavier than most journals or sketchbooks, so no bleed-through, an amazing surface for watercolor and ink. Had I known they would be discontinued I
d have purchased a lot of them instead of just this one. Lesson learned: especially when faced with a good product, always stock up because they may not always be available. Its like the fantastic little volumes that G. Lalo used to make – filled with excellent paper, beautifully marbled paper covers, lavish end papers. Also not available anymore, and I have just a few left.
Not all the leaves in this one are so fully illustrated. I work on this one when I am feeling particularly masochistic because these pages can take a long time to finish – since I selected a smaller volume because I wanted something for quickwork its a bit ironic that these pages can take longer to complete than some of the ones in the big volume.
Mind at work, mind at play. This volume is more on the work side, at least as far as the writing goes. I found after only a short time that when I’m this regimented in my lettering there is not much room for free association. The writing is awfully stilted!

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Breasts of the Desert

The mountains near here really do look like breasts – some of them are even topped with trees or stones which resemble nipples. I remember once back in the late 70’s while driving to Tombstone with my cousins from Phoenix that one of them said all the hills were tits, which meant that the local landscape was female.
As we travel around here now, that femaleness is even more pronounced. We can assume that in thirty years more erosion has occurred.
In my drawings I do tend to play up that quality. This drawing has a breast with a pronounced nipple – but it also represents a hill not too far from my house, one that I drive past with some frequency. I say it represents that hill because it is not drawn from a photograph, or drawn on site. I draw from a combination of imagination and memory, so what this depicts is a memory of that hill, enhanced both by imagination and a touch of mysticism. When I’m drawing, I enter a semi-meditative state where the things I draw resonate with a certain symbolism.
I often don’t see that same symbolism when the drawing is finished, which means that if I don’t write down the meanings and impressions soon after making an image, I will forget what I intended while I was drawing or painting. In these cases, as with this case, all that remains in the end is the emotional response I have to the image.

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Digital Tarot

Okay – so I’m playing with the idea of designing a new Tarot deck. I’ve made a few over the years, one-off, handmade sets for collectors. This one will be entirely digital. I’m not sure yet whether it will be a full (and traditional) deck, or whether it will be an entirely bogus deck made with surrealist tendencies and personal, rather than standard, symbolism. This one as you can see is just an update from a traditional card – the tower in my image suggests an urban setting rather than the traditional tower in the wild image, but the style of this is inspired by the Waite-Ryder deck, which I keep around for reference. I’m using my iPad and the Sketchclub app to make it, because Sketchclub has a great vector drawing tool that lets me make images that resemble woodcut prints. Ultimately, I may even make the images I come up with into a series of woodcut prints so that I can play with the differences between traditional and digital art.
“Tower in the wild” image:
possible additions: a wolf. reference to morrison “a beast caged in the heart of the city.”
Lion? Is it a reference to the city having a heart, is the city “lionhearted” as in brave, or is it just the idea of a beast caged, like in a zoo or a circus.
Any of morrison’s characters would work: the lion, the roaming dogs rabid, foaming.
For the fool card, perhaps Robin Williams face for reference.
Or perhaps Robin would be better for the Magician – or perhaps both.


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