Archive for October, 2012

Charles Burns’ Monsters

October 31, 2012

I came across this picture by the great Charles Burns and knew it needed to be posted on ArtDuh!

Happy Halloweenie! | Charles Burns Bio

Art and Magick of Austin Osman Spare

October 28, 2012

The soul is the ancestral animals. The body is their knowledge.

- Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare was a magician and artist whose work and theories are very interesting to me because of the way he blends the two and finds a certain power there. He is definitely attracted to and influenced by the Symbolist painters of the ninteenth century, but Spare takes it to an even more personal level. He was born in Yorkshire, but moved to London at a young age. Trained as a painter and draftsman, he also worked as an illustrator and book-plate designer. Like a lot of his contemporaries, Spare became interested in Theosophy, and that was probably where his quest for occult knowledge began. He had a number of exhibitions in England, which were all well received, up to a point. There was a backlash, and some people thought his artwork was just too bizarre and unhealthy, as some people always do. Spare also began to publish his own books and grimoires. I first became familiar with Spare’s work through my interest in Surrealism, because there is a very strong and profound overlap, although I think that his theories and ideas developed independently.

Although I won’t go into it much here I am very interested in his ideas, philosophy, and writings. Artistically, his line work can’t be beat. I like most of his work, but am especially drawn to his automatic drawings and sigils. The way he blends text with imagery is very interesting, and his bookplates are exceptional.

The means used and the way it happens are simple, the inverse of scientific. I use a formula, created by instinctive guess and *arbitrarily* formed, not evolved by hypothesis and experiment. The law of sorcery is its own law, using sympathetic symbols.

- Austin Osman Spare

A Good Day for de Chirico!

October 24, 2012

I felt like taking a look at some work by de Chirico today, and decided to share one of his paintings here too.

They Live!

October 22, 2012

There is another Presidential debate tonight…

I’ve mentioned the movie here before, but watching news coverage of this election season brings to mind the movie They Live.

So tonight, as we reflect upon the leadership of this fine country, its important we all remember:

No Independent Thought
Money Is Your God
Submit and Conform
Stay Asleep and Watch TV
Buy and Consume


October 21, 2012

“Frankenstein’s Monster” by Todd Powelson

I like this spooky season, partly because I feel justified in posting my illustration of Frankenstein’s monster. I finished this years ago, but I’m still really happy with it. Especially when October rolls around.

It’s Adobe, Duh!

October 19, 2012

Today my interview was posted and I had artwork was featured on Adobe’s Creative Layer blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Check it out :)

Pretty cool!

I Have A Secret

October 16, 2012

Cat Palmer has been putting together a show that will go on display this Friday at the Gray Wall Gallery in the Salt Lake Arts Hub. She was telling me about it a few weeks ago, and I am looking forward to checking out the artwork. It is such a great idea, and a group of very talented participating artists. Be sure to stop in and take a look!

Here is what Cat has to say about “I Have A Secret”:

Since 2010, I have been collecting the secrets of women from all over the nation for an empowering and rare exhibit, this October. The secrets (all submitters staying anonymous) will give insight into the profound, sad, deeply personal, and often time’s quirky world of hundreds of different women from hundreds of different backgrounds…

The exhibit will include original artwork inspired by the anonymous secrets, from a select few of my favorite artists.

In addition to my own pieces, I am pleased to present the outstanding work of: Cassandra Barney, Alison Armstrong, Melissa Peck, Zuzanna Audette, Erica Houston, Desarae Lee, and Stefanie Dykes.

Opening reception information:

Gray Wall Gallery (at the “Hub”)
663 west 100 south
October 19, 2012

The show will remain hanging until November 8th.

B.P.R.D. – Hell on Earth

October 14, 2012

I’ve always liked Mike Mignola‘s comic book series B.P.R.D., but for whatever reason, I just never followed it that closely until recently. This last little while, whenever I’d find myself in the library, I’d be sure to stop into the graphic novel section and always ended up with at least a couple of the B.P.R.D. collections. Pretty soon it became the only one I wanted to read and was picking up all of the collections. I decided that I’d catch up on everything B.P.R.D. related, and I have. That series may very well be my very favorite ever, its definitely up there with the best of the best.

Mignola introduced the B.P.R.D. characters and concepts in his most famous comic, Hellboy. It wasn’t long before the team had their own book though. Mignola has always been involved with the project, developing themes, story-line,  and drawing covers, but he has brought on some amazing talent to help flesh out the book. John Arcudi has been the main writer for B.P.R.D. for years, building on Mignola’s mythology. What has really stood out for me though is the artwork. Guy Davis drew each issue for years, and he really tore it up. Honestly, it took me a little while to warm up to his style, but Davis’ work is incredibly good and engaging and really brings the book to life. He has become a favorite comic-book artist. For the most recent issues though, artist Tyler Crook was brought on, but the transition was smooth and his style is consistent. There were also a few other artists helping on individual story-arcs like Gabriel Ba and Fabio MoonPaul Azaceta, and Karl Moline.

These are fantastic monster stories. Apocalyptic (post-apocalyptic really, I guess, since at this point in the story the apocalypse has pretty much gone down. Or it is well on its way down) stories of Lovecraftian beasts breaking through the earth’s crust, jaguar spirits, wendigo, frog-monsters, and homunculus. Along with more traditional were-wolves, vampires, demons, and ghosts. Terrorizing and destroying civilization. It’s the perfect book to pick up and read on these spooky October nights. It’s hell on earth! | B.P.R.D. | B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs Collection, Vol. 1’s Public Launch

October 9, 2012 started off as an invite only service while they developed their software and site. A year or two ago I joined their beta program, and I’ve liked looking through their libraries. Today I got an email announcing that it is finally ready for public launch. Here is a little more information: started four years ago in a college dorm room with the simple idea that all the world’s art should be freely accessible. Today’s launch marks our first step toward making that idea a reality. You can read more about our story in The New York Times.

We’re also honored to launch in partnership with over 50 outstanding art institutions—including SFMOMA, Fondation Beyeler, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and The British Museum—and more than 275 leading galleries.


“East Meets West” in Ghost Town Cisco

October 7, 2012

It must have been as far back as the summer of 1996. Not all that often, but occasionally that summer I’d travel down to the ghost town Cisco to do some weekend work in the surrounding area and earn a little extra cash. It was kind of nice to get away from time to time. Cisco is a small rusted out and dilapidated town located in the desert about 50 miles east of Green River, abandoned years and years before I ever arrived. The work I was doing wasn’t hard at all, but it could be kind of spooky because there was absolutely no one else around. There was a little trailer set up among the abandoned buildings that I was able to spend a night or two in as I got my work done, but not much else going on except maybe a bird flying overhead, or maybe a tumbleweed rolling along. The truth is, I didn’t mind much at all. I kind of like and find peace in solitude, and the landscape and sky down there are inspiring. Still, it is easy for my mind and imagination to wander, and I can really spook myself sometimes.

Earlier that year, some artists had come down and taken over one of the abandoned buildings. They built sculptures, painted and hung photos, and turned the place into a remote art installation and sort of gallery, and then left town to find their next project. I was always aware of their building, because one of the sculptures was made of strung up twine or wire and, when the wind would blow, the piece would whistle and create these very weird and eerie sounds. And the wind blew down there a lot, pretty much all the time.

Of course, I was interested in that building. I had to check it out. Crossing the field behind the building I came across a rattle snake, which was maybe an omen of some kind, but I just moved around it no big deal and made my way to the door. I remember the sky was sunset red, which isn’t all that important, but it seems somehow significant now and really stands out in my mind. As soon as I entered the building, I saw rattlesnakes again, crawling in all of the corners. They seemed to have a place to go though, and quickly disappeared into the floor or retreated around corners. I’d already come into the building by then and didn’t feel especially threatened, although the floor did feel kinda “soft”, and I imagined myself falling through it into a rattlesnake den or something. Since I was already in the main room, I looked around. There was a smashed TV, old abandoned toys and dolls, some broken furniture, weird old cowboy boots mounted on shovels or something, and hung along one of the walls was a row of photos. It was a row of portraits, but they showed the back of peoples heads. I checked it all out but didn’t stick around in there too long, because it was a creepy scene, and I did like the sculpture out front a little more. That noisy one. Then I went back to the trailer, read for a while, fell asleep, and haven’t thought about Cisco much since. Except maybe I have…

The only reason I bring it up now is because I dreamed I was there again last night. I dreamed I was in that room with all of those snakes, the broken furniture, looking at photos of the back of peoples heads, a sun-burnt sky glaring through the shattered windows, with these bizarre and spooky sounds blaring in my head. The actual real-life experience was nowhere near as freaky as my dream. It wasn’t pleasant, but I guess that experience meant something, since it woke me up in a panic in the middle of the night some 16 years later.

When I got up this morning, I did a quick search to see if I could find any more information on the art installation. I guess Time Magazine did a write-up on it the next year, and I have posted that below:


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