Based on a folk art sculpture of the Devil roasting a man, all my abstract experiments have led up to this figurative little ink and gouache study. The thing I learned about myself is that I have an obsession with outlining every shape in black ink. It’s kind of a dated 1970’s thing to do – but I’m doing it anyway.
I have contemptuously called abstract painters “Blob Painters” but it is so enjoyable and satisfying. I confess my ubiquitous iniquities, my neurotic hypocrisies. I love making abstraction.
These are just little Ink and wash 4 x 5″ drawings, but so fun to make.
If you follow my work you don’t see much abstract art. I have a certain love-hate relationship with abstraction. I greatly appreciate the place of abstraction in the canon of art. I like to stand before abstract paintings and let the color and texture soak into my soul. As a teenager I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum and saw abstraction first hand, the massive scale and seemingly random complexity, and all that three-dimensional paint sticking up everywhere. I was intimidated and enamored at once, like seeing a really beautiful woman up close for the first time. But I liked to draw comics and funny satire and people throwing up and narrative absurdity. A contempt for abstract artists who “copped out” of real drawing and figurative painting developed in me and I felt ashamed. There were two paths and I chose representative figuration and began to hate abstraction for it’s lazy skills and lack of drama. But whenever I got stuck I would make tiny abstractions to get un-stuck, even to this very day. These are all 4 x 5 “.gouache and ink.
Having spent almost two years drawing with black ink exclusively, I thought a little bit of color might be good for the soul. These are just ink and wash at 4 x 5″.
Just a few quick sketches with red wash 4 x 5″. I am a fight fan, it must be a vicarious fantasy. The last fight I was in was 6th grade and he was a head taller than me. I closed my eyes and through a right hook with all my might aiming for the jawbone knockout. It landed right on his Adam’s Apple and my fist bounced off in a terrible rubbery way. The kid dropped to his knees and made a gagging gasping sound. I thought he would never talk again and I was ashamed and scared, but still proud enough to smugly walk away the victor.
Reginald Lisowski (1926 – 2005) Was known to a certain generation as The Crusher. He was Milwaukee’s local favorite son in the world of All Star Wrestling. Sometimes he was a tag-team partner with the great Dick the Bruiser. The black and white TV show came on Saturday mornings after the cartoons; we didn’t get to see The Crusher every week, but when he appeared in an interview with Marty O’Neill screaming and sputtering against his next rival or bragging about drinking a quarter barrel of beer and dancing with the “dollies” on Milwaukee’s South Side, we knew he would be fighting that day as well. (read a little more here) We have him driving one of the ugliest cars ever made: a 1961 Rambler Ambassador made at the Kenosha Wisconsin, AMC plant (of course!).
There comes a time when even stubble-faced Nancy has had enough for one day. Sluggo is a lovable badass loser, but he also lives in fear of the bully named Spike. Unfortunately their menage a trois must come to an end.
100 full color pages of drawings, comics, wit, wisdom, high and low art, and classic interpretations of the masters. Beautifully published in a handy pocket-sized book, perfect for holiday gifts.
See the complete book by clicking on the PDF here.
Price $20 + $4 postage each through PayPal
Size: 5-1/2 x 4 inches
Have you ever actually read the Book of Revelation in the Bible? After the letters to the churches, John’s apocalyptic vision begins. The symbol-rich narrative can be seen in two parts: the Great Tribulation and the triumphal return of Christ. I grew up in an Evangelical Christian world and the Tribulation was heavily emphasized in the “fire and Brimstone” that potential converts could avoid. We had a famous book by Clarence Larkin written in 1917 called “Dispensational Truth” which many nicely drawn charts of all the wacky characters in the Book of Revelation. I always wanted to see all the characters jammed into one single drawing, and I just had to draw it myself; all I could fit was the Tribulation. I”l save the Return of Christ for the next one.