The following pieces have been removed from reproductive circulation but are available for your viewing enjoyment here.
Fate Tectonics (2013) - Sold original: anonymous Chicago collector
A shift in the apocalyptic landscape attempts to tear apart the rooted couple. They cling until their last, aflame with love and doom.
The Arrow that Flies By Day (2013) - Original available for purchase - contact Sarah.
With this piece I wanted to bring motion and color together in an evocative, yet simple scene. The title is taken from Psalm 91, however, with responsibility in mind, my intent is that "the arrow" is really the self. Enmity of God is a constant biblical theme, but before that can be addressed, man's enmity of himself needs to be explored. How does one get saved from oneself if his own (supposedly eternal) fate rests in his own extremely flawed hands? Perhaps, in differing degrees, we're all naturally set up for beautiful, flaming destruction.
High Winds (2012) - Original available for purchase - contact Sarah.
This piece gave me difficulty from start to finish; the purple ink atop airbrushed green paint took days and days to dry. That'll teach me to try a more abstract approach. Whether you think this air rush is taking place in the High Sierras or deep in the high seas, it matters not to her (fragmented) highness.
Sequiteur (2010) - Sold original - Colleen Curry, Plainfield, IL
Non sequitur - non + saboteur = Sequiteur
To follow an order + one who commits sabotage = order by force on behalf of a self-serving cause.
The stagecoach and masthead represent antiquated masculine invention. The fire is the impending destruction of the status quo. The woman’s head embodies the feminine gender forced into specific direction through the ages, void of extremities and power. Women’s hair has often mirrored their role in societies of olde; each strand quietly in its place. Tightly wound, organized on the surface and pulling back the woman’s head in a locked position, so she is able to see only one way. But on the other side the internalized pressure builds: there is an inevitable explosion from the valve, an exhaust of her excess madness.
Years ago I had loathed pink. I refused to use it as a large color component simply because I thought it was too "little girly". Then I grew up and realized my mistake; I was conditioned by a society to see a color not only as gender-associated (my own, no less) but actually negative. In using more shades of pink in my work it started to become for me a "power color" rich with nuance, and strength.
The Gospel According to Thecla (2012) - Sold original - Courtney Bollino, Wilmington, IL
The only known record of Thecla, a virgin saint of the early Christian church and unsung biblical radical feminist figure, comes from the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla (circa 2nd century). A cult figure in the Eastern church, Thecla is a protomartyr among women viewed as equal to the apostles. As the story goes, she was miraculously saved from being burned at the stake by a sudden storm. Later on, a nobleman tried to rape her and, after fighting him off, she was put on trial and found guilty of assaulting him. She was sentenced to be stripped naked and eaten by lions, but was saved as the female lions turned to protect her from the male lions. She then committed the unthinkable and revolutionary act of baptizing herself in a nearby vat of water. Once she did this, a ring of fire sprang up, surrounding her and keeping her safe from harm. She went on to live a long monastic life.
This is a story where various attempts at subjugation were repeatedly quelled by a woman who was protected by an obviously feminist God. To no surpise, though, this story has been held back from the mainstream books of the bible through the decisions of...other men.
Long live Thecla.
Ghosts of the 4th Dimension (2012) - Original available for purchase - contact Sarah.
This drawing was inspired by Carl Sagan's educational explanation of a 4th dimension. We are not even in the infancy stages of knowing and if our energy does go on after death in an organized manner perhaps it occupies this 4th plane. My imaginative gears keep turning over this possibility.
Hapax Legomenon (2011) - Original available for purchase - contact Sarah.
A word that occurs only once in a written text, Hapax Legomenon relates a fascination with the juxtaposed interconnectedness / disconnect of the universe and the degree to which we can describe these ideas. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but this one is worth only 1.
Shadow & Substance (2012) - Original donated to Inspiration Corporation Chicago
"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.” – Rod Serling
Inspired by the sheer wonder of existence as well as this brief musical composition: Happy Flight by Klaus Doldinger
Eon Somnia (2012) - Sold original - Douglas Meese, Chicago, IL
Death on the installment plan, sleep is that nightly reminder of how we lack control over this human shell and all the electrical impulses charging through it when we're not entirely behind the wheel. A time to reset and recharge, a time to dream of the glorious and the grotesque. Upon waking, dreams range from kind to cruel and resonate with one not at all, or for minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years. Perhaps the recesses of sleep are really a "Twilight Zone" playground of sorts between the living and the almost unliving.
Glamours of the Deep (2009) - Sold original - Abigail McNabb, Mazon, IL
Continuing fascination with the movement of the ocean inspired this piece. Looking into sea water, one can see a plethora of colors, which I chose to separate out into their own strands. There are numerous references that personify the ocean as female and I worked in these three siren Glamours emerging from their cool depths of blue and purple dreamery.
Force Majeurette (2011) - Sold original - Michael & Kristy Hayden, Chicago, IL.
Feminizing the title, this piece is an interplay of color and negative space. I paired opposing feelings of calmness in the contemplative Majeurette with the erratic explosion of Her Force, like the lovely dichotomy of perfectly manicured hands swinging a huge sharpened axe.
Fathoms (2011) - Sold original - Colleen Curry, Plainfield, IL
I sought to re-imagine a ship on the ocean's floor stylized to near-unrecognition and I think about how a passing vessel might simply see the crow's nest peaking above the surface and just take it for an empty bucket and flag. This was joyful for me - and as therapeutic as a coloring book. A measurement of depth, I assigned each fathom its own personality and flow.
And so it goes...what matters always lies beneath, doesn't it?
The Anthraxian (2012) - Original available for purchase - contact Sarah.
A take on Pestilence, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse symbolizing plague in some interpretations of the Book of Revelation, The Anthraxian is my own slightly more colorful version. The tundra mammoth of destruction moves slow in the hands of this jester rogue, but it does move nonetheless. All they have is time, time to inch on toward The End.
Anima Lux (2010) - Sold original - Pam McNabb, Morris, IL
A texture collective, Anima Lux (soul light) was also formed to "shape" the feeling of the subject, even beyond the second dimension. I am attracted to the pairing of blues and browns (water and earth) as well as trees and ships. This ship is made of trees – it just uses the element of water differently. I parallel this connection to thefirst law of thermodynamics: being that energy is neither created nor destroyed but only changes form. I personally believe our core consciousness (soul) is a form-changing (or even shape-shifting) energy. I like to think that once we "shuffle off this mortal coil", we'll navigate ethereal oceans in a new and quite different Age of Discovery.
Lithium of Star Anise (2009) - Sold original - Brian Cicirello, Chicago, IL
An homage to science, this piece is shaped like the Periodic Table of Elements and combines nature, alchemy and physiology in a stream-of-consciousness-like connection. Lithium has many forms and purposes and is often used as a mood stabilizer. Star Anise is a spice flavoring such things as licorice and absinthe. I could see a similarity in the Lithium (Li) atom and the shape of the Star Anise pod and decided to invite them both to my two-dimensional party. Again, due to size, detail restrictions apply. Ironically, I happened to introduce this piece to the world on Nikola Tesla's birthday - he sits in the corner with his coil.
Inverno Mascherato (2007) - Sold original - Chris & Jennifer Crnkovic, Plainfield, IL
Italian for "winter masquerade", this piece gives you a tranquil glimpse into a woods clearing that echoes with both aristocratic dignity and a bleak longing. I used a neutral-colored illustration board and a muted color scheme and the results were very Moonlight Sonata-esque. Divided by a stream and rooted into either bank are the masked tree figures that reach out to each other in a frozen Waltz. The intertwining of their extremities is as close as they’ll ever be to one another. It’s not so much the distance that separates them (as it tends to do for humans) but rather, how deeply they are rooted to where they've grown, unable to move. The costume and hairstyles are reminiscent of the more romantic eras, that I can't seem to purge from my mind. I basically grew up in a forest, so fewer things are as swooning to me as statuesque trees covered in snow, deathly still under the moonlight.
Harbor No Illusions (2008) - Sold original - Mark Koppenhoefer, Chicago, IL
Everyone has journeys. Journeys of self discovery are the most adventurous. My 30-year journey out of the lands of organized religion was a tumultuous one. Rough like the ocean with an ocean's worth of salty tears. The wrecked ship "Faust" represents my dramatic divorce from Catholicism. The ocean waves and faces in the rocks provide a backdrop of metaphor that helped me define and close this long chapter of my life. Thankfully, I now embark on a healthier quest of spirituality that has brought me closer to God - and this new journey is on solid ground. Because of this piece's size, the details may be difficult to see in pixels and vectors. A condensed online version can never really replace seeing the real thing in person, but I guess that goes without saying. I provide you with a mere fleeting glimpse...
Belladonna Halcyon (2005) - Sold original - Chris & Jennifer Crnkovic, Plainfield, IL
A Gestalt of meanings comprise this work; the puzzle pieces indicate a coming apart of sorts, but they float peacefully. A comfortably numb Belladonna drifts off into oblivion in her little ship that seems to absorb her. Flowing hair, garments and sails adorn the maiden and regardless of where she's headed, she is going there peacefully.
Lure of the Xanadu Vapors (2002) - Sold original - John & Pam McNabb, Morris, IL
My mom and dad's favorite, this piece was one I had kicked around in my head for four years prior to creating it. Using a straw to blow acrylic paint around the illustration board, I brought my spider-like trees to life and using the white of the board, I shrouded the scene in a winter fog. Camouflaged in the trees are several vapors (ghosts) who have set up the fire to lure the entity with the lantern (another vapor, perhaps) to arrive and inspect. What happens next is left to the imagination.
Storm in a Teacup (2001) - Sold original - Jennifer Skvarla, Plainfield, IL
Inspired by a line in a song by Garbage, this piece combines several random elements that I favor: tea, the ocean, detailed hair with unexpected structural elements, colorful bubbles, and an environment of mixed metaphors. Using negative white space to cushion the softness of the gray steam tendrils, the tea - a symbol associated with being "proper" - spills through the crack in the cup gaining momentum in reverse, waving into a tempest in time with the thunderous cellist above the tidal waves, a shiny tea kettle and some happy bizarre-ness. I liken the scenes I draw to someone walking down a hallway of open doors and just quickly glancing inside to see a single moment of something interesting but inexplicable happening.
Toys in the Attic (2006) - Sold original - Toby McNabb, Mazon, IL
In the ongoing struggle of good vs. evil, there are always those imaginative wars that wage in a child's room at night. When I was little I hated the doll staring at me at night from across the room, or the thought of that toy clown pulling me under the bed like in the movie Poltergeist. I took that theme and combined it with your standard Heaven vs. Hell conflict. The crucifix in the window shines protection on this little one while the plastic demon-symbols and rats inspired by The Nutcracker encroach. I began this piece Christmas 2005 (with my new set of Prismacolors) and finished Halloween 2006. The floor alone took roughly 18 hours. The song I recommend to pair with this piece (like a good wine) is Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones.
Shypovfuls (2001) - Sold original - Cathy & Jeff Godke, Itasca, IL
One of my more energetic and happier works, this lighter piece is a joint effort between the white space and the blending of colors to create a fun atmosphere. Each person on board this ship was injected with an individual personality and the sub-sea level view was an experiment in visual depths, inspired by a picture book I had as a child called "Once Upon a Pirate Ship". The title's naming convention is also an exercise in creative freedom. The ship of fools is an allegory that has long been a fixture in Western literature and art. The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction.
The Killing Frost (1999) - Sold original - Brian Cicirello, Chicago, IL
My original sketch was entirely different than how this piece turned out, but the initial concept never changed. I took advantage of the illustration board's white space, manipulating it as snow. As detail-heavy as parts of this piece are I didn't feel scenic pressure to complete the body of Frost. The anthropomorphic trees and rocks that sigh and bleed, in deathly distress, accompany the mistress on her chilling journey into the afterlife. The image of the man Frost was very much inspired by the look of Gary Oldman's character in Bram Stoker's Dracula and the title was inspired by Pink Floyd's haunting song Terminal Frost.
Lilacs, Grapes, and Violets (1998) - Sold original - Abigail McNabb, Mazon, IL
I love to construct mounds and clusters of detailed hair. For this piece I wanted to adhere to an aristocratic color palette that was still feminine, so shades of purples and pinks were in order. I wanted to convey that this lady was more coy than conceited, so I positioned her to look over her shoulder with a bit of modesty. I swirled the background with dreamy, curling smokey shades that played and interacted with her feather, creating a connection between her and her environment. The small dainty hands symbolize the supposedly delicate nature that the women of the 17th century were viewed for... however, as with women of any era, her dark secrets lie in the depths of her eyes.