Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hat Man

Hat Man was inspired by an old man I saw walking down the main street of Ayer, Massachusetts, when I was a child in the 50s. I've always thought that he was dead to the times he was living in. He was a man of the 30s and the 30s were dead, so he was walking-dead. The bird is his soul; it's dead too. His pipe is dead. His hat is dead. But he keeps on walking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bird Dancer

Fantasy inspired by a film I saw featuring a Polynesian dance and song in honor of a bird that courts in the air. Originally it was an 8 inch by 10 inch black and white acrylic painting on canvasboard. Anitra scanned it and used it to liven up pamphlets promoting her writing workshop, StreetWrites. The original was sold long ago. This image was scanned anew from one of those pamphlets, which explains the grainy texture.

Birds in Trees


Ink Tiger

Pen & ink tiger based on an newspaper ad for a circus. If you click on it, it will be shown twice its actual size. I used to do drawings like this when I was driving a cab in the 80s, usually with metal dip pens, but sometimes with ballpoint. This looks like ballpoint to me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Monday, April 9, 2007

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Mikey: A Class Act

Mikey is such a classy guy he offers to light your cigarette first, with his Bic. He's smoking GPCs, of course. Based on a real guy I shared a house with for a while. I had been homeless and landed a room in the house, resembling the one in the background here. This image was used full-color for a cover of Real Change. I believe it was the September 1st 1997 issue.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Mad April Hares

Click on the image for the full scene. Use BACK to return.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I love the arcs and the colors of this one. They bounce.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Crow with yellow ochre background.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Soul Map: Home

A soul map for the place I live in now, East Pioneer Square District, Seattle.

Soul Map: Fort Devens

I lived about six years as a child at Fort Devens, MA. I like to let places I've lived inspire me to make maps that show my feelings about them. I call the resulting images soul maps.

Monday, March 5, 2007


I painted this over Memorial Day weekend of 1992. I attended the Seattle Folk Life Festival that weekend for the first time ever. This was right about when I was overcoming eight years of agoraphobia and finally able to get out in crowds. I watched a performance of excerpts from The Coming of Pele (Holo Mai Pele) which is a long series of chants, songs, and traditional dances accompanied by drums that tell the story of the arrival of Pele, the volcano goddess, in Hawai'i, and of her rivalry with her sister Hi'iaka. One of the performances that stood out in my mind was a solo dance by a young woman. She was actually performing in the role of Hi'iaka, but when I painted her from memory a couple of hours later I felt the image would be best attached to Pele. The painting was used for the first cover of Real Change in August 1994. The original painting was later sold. This image was created from the black & white photo used to create the cover. I replaced the grays with a red close to the original clay red of the painting. Red, especially clay red, represents for me both Hawai'ian soil and soul.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Here's a recipe for making these kinds of Photoshop Christmas Tree ornaments. Start with a 5 by 5 inch RGB square, say, optionally at twice the resolution you intend to end up with (see final comment below); Do a colorful circular gradient WITH DITHER OFF (very important); Do 5 Sharpen Mores (Filter/Sharpen) or about twice as many regular Sharpens -- you can try different numbers; Do an interpolated de-interlace (Filter/Video); rotate 90 degrees clockwise; repeat the de-interlace filter.

If you want a result that doesn't become washed out when viewed at the wrong size or resolution follow the option of beginning with twice the intended resolution, then at the end use Image Size to halve it. So for these I started with 144 pixels/inch and at the end I switched it to the more web normal 72 pixels/inch.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sit, Pixels

I like painting in Photoshop. Real paints give me headaches. Electronic paints are brighter and stay where you put them.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Flyer Doodles

These flyers were all over the place at a poetry reading I attended. So I had something somewhat artlike to do between readings.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Notepad Images

Death of Maui

Maui died inside Death. To end Death's curse on life, he entered her while she was asleep. But she woke up and crushed him in her innards.

Haole/Hanai Mandala

The Jumping Off Tree

This painting resides in my room. It tells of Jumping Off Places. When you die, your soul goes wandering, looking for a Jumping Off Place. It might be a tree or a cliff. Once, though I was not then dead yet, it was a jungle gym, for me. You know you've found a Jumping Off Place when you've seen the spirits of dead children around it. The childrens' spirits will try to get you to jump the wrong way, for the fun of it. There will also be the broken souls of other dead people who were tricked by the childrens' spirits into jumping the wrong way. If you jump off the Jumping Off Place in the right direction, the Earth will open up for you and you will fall into your own personal heaven. If you jump the wrong way, your soul will shatter, and you will wish you were alive. Good luck.