SOLD: Submerged • acrylic on glass, 5.5″ x 9.5″ (framed)
$60: Zora Neale Hurston • ink & colored pencil on paper, 5.375″ x 7.375″ (framed)
SOLD: Kellar’s Self-Decapitation • acrylic on black velvet, 10″ x 12″ (framed)
SOLD: Zan Zig’s Hat Tricks • acrylic on black velvet, 7″ x 9″ (framed)
$60: View I • acrylic on canvas, 7″ x 7″ (framed)
$60: View II • acrylic on canvas, 7″ x 7″ (framed)
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These are assorted new artworks I’ve created for the holidays. In the strangest year in my lifetime, I figured it was fitting to wrap it up with a few oddities that are changes in perspective. With so much time at home, I did some deep-cleaning of art supplies with the goal of using some of the more interesting pieces that hadn’t quite found their way yet.
The featured image above is a reverse-glass painting on a unique stained glass frame I thrifted a few years ago. It really deserves to be something that lets the light shine through, so I glued the glass to the frame and painted from there.
I’ve wanted to try this technique for a while and have newfound respect for it. I discovered Gilroy artist Whitney Pintello last year, and her (far more sophisticated) reverse-glass paintings are worth checking out.
Zora Neale Hurston
Here’s another neat frame that proved challenging until I found just the right source material. I came across photos of the author Zora Neale Hurston in the Library of Congress’s archives and knew immediately this was the one.
I drew this with two different inks (sepia and burnt umber) on a tan paper with a little texture added in with colored pencil. She raised up the voices and stories of the African-American experience both through fiction and through anthropological recordings – a fitting portrait for 2020.
Kellar and Zan Zig on black velvet
I’m a fan of the stagecraft of magic, and in October joined the Library of Congress’s “We the People” volunteer force to transcribe historical documents. They create campaigns around themes, and the one that caught my eye was transcribing “The Crystal”, a set of diaries by Hockley about attempting to contact spirits, angels, or anyone else by mystic means. It was part of Harry Houdini’s collection as he made dedicated efforts to debunk frauds.
These are frames I really like that have also been stylish enough that I had trouble deciding how to use them. While cleaning up, I dismantled a partially-destroyed photo album and ended up with these panels that I realized would be perfect to try some black velvet paintings – and they fit these frames perfectly. I figured I needed source materials that were on black, and remembered the LoC’s vintage magician posters. I like the style and layout of these two and they were simple enough to paint small. Kellar’s self-decapitation trick is particularly horrifying, and you may recognize Zan Zig’s poster from a brief appearance in The Prestige.
Views I & II
Felt like painting something small and more patterned/abstract. For a few years my parents lived in the redwoods up near La Honda where the realtors were particularly optimistic about what they considered a view. The beauty of the forest is the trees, and against the brightness of the sky they can appear quite dark. I imagine the first as a particularly sunny part of the treetops; the second is a little more typical of what I remember.