I just looked at my site and saw my last article was published in April of 2018, almost a year ago. For those that held on, thank you!
Where did I go? The short answer is ‘nowhere’; which is both true and ironic. I’ve been working a lot. Since being mortal is part of the human condition, I had to eat, pay rent, etc., and as we all know, art doesn’t a living make, unless you know people, have rich parents, or are talented enough to rise above the noise of the global art market – a billion artists souls vying for your eyeball time.
I haven’t been painting on canvas, per se. Like her musical sister in 2013, that Muse packed her bags and left me for brighter pigments. I’ve had a canvas on by easel since April, but all I’ve managed to do is hit it now and then with a duster and compressed air.
I have been exploring the other arts, like digital illustration, writing, and painting miniatures (which I did as a teenager). I’ve also been taking the aforesaid miniatures and composing photographic scenes, which is fun in itself.
Here’s some of the work I’ve been doing. I usually post to Instagram first, but since I’m paying for this site, I might as well use it, eh?
So, have I been productive? That depends on what one considers art. I’ll leave that for you to decide. Some day, canvas muse may come back, or rekindle as the musical muse did briefly, but I’ll always be doing something creative.
This digital art is more of an experiment than anything, as creating ocean waves hitting the shore is something that takes quite a bit of time. Let me know if I’ve succeeded. Yes, there is gratuitous nudity, but nakedness has a powerful connection with nature – or something like that. Puritans, avert thyne eyes!
Also, remember folks, never turn your back on the ocean.
I run a fantasy campaign where the world has evolved to the 1920’s. It’s set in New Orleans and has some Noir and Lovecraft vibes. Why? Because I see all these fantasy worlds where they are millennia old, but still stuck in sword play. Anyway, it’s going great so far. Over the last day or four I put this artwork together. She is Madame Tia, one of the more famous psychics, phrenologists, and palm readers in the city. She dresses ahead of her time, kind of Gothy, with a Victorian vibe. The players haven’t met her yet, but they will soon.
I channeled a little bit of an homage to one of my favorite artists, who pretty much sat atop 80’s pop culture – Patrick Nagel, and combined it with a little bit of the Cold War spy game theme, but set in the gaudiness of Miami Vice. She’s out of ammo and surprised in some beachside club.
We were clearing the valley hotspot. It was dirty work. Some of the Zekes were faster and craftier than the others, so we had to watch out when we put them down. The virus had decimated this area, everything was dead. Some of them retained memories, however basic, of their past lives – the kids were the worst.
It was late on the second night, we were tired, and got orders to clear down the local casino. I’d dated a girl there once, it was a long time ago. We cleared the rooms, most were empty, some were not. As we worked our way backstage, I heard the music.
“Both of us knowing, Love is a battlefield…”
It was her favorite song, ‘Love is a battlefield‘ by Pat Benatar. She loved the classics. She couldn’t have still been working here when the pandemic hit, could she?
Inching down the corridor, we hit the door textbook style. It wasn’t dark inside, there was still power. I had yelled the order as our eyes met, the song continuing ironically in the background,
“But if we get much closer, I could lose control, And if your heart surrenders, You’ll need me to hold.”
“Shit,” I thought, “in death she’s still pretty.” I closed my eyes and slipped away….
She had been posing in front of the mirror, I guess the narcissism that broke us up was still there. She turned, gargled a few words, posed again, then Rivera let her have it. I stood, stunned, looking at the lifeless heap on the floor, as the song ended.
“Both of us knowing, Love is a battlefield.”
Hicks clapped my shoulder as they filed out into the sunlight. “When you hear that old song, brother,” he said, “don’t be dreaming.” “Yeah,” I nodded, as the guitar riff reached its crescendo, signifying the end of this vignette.