I’ve been so busy with publishing, finishing a novel, working on a new book of poetry, and developing a non-profit journal of fabulist literature called Phantom Drift that I had no idea it’s been two years since I posted anything on Shapeshifter’s Ink. So I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll be posting about 100 new images over the next month which I’ve done over the past couple of years. And once I get caught up, there will be a shift from abstract to semi-abstract and surrealist work.
I am not a very accomplished artist in drawing or painting, but I’ve found that even my lame attempts at painting provide a rich bounty of details which can be scanned and used for textures and brushstrokes. My art teacher would set up a still-life as an assignment and I’d keep painting over it again and again until it no longer resembled the “objects” thus defeating his ability to judge it in comparison with the still-life or the work of other students. If I frustrated my teacher, imagine how frustrated I was. Whenever I would show him something I drew and asked for technical help in making my “vision” stronger, he would direct me back to the still-life. Well, now there’s digital photography for that. If I need an apple, I will take a photo of one. If I need the steel structure of a bridge, I can do the still-life with camera. I still enjoy sketching with ink and hope to do more painting soon.
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The Ministry of Whimsy is a very fine small press that published a marvelous range of fantastic literature including the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, Troika, Stepan Chapman. Editor Jeff VanderMeer deserves recognition for his brave defiance of the commercial norm and the high standards he set for an alternative to NY. So I offer a little something whimsical in honor of his achievement — something for the lobby of his imagined publishing offices made possible by the huge financial success that should go along with MOW’s critical success. We can at least imagine it!
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When I started working with digital abstract art, I considered not titling pieces but giving only numbers as a means to identify them because I didn’t want to influence the viewer into looking for something I might see in it. But I’m a writer not a numbers guy and language is also my material, so I decided to follow my own whimsy and sometimes irreverent sense of humor. Abstract titles for abstract art. You may be influenced into seeing something that I see in the image, but don’t look too closely, it might drive you crazy!