Serenity . 30x40 inches . 2012

1. natural light
2. interior light
3. mixed interior and uv/black light
4. uv light only
5. no light (glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, phosphorescent pigments, crushed glass, varnish, water & light on canvas. 

I've said it before, but it keeps becoming true in new ways. This is the biggest full moon I've ever done.  It's huge. It's like you're standing right in front of the MOON. 

It's funny how from a scientific standpoint, the moon is a cold, dusty, barren environment, but we take such warmth and comfort in its presence. The moon is romantic. It's peaceful. Serene. 

The glorious full moon is one of the most beautiful sights we humans will ever experience. I suppose only astronauts have the advantage on beautiful heavenly scenes. 

It only makes sense that this moon glows brightly and blue for the entire night. It will always be there to watch over the home in which it's hung, even literally guiding its owner by light in the blackness.

As someone who wakes up often throughout the night, I absolutely require this in my life nowadays. I keep a painting in the bedroom for this reason, and I'm known to walk downstairs to my studio in the darkness just to see everything I'm working on glowing in the dark. At this point in my life and career, my relationship to light within my work has become part of my soul. I can't imagine not having it around. Without it, I can only envision life to be a little bit darker and more depressing. 

Light is hopeful.

May it bring clarity and serenity to all who see it in its new home.

The following images show its iridescence:

Viewed standing on the right.

Viewed from the left.

New at Art & Musings: The Artist's Drug of Choice

Head over to Art & Musings to read my latest column: The Artist's Drug of Choice

"We can be addicted to all sorts of emotions, good and bad. Sometimes a simple bad habit (like laziness) can move so far down the rabbit hole that it becomes its own beast. We can’t see the obvious trajectory of chaos we’re in, even if we’re not enjoying it. We are addicted to the problem because we’ve been doing it for too long. We lose control."

Ready For What's Next

Normally I'm anti-New-Year's-resolutions, not because I don't believe in resolutions (I very much do) but because I've always thought that resolutions happen all year, not in January, and if you wait until January, you're not really resolving to change anything anyway.


My birthday happens to be in January, so I get to go against all of that, because I do like to meditate on what I want for each new year of my life, and check myself against where I hope to be one day. I've always sort of thought that one should imagine their life at a certain point in the future, not too far ahead, and then work backwards to determine what steps must be taken in order to accomplish that image of yourself.

In my late 20s, I saw 30 as a distinct marking point along my path in life. I did not fear it as some around me seemed to, but instead used it as a goal to give myself direction. I felt there were aspects of my life that I wanted to be a certain way when I turned 30, and if those things were met or close to being met, then I was on the right track. It gave me positive pressure to work under. If my life was clearly moving along the direction I wanted it to be, what did I have to fear about any age?

I think because of this, I have adored my 30s. I'm much happier in this decade than any one before it. Granted, I'm only two years into it, but so far, so good. It's only just begun and I've already accomplished so much.

In this last year alone, I've gone to Japan and Kauai, had a very successful sold out show in Los Angeles that I put on myself, tripled my income, begun writing with true intention and regularity, paid off all our consumer debt, started saving money, am more fit than I've ever been in my life and have conquered a 16 year old dream to be a fighter and an athlete by taking up martial arts.

I also said goodbye to my best friend, which was certainly not the highlight of my year, but I'm incredibly proud of how we handled the situation and I'm eternally grateful that he stuck with me for as long as he did. I can't express that enough. His death was difficult, but his life was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

It's been a pretty significant year.

And I have to wonder how much more I will accomplish this year than last. There's nothing but fear and doubt to tell me otherwise, and I'm not really interested in paying that attention right now. At least not for my birthday. For my birthday, I give myself the freedom to know that this year will be awesome in ways I could never have imagined and that I will grow to be even closer to my ideal.

I have some pretty giant goals in mind for the next phase of my life.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Newest Art & Musings! The Highs and Lows (of making art)

(This picture is simply the shadows of the outside trees on a blank canvas in my studio. Neat, right?)

"In my art, I like to risk ruining everything, only to eventually save it. I’ll often do something drastic, like throw blue paint where it wasn’t intended, and suffer the repercussions of doing so as though it were a surprise. I’m sure there’s a very obvious psychological reflection of what that means in my own personal life, but hey. That’s why I’m an artist."

Reverie . 20x20 inches . 2012

Clouds! :oO

1. natural light
2. artificial interior light
3. artificial and UV light combined
4. UV light alone
5. no light (glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, phosphorescent pigments, crushed glass, glass beads, varnish, water & light on canvas.

I sort of became obsessed with making clouds after painting The Shire last year. This started out as just a test run for a bigger cloud painting, but then I couldn't figure out why not to make it a cloud painting in its own right. So it was.

As usual with the little glass beads used in these clouds, it's impossible to show the true effect with a camera lens. There's something magical about how the sunlight gets in behind the beads and makes it look all fairy dusty and 3D. I sit there taking pictures at all angles trying to get the photo to match what I see with my eyes, but it's just not going to happen. I'm sure at some point camera technology will catch up with my artistic needs.

Actually, what I really loved most about this design isn't even the clouds, but the way the circle/sun/moon floats perfectly in the sky, hovering above the clouds, like a moment caught in time. It's happily content there, suspended in blue and allowing the viewer to pause and gaze at the whole moment without going blind. When can you do that in real life?

And who doesn't love to sit and stare and dream up stories about the clouds?

Reverie is $1000 and available now in my Etsy shop, or feel free to email me. Payment plans accepted.

Reverie, Echo, and one other piece I haven't quite finished yet are the smallest paintings I'm planning for the year so far. Just FYI.

I really do stress over crap like this.


Generally each year I come up with a new "collection" of work to be released, a bunch of paintings usually relating to each other, but occasionally with random bits and pieces thrown in from work I hadn't previously finished, or ideas that I want to play around with.

I sketch everything down together in my sketchbook so I can see how it looks as a whole.

Inevitably, I take so long getting around to starting certain pieces within a collection that I've lost the inspiration for it. So then the question is, do I push forward anyway? Or change direction and follow the new burst of creativity?

There are pros and cons to both. For one thing, as I'm facing today, I've already marked the hell out of a canvas with black, permanent paint pen in a design I once thought was genius but now see as trite and boring.

I could just paint over it in white. Like it never happened.

It really screws up my ability to produce massive amounts of work though, which just happens to be one of my major goals this year. Producing massive amounts of work. If I keep changing my mind, I'll never reach the amounts I'm aiming for.

And hey, with all that black paint pen, I'm already started! I can just start painting right now!

But dammit, I'm not feeling it. If I'm not feeling it now, the risk is hating the art more as it goes on, and having to switch direction WAY down the line after it's a goopy sloppy impossible mess.

In this case, I've decided to change it. No one but me will ever know what crazy magic design lies underneath the new painting. HA! I win. At least until paint pen x-ray technology is perfected.

I'm Thinking of Giving Up Cable (and other signs the apocalypse is nigh)

New column up at Art & Musings!

"I feel the need to clarify that I am, in no way, one of those anti-TV people. In fact, the staunchly anti-TV people I know don’t seem to be anti-video-game or anti-crappy-movie, and spend equally if not significantly more time in front of the screen watching nonsense than anyone I know who “watches” TV."

Brain Stretching

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best advice I've ever received about art was "Don't make it good." Occasionally I have to remind myself exactly what this means. I get comfortable perfecting my same techniques and materials day in and day out, and rarely do I have time anymore to make anything craftsy, anything that wouldn't be considered part of my body of work.

It doesn't always have to be meaningful, or part of the whole. It doesn't have to have a message. It doesn't have to be good. Sometimes it's just coloring in a coloring book.

For some reason I was inspired to start the new year testing the limits of my abilities. I decided to paint, but in a way I never do, or at least haven't in over 10 years.

The two tests were as follows: One landscape done with acrylic, in 20 minutes or less, start to finish. The second was another landscape, in oil paints. I never, ever use oil paint.

I figured the time limits and difficulty using materials I'm totally unfamiliar with should put me in "the child zone," a place where I'm inexperienced, immature, and without practice. 

(experiment with acrylic)

(experiment with oil)

Man, that was hard. Oils are crazy, by the way. And acrylic, used like this, might as well have been a new material for me.

Now, they're not very good, and I'm definitely not going to start a new career in this. But that's not the point. The point is, I sat myself down to make something that I knew beforehand I wouldn't be good at. I wanted all my skills removed. I wanted there to be nothing left but pushing paint around a canvas and that spark of creativity only a child has. And having a time limit adds to the panic, which requires a lot more of my brain.

I think everyone should test their minds like this every so often. For artists, working in a different medium or with different subjects might be enough to "reset" your creative brain into not relying on your skill set, which in turn floods you with creativity for the art you are passionate about. 

Or, you could do something really crazy and write a book if you're a sculptor, or write a song if you're an author. Anything that requires new skills is guaranteed education. Don't make it good. That's the whole point.

I think I want to spend more time in 2012 being openminded and courageous with my art.