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Showing posts from 2014

Artworks Secret Art Show was a success!

Last night, Em and I got to go to Artworks Secret Art show. Patrons of the arts pay for tickets that give them a voucher to purchase 5 x 7 original art pieces from hundreds of local artists from around the Cincinnati area.  When the doors opened to the gallery, everyone streamed in to find pieces they wanted to snag before anyone else got them.  Em and I patiently waited and walked through the crowds looking at other peoples work, but also trying to find my stuff and see if anyone picked them.  We found all three and as the night went on all three were picked!  I was so happy that all of them went home and that it benefited the arts here in Cincinnati.  Now that the secret is out, I can share the pieces I entered.
Tugboat Playa
I know you are but what am I
We Can Dance
I'm so glad that I can share these now.  

Artworks Secret Art Show this Friday!

This week I have a few "secret" pieces of altered thrift store art down at Artworks Cincinnati's Secret Art Show.  Patron's ticket price includes a voucher for one piece of art that they can choose at the party.  All proceeds go toward different art projects and sponsorships around town. If you're interested in going tickets are available at the link below. Also, if you just want to see them on display, they are being show at the Westin hotel in downtown Cincinnati all week.  So come support local art!

Planes, Trains, and Rapture My newest Altered Thrift Store Painting

My newest piece, titled Planes, Trains, and Rapture is finished.  This was my first actual painting using my new Golden Open Acrylic paints.  I read about the open acrylic line and was intrigued by the slow drying process that could produce easier blending.  I've used acrylics before, but always felt like I had to really rush for time to finish before it dried.  I also thought the consistancy was easier to work with than traditional acrylics.  I wanted to make sure I got this out before thanksgiving since Planes, Trains, & Automobiles is one of the only Thanksgiving movies I can think of.  I hope you like it!

Royal Tenenbaum

This week I got a "special present" at work.  My boss decided to get me a Wacom Cintiq!  So now I have been practicing using it with little projects.  One of them is this image of Royal Tenenbaum which started as one of my weekly meeting notes.  I was really happy with my initial results and wanted to share.  Have a great weekend!

Inktober 14th Nyogen Roshi

I have great love and respect for this man who sits and teaches the dharma so well.  Thank you for keeping this lineage alive in the way that you do.

In Gassho always,

Inktober 13th Mr. Redlegs & the Charlie Brown Day

Cue Sad Charlie Brown Music.

Inktober 12th Fred Armisen Edition

Inktober 11th Clay Edition

Inktober 10th, Gertie Halloween Post It Edition

Inktober 9th Bukowski Post it edition

Roll the Dice by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������…

Inktober 8th

Inktober 7th, Ruby Edition

Inktober 6th with Iggy Pop

Inktober 5th

If you've never seen Board to Death you're missing out.

Intober 4th Zissou edition

Inktober 3rd Emily Edition

I drew this pic of my wife for the third day of inktober.  She approves.

Inktober 1st and 2nd

So I didn't know about inktober but I'm totally on board.  Here are my first two inks.  Enjoy!

Tom Hanks edition

Hey Paul, Hey Paul

I know I've posted this in other places, but I thought I'd share one of my recent pieces entitled Hey Paul, Hey Paul.  I thought this thrift store painting had a magestic quality to it and so somehow that lead to Paul Bunyan.  I went for more comic and less realistic on this one.  If you check out my instagram, you can see some of the process pics as well. Enjoy!

Tugboat Playa

Here is a new piece titled Tugboat Playa. I'm one of those people that see faces in everything. Patterns in carpet, lines on a wall, and sometimes in old thrift store paintings. I saw a robot face and went with it. I also experimented with using stain to add some extra patina to the image. I'm always looking to blend my alterations to make them as seamless as possible. Sometimes that means mod podge and sometimes it means stain. Now I've got to get this smell off my hands or I'll be having a contact high all night. Adios!

Video promo for UC's new eLearning Ecosystem.

So as part of my day job, I create motion graphics.  I am often called upon to either write or produce little promo pieces that include video and animations.  Our team had been going back and forth on ideas to promote our new eLearning ecosystem called Canopy.  I was inspired by some test work that Mark Morse had done to create a whiteboard hand drawn feel to the project.  Experimenting with different programs, I tried creating what was scripted with the hand drawn graphics that I had created but it wasn't looking and feeling right.  So instead of getting to use a new program, I ended up relying on my old standard After Effects to create an effect that felt drawn on without having a jittery hand all over the screen.  As with most of these projects, I am also the voice over which has become somewhat of a staple here in my department.  I hope you enjoy this little video!  Ben

Me and my pal Zen

For those of you who don't know, I practice Zen.  I have been practicing for many years now but never wrote about it on here because it wasn't artwork and I have a space for that at  But I wanted to share an article I published for the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles about how I ended up traveling across the country to sit at this little Zen center in LA.  I hope you enjoy! Ben

Ghostbusters 30th anniversary weekend!

It's Ghostbusters 30th anniversary weekend!  I'm all ready. 
I'm wearing my Bill Murray Shirt.  One of my kids last night said I'm not afraid of no ghosts ON THEIR OWN.  Now we just have to go see the movie in theaters! To go along with the theme,I wanted to share a better version of the final Altered/Re-Directed thrift store piece I did called Ghost Walkin' that I featured back in June .
To go along with the theme, I thought I'd share all my Bill Murray Goodness as well.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.


Creepy Mario

Another wonderful altered/Re-Directed thrift store print by me.  I took this innocent picture of a little girl in a snow outfit and made her into Super Mario.  I tried pastels and pencils on this one.  It comes framed in a beautiful pink wooden frame.  Enjoy!

Billy, Don't You Lose My Number

Ah Bill Murray.  I never expected him to be such a muse.  As I've come to find out, Mr. Murray is a muse to many people as one of my Bills was featured in the Bill Murray Affair art show out in San Francisco.  I began this as an experiment for larger works.  I have some ideas floating around with people and words so I wanted to see what it would look like on a small scale.  I really wanted to dive into using oils on this one, but fear and money put that on the back burner.  I ended up using my good old gouache.  Its a weird and tricky medium to handle because on one hand you can add water later and create washes to blend colors, but adding water can sometimes pull the colors which can be frustrating if you were trying to blend things together.  I'm really interested in what I can do with some oil paints.  Its such a different process.  I've got alla prima at home to read and I want to do the chip chart exercise in the book on mixing color.  When I mix color I feel like I&#…

Daft Punk is Playing at her house!

I've been working on this piece for a long time.

 After Much Work, we reach the final. 
I hope you enjoy,

WIP Another Day, Another Bill

Ready for the Murray Affair!

Framed, packed, and shipped!  Glad my Frame & Save skills were put to good use cutting the frame and glass down to size. 

Lustashe Bill got accepted into the Bill Murray Art Show in San Francisco

Hey everyone,
Whoo, its been a crazy summer.  While on a silent zen meditation retreat, I got the message that my painting, Lustashe Bill, got accepted into the Murray Affair, an art show dedicated to Bill Murray! I wish I could go, but at least I can send my work in my place!  Anyone interested the show will be August 8th!  Check out the details below!

Inking fairy tales

Em asked me to work on a companion piece to a nursery rhyme illustration pack I had made for her teachers Pay teachers store. I think the next step will be doing some light color washes.  Keep your eyes out for progress.

Studio Clean Up!

I finally got around to cleaning up the studio a bit.  Got me thinking I need to get going on a few more of these things!

Hand Drawn Sketches of Ai Wei Wei and Rick Moranis (not together, but that'd be funny)

Here is a sketch I worked on yesterday of Ai Wei Wei.  I'm fascinated by the man.  I'd love to see his work in person some day.

And then there's Rick.  Little Ricky Moranis.  I've been trying to draw men's faces that are a little doughy rather than angular.
Lets hope I find some time over the weekend for a little painting.  Have a great weekend everybody!

Ghost Walkin' process

So the piece titled Ghost Walkin' has been sitting around my house for a long time.  I always knew I wanted to add ghosts to it but the originals looked more like the ghosts in Spirited Away than the sheet ghosts I eventually went with.  My first stab at the project was a failure.  I almost always forget my process and jump into a painting head first then end up messing it up.  So I went straight for acrylics and hated the results.  After expressing my failure to my wife, she suggested that I just start over.  Which I did.
I usually do an underpainting in burnt sienna.  Next, I tried to establish the color of the ghosts before I blended it in with the background.
As you can see I went with a bluish grey tone.  Stark white would have looked too bright as this piece not only had a more subtle palate but it also had some sun damage.  Once I got a handle on the color of the ghosts, now it was time to blend them into the painting.  This is a two step process.  First I added some washes…