Books I’ve Published – 2013

I already have these books listed on My Book Shelf page, but most of you folks don’t visit that (the numbers don’t lie), so I figured I’d do something I rarely do these days, and actually post a link farm. I apologize for those hoping for a new, proper post from me, but I’m a little out of sorts and not feeling too chatty. Included with these links are the brief summaries I wrote for these books a week or two ago:

THE BACK ROADS OF LIMBO
A series of short stories and novellas about spies, sultans, genies, detectives, bad angels, a man’s best friend, the God of Squirrels, Christmas dinner for two, thieves, sorceresses, lost children, working while you sleep, writer’s block, soul-eating vampires, and a giant squid.
PRINT | KINDLE

TERMINAL MONDAY: a Dream of New York City
A man meets an old girlfriend who convinces him to return to novel writing, but not before his wife leaves him, he gets his old band back together, and suffers a nervous breakdown.
PRINT | KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS

TERMINAL MONDAY: Under Observation
A man has a mental breakdown and wakes up to find himself under observation in a New York City hospital.
KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS

ASHES: Infinite Redress
A scientist becomes infected by a space-borne virus that contains the soul of an alien missionary who bonds with her and draws her into solving the mystery of how the aliens all died.
KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS

The BRIDE of WAR
A knight falls in love with a young woman designated to be sacrificed to a mystical dragon, and undertakes a quest to learn how to defeat the dragon and break the centuries-old pact.
PRINT | KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS

LINKTALES volume one
(excerpts from The Dark Guild) A series of mysterious events lead to the old city of Londonis being invaded by soul-eating vampires.
KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | SMASHWORDS

You know what I’m asking you to do. Please. Thank you.

Lee.

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You Never Give Me Your Money… You Only Give Me Your Funny Paper

STATE of the LIMBO ADDRESS(es):

I write fiction. You can find it in the following places:
KINDLE | KOBO | NOOK | SONY | APPLE | PRINT | SMASHWORDS

I do Graphic Design, cartooning and painting. You can see a gallery of some of my work here:

http://blog.clearvisionstudios.net/about/clearvision-studios/

I also also make music. You can hear it here:

and you can buy some of it here:

http://etceterathesismusic.bandcamp.com/

I can be followed on many social networks. I don’t have a Foursquare account or an Instagram account, but I subscribe to just about everything else. I don’t IM much anymore, so don’t ask.

I post these things for you because I am told people don’t like using mouse buttons. This is alien to me, but I don’t want to alienate any of you aliens, so voilá. Don’t say I never did anything for you. And don’t say I don’t do anything for you now. I already know that.

Lee.

Posted in Art, Canadian Music, Etcetera Thesis Music, Graphic Design, Station Identification, Writing | Leave a comment

Termination Station – Art Sale

Okay, so I have figured that I need money for more art supplies, which means something has to go. The problem is, nobody is buying the small-but-somewhat-expensive piece I’ve done this year. They seem to want the larger pieces, but not at my prices. So I’ve taken the latest–and possibly final–abstract expressionism piece and put a low, low price tag on it: $100.00 CAD. Anyone who can meet or exceed my price can reserve it for when it’s fully mounted and varnished, and if they’re local, I’ll even bring it around to their place myself to make sure it gets there in one piece.

The lengths I’ll go to.

If you’re interested in this two by three foot painting, please contact me via email and we’ll discuss it.

Termination Station 2014 08 22 sml

Lee.

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Meanwhile, Back On Planet Earth…

I have been to meetings and such, and frankly, I need some rest.

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve done in my ‘spare’ time to further my art (and maybe make a bit of money):
LIFE
TERMINATION STATION

That’s enough. Time for scotch and rest.

Lee.

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There Can Be No Denying It

I am in the midst of a depression. My mood keeps tanking like Tesla Roadster trying to get from one end of an oil-rich nation to the other with no stations to recharge at. I keep trying to work to pick up the beat, but everything feels hollow right now.

And there is no reason for it. No triggers bringing me down, and no triggers to bring me up.

I’m not going to miss August much. I basically don’t enjoy summer at the best of times, but this summer has been particularly brutal.

I also have an ulnar nerve entrapment in my left arm, which is deteriorating the nerve and threatening to be permanent nerve damage. I am almost certainly going to be getting surgery to remedy it, if it’s not already too late. It could affect a lot of things I do. Art might suffer a bit, but the writing and especially the music will be severely affected if I don’t recover from this after the surgery. Fun times.

And no one had bought a single copy of SUDDEN DEPARTURES, or any of the paintings I’ve been making. Not even prints. So much for that. I’m breaking down the splatter box today. No more abstract paintings. It’s obviously NOT what people want, who can afford it.

There is more stuff to do. Lots. We’ll see if any of it happens today.

Later.

Lee.

Posted in Art, Art For Sale, Books of Limbo, Health, moodswing, One a Day, Writing | Leave a comment

RE: August 18, 2014, 8:50 am

CLICK TO EMBIGGEN:

View From My Desktop 2014 08 18

This is all you get from me today.

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Terminal Advertising

So I’m dickering with ads for placing on Twitter and Facebook, just to draw attention to my catalogue of books. I’ve been stressing TERMINAL MONDAY with this batch of ads:
Terminal-Monday-Ad-01 Terminal-Monday-Ad-02 Terminal-Monday-Ad-03

The quotes are obviously fictional. The beauty of writing a book about a writer is, I can afford to have a little fun with the characters therein. I may do a few more before I move on to another book to promote. We’ll see.

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Time to get dressed at long last and go clean Mom’s house. Thanks for reading.

Lee.

Posted in Graphic Design, Terminal Monday | Leave a comment

Just Passing Through

I have work to do. A lot of it. My infographic wasn’t good enough. The PB sites are up, but the email hasn’t been written or sent, and the survey hasn’t been composed yet. RETURN TRIP, the second act of THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO, is fighting me to the last breath. I have two more abstract paintings to devise and execute. I also have to find an audience for these paintings, which sadly no one wants to buy after all. And there’s the little matter of a concept album I keep saying I’m going to write and record.

So I hope everyone is doing alright. Thank you for reading.

And since it’s not going to sell as is, here’s the infographic that failed to hit the mark:
INfographic-001sml

Lee.

Posted in Art, Art For Sale, Books, Books of Limbo, Comics, Etcetera Thesis Music, Graphic Design, One a Day, Participatory Budgeting Ward 2, Writing | Leave a comment

People Do Some Strange Things, When They’re All Together

RIP Lauren Bacall, a very classy and talented actress. I won’t eulogize her, not because I don’t enjoy her work, and not because she wasn’t important, but because I don’t want this blog to become a one stop grief emporium. Suffice to say that, if I were still a believer in a Christian afterlife, I would very much like to think that her reunion with Humphrey Bogart would start like this:

“Say, kid, you got a match?”

I won’t elaborate further.

In other news, the two most trafficked posts of the last two days have been my Robin Williams eulogy, which got a small but respectable amount of hits, and my Genesis – Duke album review, which I think I posted a year ago, so that’s interesting. Maybe 1980s progressive pop is coming back into vogue or something. Worse things happen at sea, I’m told.

I’m still trying to figure out how to write Athena’s Pause, one of two chapters I need to finish to publish Act Two of THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO, and clear the decks for Act Three. The problem is, I keep starting it and scrapping huge chunks as being off-colour for the piece I’m trying to achieve, which is intended to be a light-hearted but touching tribute to my other short story, Athena’s Eyes. Two or three versions had far too much flirting, and one version had too much arguing. This latest version is more or less on course, but the chapter has to do a lot of stuff in a relatively short amount of time, including encapsulate the excerpts of alternate reality versions of the entire writer’s group from TERMINAL MONDAY, minus Wanda and Candice, who are missing for some reason, which I’m still trying to articulate without missing the point of both the book and the chapter. It’s really important that it alludes to what happened at the end of Act One, without being so mauldin or dire that it interrupts the flow of the chapter. I can’t have them trekking off tot he hospital, so it can’t be that Wanda got hurt by Wally, who happens to be in this chapter as a much happier, saner person than he was at the end of the first act.

I’m told we have errands to run, so I have to cut this short. So I’ll just say I have two more abstract paintings in the works, but I haven’t really visualised them yet, so they’re coming slowly.

Time to get my shoes on. Talk to you later. Thanks for reading.

Lee.

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O Captain My Captain: In Memoriam of Robin Williams

I’m trying something here, and I already know it will fail, because I can’t quite wrap my brain around this. But bear with me, or give this one a miss, if you prefer.

When I was a boy, I listened to a lot of music (mostly rock, but there was motown and there was country, and there was pop, and the best of the bunch were those that crossed the streams and synthesised something fresh and spectacular. But I digress. Or do I? I also watched an inordinate amount of television. And there were a few very special people on the television who were there from almost the beginning of my life, guiding em through every stage, advising me in ways that my own father never could. And the best of these–the most ever-present–was Robin.

You see, the great thing about the small pantheon of men and women I call heroes is, they’re all genre-bending, convention-flouting, deeply human, and thus deeply flawed, but also deeply perfect specimens of the species. We have had sore few creatives who not only took top honours but redefined our very preconceptions about what we believed their job, their very purpose was.

In Robin Williams, we had the Pagliacci of our times, for a good three or four generations. He wrote and starred in the laugh track of our lives. And yet, even in the early days, he knew he had so much more to say and do than simply make us laugh. He committed to screen that most dangerous of all acts: the comedian as dramatist. He gave us Mork. He gave us a living, breathing Popeye. And then he gave us his take on T. S. Garp. He continually bounded between the twin poles of humour and pathos, but in him, they were the same thing. Is it any wonder he isn’t with us today? A man who felt so deeply about his times and his world; a comedian who risked his career to give us drama before nearly anyone, with the possible exception of Bill Murray. Nowadays, we all know and even expect that comedians can and should expose their more serious side. In many ways, we don’t trust or love comedians as much if they can’t show us their soft interior, even though many comedians would very literally rather die than expose themselves so. But Robin Williams dared to go there, at a time when Hollywood was ill-prepared to take a comedian seriously. And in so doing, he kicked open the door for everyone else to follow, if they dared.

I used to have a stage name, which fairly presumptuously assumed I was ever going to be a famous singer/songwriter: Philo Layne, the Philosophical Clown. I hadn’t really thought about it too much, but when I created that archetypal mask to wear, I was thinking more of Robin Williams than anyone else. Sprightly, quick-witted, humourous, but with barbs and teeth, and also with grace and humanity. Hmmn. Maybe there’s some George Carlin and Bill Murray in there, too. But Robin is the giant. He was the first to truly nail the comedian-as-dramatist schtick. He brought warmth and humour to drama, and dramatic depth–what we call gravitas–to comedy. He could be the light-hearted clown for his children, the manic pixie for his stand-up audiences, he could play a boy and a hero, a teacher and a healer, an angel or a monster, a politician, a mad king, a father, a mother, a dreamer, and lest we forget, he could even play an alien, a pirate or a sailor on occasion. He did all of those things and more, and he was successful at it. George never really got to play anything other than George Carlin. Bill played dramas, but it took him decades to get the accolades he deserved. Robin prefigured all of that almost from the start.

Everyone knows Robin struggled with addiction. Mostly very successfully, but his high-octane work ethic sometimes brought him too close to the edge. He fell off the wagon in 2006, but got right back on. Fallible, human, but determined and devoted to the safety of the people he loved. He made no secret of his struggle, but he usually came out on top.

I’m not the only person eulogizing Robin this morning. I’m not even close to being the first or the last, and I’m certainly nothing like the most famous. But I write just the same, because the man was important, special, unique, in that absolutely correct sense of the word that is so often abused and misused by pundits in popular media. I’m detecting some mawkish sentimentality in my tone. Time to bring it down.

Robin taught me more about how to be a man, through his work and through his words, than pretty much any other actor or comedian I can think of. I’ve only really been touched by writers and musicians as deeply. I find it interesting that he proclaimed Genesis his favourite band at the VH1 awards ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Uhhiqf7MA ). I find that connection very telling. I don’t know if he was being entirely honest there, but I choose to believe so, because the Robin I knew would never lie to me… unless he really had to.

Perhaps that’s why we’re all in such shock. Robin lied. He made us believe he was healthy, that he was holding it together. He had returned to stand-up, returned to hard work, returned to delivering laughs with lessons, returned to teaching us as he entertained us. Perhaps we should have asked the question, ‘why now?’ But can we be blamed for missing the signs, if indeed there were any? He was a brilliant actor. He made us believe in so many things. What was one more trick from the Trickster? Child’s play, really. Just keep working, just keep smiling, and never let them see your tears.

I wish I could have said something, done something, to help this man who had helped me in so many ways. But of course I couldn’t. He knew untold millions, and I have to assume, some small few of those millions knew him far better than I ever did. The old joke goes, a man walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says he’s so sad, he just can’t see the point of living. The psychiatrist tells him, ‘Pagliacci, the greatest clown of all time, is in town tonight. Go see him, and you will surely laugh.” “But doctor,” the man replied, “I AM Pagliacci.”

When you consider how unique Robin was, perhaps it tells us the one thing we need to know about the why. Perhaps, just perhaps, after all these years, it was getting too hard to laugh off all of the disappointment and the sorrow. Perhaps there just wasn’t anyone who truly understood where he was coming from. Staying clean and sober for as many years as he did, and still maintaining the level and quality of work that he did, couldn’t have been easy. Perhaps…

Speculation. We don’t need speculation now. We need to understand. But more than that, we need to know that things are going to get better. We–and by we, I mean I–needed to hear some good news. Needed to see that there was a way through the morass. Needed to know that it is going to get better. And I know I personally was looking to the likes of Robin for that reassurance.

So much left to say. And also, words don’t want to come. WordPress tells me I’m at 1185 words, and I still feel like I’ve missed the point. So let’s cut to the chase. Robin was like the father I never had. He was certainly there for me more than my biological father was, even if he was always on the other side of the screen. Is that mawkish? I don’t know. I tried to say something here, but all I could come up with is, another of the small pantheon of special, damaged, perfect heroes is gone, destroyed by the very thing that made him amazing; his incomparable mind.

I enjoy most of Robin’s work, drawing comfort and inspiration from pretty near everything he committed to the screen (Flubber wasn’t really made for me). I never met him in person. Never saw him perform live. I’m not even aware of having been in the same city with him, let alone the same building, or the same room. He was not my father. He was just this guy I used to watch from afar. But in my life, I’ve had so few male role models, it’s amazing I even function. I figure Robin was the closest thing I had to a father figure in the pantheon of celebrity heroes. And I suspect I never thought he’d die, let alone commit suicide. Something about him seemed immortal. He’d survived the worst of it, so how could he die? He was impervious. Wasn’t he?

1415 words and I still feel like I missed. Should I start over? Delete this post and go back to the top? Would I say anything different? Probably not. My feelings are all a jumble. See, it’s not mawkish sentimentality that’s guiding me. It’s a need to put this weird loss in perspective. Lots of celebrities that meant something to me have died in the last few years. In my lifetime, I’ve lost at least a handful of heroes. Why is this one different? Could it be as simple as feeling that he was a kindred spirit? That I lost a chance to meet someone who resonated on a similar frequency? Or is it really that I lost my role model?

I don’t know anymore. I’m middle-aged, now. I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder and trying not to lose my shit for so long, the idea of loosening up and just shining brightly, even if only from time to time, is so vital to me, that the idea that someone I idolised, who did so many of the things I wanted to do, said so many things I wish I’d said… it makes me question a lot of things. I’m not likely to stop needing to reach out, but now I wonder if there will ever be a time when I can just look back on my work and feel good, look back on my life and feel a sense of accomplishment. Robin lived a life that was so much more spectacularly alive and successful than I’ve had. If a downswing could take all of that sense of purpose away from him, what does any of it mean?

1691 words. Still not there.

Damn it. Robin Williams is dead. We’re in fucking trouble now. When the Clown Prince abdicates, the kingdom follows.

Anyone reading this thinking they need to keep an eye on me can relax. I’ve been a little down over the past few days, but believe it or not, I’m bouncing back again. The medication that keeps me from overreaching also keeps me from sinking too far down. I wonder what sort of therapy would have been right for Robin. And would he have been Robin if he’d found it?

Maybe that’s the thing: what would life be like if we weren’t all always trying to be safe and secure. Would we be more like Robin, or would he still have been further out there, like a shaman, reading the winds and the clouds and stars and telling the global village what to do to bring the rains for a bountiful harvest, or how to find spiritual relief?

I don’t know. I’m still struggling with the realisation that he was my male role model. The crazy king of philosopher clowns, who showed me how to be a great human hero, is dead. 1895 words, and I still haven’t said one truly necessary thing.

Goodbye, Robin. Save me a seat, okay?

Lee.

Posted in 1980, comedy, Health, Movies, News, One a Day | Tagged | Leave a comment

So Darned Much Ado About Nothing

This will be short, and I won’t be sharing it on StumbleUpon, because I’m trying to save my thousandth link there for something important.

I have to clean at Mom’s today. I need to sell some art. I need to sell some books. I apologise for being crass, but I need money, honey. No more fooling around.

ArtCrawl was a bit of a bust last Friday night. Saw a thousand and one lovely faces, many of them friends, but ultimately, though I received a few flattering compliments and passed out a number of business cards to some fairly earnest friends, I nevertheless, failed to make any sales, and so far, no one has gotten back to me. I don’t want to fleece anyone, but I genuinely want to discuss with them what they think my pieces are worth. i’m already thinking of them as true and proper gallery pieces, but I know I can’t price them as such before I’ve made something of a name for myself as a painter.

I am thinking it’s time to plan for my next batch of abstracts. I have two canvasses that I forgot had been reserved for abstract paintings, so I’ll do those up in the next couple of days, when I have some time. I think they’ll be the last ones I do until I can implement my next big innovation: interactive layer film. I want to allow the audience to see the individual layers for themselves, and decide which layer goes on top. For that, I’ll need some large sheets of relatively rigid but thin mylar or some such. Then I’ll have to work out a reliable attachment/hinge system that doesn’t impede the audience’s ability to flip and restack the layers in whichever order they choose. I’ll probably do them on square canvases to make life easier for everyone, myself included.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. We’ll see how long it takes me to come up with the money to make this latest scheme work.

Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend.

Lee.

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Sea Change (wet – cropped – set)

Okay… 999th post going out to StumbleUpon…

…aaaaand I have to rename ‘Seasons Change’, simply because the series title doesn’t seem to work with the look of the final product. See for yourselves:

Spring:
Spring IMG_7543
Summer:
Summer IMG_7535
Autumn:
Autumn IMG_7538
Winter:
Winter IMG_7541

See, I think they turned out brilliantly, but I just couldn’t sustain the original intent in my highly dense, overwrought style. So I’m going to play with the title of the series a bit by removing the word ‘sons’, and coming out with Sea____ Change. I want to name it several things, but what I might do is name them after fictional tropical islands. I’g name them after real tropical islands, but I have learned that islanders are a little fussy about how their home islands are portrayed. Still deliberating.

Anyway, between you and me, it’s still about season cycles and weather patterns and the shift of morning into night. The passage of time, and the passage of states. It’s about change.

Thank you for reading. These paintings will probably still be soaking wet by the time art crawl happens tonight, so enjoy these photos and I’ll consider having prints made available later today.

Lee.

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Seasons Change

Okay, I guess I wasn’t quite finished painting after all. My wife sacrificed her plans and her four 8″x10″ panels to the cause of making me paint four more pieces. So I decided to TRY to do an abstract expressionism take on the season cycle.

CAVEAT
I’m not sure this set is complete at the moment; I may have to mix up a bit more paint and make one more pass to get something in there that feels like it’s missing. But I’ll tell you, I’m not sure what could possibly be missing, because these paintings are pretty dense as it is. But I haven’t quite gotten used to the result, so I’m going to wait an hour or two and decide in a bit if my instincts are correct.

First off, I gessoed up Dawn’s boards:

IMG_7493This took place between 3:45 and 4:30 AM Then I sat down to listen to some music as I waited for them to dry.

While I waited, I rehearsed a rough idea of the base coat colour scheme, trying to emphasize the whole ‘season cycle’ thing; I tried to make it look like all four seasons happened in one day:

Season-Cycle-demo

At around 5:30, I decided the boards were dry enough, so I got back to the paintings.

I HAD been thinking about placing these flat fake abalone-type beady things I got from Michael’s into the finished pieces, but in the end, I couldn’t decide where to set them. I may add a streak of white and embed them into that, instead. Or maybe not.

IMG_7497

The boards were set up with a finger’s width of space between them. Ultimately, that may not have been enough, but it helped create some physical separation while still allowing forms some continual strokes to create a sense of the closure effect:IMG_7499

I took another shot of the layout, this time from my vantage point, in part to show you how I work, but also because, in the relatively low light, I wasn’t sure if the photos were working:IMG_7500

Here, you see the base coats applied. The pieces are upside down, as compared to where I started from. Ironically, about half way through the process, I rotated the entire splatter box 180 degrees, so the last coat of paint went on with the boards in this configuration. There was a mixture of gold and silver paint mixed in with greens, red, yellow and blues. I was going to take a picture of just the paints laid on thick, but it was taking ems o long to get started, the paint was drying on the boards, so I just grabbed a big brush and went to town:IMG_7503

Time’s a-ticking. Take the photos and get painting, Limbo. At this point, the sunrise was just bright enough that I decided to open the curtains and shut off the daylight lamp I’d been using up to this point:IMG_7507

Sadly, the daylight was too low for good photographs of the second stage, so it looked like this when I photographed it:IMG_7508 IMG_7509 IMG_7510

 

By the end of the third stage, almost all of the paint was used up. a LOT of palette mixing happened this time around, and to be frank, I ran out of white earlier than anticipated, which affected the outcome of the compositions more than I’d like:IMG_7512This is the result of stage four, shortly before I cleaned off the palettes:IMG_7517 And these last two photographs show the results of the ‘final’ application, where I basically used my fingers to scoop up and flick the last remnants of paint onto the panels:IMG_7528 IMG_7529So, around 11 o’clock AM, I’m going to have another hard look at the paintings and decide if I’m going to apply some more paint, or let them dry and learn to live with the series as it stands.

If YOU want to get involved, now’s your chance: tell the Lord of Limbo what YOU would do if you had to decide whether and how to finish them. And NO, burning them or throwing them in the trash are NOT options. Sorry. This is art, kids; not interior decorating.

Thank you for reading, and for commenting as well. :)

Lee.

 

 

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Wishing Well

So this is more or less the way the new set is intended to look (I suspect I have to turn one of the paintings right side up, but I’m not sure which one):

Wishing Well sml

And that’s that for that. Price tag to be determined. I want money for this set, even if I have to sell it to four different people. Let someone try to reassemble the series in the future. I think these pieces are incredibly good. But I also think I need to pay some bills. So there you go: Art For Sale. Name your price and I’ll tell you if you’re getting warm.

Lee.

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Three Little Wishes (wet – cropped – plus walkthrough)

Okay, so, I decided to complete the series today. These three pieces were made separate but in tandem, to go with BEST WISHES. It is technically an abstract sequential art sequence.

First, I moved yesterday’s painting to the top of the TV (not shown) and placed the gessoed boards into the splatter box, three inches apart, for reasons I’ll explain later:
IMG_7451

Then I set up my work station, including not one but two empty palettes (FYI: one is slightly chipped):
IMG_7453

Next, I used my trusty gold and silver metallic acrylic paint tubes to paint the title (see the title of this entry):
IMG_7455

After that, I added some primary colours (plus black and white) to make up my base coat:
IMG_7460

Now, I’m showing you the palettes all rpimed and ready to go. You’ll see why later:
IMG_7461

This, as you can probably surmise, is the base coat. I like to add a little colour and texture to give these paintings more volume and depth. You mostly can’t see this coat when I’m done:
IMG_7464

This is phase four completed. It’s all black and white with a mixture of gloss gel medium for added volume and spill/spray effect:
IMG_7469

The final coat, which incorporates primary colours, really shows off how diverse the three pieces turned out; that three inch separation between the panels really made a difference:
IMG_7472

And here are the (mostly) empty palettes.  It takes a lot of paint and a lot of time and effort to make these pieces the way I do them. Yes, your five year old can do this (I know; I just taught a seven year old to paint this way two weeks ago). No, you probably can’t. It’s an Id thing:
IMG_7475

One last shot of the set. To be honest, I’m not sure which way is up, yet. They can hang either separately or as a set. I’m probably going to price them fairly high, because they are amazing:
IMG_7477

This, I believe, is the one I’ll call Faith:
IMG_7479

This one is Hope:
IMG_7483

And here’s Love:
IMG_7485

MEANING IN ART?
And the meaning of these pieces? The subtitles, which you can’t see because I haven’t written them on the backs yet, are ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Love’. I don’t exactly fancy using a biblical quote, but I think it gets us back to where the original concept for this four piece series came from: my original piece, ‘Neo’ (1990). These pieces are NOT religious art. I’m an Atheist. I believe Faith and Religion, though probably at their best when they work together, are mutually exclusive, and remarkably rarely a matched set.

And that’s show and tell for today. Thank you for reading, and sorry about your bandwidth.

Lee.

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Best Wishes (stage 5B – wet- cropped)

Best Wishes painting

PREAMBLE
I feel like I should talk about this piece. First off, it’s about ten feet from me at present, still inside the splatter box, slowly drying. I’ve been looking at it, to see if I like the way it’s turning out. So far, so good. There are a couple of slightly muted sections that I’m not 100% sold on, but they may be important to leave as is, for breathing space, as this piece doesn’t offer any true negative space as such.

The basic concept was something I’d been thinking about for a while. It started life as The Wish, but that didn’t say much to me, except for the bit about it being about hope and determination, which is what wishing is about, for me. I think that, beneath the hippy sentiments and the slightly fuzzy take on reality, I tend to see the world pretty much as it is, with a wistful sense that it has a long way to go before it will e truly civilised.

BEST WISHES?
So, what ARE my best wishes? Peace, Unity, Love, and Having Fun. Yeah, at the core of it, those are the ideals I stand for. But whenever you state such simple wishes, well-meaning or just plain mean-minded people will give you every reason under the sun why it can’t be done, and what it always comes back to for me is a certain unwillingness to make the change you want to see in the world by starting with yourself. Every time I hear the rationalisations, I realise that most of the people I know don’t think change can happen, and definitely don’t believe that one person can make those changes. Well, perhaps not entirely, but it IS true that all such changes have to start somewhere, and making excuses won’t solve anything. If you don’t think you’ve got what it takes, fine, get the fuck out of the way and shut up; some of us are working here. Tearing down a movement before it gets started is an act of cowardice, no matter how ‘smart’ you think you’re being.

So, at the base of it, it’s those four things, but I also have one more that doesn’t get enough respect these days: Hope. Hope for a better future. Not the blind faith, touchy feely warm glow Hope that smart people probably think is utter bollocks. I’m talking about that spark of hope that comes with the knowledge that there is work to do, and plans to be made, but that there is a definite direction to go in, and a place waiting for us if we make the journey to get there. What I think of when I think of Real Hope isn’t just a nice idea; it’s a duty and an imperative. If you aren’t working towards bridging the gaps between human beings and trying to make life better for those who need and want the help, then you’re reneging on your responsibilities as a citizen of the planet, and I have no time for you. Get with the program, or get out of the way. This is The Work I’m talking about, here, and it’s not just hippy shit.

WHAT NEXT?
I have a few ideas about where I’d like to go next, but I wanted to get one singular piece sorted out before I embarked on any bigger, more ambitious, more layered pieces. I also have plans for a triptych of small panels to go with this piece, but I haven’t painted them yet. This is a dangerous thing, but I think I can get away with it. I also still have a notion about doing a graphic novel featuring the anthropomorphic spirits of my dead cats. I’m just giving it some time, to let Dawn get used to the idea. She thinks it’s too soon, and maybe not right, because she fears I’m trying to profit from tragedy. I get that, and I agree, but this isn’t about profit; it’s about letting the muses guide me to a solution, and a way of properly commemorating my beautiful boys. i want the story to be deep, touching and moving, as well as fun to read. I think I can do that. I need to do that. It’s part of my process. This is how I have always dealt with grief. I try to make it into a story or a piece of art.

So the next series of paintings will continue in a similar vein, but will be more overtly panel-based, to make it clear to folks that they are looking at a kind of sequential art. Then I will start integrating illustration and abstraction into another form of sequential art, closer tot he stuff that inspired me when I first started dabbling in abstract back in the late 80s.

Anway, I should be asleep. Talk to you folks tomorrow.

Lee.

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They Put You In A Box So You Can’t Get Hurt

Okay, I managed to get the painting done, and I even managed to take a handful of photographs while doing it:

Here’s that gessoed surface I mentioned earlier:
IMG_7412

I decided I needed a bright, colourful background texture, but to start with, I just squeezed out the words ‘The Wish’ and ‘All I Need’ in gold and silver acrylic paints respectively:
IMG_7416

After that, I used scrubby sponges to mash and spread the gold and silver into a roughly homogenous sort of fuzzy undercoat (I spattered and sponged on some gloss gel medium afterwards; I’m hoping that helps reflect some light through the bits that still show through):
IMG_7418

Here’s my palette after the first of three applications of black and white acrylic paint (I really piled it on, this time around):
IMG_7420

And here are the colours, a few of which I used during the third round of acrylic:
IMG_7421

This is the results of the first stage of painting. If I had been trying for a Jackson Pollock effect, I’d have stopped here:
IMG_7424

The second coating got it into the realm of where my style starts to take over from Pollock’s. The important thing is, it’s still mostly chromatic at this stage:
IMG_7430

Finally, the board is almost completely covered in crisscrossing splashes, slashed and drops of mixed paint. In this final stage, I integrated a few blobs of primary colour into the composition:
IMG_7434

So that was where I stopped. I don’t know for certain if the piece is truly finished. I’ll need the piece to dry for a few days (it’s REALLY thick), and then I’ll have to spend some time getting acquainted with it to see if I like where it’s at, or if I’ll have to do another stage or two of painting to get it where I really want it to be.

For now, the piece is called ‘Wishing’. It may change. This piece took a fair bit out of me, but I feel like another session may be in order. And of course, it won’t be complete until I apply a couple of coats of varnish to bring out the colour and vibrancy again.

Thank you for reading and sharing (please share) this blog entry with your friends. And remember, just because it looks like something that could be done by a child doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work, skill and imagination to apply those colours and tones more or less where I want them to go, creating the effects I wanted to see. I started making paintings like this over twenty five years ago. You have to accept that there is more to it than it seems.

Lee.

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And By The Way, Girl, What’s Your Name Again?

Okay, so I guess I’m gonna do some painting today. I have this board I’ve primed with gesso, and I’m thinking I want to get it painted before something dire happens tot he board from neglect. The decision needs to be made, however: I need to decide if it’s going to be portrait or landscape orientation. The board is 12″x24″, so this will make a significant difference in the composition. I can’t really move the board around once I get started, because my splatter box is probably only just wide enough to take it sideways, and I want there to be enough room for paint to drip down to form the ‘sides’, since the board rests on a frame about two and a half inches thick.

I may also work on the second act of the book. I have it open. I just can’t figure out where I was going with it, and haven’t decided if I’m just gonna scrap the current thought and take it in a direction I can sort out.

Finally, I have chores to do. Dishes and cleaning the kitchen, plus some vacuuming in the living room. Carpet needs a shampooing, too, but I don’t know if I’m going to do that today.

Anyway, that’s just about all I’ve got for today. I’ll be posting pictures of the painting process, once I get it started. Probably post them on Facebook and Twitter, and maybe (MAYBE) do a show and tell tomorrow on the blog, if I remember to take enough photos of the process. Maybe a tutorial.

Could be a good day. We’ll see. Thank you for reading.

Lee.

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Well I’m Taking My Time, I’m Just Movin’ Along… You’ll Forget About Me After I Am Gone

Okay, super short one.

I published a book the other day. You haven’t read it yet. Only one person has, and it’s changed a tiny bit since she did, so belive me, none of you know this one. And I have another act coming in about a month, and I’m hoping to have the third done for Christmas.

I’m starting to noodle with STEEP INCLINATIONS again. Can’t recall if I’ve done a page here or not fo rit. Probably not. Soon.

I’m going to do a major abstract expression piece. I think I’m ready, and I’m thinking it will be sort of the spiritual grandchild of Neo, the little black and white painting I sold last month.

NEO:
Neo - Sold

I’m thinking about how I can do it without really falling far short of the glory, and without overdoing it, as well. It was and is an important piece to me, but it’s found a nice new home, and I’m thinking it’s time to see what I can do with the basic concept in 2014. I already have the board selected and prepped. It’s going to be on wood this time; no more art board curling up and needing to be glued down to wood after the fact. I’d do it on canvas, but I think that even relatively tight canvas will have too much bounce for what I’m trying to do. My techniques reward a really stiff surface best.

Okay, I said super short, and I meant it. So have a great weekend, and if you want something interesting to read, go buy my new book. Or, you know, go buy one of my prints. Honest to goodness, this stuff is great work. It’ll be worth something someday. I just hope it happens before I die. That would be depressing.

Thanks for reading.

Lee.

Posted in Art, Art For Sale, Books, Books of Limbo, Ebooks, Etcetera Thesis Music, Music, One a Day, Steep Inclinations, Writing | Leave a comment

Some Come On, Let It All Out… Let It Bleed…

Okay, so I’m ALMOST done revisions and editing and SUBMITTING my novel to Smashwords AND Createspace. It’s a pretty involved process. Digging up all of the information to get every detail just so before submitting is pretty much impossible, so I’m having to submit first and revise after they tell me what I did wrong. Frustrating, yes, but it’s coming along. I think I’ve pretty much got it licked now, save for the spine of the cover, which will once again have to be edited on their end, because I couldn’t find the table on spine thickness this time around. I really thought I had that bookmarked.

So I had to revise the cover this morning because… get this… I misspelled my last name. Too many ‘ells’. Laughing my balls off right now. It’s not often I miss a detail like that, and especially in my own name, which I’ve been publishing under for a few years now. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why it’s dangerous to do everything yourself, without at least a little bit of oversight.

Anyway, the book is submitted and waiting for review. Could be a day before the thing is approved by both sites. The print version will be HERE, and the ebook version is already more or less up and available HERE.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. What have you been up to?

Lee.

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So Hot

So I’m having trouble getting any work done because even the AC can’t break today’s heat.

As such, I give you these two thoughts:

1) I made this poster…
Too Hot
…at least two years ago, and none of you have bought it;

and 2) I wrote this short story…
Winterlude
…in part for my wife, but also because I hate summer, much prefer winter, and wanted to write a story from Jeannie Kinneman’s point of view.

I’m also listening to Brian Wilson’s remake of SMiLE and reading about David Johansen and The New York Dolls.

I plan on publishing a book some time today or tomorrow at latest. I expect you all to buy a copy. No excuses this time.

Thank you for reading. Talk to you soon.

Lee.

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It’s A Marvel To Me… I Never Thought I’d Sink In This Deep.

Busy. Editing and formatting SUDDEN DEPARTURES, the first act of THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO. Going to be at it all day. got the laptop on the desktop with the desktop computer running in tandem. Gonna get this prepared and published at Smashwords and Createspace today or tomorrow if it kills me. I also might do some promo graphics stuff. Maybe.

So you’ll have to pardon my absence. I’m trying to get a lot of backlog taken care of. Back in a day or two, when I get a few sales.

TTYL. Thanks for reading.

Lee.

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