The work shown here begins with a group of cover designs for imaginary pulp-fiction novels done in both parody of and homage to the sleazy paperbacks of the 1950's. These were done on my first Mac computer, as I taught myself Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator, and set myself the challenge of making digital images that would look like they'd been done in traditional media. At that point I had done a good deal of drawing but had never really confronted the challenges of painting. Digital media seemed like a way to avoid all the inconveniences of paint: the mess, the imprecision, the intractable mistakes that always seemed impossible to correct without introducing new ones.
On completing the group, I decided that, while I'd done decently well at meeting the challenge I'd set for myself, they really would have looked better if done in plain old traditional materials. And that's what set me on the road to learning how to paint.
Also shown here are several figure studies. All are based on drawings from life, augmented here and there by photographic reference and some after-the-fact embellishment. The color pieces are done in watercolor, colored pencil, and charcoal on toned paper.
Finally, there are two large oil paintings of Coney Island Mermaids. These were participants in the yearly Coney Island Mermaid Parade who answered my online ad to come pose for me in costume. I hope Jessel will not mind that, in plain defiance of fact, I gave her an actual mermaid's tail. The octopus was also my addition. Since Kate came dressed as a cowgirl mermaid, I thought she should have something to shoot at, so I put her in front of one of those shooting-game booths with clown heads. Everyone hates clowns, but it must be said that they are fun to paint, especially ones in positions of restraint and imminent distress.