proof that I’m still alive and making art

working on a piece for molly-ren

details from “Pretty Bunny/Ugly Hare” details from “Pretty Bunny/Ugly Hare” details from “Pretty Bunny/Ugly Hare”

"Pretty Bunny/Ugly Hare"

acrylic and stickers on canvas board, 14 x 18


Something of a continuation on the theme of “fuck your fascist cuteness standards.”

Inspired by the Playboy Bunny as a restrictive concept of American female beauty, the different connotations of the words “bunny” and “hare,” and overhearing a pregnant woman discuss her fears that her unborn child would be born with a “hare lip,” because that had “just ruined” Joaquin Phoenix’s face.

Slightly dissatisfied with this painting, actually. I have a tendency to push shadows darker than I would like, and that happened in this piece. I want to develop an ability to work with paler palettes.

However, this is the first time that I’ve really tried mixing a more deliberately stylized look with traditional painting, and I am very pleased with how that turned out.

Shhh… It’s my dad’s Father’s Day gift! A portrait of Samuel Beckett.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of “The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science” by Douglas Starr.

It’s the case of a French serial killer in the late 1800s, Joseph Vascher, and the development of early forensic science by Alexandre Lacassagne.

Lacassagne worked in Lyon, France, where the morgue was housed on a barge in the Rhône. The reasoning was that this would keep the stench away from the city and it was close to the two largest sources of corpses — the hospital and the river itself. However, there were problems.

Joseph was a problem child…

details from “Amateur Psychoanalysis.” details from “Amateur Psychoanalysis.” details from “Amateur Psychoanalysis.”
details from “Sharpen and Blur.” details from “Sharpen and Blur.”

"Sharpen and Blur"

acrylic on canvas board, 16 x 11


This is one of those pieces that… doesn’t really have a deeper meaning behind it. The body is my favorite subject for art, so the way that scar tissue can alter it fascinates me. I realized I’d never done a painting of someone with a facial scar and decided to do one. As the painting progressed, I started thinking of how my greatgrandmother described the experience of having cataracts — she said it was like seeing through layers of veils. So I smeared the hell out of the background and added layers of matte medium over the sections of the image that I wanted to push backwards.

And so that’s how this came about.

Dreamed that my backyard looked into a forest. In the yard, I saw what looked like a large stag.

When I looked closer, I saw that the stag had a human face. It only had one antler, which was held in place by a ribbon. Instead of hooves, at the end of it’s legs were spindly fingers. It didn’t walk with the ‘palm’ flat to the ground like an ape, it balanced on the very tips of it’s fingers, and it’s legs didn’t move, just the spindly fingers.

Had this dream after I had spent the day wondering what I would look like if I were a demon.

Dreamed that I was putting on make up. I used gold liquid eyeliner to write “Jesus loves me, this I know. Yes, Jesus loves me.” across my cheek bones. I put sparkly orange eyeshadow on my eyelids and the end of my nose.

Dreamed about A. R., a boy that emotionally abused me from 5th - 8th grade. He seemed threatening, but also like he was coming on to me. He stood behind me and slipped his hands up into my shirt. I reached back, grabbed him by the ears, flipped him over my shoulder, and while he was on the ground, I stomped on him. Very satisfying dream.

When he bullied (abused) me, teachers and other adults frequently told me that it must be because he had a crush on me. I was very, very aware that was not the case. He never made “positive” sexual remarks towards me, never showed a lick of attraction, he loathed me. And, it seemed, women/girls in general. My therapist had a theory that A. R. was deeply repressed and self-loathing concerning possible same gender attraction on his part. He never spoke of finding women attractive, was blatantly misogynistic and lesbophobic, and actively drove me away from mutual male friends.

Maybe I dreamed of him being sexually aggressive because I’m thinking of myself as a trans boy, recognizing that a male identity means I could possibly be an object of desire for A. R., as I never was in the past. And I still rejected him. And I did what I said, for years, I could have done with half a chance — kicked his ass.

roycevomit said: this looks finished to me, it’s really beautiful regardless.

Awh! Thank you.

That’s one of the things that I really like about your art — you seem to know exactly when to stop. Your pieces aren’t overworked or fussy, they feel straightforward.

I have a hard time stopping on my pieces. I keep working them until I look at them and go “Shit, I should have stopped, like, 8 changes ago.” I’ve been trying to work on that, giving myself “assignments” or guidelines designed to limit my obsessiveness.

For instance, in the painting that I’m working on right now, I’m not allowing myself to use brown or black. That means I can only get a certain level of shadows and depth in the image, so that’s one thing that I’m not stressing about.