Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year new sketchbook

2012 has arrived and a new sketchbook has begun. For the last 20 years or more I have kept a sketch journal with meticulous attention to dating every page. The only gap is the sketch book that was stolen from my truck in Houston TX in 2001 after an opening reception at Diverseworks (along with all my tools, my partner's cameras, and even the candy in the coin holder under the dash) Above is an image of a shelf in my "storage studio" showing many of these books. I thought to start out the new year with a few pages from the last sketch book.
Many of the pages are dedicated to experimenting with color overlays for paintings I am currently working on- like the page above.
The book is also filled with poetic imagery like the page above. During my commutes to Orlando this year I decided to keep myself awake while driving by doing blind drawings of faces, buildings and dreams. Below are two examples of such drawings. I really like them in that they have no control- they are sort of like acid drawings.

The last sketch book was a normal lined composition book just like the two sketch books before it ( most of the books are in blank "art" sketchbooks but lately I have been less precious about them) This sketch book also has a few contributions from artist Spanky Hudas done in an Orlando bar while we visited.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Xin Worm T-shirts

Two examples of Xin Worm T-shirts modified for the individuals who purchased them.
These works were done at Tempus Projects Mixed Tape and T's show December 9th, 2011
There will soon be a symbol chart at so that Xin Worm members can reference the identity shirts.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tonight! Xin Worm T-shirts customized at Tempus Projects

Tonight 12/9/2011 Xin Worm identity T-shirts will be customized for anyone who purchases one from Tempus Projects from 7pm -10pm. This event is rare and has only happened annually up to this point. T-shirts bear the Xin Worm Identity Logo and are customized with a group of Xin Worm symbols based on the individual's orientation in relation to the "art world". Xin Worm is a superimposed cultural construct ( like a cult ) which focuses on the social activities surrounding visual art events. Xin Worm also places the Xin Worm individual in a meditative position which requires the individual to understand themselves as a parasitic presence in a larger body. Xin has been described by one cultural luminary as "Like Zen only stupider".

Contemplating Satan's Power

Tonight the Mixed Tape Show opens at Tempus Projects in Tampa, Florida.
I have contributed a tape that is a meditation on the nature of evil.
Every dub sold will have an original drawing based on the composition that appears on the displayed tape and the mixed dub with 17 tracks of music and mayhem.

Contemplating Satan's Power- acrylic ink drawing, audio cassette and audio cassette case covered in sulfur.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Found! Toilet sketch from 15 years ago.

This sketch was shoved into a book in my library as a marker. I have decided to post a sketch every so often from a book, found scrap of paper or whatever- just because this one made me smile.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2011

November 2011- A quick report.
November saw the completion of the Blue Bird Books signs. Both on metal, one mounted on the front of the bus and one to the side actuator that used to hold the "stop sign".

I also wanted to mention here the excellent exhibition of Brian Taylor's large scale block prints at Tempus Projects.
The exhibition, "The Intimate Order", is a beautiful exploration of a single, rather simple technique taken to extreme proportion.
The works in this exhibition are also inspired by the literature of George Bataille.
From left to right Brian Taylor, James Johnson, Clem Crowder and Kirk Wang at the opening reception of "The Intimate Order"

Also above is the newest focus of Tampa Theatre reproductions series. This dog-like gargoyle is the partner of a cherub-like gargoyle that run along the second floor landing of the theatre. Along with this new repro I have been working on a top secret project that will be reported on as soon as I have the green light.
That is it for now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October and the surprises it brings.

October is the time of randomness, of social and political upheaval and for this year pleasant surprises. Tempus projects was central in many of the art experiences for this month- snowballing in quality and frequency of events on the Tampa Bay scene like no other venue.
This proves that sustained focus on good programming, no matter how humble the space, can lead to a very interesting situation. I would add also that it is a better policy than spreading energy all over the map. October ushered out Tempus' self generated project "Return to Sender" - a mail art exchange that included artists from around the nation of varying professional status. The project also included the publication of a catalog which is available from Tempus.
Visit the Tempus web site at-
The exhibition "I Can't go On I Must go On" was the October surprise, although i should have assumed it would be interesting based on the personalities involved. Local artist via Chicago Noelle Mason is the regional liaison for this group show including the work of Benjamin Bellas, Justin Cooper, Stuart Keeler, Clinton King, Noelle Mason ,and Magdalen Wong . Under the umbrella of IE this group of artists is a pleasure to view because of the obvious dialogue that exists in their presentation. Small scale interventions coexist with larger formal pieces made with the conceptual weight as ballast located in the methodology of how the works are produced (especially in Noelle Mason's work where the title cards/brochures inform us that the works were created in terms of what it would cost an immigrant to illegally pay their way into the United States as a unit of worth- and you can probably make a good wager on who actually did the physical labor in the production of these works)
Tempus projects during the soft opening of "I Can't Go On I Must Go On"

On October 15th i went downtown to take in the Occupy Tampa events and look at some protest signs. The germination of ideas about utilizing an exhibition format within the Occupy activities has already begun ( actually even before the Occupy Wall Street movement began there have been plans in the works built around Tampa's hosting of the 2012 RNC). I will let the images speak for themselves.

Another interesting development in October was a mural being created by artist Allen Hampton in Cuscaden Park very near my studio. I watched the progress for a week or two on a wall facing Republic De Cuba on the corner of 21st Avenue just North of Ybor City. This mural celebrates some VM Ybor neighborhood folks. Portrayed are Lincoln Tomayo and two students from Academy Prep.

Photos by Allen Leper Hampton

On October 19th I met with Jade Dellinger, Jack Massing and Jay Wehnert to discuss their upcoming project in Houston with Johnny Meah ( a mutual friend to myself and all present not to mention a collaborator/friend of my partner photographer Kym O'Donnell).
So far on this blog i have not written a sentence in which the references/activities of the personnel mentioned would be greater and more diverse. To that add that we were joined by Kym O'Donnell herself, Devon Brady, Tracy Reller, Lux Devoid and Becky Flanders. And after 8 drafts of Octoberfest i ceased to be part of the mix ( at least in the cognitive sense ).
We met at The Independent on Florida Ave. in Tampa with the plan to walk to Tempus Projects (which is a block or so to the north of The Independent) and discuss plans for a project to be mentioned later.

From left to right Joe Griffith, Tracy Reller, Jay Wehnert(in background), Jack Massing(foreground) and Jade Dellinger. (Photo taken by Devon Brady)

Tracy Reller ,is the director of the before mentioned Tempus, Tampa, Fl., Jay Wehnert is the Director of Intuitive Eye, Houston TX, -,Jack Massing is one half of The Art Guys, Houston TX, and Jade Dellinger is an independent curator and author (just google his name)
The night was filled with conversation about Johnny Meah(sideshow banner painter, artist, swordswallower, human blockhead and master storyteller) who is the subject of a new exhibition at The Art Guys World Headquarters in Houston. For more info on the fantastic Johnny Meah-

Johnny Meah was also involved in a collaboration with local photographer Kym O'Donnell called Carnytown- which furthers the tangle of interconnectedness in this evening. Further subjects of conversation included teaching, Tiny Tim, The Orange Show, Andy Kaufman, the graves of blues musicians and the cruelty to marine mammals in theme park environments.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Blue Bird Book Bus paint job (almost there).

The Blue Bird Books bus in its almost complete painted finish (still some minor touch up to do). You can view the Blue Bird Books blog at
and i suggest you do!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Long Island City reprise

Some months ago I blogged about my trip to Long Island City for work. Here i will show the complete project that i assisted artist Keith Edmier to create. This work of public art was fabricated at the studio of Matthew Barney. Because of Keith Edmier's long standing friendship and work relationship with Matthew Barney he was given access to the dockside part of the studio which was required because of the scale of Edmier's work.

The entire process started with a lifeboat from a great lakes freighter. The first job i had was to strip the lifeboat of all seating, hardware and anything else that would interfere visually with Keith's new sculpture.
Next was the long process of stripping away as much of safety orange lead based paint as we could on the interior and exterior of the shell.
Here is an image of all the hardware and rotted wood stripped from the boat. Including some very cool metal floatation seats (stacked in the background) and a bunch of nifty hardware.
All holes in the bottom of the structure were then patched and the wood structure shored up with new pieces.
The floor planks were then replaced and the new finish began. The entire inner surface was to be coated with taconite. Taconite is a low grade iron ore that resembles large rust colored marbles. The work that Keith Edmier had conceived of is a meditation on the Edmund Fitzgerald disaster in the Great Lakes crossed with Viking ship burials. The Edmund Fitzgerald was carrying a cargo of taconite when it went down in Lake Superior in 1975. The final destination for the work was to be Pilan, Sweden where Keith had researched many aspects of Viking burial ritual and metal forging techniques.
Gravity was our friend during this process so the shell was rocked from side to side with a fork lift while we worked on the coating process.

Below is Andy who is an expert rigging man among other numerous talents. We worked together for about 8 days or so. Andy is very involved in Dietl International which is the most professional and well established art shipping company in the world. Suffice to say that Andy is used to problem solving on a grand scale.
The taconite creates a strange and beautiful surface with varied surface color.
One of the final parts of the sculpture was a stripped down anchor which was to be placed in the shell resting on the newly shored up platform.
Below are images of the final install in Sweden including the burial aspect and mound that is part of the work. The work titled "You gotta go out, you don't have to come back," is meant to change over time in its environment- grass will grow over the mounds, the anchor and shell will oxidize and finally the entire sculpture will be covered with a man made lake.

Here are a few links with more info on this great work of art.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I have been living next to the largest orange in the world or "The World's Largest Orange" for the last few months and have been working on various parts of Legoland, a theme park to open in Winter Haven, Fl. this month. I feel it is important to introduce the "scenic" art side into this blog because it is the commercial art that has allowed me to survive through the last 17 years or so. I have worked on reproductions of Egyptian temples to scale in foam and stucco, faux finished towers 46 stories up on the Atlantis Casino in The Bahamas, worked on Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter, touched up experiential machines at the Scientology Flagship in Clearwater FL, sculpted, painted and cast stuff for more clients than i can mention here all over the world. This post is dedicated to some of the most recent projects i have been involved with working for Nassal Co. in Orlando Fl
Below are some of the parts of Legoland, Winter Haven's entry way and large fiberglass fish for Pixar.

These are the turrets for Legoland's entrance before they are skinned out and finished.
Huge fiberglass flags adorn the tops of the turrets in its complete state.

Metal armature for the Legoland entrance arch.

Progress on the Legoland pieces can be seen in the below images.

It is worth mentioning that the hotel that i stayed at on SR 192 is between the "Largest Orange in The World" and this gift shop shaped like a wizard.
Next are images of scenic treatments and sculptures for Universal Studios. The first image is a before and after of an outhouse that needed to be aged. Using paint treatments to achieve this look is one of the many things done in the scenic industry with regularity. So common. in fact, that it becomes second nature to execute this kind of work.

Here is a sculpture of a comical swamp beast. Sculpted from urethane foam and prepped to be molded and cast with plumbing included- the head is meant to spit water on people.
More scenic adventures both past and present will be posted as part of the Cryptovisual Blog in the future.