Early 2023. Left: a digital sketch for a painting currently on the easel. The painting measures 15.5 x 20 in. and is meant to fit an ornate baroque frame purchased on eBay. The imagery was developed in part from AI-generated sketches, and shows Stephen Hawking in an art-and mathematics-inspired reverie.
Right: A set of thumbnail sketches of Stephen Hawking generated using Craiyon (an AI image generator). Images like these were used as a source of ideas for several sets of current portraits (which also include a set of popes watching television).
Left: Alice and Pope Innocent X watching television. The Pope and Alice are watching a Punch and Judy show; Alice has also been working on a painting assignment of her own based on her current interest in Cy Twombly. The imagery was inspired in part by AI-generated sketches (including Craiyon and Midjourney). This is one of a set of digital sketches for an up-coming set of paintings.
Right: Another AI-generated set of portraits.
Two sketches for proposed paintings of Stephen Hawking (the one on the left is a 30 x 30 in oil painting in progress). The inspiration for the Stephen Hawking set comes in part from a conversation with a colleague who was showing a set of drawings he had done of famous physicists. “Is there a reason you decided not to include Stephen Hawking?” he was asked. “Well, right, in theory I should have included him but he’s just too ugly.”
Fall 2022: Painting continues (see below for paintings currently on the easel, specifically On the Road Again). I also continue to explore ideas for new paintings. At the moment I have a bit of an obsession with “AI Art Generators” like DALLE-2, Craiyon, and Midjourney.
I first began playing with Craiyon a few weeks ago; the sketches were surprisingly compelling, perhaps a bit like the doodles of a promising art student who has taken a mild dose of psilocybin?
Here are two image sets done with Craiyon. I have included the prompts I used to generate the sets; note the use of the name of an artist as an influence on the style of the output. Among the AI generators I have tried, Craiyon seems to have the most interesting, often rather Dionysian, imagination; the limitation (at the moment and in my recent experience) is the inability to scale up to a more detailed sketch.
May 2022. Left: Woman with Cat (Hebuterne version). Right: On the Road Again (Ophiomancy). These are digital sketches for new oil paintings. I have been working with this imagery, in particular the Jesus-in-Wheelchair theme, over the past several months. Ophiomancy refers to fortune-telling by snakes: a serpent appears in my dreams . . . what does this portend? Click on images for detail.
Another digital sketch on the Jesus-in-Wheelchair theme. All the elements here started as 3-D models (i.e. the wheelchair, Christ figure, and the city); many of the neon signs in particular were built by hand using Blender and other digital software.
This theme flows from previous work – i.e. a series entitled The Convalescence (i.e. a Hellenistic teacher-healer is roaming the world in search of healing from his near-death experience.)
Left: The Trinity with Martyrs. This is an oil painting currently on the easel. The few friends that have seen work-in-progress on this image seem to find it particularly repellent. Given the strength of their objections, I “shelved” it for several weeks . . . only to return to it recently. The appeal (for me) seems to lie in the way it embodies a set of primordial fears and insights (into the nature of time, human morality, etc).
Right: The Cartomancer. A tarot reading takes on nuances of a poker game. Digital sketch for possible oil painting.
Gothic Cityscape with Angel (click the image for detail). This is the digital sketch for an oil painting currently nearing completion. As suggested above, the cityscape is a 3d model; a few of the neon signs are of particular interest since they required hours of “hand building” (with 3-d software such as Hexagon, Blender, etc).
Left: I seem to have gone through a mid-summer obsession with the therianthropic Serpent-in-the-Garden theme. The therianthrope (part human-part animal) appears early in the history of art (in the caves of the Upper Paleolithic) and is typically associated with Shamanism. As a child, the Serpent-in-the-Garden was my first encounter with such creatures. As the story was told to me (based loosely on the opening chapters of Genesis), a woman, walking alone in a Primordial Garden, was enchanted by the poetry of a talking snake. In early Christian depictions of this story, the Serpent has the upper body of a seductive woman. Most of these images have more recently been relegated to my “need further consideration” file.
Right (click for detail): I will admit that I find my “Isenharp” set particularly weird. The screaming Christ on the Harp is inspired by a pilgrimage to Colmar, France, to see the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald. (The ambivalent nature of the harp also features in the work of Hieronymus Bosch.) The theme is ostensibly “Redemption through Suffering” (the Isenheim Altarpiece was originally intended for a Medieval hospital).
This is a recent view of the studio, with an “Owl and Pussycat” version of the Salvator Mundi on the easel. Other paintings – awaiting final touches and framing – are visible as well.
This is the entrance to the Oneiros Gallery including the list of 12 or so featured paintings. While the gallery itself is virtual (i.e. digital 3-d) the work is real (oil on canvas), framed and sized as shown. Details of the paintings are available in Gallery One (see menu).