red eye and the click

     I think I’m starting to click a little.  When I’m first learning most things I’m rather slow and plodding as I get acclimated to the task at hand.  At some point I get to where things seem to “click” and suddenly methods make sense, ideas crystallize and I pick up speed.  Maybe it was just the long weekends in October but I’ve definitely become much more comfortable with painting even if it can’t be accurately described as a full-on “click.”

     What you see above is what I’m happy to announce as a new style of mine called Red Eye.  Not that this is the first one I’ve shown you.  I sneaked one in during my OPG, if you recall.  I did a bunch of these this past month and I’m still quite happy to keep on doing them.  I’m pretty hooked at the moment : )  Really enjoying the mostly unconnected brush strokes.

march nightmare

     Well, I tried to save the best for last.  This post at least has the highest number of artworks I’ve ever included in one post before.  Anyway, here goes:

     Back in March the wife and I had a very good Saturday.  We slept late, went out to eat, futzed around town, running a couple of errands, generally having a good time.  It all culminated that evening with us having a blast at dinner (appetizer dinner, one of our favorites!), consuming more than the usual amount of wine and watching one of our favorite movies, Evil Dead II.  We enjoyed it almost as much as the first time we saw it.  However, I often found myself (as I realized later) taking it a little too seriously at times, saying things like, “You know, someone actually going through something this extremely supernatural and horrific might APPEAR to be acting in an absurd or comical way.  From my experience, the OUTWARD appearance of your actions is often out of step with what you’re actually feeling INSIDE.”  In my mind I thought I was just having fun with my conjecture and my ‘What if this was REALLY HAPPENING!?’ thought exercise.  What I didn’t know at the time is that I was planting the seeds of fear in my own impressionable, wine-marinated brain.  Not surprisingly, that night I had a nightmare.

     It opens in some strange house I’ve never been in before (as a lot of my unpleasant dreams do).  There’s a zombie somewhere and it’s all the fault of this douchebag son of some rich guy (apparently this is their house).  Not sure why I know all of this, it’s just the given facts of the dream.

      Anyway, next thing I know I’ve opened a closet door somewhere in the house and find myself standing face to face with the aforementioned zombie.  He’s not all, “Bleearrgh! Graaaarr! Brains!” or extremely gross looking or anything.  He’s a middle-aged, balding man in a suit.  He has a blank stare and is filthy (as zombies are wont to be) but the expressionless face looking back at me from the shadows of the freshly opened closet is particularly unsettling.

       Jump cut to a side view of the the closet.  From the top shelf of the closet, the zombie suddenly shoots out head first, arms at his sides, entire body parallel to the floor and stops at the waist.  The room is lit with a sickly, bright (yet also dark) orange and the top half of the zombie is sticking out of the closet, stiff as a board like the top drawer of a dresser.  Suddenly, his arms shoot out, doubling his visible length.

     Next thing I see (not that I actually recall seeing it, it’s more like my mind TOLD ME I was seeing it) is the zombie and the douchebag son wrestling on the floor in front of the closet.  The room is still lit in that sickly orange as they struggle, the zombie now in full, aggressive “Romero” mode.

     The scene changes again and I’m pretty sure I have the son safely behind me and the zombie is prone on the floor in front of me.  I’m jabbing at him with a transfer shovel trying to decapitate him.  We now seem to be in the living room.  Beyond the zombie I can see furniture, potted plants, windows and glass doors that lead outside to a back yard or patio.  It’s night time and the room is now a dark, moonlit environment and I can see streaks of blood running down the zombie’s face.  I jab again with the shovel, a little off target, and hit him in the face.  I don’t see it but I clearly feel a splash of warm liquid hit my left cheek and eye.

     Everything becomes a little unclear at this point, although in the next moment I somehow know that I’ve killed the zombie.  Then I look up at the ceiling and I see the shadow of a thin, unclothed, headless figure.  It’s arms are flailing wildly and shooting from it’s neck are what seems to be both short lengths of hair and what looks like small moths but they have no bodies, just a pair of fluttering wings, much like heart-shaped pieces of paper folded down the middle…

 …I’m terrified and I realize the ghost of the zombie is casting this shadow!  I panic and swing the shovel wildly at where I think the ghost is.  The force of the swing in my arm and shoulder as I hit nothing is the last thing I feel.


     I woke up, hungover and so dry my eyelids were almost making scratching noises every time I blinked.  I was still pretty creeped out and, even though I keep a pretty much nocturnal schedule and there was plenty of daylight in the house, I was still seriously keeping a wary eye on the hallway for any shambling zombies that might be coming my way.  After some liquids, pain killers and a light snack I was finally able to get back to sleep.

Lastly, here’s another incarnation of the nightmare zombie:

     Well, I hope you enjoyed this.  I have to say this was the most vivid nightmare I’ve had in years.  My only regret is that I wish I could’ve done more artistic justice to it.  That’s not to say I didn’t produce a few decent images but I never really felt I completely captured the true vividness of the experience.  Oh well, I guess room for improvement is a good thing.

     Whew!  Has this been a crazy month or what?  I’m glad I took all the time off from work.  Three-day weekends all month has been SA-WEEET!  It’s gotten me rested up and ye olde creative juices flowing as well!  I look forward to the holidays and you should too, as I have a stockpile of new artworks just itching to be posted : D  Thanks for stopping by, you crazy kids are the best!

red mouth

     This past weekend I had myself the previously mentioned Paint-a-Palooza and, while I said I was going to sit on those paintings for a while and revisit them at a later date, I just couldn’t keep this one to myself!  This one (like most of the rest) started out as a random background I made with six sheets of paper and various paint slatherings all sandwiched together.  After they all dried I had the fun of deciding what to do with all the backgrounds.  I think this one came together pretty well, if I do say so myself.  Man, am I lovin’ the red and black lately : D

branchy skully

     As promised, here’s more of my recent brush work featuring more open, unconnected lines.  I’m really liking this style of painting.  It’s quick, fun and I don’t get bogged down with details.  Also, it’s a good way to practice technique.

     Last night I had myself a little Painta-Palooza and knocked out about six of these.  Those added to what I’ve already done this month add up to more than I can keep track of which is a very very good thing!  I love being able to just knock a bunch of shit out and come back to it all later to reflect and observe.  Hopefully that will mean some good blog posts in the not too distant future.

magma injection

     Some marker from earlier this year.  I like this guy ’cause he looks like he’s being injected with some sort of magma or liquid fire.  That’s all I’ve got I guess.  My interests are really trending more towards painting lately.  In fact, that’s what I’m itching to do right now.

     Oh yeah, I know this blog isn’t a big draw for bad movie lovers but if you happen to need something fun to do tonight, check this out!  I’ll be there, yucking it up with the rest of the crew.

blood puke

Here I go with the puking again.  Not sure what it represents, aside from the fact that society and human behavior DOES make me pretty damned nauseous most of the time.  Or maybe this is what happens after you’ve nommed on this guy’s juicy little brain for a while.

I did have a little technical trouble getting the two halves of this to go together properly.  That obvious line about mid-eyeball is pretty noticeable but I think works as sort of a line of sight thing.  Like, “Oh Jesus Christ!  That guy just fell off the building and splattered on the pavement!  I think I’m gonna….  HUUUAAARRRRGGG!!!”

psycho squirrel


     Drawn shortly after heat tumor, I got half way through this and just stopped.  At the time it just looked stupid, like some dumbass squirrel or chipmunk or something.  Today, I was leafing through my sketchbook and I suddenly saw the humor in it.  So here he is:  Psycho Squirrel, off his meds, with a can of gas in one hand and a book of matches in the other.  You better hope your home owners insurance is paid up.

human ugliness


     I know, I know.  Here I go again with the cocks but this ended up being more than just an immature, self-indulgent cock painting.  I mean, sure, it STARTED that way but (as you can see) it ended up being pretty dang artsy fartsy, especially for me.  The colors really came together pretty well, if I do say so myself.  The blood vessel look came from simply sandwiching a liberal amount of paint between two sheets of watercolor paper and applying some smoothing pressure with a heavy metal ruler I had laying around.  It’s a really fast, fun technique to use and (depending on the colors you use) the texture ends up looking like blood, leather, vegetation, etc.

     As for content, I think this turned out pretty obscene.  I’m definitely no stranger to obscenity in my art but there’s something about the vivid red from the acrylic just makes me cringe a little, like I just witnessed, well…  a rape.  Or a murder.  Or both.  Yeah, a little nauseous maybe.  Heh, maybe I shoulda saved this for the OPG.  The best horror always includes more than a little real, human ugliness in it.

thick wet lines

     It’s hard to describe how I feel.  I just finished the thick, wet lines of this piece.  Something about this painting has put me in an intense, mostly unidentifiable mood.  This is a skull so I’m guessing fear is in there.  Probably some of the standard fear of the future associated with skulls and skeletons but that’s definitely not all.  There’s something angry and brooding about this as well.  Something that drains me and outrages me at the thought of it stealing my energy.  Still, I’m fascinated by it.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  How it makes me feel.  I find myself frowning, like my whole skull and brain area is tensing up.  My head feels warm.  No, my brain feels warm.  I feel like I need to cry but I’m not sure why.  I feel violent.  I’m sick and tired of work.  I’m bored at work.  I only have one or two days a week during a normal week when I have the time and feel rested enough to pursue my artwork.  Not sure where I’m going with this.

     Last night the wife and I enjoyed a bunch of sushi and wine.  Afterwards we had desert, mixed drinks and enjoyed a very good vampire movie.  Today we went out to eat, got caught in a downpour, drove to get ice cream and soda in said downpour and came home.  After a brief scare of our air conditioner temporarily not working due to the storm, I made myself a jumbo margarita and completed another fuzzy skeletonian for October.  When we got hungry again, we nommed the hell out of a pre-made rotisserie chicken.  After dinner and coffee I came back here to my room and completed this painting.  Now I’m sitting here, listening to the Blade Runner soundtrack trying to sort out my feelings.  Maybe I’m wrestling with some sort of moody, artistic conundrum or maybe I’m just a tad hung over and disappointed that the weekend is winding to a close.  I think the painting is dry now.  Better get it scanned and start getting ready for bed.  Have a good week.

heat tumor

     I was leafing through some of my recent works, trying to decide what to post next, and this one jumped out at me.  I immediately showed it to my wife (who’s been having a bit of trouble tolerating the heat lately) to show her that she’s not alone.  Yeesh, the summer heat malaise is in full swing, init?  She remarked that at least my hairy heat sufferer above had a flower in their hair.  I prefer to think of it as kind of a “heat tumor”, if you will.  A bright swirly orb of pain, much like the July sun here in Kansas.

     Heh, considering these recurring red and orange backgrounds, I might be on the verge of a new series/style.  Maybe I’ll call it heat stroke in keeping with the bodily ailment theme that I started with nose bleed.  We’ll see.

hot and cold

     I’ve been diggin’ on these red and orange backgrounds lately.  Or perhaps they are just a product of my hatred of summer.  Can you fucking believe it’s summer already?  THE YEAR IS ALREADY HALF OVER!  Where does the time go?  Oi, no matter.  At least the best half of the year is ahead of us now.  We’ll get to see the demise of summer, the rise of fall and finally the sweet, sweet cooling of my molecules that winter brings.  I love the cold.  If it never got above 50 degrees again I would be just pleased as punch.  Just need to keep my head down and get through this heat as best I can.  Stay cool, peeps.

dad or murder?

     This one reminds me of my dad for some reason.  I think it’s the hair, except my dad’s hair was curly and not at all coarse or spiky.  Also, my dad only had one eye and it wasn’t in the habit of bleeding profusely.  So maybe this isn’t my dad.  Maybe it’s the partially decomposed corpse of the guy I killed back in April.  I think I like the sound of that the best.

     Tired ramblings aside, this is my latest greatest effort with my brush markers.  I do love using messy, impulsive technique.  Very fun and satisfying.  Hey, thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend!

logo man and the pain of college

     Recently got the courage up to go through the two old beat up portfolios of crap I saved from college.  Mostly messy charcoal drawings and the like.  No two ways about it, college was messy.  Amidst the flimsy, torn charcoal drawings I came across this little bit of brush work from one of my classes.  We were working with an India ink wash or some shit an this was one of my little doodles.  If you don’t know already “Vincent Stemkin” is my pseudonym and what you see above are my real initials.  Dang, just look at that shit.  So young and positive and fullo ambition.  Egotistical dreams of greatness…

     Man, this is difficult.  I’ll stop here and let my ambitious little logo sit and gel, hopefully finding a place for itself in the latest chapter of my artistic life.

noseless confusion

     Yeah, I know!  What the hell is this!?  You’d figure I’d be all fuzzy skeletonian up in your ass right now.  Well, the truth is I’ve been taking it easy this week, recovering from my latest illness.  I’m at about 95%.  Still clearing phlegm.  You totally needed to know that.

     Aaaaanyway, here’s more nose bleed stuff.  Done in between feather stare and volcano brain this drawing gave me a little trouble while I was scanning it.  Not in the technical fuck you fucking fuck I hate you computer software mangling my artwork gonna kill you in your sleep kind of way.  It was more in the drawing a blank can’t think of what to name the filename sort of way.  Usually, I can rattle off a quick filename that clicks (i.e. blood drool, hungry head, brain fire) but this time I just stared at this thing and totally drew a blank.  Sure he’s got uneven eyes, bloody teeth and what looks like a very excited brain but none of those clicked in my head as the right name.  I got so stuck and confused that I asked my wife what she saw in this and she pointed out that he has no nose and the rest is history.  Yeesh, that was a long explanation.  Kudos to you for reading this far!

     Okay, I’m done for the day.  Hey, head on over to Mr. Gable’s Reality today.  He’s got some exciting news!