Monsters In My Closet!

A lot has happened since the last time I sat down to blog! I have moved back to my hometown of Asheville, NC, found a house with my fiancée, and gotten into two galleries downtown (and that’s just the very shortest version!).

I figured it was far past time that I start putting up some fresh posts, as I have been selling art with this web address on it since July. Oh ADD, is there any foolish thing that you won’t help me to do at an agonizingly slow pace?

I am excited to announce that I have put up a show of Halloween/monster/eerie themed art up at Woolworth Walk, showing from now until the end of the month. The show is called “Monsters In My Closet”.


Here is the artist’s statement for the show:


I am and artist and illustrator who has recently moved back to my hometown of Asheville after living in New Orleans, California’s Bay Area, and Atlanta. 

Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in the eerie and the bizarre. I used to get nightmares after repeatedly watching classic horror movies on Shock Theater on Saturday afternoons, despite being forbidden to do so (because my parents knew just where those nightmares were coming from). I loved reading ghost stories, and visiting places like the old Witchcraft Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I also loved spooky comic books, and was particularly impressed by Ed Roth’s monsters in hot rods, although I didn’t know who did them until much later.

All of those influences collide in Monsters In My Closet, my Halloween art show. The title refers both to the legendary monsters in every kid’s closet, as well as the fact that these pieces rarely see the light of day.


Here are some pictures of the exhibition:




Here are a few sample pieces:


Don't Let Your Tongue Get Away From You web copyright

six pack with tentacles copyright

Come check it out! Woolworth Walk has the larger show, but there are also some pieces at Zapow! Gallery.


Further Fractal Frenzy

OK, you may have noticed I’ve been focused on the fractals lately. This is a hallmark trait of ADD known as “hyperfocus”, in which an individual who usually can’t pay attention the entire way through the sentence “Dave, do you think you could please take the trash out when you get a chance?” can suddenly, miraculously, spent hours or even days completely obsessing on a topic of interest. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize on behalf of all my fellow ADDers to all of our friends, coworkers, and life partners,  for whom this trait invariably produces fits of apoplexy. Sorry guys, we’re really not deliberately ignoring you, it’s just that OMIGOD LOOK WHAT THE IMAGE DOES WHEN I DO THIS TO IT!!!

I’m sorry, where was I?

Oh, yeah, the fractal thing.

While the artwork I am producing may not be “fractal” in the strictest mathematic sense, I am using concepts that I gleaned from my studies on fractal geometry. I am creating complexity from relatively simple images by repeating, scaling, flipping, and rotating them, then producing further complexity by layering them one atop the other, with the layers reacting to the layers beneath them in different ways.

A concept that I did not mention in my earlier posts is that one quality of fractal objects is that they exhibit “self-similarity across scale”. This is a fancy way of saying that if you look at a small portion of a river, say a creek or other tributary, it will have a shape that looks very similar to what you see when you zoom out and look at the river as a whole. If you look at a single branch of a tree, you may see that the way the smallest branches divide looks very similar to the way the main branches divide from the trunk. Repetition and alteration of scale of a simple pattern achieves the same self-similarity in my fractal-inspired pieces.

Here are two pieces I did in the last couple of days, one being a self-contained piece, and the other designed for some iterating into different versions. I tried for something a little more painterly than the strict geometry of the “Kaleidomorph” series.

First, the self-contained piece, “Spiral Intersection”. I started with a drawing of some spiral roll forms, which I colored in. Then I duplicated the image on several layers, which I flipped and/or rotated to change their orientation. Next, I set up the layers to react with the other layers, experimenting with different settings until I found something I liked. Finally, I painted over portions of the image on a final top layer, to isolate the parts I liked and create the impression of a figure on a ground.(you can see it’s got a little of that Cubist flavor that I love so well.)



I created “Echoes 1” using techniques similar to the ones I used making “Spiral Intersection”.

Echoes_1webI then made a merged copy of the final “Echoes 1” image. I rotated, flipped, and scaled it, and set it atop the first image. I played around with different ways of making the two layers interact, and ended up with “Echoes 1A”.

Echoes_1AwebI liked this image for its added complexity, but I wanted to see if I could make a lighter version, with a bit better color range. This is the result, “Echoes 1B”.

Echoes_1BwebAlthough I like the way the results look when I print them out, the colors are not quite as brilliant as they look onscreen – doubtless an issue with color gamut (meaning that I have colors in the file which will show onscreen, but the printer is unable to produce that color on paper). I hope to figure a way around that; it will probably involve having to work in something like Photoshop, as Procreate (the iPad program I made these pieces with) does not give one much control over the color space. That is NOT a knock on Procreate…I paid less than $10 U.S. for it, vs the $120 a year that I pay for the privilege of access to Photoshop, and it is far and away my favorite art-making app on the iPad, as you can see by the number of pieces I have created with it that are featured on this blog. Shout out to the Tasmanian devils at Savage for their excellent product! Learn more about it here:

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New Year, New Resolutions

Cloud, 2013. digital painting, Artrage for iPad
Cloud, 2013. digital painting, Artrage for iPad

A casual overview of this blog will reveal that I started out with insanely ambitious goals (30 Robots In 30 Days!), and spectacularly crashed and burned in short order. For those of you who live with ADD, or know someone who does, this scenario probably sounds familiar. The long wait for the next post doubtless comes as no surprise to the initiated, either.
But, it’s a new year now – time to start fresh, to set new goals, to embark on yet another brave and foolish quest for World Domination!
I mentioned resolutions in the title of this post, but I don’t do resolutions anymore. My ADD guaranteed a reliably depressing outcome for any past attempts, and I don’t see any point in a ritual that inevitably leads to despairing over one’s failures and shortcomings.
My New Age-y, pagan-ish sister does “intentions” for the new year rather than resolutions. I like the sound of that a lot better… it doesn’t come across as so Legally Binding. I find it a lot more pleasant to focus on my intentions, rather than trying to live up to my resolutions. Sure, it’s all just semantics, but it seems like less of a chore.
So here, forthwith, are my intentions for the new year:
-Do More Art
Rather than waiting for the Muse to visit, I want to schedule time every week to get into the studio and work. Perhaps I will be able to focus my approach even further, but I want to achieve at least this practice.
-Get It Out There
I am currently working on getting some of my work posted to my Facebook artist page, Davenik Art, in preparation for applying to some local venues to show and sell my art. I also want to look into trying a few art fairs and festivals.
-Talk About It
I want to get back to using this blog as a platform to talk about my art, and my adventures as a struggling artist. Since it’s also a blog about living with ADD, expect plenty of interesting tangents and wanderings off the path!
Well, I guess that’s a good enough start. I hope to see you again soon! Feel free to share your ambitions for the new year in the comments section…