Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

2011 is almost over. I hoped to have posted more often. I'd intended to write another "influence and inspiration" post for December. It would have been a logical time to share from a Christmas some 40 or so years ago. Of course I wish I'd had more art to share. I'm sure I close out every year with the hope that next year I'll be a more diligent painter, be more productive. I don't have to try hard find a New Year's resolution worth trying to keep. I'm fairly certain this will be my last post for 2011 as I celebrate Christmas with my family and on into the New Year.

However you celebrate, I wish everyone the happiest Holiday season. May the New Year be full of wonder for you!

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

alien menagerie holiday sale

Santa's from another planet, and here are six of his intergalactic elves. These small acrylic paintings are three inches square on Rives BFK paper.

The price is just $25 for a miniature piece of original art from my alien menagerie and they're ready to ship without delay.

Shipping is by USPS first class mail. US $5 • Canada & Mexico $6 • Overseas $7

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alien menagerie christmas elves

Tomorrow, December 11, I'll be posting 6 tiny "holiday aliens" here for sale.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 3" x 3"

Monday, December 5, 2011

post-it note alien #12

New work is coming, but in the meantime another alien on post-it. I swiped the idea for this one from my 11 year old, Trevor.

thanks for viewing!

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Monday, November 21, 2011

post-it note alien #11

I have a few more of these to post. #11 was painted at Illuxcon and sold there as well. I took this photo, but it doesn't quite match the scans I made of the others.

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

post-it note alien #10

This is the 10th of this mini aliens on post-it notes. Sold at IlluXCon 2011.

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

uchujin x.21

Tomorrow I'll be setting up at IlluXCon 2011. Of course I'll be bringing my alien menagerie along, including this guy.

I'll also have some of my science fiction book cover illustrations at the show.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Monday, October 31, 2011

post-it note alien #8

#8 and Happy Halloween from alien menagerie intergalactic headquarters!

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

post-it note alien #5

A mini-alien on post-it for Monday. Fun to do, but thinking I should use better paper for these~

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

post-it note alien #4

I'm enjoying making these tiny "paintings". The paper isn't ideal, but I love the whimsy that comes with working on post-it notes.

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


No, not the 1950's era spaceplane x-20,

Alien menagerie x.20! Painted from a pencil sketch that's dated 12/01/05. I enjoy going through the stacks of sketches I've saved looking for the next one to paint. The approach I've taken to these characters shifts over time, and I often find things I wouldn't think of drawing the same way today.

This one seems like a jaunty if corpulent fellow.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

snowman from outer space

Is September an odd time to be considering snowmen? This is "winter" in alien menagerie. Somewhere in the galaxy it's snowing right now.

oil on wood panel 19" x 20"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


OK. I've been playing with toys.

I first wrote about Mel Birnkrant's Outer Space Men here in a post "Inspirations". It's a toy line from the late 60's that has been revived by The Four Horsemen. The figures they made are modular. You can mix and match pieces to make new characters if you choose. For fun, I photographed the bodies and applied my own sensibilities to a new set of heads.

The unaltered toys below, (they are about 3 3/4" tall):

Friday, August 5, 2011

new alien

I believe this one is extracting caffeinium.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Uchujin X.17 & Norm Saunders

Here's alien menagerie x.17~

While I was working on it, I realized this might be a good opportunity to acknowledge the influence of Norm Saunders on my art.

Norm Saunders was the artist who painted the Mars Attacks trading card series, and that was the work I associated with his name. It wasn't until recently that I learned he was also the principle illustrator of some art, a series of stickers, that had a profound influence on my young, impressionable mind. They were crazy, imaginative monsters with prosaic Mike, Steve, Don and Bruce. To me, these were over the top cool. I may have drawn from them, I don't know, but I stuck them all over the headboard of my bed, probably a few other places too. The images remained stuck deep inside my head I'm certain

I remember buying them at a little convenience store in the neighborhood I lived in through 2nd grade. When our family moved out into suburbia in 1970, I never saw them in a store again. Over time I lost whatever I'd collected, and also completely forgot whatever they were called. It wasn't until Daniel Zimmer of The Illustrated Press published a book of Norman Saunders art that I rediscovered them. I was looking at the book for the art from Mars Attacks. I had no idea I was about to reacquaint myself with the awesomeness known as UGLY STICKERS! I recognized nearly every one of them. At one time, I must have had a lot! Suddenly I realized some of the joy I get from alien menagerie is in part a recreation of these outlandish cards.

I'd love to get them all, but the only card I've bought on eBay is this one, "Julie". It's one I clearly remember, and one of my favorites from the series.

It's number 17.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring • 春

This is a quick sculpey maquette I made for my alien menagerie "spring" painting that I'm doing preparatory work on. I'm enjoying the change of seasons as we're finally feeling spring here in NYC. The backyard cherry tree is in full bloom and the koi are out of their winter stupor. I've pretty much settled on a color palette for the painting and getting ready to prep a panel for it as well.

I decided a while back that each alien in the alien menagerie/seasons would have 3 eyes. This is the only one though that it's not readily apparent on as they are distributed radially around it's head. Yes, this is the sort of thing I obsess about.

Monday, April 18, 2011

3 x 3

An entire month has past since my last entry. A lot of other work, (and a spring vacation ) have kept me away from painting anything on the alien menagerie project. Time now to move forward and do more than work in my sketchbooks.

This is a post-tax filing, post-it note art post.

acrylics on 3 x 3 post-it

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Artists Help Japan

Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios has founded the Artists Help Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Fund. It is partnered with Give2Asia which has a great reputation when it comes to humanitarian efforts in Asia.

For my part, as a way to help out, I will donate 100% of the sale of these alien menagerie extracts to the Artists Help Japan fund. The price for a painting ~ $100. You get some artwork, and 100% of the money will be donated to relief efforts. These are acrylic on Rives BFK paper, 8"x10"

Shipping is by USPS priority mail. US $7 • Canada & Mexico $13 • Overseas $16

I've sent $500 to the Artists Help Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Fund.

Thank you everyone for helping me achieve this!

x.11 SOLD

x.12 SOLD

x.13 SOLD

x.15 SOLD

x.16 SOLD

Thursday, March 10, 2011

outer space man X.16

Being too busy for new alien menagerie work recently, had an unexpected upside. I posted a couple sketches here that were 10 years old, and seeing them on the blog helped me realize these were good candidates for the extract series. Here is a newly painted version of one of them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

iPhone wallpaper

I'm vain enough to use my "astronomer" painting as the lock screen on my iPhone.

Now I've admitted that publicly and what's more, put it online to download if you'd like to use it too. I'm an iPhone 3gs guy, but if you have an iPhone 4, there's one sized for you too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

(In Vietnam it is the year of the Cat, not Rabbit, so maybe this is a cat from another planet?)
I really should have started a series of aliens inspired by the Chinese Zodiac last year. Last year was "my" year. I'm a Tiger.

새해 복 많이 받으세요

chúc mừng năm mới

(multilingualism courtesy of Wikipedia)

Happy Lunar New Year!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blue Monday

I love pthalocyanine blue.
acrylic on Rives BFK paper
8"x10" ~ $100

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


These are "The Outer Space Men" from 1968. They are bendable figures similar to the then popular Major Matt Mason.

They were designed by toy inventor Mel Birnkrant who maintains an archive site here, and it's the source for several of the images in my post. The Outer Space Men are the citizens of the other planets of our Solar System.

My brothers and I had three of these. "Men" from Venus, Mars and Neptune. Always interested in space travel, and science fiction, these guys made an indelible impression on me. I clearly remember playing with them, but at some point they were lost to me, never to be found again...

... until the advent of ebay. I suppose it was about 1998 when I reacquired the lost aliens, as well as those I never had the first time around. It was a bit of magic recaptured to hold an Astro-Nautilus again.

Looking through Mel's archive site, I was a bit surprised, and really impressed that he shared the various inspirations and reference images for his designs. This was the clipping from the back of Famous Monsters Magazine that inspired the Man From Neptune. I have no idea what film it was from, but it's wonderful to see source material like this.

Eventually, I'll take my own alien menagerie on a tour of our Solar System. I can hardly wait to get started on it, but I've some other pieces to finish first.


The Outer Space Men are back today, and being released by the Four Horsemen. The first figures are here. They are releasing the original figures and a second set that were designed, prototyped but never mass produced. Best yet, Mel Birnkrant remains involved in the series.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


To start off 2011, here are some doodles from the end of 2010. ~ inhabitants of my daydreams