Friday, December 28, 2012


acrylic on Arches 300 watercolor paper 8" x 10"

I'm pretty confident most of us are left with the feeling that we're trying to do too much. For myself, just about everyday starts with a certain optimism about how much can be accomplished, and ends somewhere short of that mark. Writing for this blog has been a regular victim of those shortages of time.

X.28 was finished about a month ago. I'd planned on posting it with an eye to the end of autumn, around the Thanksgiving holiday. The shape of x.28 reminded me of the gourds that are used as decoration about that time of year. I rather liked that idea, and I have a real fondness for fruits and vegetables with faces. 

Of course I never wrote that blog entry, and I couldn't quite figure out how to introduce x.28 to the world, until I realized it would be a good end-of-year post. So here's an alien that went ignored in the rush to move forward with new work and keep up with all the other things that life asks of us. I missed making a Holiday alien this year, but I've been working on some pieces for a group show early next year, and look forward to sharing those. So onward into 2013. I'm hoping to populate it with another round of groovy outer space aliens!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Now Available!

The 1st assortment of Alien Menagerie Collector Cards debuted at IlluXcon V. They can be ordered from my online store for $4.50 a pack (that includes the shipping).  Originals can also be purchased here

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coming Soon!

While my blog here has been quiet, I've been busy working on several different projects and I'm exited to announce one of those today with this promo video. 

The 1st 5 card set will debut at Illuxcon 2012 in just a few days, November 8-11th. Online sales will follow shortly thereafter.


Monday, October 1, 2012


I'm not entirely sure if this is a really big alien, or if that's a really tiny planet.

acrylic on Arches 300 watercolor paper 8" x 10"

Monday, September 17, 2012

alien menagerie extract #26

acrylic on Arches 300 watercolor paper 8" x 10"

Initially these 'extracts' were meant to give me a chance to paint some of my aliens without the full commitment (and time) that the oil pieces take, and painting these has really become an immensely fun project all of it's own. I completed the twenty-fifth extract back in June.

Uchujin x.26 feels like the start of chapter two in this series of paintings.

I'm using Arches 300 cold press watercolor paper now. As I was painting, I went through a bit of a panic and started another version on Rives BFK, but realized it was unnecessary. Much as I like the softness of Rives, switching to a tougher watercolor paper has definite advantages.

onward to x.50!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Paul Lehr

How has your summer been? 

I've been working on some new alien menagerie pieces, but I thought I'd share some artwork from one of my illustration heroes, Paul Lehr. 

I haven't had the luxury of collecting many pieces of original art, yet his is one of the few that I own. It's the cover for the paperback anthology BEST SF STORIES FROM NEW WORLDS 4.  

This is the way science fiction looks to me, moody, and suggestive. It's also a mixture of narrative and surreal. His use of color is masterful, creating a rich, strange atmosphere. I learned the power of analogous color palettes looking at his work.  The covers I've selected to show are all scanned from books I read when I first discovered the genre.

Perhaps he was a better artist than illustrator, but looking back at these covers, I'm reminded of how much easier it is for me to hang on to a striking cover image, long after the details of the story has left me. 

Paul Lehr was a student of Stanley Meltzoff at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He began painting covers in 1957 working in oils on top of casein, but in the early 60's switched to Designer's colors, and later acrylics. His work evolved as well, away from the influence of Meltzoff, developing his own unique and powerful voice. He was most prolific in the late 60's and early 70's having a commanding share of book covers within the genre.

Paul Lehr passed away in 1998, and it's one of my regrets, that I never met him.

Here's a Tumblr link for more of Paul Lehr's work:

Lehr is one of the six artists featured in the VISIONS OF NEVER by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire. You can find it here at

Friday, June 29, 2012

x.25 • Auction in Support of Cyril van der Haegen

I just recently finish alien menagerie x.25 and it's going to be part of an auction in support of my friend, Cyril van der Haegen. 

He's dealing with not one, but two life threatening illnesses. More information on that, and on the auction itself at The auction will be running from July 4th - July 14th on ebay, in conjunction with the San Diego Comic Con, where all the work donated will be on display. Artists contributing are: Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Stephan Martiniere, Donato Giancola, Dan Dos Santos, Greg Manchess, Jon Foster, Rebecca Guay, Lars Grant West, Todd Lockwood, Scott Fischer, Sam Burley, Dave Seeley, and myself. It's quite a line-up of fantasy/sci-fi illustrators! Many thanks to Dave Seeley for organizing this.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"


Monday, June 18, 2012

digital vs: traditional

I could get a lot more alien menagerie paintings finished if I made them in photoshop.

I'm not that tempted though, because this is a project where it's very important to me to have a piece of original art at the end of the process. 

Even though most of my illustrations painted before 2000 were executed in acrylics, I've adopted digital media for most of my commercial work since then. Until I did these digital pieces in 2006, "alien menagerie" had been a stack of pencil sketches made over several years which I hoped to paint someday. I made these to build up my confidence in the project after not having painted much. Each of these were done pretty rapidly: concept, sketch and paint in less than a week, and therefore some are more finished than others. I held back the shadow box treatment, focusing on the aliens themselves, and posted them in an art forum on the internet. It was a valuable transitional step to go through. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

What's in a name? : Uchujin Doumei

I've made a practice of naming pieces within "alien menagerie" in Japanese as well as English, (using the Japanese title within each image).

The Japanese name I gave the overall project is "uchujin doumei"  (宇宙人同盟)which translates to "The League of Outer Space Men"  or maybe "The League of Aliens". I really like how this title translates to English too, in some respects better than "Alien Menagerie", but I also enjoy that the names I'm using aren't direct equivalents. 

Having two titles in this way allow me to express a slightly different interpretation of the project, even if it's obscure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

uchujin x.24

Uchujin x.24 has joined the ranks of the 宇宙人同盟.
His favorite Beatle is Ringo.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Yoko d'Holbachie at AFA

Yoko d'Holbachie's work is a psychedelic wonderland populated by phantasmagoric creatures. Her subjects describe a dream space that I can easily appreciate. Frankly, I feel like there's some shared inspirational dna at work here. 

I'm not entirely sure how I first discovered her work, but I only have to look in a folder of her art that I've saved to my computer to discover when that was, October of 2009. Three paintings from the 2009 Hi-Fructose group show that year at Copro Nason, and three more from a mini show at Roq La Rue. In November of 2009, the London Miles Gallery hosted a solo show of her work, under the title "Living in your Dreams"

Until recently, I've only seen a few pieces in person as part of various group shows here in New York. I've had to rely on the internet to see what's shown at various other galleries around the world. It's been an impressive amount of work in total though! She's certainly been working diligently.

Last week, her first solo show in the US opened at the AFA gallery in Soho. "My Strange Goddess"  features 13 new pieces on panel, and 15 smaller works on water color paper. She's working in acrylics favoring the non-toxic aspects, and the quicker work time. "Regeneration" is my favorite of the selection, but they're all charming, surreal visions which stare back at you through their many varied (and unmatched eyes). The images I've collected here are from the show.

I was also happy for the opportunity to meet Yoko as she'd travelled to New York for the opening!

The exhibition runs through May 20th.
I'm sure I'll go back for another look.

If you're not in NYC, you can see the show at the exhibition mainpage on AFA's website here

Yoko's website is here

Monday, April 23, 2012

x.23 • the sea-monkey from outer space

Alien Menagerie Intergalactic HQ would like to announce the discovery of a new species, designated x.23, also known as the sea-monkey from outer space.
It would seem that by coincidence of convergent evolution, this alien shares many traits in common with the terrestrial sea-monkey, homo marinus orlandi, as there is no indication that there is any genetic relationship between x.23 and the pink homunculi of earths oceans.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Monday, April 16, 2012

x.23 in progress

A phone photo of of one of the pieces I'm working on, 宇宙人x.23 Another of my 'extracts' which are acrylics on Rives BFK paper. I'll be posting the final next Monday to alien menagerie.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sketchbook archive

I went through a box of alien menagerie sketches this morning, and pulled out this wierd fella.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Introducing x.22 from outer space

This alien of unknown origin is the newest addition to be catalogued.

X.22 subsists on radiant energy, CO2 and trace elements.

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

sketchbook March 13

I opened up a moleskine sketchbook I haven't doodled in for a few years to work a little more with this bubble headed guy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

acrylic on Rives BFK paper 8" x 10"

Chinese New Year has arrived and this one is for my own Dragon boy who turns 12 later this year.

새해 복 많이 받으세요

chúc mừng năm mới

Happy Lunar New Year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

In progress...

I'm working on a couple new oil paintings for alien menagerie. Here's a small peek at one of them in progress. One that I come and go to as time allows.