Wednesday, December 22, 2010

artist feature in rooms magazine, issue #3

Late last summer an amazing art publication from the UK called Rooms Magazine sent me an e-mail to see if I was interested in submitting some art to be featured in their mag. Of course I said yes, and filled out their forms, which was a fairly long but not too difficult process. It was well worth it too, as you can see by the quality of this magazine! Their publication is available in both print and online form. Since I've got some work in it (see below), I'll soon receive issue three from them in the mail, which I'll post about here in the future. 

2010 has been a year of many ups and some major downs. Getting my art out there this year, and having it appreciated, sold, and in the company of the art and artists I love has been a major up for me personally.  In the meantime please check out and support this truly excellent magazine. Issue one is officially sold out, and you can find this fine publication in galleries and boutiques throughout England and globally.  Thank you Rooms for the fantastic work you do and for this opportunity!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


made for the Illustration Friday topic "mail", mixed media on 11" x 9" watercolor paper, 12/2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

artist feature in carpaccio magazine, issue 21

It seems my tortoise and bird drawings have been getting around a lot these days. Currently, you'll find them featured in the latest issue of Carpaccio Magazine, issue #21 "The Long Fall" (pages 34 & 35). Carpaccio is a gorgeous monthly art, photography and illustration publication based in Spain. Most issues are published both online and in limited edition physical form through the wonderful independent publishers, Atem Books. While this current issue will not be available to buy physically, Carpaccio plan on compiling work from this, along with issue 22 and 23 into their “Carpaccio Guide to emerging illustrators, photographers & artists Vol. 4″ , which will be available to purchase in non-digital format. Here's a sample of Vol 3, which is still available for purchase and on sale. In the meantime, you can scroll through this lovely mag online when you get a chance, and keep your eyes peeled in January for issue #22, where I'll have more art work featured. Thanks to Maria and Emma for doing such a magnificent job with this book!

*click above image for larger viewing

Thursday, December 9, 2010

blanket magazine featured artist

A little while ago, while browsing the internet for some creative inspiration, like I sometimes do, I found this amazing online art and design publication called Blanket Magazine. I saw they had a call for artists to be featured in their upcoming issue 25, "The Celebration Issue". They were also looking for art for their annual downloadable calendar. So, on a whim, I thought I'd send some files their way. When the magazine's editor Bec Brown e-mailed me a couple of weeks later telling me they wanted to feature my work in their calendar, as well as interview me, I was literally speechless. Honestly, I didn't think I had much of a chance at all, especially with roughly 90 other entries from around the world competing for a spot on the calendar. Up to this point, I was also required to keep it a secret, which was no easy task. 

The magazine itself comes out six times a year and is subscription only. After receiving my free issue this evening, and leafing through, I can see why. It's just as good, and in many cases, better than many professional publications out there in the stores right now, and is literally jam-packed with outstanding art and design and creative inspiration. I can't say enough good things about this mag. This month's cover art is pretty astounding too - a collaboration between Simon Wild and one of my personal favorite artists, Thereza Rowe (aka Tiny Red), who I interviewed at my blog a couple of years ago! I highly recommend  supporting this beautiful publication and purchase yourself an issue. Issue 25 also includes the downloadable annual calendar free with purchase. You can buy the calendar separately however, if you like. 

What makes being a part of the Celebration Issue truly special is the timing. I remember being in the hospital the morning before my mom passed away, and deciding to take a few minutes to get out of her room and get some fresh air. I was emotionally and mentally drained at this point and decided to check my e-mail, which piled up within days. Most of it was garbage, with the exception of one with the interview questions from Bec, as well as a few others. A small part of me almost blew it off, as I thought it might be trivial to participate in this, considering the circumstances and my state of mind at the time. Then I realized, this was not the case at all, and if anything, it was crucial I did this for so many reasons, both personal and simply as a matter of principle. So, without much hesitation I answered the questions and sent them away. I knew I had to focus on the positive more than ever and found the theme, celebration, to be more than appropriate here since, not only did I do this for myself, but for my mom, whose life I continue to celebrate each and every day, in my own life. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

cartoon cult art opening at the soundry, vienna, virginia

Last night The Soundry art space in Vienna, VA had their art opening for Cartoon Cult. The show features cartoon-based art works in the form of painting, drawings, prints and sculpture from seventeen local artists. 

I was blown away by the intricacies of these three acrylic works. I tried working in the style with little success.

Above are some original panels from my friend Matt Dembicki, whose work looks pretty stunning framed, matted and on display there!

These little drawings on found papers by Matt Somma were very cool. You should see this guy's paintings too, in his studio at The Soundry.

Christiann MacAuley's simple comic works cracked me up, especially this one pictured above. 

To my surprise, I saw a red sticker on the label for my recently completed Splotch Monster Medley! In fact, there were a couple of interested buyers lined up for this one. Awesome!

Check out that keytar that penguin is rockin'. Wicked painting.


Matt Dembicki (above) snapping away at the show. Matt did a real nice job blogging it up too today.

I got four more Splotch Monsters lurking around the Soundry. It was fun explaining how they're made to some folks last night. 

There was lots of great, vibrant art to see up there in the music performance gallery. The opening was a little more low key than previous, which was kind of nice for a change. A good number of people did pass through however, and it was great seeing folks checking out the work and having a chat.

If you're in the Vienna, Virginia area, do not hesitate to drop by the Soundry. There's art, music, great coffee and drinks, and good food. Work for Cartoon Cult will be on display through the end of December. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

kris loya at king street coffee

Last night my wife Kris had a little solo art opening showcasing some of her photography at King Street Coffee in Leesburg, Virginia. She has eleven photos in the show, which she allowed me to help her curate, since we didn't have much time to get set up in November. 

I've always loved Kris' work, and was so glad to see some of it on display for others to see last night. She's developed a real ability to see and show simple, everyday things in a whole new light. Lately she hasn't been able to get out and shoot these days, but with a few more weeks of her temporary stint in retail about to end, I know she'll be out clicking away again soon.

Above are a couple more shots featured in the show that I forgot to photograph hanging in the shop.

Last night was also the light up night festivities in Leesburg, so the place was jam-packed with locals as well as out-of-towners. I wasn't able to get too many good shots (usually someone would accidentally walk in front of me in mid snap), so I dropped by the house this morning, where it was far more calm and peaceful. 

Artist, teacher and music-man Gary Rudinsky now has a regular gig at the place, performing alongside other musicians and singers every First Friday. Some of my former students from several years ago were there singing as well last night, doing an amazing job. 

Glass-blower Dario de Hoyos and his partner-in-crime Mike of Photon Glass Works were there selling some of their Christmas tree ornaments. Kris and I bought a couple from them last night, and look forward to visiting them in their Leesburg studio sometime soon. 

If you're in the Leesburg, Virginia area, don't hesitate to stop by King Street Coffee this month. The coffee and pastries are always excellent and Kris' work looks so much better in person. Her photos will be on display through mid-January.

Monday, November 22, 2010

for mom

It's always so difficult to write posts such as these at my blog, but this one so far has been the most difficult of all. Last Saturday, around 7:45 PM, my mom, Daria passed away from cancer at the age of 64. It's hard to believe I'm sitting here writing about this now, and she's not here anymore. She's been sick for a while but seemed to bounce back for a while since she was diagnosed with breast cancer about four years ago. My mom was never one to complain about how she was feeling and never wanted to worry anyone. She always put everyone else's needs before hers, especially those of her family's. Sometimes, she worried about us far more than she needed to, but that was just how she was. We knew things were getting worse when she did start complaining about lots of pain in recent months, but never knew just how truly bad it was. 

Up until a week ago, Kris and I were seriously looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving spent with my parents and my brother and his family in Pennsylvania. Things took a sudden turn for the worse a little over a week ago when my mom was blacking out and feeling awful all over. My dad promptly took her to the ER where they ran some scans and tests. The results indicated the cancer had spread rapidly to her bones and liver. She was soon on life support and fought hard her first two days at the hospital. We were fortunate enough to be able to talk with her and see her see us with her eyes still open, while she was still somewhat able to respond. On her third day she was no longer responding but her breathing was much more peaceful. The last time I got to see her and spend quality time with her was when her and my dad visited us in Leesburg late last August. It was the highlight of my summer, and we all had a lot of fun that weekend (photos above). She even sounded pretty good when I called her a couple of weeks ago and she "talked my ear off" (as she'd always say). I think she knew something even then however, but didn't want any of us to worry too much. 

I've got a feeling my mom probably could have gone a lot sooner, with her heart also being bad, but she hung in there for her grandsons (my nephews), now two and five, who gave her lots of joy. I know they're going to miss her badly, as all of us will. I've been going back and forth between feelings of anger, sadness and acceptance these last few days, and fortunately we've got lots of good people around us to keep our spirits up. I know we're all going to lose it when she gets buried on Wednesday though. Looking at the bright side, my mom was very well taken care of and loved, and she went peacefully at a facility that was superb with the kindest staff you could ask for. It will be toughest for my dad, who just celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary with my mom, and who recently told my brother and I how he would fall more in love with her with each passing year. I know we all have to stay strong for him, more than anything. I know my mom and our love for her will always be with us, in our hearts, and I know she would want us to continue to live, thrive and be happy. These words don't begin to do her justice, but they're better than nothing. 

In the meantime, I'm going on a brief blogging hiatus for now, but will return in December. I'm hoping that, whether you and your family and friends celebrate Thanksgiving or not, you take the time to see what's most important in life and have fun and take a moment to tell them how much they mean to you. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


made for the Illustration Friday topic "burning", mixed media in A4 watercolor Moleskine, 11/2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

interview in rojo & garabato

Last month I was asked by monthly online art publication Rojo & Garabato Magazine for an interview. Of course I said yes, though I was pleasantly surprised by their request. This isn't just any ol' art magazine, online or otherwise, so I made sure to get to those questions ASAP. Well, November's issue (issue nine) is finally out, and it's a beauty as always. These gals from Coruña, Spain really go the extra mile with this labor of love, and cover a wide spectrum of artists, designers, illustrators, and photographers from all over the world. I posted the interview here at the blog for your viewing pleasure, but I seriously recommend reading the whole issue, and all of their issues for that matter. It was truly a pleasure being a small part of this awesome publication.