The Belly of the Whale


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Missed Buses, Gouache Giants, Whale Teeth and a Top Hat:

So here is a sneak peek at some stuff I'm working on, (only meaning I havent finished anything or updated in awhile and am feeling gross about it,) as well as a look at my past week in Ballyvaughan and prospective plans for a night in Doolin to which I missed the bus this morning due to some misinformation and am aiming for the evening ride over.

The mysteries of this image revealed at the end of the post.

This is scrimshaw; technically its just making art from the unused parts of animals fished by whalers in the 1800's. Most famously its a process that involves rubbing ink into a carved design on the polished teeth of sperm whales, but you can make jewelry, nik-naks, decoratons, combs, and lots and lots of other things I havent bothered to research.

An inmate in a prison in Maine made this one actually, and I think you can buy it. its a synthetic stand in for whale tooth.

This is cow bone and there is a lot of it everywhere you go here. I decided to teach myself scrimshaw and so far it is taking forever! Right now I'm just sanding the bone down to the desired shape... I'll keep you updated.

This is my next big project for a series I decided to call 'Pubs and Stomachs,' which will have a lot to do with one's affects on the other and the characters therein. It'll be in a lot of gouache and will take forever.

So yeah, hoping to catch the evening bus to Doolin today. The website said it'd be rolling through my area at 1130 a.m. but when I got there, the locals say it only comes by at 9 a.m. or 7 p.m. So I missed it. With any luck I wont be in Ballyvaughan tonight, but listening to some traditional music and going to instrument workshops and having a pint by a warm fire in a cozy pub near the cliffs of Moher. Speaking of the cliffs, I currently have a piece hanging up in the welcome center along with the rest of my class here. It'll be up all month so I'll try to get a picture to post on here... I'll let you know how traveling goes.

Kevin and Farley are my best friends and while I am away, I miss both of their 21st birthdays, so to signify a bunch of stuff I did this as a shared birthday gift even though it was more a gift for me, really.

(it says moonshine.)
Mystery solved.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Stuff You May Have Seen:

Eya. These are on the world wide window elsewhere but I wanted to give them some exposure in the Belly.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Tippin' Caps:

Lately I've been doing a lot of shameless self promotion, and I started to feel a bit gross about that. At the same time I've been constantly looking at everyone's art, daily despite updates coming once a week or so, and I've been getting really excited about what people are up to. So, as a way for me to reverse my promotional sins, I give you Other People

All these folks are great friends and fantastic artists.
Chris is a talented animator and inspired thinker. The hellish hours of research he performs show up in his work. (also a great illustrator, though he wont admit it.)

Aaron is an oil painter and we aren't sure what else. Art seems to consume him, but we let it happen. It tends to be a good thing, though he has gone wayward in the past...
Erik is into a lot of things. He is currently working on a mural outside Montserrat College of Art. He works with print, paint and photo. He is a great writer with connections to North Shore poets.
He owns two cats.

An of course,
Most know him as as the man with the jolly mustache, but in fact he is continuously receiving praise from teachers and students, artists and non-artists, for his illustration work. Much to my rivalry's chagrin, I must tip my cap to him time and again. Credit where its due, and it certainly is.

Thats all for now. There will be more next time I get all soggy. Dont judge me, just look at their work yeah?

May you live 100 years with one more to repent.
~Irish Proverb


Sunday, February 21, 2010

All Screwed Up:

Hey everyone, Blogger or my terrible internet connection where I am now is killing my ability to upload photos... So that sucks... Hopefully a different day will yield different results, but for now, you could say that it is, in fact, all screwed up.


No Wool, No Service:

"Pisser's in the Back."

This is a real scenario.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Get it?

Get it? the new format looks like Guinness. Clever.

Changing soon until I land on something nice.


Here is a photo of some stuff going on in my studio:

Nope, nevermind.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snaps from a Friday Night, OR, Blurry Pictures with Guinness in them.

Small update for now. Almost done with a few paintings and drawings and sketches so those are all up next.
Living the Dream.
(I also had an amazing smokey bacon burger there, went beautifully with the Guinness.)

"I'm as happy as a king
(something something something,)
I've got nothing to lend, I've got nothing to spend,
And nothing to bring home to the wife."

And now, I give you: The Most Perfect Line In Nature.
(True fact.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Visitor:

Dear you,

At some point in the night the Whale Belly received a visitor. A visitor of substantial standing. He slunk in, wily beard reaching, accompanied by a pirate captain and a small boy, there may have also been another whale. Their likenessess were thus:
They stayed awhile, wrecked up the place a bit, but were nice enough to read up on my travels and give my art a look and leave me a very pleasant note on deviantart responding to my work.

So yeah, this is me still gushing, which i never do.


Check out Flapjack, buy the DVD's and if you see these three, give them a good word for me yeah?


Friday, February 12, 2010

Boats and cliffs and dotted lines.

Awful photos today. I'm not sure how concerned I am right now about that...
for the most part these are just sketches and warm up pieces. playing with color and ground and speed etc.

Gift Painting.

"Cliffs of Moher," piece to be exhibited in the welcome center near the cliffs themselves for a few months along with work from classmates.

the whole family.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lets Talk About DUBLIN:

It was awhile ago...

I think.

it started with rattling paper cups and the droppings of coins and ended pretty much the same, but with a fierce withholding of coins.

I only spent one night in Dublin; it was a thursday but the way the city behaved you wouldnt have known it. Images in my head before I stepped off the bus ranged from scabby moss covered brick walls and thick smog to ponderings of neon signage and strip clubs. I'd never really explored the idea of traveling to Dublin so I wasnt sure what to expect. I got colorfully painted buidings, museums and galleries, a fat bald man in a decapitated leprichaun suit talking on his cell phone, almost being hit by a few big blue buses emblazened with city tour logos and the flacid expressions of passengers from behined foggy windows. There was a street performer who juggled i think seven or eight balls, then breathed fire and made fun of the Americans in the audience (who were the only ones cheering,) he said "no no, America is a fine place to come from, its just shite to go back to," I laughed. He said that after the finale of his act we all had to boo him if he failed and if he succeeded in his fire juggling, we all had to cheer, and then he pointed at me and said, "and you sir, you drop your trousers and scream if I make this trick," I gave him the "will-do," thumbs up.

The night saw me buying a few Cuban cigars to share with a few friends. American girls dolled up and ready to sit and look unamused at everything. The guys were mostly Irish and when it got late all took to calling me Gingie or Ginger Lad, and would tug at my face.

We were at this one pub, "The Reelists" was the name of the traditional band playing at the first stop. They played Ordinary Man, and fitingly enough, Rocky Road to Dublin, and I went up to the stage on my way out and said they were fantastic, and we talked for a bit, exchanged names, I said I was from the NorthEast of the States and they said "well, we will dedicate the next song to Mike Vance from the NorthEastern of the States," so I left pub #1 with a song dedicated to me.

At this same pub one of my friends had managed to get in with these four girls who looked like maybe they'd be fun to hang around with. They were from the midwest and turned out to be not fun to hang around with. They were polite enough but never said anything and just sat down and never said anything. So we ended up leaving them behind.

The music was amazing all night, at pub #2 they played some Irish revolutionary music about their old heros. Pub #3 they played a few funny songs, but it was mostly traditional Irish or Johnny Cash, with a few Beatles covers everywhere we went which suited me perfectly. I knew all the words and when I'd dranken enough to shout them out with everybody else, the old men would look impressed and say I was alright, and we would take the songs into the streets where passers by would join in. I was given a solo during one of these musicals and the locals all drunkenly nodded their approval. One guy said that anytime I wanted to cross the boarder and become an Irishman he would come vouche for me. "Any ginger lad who knows these songs..."
(thats not my peace sign.)

Somehow we ran into what I took to be a pimp and a hooker who invited us to play a drinking game called roxanne. We all nodded and smiled, but when they turned to lead the way we slipped down a back alley and ran off.

I ended up buying a drink for a girl who had her arms around me, but at the bar my friend was whispering something about a boyfriend. She drank her drink, dissapeared, and on the way out I had to squeeze by her and her fella making out in the stairwell. Life lesson #1.


He was smashed and cursing the bouncer outside a pub. He said I looked like a decent Irish man. We sang a song and he was saying "ahh gingie, ahh gingie." But then a gypsie approached with a rattling paper cup and started tugging at me and saying something about six kids needing food. Dennis sprang into action and started pushing her away and shouting NAH FOOK OFF, to her and FOOK 'ER to me. Now at the time I was trying to count the drinks I'd had in my head while attempting to use these wimpy matches to light my cigar, and one by one the matches would go out and fall from my fingers away to the wet pavement at our feet, FOOK OFF and I'd keep lighting them and telling the gypsie I didnt have any change and the matches kept going out and the gypsie was pulling a lighter from the folds in her clothes FOOK 'ER, GINGIE and I'd exhausted my matches to a pile of wet sticks on the ground and the three of us ended up in the street doing this horrible druken ring-round-the rosie dance, Dennis cursing the gypsie, the gypsie trying to light my cigar with a broken lighter and me, all grabbing at one another and hollering and begging and cursing and spitting, (mostly Dennis did the spitting, ) and finally the cigar was lit, and in my face was a rattling paper cup. Let me make clear, while I know the cup rattlers who grab at your pockets and talk about their 4 hungry children and accuse you of holding out on the poor are almost always running scams (and have a decent racket what with all the oblivious tourists coming in all the time; me,) it was close to the end of the night, and I had been drinking. I told her, in my bleary old mind something that made sense I guess. I told her I was going straight to heaven after this, and she touched my face, and I slipped a 20 into her cup.

And i think I'd feel better about myself if I hadnt. Life Lesson #2. They target drunk tourists.

So after that, to be honest became a blur. I was in Dublin and I was having a good time. We stopped at a few more pubs. We would just hear music and kick the door in to some tavern where people were dancing and we would join in. There was one bar where I danced with this really smashed guy to rock versions of traditinal songs like Fields of Athenry and Tell Me Ma, him and his friends took to me alright and led me downstairs to a dance party where me and a friend danced with four hip 40 year old ladies to songs like These Boots Were Made For Walking, and Devil Went Down to Georgia, to which they didnt seem to know the words, but they liked us an awful lot until they started making fun of my friends eyebrows.

There was this one moment when we realized that I was smoking a Cuban cigar in front of an American flag in a European city.

All the girls in one pub were doing this and they told me to do it too. I complied.

Also, they liked my hat.

The morning was a tour of the city on foot, a trip to the bank and a viewing of the bogmen. Prehistoric fellas who had been sacrificed in a bog and then dug up by peat farmers. They had hair and fingerprints and leather skin and very intact faces.

We also got to see Francis Bacon's studio. This could have been one of the best parts of the trip.

I was hoping to run into Shane MacGowan but never did.

Next time.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

what is it?

thats right,
its a whale.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Hey folks,

the baggie is about to undergo a bit of a metamorphosis. I am planning on merging it with material from my other blog featuring my work and travels in Ireland. There will be a new look a new title and maybe a new URL? can I change that will that work? someone tell me.