talk to strangers.

bride portrait

Originally published 12/5/2011

I was looking at the viewing statistics for the site here and noticed that one person among the couple hundred went through every post just about in the space of a day or two. OMG ARCHIVE BINGE! It made me extremely happy and I felt warm, and loved.

Whenever I find a site or an artist I like online I just read EVERYTHING from them, I will binge until I am reading their diary from ten years ago, if it’s posted. Like when I found crimelibrary the first time, or when I started looking at explodingdog. I just went nuts, spent all my internet time following the trail back to the start. I suddenly realized that you guys read my stuff and look at my site the same exact way I look at yours and that made me feel really good. So thank you, anonymous archive binge person, for making me both happy and more educated about what I am trying to do, and how people feel about it.

THEN- I have gotten a slew of emails from total strangers, asking questions, tattoo and art process stuff, and general sort of things. I LOVE talking to you guys. Man, if you’re reading my stuff someplace and suddenly have a question, and you email me that you like my things and want to know the answer, I get sweaty excited about it. It makes me feel good- I love sharing information, and while I am not the most educated or the most knowledgeable about everything the things I DO know I love to share. And sometimes even if I don’t know, I can send the question to someone who does. And that feels great too.

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And also- I spent the last few days interviewing a series of artists for a longer article I’m putting together. I’m working hard to write something useful about it. It’s taking me some time to assemble but I think it’ll be good. Talking to new people who get it, and who are working in smaller ways to affect the world- people who put their hands on the work and make things that have deeper meaning as well as visual aesthetics- that’s been really eye-opening and inspiring to me too.

Oh, and, last of all, I spent a day making paper. That was fun as all fuck, too.

I love talking to people about art. I don’t know how approachable I seem but really, I like talking to new people and I really feel great when I can help someone, give information, or just even see that people are interested in what I’m doing. So thanks guys for reading along.

If you have questions for me to answer, let me know in the comments. Or email me!

(you can find more of me by googling resonanteye, I am literally everywhere online. I talk to all the strangers!)

new works, and some things I've been up to in Seattle

 

new prints and shirts ^^^

and some random stuff…vvv

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new works, and some things I’ve been up to in Seattle

 

new prints and shirts ^^^

and some random stuff…vvv

cardfront1 10536549_10203260424763644_29020461_n orchids_by_resonanteye-d4cety3

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Drilling bone without the smell.

bone hair tiesI do this with drilling holes in stone as well- simply get a shallow bowl, and put a few inches of water in it (just enough to cover what you are going to drill into) and, holding the bone just under the surface, use a dremel to drill your hole.

I have a handheld dremel I use for this because I am paranoid about wall current and water, but if you’re brave, that’s on you. I’ve noticed that as long as I am using the right bits (cone bits) I don’t see much liquid spray up from the bit.

I do this with rocks as well, because some contain toxins that you just DON’T want to breathe in.

It’ll keep the bone, or shell, from stinking. The friction of the bit will burn organic materials and make an unholy stench. Using water not only traps all the powder and bone dust, but also cools off the bit so the heat doesn’t singe anything.

If you want to try this but have questions, ask away!

why does everything have those three lines and/or dots in it?

I always use three lines/three dots on anything I do. Sometimes they’re front and center, the focal point of the art, and Sometimes they’re obscured- hidden in the backdrop or repeated in a pattern so as to be less noticeable.

I began doing this because of the greek character Ξ, Xi. There’s a few layers of meaning there, and all of them combined made me interested in the symbol/shape, and that interest led to me using it as a part of my signature for a while. After that it migrated, getting further detached from my initials, and becoming more a part of the artwork. And from there it just sort of infiltrated every piece I make.

Back in the 80s-90s I was really interested in mindhacks and psychedelics and pTv and related art and music.

I did some work with sigils. I’m not a believer, not even agnostic, but I do know that our subconscious is a strong force, and that affecting it, changing it, tinkering in there, can bring some odd results. Working with visual symbols is one of my ongoing experiments- using an eye as the main focal point in a painting that is smaller and might be stolen from a gallery (even the most abstract eye affects the behavior of the people around it- see this study for details) or using hands, in various gestures, to suggest action to the viewer.

So while I have an abiding interest in all these things I am not any kind of believer. I do entertain the idea that Jung may have had a good point about how symbols and visual cues lead us, and have an impact on our lives, so it’s always been my effort to find ways to incorporate these things, at least subtly, into my work. The three lines/dots is a personal symbol, though, which I use in my art to influence MYSELF. So in the sense of it meaning something to the viewer, maybe- it’s done intentionally as a prompt to myself while working, though.

(more…)

brainpan

10354092_10152260725527712_8901077227845494865_nBased on some Tibetan gore art I looked over recently.brains

All watercolor, brush and ink. 22×30″ on 300# kilimanjaro coldpress.

Yeah it’s warped (drying) in these images.

not for sale, made as a gift for a friend.

might make prints before I give it away, I haven’t decided yet.

PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE!

click through for more process shots and a full view of the finished piece.

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have a heart, NRA.

Originally published on 06/24/2012.

I don’t really think I need to re-state my position on gun control laws, since it’s obvious that I am a gun owner, and that I think owning weapon is a right, not a privilege.

However, I want to re-state them anyway.

I think everyone who has not committed a violent crime should be permitted to own whatever weapons they choose, without having to register them or alert the government. I see the need for background checks; it only takes ten minutes to run a name and see any violent convictions on someone’s record. I see no need for waiting periods, for anything else.

I am very, very lefty. I’m basically a retired anarchist; I would still love to live in a gift economy, but I do not think this can happen during my lifetime, so I’ve modified my actions based on what I think is possible to accomplish.

I believe in spending public funds on welfare, schools, higher education, and healthcare for all citizens. I believe that religion has no place in ANY publicly-funded system or in ANY politics. I think that people who want abortion to be illegal are idiots. I think that patriarchy is bad, that our culture is set up in many wrong ways. I believe in class warfare, unions as a concept, the rights of workers, and of the underclass to act out.  I dislike  the way we use our military to screw up other areas of the world, and I think our policies are a direct result of corruption and patriarchy. In other words, I’m not right-wing, I am NOT republican, and I am NOT in favor of god, the bible, and apple pie. I’m basically a commie pinko.

heart tattoo art

So- while I agree with some things the gun lobbyists stand for- such as my right, and everyone else’s right to bear arms- I can’t donate any money to them, can’t support them in any way, because when I go to an NRA site and see people rooting for assholes who would put me in prison for my reproductive choices, or touting some bullshit flag-waving nonsense about how we should bomb “camel jockeys”, or condescension to female members or participants-

Well, that just sucks, and all of that is what I am against, and passing laws to restrict what I can do with my body is just as repressive as passing laws to restrict what weapons and means of defense I can own, and you guys, THAT is some BULL SHIT.  Women want to bear arms too. As do socialists, abortion providers and people who have had abortions, pro-choice folks, people who aren’t in favor of recent wars, people who dislike racism and sexism- we carry too. So putting us down on the regular is just foolish.

Now I’ve said my piece for the day. Time for more coffee, I think. Again, I know that speaking out means some people won’t buy my art, or like me, or whatever. That’s ok. Fuck it- I’d rather just speak my mind and be broke (because people who agree with me are poor) than keep my mouth shut and pander for the sake of a few bucks.

password to the clubhouse.

Originally published on 07/28/2012

When I started tattooing, anyone I saw with large, visible work was very nearly guaranteed to be someone who was in my tribe. I don’t mean tribe in the sense that we shared every opinion, but that we shared the expectation of being considered somewhat beyond the margins of the common, outside the mainstream, someone who was not acceptable in mixed company. We were subversive. I could look at someone, see their work, and know they were on my side of that equation.

Because of this, I felt a connection to everyone I worked on. I could open up to them, exchange ideas and energy with them, and really bond. We both knew, after all, what it was like to be outcast, to be strange, to be the “Other”.

That has changed. Now, at work, I block energy. I try to keep things light, and a bit distant. I only can connect like this after I have worked on someone a few times and gotten to know them. There are exceptions, of course. But the exceptions are indeed exceptional.

I don’t think that my own approach to my work can change this. I can educate people about getting better tattoos, but the kind of life experience and wisdom that a tattoo used to signify is NOT something that can be bought, or sold.

You have to earn it in your own life, with your own bitter tears. Nobody can give it to you in a few hours for a few hundred dollars. Not even me.

I don’t advertise myself as a “shaman” or healer of any kind. I am aware that at times I am performing healing work, that for some, the process itself is ritual and meaningful. Tattoos are incredibly meaningful and important- but they’re not necessary. I don’t think I could live up to the responsibility implied by the word “healer”. I’m not an actual priestess. But I try very hard to let that energy exist in my work when I feel that it’s possible.

It’s just possible a lot less often these days.

I think this shift in expectations, from then til now, has made me more withdrawn, more reclusive. I know that I am harder to reach for tattoos now than I ever have been before. That the process of getting me to tattoo you is more difficult, more drawn-out. That I no longer am in a hurry.

I think it is a good thing. I think I do better at the tattoos that I make now, than I have before. And I think it makes me more able to connect with my clients than I had been recently.

Just rambling. xox

skulls, bones, dead things, and where they come from.

Originally published on 11/16/2013

raccoon skull mount taxidermyI want to talk a little bit about my materials. Mainly because I read a lot of forums and craft and art blogs, and tend to see the same comments over and over about artists that work with taxidermy or animal remains.

Nature isn’t cruel or kind; it’s just hungry. 

I get a lot of questions about various things I use- mostly about bones and skulls, but a lot of people have asked about other things too- plants, rocks. Usually people are just being dense- “did you kill all those raccoons?” or “who do you have buried in the crawlspace?” or, even better, “ewwww it’s dead!” A lot of people saying this also eat fast food, buy meat at the grocery store, and let their cats roam outdoors…

I work humanely- in a sense. I don’t kill anything to make my art but yes, they are real bones and skulls. I get them from a lot of different sources. Most of the game animal bones and skulls I get from hunters- I have friends who hunt for food, and who will give me remains to work with. Most of the deer, elk, and turkey skulls and bones I use come from these sources. I also get bones from family farms- chicken, pig, and goose or turkey bones, even a few ostrich and cow remains. Most of these animals are also killed for food.

I don’t use anything from factory farms, just farms where the animals are treated well. I know this is enough to upset some people but since I also eat meat I don’t feel bad about it- I WOULD feel awful using factory-farmed items. However if I came across some, or had a source, I might use them; that piece would probably be pretty damned dark though. I tend to work with the feelings the animal’s remains give me, to make a piece that expresses the creature’s life.

I know a lot of artists who work with animal remains are a bit more humorous than I am, or more light-hearted about it in general. I do see the remains as a medium but at the same time I don’t feel good making jokes at the animal’s expense. Very rarely I get a skull or part which is light, and happy- I will sometimes make a brighter piece with those. Usually though animals live difficult lives, and their bones speak to me about this, so I don’t work very light very often.

I get questioned partly I think because of artists that do slaughter animals in the context of their work. While I don’t do this, I don’t find these artists offensive at all, it’s just not my own way of working. I don’t think it’s horrible. I have hunted for food myself, and been present for slaughtering at farms. Again- I don’t think it’s awful if you eat at KFC, either. I just personally don’t.

Some of my pieces come from road strikes. I have been working steadily on a series of photographs and an extended essay about roadside nature and roadkill, about human safety and how highways affect the animals that live near them. As a consequence of this work I have come across a LOT of roadside remains. I did get a license to collect roadkill in several states (not all states need one, but some do) and have spent a great deal of time working with these remains. A lot of these wild animals are obvious survivors of repeated injuries (fractures and old healed injuries in their skeletons attest to this) and the way they interact with the road fascinates me.

skunk skullNo, I have not used anything I myself ran over.

Most of my feathers come from friend’s farms. Almost all of my plant matter comes from my own place- I live on the edge of the Siuslaw, and not only the yard/forest of my house but the clearcuts nearby furnish most of my lichens, moss, and wood. I do a lot of beach collecting too. I live in Oregon, and it is legal to collect many things here, since all beaches are public. I do refrain from collecting in park areas, since those are restricted. I also don’t collect or mess with the remains of pinnipeds, or vertebrate fossils- just invertebrate fossils, collected in nonrestricted areas.

I have a few skulls and things which I have purchased. A few mink, fox, and beaver skulls which I am certain are fur trade castoffs- these items have a very dark feeling to them, and so the pieces built with them reflect that. I also have used vervet monkey skulls- the importation of these was a pain in the neck, and they are killed as a nuisance animal- so they too have a very dark feeling. Like I said, the horrors of life, death, the hard times most animals go through, are the reason my work is not light-hearted and silly. I don’t use anything illegal, and I avoid using items which may violate CITES or the MBA. (More information on the legality of animal remains is available here, if you are interested.)

I don’t work much with animals that are domestic pets, but I occasionally get some materials this way. Usually these are used for commissions for the previous owner. Some of these are more light and happy. I’ve worked with a very battered stray-dog skull, just making that piece was very upsetting. It wasn’t a joke to me.

zpg, anti-breeding artI’ve worked with human bones too. This is where people tend to be most alarmed- although in reality it is easier to buy human bone than many animals! I get most of my human bone specimens from places which sell vintage anatomical displays, or from places such as necromance (among others) which sell oddities. Yes, these bones are legal. No, I didn’t kill anyone to get them. And YES, they are expensive for a reason. Again- most of these works are dark. I don’t get silly feelings from death.

I’ve sold work and done commissions for vegans- for people who are animal and conservation activists. My work is intended to speak about the way people are oblivious to the natural world. Nature is full of drama, death, struggle, and strangeness. I try to use the materials I have to portray that. Reminders of mortality are not for everyone. Horrific art is not for everyone. There are people who cannot sit through a horror movie and people who cannot listen to a description of how their hamburger was made. My work is not for these people, really- although knowing that my work may have given them pause or made them think about these things, about the darker side of life, is kind of the point.

Originally Published on: Apr 19, 2012

serial killer portraits, originals.

Here we go, the full list (so far) of originals and prints for all my serial killer portraits. Click the image to see it bigger- and here’s a link to prints of these, Please go buy one there, as I am no longer producing handmade prints of this series. For originals, which I do have available, please email me. 

I started working on these because I have an inordinate fondness for true crime books, movies. Because I love gory things, horrorful stuff, and always find it fascinating that some people behave this way. (here’s an interview crimelibrary did with me, which explains a bit further.)

I also remember what Richard Chase said- that he didn’t choose his victims, he just tried doors until he found one open- because if it was locked he wasn’t welcome there. I think that sums up a lot of the phenomenon. Serial killers, sociopaths, they exploit our human weaknesses, and yet they don’t see others as human. It’s very interesting to me, the way watching predators on nature shows is interesting to me.

The first set of these I did are cannibal killers- the second set, which I am still working on (and which starts with Gacy, Martha Wise, and Albert Fish) are parental figures who were also serial killers. That set will be pretty big, as a lot of serial killers were parents, and upstanding citizens by their neighbors and friends. I plan to work with images of necrophiles after that, such as Gein, Bundy. That set should actually include Kemper, but I liked his story so much I worked on him already. Click through to see the rest of the collection so far! (more…)

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