Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Featured in Beadwork Magazine...

What a Gold Star Day! Our laser-cut wooden pendants were featured on Page 6 of Interweave Press's August/September 2020 issue of Beadwork Magazine! See our pieces along with several others in the Cool Stuff section. Be sure to grab a copy or subscribe today! There are lots of great projects by Katie Hacker, Sandra Lupo, Anne Perry, Lena Gillespie, Tracy Proctor, Cameron’s Calabrese, Debora Hodoyer, Maryann Esters Mcalpin, Evelina Palmontova, Akiko Nomura, Leslie Pope, and Kim Leahy! Such a visual treat of beady goodness!
CLICK HERE to get you copy of Beadwork Magazine.
If you're not familiar with our wooden pendants, they're made right here in Ligonier, PA. I start out by drawing in my sketchbook. When I'm happy with a design, we photograph it, edit it in Photoshop, and then convert it into a vector. The vectors are then pumped into the laser and they're cut out from sheets of wood. There's a protective film on the wood to prevent scorching and we remove that film by hand on each and every piece. It's really satisfying to see my drawings come to life in this way.
CLICK HERE to take a look at all the Allegory Gallery laser-cut Wooden Pendants.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020


It’s an uncertain time right now... ... BUT ... One thing is certain, LOVE IS LOVE!

Today William asked me to marry him. And I said, YES!!! Of course I did!!! We’ve built a beautiful life together and this is just another milestone in this journey. Instead of engagement rings, William had two sterling silver beads made by Anne Choi! Anne is a dear family friend and a super talented metalsmith and artist. When William and I started dating, we had an inside joke, where I told him that he could buy my love with Anne Choi beads. LOL! Like the good man that he is, he listened! Every once in awhile I’ll get a bead to mark a special occasion. (I’ve amassed quite the collection over the 12 years we’ve been together.) Anne doesn’t take custom orders, so this was extra special. She even sent the broken mold. So no other beads will be made quite like this one.
What do they say? “Petit a petit les deux oiseaux font leur nid.” It means, “little by little two birds build a nest.” If you’ve been following along with our journey with Allegory Gallery, then you know the original French saying has played a special role in our lives. The bead features a variation of the quote, one with TWO birds instead of just one.
❤️❤️ I know right now there’s a lot of anger and darkness. There’s a lot of sorrow and grief. As much as it’s a sobering reminder that there’s more work to be done, it is also a reminder that life is precious. Nothing is certain. And in the darkest hours is the time when the light is needed the most. Love will prevail! ❤️❤️
I was so happy that I ugly cried on the kitchen floor. I was so moved by the kindness and thoughtfulness William put into his proposal. He wanted to wait for a special moment, but being together now in the world that we live in is more than special enough!

Monday, June 01, 2020

Siren's Song...

Can it really be June? It seems like I blinked and MerMay was over. I don't know if it'll end for me just yet though. I think I have a few more paintings on this subject left in me. (Plus lots of mermaid-inspired jewelry!)⠀ ⠀
I call this one, "Siren's Song". It's one of the most classical stories. It's a story of otherworldly songs that lure the intended (victim) to a watery grave. The sirens are said to be beautiful creatures, but are deadly. ⠀ ⠀
I sometimes wonder about the old myths. While I love mythology, a lot of the Greek ones were about raping women and conquering monsters... who were usually women. Of course, the demonization of women is a useful tool if you're trying to control them. Ancient Greece was not so big on women empowerment. I think I'd drown them too! ⠀ ⠀
I'd like to transcend the ancient click bait symbolism, and instead promote messages of freedom, self-expression, wonder, and mystery. I don't know if these things are communicated with my paintings or not. Maybe they are? Maybe they aren't? I can't control that. All I can do is know that it's there. I thought about these things while I made this thing.
Want to add, "Siren's Song" to your collection? You can find out more on the Allegory Gallery website.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Here is another new one for MerMay. I call it, "Scrying". Scrying is an old divination practice by gazing into reflective surfaces like a crystal ball or a mirror. But a dish of water can be used. Even a vessel of wine! (There's a wonderful book called, "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" and they use scrying quite frequently to help defeat the French in the Napoleonic Wars.)⠀ ⠀
Water is often thought of as an intuitive element. It holds mystery and can be used for healing. It's a double-edged sword, of course. While it can heal, it can also drown. It can restore memory, but it can also make you forget. Symbolic of being life-sustaining, it can also mark the boundaries and passages of the Underworld. I think mermaids are kind of like this. They are so symbolic of dual natures. ⠀ ⠀
When I made this painting, I was thinking about the future and how uncertain it is. Of course, it's always uncertain. We never know what will happen next or how it can change in the blink of an eye. But there are patterns, like the lapping rhythm of the waves. There are cycles and seasons. And when we listen to the beating of our hearts, it's easy to believe in a greater force, a bigger picture of endurance and continuity. How can we connect to this? How do we look into the future and answer the question... what will happen next?
Curious about adopting, "Scrying" for you collection? Visit the Allegory Gallery website.

Friday, May 29, 2020


I didn’t get to make as many pieces as I would have liked this month, but I got more done than I would have if I didn’t. I might have to assign themes for myself to help keep the momentum up! Are there any challenge prompts for June? I know there’s Inktober in October. Mab Graves and Stephanie Law both do them too. I used to do this thing called Illustration Friday on my blog back in the day. ⠀ ⠀
Normally this time of year would be spent preparing for the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee. We’d be burning the midnight oil something furious up until we left. (I’ve been known to even work in the car driving out and finishing up last minute details in the hotel room! LOL!) But with COVID-19, they’ve postponed the event until August. I don’t know if we’ll be going or not. Really... who has any plans these days? It seems like nothing is certain.⠀ ⠀
The other drawback to the postponement of the show is that we won’t be making the money we normally do. We also won’t be able to bring in new inventory like we do when we attend a big show. We’ll figure something out.⠀ ⠀
But I digress...⠀ ⠀
I was going through pictures of the ocean, as you do when you're making mermaid artwork, and some images popped up of kelp forests. I was instantly drawn to them. Even though it was underwater, the way the light filtered through the kelp leaves, there was this beautiful fiery glow. In some of the pictures, it looked like a dark chamber filled with columns of swirling fire. The wavering swathes of kelp resembled dancing flames. I thought about this warm color palette and how it contrasted against a shock of the electric blue of the water and I wanted to capture the feeling of an underwater blaze.
If you'd like to add, "Ablaze" to your collection, drop by the Allegory Gallery website.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Crescent Mermaid 2...

Here’s another creation for MerMay! I had these vintage wooden crescent moon shapes floating around the studio for a few years. I drilled out the holes and added rivets. I think the glint of metallic edges looks nice and gives a finished look to the holes. A couple of weeks ago, I got up the gumption to paint miniature paintings on them. I was really inspired by the lacquered Russian beads.⠀ ⠀
I blocked out a few different pieces, but I haven’t really had much time to play with them. The tiny size is a challenge for me. I paint rather thickly, which isn’t necessarily ideal when working small. ⠀ ⠀
This is one of the ones that I finished off. I forgot just how tricky these were to paint! I definitely need to get some finer brushes and maybe paint these in oils instead of acrylics. I have a few more in the works and in between projects I noodle away on them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Little River Dweller...

Here's another one for MerMay. In Celtic mythology, there's a creature called an Alp-luachra. It's also called a "Joint-eater" or "Just-halver". It's a fairy that lives near the water and silently (and invisibly) watches people eat their food. If a person should fall asleep near this creature and its watery home, it transforms into a newt and crawls down the victim's throat and eats half their food. They say that whoever is inhabited by one of these creatures will never get fat. New 2020 diet fad? LOL! Really, I think this was an old-timey cautionary tale about tapeworms and other parasites. ⠀ ⠀
I decided to do my own version based off an axolotl. I think they're so cute! So this Little River Dweller is a mermaid mashup. A little bit human, a little bit amphibian, and a little bit piggy.
If you're interested in acquiring "Little River Dweller", check out the Allegory Gallery online shop.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Sunset Memories...

It has been super busy around here. So I haven't really had time to work on anything "extra" for awhile. At least not in any great blocks of time. I have managed to carve out little bits here and there and this is the result. Here's another new piece for MerMay. Sometimes when I don't work on something in a solid block of time, I can keep noodling away, adding this or changing that. That's what happened here. I think it finally came together, but it took some finagling. ⠀
I don't know about you, but if there's a pretty sunset or sunrise, I like to share the moment with a kitty companion. I thought that this mermaid would appreciate some feline companionship. When we were little, our grandma used to fix catfish. They had a deep fryer station set up in the yard and we'd have a big fish fry. At first, we didn't want to have anything to do with it. We knew what fish were supposed to look like and we knew how cats were supposed be and in our minds, catfish looked like mermaids. Even after all this time, this critter makes appearances in all of the siblings' artwork.⠀
We loved the idea of mermaids. There was even a mermaid theme park. We desperately wanted to go, but never could get to Weeki Wachee Springs to see the shows. We've talked about it from time to time. But there were some articles about how it has seen better days and has sort of faded into the nostalgia of Old Florida roadside theme parks. Who knows? Maybe we'll all go one day. But more likely than not, it's a childhood desire fading like the light of a sunset.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Call to Wonder...

Here’s my latest MerMay creation! I grew up in Florida and while the beach was a short distance away, trips were infrequent. We were mostly concerned with the everyday tasks of survival. Beaches were a symbol of leisure and relaxation. Needless to say, we didn’t go often. When we did go, it was a free thing to do that we could take out of town relatives. Sometimes we’d get an invitation to go fishing, but it was always connected to something practical. Later, it was a place of rebellion and freedom. It’s where we’d go to skip school or attend a party. I can almost smell the bonfire and taste the cloying sweetness of strawberry wine coolers. It was the place you’d drive to in the middle of the night, after sitting at the Denny’s struggling to come up with something to do. I remember laughing and dancing in the surf under the moon. I remember trying to find our shoes on more than one occasion after ripping them off as fast as we could as we ran down to the water’s edge. It was a celebration. We built sand castles we knew wouldn’t last. And that was okay. We wrote messages in the sand that would get swallowed up. And that was okay. We danced badly on the beach. And that was okay, because it was a celebration.⠀ ⠀
In this painting, I wanted a call to celebrate and remind ourselves of the beauty and wonder of the world around us. Magic does exist, we just have to look for it.
If you're interested in purchasing "Call to Wonder", you can visit the Allegory Gallery website.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Other Waters...

Mermaids are one of those folkloric creatures that spring up pretty much in every coastal region. There's a fascination with the mysteries of the deep and mermaids are a bridge between our world and something completely alien. The water can be life sustaining, but it can also be cruel and kill. It's a coming to terms with something bigger than ourselves…something primal and elemental. This is one of the new MerMay paintings that I made.
I like the idea that there are as many types of mermaids as there are fish. There’s something appealing about liminal creatures that embody more than one world. I often times felt so conflicted growing up, belong neither here nor there. But when I started to love myself for who I was and stopped trying to be one way or another, there was something beautiful... something peaceful... something that was empowering.

If you're interested in purchasing, "Other Waters" you can do so by visiting the Allegory Gallery website.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Swooping Pearl Necklace...

When I first started making jewelry, I was obsessed with chokers. And while I can still appreciate them, my heart flutters for a long necklace. I don’t know. I think there’s just something about a swooping necklace that is romantic and elegant. Chokers are great and all, but when I wear them, I feel like they’re a collar. Long necklaces breathe and move. I also love the potential to layer longer necklaces and create a bold statement.
This is another mermaid inspired piece and features a lovely collection of pearls. Stacked “cornflake” pearls build on a rhythm of lustrous goodness. It’s long enough to slip over the head, no clasp required.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Celebration of Pearls Necklace...

When I was a little boy, my mom pulled me aside and dug around a red wicker box. From a jewelry box tucked inside, she produced a large pearl. It wasn’t what you’d think of immediately as a pearl. It was wonky and misshapen. But it was one of her most prized possessions. As she showed it to me, she told me stories of her life in the Philippines and about her mother. The stories she told were almost like fairytales, oftentimes strange and fantastical. Pearls could be magic. Pearls could heal the sick and make miracles. Pearls were wishes and good intentions passed from one generation to the next.
It’s probably no surprise that I love pearls. I work with them often. I think they epitomize the mermaid style. Sometimes after a project, I’ll have a few leftovers. I save these. Sometimes they add just the right touch. This rope necklace includes a rainbow of those “leftovers”. I interspersed some really amazing faceted pearls that you don’t really see very often nowadays and two Tahitian pearls.
It really is a celebration of pearls! It can be worn as a long necklace or wrapped around the wrist as a wrap bracelet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ruler of the High Seas Necklace...

I’ve been making jewelry for almost 20 years and over the years, I’ve amassed quite the collection of interesting components. Sometimes something speaks to you and you know exactly what you want to make right away... but other times, it can take awhile before the right idea comes around. Luckily beads don’t go bad. (Though pearls do benefit from being worn.) I had this idea of making these chicken feet-esque talismans from the Biwa pearls, but never got around to it. The golden coral sticks were actually used to decorate the store for awhile. I made garlands and draped them over the mantle at the old store. But then it clicked.
A lot of times, when I paint mermaids I include some conveniently placed hair or well positioned jewelry to protect their modesty (and not get things taken down on social media). Apparently nipples are just too much and people lose their minds over them. So that’s where a statement necklace comes in handy... at least in paintings. (Actual coverage on an actual person might be a little breezy. LOL!)
Biwa pearls and golden coral sticks fan out in a dramatic bib, flanked by a freshwater pearls and stacks of “cornflake” pearls. A powerful silhouette imparts all the dramatic, regal vibes. All Hail the Ruler of the High Seas!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Treasure Necklace...

I’ve been having such a wonderful time dreaming up creations that I think mermaids would wear! I imagine floating markets where the merfolk can barter and trade for landlocked materials. In my mind, it’s a bustling place with many languages and interesting characters.
This dainty necklace is an asymmetrical design that still looks good even if it shifts a little. I think of it as a treasure necklace; I have little containers that I add to of things that I think look nice together. This necklace is made up of freshwater pearls in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. It also includes dreamy moonstone and glowing opals. It’s a softer palette for me: creams, blush, and dove gray. This would look great on its own or layered with other necklaces.
One of the most common misconceptions about pearls is that they start out as a grain of sand. But mollusks are filter feeders designed to expel any unwanted irritants like sand. Natural pearls usually are the result of parasites. I guess it doesn’t sound quite as romantic. LOL! It’s kind of like learning that some figs are pollinated by wasps that can’t escape and are broken down by an enzyme. Sometimes pearls develop by damage to the mantle of the mollusk. But most pearls nowadays come from small bits of mantle tissue implanted (without or without a small bead or armature) in the other part of the mollusk. A sac forms around the foreign object and layers of nacre secretion form around it.
On paper, it doesn’t sound massively appealing. Words like “sac” and “tissue” and “secretion” don’t do them any favors. But when you hold a pearl in your hand and see it for yourself, you can get lost in the rainbowy luster. Good pearls flash with color and brilliance. To me, this is a quiet alchemy. It symbolizes the transformation of something miraculous and otherworldly. I paired the pearls with a few opals. One of the secrets of opals is that they need water to form. Without water, the silica in sandstone couldn’t be filtered out to form the opal deposits. I think about these sort of things when I’m making jewelry, especially mermaid jewelry.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Beachcomber Necklace...

One of my favorite activities is combing the beach for treasure. I could spend hours looking for worn pieces of sea glass, interesting shells, and intriguing bits of flotsam and jetsam. (I even found a human jaw bone and vertebrae once, but that’s another story.)
When I think about mermaids, I imagine them to be the magpies of the seas, collecting all kinds of trinkets and baubles. This necklace is an ode to beachcombers who find beauty in small things. The focal of this piece is a tumbled, clear quartz rock crystal point. It is silky smooth and reminds me sea glass with its matte finish. The quartz focal pendant is flanked by droplets of organic-looking silver. Molten silver is dribbled into quenching water and the bubbly pebbles are then drilled to make beads. Next come tiny sterling silver cornerless cube spaces that have tumbled glass rings that move up and down over the columns of silver beads. It adds a nice kinetic element. The rest of the necklace is made up of an eclectic assortment of freshwater pearls, opalescent trade beads, snakeskin agate nuggets, and moonstone. The color palette is a dreamy one, inspired by pocketfuls of beach glass and iridescent shells.
Here’s a close-up of the necklace. I’m quite smitten with it. I love all the matte finishes and organic shapes. It gives the piece a gravity of story. These things have places and have tales to tell. This necklace is just another chapter in the very long life of these beads. Sometimes I daydream of what comes next. Who will give them a home and add their own chapter? What will happen when we’re all gone. What incredible journeys are ahead? Already they’ve been around the world and survived centuries of time. The stones were born of fire and wrestling land masses. Pieces and parts have been brought together and here they are. Will someone a hundred years from now look at this piece and somehow know that I dreamed of mermaids and underwater kingdoms when I made this necklace?

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Crescent Mermaid...

I’ve had these vintage wooden crescents for awhile now. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d do with them, but decided to drill the points out and add metal eyelet rivets to the holes. I had an idea before about doing some drawings on them. But that never really turned into anything. I came across these pieces while I was cleaning and decided to make little paintings on them for MerMay.
I really love the hand-painted Russian, icon-style pendants and thought that I’d make my very own. Apparently I thought it’d be easier. Nope! Turns out painting tiny miniature portraits is hard! It was definitely a challenge for me to paint that small! I need smaller brushes and magnification! LOL! I think, eventually, I will give the piece a resin coating for extra protection.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Ocean Spirit Necklace...

There are all these wonderful stories of mermaids and other mer-creatures hiding their souls in objects like shells. I imagine that if you could swim to the deepest depths of the ocean, you would have the most amazing shell collection! ⠀ ⠀

I’ve had this strand of shell beads for awhile now. Each bead is composed of two shells that were glued together and then drilled. They’re incredibly light and extremely fragile, but super lovely. What appealed to me the most was the intense purple color. They almost look like they could be carved from amethyst. I paired these shell beads with faceted amethyst rondelles from Africa. The amethyst from Africa is generally much darker and has a deeper grape color, more so than its Brazilian counterpart. To pull everything together, I used a seashell clasp made by my family at Green Girl Studios and is crafted out of shibuichi, which is a delightful alloy of copper and silver. Depending on how shibuichi is finished, it can look cherry red, buttery peach, earthy brown, or steely gray. I love this finish because it reminds of ancient coins. This is a relatively simple design, but I love the intense color and bigger proportions. It rests deliciously on the collarbone.
Sometimes when I’m designing, I want to throw the entire bag of tricks at it. I can’t help it. When I first started designing, I would try my hardest to come up with new looks and incorporate unconventional materials. I delighted in “discovering” new jewelry materials and using them in unexpected ways, different from the applications they were intended for. I did this a lot when I was designing for books or magazines. I was even featured in a book called, “Unexpected Findings”. A lot of those designs were really over the top. More was more. I had a lot of ideas and wanted to prove it. But eventually I reached a point where I started to really appreciate simplicity. Instead of me being at the center of the story, how about letting the materials do the talking? ⠀ ⠀
I circled back on stringing, where my love of jewelry making began. Designs like this are simple, but I think that’s okay. I still make big, over the top pieces but I also make projects like this. I think they have a quiet strength. If you listen closely, they’ll reveal their stories.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Jiaoren Necklace...

Whenever I embark on a series, I go into research mode. I start investigating from different angles. As with the winter series, I started to look at mermaids from around the world. In Chinese folklore, there’s the “Jiaoren”. Not only were they lovely to look at, but they were skilled craftspeople. They also had a particular gift: when they cried, their tears turned into pearls. If someone showed them kindness, they’d repay it by filling a cup with tears.⠀
As a jewelry-maker, I couldn’t not make some MerMay jewelry. This necklace is inspired by the Jiaoren. I also really love pearls. This is long, Flapper-style necklace featured freshwater pearls, labradorite, garnets, and gilded brass. It can be worn as a swooping single strand or it can be doubled up for a layered look. Mermaids = OG neckmess trendsetters.
Here’s a detail shot of the pearl necklace. I really love the look of creamy pearls punctuated with sprinkles of gold and pops of red and gray. I think it has a very royal, opulent feel. ⠀

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

The Warrior of the Deep...

It’s no surprise that the past month or so has been a struggle for me. It has been a challenge for a lot of people. The first week was the hardest and then it was a roller coaster of ups and downs. I was emotionally rung out and it was hard to muster any energy for much of anything... it took all I had to simply carry on.

But there’s something about darkness that reveals the light. Sometimes we don’t realize our strength until we’re forced to be strong. One of the prompts for MerMay is “Warrior”. At first I thought of a dark and imposing character. But the more I looked at the fish and other creatures that dwell in the darkest part of the ocean, they were surprisingly colorful and highly patterned. Many of them are bioluminescent. Sometimes in the darkness, you have to make your own light.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

The Rock Stacker...

I grew up in Florida and have fond memories of the beach. We used to get up super early and go fishing at Sebastian Inlet. When we got tired of fishing (which happened pretty quickly), my siblings and I would collect shells and look for sea glass. We’d stack rocks. Sometimes it was about balance and sometimes it was to see who could make the tallest pile. When I grew up, I discovered that these stacks had a name. They’re called “cairns” and they’re used to mark paths and help find your bearings when you’re lost. We’re living in such an uncertain time... who couldn’t use a little direction? They’re also used to commemorate a place and designate it as special. This is my first mermaid for MerMay! I’m hoping to make an entire collection of mer-creatures.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


"Beira" by Andrew Thornton
In my research on winter holidays and folklore, I found some interesting stories about Beira, also known as Cailleach Bheur. She's a Scottish goddess that personifies winter. She is described by some as the Mother Goddess of the Scottish pantheon and is an old woman with white hair, blue skin, one eye and rust-colored teeth. I decided to do my interpretation and skipped the amber smile. Apparently she rules on high until the longest night of the year. Afterwards, she makes a trek to the Well of Youth, where she becomes younger each day.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Mr. Tumnus...

"Mr. Tumnus" by Andrew Thornton
I've always loved satyrs and fauns. I am drawn to in-between things. There's something about the liminal spaces and the creatures that inhabit them. It's in those places where worlds collide and elements meet that truly remarkable and magical things happen. Satyrs epitomize the mix of the wild and humanity in one. There's a freedom that's appealing.

One of my favorites growing up was Mr. Tumnus. I've always thought of, "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" as a holiday book. Maybe because it takes place (mostly) in winter and there's Father Christmas. In my quest to depict different holiday folklores and traditions, I decided to do my version and even though this technically isn't a "folklore"... I'm going to roll with it.

I really haven't done much fan art. I mean, I sort of have, if you consider the pieces that I've made for the Inspired by Reading Book Club fan art. In that case, I've made a boatload. It's definitely interesting territory to explore.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Crow Paintings: Series Four...

We moved the shop back in April and have been making improvements as time and budget allows. There's still so much that we'd like to do. Really, will we ever be done? It seems like there's always one more project. I started these backgrounds back in April to help with the fundraising efforts to offset the moving and improvement expenses. After the first three series, I didn't know if I'd ever make anymore. I decided to squeeze in working on these in between other projects. I have to admit, some of these are my favorites!

These and more of my original artwork is available at Allegory Gallery.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

La Befana...

The folklore of La Befana, also known as the Christmas Witch, hails from parts of Italy. Flying through the air, La Befana delivers presents and candy to the good children and lumps of coal to the naughty. She's basically Santa, but an old woman riding a broom (that has the power to sweep away the problems of the previous year). Hold the milk and cookies. La Befana prefers wine and cakes.

Some depictions show her as a filthy, soot-covered hag who wears rags and a scowl. I decided to paint my version. She's usually shown dirty, because she can fly down chimneys. But, I figure, if you have a spell to slip through heating ducts, you must have a spell to keep clean. I wanted to show her as colorful and benevolent, as the stories about her. I've added this painting to my Society6 shop and have uploaded several different products with this painting on it. Take a look! There are also several other different holiday themed pieces in this collection.
"La Befana" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Magic Keeper...

I started this painting a few months ago, but really, it has origins that stretch back much further. When I created this piece, I first built up layers of my old collages. Some of them were made over a decade ago. Even though you can't see them, they are there and are underneath everything. They change and influence how the painting is made on top. It's kind of like our own histories; you can't necessarily see all that has come before, but those experiences have shaped us to be who we are today. It certainly makes painting more challenging, as it isn't an even, smooth surface. I think that extra texture adds something though, even if it's a subtle thing. 

It's a larger painting than I've made in awhile. It measures approximately 16"X20" and I've worked on it a little at a time as time allows since August. I wanted to bring together a lot of different painting styles that I work in. It actually harkens back to a series I started in college of a mysterious, unnamed redheaded woman. I even got a little bit of jewelry design in there! Isn't funny how things come back around?

If you're interested in purchasing it, you can CLICK HERE to visit the Allegory Gallery online store. We are also doing limited edition prints of this painting on metallic paper that are available HERE.
"The Magic Keeper" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Ivy Portrait...

I generally make things in "seasons". I can't always do this depending on my existing commitments, but this is the way that I work best and I have learned over the years to just hitch my wagon to the energy and see where it takes me instead of trying to fight it or direct it too much. I have different stations setup and I flit around like a pollinator and move to the project that most captures my heart and imagination at the moment. 

Right now it's all about the paintings! 

I've always really loved portraiture. Whether they're real or imaginary people, I enjoy looking for the humanity captured in the brushstrokes. I feel like there's a certain level of magic in distilling a person's energy out of paint and pigment. It's an illusion and I think the best illusions are ones that tell a story. I have a soft spot for the Pre-Raphaelites and Botticelli. I like Frida Kahlo and Jan van Eyck. I like the heavy-lidded ladies and soft cubism of Tamara de Lempicka. I like contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley, Elizabeth Peyton, and Chuck Close too... just to name a few. 

I've wanted to do a series of portraits for awhile now. I made a few for the Strange Botany show, which was fun, but I felt like they had to be more... well... strange. But I wanted to make a series of just people. Sometimes there's a subtle hint of something or another extra, but for the most part, I just wanted to paint a person and let that be enough. 

I think this one is called, "Ivy". She looks like an Ivy to me. I referenced different photos and paintings while I worked, but this isn't based off of anyone in particular or any one person. I had this idea that I'd make an entire series of these types of portraits and have a big show of them, but I don't think that's in the cards right now. Maybe one day. William and I are working on some big plans and I'm saving up to make them happen. So I'd love to find a home for this piece. The painting measures approximately 6"X8" and is made up of layers of acrylic paint and gesso on wood paneling. I'm happy to part with it for $215, plus shipping. If you're interested, let me know or you can CLICK HERE and find it in the online store.
"Ivy" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Holiday Sugar Plum Fairy...

What's this?!?! More holiday themed artwork? Yep! This time I delved into the world of the Nutcracker. I decided to create my version of the Sugar Plum Fairy and added new products to my Society6 page. I am really intrigued by the performing arts. Dance is one of those alchemical processes that transforms hard work, practice, and physical endurance and turns it into something graceful and ethereal. Good dance can engage the space and transport the audience. If you want to see the products with this painting on it (and other holiday-themed pieces), CLICK HERE
"Sugar Plum Fairy" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Holiday Abominable Snowman Yeti...

Who remembers the stop motion animation, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"? It was a holiday classic when I was growing up. One of my favorite characters was the Abominable Snowman, Bumble. Who doesn't like a reformed Yeti? I've always had a soft spot for this cryptozoological creature and thought that I'd add to my holiday offerings in my Society6 shop. CLICK HERE to take a look at this piece (and others) in the new Winter Holiday collection.
"Abominable Snowman" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Holiday Krampus...

I didn't grow up hearing stories about Krampus, who originates from Central European folklore, but when I found out about him, I became smitten. What can I say? I love anthropomorphic creatures that punish the wicked and deal out justice to the naughty. LOL! I created this painting to celebrate the season! And now you can find all kinds of fun Krampus-themed products perfect for the holiday season! (Well... perfect for those that like a little less saccharine sweet holiday season. Though I think my version of Krampus is pretty dang cute!) You can find the new Krampus products (including greeting cards) on my Society6 page AND other new collaborations by CLICKING HERE.
"Holiday Krampus" by Andrew Thornton, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Still Available Kitty Companions...

Not long after Paulo's dental surgery, we had to take him back in for blood in his urine. He had to undergo lots of tests and received intravenous fluids. Apparently his bladder was still inflamed from his previous blockage surgery and his bladder walls were thicker than normal. He had to go on another round of antibiotics and go on an even stricter diet with specialized food.

It all adds up really quickly. On top of all the vet bills, his food bill quadrupled. Mr. Paulo's grocery bill is more than two male human adults (that like to eat)! (We've also adjusted the diets of the other cats too, so that they don't end up with the same problems Paulo has.) But what can you do? If it comes to the health and wellbeing of my cats, I'll work harder. They have given so much to me and enriched and bettered my life in so many ways just by being in it. They're like my children and what wouldn't you do for your children if it were within your power?

As of Thursday, November 14th, these are the Kitty Companion Mini Paintings that are still available. The sales of these pieces will help offset the extra vet bills and food costs. I thought it might be nice to post a better picture of each. Of course, if you follow the link, you can see more details. CLICK HERE to check them out in the Allegory Gallery online store.