Greenhead Beard

When I go to the beach and a greenhead fly lands on my leg, I always hesitate for a moment, admiring its green head, its beauty, before trying to crush it to death. I fantasize about making friends, maybe bringing a small cup of au jus as a peace offering. That’s the line of reverie this painting springs from.

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The Captain’s greenhead beard won’t bite! He raised them from larvae and they love him like a father!

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It Lives!!!!!

Okay, so I’ve started painting again. I’m working on a new website and investigating new methods of disseminating my work, so if you haven’t ever completely shaken me off and moved on to other things, keep tuned! I’m having a small show in my hometown of Ipswich, MA on September 28 through October 1.

Where have I been? The simple answer is riding my bike a lot. I like to paint when I’m happy to share a giggle. I haven’t been all that jovial since 2001 to tell you the truth, so I started cycling to flood my brain with endorphins. For hours and hours and hours. Weeks and months and years, very Forrest Gump! Up very steep mountains, on gravel trails, on regular roads, everywhere, hundreds of miles at a time. I’ve aways been a cyclist, but not this obsessed. I’d rack up 8000 miles a year on the bike. Then I’d be too tired to paint. But cycling along recently, I started having some breenish thoughts. They just started popping out again.

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So I dusted off my brushes and cracked open my paints and started back to work. You won’t see this stuff on Ebay, or wherever I sell it, until October, because Im stockpiling for the show.

Crabby Money

Text on this one says ‘New Depression Art Commodity!’ and ‘This art is better because it’s expensive!’ This is part of a series of New Depression Art Commodities I’ve made over the years. This particular piece was for sale in an art show at Nina’s Nook in Turners Fall, but did not sell for the outlandish price I had it listed for. However, as this is designed as money, to perhaps one day be traded for your life at a mutant manned roadblock as you try to make your way to the northlands where the government provides free healthcare, cheese and all the ice cream you can eat, I think any price is worth it, don’t you? Think of it – this 400 million year old life form evolved to the point that I would find it’s shell on the beach, pick it up and glue pieces of sparkly plastic to it in a completely arrogant attempt to improve the WORK OF GOD! And in that, I think I’ve been successful! even if my thick fingers did leave a print on a few of the jewels! Never offered for sale on Ebay before…

Starting at a penny!

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Threats and Presents

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When Ann brought this home from the flea market, my first impression was that this was just an angry big eye painting – maybe a copy of a 16th or 17th century work. After awhile, it began to bug me that it was glowering at me. There is a simmering tension in the face, intensely cold, with deadpan eyes that nevertheless somehow convey anger. When you drop your gaze to the mouth, then back up to the eyes, the expression fleetingly appears to flit between seriousness and amusement, but it could just be your own mind playing tricks. Maybe he was joking after all, like the Joe Pesci character in Goodfellas, ‘you think I’m funny? I’m here to amuse you?’As you move about the room, the eyes follow, hammering you with disapproval!  This tension is palpable – a personal warning to the viewer!

So I threw a nun’s habit on him to see what he would do about it.  He tried to leap out of the painting to get at me, so I knew I was pushing his buttons! To jack the tension up even more I gave him an Uncle Sam style pointing finger and and arm cocked with a piece of flaming coal.  This effectively turned him into an avenging transvestite Christmas angel so I wrote -’ Have you been good this year?’ ‘I will only hurl this coal at your head if YOU feel you deserve it!’ This puts the ball in the viewers court and makes the painting all about them.  Makes them the decision maker.  DO you deserve to have the coal flung your way? I also wrote -‘Well do ya punk?’

I softened the edges with Christmas iconography just enough, so that you can get out of the room unscathed, that is, if you exit walking backwards with your eyes on the painting, because you know, if you take your eyes off, that cocked arm is going to let loose and it’s aim will be dead on.

Click on the link below this painting if you want to see a long-winded video deconstructing the piece.

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To buy this painting on Ebay, go HERE.
To see a long-winded video describing my thought process while painting this piece, go HERE.

Quoth the DingDong, “Nevermore!”

I’ve been more effected than I expected by the death of Hostess. I haven’t eaten any of their products in years, and yet, I felt an instant hankering for Twinkies, fruit pies and cupcakes as soon as I saw the news on TV. I fooled around in Ebay, looking up the prices for the remaining items, fighting the urge to race the expiration dates with Fedex shipments.


Edgar Allen Poe shaves ‘Nevermore’ into the kid’s head while a DingDong raven looks on. The Delicious chocolaty grim reaper feeds the subject the last Twinkie the Kid while the Phoenix below prepares to burn it all down so Twinkies can rise again in some form or another. The meat of the issue dances around the edges on snack covered tombstones with the words ‘If Hostess can die then what about me?’ The kid here, painted in 1958, cries about impermanence, death, and a rebirth that doesn’t include him, or any of the rest of us, since we weren’t invited, in our present form anyway. Boo Hoo. Ugh! Someone slap me! For sale on Ebay
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Turners Falls to Be Breened in June.

I’m having an art show in Turners Falls, a Breenapalooza! If you know anyone in the Pioneer Valley who would enjoy seeing Breens in the wild, let them know!

 I have have never met Nina and will visit her Nook for the first time this weekend, Apparently the space is literally a hallway, so most of our drinking will probably be done on the sidewalk. My kind of place! Grandma Breen lives in Turners, my sister lives across the river and I grew up in nearby Amherst, so this will be a kind of homecoming! If you live west of Worcester get your butt down here! If there is any wifi available I’ll try to stream the opening live to those from away, and if any of you see something you like to purchase, you’ll be able to call in.

The show will be all of June but the reception will be Saturday, June 9 5-7pm. Nina’s Nook is at 125A Avenue A in Turners Falls, MA. Hours are Th 4-6pm, Fri – Sat 1-6pm, or by appointment 413-834-8800

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Check out Nina’s blog at http://www.ninastudio.net/

Political Clowns From Hell.

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Text says – ‘Clowns From Hell Make Women Attempt To Escape From 1965 Again!’

As you can tell from my art, I’m pretty left wing.

I’ve been watching the news with astonishment every night as the Republican presidential candidates battle each other in debates, pushing farther and farther to the right in an effort to prove they are more evil than anyone else up on the stage.  Honestly, I never thought I’d be pining for the good old days when Richard Nixon, socialist by today’s standards, established the EPA!!!   The Republicans somehow managed to turn the whole freedom of religion thing into anti-birth control repression of women.  THIS is their stand in the culture war? They are truly, truly insane.

How can anyone vote for these clowns?  After hearing Santorum’s stand on providing birth control,  I saw this lady in the corner, kind of scratched up and forlorn, locked up tight in that hairdo, and I knew I had to paint something about this. Then Santorum’s main backer made an idiot of himself on TV with the statement that he didn’t know what the big deal about  birth control was – in his day, women held a Bayer aspirin between their knees.  That clinched it, I went right over to my brushes.

I left the scratches on the original woman’s face and didn’t cover her over too much, she’s already been through a lot!  I just heard Santorum say something to the effect that the idea of the separation of church and state makes him want to vomit. I would have put that in too, but the painting was already done.

By the way, this is my first 3-D Breen! When you look at this, everything seems to float over the back-ground due to some optical illusion.  It isn’t very obvious in the photo, but you can really see it in real life.  Or at least I can see it, unless the painting is playing tricks on me.  And Mrs. Breen sees it too, unless she is simply humoring me.  I did not do this on purpose, it just seems to be! I accidentally painted over the original signature on this one, sorry!

To buy this painting, go HERE.

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Forgetful Captain Coral

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Text on this one says ‘Although he is mostly brain, Captain Coral’s memory is horrible!!’
Also, hidden in the painting is the text, “Where did I put my pipe?” and “It’s in your mouth!”

I have this running list of text blocks, that, chuckling to myself, I write down from time to time, to use in future paintings. This was going to be one of those, but the Captain didn’t like the idea and negotiated his way out of it.  I WAS going to turn him into a ghost and have the viewer avoid the cold spot in the painting, but the Captain was not looking forward to an eternity in a kind of monster-zombie-ghost state and pleaded with me to change my mind, to go colorful instead.  He pointed out that I had just done an albino painting and what kind of an artist was I to keep repeating looks, blah blah blah!! OKAY, I GET it!!

To get the ball rolling, Captain suggested that I give him a red coral beard.  Good idea! So I painted that.  Then I studied his eyes, and he seemed lost in thought, like he was trying to remember something, trying really hard.  So I painted his coat into brain coral. But he still couldn’t remember.  I then turned all of him into coral, and gave him four coral captain friends to make up the reef.  I popped in some fish to hide from the nonexistent predators . But what was the captain trying to remember? He couldn’t remember where his pipe was! Although it was right in his mouth!

Mrs. Breen is all over me to keep this one – believe me, an unusual occurrence!  She thinks this is one of the best paintings I’ve ever done.  Usually, when I finish one of these paintings, I just roll over and start snoring.  But I can’t stop staring at this one, lighting it cigarettes, bringing it breakfast in bed!  The color is impossible to capture properly with my camera.  My sea captain Breenalisa breensterpiece!

This one is expensive, and I am listing with a buy it now, not an auction.

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Silent Shell

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Text on this one says, ‘Andre wept because he couldn’t hear the ocean!’ Andre is holding a conch shell up to his ear, listening, but is also standing in the ocean.  His family, who have become manta ray and sea anemone heads, are thrilled to have just survived this paint over! In the original painting, Andre looked pissed off and a little mean. Since he was always finding fault with his cheerful family, I closed his eyes, gave him tears and made him get in touch with his sensitive side. He can’t hear the ocean even though he’s standing in it, desensitized by his long hard life and he weeps.

His family was thanking me for the breakthrough before I turned my attention to them.  Rule of thumb – in a multiportrait, heavily breen most of the heads! Since they were the happy-go-lucky ones, it was better to transform them as they had the psychological wherewithal to handle it! And, as a consolation, I made them rich by giving the daughter a pearl the size of a softball.  That’s the kind of guy I am, generous to my art!

This is a magnificent humungous breen with a lot of energy! Come and get it HERE.

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Forever and Forever

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Another hasty Valentine whipped up an hour before Mrs. Breen awoke! I didn’t have to do much here, just just slam the clown in the mouth to break a few teeth! That felt good! After I presented this one to Mrs. Breen she laughed nervously and then frowned as she became lost in the forevers.  I think this Breenentine will end up back in the studio like the others.  If you would like to share this warm message with others, punch one of the buttons below!