Enter "The Kingdom"

As always, it is my intention to invite subconscious flow, exhaust my abilities, follow my instincts, and convey that which is my vision: in this case, to describe the effects of controlled light upon particular things, and invite viewers into an imaginary world.

A Closer Examination of Time

30"x40" Oil on Linen/Panel

SOLD collection of R.W. Norton Museum

Awards:

  • International Guild of Realism's Winter Salon Online Exhibition, 2019
  • Finalist Selection - Still Life Competition, Richeson75, 2019
  • Finalist - Art Renewal Center's 14th International Salon, 2018/19
  • National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society, Spring Online International Juried Exhibition, 2019
  • The Inflectionist Review Magazine, Volume 10, 2020

Tales from The Kingdom

My Dearest Majesty,

The hour is late, yet my enthusiasm blossoms! For at this very moment I stand upon the delicious cusp of discovery. Time, however, is a slippery fish. To date I can report my certainty of a relationship fixing time to perception; therein lies a ratio. For a year considered by a four year old child is one fourth of their entire existence - a seeming eternity - and therefore has little in common with a typical fleeting year perceived by a forty year old adult. Though rather self-evident, I think this is profound, undug ground. Yet this is but one branch, and I am following every winding vine to find the elusive flower. With barest candor, I have been equally fascinated and frustrated, however I believe I will crack the mortality barrier of which we spoke, although I may need a bit more, forgive me, Majesty... time.

Your ever Servant

Non-compliant

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Meritorious Selection - Still Life Competition, Richeson75, 2020

Tales from The Kingdom

They had come early in the morning with smiles, crisp collars, and crisper adjustment papers. "It is all for the best," they had assured him, one by one. "You'll be much happier - you'll see!" Friends and family alike had chimed in; "you better listen to them; they're official." He had heard it all before, but this had been different. "Besides," they had added, "it's easier if you just go along ("Don't you know that by now?" someone had muttered."), then it will all be over." Hopeful faces. Maybe they're right, he had again considered, and so made another honest effort to behave as expected, but alas his thoughts had remained his own and he obviously enjoyed that fact. That did it. In short order it was determined that this was possibly the worst case of individualism ever recorded, officially, and corrective reinforcement was increased. "He's always been like that," his tearful mother was heard to murmur. "I fear he always will be."

A Taste of the Good Stuff

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Finalist Selection - Still Life Competition, Richeson75, 2020
  • International Guild of Realism's Spring Salon Online Exhibition, 2020

Tales from The Kingdom

It was a moment of potentially explosive proportions, as disparate powers intersected for the first time. To be sure, the likelihood for disaster was so high that a broad perimeter had been evacuated; after all, if anything went wrong, everyone would know. From the silent shadows, however - with everything at stake - one was compelled to witness this ultimate gamble for himself.

So far so good...

But then again - as the witness alone knew - only the first sip is free.

Best not to Think about It

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Tales from The Kingdom

After careful consideration it has become abundantly clear that, at this time, the best course of action regarding this, or any such subject is not to think about it too much.

Double Juicy Frog Kisses

20"x16" Oil on Panel

SOLD collection of R.W. Norton Museum

Awards:

  • Meritorious Selection - Still Life Competition, Richeson75, 2019

Tales from The Kingdom

Big Sister took little Sister’s hand as they entered, having been lured from the village with “the Prince requests your loveliness, and a darling kiss!” Their hearts had soared into the realms of giddiness! I can't believe it, each had thought, hearing their footsteps echo upon the Royal marble floor: how lucky. But what was this? The girls' eyes went wild attempting to absorb the strange things of the Wizard's laboratory, noting unmistakable evidence of disaster. And there amongst it all, stone like, sat the frog/Prince: hoping, anticipating. Frog like. “No way!” said big Sister, rousing her courage to run. "We’re not kissing any frog!” She pressed little Sister behind her.

The Wizard raised his hands in assurance, and softly pleaded his case, his need for a singular droplet. "Well," offered big Sister. "I guess so..." The Wizard smiled, and gently directed the Sisters into position. “Right there, my dear ladies,” he whispered. “That just might do.” The Sisters stood awkwardly, but stood, and so with hearts hammering, and not before an extraordinary pause, and only after the Wizard's eyebrows went up, they coalesced their kisses into the chemistry by way of the tiniest tender smacks.

My Soul yet Sings!

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • International Guild of Realism's 11th Annual Juried Exhibition, Winfield Gallery, Carmel, CA, 2017
  • Still Life Honorable Mention Award - Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2018

Tales from The Kingdom

He had been giving his all; pouring his passion through the instrument he so loved, for it was the opportunity of a lifetime. The audience was entranced, but alas, the King unexpectedly yawned, and made no effort to hide it. Murmurs infected the audience like fire, whispers stinging his ears as he played. Then it happened; his brain seemed to lock, and his nimble fingers lost their way altogether. Frozen before the soon jeering crowd, he sat illuminated, shrinking into something unrecognizable.

And banished he became by a Majestic whim.

Time passed slowly. Yet one day a breeze caressed his broken bare skin, and with it came the irrepressibly sounds of strings to his numbed brain: his only to hear: for no one else. A melody bloomed, swelling and rolling, and so he was taken, lost to circumstance, lost to the very world around him by the gushing music of his mind. His swollen eyes brightened and welled. "You may turn your back," he thought to himself, "cage my body, bind my hands useless, but my soul still sings."

And so the Panic began

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's Eastern Regional Exhibition, Anderson Fine Art Gallery, St. Simons Island, GA, 2017
  • Meritorious Selection - Still Life Competition, Richeson75, 2019

Tales from The Kingdom

There had been previous indications - dry spells to actual drought - but never had so precious a resource remained so scarce. Whispers of "mercy" passed countless cracked lips as up-cast eyes begged empty skies for rain. But not the King; His Majesty would not suffer so, for within his court were Wizards held close. The King’s lips ever-glistened with wine and water, as did relatives’ in good standing. Societal daggers acted swiftly among those clamoring to gain favor: anything to remain protected. But those beyond Royal walls had no such privilege. Impossible gates cared nothing of pounding fleshy fists, or impassioned words of men. Many returned to the village well to wait, helplessly, hopelessly, refusing to return home empty-handed yet again. Bodies began to slump in the heat never to rise. Glimpses were exchanged quickly. But from a downcast head, one soon settled his glance upon the blood of another, held fast, eyes narrowed by the darkest intention. The sun was sinking as a scream ascended into the air. Then the real panic began.

The King's Solicitors

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • The Van Wolf Arkansas Artist Award - Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2016
  • International Guild of Realism's Winter Salon, The Marshall Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2016
  • Juxtaprose Literary Magazine, Volume 10 cover, 2016
  • Finalist - Still Life Category, Art Renewal Center's 13th International Salon, 2017/18

Tales from The Kingdom

While tidying up from his meager supper, an elderly peasant was surprised by a pronounced knock upon his door. “Who is it,” the peasant inquired. “We are here on behalf of His Majesty, the King” (the door swung open wide revealing two courtly Solicitors) “who offers gifts of great kindness,” they continued in unison, “the answer to all your problems.” The peasant blinked at the smiling Solicitors, then at the bounty before him, dumbstruck: “at what cost?” he finally uttered. The Solicitors’ smiles deepened. “Your mere signature,” they replied, “committing your eternal allegiance to The King: a trifle, really.” The peasant ran his weathered hand across his experienced face then clutched his beard in deepest thought. The Solicitors’ eyes twinkled in anticipation. The peasant however, stood frozen in the moment - mind racing - for honestly, it all seemed too good to be true.

The Brawl of the Century

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2017
  • International Guild of Realism's 14th Annual Juried Exhibition, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA, 2019

Tales from The Kingdom

Time and again, such clashes had been billed as the most crucial conflicts ever in the Kingdom's history, determining its very future. "The brawl of the century," the prognosticators now declared - and for once no one could deny - It was.

Keeper of the Flame

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • International Guild of Realism's 11th Annual Juried Exhibition, Gallery 1261, Denver, CO, 2016
  • Finalist - Still Life Category, Art Renewal Center's 12th International Salon, 2016/17
  • The Inflectionist Review Magazine, Volume 10, 2020

Tales from The Kingdom

There had been no warning on the wind: no portent delivered. So one might imagine the surprise when - on a night seemingly like any other – the Keeper detected a soft metallic “click” at his back. He turned only to find himself wholly transfixed, mesmerized, for the ancient cage had opened of its own will, and the flame of his keeping was making an exodus beyond its lantern home. Softly effervescing in the darkness, as if for a purpose, the flame then hovered with new life before its protector, licking the night with colors violet, orange and blue. The work of a Wizard? Perhaps this was something far more powerful. The Keeper smelled nothing wicked, in fact the situation almost teased "follow me". The Keeper could only watch as the flame intensified and grew, and though he was filled with unease, he could not help thinking, ‘something wonderful was about to happen'…

The Wonderweapon

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Honorable Mention - 59th Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR, 2017

Tales from The Kingdom

The King had never seen anything like it, for there had certainly never been such. Unnerved were his bowels, his thick legs a bit unsubstantial - but exhilarated was his jaded heart. The King’s eye struggled to consume it all. Deliciously monstrous and cocked, it sprawled under the spotlight like an otherworldly creature anticipating a wicked prowl. Magnificent! Just as promised, this was certainly it: the weapon to best all weapons, the means to end all wars. The field of battle would tremble and give way at the very sight of it. Hardened enemy hearts would waiver, fleeing before it like children. And what of conquest, thought The King? Mind wildly racing, he simply whispered, “I’ll take it.”

The Contemplation Pool

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's 2016 Salon Show, Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, IN, 2016

Tales from The Kingdom

It had been a long journey of weary, determined steps, and had cost him in countless ways. Alone he went - dismissing the agonizing aches and thirst that whittled away at his very life. On he went, believing his reward was ‘just over the next dune,' and even when all hope was hidden from his heart. Then, shimmering in the distance, there it was; his cracked lips parted at the sight. He felt the shadow of The Keeper of the Temple as he passed, its scales glistening like diamonds in the blazing sun; it only let him pass: for he was expected. He refused all offers to freshen himself or even quench his thirst. Not yet. He dragged his damaged feet down the cool corridor, toward a multicolored curtain held open by a servant who would not look at him, and stepped inside. His pulse quickened as he gazed into the glass-like surface of The Contemplation Pool. A single drop of sweat disrupted his reflection, and as the undulation subsided, he saw what he had hoped for, and tearfully smiled. A gentle finger rippled the surface a second time, and he soon saw what he most needed, and gasped. He closed his eyes and tried to comprehend what was happening. His senses were saturated. Then, with greatest care, he sent a long final breath across the pool, and waited to see what he owed… “The world will come to treasure your time upon it,” revealed the telling waters, “but alas..." he lastly learned, "you will not survive to see it.”

Artifacts of the Ancients

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's 25th Annual National Exhibition, Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2017
  • Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2019

Tales from The Kingdom

Construction had come to an unexpected halt. Now only those directly involved in what had become an impromptu excavation were privy to the shrouded site, as well as, of course, the Royal Court. The wisest scholars fumed in heated debate as to the meaning of what had been unearthed; a few were attempting to attach their own names to the immortal finds; the King’s Geographer and Alchemist had come to actual, vicious blows. Claims wild and resolute flew, even while several expressed concerns over methodology. No one was in charge of the scene. While one suggested offering some form of worship, another saw only darkness: a hoax spawned of the nether regions. The Artifacts held their secrets, like massive stoic monuments to the heretofore unknown. Astounding to every eye and fingertip. Terrifying in implication. For behold, what giants had walked the ancient world, slipped into a starry sky, slithered into an undulating sea - trod upon the very Kingdom? Behold!

Night Watch

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Tales from The Kingdom

Saws sat silent. Hammers long lay idle: sweat gone from their well-worn handles. The hour was languid and late, so no one anticipated an intruder slinking about, examining the castle’s new construction – certainly not the Watchman snoring softly in the corner. The golden creature gleamed teasingly, magically, more than it should for a prowler, but its stealth was perfect, even as it opened its jaws in an undetected show of satisfaction. Footfalls were that of feathers upon cotton, placed with determined, catlike care. But what was the creature considering? Why was it here? Mere curiosity one might conclude, for it stole away just as it had come. Curiosity, yes. In any case, no harm was done it seemed, not even sawdust was disturbed, and as everyone knows, mere curiosity never killed a dragon.

Her Secret Garden

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's Eastern Regional Exhibition, Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2016
  • International Guild of Realism's 13th Annual Juried Exhibition, Sugarman-Peterson Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, 2018

Tales from The Kingdom

“Keep your eyes shut,” she demanded, “’til I say…” not that it mattered much, as the night was black as pitch. Then taking his hand, she led him through a hole in the garden wall to a spot she had predetermined, and gently turning him around added, “wait here… and no peeking!” There was a soft click, and he felt the warmth of electric light on his anxious face. “You are the first,” she softly admitted, “no one else has been here.” His smile deepened. “Okay,” she then said, “go ahead.” Slowly he opened his eyes, and his lips parted slightly with wonder, in fact he swooned. “It’s more beautiful than you said,” he finally uttered, but wasn’t gazing upon the flowers, for the joy in her eyes outshined the world.

He followed the Money

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • South Arkansas Art Center's Annual National Art Competition, El Dorado, AR, 2016
  • First Place - Still Life Category, Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2019

Tales from The Kingdom

He was a young and otherwise ordinary fellow, and only recently awakened to ideals, so it was curiosity and sheer doggedness that propelled him through the bureaucratic cobwebbed-fog to find... “Disgrace!” he cried. The accused looked down their noses with astonishment, scanning instinctively for their spokespersons, but alas, they were caught alone. “Disgrace!” repeated the young man. Passers-by took notice, building in number until they formed a raging venomous, mob. “Cronies, liars, thieves,” they screamed, along with worse forms of derision. The accused squirmed with priceless expressions, wincing and wailing from every barb like exposed, cornered cockroaches. But were the glistening tears sincere? For how does one shame the shameless? Oh, but this was big. BIG! In fact, scandal was on every curled lip… for a while, that is. For eventually the entire affair became overshadowed by the very act of life and living. Times were hard, and some even turned back to the cockroaches – still entrenched upon their rotten pedestals – and begged to be saved. The embittered young man was broken, and only further so when a rumor circulated that the King had offered pardons (as they were all related), and nothing ever really changed.

The Forbidden Kiss

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist


  • The Inflectionist Review Magazine, Volume 10, 2020

Tales from The Kingdom

Within the forest twisted and deep, in a cabin long since thought abandoned, a peasant girl held her breath as something impossible began to unfold. Something thought secret. The peasant girl shrank in the corner, making not a sound as a light rain pattered upon the timbers overhead, as two sworn enemies emerged from the shadows to stare one another down. Thunder rumbled and softly rolled away. Focused were the visitors, lost to everything beyond their locked gaze. The peasant girl's heart thumped, unsure of what would happen next. Yet there were no growls or huffs, no posturing at all; eyes were wanting and desirous. Slowly, the young golden temptress stepped forward, giving herself to the scarred brute before her. But how could this be? What would this mean to their warring clans? The air was humming as they met with the softest tenderness. The peasant girl smiled from the shadows despite herself, her heart given over to something infectious, for it seemed there was something amorous in the very air. The temptress stared longingly; indeed she loved him so, and knew he would die for her.

Keeper of the Red Jinn

20"x16" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's 25th Annual National Exhibition, Dallas, TX. 2016

Tales from The Kingdom

Within the mountain deep, the dark hall had been calm for so long that it was difficult to conceive the horror and mayhem once let loose upon the villages below. Praise be to the Keeper. Praised be his unshakable strength. For those inexperienced the damage once done seemed impossible, dismissed by children as wild stories. Better that they never know. But the elders remembered: remembered through tears, through fingers caressing unnatural scars, arms holding loved ones with dull aching hearts. And yet it had seemed so wonderful at first. Some had even gained treasures of sorts, or so it once seemed. Only remnants remained. Remnants in the form of graves, nightmares, or the silence of vanished souls.

But all was calm now. Praise be to the Keeper.

Blood like a River

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Tales from The Kingdom

Honor? What was such compared to love? To overwhelming desire? The Soldier knew the price of approaching so boldly, of intervening into the lives of so wealthy a home, after so long abroad. Warm breaths vaporized in the cold moonlight. The Soldier dismounted and kneeled, calm, vulnerable, making a full appeal to the woman of his need: the girl of his sweetest memory. Having survived the unimaginable, he was willing to die for her. The Husband drew his exquisite weapon and paused, studying his set reflection in the blade. The look on every face made it certain that there would be blood fouling the delicate snow at their feet, blood like a veritable river.

Slipping a Snare

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

The approach had been slow and deliberate, for it had seemed too good to be true. Still the delicious aroma wafted from the goblet: nectar that it was. The experienced creature had smelled it from high in the hills, knowing the power delivered by a single sip, knowing the cost as well. It had hesitated in the shadows, but no one had been detected. Nothing had made a single sound. Anticipation had filled the creature’s nostrils as it took one more step - into the light. Suddenly the creature recoiled and sneered as a hiss escaped an ancient throat. Now the scene came together; death was close and teasing. The hiss morphed into a drawn furious scream. The creature dared not step forward.

Slowly, senses exploded, flushed and trembling with rage, the creature backed into the swallowing shadows.

Midnight at the Oasis

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • Finalist - The Artist's Magazine 32nd Annual Art Competition, 2015
  • Oil Painters of America's 2015 Salon Show, Beverly McNeil Gallery, Birmingham, AL, 2015
  • Texas & Neighbors 31st Regional Art Exhibition, Irving Arts Center, 2016
  • Art of the Heartland: National Juried Painting Competition, Southwest Artists, Mena Art Gallery, Mena, AR, 2016
  • International Guild of Realism's Winter Salon, The Marshall Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2016

Tales from The Kingdom

The night had grown quiet but for the occasional rustle of tent walls and soft shifting of sand. Snoring somewhere to be sure, but no more sinuous music or swaying of sultry bodies by lamplight, no more fleeting glimpses caught through sheer adornments. No more seduction. It was always the same. The vixens had vanished like smoke - a mirage - just as the guests’ carousing subsided: given to slumber of one form or another. Yes, another indeed. For only the animals really rested, milling about calmly, healing, paying little heed to the magic letting loose in the air.

This might Sting a Little

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

Desperation brought them here; certainly nothing else would. The weathered door had opened slightly, remaining invitingly ajar, and so they entered. It had been a long journey, and clothes clung to sweaty backs as they stepped into the dank room. Hearts pounded surveying the irregular walls and strange instruments hanging there. Then, with no one seeing, the Doctor delivered herself to a corner, showing irrepressible delight in being gradually discovered by her guests. Hearts hammered, but no one said a word, transfixed as they were by her magnetic eyes, and unnerving, knowing grin.

A most Perfect Potion

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • International Guild of Realism's 10th Annual Juried Exhibition, Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA, 2015
  • Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council's 28th Annual Juried Exhibition, Texarkana, TX, 2016

Tales from The Kingdom

Sweet was the drink, hanging thick upon the tongue like dark delicious syrup. No turning back now. Calming and quick, the fluid did seep into the pores of those who partook - creeping and seeking - holding them in a cool, placid, trance-like state. Lost became the tick of time. An unexpected wave washed through their bodies, seemingly at an angle. Then washed a wave of confusion, followed by a bite of panic. Their breaths eased in and out - the only movement - droning in their ears. Then vast experience was delivered as prescient visions played beyond the scope of physical eyes, providing wonder, rapture, and horror.

For the Love of a Milkmaid

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

Timely indeed was Sir Knight, for he seemed precisely on cue, and was very well equipped to dispatch a mere juvenile delinquent. Bothersome Brat. Why must there ever be a pestilence upon the land, lurking, sniffing the air, harassing simple folk? But alas, all would be well here; a knowing smile cracked that was further expressed only in the eyes. Sir Knight fought with style and passion, shocking in his unchecked zeal, and only then dismissed himself with the utmost propriety... and was gone. Thank all goodness for Sir Knight, thank goodness, but how had he gotten here so quickly?

Now we Wait...

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

The aroma was as unnatural as intoxicating, acrid and a bit stinging to the senses, yet different from before; it infused the silence with a lingering sense of anticipation. Would it work this time? The Wizard had seemed to think so - said so - before he left the laboratory. "Do not touch," he murmured from the corridor, and none did. But eyes were fixed and eager. The tiniest of bubbles settled to the surface then vanished. Waiting... Waiting... Was that a tiny movement somewhere within the dark fluid? a detectable sensation in the atmosphere?

Suddenly a pleasance settled in their hearts - something new was certainly coming.

Keeper of Time

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Featured in The Artist's Magazine's article "The Kingdom of The Origami Dragon Guy" November 2014 issue.

Tales from The Kingdom

No one knows the particular transmissions that travel between the head and heart of a dragon, and certainly not one such as this. Solitary in the world, charged for all eternity with a singular task, a Keeper knows nothing else. And yet, even so, within the breath of eternal agony someone or something had enacted unthinkable mischief; the delicate tickle of time was stopped. Rage shook the heavy walls, filling the night air with dread. Distant casual conversations ceased, given over to alarm. For how had this come to pass? What forces had breached the hall for this causation?

...and just how long had it been?

The King is Dead

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • International Guild of Realism's 8th Annual Juried Exhibition, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, AZ, 2013

Tales from The Kingdom

An accident? Perhaps. Regardless, it had happened so swiftly that no one really knew for sure. Guards that had gone lax amid reverie and celebration now stood straight and pale. Eyes that had wandered elsewhere now focused fully upon the helpless King at the foot of the Monument of Old. Fingers were pointing. The entire Kingdom let out a gasp, followed by a drawn collective moan; even the Court's enemies were so shaken as to temporarily lose their ire-laden focus. There would be time for retribution, but that time was not now. Now was a time for reflection. For where do we go from here?

Where do we go from here?

The Kingdom: Invaded

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • MANIFEST: 7th International Painting Annual 2017

Tales from The Kingdom

Dawn broke that day as a backdrop to chaos and confusion. An unfamiliar fear sank deep within the bowels of scarred, hardened bodies. Once incessant squabbling had ceased altogether, congealing however briefly into an apprehensive wall of scowling solidarity. Bitter enemies now stood shoulder to shoulder without a checking sidelong glance: eyes forward, teeth bared, mouths agape to incinerate the unknown thing. For what stuff was this? What had born such horrific screams and rolling roars? No one knew. What alien engine loosed this low unnatural hum? All fell silent as each witness gauged the value of a moment never experienced before - then the real chaos began.

Swoon

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

Immersion complete, and a delicious eruption. An unforeseen freefall into what was heretofore unknown now defined him - the crest of sheer bliss, possibility, and hope. Awakened and lost he was, and so given over to a simultaneous rising and falling: vulnerable, exposed, small as a molecule – and yet encompassing the very universe with bursting radiant existence. Oh, what the villagers will say of the light within his face. Heartbeat after hammering heartbeat. Overwhelmed, over-washed, at the mercy of another, he was beyond all control… and yet loved it so.

And so he swam in it...

The Trolls' Treasure

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Featured in The Artist's Magazine's article "The Kingdom of The Origami Dragon Guy" November 2014 issue.
  • Finalist - The Artist's Magazine 31st Annual Art Competition, 2014

Tales from The Kingdom

Glimpsed only in a fog-filled dream, a veritable fortune of ill-gotten wealth lay about glistening, only to be fondled, caressed, and coveted by joyless dark hearts. For what need have Trolls of currency? What do they know of value? Trolls need little more than a dank place and an occasional goat to nibble on. Yet they ever continue by means of their internal unknown ticking: keenly - if only at such matters of illogical collecting - sleeping in shifts, and welcoming questionable company.

Keys to the Kingdom

16"x20" Oil on Panel

SOLD collection of R.W. Norton Museum

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's 22nd Annual National Exhibition, InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX, 2013
  • Featured in The Artist's Magazine's article "The Kingdom of The Origami Dragon Guy" November 2014 issue.

International Guild of Realism's Masterworks Museum Tour, 2015/2016

Finalist - The Artist's Magazine 30th Annual Art Competition, 2013

Tales from The Kingdom

And so it came to this. Everyone knew that it would, and therefore gathered wide-eyed to witness the inevitable collision at hand. There was oh so much at stake. Rumors had been loosed, yes, seeding bad intentions, reverberating down dusty corridors, curling around ancient columns. Chests had been puffed and pounded – encouraged in soft, whispered tones, fertilized by those of questionable intent. Alas, there can be only one. No wonder shadows filled with eager eyes, hearts pounding behind a lingering moment of hesitant anticipation. Anything could happen, and no one was going to miss it…

Off with Their Heads!

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Oil Painters of America's 2013 Salon Show, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey, MI, 2013
  • Finalist - Southwest Art Magazine Artistic Excellence Competition 2013

Tales from The Kingdom

No one uttered a sound; as for the Jester, he choked on his own colliding thoughts, mouth agape, wishing only to dissolve into the shadows. The Queen stood motionless, unreadable, cold as a midnight tombstone, seemingly rapt in the crimson glow that she herself had caused. Increasingly unpredictable, who could really say why she had acted so? Made such a cruel, capricious decision? It was as if she simply wanted to see it, to hear the muted gasps, and feel the helpless reactions at her back. None approached Her Majesty with anything but the practiced masks of blank expressions, or a nervous, hopeful smile, for there had been no such carnage for a dragon’s age, and capable utensils were sharp, and, well… handy.

Unattainable

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Finalist - The Artist's Magazine 30th Annual Art Competition 2013
  • AMERICAN STILL LIFES: National Museum Exhibition, R.W. Norton Museum, 2014
  • Featured in The Artist's Magazine's article "The Kingdom of The Origami Dragon Guy" November 2014 issue.

Tales from The Kingdom

The Village was well beyond whispers, but the suitors did not care; they simply could not. Again and again they crooned, plied, and – when all else failed – merely gazed with burning intensity at their teasing desire; such was the unquenchable magnetism of the dark princess. So fine was her skin. Oh so close. Oh so out of reach. Would she smile today? She encompassed their entire consciousness. They would take their chances, for somewhere must be the key to her fickle, delicious heart, if only they could find it.

The Wizard's Wand

16"x20" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Honorable Mention - 56th Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR, 2014

Tales from The Kingdom

Wretched things. Silently they sit, woeful thoughts coursing through otherwise useless brains: poor wretched things pounded into such unnatural misery. For what could deserve such a fate? The tool lay idle before them, so simple in appearance, so ordinary, making it all the more disconcerting. What comprises this Wizard? What whims? What intimations course through such a cruel consciousness? What madness? Few have kept his company, and none are privy to his insight. Someone, perhaps, should stand up to him - demand answers - Justice! -yes... someone.

But these, these will never tell.

New Sheriff in Town

16"x20" Oil on Panel, Available from the Artist

Awards:

  • IAC Award of Excellence - 28th Texas & Neighbors Regional Art Exhibit, Irving Art Association, Irving, TX, 2013
  • Award of Excellence - Art of the Heartland Annual National Juried Painting Competition, SouthWest Artists, Mena, AR, 2015
  • Honorable Mention - The Gun Show Exhibition, Drawl Southern Contemporary Art/Oxford American Magazine, Little Rock, AR, 2016

Tales from The Kingdom

The Town was beyond tired: tired of the lawlessness, tired of the rampant wickedness, the pervasive mindless bloodshed. Many good men had fallen to drunken laughter and languid smoke, including the experienced Marshal. Fear was thick. Pleas had long been sent. In fact, many times they had summoned to the east for assistance without result; it seemed that they were on their own. Finally one stood up from within their ranks: young, untested, and alone. “Things are going to change,” he announced to astonished onlookers. “So get your mind right. It’s all up to us now.”

Keeper of the Key

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Awards:

  • Finalist - Still Life Category, Art Renewal Center International Salon 2012/2013
  • Oil Painters of America's Eastern Regional Exhibition, McBride Gallery of Annapolis, Maryland, 2013
  • Featured in See Me's Creatives Rising digital exhibition, New York, NY 2013
  • Featured in The Artist's Magazine's article "The Kingdom of The Origami Dragon Guy" November 2014 issue.
  • Finalist - The Artist's Magazine 31st Annual Art Competition 2014

Tales from The Kingdom

Woe to those unaware. Woe to those with greedy hearts and sticky, seeking fingers. Woe. Fair heed to those with the softest of footfalls and sharpest eager blade; enter not this dark hall. Do not fill your heart with such cravings. The Keeper smells your grand desires even as they form. Woe to thee. Sleep takes no root here; eyes are lidless and keen. The Keeper has all he needs – all he ever will.

And still they keep coming…


Trouble in The Kingdom

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

A posse rode out today - a knight among them - fading into the sunset with banners streaming, trumpets sounding, brows determined, and lips set. Many had placed a warm hand on the shoulder of the sobbing Mother, caressing her hopeful upturned face as they vowed the unspoiled return of her only Daughter. "Could'a been anyone," someone was heard to say. What madness was this? And to what sick purpose? This dear broken Mother had no money to extort, and given so I fear that this unspeakable action is something far far darker.

Torches, Tower, & Dragon

20"x16" Oil on Panel, SOLD

Tales from The Kingdom

The Castle remained silent, fastened like a vault, its tasty contents breathless, wanting nothing more than the awkward moment to pass from this land. Prodding, creeping pestilence. From within - though only through the slightest cracks of trembling fingers - villagers looked down upon the massive beast, just as it's footfalls were felt in their bones. In a tempered whisper, someone offered, "it does not seem so vicious to me." Glances were exchanged. Many reconsidered, but made no move to act, for the beast was new to this land… and the evening was still young.

About The Kingdom

The Kingdom requires that I utilize my imagination and paint manipulation skills equally, at my highest level. It is demanding of my hands and brain. I arrange items in a manner that is meant to stimulate the viewer beyond the painted surface: usually intended to imply an event or story, often countering initial humor with lurking sadness or darkness: the result being complexity of content. Toward this, ordinary and not so ordinary objects comprise settings for metaphorical characters and scenarios: a mainstay of which are origami dragons and dolls. "My Soul yet Sings!" for example, depicts the irrepressible power of art to sustain the artist: elaborated upon verbally with "Tales from The Kingdom." Lastly, though I share thoughts on each painting by means of fiction - the visual is the thing - and I encourage individual interpretation.

This is fulfilling work, satisfying some inherent need deep within me. I set up my still lifes visiting the same inner-place as when I was a boy making things with construction paper and crayons. That's my center, my core. I do all of this because it engages me; I hope my paintings engage you as well.

There is more detailed technical info under the "about" tab.

Thank you for visiting The Kingdom.


All work ©Daniel Mark CassityPermissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at mailto:danielmcassity@gmail.com.