Category Archives: Pictures

Pictures by me, on display

Upcoming Show – Shhh!

This coming Sunday—September the 9th—through the end of the month, I am going to have a piece featured in the gallery show Shhh! hosted by the Pasadena Public Library. It’s going to be huge, interconnected, museum-style show featuring work by over thirty different artists and I’m really excited to be participating in it. The show opens Sunday the 9th and continues through the end of the month, so if you’re in the Los Angeles area you should check it out.

The original press release is below.

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     Woody O’ Toole  Untitled   44”x 16”x10 

PRESS RELEASE
“Shhh!”
September 9-September 30, 2018
Opening September 9th, 1:30-4:30 PM
All of our political, social and cultural institutions are under pressure to change, to be replaced, or to disappear. Libraries are no exception. Budgets are being cut. Hi-tech corporations would like to privatize them. Hard cover books are slowly but surely being replaced with ebooks.
Librarians, once the secular high priests and priestesses who treated books as sacred, have been demoted and forced to throw books in their dumpsters.
For the month of September on display at the Pasadena Hastings Branch Library, the JJU collective has curated over 30 artists, some internationally known, who will explore the consequences of books as being obsolete, reduced to base material, no different than clay. What does it mean for our culture that what was once taboo is now commonplace? What does it mean if the library is the last public space not dominated by commercial exchange?
What does this mean for democracy if there is no longer an informed citizenry?
What does it mean for critical thinking? Will people cease to know their own history?
What does it mean for the creation and evaluation of new ideas and knowledge production?
As well, what does it mean for aesthetic evaluation uninfluenced by the biases solely of the commercial market place?
What will the library look like when there are no books? What will it be for? What taboos and sense of the sacred will replace it, if any?
Will the individual have anything to say about their own subject formation, the formation of their individuality or the formation of their own consciousness?
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
Andrew Huffstutler
Anthony Koerner
Ben Echeverria
Brian Dario
Christian Tedeschi
Caroline Zorthian
Derrick L Harlan
Dexter Hardwic
Dylan Huig
Erika Ostrander
Guthrie Devine
John Scott
Kevin Andrew Collins
Laura Wilde
Matthew Hormann
Mauro Martinez
Merrill Feitell
Michelle Garduño
Molly Tierney
Nilay Lawson
Nina R Salerno
Noėl Young
Pam Adams
Patrica Woodlin
Rael Callaci
Raina Janke
Ramiro Hernandez
Rebecca Fox
Renée Lotenero
Susannah Mills
Victoria Martin
Violetta Zein
Willis Stork
Windie Boehmer
Woody O’ Toole
Pasadena Hastings Branch Library
626-744-7262
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Doodle Dump: Robot authors

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I was bored.

And for the record, typewriters are really hard to draw. Even the electrical ones. Even from the back.

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Bestiarium: Rompo

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Name: Rompo
Mythos of Origin: African(?) and Hindu mythology
Type: Mammalian, Skeletal, Chimæra, Vermin, Scavenger
Habitat: unknown

Imagine if you will that instead of being the product of thousands of years of emergent storytelling, coming up with mythology was somebody’s job, presumably at some sort of firm. Now imagine that one of the people working at that firm—let’s call him “Jerry”, just for the sake of the scenario—woke up one morning with a hangover and it suddenly realized that he was supposed to have a big presentation today of the mythical creature he’d been working on. Jerry calls the office, and discovers to his horror that the creature department had a major server crash during the night and they’ve lost everything. Desperate, Jerry hastily throws something together and prays to whomever it is he prays to that nobody would notice.

Now, that scenario is, of course, ridiculous. But if that were to happen, the result would probably come out looking something like the rompo.

There’s very little information I’ve been able to track down on the creature, but I do know a few things. It has the front legs of a badger and the back legs of a bear, the head of a hare, the ears of a human, and the torso of a skeleton. That’s 4 different animals, and a skeleton.

It feeds on human corpses, so it falls squarely within the criteria for what’s traditionally classified as a “bad” creature, but then again, the phrasing (“corpses” rather than “people”) suggests that it doesn’t actually kill anyone for its meals, preferring to nosh on whatever dead people it finds just lying around. So… less something a king would send a brave knight in shining armor to slay, and more along the lines something an undertaker might call the Orkin man to set traps for. It isn’t so much a horrible monster as it is a vaguely creepy pest.

What really gets me is its voice, described as “crooning”. Now, I know that this word originally meant a sort of soft, melodious humming, and that that’s probably the sense in which it’s used here, but I can’t help but imagine the freaky little weasel monster wandering around a graveyard belting out Fly Me to the Moon or Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.

All in all, the rompo always struck me as a bit rushed, hence my little story about Jerry and his workplace dilemma, but nonetheless I consider it another one of my favorites. It feels lazy and forced, but with such earnest conviction that the resulting bathos lends it a certain charm. It may not be the sort of monster that you scream and cower in fear from, but it is absolutely the sort of monster that one might dress up in costume and attend a midnight screening of (if monsters worked like movies, which they don’t), and in my book that’s just as good.

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BrokenEye Media is now on Etsy

I’ve just finished setting up shop for the beginning of my trial run on Etsy. Currently my stock is limited to single copies of ten of my favorite works of mine, but if these do well, a larger stock is soon to follow.

The link to my shop can be found below:

etsylink

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Bestiarium: Yara-ma-yha-who

This is kind of a new feature I’ve decided to start posting here on the BrokenEye Media blog. I’m starting a series of illustrations depicting various mythological and folkloric creatures, both well-known and obscure (but mostly obscure) that I think are interesting, with a description of each in my usual turgid, irreverent, aside-laden parlance, in the tradition of mediæval bestiaries. However, unlike mediæval bestiaries, I’m abandoning all pretense of having anything to do with beasts allegedly found in nature, and I will not be going way out of my way to shoehorn an unnecessarily preachy and ridiculously contrived lesson on woefully outdated middle-aged quasi-Biblical morals into each description (which they did, because mediæval theology was weird). So if the Word of God as (allegedly) taught by the (allegedly) natural creatures (allegedly) of His Creation is what you’ve come here for, I’m afraid you’re going to leave disappointed, but I doubt that it is. So, without further ado, here’s the first entry in the Bestiarium:

yara-ma-yha-who color

Name: Yara-ma-yha-who
Mythos of Origin: Australian Aboriginal mythology
Type: Monster, Bogieman, Humanoid, Abhuman, Assimilative, Hematophage, Tentacled
Habitat: The canopies of fig trees

This one is probably one of my favorites because of how… creatively horrifying it is.

Though it can be described as the Aboriginal version of the vampire, the yara-ma-yha-who actually has very little in common its European brethren. True, it is a monstrous humanoid that sucks the blood of humans and can transform them into one of its own in the process, but the similarity ends there… which isn’t nearly as reassuring as it may initially sound.

This little red man makes it home in the branches of fig trees where it waits patiently and surprisingly stealthily for some poor, unwary traveler to pass by. When they do, the yara-ma-yha-who strikes in an instant, ensnaring them in its long, tentacular fingers lined with tiny lamprey-like suckers which it uses to slowly drain their blood. Not that it needs the blood for sustenance, mind you. It’s just that prey that’s weak from blood loss tend to be much less likely to resist or fight back. Once the creature’s hapless victim has been rendered nice and languid, the yara-ma-yha-who unhinges its toothless jaw and swallows them whole. After taking a drink from a nearby stream (because its important to stay hydrated), the monster takes a nap, it’s prey imprisoned—weak but very much alive—in its distensible stomach. When it wakes, it vomits up its victim, their skin ever-so-slightly redder, their build ever-so-slightly shorter than before.

If the victim is lucky, they’ll merely be sent on their way (feeling utterly horrified and no doubt somewhat violated) with the knowledge that they should stay away from that tree, lest they be caught and swallowed again. If they’re not lucky, the beast will skip the waiting, grab them again and repeat the process right then and there, swallowing and regurgitating them again and again until they’re completely transformed into another lurking yara-ma-yha-who ready and patiently waiting to prey on innocent travelers.

So yeah, kinda like a vampire, but a thousand times more abhorrent and not even remotely sexy. Unless you’re into that, I guess, though the knowledge that there are actually people who are into that (whatever the hell that is) just makes the whole thing all the more abhorrent.

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Filed under Articles, Bestiarium, Digital Drawings, My Art, Pictures

Sea Scaffold

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December 24, 2015 · 1:15 AM

Shipwrights

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December 24, 2015 · 1:12 AM

Low Light

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December 24, 2015 · 1:09 AM

Beacon Rock

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December 24, 2015 · 1:07 AM

Lighthouse

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December 24, 2015 · 1:01 AM