Scenes From An Imaginary Western

My art, My Stories

All Hands on Deck at Dawn for the…’Painting of the Day’ (Wednesday edition) June 29, 2011

Hello everybody! Sorry I haven’t been posting the past few days, but we have been en route to Texas. We finally made it to Toledo Bend and right now I’m sitting on the back porch with Toto enjoying the sounds of nature. Lovely. Anyway, here’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s called ‘Mexican Radio’ for reasons that are somewhat obscure have a lot to do with Wall of Voodoo. This is one of the few paintings that I’ve done that has a ‘satellite’ piece (the long horizontal run on the bottom is not connected to the gun and the blocks of color).  This piece was in the museum show in Texas. A catalog was put together for the show and the lady who wrote the text inside asked me where the phrase ‘I’m peeping through the knothole’ came from. I told her that it was from a song that Bugs Bunny sang on one of the great cartoons where he matched wits with Yosemite Sam. When the catalog came out several months later, she had written that I got the quote from the Richard Wright novel ‘Native Son’, which is a far more serious piece of ‘art’ than any Bugs Bunny cartoon. I suppose Bugs wasn’t highbrow enough for her. Well, that’s too bad. Or perhaps she just couldn’t reconcile the more sinister intent of the painting with a song sung by a cross-dressing, singing cartoon rabbit. Who knows…have a great one!

Mexican Radio

30″ x 84″


Don’t Look Ethel! It’s the ‘Painting of the Day’! (Friday edition) June 24, 2011

Howdy! I missed yesterday’s post. Sorry about that, I was thinking about pissing in the ocean…anyway, this is the very first Confidence Man painting. It’s a funeral. A viking funeral. In the upper left corner, the Confidence Man watches from the top of a ridge. At first, he wasn’t in the painting at all, then I went back and added him in. Thus, a saga was born, or at least a four and a half year waste of time. When you look at the piece, think ‘Kid A’ by Radiohead. That’s what I was listening to at the time. Cheers!


The Arcade Fire love…’The Painting of the Day’ (Wednesday edition) June 22, 2011

Good morning! Today I have another painting from the ‘Fallow Ground’ series. It’s the biggest painting (I think) in the whole series, and one of the largest pieces I’ve ever done. I won’t go into all the symbolism I’ve loaded this thing down with, but I will say that I had a specific goal in mind when I started the piece: to make something that was so busy that it was difficult to look at. Seems like a strange goal, but I was listening to ‘Trout Mask Replica’ (Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band) a lot at the time so, you know…it just seemed like the right thing to do. I think I succeeded, at least a little. Have a great one!

Last Ditch (Agamemnon)

84″ x 180″

latex enamel on wood


Livin’ on Reds, Vitamin C and…’The Painting of the Day’ (Monday edition) June 20, 2011

Filed under: Paintings of the Day — chuckrussell1 @ 7:06 am
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What’s up people? I have a drawing to show you today. It’s part of the series that is basically a conversation between two men. Collectively, the series is called ‘Henry and John’ (or ‘John and Henry’, it doesn’t matter). This is one of my personal favorites in the series, mainly because it reminds me a little of the Faulkner novel ‘Absalom, Absalom’. Probably because that building is a cross between a plantation home and a church. Plus, there’s a sinister quality to the whole thing. Enjoy, and have a great Monday!

Henry and John (A Conversation)

30″ x 42″

charcoal and paint on paper


Hey You! You Dropped Your ‘Painting of the Day’! (Friday edition) June 17, 2011

Happy Friday! Today I have another Confidence Man painting for you. It’s from the ‘Navigator’ part of the story and it’s definitely one of the weirdest CM paintings ever. In the top/center of the piece is the CM’s father, and he’s glowing. Well, burning actually. There is a time compression thing going on as well with multiple Confidence man scenes happening at the same time (he’s got a gun to his head-he’s passed out-two men are holding him up with an ax at the ready). Meanwhile, the Navigator is chasing little blue glowing balls that are floating up from his suitcase (these might be dreams, or memories). All of this takes place on top of slithering worm-like creatures (‘the worm dieth not’), I mean it is hell, after all. Have a great weekend!


Simmer Down, Simmer Down, It’s Just the ‘Painting of the Day’ (Friday edition) June 10, 2011

Hey everybody! I have another Confidence Man painting for you today. This one is from the Navigator story arc. The girl is the same one who was hanging by her teeth from the high wire. It’s always the same girl, no matter what disguise she may be wearing. That’s a hint. Anyway, today she’s a nurse. On the table is the Confidence Man. Hovering over him is the Navigator. Drifting through this dreamscape is a buffalo. This is one of the stranger Confidence Man paintings, but, I think, one of the most effective. It also contains some of my favorite nods to rock and roll. The title ‘Sick Again’ is the name of the last song on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti’. The idea for the girl being a nurse came from the Sonic Youth album ‘Sonic Nurse’, and, finally, the mascara running down her cheek came courtesy of P. J. Harvey (who I was listening to at the time I painted this). Have a great weekend people!

The Confidence Man and the Navigator pt. 11 (Sick Again)

            18″ x 74″

           latex enamel on wood


Can I Have Kippers for Breakfast, with a Side of ‘The Painting of the Day’? (Thursday edition) June 9, 2011

Filed under: Paintings of the Day — chuckrussell1 @ 8:14 am
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Hello all. I have a drawing for you today that has nothing to do with the Confidence Man (well, it’s kinda moody and dark so it’s not completely unrelated). It’s charcoal on paper and part of a short series. Basically, it’s a conversation between to men (John and Henry). Of course, in this particular piece, there’s only the one guy (Henry). I’ll show you the rest later. To make this even more confusing, I’m going to show them out of order so the conversation will be even loopier…feeling a bit impish today.  Have a great one!

30" x 42" charoal and a little paint on paper