Showing posts from 2011

Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan

You never know what might slip into view on a Provincetown beach! In my new Cheesecake Boy painting Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan, the hunky subject bares more than he intended when his skimpy speedo gets yanked down, much to the delight of fellow beachgoers. With the sun's rays now shining upon his white rump, Alan strikes a pose reminiscent of another tan-line exposing icon from years past.
The original painting and medium-sized prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery here. If you'd like a small print, visit my online store here.
To see some process pics, including Alan's cheeky reference photo for the painting, check out these previous blog posts:
Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 1 Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 2

Cover Boy

I just reached a fun milestone -- completing my 100th novel cover illustration.
Inspired by classic pulp covers, my approach to creating artwork for the world of gay fiction involves dreaming up delightfully dramatic scenarios to help bring the characters of each story to life -- and if they happen to lose their pants in the process, all the better!
I've enjoyed working on every single illustration, and am incredibly grateful to Dreamspinner Press for the opportunity to work with so many fabulous authors. I look forward to creating many more covers in the years ahead.
Here are a few of my favorites:

And here's a slideshow of the whole kit and kaboodle. Enjoy!

Created with Admarket'sflickrSLiDR.

Beach Bum

Here's a sneak-peek at the entire Coppertone-inspired sketch for my new Cheesecake Boy painting, Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan.

eBay Rip-Off Artist

Technorati recently ran an article about the exciting conclusion of my battle with Cai Jiang Xun, the Chinese artist selling knock-offs of my work on eBay. Check it out here.

Lyman-Eyer Gallery Group Exhibition

I will be part of an upcoming group exhibition at the Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown, their Labor Day Open House which runs from Friday, September 2 through Wednesday, September 14. The show will feature my newest work along with that of other gallery artists including Thomas Acevedo and Robert Sherer. Opening Reception is Friday September 2 at 7 pm. Visit the gallery's website for more details.

Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 2

My new painting, Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan, is progressing swimmingly, and I wanted to take a short break to share a little more of the concept. Previously, I posted a cropped version of the sketch focusing on the all-important "Pin-Up Face." Today's post is all about "The Situation." No, I don't mean the guy from Jersey Shore. I'm referring to the circumstances leading to our pin-up boy's wardrobe malfunction.
A glance through the archives of classic pin-up art shows us just how difficult it was for women to keep their clothes on. The streets are littered with obstacles when you're a Cheesecake model. Everything from stray nails... mischievous darts... curious crustaceans could result in a hapless flash of one's unmentionables.

And let's not forget gravity!

The inspiration for the scenario in my new painting, however, comes from an even more unlikely (but every bit as legendary) source -- the Coppertone Girl:

Tally Embry Adv…

Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 1

As the intense heatwave continues outside, I am working diligently in my air-conditioned studio on a seasonally-appropriate new Cheesecake Boy painting -- Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan.

If you’re a fan of good old-fashioned seaside debauchery, you should enjoy this one! Aside from all the exposed flesh coming your way, one important element in a pin-up painting that never gets its due is the facial expression of the model. Granted, this might not always be what the viewer notices first. However, the “oopsie” face -- a titillating combination of surprise and embarrassment with just enough of an arched eyebrow to make you wonder how accidental the wardrobe malfunction really is — was a crucial part of the cheesecake aesthetic honed by painters like Gil Elvgren and Art Frahm. Here are some gloriously cheesy examples:

When I started the Cheesecake Boy series, I wanted to capture that same “OH-NO-my-undies-are-showing!” expression in male form. Thus, I spent many hours in front of a mirro…


My new painting, Sanctuary, evolved over the past several months during which we launched the You Will Rise Project, a website that features artwork, stories, poems, videos and other creative expressions by victims of bullying. Consequently, I began reflecting on my own experience of being bullied and used it as the inspiration for this piece.

I was constantly made fun of as a child for being effeminate, quiet, tall, and uncoordinated. My coping mechanism was to disappear into my imagination. There, I could explore fantastical worlds where bullying, self-doubt, and fear were never welcome. A gangly, awkward boy from the Midwest could become a fairy tale princess or a glamorous movie star. And when the white walls of home felt too confining, more enchanted surroundings were just around the corner. Art gave me a means of capturing my daydreams, making them real, and seeing the work of other artists meant being invited into their secret worlds too.

I’ve been deeply saddened to hear abou…


I recently created this short video for the Courage Campaign’s Testimony ProjectTestimony seeks to create a map of stories from LGBT Americans and allies across the country.  In collaboration with partner organizations, and using the stories of the American public, Testimony seeks to show the shift in public acceptance of gays and lesbians as many equality cases make their way to the Supreme Court.

The artwork I’ve created throughout my life is an important part of my story, so I gathered a sampling from the archives (a.k.a. my parents’ basement) to include in the video. It was fun to look back on all of the older paintings I did as a child with the guidance of my mentor, Linda Regula. She taught me how to tell a story through visual art, and I've been doing that ever since.

Let me share a few here:


Earlier this year, I switched to a new local print studio for my limited-edition prints and I have been thrilled with the quality of their work. Here's an example of one of the prints (Rainbow Pride Cheesecake) next to the original painting.

I've recently made some updates to the way I handle prints as well. In an effort to give you more size options and to standardize the process, I am now offering three sizes (small, medium, and large) for all of my prints. The only exceptions are when the original piece is smaller than the large size, because I wouldn't want to enlarge an image for the sake of a reproduction and compromise the print quality. In those cases, there will just be small and medium sizes offered.

The sizes are standardized:

Small - 11" x 13"
Medium - 16" x 20"
Large - 20" x 26"

Limited-edition prints of my work are available in my online store, and select prints are also available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery.

Sanctuary: Work in Progress

I'm just about to finish blocking in the color on my new painting, Sanctuary, and thought it would be a good time to share a sneak peek. This is a small portion of the painting, but one that is consuming quite a bit of time thanks to the striped pattern on the sheet. I like the stripes though because they help define the contours of the figure's legs beneath the fabric.

The piece shows a figure in his sanctuary, blocking out the world by surrounding himself with meaningful objects; escaping into his imagination. Some of my own meaningful objects include a Marilyn Monroe cookie jar, Snow White figurine, and a purple teddy bear -- so they worked themselves in somehow. :)

Once I have all of the color laid in, I'm excited to start using my tiny brushes and working on the detail. Most of the paint you see in this photo won't be visible when I'm finished because it will be covered over by several more layers, so this is truly a work in progress. I'll share more as I…

Agora 8 Recap

I had a great time last weekend participating in the Agora 8 exhibit at Junctionview Studios here in Columbus. Junctionview is a big, glorious maze of art studios that houses some of our city's finest artists. Occasionally, they open up their space to other artists from the area to display our work alongside theirs, and the result is a fabulous community event.

This year I displayed three paintings, I Won't Tell if You Won't, Size Matters Starring Jack Mackenroth, and In Hot Pursuit Starring Jesse Archer. It's always fun to let the gayest of the gay paintings from my collection loose on the city and see how they are received.

While I wasn't able to make it to the main event on Saturday, my friend Maria Fanning and I attended the preview party on Friday night and I was tickled to overhear a very young girl explaining the cause of Jesse Archer's wardrobe malfunction to her mother. "Look, he's trying to get away from that monster and the tree's tearin…