Thursday, November 30, 2006

2006-11-29 Roy and Ethel at Kevin's Kustom Tattoos

It's NOT as sore as people make out. In fact, it's even below the flinch threshold.

I'm talking about getting a tattoo.

I went to Kevin's Kustom Tattoos yesterday afternoon with my design in hand.

The lovely Ethel did the hard work.

And I listened to my music on my Nokia N91.

While reading AS USED ON THE FAMOUS NELSON MANDELA: Underground Adventures In The Arms and Torture Trade by British comedian and activist, Mark Thomas.

Thanks to Mark Thomas there were a few dodgy moments when Ethel had to pause for my laughing to stop.

This is a painting of me getting the tattoo. Soon I'll upload a rendering of the actual design. And you can laugh your head off and say, 'Sheeeeeesh! Roy DOES do his very best to come across as a wise-ass eccentric.'

And you'd be right.

Now give them a call. And go get yourself inked. Here's the number of the Cresta branch: +27 11 678 1595. And no... I do not receive free tattoos from them. I paid full price for mine. They just happen to be one of the best tattoo parlours in Africa, according to tattoo types.

This painting was made in my bedroom on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc using ArtRage 2.2 software with me listening to STADIUM ARCADIUM by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and noticing that it's now 2am and I forgot to have supper! Damn.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

2006-11-29 Jacob 'Laduma' Zuma

This is a spec painting of South Africa's great bad-man, Jacob Zuma. He's the presidential hopeful who was accused of rape and acquitted.

He did admit to having unprotected sex with the woman, even though he knew she was HIV positive. He claims that he 'had a shower aferwards', and believes that that would ensure that he doesn't get the virus.

He's also involved in all sorts of corruption allegations.

And the bad news is that he is South Africa's equivalent of George Dubbya Bush. He's likely (in my cynical opinion, anyway) to be elected in our next 'democratic elections'. Which is, frankly, terrifying.

The populace love him. They cheered when he was let off the hook. This country could be in some very serious trouble.

Back to the painting... I'm kinda hoping one of the big newspapers in South Africa will use it for their year-end publication. Cos Mr Zuma will be sure to feature as a superstar personality of the decade. Sheesh. What a loser.

This painting was made in Mugg & Bean, Cresta, with innocuous music playing in the background, using ArtRage 2.2 painting software, on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc. My arm is burning as I speak. All will be revealed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Roy Blumenthal's 'Living Your Art' Mini-Manifesto

1. I live my art in prosperity and abundance.

2. I do what I love, and the necessary resources follow.

3. If I CAN'T do what I love, I love what I do.

4. I ask myself three questions every night before I sleep: (i) What did I learn today? (ii) What did I contribute today? (iii) What did I enjoy today?

5. I go to therapy.

6. I make art.

7. I share my art.

8. I partake of other people's art.

9. Everything is art.

Hugh MacLeod over at gapingvoid recently issued a challenge to his readers to create their personal mini-manifestos in 500 words or less. I reckon the above sums me up pretty well. Hugh has some guidelines on how you can submit your own manifesto to him, as well as an archive of all of the manifestos he's linked to.

Stars And Spikes -- by Silvisrivers

Stars And Spikes ..
Originally uploaded by Silvisrivers.
Wow! Came across this painting by Silvisrivers on Flickr. He left a poem as a comment on my Scientist pic, so I went exploring his work.

And this one absolutely kicks all butt for me. Protest art of the highest order.

It spurred me to recall one of my protest poems:


by Roy Blumenthal

The lovers lie like statues
shattered by the tanks.

Do click on the picture for a full-sized view, and go take a look at the rest of this dude's art. Wow!

Monday, November 27, 2006

2006-11-27 Illustration Friday -- Invention

So this is a self portrait of me holding up a red paperclip.

That's cos a paperclip is one of the most basic inventions to have changed the lives of millions. A simple piece of wire twisted into a shape that holds pages together. Who woulda thought???

And the reason I'm writing about inventions is that the Illustration Friday topic this week is exactly that.

So I've added several layers of subtlety to my interpretation of this topic. A self-portrait is also an invention. It's me creating a face to show to the world.

But that's not all. In the background in this picture, you can see a bunch of paintings. Well... in my study I have a bunch of portraits of me. They're by other artists. And they're inventions of me through someone else's mediation.

What I've done here is to do very rough copies of them. Which means I've re-invented them!

Insane, huh?

Gee, Roy, you're a real master of irony and subtlety, aren't you? Have a noddy badge.

This painting was made on my Toshiba Tecra M4 using ArtRage 2.2 in my study, with the November Paste Magazine CD playing on repeat, and me corresponding with several hot babes from the dating site. No paperclips or hot babes were harmed in the making of this pic.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Robert Altman is dead

Robert Altman with hat
Originally uploaded by royblumenthal.
Robert Altman made SHORT CUTS, one of my top three films. Thanks for all the art, Robert. I hope you can make movies where you've gone.

(He died from complications connected to cancer that he was diagnosed with 18 months ago.)

Here's the New York Times obituary.

This drawing was made a few years ago on my iPAQ 2210 pocket pc, using Mobile Atelier drawing software.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

2006-11-20 Scientist Reading

Last night was my second date with the Scientist. I googled her name, and I developed a sharp pain in my left testicle due to the awe the search generated. She's a top-boffin.

One of the stipulations to dating her was that I was required to make good on the brag on my internet-dating profile... 'If we hit it off, maybe I'll sketch you'.

So... I've made good. Can't promise that it looks anything at all like her. But that's probably a good thing. Maybe a polyamorous scientist doesn't really wanna be tracked down or recognised?

I'm currently sitting in Gloria Jean's in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. I started this painting at home late last night, and finished it here. Took a break when my buddy Ed popped in for a quick lunch. He bought me a copy of THE GAME by Neil Strauss.

So far, the babe count has gone off the scale. It's higher than 5 stars out of 5. Food was fine: 3 out of 5. Ambience is good: 4 out of 5. And service is excellent: 5 out of 5. (My waitress immediately spotted me pouring milk all over my power adaptor, and came rushing over with a cloth to wipe it.)

This painting was made with a live model in my lounge, with me using ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc. I wanted to wear a beret to REALLY impress my model as to how much of an artist I look, but the beret is buried in my car boot somewhere.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

2006-11-19 Hotel Ilness

2006-11-19 Hotel Ilness
Originally uploaded by royblumenthal.
I'm at Doppio Zero in Greenside. Had a lovely second date with one of the gorgeous gals from the dating site.

We chatted a little about Polyamory. And it's something she's keen to engage with.

I asked her what form it might take for her.

At first, she said, 'I'd like two boyfriends.' Then she thought about it, specially as I'd been telling her about the time I had two girlfriends, M and J.

It's quite a lot of, uh, hard work being the 'central person' in that kinda relationship. And one of the reasons she wants to try polyamory is because it feels to her like a solution to too much intimacy. (One of the things I found in my experiment is that it was VERY intimate on an emotional level, but the intimacy was measured out, spread around a bit, so it wasn't overwhelming to me.)

So then she said, 'Actually, I think I'd prefer to be someone's second girlfriend. Cos that would give me time on my own.'

She headed off home to go and do some work. And I stayed to make a painting.

This pic is based on a terrifically atmospheric photo by Victoria Frigerio. Her photo is titled 'Hotel Ilness' (that's the correct spelling).

I left a message in her comments section telling her I'd love to make a painting based on it. And she contacted me to say, 'Go ahead!' Yay!

I've really enjoyed making this one. Took me about 3 hours and five decaff cappuccinos. Nice.

Right now, the babe count of Doppio Zero has gone back up to 5 out of 5, cos there's a seriously gorgeous gal sitting at the next table. She has eyes similar to S's. Sigh. And she's been making eye contact. But she's with two dudes. And while I'm SURE she might CONSIDER polyamory once I've evangelised her, I somehow doubt I'm gonna get the chance. Sigh. I'd gladly be her second or third boyfriend.

This piece was painted on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc using ArtRage 2.2.

For more information about polyamory in South Africa, you can visit and You can also join the ZA Poly discussion forum at Random perverts are excluded from the list. So, seriously, only join that list if you're genuinely interested in poly. It's a moderated list, and membership is vetted.

2006-11-18 Beth -- Colour

2006-11-18 Beth Colour
Originally uploaded by royblumenthal.
My first international commission. Beth contacted me to ask if I could do a portrait of her for her website.

I said, 'Yup!'

And we negotiated a price. She was cool with US$170. And it would be settled on a 'pay it forward' basis. She works in humanitarian aid, so she's going to donate her services to the value of US$170 to a worthy cause.

That makes me happy. Makes her happy. And the pic gets a decent home.

I made the painting using ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc, in Mugg & Bean, Parkhurst.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

2006-11-18 Wang Yue Han

2006-11-18 Wang Yue Han
Originally uploaded by royblumenthal.
I've spent a delightful afternoon with Wang Yue Han at Mugg & Bean in Parkhurst.

No... she's not Chinese. That's the name her friends gave her when she lived in Taiwan for a coupla years.

And yes... the standard artist's disclaimer applies... she looks much more gorgeous in real life.

Today was our first meeting. She's one of the gals I've encountered on my internet dating forays.

It's really cool. She's the fourth gal I've met this time around. And so far, ALL FOUR have been delicious! Wow.

What's even MORE cool is the fact that they're actually chosing to respond to my missives. I've asked them what makes me worth responding to. And they've all basically said that my description of myself is very unusual. And yeah... of course, I've gone out of my way to paint myself accurately, eccentricities and all.

So BDSM is on the table. Polyamory is on the table.

A question she asked me after a while: 'Roy, do you sexualise ALL the women that you meet?'

And that's a very deep and penetrating question. With a long and hesitation-filled answer.

On my blog, I portray myself in a specific way, for specific effect. My blog- persona is an aspect of me, but isn't the entire me. So yeah... on the blog, I sexualise women. I do it for humorous effect. I do it to give the impression that I'm a salivating, lascivious eccentric. It's to make my blog more readable.

At the same time, in real life, there's a part of me that definitely sexualises all women. I DO look at most of the women I meet as potential sex partners. Not cos I want to have sex with them. But cos that's part of who I am... I'm a carnal creature, and I'm not ashamed of that at all.

However, I'm also a way deeper creature than that. I DON'T act on my sexual side very often at all. It's just ONE little factor. For me, it's far more important for me to be respectful to women (and people in general, actually, seeing as I'm a non-genderist). So, no, my sexuality isn't often on the table.

Also, I flirt. A lot. But my flirting is not directed. By this, I mean, I'm actually not trying to score by flirting. I flirt because I love to flirt. I seldom take advantage of my flirting skills to actually pick a gal up. There are exceptions to this.

So. Yue Han and I will indeed be seeing each other again. And I'm definitely seeing at least three of them again. And I'm still meeting one or two others who I've been corresponding with.

Sheesh. I dunno if blogging about my dating is GOOD or DANGEROUS. My policy is to have my cards on the table always, so I can't see it harming anyone. I'm not using the dating site for cheap scores. I'm trying to use it to generate possible relationships. So, seen in that light, I reckon honesty is the best policy. Even if some of the girls read this and think, 'Aaargh! Run a mile! This guy's a monster!!!!'

This painting was made in Mugg & Bean Parkhurst, with Yue Han sitting before me as my live model (I didn't work from a photo), using ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc.

Ambience: 3 stars out of 5. Food: 3.5 stars out of 5. Service: 2.5 out of five. Babe Count: 5 out of 5.

Oh... one more thing... yup... she's a VERY sexually attractive gal.

2006-11-17 Illustration Friday -- Thanksgiving

Ah, I love Illustration Friday. It gives me the opportunity to be lateral about topics like 'Thanksgiving'.

In the American sense of the word, I have absolutely NO idea what it means, what it symbolises, or what it represents. I know turkeys have something to do with it.

But I didn't want to show an American interpretation of it. I wanted to show something that demonstrates thankfulness in some way.

So I've interpreted a photo called 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' by Taxiguerrilla on Flickr. (He releases his stuff under the same licence I use... Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike.

The way I've read his pic (which looks like a brilliantly shot self-portrait times three -- in other words, him, in three different poses) is that this is a family of three brothers sharing breakfast together.

They're in a peaceful space together, and they're just WITH each other. They're well-fed, prosperous, in touch with abundance. And they're aware of their surroundings. They've also embraced simplicity.

Their individualism shines through, and the peace they've created is their expression of thanks.

That's what my painting INTENDS to convey. Who knows what it REALLY conveys. Enjoy!

I made this painting at Mugg & Bean in Killarney, listening to a selection of Paste Magazine samplers on my Nokia N91 MP3 player phone, using ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc. I'm in the process of exploring the dating scene again, so I'm communicating with several babes on a South African dating site. Yay!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

2006-11-12 -- Illustration Friday -- Clean

Back in high school, my biology teacher wore transluscent blouses with a flesh-coloured bra. She was a real looker, with a hot bod. And a maltese poodle called 'Muffy'. Seriously.

And she was rumoured to 'choose' a matric every year to have sex with.

In my matric year, it wasn't me.

Several years after I left school, I found out that she married one of her ex-matrics. A dude about two years ahead of me. Lucky fellow.

When the Illustration Friday topic hit my inbox this week, I knew EXACTLY how I was going to interpret 'Clean'.

Yup. For anyone who's a little vision impaired, the teacher cleaning the board here is NOT wearing a transluscent top with a flesh-coloured bra. She does NOT have a dog called 'Muffy'. And in THIS version, she selects ME!

See... I've made a clean sweep.

This painting was made in ArtRage 2.2 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet PC in my lounge, on a tripod, with me listening to The Violent Femmes more loudly on a Sunday night than my neighbours ought to tolerate.

As reference, I used a pic by Dave Sackville on stock.xchang called 'Classroom'. Thanks Dave.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smoke

This week's Illustration Friday topic is 'Smoke'.

I made this painting a few months ago, using Alias Sketchbook Pro 2.0. on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc. I was really just challenging myself to paint smoke convincingly.

The painting is based on maryanne_b's pic, of her boyfriend, 'A Day in the Life'.