Painting for me is about discovering what's in front of you. When you stop
trying to guide the brush to do anything & simply see what's showing up... 

 

The lyrical writing & bright watercolors that most people know of Brian's work is actually only a part of everything he does. As you'd expect, he loves to tell longer-form stories in live performance. But you might not know that he also regularly plays with video & animation & mixed-media sculpture. Oh, yes, & painting.

He started painting in 2001 when he converted the second floor of an old furniture store in Iowa into a studio. As he says, "it was the first time I had the space to use my whole body when I painted. I built these huge canvases before I had any idea what I was going to do. There was something about them that called to me & said Here, you're going to want space to jump in to this. The thing I found within minutes of my first brush stroke was that the large canvases were too big for me to control. They required big brushes & big scoops of paint & big amounts of trusting that I'd figure it out."

"The other thing I learned really quickly is that painting is entirely about discovering what's in front of you. That the real painting happens when you stop trying to guide the brush to do anything & simply see what's showing up. It didn't take me long at all to figure out that painting was teaching me about life in a way that words never did. The fun of it now is that my painting changed the way I used words, since I have this whole sense of my body knowing what's true beyond what my mind thinks it can convince me of..."

Here's a selection of paintings from his & other collections...

 

orpheus ruins another christmas medium: oilstick on chalkboard size: 48" x 48" year: 2008

orpheus ruins another christmas

medium: oilstick on chalkboard

size: 48" x 48"

year: 2008

persephone medium: acrylic on canvas size: 72" x 60" year: 2010

persephone

medium: acrylic on canvas

size: 72" x 60"

year: 2010

disaffected titan medium: acrylic on canvas size: 48" x 48"  year: 2009

disaffected titan

medium: acrylic on canvas

size: 48" x 48" 

year: 2009

 
apollo dresses medium: oil on canvas size: 24" x 18" year: 2007

apollo dresses

medium: oil on canvas

size: 24" x 18"

year: 2007

hades in limbo medium: acrylic & oil pastel on canvas size: 48" x 48" year: 2003

hades in limbo

medium: acrylic & oil pastel on canvas

size: 48" x 48"

year: 2003

narcissus burning medium: acrylic & oilstick on chalkboard  size: 48" x 48" year: 2008

narcissus burning

medium: acrylic & oilstick on chalkboard 

size: 48" x 48"

year: 2008

narcissus in la medium: acrylic on canvas size: 48" x 48" year: 2007

narcissus in la

medium: acrylic on canvas

size: 48" x 48"

year: 2007

pandora invents the garage sale medium: acrylic & oilstick on chalkboard size: 48" x48" year: 2008

pandora invents the garage sale

medium: acrylic & oilstick on chalkboard

size: 48" x48"

year: 2008

prometheus goes to a concert medium: oilstick on found plywood size: 48" x 96" year: 2007

prometheus goes to a concert

medium: oilstick on found plywood

size: 48" x 96"

year: 2007

 
persephone II medium: acrylic on board size: 12" x 18" year: 2017

persephone II

medium: acrylic on board

size: 12" x 18"

year: 2017

giant medium size 2008

giant

medium

size

2008

man with glasses medium size 2009

man with glasses

medium

size

2009

medieval medium size 2008

medieval

medium

size

2008

 
minelli bros medium size 2008

minelli bros

medium

size

2008

morality medium size 2008

morality

medium

size

2008

stinson beach medium size 2009

stinson beach

medium

size

2009

seeker medium size 2009

seeker

medium

size

2009

woman with tulips medium size 2009

woman with tulips

medium

size

2009

woman with tulips II medium size 2009

woman with tulips II

medium

size

2009

 
young adam medium size 2008

young adam

medium

size

2008

young eve medium size 2008

young eve

medium

size

2008