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