Some Cool Web Features

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2011 by jamesowensart

The nice folks over at “My Ride Is Me” have asked me to do a tutorial on how I make a painting. It was fun but a bit odd because I had to articulate the processes that I have internalized over many years. I think it worked out pretty good. Hope you dig it.

Click here to check it out.

Also, Kristen over at the “Greasegirl” blog did a little feature on some of my new stuff.

Dig the “Greasegirl” blog feature here.

Commission Piece

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2011 by jamesowensart

Here is a piece I did as a commission.

You gotta love one of the most classic kustoms of all time. “The Hawaiian” better known as the Hirohata Merc.

This is 12 x 16 mixed media on wood panel. (Mixed media is a fancy way to say I used all kinds of paint and other chemicals of nefarious origin.)

Hope you dig it.

Dig These Three New Prints!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2011 by jamesowensart

Click HERE to get em now!

New Rod

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2011 by jamesowensart


Been pretty crazy around the Owens household these days. Bought a new house and moved AGAIN. That’s five times in ten years. I’m done! This is where I’m stayin’. Anyhow I’ve been working on a lot of my pin ups but I have managed to do a few rods. This one is oil on canvas 22×28 inches. I call it “I’m a Steam Roller Baby”.

I dig the monochromatic feel of it. But there is some wonderful burnt umber under painting showing through the blue/green. I dig it hope you do too.

The Screwball Confidential Interview – Doug Horne

Posted in Interviews on July 25, 2011 by jamesowensart

Okay it’s been way too long since I posted. Life has been pretty crazy lately. All good, just crazy and busy with house buying and acting gigs.

In case you haven’t read any of the earlier interviews, what I try to do with these is to dig into the artists working techniques, methods and thought process as it pertains to the creation of their art.

I am so excited to share this interview.

Doug and I go way back to our Vaudeville days where we had a successful two man show called “Horne and Owens”. We were the toast of the Borscht Belt until television killed Vaudeville. So we went our separate ways and started crazy art careers.

I of course am a big fan of his work. Hey who doesn’t dig drunk monkeys?

That being said…

Ladies and Gentlemen Screwball Confidential brings you the “Leader-of-Lounge” the “Crowned-Head-Lord-Potentate of Tiki” the one, the only, Doug Horne!

James Owens – Where are you from and where do you live now?

Doug Horne – Born and raised in Phoenix and have been living in California for 3 years now.  I’m now living in Long Beach.

J.O. – Did you go to art school, if so where?

D.H. – Graduated the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver.

J.O. – What was your first art job?

D.H. – Right out of High school I did freelance work for the local Yellow pages in Phoenix.  Did mock-ups of proposed ads, lots of hand lettering and we got paid by the ad.  I got into art because I liked to draw but my father was a graphic artist and when I was younger I thought to make a living as an artist you had to be a designer and I remember a teacher in art school telling the class that.  I did design for the first 20 years of my career and always wanted to get back to doing what I love, drawing.  So 17 years ago I broke free of the 9-5 job and started doing freelance illustration.  In 2002 I got less and less work from my reps and came to a fork in the road, do I get a 9-5 job or try something different.  I decided to just paint what I want to paint and started putting prints up on e-bay and they started selling right away.  I know a lot of artist frown on selling their art on e-bay but I think it is a great way for a younger artist to reach a larger audience and see how people react to the work. I still use it to promote new prints that are available.  My room mate at the time was selling jewelry at art fairs and I started doing some with her and eventually got up to 30 shows a year.  I also sell on line on my website and do commission pieces.  I’ve been doing my own art full time now for almost 10 years.  I work harder than I ever have in my life but it is so gratifying as an artist knowing you control everything.

J.O. – Which artists have had the greatest influence on your work?

D.H. – Current day artist who’s work I like are Robert Williams, Todd Schorr and Brian Despain.  I like the boldness of Magritte and grew up with MAD magazine so those artists would have to be an influence on me. Magritte to MAD? Wait that doesn’t make sense!! Ha!

J.O. – Yeah I think it is impossible to have grown up when we did and NOT have some Mad Magazine in us. How would you describe your work?

D.H. – Depressed fez wearin’ monkey’s chomping on cigars that belly up the tiki bar, the devil wears a lamp shade, giant mutant bugs created by runaway nuclear testing in the 1950’s, topless girls lots of topless girls.  All done up in a cartoon realism style. I’ve always like to render things ever since I was a kid.

J.O. – It’s always a lot of fun until the Devil wears a lampshade! What?! I’m not silly enough to ask where ideas come from, but I will ask what steps you take to develop an idea. Do you start with thumbnails and work out your drawings completely before moving to canvas or into the computer?

D.H. – I usually get an idea in my head and roll it around a bit before doing research and going to pencil on paper to work out the composition and look of the characters.  I always use tracing paper so I can trace over my rough sketches and refine the look of a character. If I like how it is working I take it a bit further with basic shading and then decide if I want to do an original piece or render it in Photoshop. If I do a Photoshop painting I scan the   drawing/sketch and use it as a guide.

J.O. – I know you move easily between the digital and analog world, do you find that galleries accept digital work as readily as traditionally executed works?

D.H. – Most group shows want original pieces but I have sold my limited edition prints to galleries many times.  If it is a show with a specific theme, say a group show, they almost always want a one of a kind original piece.  I love painting in Photoshop but I think it is good to go back and fourth between digital and traditional art. I do have an appreciation for a one of a kind piece, something you don’t get with a digital painting. Unless you embellish the print in some way.  So, no the galleries have been, for the most part, anti digital. I think with time maybe that will change. It is such a new medium and I think the perception is that you use some kind of digital magic to create the image.  When in fact I have to make the same decisions when painting in Photoshop like light source, composition etc. I think people can tell when you have taken shortcuts and used lots of filters to create the work, it just looks digital.

J.O. – When working digitally, generally how large in inches and pixels do you like to work?

D.H. – Around 16″X20″ at 300 dpi.  I don’t want the file to get so big that is slows things down.  I use layers and the channels a lot and that makes the file larger.

J.O. – Do you listen to music while you work, if so what is usually playing?

D.H. – I grew up listening to post punk, Dead Kennedy’s, Cramps, Gang of Four, Echo and the Bunnymen.  80’s industrial, Test Department, Swans, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle.  I still listen to that stuff and newer bands that are influenced by that music but when I work I like to mellow things out a bit with some Exotica.  Like Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Robert Drasnin, Tikiyaki Orchestra and clouseau.

J.O. – James.doc What time of day is most productive for you?

D.H. – I tend to get more work done in the morning.  If I’m tired and working I tend to rush things and get sloppy, not good with work that is more detail oriented.  Usually done working on art by 7pm then it’s time for a Mai-Tai.

J.O. – Do you keep a sketchbook, if so why is that important to you?

D.H. – No, not good about keeping a sketch book.  I’ve purchased sketch books in the past and told myself, “I’m going to fill this baby with sketches” and it never happens. Maybe I’m not disciplined enough.  I have piles of sketches in large envelopes. I usually go thru them if I’m stuck for ideas, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that one!”.

J.O. – Ya know I’m exactly the same. I have stacks of sticky notes and scrap paper full of sketches. Ha. What do you like to draw with?

D.H. – Turquoise brand HB – 6B pencils.

J.O. – When creating non-digital works what medium do you like to use?

D.H. – I’ve always liked dry mediums, pastel, color pencil, graphite.  The last two years I’ve taken a bit of a break from the digital work and I’ve been doing some color pencil pieces.  Some real challenges with color pencil and I look forward to seeing where I can take the medium. I’m always learning and I’ve seen some pencil work that looks amazing.

J.O. – I think you have a great color sense. Tell us about your approach to color.

D.H. – If it looks good I use it, ha.  Really nice to hear, thanks. I think I fell asleep during color theory in art school.  I guess I’m more emotional with color than a color chart type of artist.  I stay away from the primaries and go with more Tertiary colors.

J.O. – What advice do you have for young people interested in a career in the visual arts?

D.H. –  We are all influenced by art that we like but I think it is important to create your own identity with your art.  Identity with your technique and subject matter.  One thing I notice about successful artists is they have a very distinct consistant look to their work and that is the real challenge, to come up with something that is different and people react to.  Put it out there and see what kind of reaction you get and go from there. Keep learning.  If you mimic other peoples work it will only take you so far you have to be unique with your look and vision.

J.O. – Well Doug I really appreciate you taking time to share your deep dark secrets. Where can people find your work?

D.H. – I sell my limited edition prints and other items on my website at

I’ve also been posting some original pieces on my facebook page at

I also do art shows like Viva Las Vegas, Tiki Oasis and lots more in California and Arizona.

Some New Work

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6, 2011 by jamesowensart

Been working out some new techniques.

I’m really liking the loose energy of these new pieces.

I like that you can still see the drawing underneath both.

These are graphite on illustration board then oil painted on top of that.

(Forgive the not-so-great pics.)

Size Matters

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 by jamesowensart

Here is a piece I did for my show “Savage Beauty” at Gasoline.

As you can see this baby is massive.

It is 8ft wide. Sits perfectly above the couch.

I call it “Let the Good Times Roll”.

The Srewball Confidential Interview – Gustavo Rimada

Posted in Interviews on March 23, 2011 by jamesowensart

One of the best things about doing these interviews is that it gives me an excuse to get to know artists that I havn’t met.

I have not met Gustavo Rimada in person but when I started seeing his work I was immediately taken by it’s haunting beauty.

Gustavo was gracious enough to share a bit about his working methods, process and inspirations.

Let’s get to it.

James Owens – Lets start with where you’re from and where you call home now?

Gustavo Rimada – Well I was born in Torreon , Mexico moved to the states when I was 7 and I’ve called Indio home ever since.

J.O. – How would you describe the art you create?

G.R. – It’s a mixture of Dia de Los muertos , pinup , tattoo and with a little edge.

J.O. – How about a little about your journey, did you go to art school? What was your first art job?

G.R. – Well I have been active in art ever since I was a child but started taking it a bit serious in high school but could never really find myself, afterwards I did attend an art school in LA, the Art Institute for Computer Animation. I dropped out to join the military after 9/11 in December of 2001 with the intentions of doing something great, god only knows what I was thinking then. I served my Time in Alaska with no deployments not by choice but because we were training with new equipment the military hadn’t used in combat so therefore we were non deployable. After I stayed in Alaska and years later dug into my art chest to only rekindle the passion I felt before after a 6yr absence. I worked at a tattoo shop became super inspired and that leaves us to today.
My first art job was actually doing a commision  painting for a salon my wife worked at even though I didn’t get paid it was a job cause it felt like work

J.O. – Ah yes the old “I’m not paying you but it will be great exposure for you” job. We’ve all done those. Were there artists in your family growing up?

G.R. – You know my father has really good skills in carpentry my mom was artistic but no real artist.

J.O. – It was the same way at my house. I think my dad could build anything out of wood and my mom was very artistic but had no formal training. Obviously our parents are our first influences. Who were the artists that influenced your work the most?
G.R. – Well at first it was definetly Frida Gil Elvgren , Alberto Vargas, Olivia , new artist like Sylvia Ji and Joshua Petker. Now I am really studying the work of Robert Williams , Todd Schorr , Mark Ryden , Henry Lewis , Shawn Barber , Tom Bagshaw and a ton of others my new work will really speak volumes at what direction im heading in.

J.O. – Tell us a bit about your studio set up. Is it in your home or a separate building?

G.R. – It’s a very simple set up I have an easel, lots of light sources, which is key cause my house is kinda dark, a desk , 2 pin boards for references and a computer desk w/ printer. Trust me I wish it was way more fun but with a kid I gotta hide things.

J.O. – Do you use the computer as a tool in creating your work, if so how?

G.R. – I don’t utilize a computer at all only to use facebook or run my website it’s actually my wife Kerrie that does all the dirty work on the computer. I wish I knew more.

J.O. – So do you prefer an easel over some kind of table?

G.R. – I use an easel alot, sometimes I’ll hang it on the wall, very few times I’ll paint straight up on the floor

J.O. – I find your work striking in its design. Please share your thoughts on your design philosophy.

G.R. – You know I come from a tattoo background when it comes to my work and when a good tattoo artist thinks of placement of the tattoo they always find the perfect place were the tattoo will flow with the curves of your body and look the best I take that same approach when it comes to my paintings it’s all about placement and flow.

J.O. – What is your favorite medium?

G.R. – At the moment it’s acrylic but I am switching to oils because of the richness and deph of the medium so I will say acrylics now but ask me in a year I’m sure the answer will change.

J.O. – Yeah oil will also do things that acrylic just wont do. At least I could never get it to do what I wanted. What average size do you prefer to paint?

G.R. – I always prefer large the bigger the better but I’m finding out a variety of sizes is better for not only collectors but for the flow of things , see everything comes back to flow haha.

J.O. – Do you work with models as reference for your paintings?

G.R. – Yes sometimes I skim through portfolios and magazines in order to find the perfect photo I find it very hard to ask a model to take a photo for you. It very rarely happens, she will always forget and leave hanging. I prefer to find a photo that has already been taken

J.O. – What is the one piece of equipment you couldn’t do without?

G.R. – This really has nothing to do with painting but I love having the tv on while I paint I am not good at sitting in silence or just music it’s kinda my get away when I get stuck

J.O.- I dont think I know of one artist that prefers silence while working. Choose one, “talent” or “hard work”?

G.R. – This is a tough question. But I will always take hard work I feel as if talent is something that is natural kind of a gift and hard work is something you earn . Hard work I can relate to the most even though I have a talent the hard work I have put into it has made me a better artist than what my talent would have done for me without the hard work. I am a firm believer that you can have no talent but with a true effort and passion you can become a great artist talent is overrated.

J.O. – What advice do you have for young people interested in being artists?

G.R. – Work hard don’t let the set backs hold you down , don’t let the negative critcism affect you in a negative way take it all in and use it to better yourself as a person and as an artist. How you treat people is key treat them with respect you never know who you are dealing with it may bite you in the ass one day trust me.

J.O. – Gustavo thanks for taking time to be a part of this. It was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to seeing more from you. Where can people find your work?

G.R. – You can find my work on my website on facebook and Twitter  just type in my name and I’ll pop up. There aren’t too many with the same name so it shouldn’t be hard to find me. I work a lot with Cannibal Flower and C.A.V.E gallery. I just started showing at La Luz De Jesus Gallery , The Hive Gallery and London Miles Gallery. To purchase prints and such go to my site or or Black Market Art Company. I post all the shows and gallery dates on my site or like I said follow me on Twitter or Facebook thank you.

“Powerhouse” and “Lady Liberty”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2011 by jamesowensart

Two new pieces.

“Lady Liberty”

18 x 24

Oil on Wood Box



16 x 20

Oil on Wood Box


Some Interviews I’ve Done

Posted in Interviews on February 27, 2011 by jamesowensart

While I’m in interview mode, I figured I would post some links to interviews that were done with yours truly as the subject.

Hope you dig em!

Noir Con


Hemmings Classic Car