Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Collaboration Finished, "Nemo's Surprise"

I just finished an Exquisite Corpse collaborative drawing with Sander Jansen of the Netherlands. He started this graphite piece by drawing on the bottom half of a piece of drawing paper, then covering his side with thick paper except for a one inch strip along the top edge of his half, which he left exposed. He mailed the image to me, and I finished up the top half of the drawing using the one inch exposed strip as a guide. Sometimes this is difficult, but not so much in this case, because Sander was smart enough to show enough of his style in the one inch that he left exposed.    Additionally, I am quite familiar with his work and style, which helps a lot! After I finished my half, I took the covering off of his part to view the entire image. Very cool. This collab turned out very nice. Typically, I don't do graphite drawings, and really, my technique leaves a lot to be desired! In fact, of all of the graphite collaborations I have done with various artists, my technique was always inferior to my partners. It is always an honor to be able to work with these wonderful artists! Despite my ineptitude, I think the end result here was pretty good. Because I finished the piece up, I had the privilege of giving it a title. I called the piece "Nemo's Surprise". See the images of the piece below.  See more of Sander's work at

'Nemos Surprise" by Sander Jansen and Joe MacGown. 

Nemo's Surprise

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Art

Just finished up a collaborations with Elle Gottzi ( Ella is an awesome artist as well as a tattoo artist. She has blue hair. I like that. Its pretty cool. For the collab, I put some abstract watercolor down on a piece of illustration board and drew weird stuff on the right side, covered my part except for a one inch strip down the middle, and left the left side for her to complete. Mailed it to her, but forgot to tell her which side my part was done on. Stupid Joe. So, she flipped it upside down and did the right side of that. It still worked out quite well, because it is all weird crazy stuff, and it does not really matter how it goes. Elle titled the finished piece "Incubation". See it below....I think this might look good on a ceiling?

Incubation by Joe MacGown and Elle Gottzi
Here is the image of my half of the collab by itself. I call this "Orangish Madness". My scanner apparently gives a different color to the image as compared to Elle's. But, you get the idea.

Orangish Madness, by Joe MacGown

I also just finished up another colored ink and Rapidograph pen drawing on birch plywood. This one is 8 X 24 inches. I could not come up with a great name for this one. Ended up calling it "Going Green".  Why not, right? Its the thing to do.

Going Green, by Joe MacGown

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Work in progress-experiments in art

I guess I am a bit scatter brained, but I like to have many things going on at once. Its nice to experiment too, of course not all of the experiments work! Sure, everyone knows I like to draw super detailed pen drawings and have been doing that literally for at least 40 years, but I also like to do some color works. Of course, because I like ink so much, I seem to have the need to include it in my paintings as well. I actually first started drawing this way as a kid with ink or pen mixed with different types of color such as pastel or watercolor.  Times really have not changed that much I guess, because I still love experimenting with different on different surfaces to see what happens.

As you can see in the above image, I have lots of things going on at once. Some of them I started years ago, and come back to just in case. The problem is that I apply paint, ink, or whatever to different surfaces in often completely random ways. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. 

A view of the top of one of my drawing tables with scattered works in progress. I like to try a variety of surfaces in addition to different media. The greenish image on the left is watercolor on illustration board, beneath that is watercolor on bristol paper with a vellum finish mounted on illustration board, the  small blue one is ink and spray paint on clay coated masonite, the larger blue/green one just below that is colored ink on illustration board, and the large yellow and brown image below everything is colored ink on primed birch plywood.  

Stuff on my other table. The three green pieces are all colored ink and pen on birch plywood (primed white).  Originally, they were all on the same board, which I painted at one time, then cut into pieces. 

Top left, watercolor and pen on clayboard and bottom, watercolor and ink on illustration board. 

The weird blue maybe to become jelly fish type creatures were painted with acrylic paint on birch. This is 2 X 2 feet. I will add layers and detail. It will take a while, then probably more detail with a pen. I am happy that my Rapidograph pens work for this. Disposable pens such as those made by Micron don't work so well, as the ink takes longer to dry and is easily smeared. 

Watercolor and ink on watercolor paper (heavy paper). I probably started this about 10 years ago. 

Watercolor on clay board 

Watercolor on illustration board. 

Acrylic paint and ink on birch

detail of above work (in progress)

another detail

watercolor and ink on illustration board

Acrylic on black matte board. I seem to really like fish-like creatures. 

drawers with old experiments. Some of these got too dark! Part of the fun of doing art for me, if you want to call it art, is figuring how to make something interesting out of the mess that I start with. Its like a weird puzzle. 

Another shot of "something to think about". 

This is a photo of a cool base of a tree. Looks kind of like a fist, or a weird face. Could be fodder for a weird drawing one day!

Inquisitive Fish Painting/Drawing finished

Just finished up another mixed media acrylic and pen painting/drawing deal. First primed some smooth birch plywood, then did the painting. Added detail with a Rapidograph later. Not sure whether to call these drawings or paintings??  Decided to call this one "Inquisitive Fish".  It is 16 X 16 inches.

"Inquisitive Fish", Acrylic and Pen on Birch, 16 X 16 inches, 2012. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mayan Awakening

Well, I finally seem to be getting back in the swing of things artwise. Somehow making some time to do some artwork. Lots of things started in the studio, with most of them being mixed media with pen for detail. Just finished one up, which I called Mayan Awakening. I was working on this for quite some time. Its only about 14 X 24 inches, but pretty detailed. Done with multiple washes of colored ink, then with lots of detail with a Raphidograph pen. I love this stuff.

Look for more updates soon. Just about finished with a trippy fish painting...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

From Bugs to the Bizarre, Art Exhibition by Joe MacGown at Giles Gallery, Mississippi State University

My exhibition at Giles Gallery in the Architecture Dept. on the Mississippi State University campus is now up and will remain until October 17th.  There will be an opening reception on Monday, October 1st at 5 pm at the Gallery. Some refreshments will be provided by the folks hosting the show. I will be at the opening to talk about the works and will be glad to answer any and all questions.

I was featured on the front page of the Starkville Daily News today for this exhibition. Read the wonderful article by Matt Crane with photos by Leilani Salter online at:

In other news, I am almost finished with a pretty cool colored ink and pen piece done on primed birch plywood that I started long ago! Soon. The end is in sight. Maybe. Also, I started a collaborative drawing with Elle Gottzi, a crazy cool, semi-blue haired, tattooed and well-pierced, Ukranian hippie art chic now living in Newfoundland ( Also about to start another one with Sander Jansen ( ). Of course, each of them are working on a piece for me to finish up as well. So, looks like I have some stuff to do.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

MacGown Solo Art Exhibit coming up at MSU

I will be having a smallish one man show at the Giles Gallery in the Architecture Dept at Mississippi State University from 28 Sept to 17 Oct. 2012. Opening reception will be at 5 pm on Oct. 1st. Will have some bug drawings and some weird stuff. Come on out and see the bridge between scientific illustration and chaotic weirdness.

Also note the great lineup of guest lecturers and other exhibiters for the fall semester!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Upcoming Group Show in Amsterdam and Judging the Market Street Festival

I just sent off some artwork to Amsterdam. Two collaborative pieces, "The Abyss of the Mind" and Just West of Eden" that I did with Marcel Bakker will be included in the show.  ( ). For the Abyss piece, Marcel applied paint to paper and mailed the image to me. I printed it on drawing paper, then did detailed ink work on the left side, then sent it back to him, and he completed the right side. For 'Just West of Eden", I did the color, mailed it to Marcel, he applied fine ink work randomly on the drawing. He mailed it to me and I finished it up. Pretty cool. Marcel ins an awesome artist from the Netherlands. It was great to work with him. We also did another collaboration called "The Garden of Unearthly Delights". This one was done with ink in the traditional exquisite corpse tradition with Marcel doing the top half of the drawing, then covering it with heavy paper except for a one inch strip, then mailing me the image to complete the bottom half with only the one inch strip to go by. Then, I pulled the cover off and saw this marvelous drawing!

The Abyss of the Mind

Just West of Eden 
The Garden of Unearthly Delights 

In other news, I will be judging the Market Street Juried Art Competition next weekend in Columbus, MS. Looking forward to seeing what the entries look like! I have never entered this competition and was planning on submitting some pieces for it, but this should be fun too. And, I get paid a little bit for doing it. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

features on my art coming up.

Have been piddling around with the art lately, not getting a lot done, but getting parts of some things done. Life has become so busy!!!! But, even so, sold a few prints this past month, both straight from me and also from my Deviant Art and Fine Art America accounts. So, thats pretty sweet. Trying to finish up something for the Cotton District Arts Festival held in mid April, but the early March deadline is fast approaching and I don't know if I will make it. That would suck, as I have been lucky enough to win some money the last few years!

Coincidently, I was interviewed about my art by a new newspaper called The Real Story, based out of Columbus, MS and a fashion/arts magazine called Town and Gown. In addition to those interviews, some of my art will be featured in the Mississippi Journal for Sustainable Living [more info about this group at: ]. All of these interviews and features should be coming out in the March issue, so I guess we will see how that goes.  Of the three, the Town and Gown magazine is certainly the most upscale. Maybe some weird wealthy person will read about me and decide to become my patron! I wish. The idea of sitting around doing art fulltime is very appealing. I feel confident that the story will be well done, as it is being written by Joe Lee, a Mississippi novelist out of Jackson, MS. I actually went to high school with Joe, so its cool that he is writing the article, although it was not his idea. Leilani Salter, editor of the Starkville Daily and Town and Gown, is also a great photographer, and she actually came out to my studio to take photos of me in my element.  She brought an employee named Claire with her, and they hung out for a while shooting pictures and asking questions. It was wonderful talking with both of them about art. And, believe me, Leilani is an artist when it come to photography. In fact, she had a photography exhibit up at the Depot Gallery following my show there. So, yeah, a novelist is writing the article and a professional photographer who is in her own right a great writer and editor are doing this story! Can't ask for much more than that!!! It was weird to have them out at the house only two days after the writer and photographer from The Real Story had been there too. I also enjoyed talking to them and am curious to see where they go with the story.