Friday, April 29, 2011

One Act

One Act
New Paintings by Michael McDevitt
April 9-May 24
Reception: May 14th, 6-9
Food, refreshments, and live music by Bric-a-brac

Georgetown Arts & Cultural Center
5511 1/2 Airport Way S
Seattle WA, 98108

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good is Evil

Radix Malorum (The Campsite on the Mound)
Acrylic on Canvas
10" x 10"

Through some cosmic legerdemain, Summer has disappeared, and Fall is upon us. With it comes the gloom and the rain and all the other wonderful things that Autumn has to offer.

In honor of the onset of darkness, Portland's Good Gallery is hosting a group show entitled Good is Evil. I painted the picture above specifically for this exhibition. The title is an oblique reference to the Pardoner's Tale, but the setting is pure backwoods Virginia... not the real backwoods Virginia, of course, but the dark, swampy Virginia of my dreams.

Happy Fall!

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Date

Though I've been neglecting this blog, I have been keeping myself quite busy. I've been active on a new series with the working title of Glorious Fictions. It is the product of nearly a year of introspection, research, and sketching. I intend for it to be the flagship of my fleet and look forward to going a good distance with it.

The first of these paintings (The Date, shown below) is included in The Cutting Edge, a group show at Portland's Good Gallery. The show opens this evening and hangs through the month.
The Date
Acrylic on Canvas
16"x 8"

These days I'm doing a lot more preparatory work than I used to. (Thanks Kang-O'Higgins Atelier!). Counter-intuitively, I find that the more studies I do, the faster I get to the finish line. If you'd like to check out what I'm working on and see my process, go to my Facebook page The Art of Michael McDevitt. On it I regularly post studies and sketches like the one below. Additionally, I sometimes offer special deals for folks who 'Like' my page.

So, thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for new work.

Study for The Date
Charcoal on Paper
16" x 8"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recent Commissions

Although haven't been posting much, I've been keeping myself quite busy. I've been plotting the course of my next body of work and doing some commission pieces for folks across the country.
Below are two of the latest. Stay tuned for more about what's to come.

Austen at the Window
20" x 16"
Acrylic on Panel
Private Commission

Evening Crow
11" x 14"
Acrylic on Panel
Private Commission

Friday, April 16, 2010

'And If Only' CD Release

Check out the new CD by Seattle-area gypsy-jazz band, Hot Club Sandwich!

This new album is the fourth by HCS and features the legendary Dan Hicks on vocals and accordion by Pearl Django's David Lange. It's hot off the presses of Stumptown Printers and CDForge with original artwork by yours truly.

If you're in the Pacific Northwest, swing by one of the upcoming CD release shows or catch them at Seattle's Folklife Festival.

For more info visit

Monday, March 08, 2010

RIP Mark Linkous

Dim Interior
Ink, Gouache, & Watercolor on Paper

In 2002 I moved into a dim, weathered apartment in Richmond, VA. Much of the square footage was devoted to one long, dark hallway connecting to the inner stairwell shared by all the apartments. The only windows overlooked an odd, U-shaped alley, full of garbage and cobblestones. In the summer it stunk of rotten meat and backed up sewage. In the spring it crawled with ants, and, though I never saw them in my apartment, the telltale signs of rats were all around the exterior. The beaten hardwood floors held decades of accumulated dust, which no sweeping could banish. The bedroom door had dozens claw marks scratched into it, which, when coupled with the iron bars covering the bedroom window, gave the impression that something terrible had been trapped inside it... and perhaps still was.

In short it was the perfect place for a melancholy art student, living in a new city without friends. I spent six lonely months in that apartment, consumed by the pursuit of beauty and the ubiquity of sadness. Throughout it all, the music of Mark Linkous was my Virgil. In the bright light of morning it was a rousing call to joy. In the darkest times it became a one of the most sincere prayers that I have ever offered.

Please send me more yellow birds for the dim interior

Thank you, Mark Linkous. Thank you so very much.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Splendorporium Opening (2/5/10)

It was a mild night, and people were out and about.

Bike parking was limited.

The folks from Voodoo Donuts pulled their truck into the gallery to sell sugary treats.

Some people had a lot of sugar.

Everybody had a good time...

Except this guy.

The end.

Friday, February 05, 2010

'The Pink Show' Opening Tonight at Splendorporium

The Pink Show at Splendorporium
Opening Reception Tonight 2/5 from 7-9
3421 SE 21st Ave, Portland, OR

Back in my day, art class was a venue for rampant hooliganism. We destroyed random objects on grinders, glued magazine cutouts into school closets, incinerated flies in mini-kilns, made lewd things out of clay... In fact, art was the only class in which I was ever set on fire. Had I paid more attention, I might be a big name artist right now, because those are the kind of shenanigans that can get you lots of press and peanuts.

Yet, with our schools in such disrepair, many children don't get a chance to learn even the basics of nihilistic, avant garde performance art. That's why the folks at Art4Life bring arts and culture to six Portland Public Schools through their after school programs. They also operate Splendorporium and the adjoined Children's Art Gallery. All told, it's a pretty sweet deal for Portland, kids, and the art community.

More and Then Some
Oil on Canvas

In addition to the painting above, the Pink Show features an eclectic mix of local talent. So swing by tonight, grab a donut or two, and listen to some Flamenco. Then be sure to buy some art, because 25% of the proceeds go to Art4Life.*

*The other 75% of the proceeds go towards keeping grown up artists off of welfare. They can't be puppies forever!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spaghetti Western

Spaghetti Western
Watercolor on Paper

I'm off to watch A Fist Full of Dollars, so I thought I'd post this beesty from a while ago. I used to do a lot more of these guys. Maybe I'll get back to it sometime.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cat on Donkey!

Cat on Donkey!
Acrylic on Panel

A commission from the same folks that brought you Goat on Cow!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Richmond, VA

As you may know, I love seeing images of my work as it exists out in the world. These come from where Sara and Andrew who live in Richmond with two of my paintings.

She Was Thus Protected hanging alongside some lovely, but unidentified paintings. Cool lampshade, huh? I think that the little toy person should be wary of the mutant pear creature that is poised in striking distance and attempting to look inconspicuous.

Here the Astounding Tide adorns a nice, broad windowsill. The thick sides of the little canvas allow it to stand on its own as a decorative object, which is pretty sweet.

I recognize the building through the window, and it makes me miss Richmond. The rubber mallet/window prop would be pretty handy for repelling potential invaders. Very useful in that town. In fact, I seem to recall both Andrew and I being burglarized by the same prowler-- only Andrew and his housemates caught him in the act. The guy would wander around looking for people that were hanging out on their front porches and then go around the back, dash in, grab something valuable, and run out. In my case, he swiped a woman's purse off my kitchen table, and I had a devil of a time convincing her that my housemate hadn't made off with it. Ah, Richmond!

Nice light too.

Thanks for the photos!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Enemy Guns

The Enemy Guns
9"x 9.5"

Which is meant to be viewed with this as a soundtrack...

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Futility of Banishment (Work in Progress)

Up until this point I have been averse to posting images of works in progress. I suppose that I've wanted to retain the full freedom that obscurity provides, treating each piece as a bit of a secret until completion. Yet, I love looking at progress shots from other artists, so I have come to rethink my approach. In keeping with the new thrust of my blog, here is a peek into what's banging around my easel these days.

Entitled The Futility of Banishment, this painting is part of the Lysis series, which also includes In the Absence of Memory. I first painted this on Friday the 13th, though I'd already been playing around on the panel quite a bit. I've been experimenting with paper collage, though not in the manner of Hannah Hoch and Max Ernst. Instead I'm simply using paper to augment my ability to control the ground and specific images on it. Check out Perpetual Revision to see a different application of this same idea.

A week after the initial session, I spent a tumultuous Friday painting the panel to this state. While I like the added texture and the differentiation of the reds, I feel like I drove the painting into the mud... but it's nothing a paint scraper can't fix. (or at least obliterate)

We'll see where it goes...

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Website & Prints by Plywerk

When I first started this blog, I simply intended for it to be a place that I could post images of my work. Over the years it has grown into something more than that, but I have been perpetually hemmed in by my original mission. I've kept the editorializing to a minimum and avoided both process shots and shop talk. I felt this was necessary in order to maintain the blog as an online portfolio. It's done its job fabulously, but I am now releasing it from these constraints.

My new website is up at

It will take over as my primary venue for displaying finished work online. What's more, you can now purchase work directly through the site via Paypal. In the weeks to come I'll be adding more content and tweaking the form, so you might want to stop by a few times. I'll continue to maintain this blog, but will now use it to focus more on my process, practice, and progress. Of course, I'll keep having fun over at Letters from the Inquisition and plan on launching some new projects there in the next month.

In the mean time, I've added a new product to my art endeavor. I am now offering over a dozen images as high-quality, durable prints. These aren't just pieces of paper that I'm talking about either. I'm having the images professionally printed by Plywerk here in Portland, and their product is something else entirely.

The images are printed on silver-halide paper and mounted on 3/4” carbonized bamboo plywood using a durable, PH neutral adhesive. With a keyhole hanger on the back, the whole thing looks impeccably sharp and is ready to hang.


Check it out.

Image used with permission from Plywerk

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Perpetual Revision

Perpetual Revision
From the series Quotidiana
Acrylic and Paper on Canvas

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There Was Little He Could Do

There Was Little He Could Do
Acrylic on Canvas

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quotidiana Studies

Dire Warnings
Acrylic on Paper

An Excess of Zeal
Acrylic on Paper

Acrylic on Paper

Acrylic on Paper

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Benefit Concert for Maggie Kim

If you're in the Seattle area on August 16th, I highly recommend swinging by the Tractor Tavern for this benefit concert. Not only will you hear fabulous music in one of Seattle's most enjoyable venues, but you'll be doing your part to help out a wonderful lady.

Maggie Kim is a very talented musician and a very kind soul. She played at the the opening of my show "Fog & Other Mysteries" at the late Gallery 070 on Vashon Island (above). Lately she's fallen on some rough times and has racked up some hefty medical bills. While musicians don't have health care, they do have friends that care, and benefit concerts like this are our 'public option.' That's why all the musicians are donating their time, and I whipped up the above poster to help publicize the event.

So come take part in a bit of DIY health care reform, and have a great evening in the process.

Monday, July 20, 2009


L'Incertitude des lumières
Oil on Canvas

If you happen to be in downtown Portland swing by Cafe Voilà to see some of my work. I'm displaying nine paintings, most of which are part of the series Fog & Other Mysteries.

I'm also working on a new series for an upcoming show here in Portland. I'll post more information once I've nailed down the details.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dust My Broom

I'm moving into a smaller studio and need to make a little space. For a limited time I'm offering a 20-50% discount on selected pieces.

Thanks for a good sale folks! Now back to the art...

Friday, May 08, 2009


Hand-drawn on Wacom Tablet in Photoshop
Dimensions Variable

Friday, May 01, 2009

Vigilance Eternal

Last night, I reunited with some old acquaintances, including the former editor of a newspaper called Vigilance. Based out of Port Townsend, Vigilance was an independent newspaper serving the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I had the pleasure of working with the folks at Vigilance and wanted to post a couple of images that ran in the paper back in the early 2000's.

This image ran as the banner for the column Community Roundtable, which published letters to the editor and short essays.
Watchdog, as the name implies, was a column that kept an eye on local and national current events. I don't usually use photo collages as finished products, but fit the mood of the column.
When Vigilance folded in 2005, I was working on this vertical banner for a column called the Grapevine. It never ran, but I had a fun time making it.

I did other work for Vigilance, including a two-part comic called Liam and the Crow, and I was sad to see them close their doors. They had a good run, and the memories live on.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Goats, Dogs, and the People That Make It All Worthwhile

I'm pleased to report that my painting Into the Wilderness has found a good home with Miguel Guerrero, author of the blog Your Brain on Eggs. This is the kind of picture that makes me very happy.

Coincidentally, I recently received images from my friends, Craig and Tricia Besley, showing my Polaroid Portrait of Jonas in its home.

I executed this piece back in 2003 for a Polaroid-themed show in Richmond, VA. I based the piece on an actual Polaroid of Jonas taken in Craig and Tricia's kitchen. Using photoshop, I sliced the image up into 'topographic' layers and resized them. I used watercolors and acrylics to create the color and texture on corresponding paper pieces that I created. After stitching it all together, I mounted it on a wooded frame and used mylar and thick white paper to mimic the look of an actual Polaroid. After the original show, Polaroid Portrait of Jonas hung in the Anderson Gallery's annual juried show.
This is Jonas. She's a pink-nosed pitbull and one of the sweetest dogs that I have ever met. She's blind in one eye as a result of an injury received when she was a puppy. If I could, I would tackle her right now. Here she poses with the portrait in Craig and Tricia's Florida home.

Thanks again to all of you that have sent me your photos, links, and kind words. You make it all worthwhile. If you own one of my pieces, please send me some pictures so that I can post them (if you prefer anonymity, just let me know and I will happily oblige).

'Voyage of the Manticore' purchasing information

The Sinking of the Bafflethwaite
Acrylic on Canvas
20” x 16”

I've received a few inquiries and realized that I neglected to post one very important detail. If you are interested in purchasing work, please contact the show's curator, Chris Crites, at

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Voyage of the Manticore

The Fearsome Manticore
Acrylic on Canvas

The Mighty Storm
Acrylic on Canvas

The Sailor’s Sweetheart
Acrylic on Canvas

The Melancholy Sailor
Acrylic on Canvas

A Damnable Position
Acrylic on Canvas

The Raft of the Mutineers Hailing a Very Strange Vessel
Acrylic on Canvas

The Schooner Manticore
Acrylic on Canvas