Painted Borders

So I wanted to have this great story about how I found this old pattern in the house I used to live in. When I went back and looked at the pictures I took – they didn’t match. So I think I just made this one up inspired by the one I found. I did this several years ago but don’t remember. The second more rustic pattern was found on the back of an old board and lifted. I thought there was something cool about it. Here they are in Modern Masters metallic colors. I drew them out years ago but never got to the stencil stage.

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Old and New Drawings

So I found some drawings from 1989 that I had shelved and no one had ever seen. They’re in a style I developed from keeping sketchbooks. It’s odd finding yourself again. I thought they were cool and tried a new one. So here they are. The black and white drawing Desert High is from 1989 and Dragon Flower was finished today. Both of these are available as prints and other merchandise on

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Birch Spirit

So I stumbled on some old drawings that I did in the 80’s that no one has ever seen. This is one of the drawings when I was darker – into nature and primitive symbols. I thought it held up so I put it on for sale as a print and other items. Check out my shop on Society 6 for some of the other designs I’ve been posting.


le vieux mannequin

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. This is one of the things I’ve been working on. Take a studio full of stuff I’ve collected and try to make a sculpture (it doesn’t matter that you’re a painter and this will confuse everybody). The GLBT Museum was getting rid of some mannequins – I took two half men and some hands. I didn’t want the whole thing – I don’t even know why. They’ve been sitting in my studio for quite awhile now and I wanted to use them creatively. Years ago I did assemblage art and collected odd things for box art. So I thought if I can saw into a mannequin and put a box in it we’re on. The thing I love about it is when you carry it the keys cling together and sound like a wind chime.

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A night where I experimented. I was looking at the guy and just thought Deco – simplify it into simple shapes. I became more interested in the silhouette and background. So this is what happened…    Also I’m on with prints and other products for sale with this design – check out my shop.

robert! robert!!

“Rough Luxe” Studio

I think I’ve always been “Rough Luxe” there just never was a name for it. Here are some detail shots of my studio decorated with my stencil patterns, artwork, and some of the things I’ve collected over the years. These are things I saved from the thrift store, scrap yard, flea market and found on the street. Some things needed to be repaired, some are just the way they were found.

“Rough Luxe” is a book of interior design written by Kahi Lee. Some excerpts from the introduction:

“Let’s start by defining it’s antecedents: Industrial, Steampunk, new Victorian, and dare I say Shabby Chic, all seem to share the same genetic code as Rough Luxe. But Rough Luxe is a step further up the evolutionary ladder. It has its own distinct, albeit difficult-to-describe, voice and philosophy.”

“For the purposes of this book, we define Rough Luxe as  an ethos embracing the imperfection created by the wear and tear of time. Dedicated to the authentic and the unpretentious, Rough Luxe reveres the past with the youthful perspective of the present.”

“The ‘rough’ part of Rough Luxe is self explanatory considering the bulk of vintage, worn furniture, faded surfaces, rusty metal, exposed beams and raw wood. But where’s the ‘luxe  ‘ in all this ‘rough?’ The luxe is the modern juxtaposed against the ‘rough.’ The careful collection and artful placement of these opposing styles creates a soulful, thought-provoking sophistication that stands for a new form of luxury.”

“So could Rough Luxe be an act of rebellion against modernism? Is it a political statement – an anti-conformist movement? It may be all of the above or it may be none. Who knows for sure? All we know is that Rough Luxe is rustic, nostalgic, romantic, pragmatic, accessible, friendly, delightfully rumpled, and a little on the theatrical side. It’s a ripe sign of the times – an aesthetic movement illustrative of this, our evolutionary turning point.”

You can see more of my faux/decorative painting work at and on

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Something Dietrich This Way Comes

Marlene was my first love – I learned to draw copying photos of her at the library in Northern Kentucky. Anyway I found scrap wood on the street cut to exact lengths and decided to make panels out of them. Glued together and then primed they’re ready to go. I thought glamorous images painted on scrap wood would be very “Rough Luxe”.

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So scraps of wood found on the sidewalk glued together to make canvas. Scraps of red leather upholstered to the board and then hand painting. I hope I did Jim Morrison justice.

Where’s your will to be weird? Jim Morrison