Thursday, September 29, 2011


DIA DE LOS MUERTOS means "day of the dead." It's probably one of my most favorite holidays. For anyone who is planning to visit Southern California, I strongly recommend visiting Olvera Street in Los Angeles that time of year.

This is the final sketch for this image and it will be done in watercolors, ink and marker.

Has anyone noticed that I super duper like mixed media? It's the best representation of life - there is nothing uniform about the world.

I am not certain if I will be selling this one yet (I actually may be donating it for charity), but I WILL be mounting it in a very special way before it is done.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


"All Dreams Come to Pass"
by Dani Selvaggio

I haven't yet decided if I want to keep this piece in my personal collection or sell it. For the time being, it's for sale...that may change in the next hour or so. Or maybe it won't. Or maybe it'll change and I'll forget to update this blog.

This piece was cathartic for me - I got to experiment with materials that I wasn't necessarily comfortable using...I ended up using color schemes that I typically don't (although you can find the "shock of red" that I like; somehow I couldn't resist that)...and I ultimately ended up producing a piece where I had no clue what it was going to look like when I started. All in all, it was tons of fun. Even my fiancee told me that it was good to see me "doing art for [myself] for a change." It's been a while.

Good to be back, though!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Paul the Psychic Cephalopod

"Paul Eats the Moon"
by Dani Selvaggio

I didn't make this up. I just want to start out by giving proper credit where it is due.

The proper credit, as it were, belongs to the Germans. A couple years ago, I learned of a particular German octopus named Paul. Now, Paul has since passed away (may he rest in eight-limbed peace), but during his lifetime he was possibly the most celebrated of all cephalopods.

You see, Paul was a psychic. Each leg (wah wah) of the World Cup, the Germans would thrust Paul into the spotlight and the spunky octopus would choose the flag of the nation that was expected to win that game.


I felt it necessary, then, to commemorate this beast by painting this image of Paul in his natural habitat; that habitat being, of course, in outer space devouring the moon.

There is so much modern mysticism in this world, I love it.

*Please note that the figure of 100% has been rounded up from "more often than not."

Monday, August 15, 2011


No pictures today, sorry...I opted to exclude the regular photo or scan because the piece is very close to being finished and posting it now would negate the grand reveal.

At any rate, I'm kind of excited about the way it's coming out. It hasn't been a typical piece for me...rather, it's been very exploratory, which I think is a celebration of coming back to doing art for myself rather than for business. The color scheme is nothing like what I'm used to and I have been forcibly limiting myself to the supplies I find at random rather than waiting and seeking out the supplies I feel like I "need."

The colors are very muted, very indiscernible at times. I used dried up glitter glue that I mixed with a little measure of paste and water and re-stuck (it gave it this amazing chunky texture that was incredibly organic, contrasting with the extremely inorganic feel of the material...awesome!). It was my first experiment with masking, which I only had a toothpick to use to apply. All in all, I was stretching my boundaries and learning to laugh at myself. And, surprisingly enough, the piece was not ruined! It just looks like a beautiful, all-over-the-place, colorful sketch gone awry.

I have decided to finish it up with a few oils (something else I haven't touched in a long time, acrylics being my preference) and I'll hopefully have something to grandly reveal to you in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


by Dani Selvaggio

private collection

Like anything else, art requires training. This is a type of eye warm up where you put your pencil to the paper at one point and don't lift it up until you've completed sketching the contour of what you're looking at...oh, and you can't look at the paper either.

"Bottom of the Canyon"
by Dani Selvaggio
for sale

My first attempt at "abstract." The texture experimentation came out well, but I was still really too confined in developing my own style at the time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Dreams" In Progress

Some examples of the masking and watercolor-over-the-masking so far. How this will actually work on the cheap-o paper I'm using, I really, really don't know...but that's okay!

The Art is in the Process (otherwise known as, "I destroyed my painting.")

I have this problem when it comes to making art, where I focus on the end result and how to get there. This goes against everything I believe art should be, which is completely process-driven, with the end result being a secondary happenstance. Art should always be in progress, always in flux.

With one of the current pieces I'm working on, "All Dreams Come to Pass," I slapped myself on the wrist before I made any stupid plot notes and decided to just run with it, knowing full-well that this would probably result in the complete destruction of my painting.

It has, so far, and I kind of love it anyway. The ink is bleeding all over the place, the colors really didn't turn out how I envisioned, I have no idea what I'm doing with the masking paste and everything is a complete mess. But the more it got screwed up, the more fun I was having and the less serious I took my expectations for myself. I don't recommend this approach for every aspect of life, but for yesterday it suited the moment and was really very liberating.

I love my painting. It's like a My Little Pony farted all over my paper.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Million Billion Things

"All Dreams Come to Pass"
by Dani Selvaggio

in progress

Oh, man...sorry for the radio silence, folks.

There was a while there that I was locked out of this account, for whatever reason. This morning I was finally able to gain access again.

I hope to updating this blog a lot more frequently now. I have so many new projects in the works. Some I'm being paid to do (rocks my socks) and some I'm just doing because it's art.

Here's a little teaser of something I'm working on. You can totally see my sketchy notes if you look close enough. I'm hoping that it will be one that I can introduce in a local show sooner or later. The main part of the design was taken from a thumbnail version of a logo I was hired to do - I maintain copyright for all logo design until a final logo is approved and purchased, so when they chose a different version of the logo for their business, I jumped on this one. It kinda just popped off the page for me (and I'm super glad they didn't use it).

The words on the bottom part of the project are from a poem I wrote and have yet to publish. The unfortunate thing is, in the form the poem takes in this image, it would defeat the purpose of the piece to publish the poem now. Why? Because in the soon-to-be-painting, the poem is scrambled. In the actual poem, it'

Ahhhh, art...I feel like I'm breathing again.